After a year of using the same format for my Month in Review posts, I’m making some changes:
- Instead of the List of Reads section including my read and currently reading books, it now only includes read books and my top recommendations/disrecommendation for the month.
- The Challenge Update is gone. If you are interested in following my challenge progress, check it out here!
- Tsundoku Life is getting a makeover. Here I will include an update on how much my TBR has grown, my next month TBR, updates on my yearly goals, and any bookish updates from by blog you might have missed. My TBR will include challenge books for each month, too, so you can check out my challenge updates this way if you are interested, as well.
That’s not all the change you’ll see this year! I want to rethink a bit about how I blog. I’ve been blogging exclusively for me until this point. While what I think and want is still important, I’ve learned a lot over the year from my peers. I have been critically looking at other reviewer posts, and I hope to slowly tweak my posting style over this year and fine tune it to meet my needs, as well as that of my readership. I want to make this blog scream JACKIE B a bit more, and less… generic blog.
List of Reads
Thanks to Bout of Books 18 I had a great start to my year for reading as far as books read is concerned. That said, I’ve never experienced a month so all over the place as far as writing style, content, character development, and overall enjoyment. I ranged from reading 1 star to 5 star books and covered genres such as nonfiction, poetry, dystopia, fantasy, and philosophy. It was just a weird month for reading.
Read – 16 total books
MUST READ this month:
George – Picking a top book for this month was challenging as I had so many 5 star books! While I only finished George last night, I think it’s the most important book I read. I adored American Gods and The Alchemist, but I think more people need to be exposed to George’s story. Alex Gino’s heartbreaking tale about a 4th grader who knows that she is really a girl. It’s the struggle George goes through trying to help people understand what she knows so innately. Being in the shoes of a transgender person coping with this transition was eye opening. I think everyone should read this. It’s short, and middle grade, so get your kids reading it too! [Review to come; in the meanwhile, check out Goodreads!]
DANGER! Avoid this month:
The Bad Beginning – Now, don’t get mad at me– but I just couldn’t get into the first Series of Unfortunate Events books. Everyone I know who loves them read them as a child. They were not a part of my childhood; I didn’t hear of them until college. Unfortunately, nothing really clicked with me. I felt like Lemony Snicket, as the narrator, was condescending. I found all the characters to be flat and dull. I wasn’t invested in anyone or the plot. I just… I didn’t care.
It wouldn’t be tsundoku if I didn’t have a gigantic pile of books waiting for me!
As most of you know, tsundoku means the act of leaving a book unread after acquiring it, typically piled up together with other unread books on shelves, floors, or nightstands. In my case, I get most of my books from the library. But, having 30 books checked out and waiting to be read can be overwhelming. I interpret my tsundoku as a combination of the physical books waiting to be read, but also the gigantic TBR I have listed. My goal? SHRINK THE TBR.
This month I acquired 8 new physical books! Yikes. That’s a bit more than I would have liked. Three were giveaway wins (YAY!), the remaining 5 were gifts or review copies. I need to stop requesting review copies… O_o
I started a new series of posts about book clubs which I am really excited about. Getting involved in book clubs and bookish discussions as an adult have really ignited a passion for reading in me. I am passionate about helping people understand why book clubs are important and make them a part of their lives. Check out my first book here: Building Better Book Clubs.
- Our Shared Shelf- The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler
- Kids Lit – Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins
- West Side Stories – Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
- Brunch Books – A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab
- VACB Book Club – Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
- Popsugar Challenge – George by Alex Gino
- Read Harder Challenge – Faith, Vol. 1: Hollywood and Vine by Jody Houser, Francis Portela, and Marguerite Sauvage
This TBR isn’t the most challenging I’ve ever had, which means I will probably have time to read some books I want to read! Be still my beating heart.
2017 Goal Update:
- Never have a backlog of more than 5 books which need to be reviewed: Ugh. I am not doing well with this. I already have 8 books this year I’ve read but not written a review for. I need to sit down this weekend and just write.
- Spend 5 minutes a day blog hopping: This has been pretty good! I’ve found that I am spending closer to 20 minutes a day doing this, but it occurs in 5-minute chunks between meetings at work. That’s not too bad. I missed a few days due to being ill (lame!), but I feel like I’m finally developing a habit!
- Expand the book discussion question database by at least one book a month: Hahaha! I completely forgot this was a goal until right now. Good thing I put this update in here. O_o
- Maintain posting twice a week: On target! Some weeks had a few more (I’m looking at you, Bout of Books), but I’m on track which feels great.
- Participate in 5 cross-post style events: Bout of Books was the first cross-posting event I participated in this year. I don’t know if I’m going to count things like Naz’s Read Diverse Books 2017 linkup… What do you think?
- Make the Thanksgiving Readathon with Ottavia a real thing! This is something we’ll chat about closer to Thanksgiving. Probably early Q3.
- Expand my non-book review posts: I was going to start with my Between the Lines series and get that back in the swing of things, but I was so excited about Building Better Book Clubs I couldn’t not start there! I already have a few posts scheduled, which I am super excited about. Now we know where all my review post writing time went… O_o
That’s it for January! What a whirlwind. I can’t wait to hear how your months went. Looking forward to February!
What do you think?
- What do you think of this change to my monthly review?
- Any additional suggestions on how to make this post more interesting?
- What do you think of linkups counting towards my cross-posting goal?
- How was your first month of 2017 reads?