My 2015 resolution was to read 20 books by the end of the year. I’m pleased to inform you that I successfully met my goal earlier this month.
I chose this goal at the begging of the year for a few reasons:
- I wanted something that would challenge me. Before starting on my resolution, I never spent much time reading at all. Yeah, I read like, Harry Potter and The Hunger Games (and Twilight…please don’t judge me), but after high school, I kind of neglected literature altogether.
- I wanted something to take my mind off fitness. Towards the end of 2014, I felt consumed by my incessant need to track macros and hit the gym. I’d spend my free time obsessing over recipes, dissecting workout routines, and researching useless supplements. My brain was desperate for something else!
- I needed a S.M.A.R.T. goal. S.M.A.R.T. = Specific + Measurable + Achievable + Realistic + Time-bound. I’d failed with previous resolutions like “workout more” or “get more sleep” because they were not SMART. Having a deadline and a way to track my progress made it much easier to adhere to my resolution.
So, I got myself a Goodreads account and went to work! I borrowed all of my books either from the library or from friends. I took recommendations from friends mostly.
Here are the books I read in order of first to last with my thoughts:
January 10, 2015 – The first book on my list that the library had. It was with this book that I learned I kind of like Southern fiction. No, I did not see the movie.
January 29, 2015 – I saw the movie prior to reading the book. I like the book better. The characters are much more three-dimensional in the book. Also I could kind of skip over the gory parts.
February 12, 2015 – I think this was the one book that was not recommended by a friend — I read about it in some basic bitch online article. I absolutely hated it. Pretentious and uninteresting. DO NOT RECOMMEND.
February 19, 2015 – The first nonfiction book of the year. I probably would not have chosen this book myself had it not been suggested first by a friend. I’m glad I read it, but parts of it were difficult to get through. Good story.
March 12, 2015 – It was with this book that I learned I LOVE Southern fiction. Incredible story. Mark Twain is hilarious. I wish I had picked up on his sense of humor in high school while we were reading Tom Sawyer. I’ve heard Huck Finn is better, though.
April 3, 2015 – Creepy. Weird. Not my cup of tea.
April 20, 2015 – Good story but it wasn’t nearly as captivating as some of the other works of fiction I read in 2015.
May 4, 2015 – A nonfiction book about health and longevity. REALLY good! The author does a great job of explaining things in layman’s terms. He gives personal accounts of the different theories on longevity which are very entertaining.
June 3, 2015 – First science fiction book of the year. A little bizarre and kind of hard to follow at times…lots of cultural references that I didn’t get.
July 2, 2015 – Gave science fiction another chance and enjoyed this one much more than Strange Bodies. Definitely recommend.
This is around the time when cardio for my bikini prep was amped up pretty high. I spent a lot of time reading on the StairMaster, so I got through some books real quick!
July 28, 2015 – Difficult read. Unless you enjoy philosophy and logic, would not recommend.
August 6, 2015 – LOVE. LOVE LOVE LOVE. I have very little science background, but it’s not really necessary to understand the story about the HeLa cells. It’s less about the science and more about its impact on both the world and the Lacks family. REALLY GOOD.
August 13, 2015 – Good story. Emotionally draining.
August 19, 2015 – Another book by Gillian Flynn, the same author who wrote Gone Girl. This one was way creepier and not as good, but I still liked it.
August 25, 2015 – I actually read TKAM in high school but I didn’t really remember much about it. I wanted to reread it before Harper Lee’s other book was released. Another win for Southern fiction.
August 31, 2015 – Not her best work…TKAM is way better.
September 6, 2015 – I picked this up because the library I visited had literally none of the books on my Goodreads list, but this one was on the library’s recommendation table. It made me kind of uncomfortable. I wasn’t really attached to any of the characters.
September 11, 2015 – One of the most beautifully written books I have ever read. MUST read. I think I will reread this in the future.
October 22, 2015 – The crowned jewel of Southern fiction and my ABSOLUTE favorite of the year. WIN WIN WIN. Laughed, cried, threw the book across the room, etc. No, I did not see the movie.
December 4, 2015 – This one took me the longest to read. The story is good but kind of creepy. It’s a mystery but nowhere near as thrilling or mind-fucky as Gillian Flynn’s books.
Here they are in order of my favorite to least favorite (reading left-to-right with each new column):
SO. I still haven’t decided my resolution for 2016. I’m trying to choose between either taking a dance class at least 3 times a month or volunteering at least once a month. Taking class is expensive, but it would make me very happy. I’m holding out to see if any of the studios near me will release any New Year’s specials. Volunteering once a month would get me out of the house to meet new people. Reading was fun, but it’s a very solitary activity! I’d like to have a little bit of a social life in 2016, and I think it’d be rewarding to spend that time giving back to my community.
I’ll keep you posted.
Happy New Year!