Back in January, I posted about my 2017 reading goals. Back then, 2017 was shiny and new and I was hopeful for a productive reading year and my goals reflected this. I also thought that the structure of my goals might mean I would keep a better handle on my reading in the final year of my degree. Hah! Maybe hindsight knows better, but it seems funny now in retrospect.
I should have kept my goals simpler and allowed myself more give and then anything else would have been a bonus. But, we live and learn and aiming high is never a bad thing, and I think sometimes not meeting goals is as important as meeting them – prioritisation and being able to respond to changing needs is also important.
I achieved the things that were within my general comfort reading zone but the things I’d wanted to help expand that I wasn’t so successful with. Given how much I struggled with this year, I can appreciate that expansion wasn’t on the cards this time. I’m content to acknowledge I set the goals, several didn’t happen, but I know that there’s room for improvement.
Overall reading goal and reviewing
I kept my overall reading goal at 75 books and I did meet that goal which I’m pleased about. Several were shorter reads again, but I priorised stuff I knew I’d enjoy and that really was important this year. And my comment about the goal being designed to work for me and not against me still stands – no beating myself with sticks. I met this goal and of all my reading goals it was the most important to me.
I also did continue to review books, although I’m quite behind on reviews that I want to do here on this site. But I did manage to mostly keep on top of those reviews I was happy to do on Goodreads alone which I’m happy with in this context. Especially given how busy this year was and how much it took out of me. I really did struggle to have any brain or concentration for reading at all at several points.
Australian Women Writers Challenge
This is one of my favourite challenges and one I’ve participated in for several years. In 2017 I pledged to read and review 15 books, and I didn’t make this goal, but I don’t think I did too badly as I read and reviewed 10 books over the year. Also several of those books were amongst my favourites that I read in 2017 which is fantastic!
I had hoped to read more books by Indigenous authors in 2017, but it didn’t happen. I had also hoped to discover additional authors who are new to me, but I think there was only one – Alis Franklin who was the author of Liesmith which was excellent. I wanted to read more queer stories and even perhaps a biography or memoir or two – specifically about midwifery in Australia, but I didn’t get to it. There’s always 2018 though!
Goodreads reading challenge book club
I really enjoy this bookclub, it’s incredibly busy and active with lots of different activities. I joined in and signed up to a bunch of the activities in the first part of the year and then it fell by the wayside toward the middle of the year. Still there was some success in this area.
I joined the Genre bingo challenge and read a bunch of books across several genres – about 12 in all, but I didn’t get any ‘bingos’. I joined the Modern Mrs Darcy challenge and was successful with this! I pledged to achieve 8 of the 12 tasks – kind of picking books according to qualities like the cover etc and I managed exactly 8. The TBR randomiser challenge was the other main one I signed up for and I nominated for 10 books. I didn’t manage to read all 10 of them, but I did manage 2. I had wanted to join in with the buddy reads across the year, and signed up for January, but my co-reader dropped out of sight and I felt too busy to sign up afterwards.
Bout of Books, Read Diverse 2017 and other book clubs
I participated in my first ever Bout of Books and it was marvellous fun! I blogged several times throughout, but here’s my update post of my week participating – it was lots of fun and I loved all the twitter participation.
I wanted to participate in Read Diverse 2017 actively – it was one of the goals I had lots of feelings about, but the year just got out of hand and I couldn’t keep up with this and I was behind before I really even got started. I’m sad about that, but regardless of a shiny organised challenge, reading from diverse perspectives remains a key goal to expanding my reading comfort zone.
Other book clubs I’d been involved in included both Vaginal Fantasy and Sword and Laser book clubs, but I really didn’t follow anything they were reading over the year – I just didn’t have enough hours in the year or concentration available in my brain. I also wanted to follow along with the Magical Space Pussycats podcast, but they’ve also been on hiatus – I still want to continue with this if they become active again.
Finish my review challenge Journey Through the Twelve Planets
I just didn’t get to this because the books published in this series are wonderful, and often confronting – many of them come under the genre of horror which I really struggle with. I still want to finish my reviews of the books, but the challenge itself wasn’t taken up as actively as Steph and I had hoped and so I’m happy to just quietly finish my reviews as she has done, in my own time. They are glorious books though and they’re well worth your time if you want an understanding of women writers in Australia in the past decade.