Goals for 2014

January 11, 2014

I just wrote over 700 words of boring boringess about how I find my blog and reading boring and need to jazz both up. It was getting tl;dr for me, and I was writing it, so I deleted all of that wordy wordiness and offer up the following in summation:

1. I don’t have to, nor will I, blog every single book I read. I’ll blog a book if I have something to say about it.

2.  I’m going to vary my review format and try some different ways of relating my experience reading a book instead of just saying what I did and didn’t like about it.

3. I’m going to participate in a handful of challenges* so I can, you know, challenge myself and diversify my reading to get out of my reading slump.

4. I’m going to change my blog theme so it’s more fun to look at.

5. I’m also going to look into self-hosting again, so I can add more visual features to my blog that aren’t available when I host on WordPress.

6. I’m going to spend even less time trying to get into a book. Is ten pages enough? Twenty-five? Something like that. If a book ain’t getting me, I need to move on. I feel like I spent more time almost finishing books than finishing them last year.

7. I’m going to make every effort to actually read and finish the books chosen for my book club(s), which may be counterintuitive to number six, but I do want to actively participate in the club(s).

8. I’m not making it a practice to request/accept review copies. I rarely, if ever, like the book, and I always feel bad about it. Not to mention, reading becomes a chore if I feel like I have to read a book, and I already have too much to do. (I don’t request that many ARCs nor do I get asked to review a lot of books, but even the, like, three I did this year were too much pressure for me.) (There may be exceptions if I’m really excited about book, obvs.)

9. I’m going to reread more books this year. I reread a couple of favorites this past year, and I can’t believe I fell out of the rereading habit. REREADING IS GREAT. More of that, please.

10. I really want to read more middle grade and chapter books.

(Also, it’s not Tuesday, and I wasn’t sure what shape this post was going to take, but there are ten items and this was the Top Ten Tuesday topic this week, so appropriate link/credit is appropriate.)

*2014 Reading Challenges

Last year I took a break from challenges because I failed spectacularly at them in 2012. However, I want to challenge myself to read different types of books, and not only will participating in reading challenges push me to do so, they’ll also help connect me to other books I may not have heard of or considered. So! These are they and I’m definitely planning some overlap between challenges.

Adventures Through Awkwardness

Because I want to read more middle grade, duh.

Books read:

January: Contemporary — The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
February: Fantasy — The Quantum League #1: Spell Robbers by Matthew J. Kirby
March: Mythology — The Savage Fortress by Sarwat Chadda
April: Historical — P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia
May: Reader’s Choice — Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan
June: Male Main Character — Saving Baby Doe by Danette Vigilante
July: Classic — Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
August: Graphic Novel — A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel adapted by Hope Larson (by Madeliene L’Engle)
September: Magic — The Red Pyramid: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan
October: Dystopian — The City of Ember by Jeanne Duprau
November: Female Main Character —  Zora and Me by Victoria Bond & T. R. Simon.
December: 2014 Debut — All Four Stars by Tara Dairman
Other middle grade books read:
  • Cleopatra in Space #1: Target by Mike Maihack
  • The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place
  • Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein
  • A Summer to Die by Lois Lowry
  • The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson
  • The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
  • The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan

2014 Chunkster Challenge

Because I am going to read Roots by Alex Haley this year, dammit.

Date finished: Nope. (Though I did read some other books that qualify for this challenge, I didn’t read the one I said I was going to, so…I’m marking this one as a no.)


No joke, I had seriously decided in November or so to look through my Norton Anthology of African American Literature (nerd alert!) and find some authors/books from this era to read. So, clearly, this challenge and I were MFEO. I’m doing the New Negro (1-5 books) level.

Books read: None.

Diversity of the Shelf

OMG, I loved the POC Reading Challenge so much and then it went away, and I was sad. Since this new challenge was inspired by that old challenge, I can be happy again. It’s the little things, I swear. This is one of those challenges that isn’t so much about pushing myself as finding out about books I may not have heard of and discovering other bloggers. Did I mention I’m happy this challenge is back? SO HAPPY. I’m doing the 5th Shelf (25+ books) level.

Books read:

  1. Boxers by Gene Luen Yang
  2. Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan
  3. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
  4. The Savage Fortress by Sarwat Chadda
  5. P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia
  6. Zora and Me by Victoria Bond & T. R. Simon.
  7. Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
  8. Dangerous by Shannon Hale
  9. If I Ever Get Out of Here by Eric Gansworth
  10. Pointe by Brandy Colbert
  11. Saving Baby Doe by Danette Vigilante
  12. The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson
  13. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
  14. Cleopatra in Space #1: Target by Mike Maihack
  15. The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang
  16. Americana by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  17. I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister by Amélie Sarn
  18. The Red Pyramid: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan
  19. Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn
  20. The Girl Friends #2: Do the Right Thing by Nicole Grey
  21. The Girl Friends #3: Deal Me Out by Nicole Grey
  22. Tina’s Mouth by Keshni Kashyap
  23. Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld
  24. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
  25. The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan
  26. Gabi, A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero
  27. Playing Keira by Jennifer Castle (short story)
  28. The Throne of Fire by Rick RIordan

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  1. Vasilly

    I love your goals. Rereading your favorite books is always a good idea. Happy reading.

  2. nikkihb

    I, too, love re-reading. It’s like visiting an old friend you haven’t seen in forever.

    • Akilah

      Yes, exactly! It’s always fun seeing the little details I may have missed or that take on more significance since I know how the story ends, too.

  3. Alysia A

    Welcome to the Diversity on the Shelf 2014 Reading Challenge. I created this one because I missed and loved the POC reading challenge soo much I could not handle it being gone. Thanks for joining and it will be fun. Mini-challenges and giveaways. Looking forward to reading your reviews.


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