January Wrap Up + Sunday Post Feb 2, 2020

I can’t believe it’s time for January’s reading wrap up! This was my first full month of post-grad school freedom, and I could see a significant difference in how much I was able to accomplish. I got to read a lot, play video games, keep up with tv shows, and get some things done around the house that I’ve been wanting to do. Is this what life is like now? Amazing. 

Books I read: 

  • The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Starsight by Brandon Sanderson ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon ⭐⭐⭐
  • Snake ‘n Bacon’s Cartoon Cabaret ⭐⭐⭐
  • My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler ⭐⭐⭐

January Possibility Pile results:

So…I only read two of these books. The mood reader strikes again! Some of these will probably get transferred to my February possibility pile.

2020 Reading Goals Check in:

  • Read Brandon Sanderson’s books – One book closer to that goal! Because I like stats, I wanted keep track of how many books of his I’ve read vs. how many he’s written. The problem is, he’s written several novellas and short stories that appear in different collections. Do I count the graphic novels and the children’s books? I’m realizing that I didn’t set the parameters of this goal very well. 
  • Cut my TBR in half (33 books) – I think I’ve actually acquired more books than I have read this month. Womp womp. One good thing is that I got rid of books I didn’t want to actually read, so the books on my tbr shelf are all books I’m interested in. I think this is still progress!
The Unread Shelf is a great follow on Instagram! She posts monthly challenges for taking on your TBR, and has some helpful templates for tracking progress.
  • Read newly acquired books within 30 days of purchase – I did buy several books this month, but I haven’t hit the 30-day time limit yet. I’m almost positive I won’t make this goal. Instead of punishing myself for not sticking to arbitrary reading standards, I’m going to make a donation to the Appalachian Prison Book Project. That way I’m still aware of how much I’m spending on books, but I can turn it into an opportunity for giving rather than piling on my guilt complex.

Other media:

Now that I have time for tv, I have to catch up! This month I watched Netflix’s You, both season 1 and 2. It was uncomfortable and a bit emotionally manipulative, because you as the viewer find yourself rooting for a stalker and murderer to succeed, even as he is stalking and murdering. It was still incredibly entertaining. I also started watching The Bachelor. I feel the need to explain myself here, even though I believe in judgment free media consumption. I used to make fun of people who watched The Bachelor in college, because I thought it was so stupid. Well, it is, and that’s perfectly fine. But it is great entertainment. Nothing has thrilled me more than watching a group of mismatched individuals be forced into awkward and weird situations and also asked to fall (or at least feign falling) in love. It’s bizarre, it’s hilarious, and yes, it’s all for that Instagram sponsorship. These people can be so unbelievably dumb that when they experience a single moment of emotional intelligence, you want to root for them as if they are guiding a three-legged horse to a Triple Crown victory on their own backs. I will watch every second of that. Also, there are so many recap articles/videos/podcasts out there that are even more entertaining than the tv show itself. My personal favorite is The Popcast with Knox and Jamie. (Full disclosure, you do have to support them on Patreon to have access to those recap episodes.) 

This has been a great reading month, and a great start to the new year. Here’s to lots more reading!

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