Friday, October 9, 2020

Year 5: An Update (And Giveaway!)


I am 35 years old today, marking my halfway point through this decade of my life. Starting tomorrow, I'll be closer to 40 than 30. It's also the halfway point of my challenge to myself to read 500 books, the genesis of this blog. When I turned 30, I set some goals for myself for the next decade. One of those goals was to read at least 50 books per year, or 500 total, so I started the blog a couple months later to hold myself accountable and have a place to talk about all those books! Since my reading years begin and end on my birthday, I like to do a check-in post every year to look back on the year that was, both in books and life. Without further ado:

In Reading

  • Books read (this year): 76. While very comfortably north of my 50 book goal, this is actually my lowest yearly book total since I started the blog. I've generally trended downward every year, with a very small bump up between years two and three. I think this is mostly a function, this year, of the struggle I had to read during the first few months of a pandemic.
  • Books read (total): 421. I am now far, far beyond my goal number for this point, which would have been 250, and I could realistically finish out the 500 within the next year (though I suspect I won't).
  • Male/Female Authors: This year I read 41 books by male authors and 35 books by female authors. This is fairly close to an even split, and a recent stretch of mostly-male authors knocked it a little off-kilter.
  • Most Read Genres: This year's split between fiction and nonfiction is almost identical to last year's: I read 53 fiction books and 23 nonfiction books, which puts my ratio below 3:1, where I aim for it to be, but above 4:1 at least. My most-read subgenres for fiction were contemporary and historical (which is normal for me) and for nonfiction were history and memoir. I'm a bit surprised at the latter, as I wouldn't describe memoir as an especially favorite genre of mine.
  • Kindle/Hard Copy: This year I read 54 books in hard copy (either paperback or hardcover), and 22 books on my Kindle. I aim to be fairly even, but I really do just prefer hard copy books. I shop overwhelmingly secondhand, and the ones that I finish that I don't love end up in Little Free Libraries, so it doesn't feel wasteful or anything. I would probably read even more hard copies if I had the space to store them!

In Life
  • I went to Skate America: I LOVE figure skating, but had never seen a live competition before. Well, they had the 2019 edition of this first event on the Grand Prix calendar in Las Vegas, so my best friend Crystal joined me! I was reading: Revolutionary Road (review to come)
  • I went to New York City with my mom: My mom has always liked to take a special trip during the holidays, and this year she asked me to join her in New York City for a long weekend! I hadn't been for a few years, so I made the cross-country journey and we had a lovely time exploring the city and seeing Moulin Rouge on Broadway! I was reading: Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling (review to come)
  • I went to Newport Beach, California: My work retreat was to Orange County, California, and it was lovely to have a weekend away where I got to put my feet into the ocean. I had one more plane trip to come, at the very of January for meetings in Las Vegas, but this was my last normal trip. I was reading: Perfume (review to come)
  • My mom came to Reno to visit: My mom's birthday is at the end of February, and her present to herself was a trip out West to visit people she loves. Obviously that includes me so she stayed in Reno for a few days, and I'm glad she did because otherwise it would have been even longer since I'd gotten to see my mom after things shut down. I was reading: A Visit From the Goon Squad (review to come)
  • The country shut down: I'm dating this from the day after the NBA postponed the Utah-Oklahoma City game because of COVID-19. Obviously the Seattle and San Francisco outbreaks had started before this, and I think the news that Tom Hanks had contracted the virus came shortly before, but when it stopped sports it felt REAL. I was reading: Lost Children Archive (review to come)
  • My sister's baby shower: The first time I stepped foot on a plane since January was in late September, which was a bizarre experience, because I usually travel every few months and usually go to Michigan at least once per year. This marked 14 months between trips, but I definitely had to make this one happen, as my little sister is pregnant and I wouldn't have missed her baby shower for the world. I was reading: Naked (review to come)
The Giveaway

Every year, I give away a copy of the book I loved the most out of the ones I've reviewed on the blog over the past 12 months. I reviewed some wonderful books this year, but the one that captured my heart most of all was the lyrical, lovely Exit West. If you haven't read it, and would like to, here's your chance! Just enter via the Rafflecopter below during the next week and this book could be yours! Apologies to my international friends, but this giveaway is US-only. a Rafflecopter giveaway

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on what seems to have been a very successful and rewarding year, and a very, very happy birthday! I think your goal is not only incredibly admirable, but also, downright impressive. I love your breakdown of the statistics of your year in reading, but do you have particular favorites you've encountered this year? :)