Yes, the metaphorical crying is starting again.
I am going to step out of the shadowy depths of mediocrity and procrastination I’ve been hiding in for quite some time now to reveal that, yes, I haven’t finished a single book this year. Call the cops, alert the media, and send in the angry mobs with torches demanding that I finish Gone Girl.
Up until the end of 2014, I didn’t even start reading on a regular basis as an adult. I read here and there but for the most part, there was a whole lot of wanting to read and ultimately not reading in the end. I know it’s a sad revelation coming from a person who calls himself a writer. I am also a human though. Thank goodness I am not a turtle, or I wouldn’t have an excuse.
From September 2014 to May 2015, I read roughly 25 to 30 books. Although I did start reading on my own accord for some unknown miraculous reason, most of my reading came from doing The Book Riot 2015 Reader Harder Challenge. After May, however, I returned to the land of wanting to read, but for whatever reason unable to read a book for more than five seconds.
As noted in this post, I was planning on doing The Book Riot 2016 Reader Harder Challenge. I had even compiled a complete list of books to read for the challenge even before the start of the new year. Needless to say, it hasn’t worked out. I know. I know. What a surprise.
I had checked out seven of the books from the list from my local library. At first, I was optimistic because I knew I could renew the books a maximum of three times. This mean I could have them for up to three months. That’s plenty of time, I thought, to read seven books. This is especially because I chose mostly books I thought I could finish in a short period of time. Yeah… I was wrong.
For weeks, the books just sat there and as usual, I just stared at them knowing that I should read them, but ended up doing nothing. Eventually, I did read approximately. 40 pages of Stacy Pershall’s Loud in the House of Myself. I guess I should give myself a pat in the back and cry at the same time.
After five months or so of not doing much reading, I looked at the list of books again, and I came to the conclusion that for some of the categories, I’m going to have to choose another book. I just don’t feel comfortable with some of the selection I made several months earlier. I, of course, knew that I might do this later on, but I looked at the list and I thought, “Ugh, I think I’m going to change half of the list.” I’m impossible, I know.
Below is the original list of books I chose, along with any changes I have made.
Read a horror book – Forever Odd by Dean Koontz (Novel in a Series)
Read a nonfiction book about science – That’s the Way the Cookie Crumbles: 62 All-New Commentaries on the Fascinating Chemistry of Everyday Life by Joe Schwarcz (Nonfiction) Changed this to Stiff by Mary Roach
Read a collection of essays – Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan (Collection of Essays) I am the fence with this one because I am currently in the middle of it, but I would honestly want to choose something else
Read a book out loud to someone else – I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rossetti Shustak and Caroline Jayne Church (Picture Book)
Read a middle grade novel – The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dave Pilkey (Juvenile Novel) Would most likely change this to something else.
Read a Biography – The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew and the Heart of the Middle East by Sandy Tolan (Biography) Would most likely change this to something else.
Read a dystopian of post-apocalyptic novel – Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguo (Novel) Might change this to something else.
Read a book originally published in the year you were born – Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie (Novel) Might change this to something else.
Listen to an audiobook that has won an Audie Award – Yes Please by Amy Poehler (Collection of Essays)
Read a book over 500 pages long – The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (Novel) Might change this to something else.
Read a book under 100 pages – Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness by William Styron (Memoir)
Read a book by or about someone who identifies as transgendered – She’s Not There by Jennifer Finney Boylan (Memoir)
Read a book that’s set in the Middle East – Blood Brothers by Elias Chacour (Memoir)
Read a book that is by an author from Southeast Asia – First They Killed My Father: A Daughter From Cambodia Remembers by Luong Ung (Memoir)
Read a book of historical fiction set before 1900 – The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman (Novel) Might change this to something else.
Read the first book in a series by someone of color – Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel Jose Older (Novel in a Series)
Read a non-superhero comic that debuted in the last three years – A Silent Voice Vol. 1 by Yoshitoki Oima (Manga)
Read a book that was adapted into a movie, then watch the movie. Debate which is better – The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (Novel)
Read a nonfiction book that about feminism or deals with feminist themes – I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (Memoir) Would most likely change this to something else.
Read a book about religion – O Me of Little Faith by Jason Boyett (Memoir)
Read a book about politics, in your country or another – Me the People: One Man’s Selfless Quest to Rewrite the Constitution of the United States by Kevin Bleyer (Nonfiction)
Read a Food Memoir – Make the Bread, Buy the Butter: What You Should and Shouldn’t Make From Scratch (Memoir/Cookbook)
Read a play – Proof by David Auburn (Play) Would most likely change this to something else.
Read a book that has a main character that has a mental illness – Loud in the House of Myself: Memoir of a Strange Girl by Stacy Pershall (Memoir)
OK, so I really only made one change but, yeah, it is clear that more changes will need to be made. Particularly, I don’t know, actually reading and finishing them.