I started this year setting myself the goal to fall back in love with reading. With 25 books and over 10,000 pages read, I can confidently say that I have accomplished that goal. Finding joy in reading has been like finding myself again. All of 2023 has been fighting so much for that feeling.
With these crazy diagnoses changing everything about what I do, how my body functions, and even how I look, most of this past year I felt like a stranger in my own body. Then add in the fact that I’m coming up on 10 years out of high school, dealing with internal questions about my career, and seeing so many others in the life stages I feel I “should” be in at this point, it’s been a really strange time, emotionally.
Reading books and escaping to new worlds and perspectives was a pivotal part of me growing up to be the person I am, and it shaped so much of my personality and goals. Dedicating time to reading, recentering books in my life (and in my home), and finding ways to fit it into my life and schedule has been a huge key to me feeling like myself again.
This year I felt just like I did at 10 years old, speeding through pages and living for the words, escaping the pain and struggle and questions of reality for a little while. Now at the end of the year, I’m proud of myself, not only beating my reading goal, but for blowing it out of the water, and having fun while doing it.
According to my Storygraph, I have 6 books going. Most are books I started and got distracted from. There’s two I’m really focused on for now.
Sixth of the Dusk by Brandon Sanderson – This one is a novella and is a part of the larger Cosmere universe with Sanderson’s books. I’ve been loosely following this suggested reading order, and this book is the 11th on the list. Would highly recommend anything Sanderson for fantasy readers new and old if you’ve never jumped in, don’t let the big old diagram intimidate you!
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin – I got into this book after seeing it everywhere, and finally after it was a Jeopardy answer this summer. C and I got halfway through the audiobook on a trip, but we borrowed it from the library and ran the time out. I just got it back, so our goal is to squeeze it in before the end of the year! We knew nothing going in, so everything has been a surprise about it. But it’s been really enjoyable, and the characters are fantastically written, they do feel like real, flawed, human people.
Mistborn Era #2 – the Mistborn series is broken into three eras, each taking place in hundreds of years apart from the other in the same area and environment. I’m halfway through Era 2, two books down. The original era is still my favorite, but I love being back in the world again.
Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon – This book is a beast. It took me three tries to get started (0/10 recommend the ebook for this one!), and at 830 pages, it’s a big old thing to get through. But I couldn’t recommend it more. I mean dragons, magic, danger, diverse female main characters, and diverse live stories? What more could you want?
Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand – ever since reading my first Elin Hilderbrand novel this summer, I’ve been a stan. Finding Winter Street was a total accident, I read the entire thing in one flight. I laughed, I cried, and I loved it. I just bought the second in the series to read over the upcoming Christmas break too!
2023 Reading Summary
One of my favorite things to do at the end of the year is look at the diversity of the authors I read this year. It’s always my goal to read more diversely, seeing different perspectives and points of view different than my own. Here’s how it went:
I read 25 books by 14 different authors. 13 of those authors were women, and 1 was male. Of those, 3 of the writers were non-American, and 2 were not white. Not so hot on the diversity front this year.
2024 Reading Goals
Based on all that, I’m going to push myself a little for next year. I’m setting a goal to read 20 books for next year. Many of my twenty-five this year were novellas, so I think it buffed my numbers a little more. 20 books seem like a reasonable challenge. And for diverse reading goals, I’m aiming for at least 50% female and 40% POC or LBGTQ authors.