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2021 Reading Plans

New year, new reading goals/plans! After reviewing my stats from my 2020 reading and revisiting my 2020 reading goals, the following is what I have planned for my reading in 2020.

Read more LGBTQIA+ books

I read a really sad amount of LGBTQIA+ books last year, and I am so mad at myself because one of my goals for the year was to read more! But I was not intentional enough to choose books that featured or were written by LGBTQIA+ individuals. This year I am going to make sure I am intentionally choosing LGBTQIA+ titles every month. I have very good friends that are in that community and I want to read books that they feel represented by.

Continue reading more books by BIPOC authors

I did better with this in 2020 but I still didn’t hit my 50/50 goal. So I am going to work this year to do that. I also want to diversify the BIPOC authors that I am reading. The majority of the BIPOC authors that I read in 2020 were Black, so I want to make sure I include authors that are of other ethnicities. Books are mirrors and windows, and we shouldn’t always be looking in the mirror.

Read more neuorodiverse and disability rep books

This is another goal that I failed at in 2020. I was not intentional with finding books so I need to do better this year. If you have any recommendations, please let me know!

Read more graphic novels

I did not read nearly enough graphic novels last year and that is a damn shame. 2018 or 2019 was like THE YEAR of graphic novels for me and I definitely missed them in 2020.

Increase my average rating

My average rating last year was 3.5 which means the majority of the books I read were good but nothing I was writing home about, you know? Your girl is a picky bitch. This is nothing agains the books, it’s just what I prefer with my reading. So this year I just need to make sure I am picking amazing books to read each month!

Participate in Buzzwordathon

This is a readathon that originated on #Booktube via Kala @ Booksandlala.

Kala has made the readathon more of a group thing that you can participate in on Goodreads. I chose this one because I know I have a lot of owned books that have “buzzwords” in them and I thought this would help me read more of my owned books.

Read A to Z

This is a carryover from last year, but again I am going to try to read titles that start with each letter of the alphabet (not including The, A, And, or An). I will record those on the Reading A-Z page.

Read my unread shelf

I’m not really participating in The Unread Shelf Project this year (although I might do a few of the prompts here and there) but we’re at 141 unread books that I own so I need to make these a priority.

So those are my reading plans for this year! What about you? Do you have any reading goals/plans you’re excited to tackle? Let me know!

Until next time,

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October 2020 Reading Wrap-Up

In a move no one saw coming, especially me, I actually read 99% of the books on my October TBR??

There were also a couple of additional reads thrown in there, and here’s what I thought!

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

I said this in my Goodreads review, but I didn’t enjoy this as much as other seem to have. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely enjoyed it. There are very important themes (allyship and racism) that are discussed throughout. But I thought the main characters were boring and therefore couldn’t really engage with the story. I would still recommend it and will be checking anything out Kiley Reid publishes.

Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin

Please don’t come for me but I was bored the whole time I was listening to the audiobook. But classics do that to me!!! It definitely does NOT denote the importance of this work in Black/LGBTQIA+/classic literature.

The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson

This one was fine, but the characters were underdeveloped and things happened prettily conveniently to keep the plot going. A good spooky book for those who don’t like spooky (me!) but not a standout.

Our Italian Summer by Jennifer Probst

This is an ARC I got to review for Booklist, so when that review is available I will post it here. This is about a three generations of women who visit Italy to try to reconnect.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

This is my second Colson Whitehead that I have read this year (having previously read The Nickel Boys) and he will definitely be an author that I continue to check out. Whitehead is very skilled at writing compelling prose and dialogue in such a succinct manner. The Underground Railroad follows Cora, an escaped slave, as she attempts to travel to safety on The Underground Railroad that turns out to be an actual railroad.

Chief Joy Officer: How Great Leaders Elevate Human Energy & Eliminate Fear by Richard Sheridan

This was my professional development read for the month. This was good but repetitive. Sheridan works in a different field than I do (software company vs. public library) so some of his suggestions are not super applicable to what I can do at this time. The main gist I got from this (which I get from a lot of leadership books) is essentially don’t be an asshole.

How We Fight For Our Lives by Saeed Jones

This is a slim memoir on Jones’s experience as a Black gay man in the United States. It is heartbreaking and an excellent listen on audiobook.

The Deep by Rivers Solomon

Ok this one was kind of a disappointment! I listened to this on audiobook because David Diggs (from Hamilton for the uncultured) narrates it, but he just did alright?? Instead of truly narrating, it sounded more like a recitation, and I just didn’t vibe with it. The story is captivating, about a community of merpeople that are descendants of pregnant African women thrown overboard from slave ships. This community has a historian who must bear the memories of the entire population, and the most recent historian, Yetu, decides they would rather not. Yetu then leaves the community and must deal with the consequences. The themes are important but repetitive. I would check something else out by this author though!

The Stone Sky (Broken Earth #3) by N.K. Jemisin

I don’t want to say too much since this is the finale of a series but here are some thoughts:

1) The series as a whole is A+. There is a reason Jemisin won a Hugo for each one.

2) I will read anything N.K. Jemisin writes.

3) Some parts of this novel went over my head and therefore I felt a little disconnected from the story, but overall I enjoyed this finale.

Bluebird, Bluebird (Highway 59 #1) by Attica Locke

This is the first in a series about a Black Texas Ranger named Darren Matthews who is investigating a potential racially motivated double homicide in a small Texas town. It was a solid mystery and I am looking forward to following Matthews to his next case.

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

This is a short novel about a woman who starts to find the deaths of her sister’s boyfriends suspicious. Her sister claims self defense, but when the third one shows up dead with knife wounds in the back, Korede starts to wonder what’s really going on. And when Ayoola gets caught up with a man Korede has feelings for, she wonders if it’s finally time to turn her sister in. This one packs a solid punch and was definitely a fun read. Weird to say about a serial killer novel, I know.

The Empress of Salt & Fortune (The Singing Hills Cycle #1) by Nghi Vo

A well written novella about a cleric who listens and records the story of a handmaiden who served an exiled empress. Short and interesting, but nothing that really stood out to me. I will be checking out the next one in the series though.

Call Me American: the Extraordinary True Story of a Young Somali Immigrant by Abdi Nor Often

This is a remarkable story about Abdi Nor Iftin, who dreams of going to the United States, but that dream seems out of reach when him and his family gets caught up in the Somali Civil War. Abdi gets to the Unite States eventually, but it isn’t necessarily the United States he had been dreaming of. An incredible look into an immigrant life. The writing was a little simplified, but the impact of the story still comes across.

So that’s what I read! Definitely the most I’ve read in a month this year and lots of good stuff read. Let me know what you read in the comments below!

Until next time,

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2020 Reading Goals

With a new year comes the goal setting and/or resolution making. Below are the goals I hope to accomplish in my reading life for 2020.

  1. Participate in the Unread Shelf Project
  2. Participate in the Better Late Than Never Book Club being hosted by Jamie over at The Perpetual Page Turner on Instagram. #betterlatethanneverbc
  3. Attempt the YALSA Hub reading challenge (the 2020 challenge should be announced in February.
  4. Read A-Z: read a title that corresponds with every letter of the alphabet (Beginning word of the title not including the word “the”)
  5. Read more diversely. My reading statistics for last year showed that I still read a majority of white authors, so I would like to read a minimum of 50/50 of titles that are by white and authors of color. I also read an abysmal amount of books that were about or featured a character that was LGBTQ+ and/or of different ability, so I want to increase those numbers.

Those are my main goals. I would also like to complete some rereads and read some professional development reads, but I’m not as focused on accomplishing those as I am on the ones I’ve mentioned above.

What are your reading goals for 2020? Let me know!

Thank you for stopping by!

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Hello 2020!

Can you believe it?? We’ve made it. It’s 2020, so brace yourself for the “seeing clearly/perfect vision” puns. Although, I won’t lie, I can’t help but sing “I can see clearly now the rain is gone” when I think of 2020.

Not that 2019 has been a bad year for me personally. But I don’t know, something about a new decade is just exciting and fresh and I’m ready to just come for it!

Anyway…

One thing that I wanted to refresh for 2020 was my social media presence. For a long time I had all my handles as “The Library Lush”, and even had a couple of blogs with that name. But I think one reason I fell away from blogging under that name was that I just didn’t feel like “the library lush” anymore. In all honesty, when I created that name I was a lot more of a drinker than I am now, and I don’t know, I think I’ve outgrown it.

So here we are!

I wanted to get back into blogging because I love sharing what I’m reading and talking libraries. I love making connections with other readers and librarians. I feel like a blog will give me ample space to extol the virtues of reading and public libraries. And whatever else I feel like giving voice to! Hence the “books.library.life” subtitle to the blog.

Thank you.

Thank you for stopping by! If you’re new here, look forward to book reviews, reading lists, all things library, and much more. If you’re a returning reader from my now defunct blogs, thank you for coming back! Good to see you again. 🙂

Until next time.