Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Year 3: An Update (And Giveaway!)



Yesterday was my 33rd birthday! I decided, when I turned 30, that I was going to commit to reading 500 books over the course of the next decade, and started this blog a couple months later to hold myself accountable. So my reading years begin and end on my birthday, and that meant that yesterday marked the end of year three. I like to take my birthday to look back on the year that was, both in terms of numbers and in terms of life, so let's see what happened:

In Reading

Books read (this year): 87! This is obviously more than my yearly goal of 50. And it's up from last year's 84, which I'm excited about because I read some lengthy books this year. But I don't know that I'll ever touch the 95 I read the first year again.

Books read (total): 266. I am currently over 2 years "ahead" of my posting. I'm not sure what to do about this, if there's anything that needs to be done about it. I feel like it's better to have a buffer in case I ever find my pace slowing, and it's not like I feel crazy pressure to read every single second. I'm reading as much as I want, and right now that's more rather than less.

Male/Female Authors: 44 men/43 women. As always, this is just about even despite not making a conscious effort to read equal numbers. It's always something that's interesting to keep track of, especially since I read a lot of "literary fiction", which is a genre that tends to be male-heavy.

Most Read Genres: Speaking of literary fiction, I've stopped tracking it as a sub-genre this year because of that very male-heaviness. Instead, I either list it as historical or contemporary fiction. This year, I read 66 fiction books (most-read subgenres continue to be contemporary fiction and then historical fiction), but only 21 non-fiction books (most-read subgenres here were science and history). That's a 3:1 ratio, while previously I've been more like 2:1. I've actually been buying more non-fiction lately, but I think I was just going through a particularly fiction-heavy portion of my backlog. I will admit this: it's a LOT easier to write about the fictional books, so I'm not bummed on that count.

Kindle/Hard Copy: This year, I read 51 paperback or hardcover books and only 36 on my Kindle. This has been my most inconsistent category I track...the first year I read significantly more on the Kindle than in hard copy, while last year was about even, and now this. I do honestly prefer reading a hard copy, so part of that is doing things like buying the physical book for my book club instead of the Kindle version, even when the e-book would be cheaper.


In Life

Girl's trip to Las Vegas: My annual trip with my best friends was close to home (for me) this year...since Britney Spears was wrapping up her residency at Planet Hollywood, we spent four days in Las Vegas centered around her show! We usually do weekend trips, but it turned out to be much kinder to our pocketbooks to go during the week. And the show was awesome! I was reading: Player Piano (review to come)

Work trip to Seattle: My first-ever trip to Washington! It turns out January may not quite be the best month to experience a coastal city...it was pretty cold and the wind coming up off the water made it even more so. But I wish we'd gotten more time to explore, so we'll certainly be heading back sometime, but probably during a more hospitable time of year! I was reading: An American Marriage (review to come)

My grandfather died: This isn't any sort of highlight, but it was a significant life event. He'd been doing poorly for about a year prior to his death, so it didn't come as an awful surprise, but it was still a rough time and he's missed. I was reading: The Heart of Everything That Is (review to come)

Second wedding anniversary: We've been together for six years now, but only married for two. We didn't do anything particularly special, just a dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, but it's nice to celebrate anyways. I was reading: Sloppy Firsts (review to come)

Weekend in San Francisco: We hadn't taken a long weekend in months, so we decided to hop over to the Bay for a few days in early July! We stayed in San Francisco for a few days, and then over to Berkeley, and had an awesome time eating and drinking and walking around. I was reading: My Own Words (review to come)

Trip to Faribault: When you grow up in a Catholic family, a cousin getting married is a pretty regular occurrence. This time it was my cousin Matt, so Drew and I took a long weekend to go to Faribault, which also happens to be my boss's hometown! It was lovely to be there for Matt and Jessie's celebration and spend some time with my dad's side of the family. I was reading: The Luminaries (review to come)


The Giveaway

Every year, I give away a copy of my favorite book that I've reviewed on the blog over the previous 12 months. This year, there was no contest: I absolutely loved Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie's Americanah. I'm hardly the first person to rave about this book, but I found both the story and the prose really, really compelling. So here's how it works: there's a Rafflecopter link down there, and the instructions from there are pretty easy. I've leave this up for a week, and then use a random number generator to pick a winner! If you win, I'll get in touch to get your information to give you either a Kindle or paperback copy of this wonderful book! Sorry, international friends...this is a US-only giveaway.  a Rafflecopter giveaway

10 comments:

  1. Nice of you to do this. I read Americanah a couple of years ago and thought it was fabulous so I won't sign up. Happy belated birthday, by the way.

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    1. Thank you! It's been such a popular book that I know a lot of people will have already read it, but it was so wonderful I hope I get to put it in someone's hands who'll cherish it!

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  2. Happy birthday! That's great that you're so far ahead on your goal!

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    1. Thank you! It feels good to have some buffer built in

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  3. I didn't know the story behind your blog...very cool!

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    1. Thanks! I'm definitely planning on continuing the blog past the 500 book "deadline", but right now I'm thinking I'll almost definitely write fewer reviews!

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  4. Happy birthday! I’ve thought about setting long-term goals for my reading, but I’m terrible at sticking to goals, and then I feel bad when I fail them. Congrats on being ahead with your reading. Thanks for the giveaway!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. I set my goal artificially low so the risk that I won't make it and will feel bad about it is pretty minimal! That's kind of cheating, but no one's keeping score in this contest between me and me, so I don't feel too bad about it :)

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  5. Congrats on three years of blogging, and how well you're doing on your goal! I think your mindset sounds just right -- enjoy a time with a lot of reading, and get ahead in case that changes in the future. Good luck!

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