Books I read in 2017

Covers of books I read in 2017

Books read 2017 ticker

So above is an image of the covers of all the books I read in 2017, minus American Gods by Neil Gaiman.

The Best:

  • Nimona by Noelle Stevenson – This graphic novel is as great as I’ve been hearing. I’m glad I finally had a chance to read it. Highly recommend.
  • Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab- Second book in a rare duology. It’s just as good as the first. Partially a dystopia, partially paranormal. If this sort of thing interests you, check it out.
  • Up From the Sea by Leza Lowitz – I loved the prose this book was written in. I want to find more books with plots written this way. The book is about the March 2011 tsunami that hit Japan.

The Okay or Meh:

  • The Tournament at Gorlan by John Flanagan – I love the world of Ranger’s Apprentice. I love Halt. I had high hopes for this prequel and it fell short for me. Halt already seemed pretty accomplished and I wanted to see him grow. Repetition of the clothing color used by Morgarath’s soldiers. Seriously I started wondering why the characters were repeating it over and over as if they forgot along the way. It’s a bit too much.
  • Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith – Predictable on how things were going to go plot-wise. Sighs.
  • Bloodline by Claudia Gray – I wanted a good book about Princess Leia. This was not it. Since it’s about her as a senator there are tons of political things going on with the plot. Eh.

The Bottom:

  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman – This was my second attempt at reading this book. Once again I just could not finish it. I did get farther than last time, but it just became too boring for me. Once as Shadow is away from the gods, the plot just dragged for me. This book just wasn’t for me. I may try one of his other books sometime, but this is now a permanent did not finish. I will not be picking up this book again.

Obviously, there’s a lot of interesting things about the other books I read, but those are the highlights.

Goals for 2018?

Early evening outdoors with a lit latern, a drink, an open book and a pair of eyeglasses.

So I’ve already been reflecting for a while on what I would like to do for next year. The answer that keeps coming back is more self-care and more downtime.

I get up really early for work. Then I do my work which is really attention detailed. So when I get home I’m exhausted. Lately I have needed to make myself just rest in bed after I get home. Sometimes I take a nap. Sometimes I just relax lying there and listen to some soothing music. I’ve noticed when I don’t take this time, I just end up feeling worse and worse.

So I’ve been looking into apps like meditation, logging moods, and logging anything I’m grateful for. I’m also looking into some soothing music that I can listen to.

And yeah I have to admit to myself I may have to force myself to take care of myself. It’s not something that’s really innate for me. Growing up I got the wrong message that taking care of myself was being selfish and lazy. I had to spend my time working, helping out around the house, and having to take care of requests from others. Thus I lack the skills to self-sooth and self-tend. Even when I’m sick I feel bad that I’m resting and not being productive, even though I know my body needs rest so I can have the energy to be productive again. That attitude is not surprising to me. My mother’s philosophy when I was sick was that if I wasn’t vomiting or running a fever then I had to go to school or work no matter how miserable I felt. Taking time off is bad. Resting is bad. You’re not that ill. And so on.

I think I run on the hamster wheel of life a bit too much with being always on, always doing something. I need to help reteach myself that taking time to meditate, more downtime to read or listen to music, is also productive. It’s just productive in a different way. It’s okay and even good to take care of myself and it isn’t being selfish nor lazy.

So that’s my big goal to work on for the year. Relax, unwind, take care of me in healthy ways. It won’t be easy but it’s something I need and want to incorporate into my life. I need to be able to slow myself down and enjoy quiet moments. Also, I need to make sure I do take the time to do things like daily dental care, skin care, and so on. (Yes my current lack of self-care is both spiritual and physical.)

And sure there are other things I would like to do. I started crocheting a while back and stopped. I would like to try that again. I also want to get more into programming. And we’ll see if I can focus on those things, but it has to work itself into the overarching theme of not overdoing and overworking myself anymore. It’s time to focus on me, fulfilling my needs, and bringing more care and joy into my life.

Banned Books Week is coming

Banned Books Week 2017

Banned Books Week is almost here. This year it takes place from Sunday, September 24th until Saturday, September 30th. Banned Books Week is a time to celebrate your right to read whatever materials you choose.

Challenged or Banned

I highly encourage people to find a challenged or banned book to read for Banned Books Week. The American Library Association (ALA) has a list of challenged or banned books right here. If you click on ALA’s challenged books by year (2015-2016 back to 2004-2005), you’ll get a PDF which tells you why each book was challenged. You can even search online to find news articles about books that have been challenged recently and pick a book to read that way. Find something interesting, find something new, find something different, and read.