2017 Goals

Writing is forever on the back burner for me. It is the one thing I procrastinate on. My goals, therefore, may seem small; but nonetheless, I hope to succeed in them by the end of 2017.

  1. Take copy-edited manuscript and revamp it. Less telling, more showing. Stop explaining every character’s thought process with asides. Let the reader make their own judgements. Give more atmosphere.tumblr_m9010sxdqf1qdhag9o1_500
  2. Continue spoonie manuscript for this year’s NaNoWriMo.
  3. Attempt to read 50 books this year again for the Goodreads Challenge.goodreads_logo
  4. Read more Australian authors.
  5. Relax and enjoy life more. Don’t think you have to accomplish everything by the time you’re 30.

2016 in Review(s)

2016, if you go by my Goodreads Reading Challenge (currently at 32/50), was a year of thrillers and non-fiction. Along the way I read a lot of lackluster crime novels and many biographical gems. The following are my favourites reads for 2016. These are items I read in 2016, but were not necessarily were published in 2016.

My Fave…

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Image: Goodreads

Author: Sierra DeMulder
It’s great to see one of my favourite poets come out with another published collection. She sings to my heart with her rumination on life as a modern, flawed woman.

 

 

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Fiction: Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
A fast-paced and complex thriller showing how insidious criminals can be. The two main female protagonists were dimensional and captivating. I listened to this on Audible and the voice actors really made it.

 

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Non-Fiction: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
An event that cross-generational consequences which should be a seminal part of our history. This book and the Lacks’ family’s story floored me.

 

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Graphic Novel: Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh
This built on the insight and comedy of Brosh’s blog. An enjoyable read.

 

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Poetry Collection: Today Means Amen by Sierra DeMulder
My favourite poems in particular are ‘The Seven Layers of Hell’ and ‘Exodus 33:20’. The poems on dementia and eating disorders were touching, and her reflections on her romantic relationships engaging. DeMulder is my favourite modern poet.

 

What were your favourite literary finds of 2016?

~ Emma

Goodreads Challenge: 50 Books in 52 Weeks (1 Year)

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This year I decided to take part in the Goodreads Challenge. Namely, reading 50 books in one year. As a friend pointed out to me, that’s just more than one book per week.

This realisation filled me with trepidation. I am a full time teacher, and so my life is filled with school during the week….then marking and planning most weekends. Add a social life, exercise and managing a chronic illness to that…. how was I going to manage?

The first thing I did when taking part in this challenge was vow not to beat myself up if I don’t reach the 50 books goal. Last year, I read 17. But regardless, whatever number I reach at the finish line will be a job well done.

Secondly, I decided I would listen to audiobooks. This was because after work, my eyes are way too tired to focus on a book or screen. Being able to flop on my bed and listen to a story is paradise. This also means I can clock in more ‘reading’ time by listening to an audiobook on the commute to work.

So far, I’ve had a few hits and misses with the books I’ve read for this challenge. I like to read a broad range. My faves so far have been Ellyn Saks’ memoir of living with schizophrenia, The Centre Cannot Hold and Philip K Dick’s alternate WW2 universe The Man In The High Castle. I have to say that Stars Over Sunset Boulevard deeply disappointed me, but that’s no one’s fault but mine as I miatakenly read too much into the blurb and thought it was a lesbian romance. Spoiler: it was not!

You can follow my challenge reading progress here.

Have you given yourself a reading challenge? How are you going?

~ Emma