Goals for 2015

December 30, 2014

This post is a Top Ten Tuesday/A Month of Favorites hybrid!

1. Forcing myself to post every week along with my students has really gotten me back into the groove/interest of blogging, so I’m going to definitely keep that up as much as possible in 2015.

2. I will keep not-reviewing every book! That worked really well for me. Goodreads for every book, blog for books I have lots to say about. Took off a lot of the self-imposed pressure.

3. I did not talk about teaching as much as I thought I would/wanted to, so I will probably try to do more of that.

4. I definitely want to create a header for my blog (or find someone to do it for me). I know exactly what I want, so it’s just a matter of doing it. Maybe during Bloggiesta?

5. I definitely need to do more discussion/opinion posts.

6. I still need to figure out the whole self-hosting thing, sigh. TOO MANY CHOICES. (Recommendations welcome.)

7. I will also keep not-requesting review copies (though I will still enter contests to win books). Low pressure blogging. That is totally my thing.

8. My blog theme still needs changing. I have been reluctant to do much with it because, again, I want to switch to a self-hosted blog, so want something super nifty to go along with the switch. For now, though, my layout works, but I’m going to futz around with some of the WordPress themes to see if I like something else until then.

9. I did great challenging myself to read more middle grade, so next year, I’m going to read more adult fiction titles. I read ~10 this year, so my goal for next year is 15*.

Relatedly, I really need to keep better track of the types of books I read next year.

10. I still haven’t quite figured out what to do with my Tumblr (it started as a new things learned deal then morphed into a catch-all of reblogging), so I think 2015 will be the Year of Book Quotes. That’s right. All eleventy billion of the quotes I’ve collected over the years will find their way onto my Tumblr. Okay, maybe not eleventy billion. But quite a bit of them. Or maybe I will cross-post them here and on Tumblr? Obviously, I need to think about this more. (Also, I’m open to suggestions about which way would be better.)

11. I got away from audiobooks and didn’t listen to that many this year or last year (podcasts, why are you so sexy?). But! I listened to a couple in the past few months, and I realized how much I miss them. Audiobooks! I will listen to more of them in 2015!

*2015 Reading Challenges

To keep with the low pressure blogging, I’m only going to participate in a handful of challenges again this year.

2015 TBR Pile Challenge

I anticipate that this will be the most difficult of the challenges that I have signed up for. I just have a feeling.

Anywhoodle, my to-read shelf at Goodreads is INSANE (749 books and it will get longer, sigh), so I am going to use this challenge to try to make a dent. Or just to keep it from growing exponentially. I mean, seriously, I don’t even remember putting most of those books on the list. I may have a problem.

Oh, and since the 12 books must have been on my TBR list for at least one full year, I am only using books that I added to my TBR list before January 1, 2014. What can I say? I’m a purist. (I used random.org to pick. Did I mention this will probably be my most difficult challenge?)

My challenge list:

  1. What Our Stories Teach Us: A Guide to Critical Reflection for College Faculty by Linda K. Shadiow
  2. Diary of a Beverly Hills Matchmaker by Marla Martenson — DNF on 1/10/15 (29/253 pgs)
  3. Skim by Mariko Tamaki — finished on 1/17/15 (review)
  4. Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking: A 14 Day Mystery by Erin Dionne — DNF on 1/23/15 (160/256 pgs) (review)
  5. The Influencing Machine: Brooke Gladstone on the Media by Brooke Gladstone
  6. Life Is a Verb by Patti Digh
  7. The Candymakers by Wendy Mass — finished on 1/23/15 (review)
  8. Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne — finished on 1/27/15 (review)
  9. Black No More by George S. Schuyler
  10. 52 Reasons to Hate My Father by Jessica Brody
  11. Dreamland Social Club by Tara Altebrando
  12. Over You by Amy Reed


  • Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley — finished on 2/13/15 (review)
  • Tell Us We’re Home by Marina Budhos

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Duh. I’m doing 5th shelf, 25+ books.

  1. Cress by Marissa Meyer
  2. Ms. Marvel Vol. 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson, illustrated by Adrian Alphona
  3. Saga #1 by Brian K. Vaughn, illustrated by Fiona Staples
  4. Skim by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki
  5. Where Does the Day Go? by Walter Dean Myers, illustrated by Leo Carty
  6. The Dragon Takes a Wife by Walter Dean Myers, illustrated by Fiona French
  7. The Dirt Diary by Anna Staniszweski
  8. Fly, Jimmy, Fly! by Walter Dean Myers, illustrated by Moneta Barnett
  9. The Untelling by Tayari Jones
  10. The Dancers by Walter Dean Myers, illustrated by Anne Rockwell

Books read:

Banned Books Challenge 2015

I usually try to remember to read a banned book for Banned Books Week, but it’s been a while. I’m doing the Making Waves level (1-2 books). I really wanted to do the highest level, but I have to remember that my life is not only reading books for fun. ALAS.

Books read:

Last but not least is my self-imposed adult fiction challenge. Because I want to read more adult fiction. My goal is 15 books.

Books read:

  1. Saga #1 by Brian K. Vaughn, illustrated by Fiona Staples
  2. The Untelling by Tayari Jones
  3. Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley

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  1. Lianne @ caffeinatedlife.net

    I’d love to do (more of?) #5. I love making lists and obviously typing up my reviews, but I don’t do very many discussion posts (if at all). I’ve started doing #7 this year and will definitely continue into 2015; it’s helped a lot with my scheduling and TBR pile :)

    With #6, I’ve been with AP Web Solutions for 8 years this coming year and I’m very happy with their service.

    Best of luck with your resolutions next year :) Happy New Year! My TTT

    • Akilah

      Thank you! I’ll check out AP. Happy New Year!

  2. ChrissiReads

    I would like to include more discussion posts as well, they seem to go down well! I hope you achieve your goals this year. :-)

    • Akilah

      Thank you!

  3. readerbuzz

    I love how blogging with your students has resulted in you blogging more! Very cool.

    Here’s mine: A Little Nonsense.

    • Akilah

      It really has. And I only missed one week, which means I would have gotten an A on the assignment! #nerd

  4. Joey @ thoughts and afterthoughts

    I think becoming self-hosted is a stretch goal for many bloggers and it’s definitely one I’m setting myself up for in the long haul. I remember sitting down one day and just played with every single free theme. I’m sure there’s a theme out there that you’ll enjoy–just gotta find it!

    joey via. thoughts and afterthoughts

  5. Alysia @My Little Pocketbooks

    Welcome to the D.O.T.S. reading challenge (again)! You totally rocked it last year and I know you will hit your goal again in 2015! Good Luck!

  6. joyweesemoll

    I’m joining the Diversity on the Shelf Challenge, too. Looking forward to it!

  7. Belle

    No 2. is a great idea and I think maybe I should do that. I have just lost a lot of interest in blogging and it makes me sad. I don’t want to give up entirely but I don’t know what to do.
    Also yay audiobooks! I listened to a lot this year and loved it.
    Great challenges :)

    • Akilah

      #2 totally changed my relationship with my blog. I kept feeling so overwhelmed by it and focusing on the books I had to say a lot about really made me view blogging as less of a chore and more of an outlet. I hope you find something that works for you!

  8. Jennifer @ A Librarian's Library

    Okay, seriously, I think you have read my mind over the last couple of weeks! Switch out teaching for librarian-ing and I have literally thought every single one of these this week!
    1. December has been a month of me getting back into the blogging groove and trying to figure out how to post more consistently.
    2. That has been me this year! I have let go and learned that it’s okay to not review EVERYTHING I read! It was WAY too much pressure for my low-pressure blogging personality!
    3. Ditto, but about libraries
    4&6&8. I want to switch to self-hosting. But I am not going to right now, which is why I completely changed my layout again this week. But I think I finally found something I like (until I self-host and can use Creative Whims!)
    5. Yes! Something other than book reviews, to open things up for conversation!
    7. Low pressure blogging = my kind of term!
    9. As much as I love YA, I do love varying my reading. And listening to the BookRiot podcast this year has really inspired me to pick up some adult literary fiction next year!
    10. I am bad about my tumblr too! But I think your idea is a great way to supplement different types of content on the different platforms!
    11. The last couple of months I have been listening more to podcasts than audiobooks! (Podcasts are totally sexy). So I know!

    I just left you a long reply on your comment about book journaling. If you want to talk more, tweet at me! This will be a very interesting experience for me, I think.

    Happy new year!

    • Jennifer @ A Librarian's Library

      9b. I actually created a spreadsheet for my 2015 reads where I can record a whole bunch of information that I will be interested in keeping track of. Things like author characteristics, diverse characters, format and type, genre, etc. I think that will be an interesting way for me to analyze my reading habits at the end of the year.

      • Akilah

        I may have to do something similar. I can’t decide exactly what I want to track, though, so I have to think about it a little more.

  9. looloolooweez

    Oh, I’m also doing the TBR challenge! Your list does look rather, well, challenging.

    I like the theme you’re using — it is very clean and simple and easy to navigate. Do you think you’ll blog about your self-hosting adventures? This is something that interests me but I haven’t the first clue where to start. I’m sure you’ll end up with something that works well for you.

    As for Tumblr, I like your book quotes idea. Plus, book quotes are eminently rebloggable, the whole “bookblr” community seems to love them. Do think it would be cool to do your quotes on Tumblr and maybe do a wrap-up type post once or twice a year here on your main blog?

    • Akilah

      Oh, that’s a great idea! Both of them, actually. I hadn’t thought about blogging my self hosting adventures, and I love the idea of a wrap up post.


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