On to 2021

Hey friends (if anyone is still reading this blog!)

Obviously, I haven't updated in a really long time--the truth is, ever since quarantine/shelter-in-place began in earnest back in March, I've had a really difficult time focusing enough to read even my favorites, let alone anything new. (And, I mean, I also had a baby in June, so... new parenthood and the requisite sleep deprivation have played a role in that too.) For the first time in YEARS, I have not completed my Goodreads Challenge, even though I lowered my goal to the lowest number I've ever chosen. Reading was just not really in the cards for me this year, let alone writing any formal reviews for my blog. 

So what DID I read? I had a sharp drop-off in reading romance because I think I'm just tired of reading the same tropes, character types, storylines, etc. over and over. To be blunt, I'm tired of reading about beautiful white het couples' drama. Give me people of color. Give me LGBT. Give me differently-abled bodies. Give me different bodies, PERIOD--and no, calling the female protagonist "curvy" does not mean the same thing as actually having a fat protagonist, and having her family and frenemies constantly calling her "fat" does not necessarily mean that she's fat. (Also, please don't make her fat, and then make her lose weight in order to live her best life.) 

I also haven't read much YA either. I did start the year finishing Jay Kristoff's Nevernight trilogy, which was excellent, and I did read Shelby Mahurin's Serpent and Dove (but DNFed the sequel because I just wasn't feeling it). Aurora Rising was EXCELLENT, but I had to read it via audiobook because... again, I just couldn't READ this year. In fact, half of the books that I read or reread this year were via audiobook--they really were my saving grace this year. 

For 2021, I'm adjusting my approach to reading:

1) I am not going to set a number goal for the Goodreads Challenge. Instead of choosing an amount of books to read, I have decided that 50% of the books I read in 2021 should be new-to-me. That means that even if I only read two books for all of 2021, only one of them gets to be a reread. Why? Because I keep buying new books and then not reading them.

2) I'm going to try to read harder. I'm not going to try and hit everything on the list (because that would be giving myself a minimum number, but I WILL try to use that list to find my new-to-me reads. (One of the categories is to read a fat-positive romance, so I AM IN.)

3) I'm leaning into the audiobook thing. If that's where my head is, then I should go with it. For example, I've keep starting and stopping Hank Green's An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, and unfortunately, I haven't been having luck with it. It's not because it's bad; it's because I read it in Hank's voice/cadence (because I'm a big fan of vlogbrothers on YouTube), and that's just not how it's meant to be. So I got the audiobook, which is narrated by Not Hank Green. Also, I got Elizabeth Acevedo's most recent novel on audiobook, because anything she narrates is an absolute pleasure. (Bonus of reading via audiobook is that I get a lot of knitting done.)

That's it! Nothing too lofty! I'm just trying to ease my way back into the habit of reading for joy.

Do you have reading goals for 2021? What are you looking forward to? I can't wait for SJM's new ACOTAR-universe novel (Cassian and Nesta!!!! *hearteyes*) and I have preordered a copy of John Green's The Anthropocene Reviewed, which is going to be a written collection of his (non-fiction) podcast of the same name. And Jay Kristoff is starting a new VAMPIRE SERIES!