My vow to not metaphorically cry in front of people (and other goals for the New Year).

I am a person who needs structure when it comes to accomplishing tasks. Without a plan of some kind, I tend to, um, have a nervous breakdown and cry on the floor in the fetal position. An exaggeration, of course, but it’s not a great feeling when you try to do something, not knowing what the heck you’re doing and realizing pretty quickly that you’re going to fail miserably.

Now, having a plan doesn’t always work for me, as we all know from my failure to do reading challenges, but I figured I would to make goals for myself again. This is especially because, I’ve been having success reading books lately based on the simple concept of reading what I want to read and having some type of informal deadline attached to it. This small success has inspired me to create specific goals for myself for the New Year.

Now, I don’t like the idea of New Year’s resolutions because I feel like, more often than not, they’re not specific enough and I’m most likely going to ditch them early on. I am going to make them specific goals that I can work toward throughout the year. And, of course, because I know myself, I am going to limit myself to a relatively low amount of goals so, you know, I don’t overwhelm myself and cry like a little girl. I don’t want to write my next post from a psychiatric hospital, thank you.

Read at least 30 books

After trying to do so many reading challenges and failing year after year, I thought it was finally time to try a new approach. Last year, I’ve read a grand total of four books, which is actually an improvement for me given that I hadn’t read any books the two years prior. This year, I, of course, want to read more than four books. I was originally going to set a goal of reading two books a month because I thought this was a feasible goal for me. But the highest amount of books I read in a year was around that range, so I just increased it to 30. I wanted to go with a reasonable number that surpasses the highest amount that I’ve read. Now, you might ask yourself, “Kenny, why are you setting an unrealistic goal for yourself after spending nearly two years not reading anything? You know you’re setting yourself up for failure again.” Well, that is not the plan, but knowing me, it might head toward that direction later on. I just thought reading two to three books a month was a steady enough pace for me to not be bored nor overwhelmed. So far, as of the end of January, I have read two books. So, for now, I’m not crying.

Be consistently watching at least one TV show or movie at a time.

Now, I know most people do not have the goal of watching more television, especially people who are a lot more productive than I am. But I am a huge TV fan and, sadly, I just have not been watching as much television as I’d want to. It’s very difficult for me to sit and watch an entire movie or TV episode, so I usually have to watch a little at a time. Because of this, it was difficult for me to keep up with the shows I was watching because they were so many of them and with a lot of them, I wasn’t really watching them consistently so I forgot what I watching. to begin with,. I am hoping to watch at least one TV show or movie consistently.I’m tired of watching seven minutes of a TV episode, take a break for seven years and watch another 9 minutes. It’s not very productive.

Write at least one short story

Even though I love writing and I consider myself a writer, I haven’t really been writing as consistently as I should, especially when it comes to fiction. It’s been a few years since I’ve written short stories. The problem is I always get frustrated because I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing. The plan is to start writing little by little and hopefully finish at least one short story by the end of the year. Hopefully, without me wanting to throw my laptop out of my window. I kind of need my laptop.

Complete the outline of my novel

Speaking of writing, I have the plans to write a novel, eventually, but of course I have no idea when or if that will ever happen. But I’ve been working on the outline for the novel for so long that I just want it to be finished, hopefully before I reach the age of 90.

Spend more time on other hobbies

Over the years, I have dabbled in interests and hobbies that I’m interested in but haven’t spent a lot of time doing. The main things being crafts and building things like model kits and legos. Obviously I’m not very good at any of them but that’s mostly because I haven’t had a lot of practice and experience. Part of this is because I get easily frustrated when I’m doing these things. I need to spend ore time doing these things, so I don’t have a nervous breakdown while trying to draw a pigeon. No one wants to see that.

Playing a giant game of Jenga, but with unread books

For the longest time, I avoided reading and my towers of unfinished book but after rediscovering book-related YouTube channels I’ve been inspired to read again.

Unfortunately, a side effect of this was I was not comfortable with the majority of the books that I owned because most of it was nonfiction, and I wanted to get away from that. So…

This happened.

Yes, I bought all of these books. And that’s not even all of them. In my defense,they were fairly “affordable”, and I was honestly tired of looking at my countless number of random nonfiction books of various random topics. I have a book on bookbinding. I have a book about death. I have a memoir of a man who bought a Korean Deli. Oh and I have a book about how to draw happy stick figures. I’m a very eclectic person.

But I wanted to change all of that, so I went on a buying frenzy and focused on YA fiction. Now, I am in my early 30s, and you would think I would feel uncomfortable about buying books means for kids and teens who are 15+ years younger than me. But no. For those of who suddenly forgot what this blog is about, I am all about nostalgia.

When I was a teenager, I didn’t do much reading even though I loved books. I was one of those people who would borrow books but not read them. That then grew to buying books I wouldn’t read. If you have taken a psychology class, feel free to indulge me with an informal analysis of my behavior. I didn’t take advantage of reading young adult fiction when I was an actual young adult, so I’m starting now.

Going into this, I knew I had to start with a strategy because I have a tendency of buying things I don’t use. I wanted to focus on Young Adult fiction because it’s easier to find books in first person narration, which is what I’m comfortable reading. I wanted to pick up as many books as possible to build up my fiction books, so my strategy was to buy any books that appealed to me that were on the cheaper side. I am Asian, after all. But in all seriousness, although I wanted to start with a good amount of fiction, this will be an ongoing thing. I just hope I don’t end up buying a book about umbrellas.

Being the only Asian who can’t make fried rice

It’s been a while since I’ve cried about being held hostage by piles of unread and unfinished books. That is not because I’ve been super productive and reading book after book. Yeah, no. That did not happen. I am not the Asian male Rory Gilmore.

For those of you not familiar with my sad adventures of reading, I have been struggling with reading all my life until I finally made progress back in 2015 when I did a book challenge. I then fell back into not reading again for over two years until I finally finished a book earlier this year. After accomplishing such a major task, I tried to do a book challenge again this year and… let’s just say, it’s not going well.

Since my initial post about starting the reading challenges again, I have finished one book. Yes, One book in 11 months. That’s not really a surprise though. I am on the verge of finishing another book but clearly, this is not working.

From time to time, I have browsed book-related videos on YouTube, but nothing really stuck in terms of motivating me to actually read. I was just like, “I am sure you’re a lovely person, Jennifer, but I hate you for being more productive than me.” Until recently.

A while ago, back when I got my bookshelves, I wanted to have some inspiration on how to style and organize them, and I came across this very helpful video.

I then browsed a few of her other videos, liked what I saw and just stopped for no apparent reason. The story of my life, really. On a whim, I decided to browse book-related videos again, and came across her channel again. I then browsed several other book-related channels, and I became highly motivated to get back to reading again.

However, changes needed to be made. I decided to give up on the reading challenges because it was just not helping to motivate me to read. I have to go back to basics, and just read what I want to read based on my mood and interest. I don’t have a clear strategy on how to do this at this very moment, but I am going to start with reading what I’ve started and picking a few additional books and going from there.

I’ve also decided to start reading more YA fiction, and I’ve since bought a dozen or so YA novels. This is, of course, heavily influenced by YouTube, because pretty much all of the more popular book channels focus on YA fiction. Most of my books consist of nonfiction and memoirs. It’s difficult to find fiction books that I like because it’s difficult for me to read stories in third person narration, and a lot of fiction, specifically adult fiction, is in third person narration. Oddly enough, it turns out that most YA novels are in first-person narration, and I’ve been in a researching and buying frenzy since.

As a result, I’ve also been organizing and decluttering my booksjelves because I want to focus more on fiction right now, and there’s a lot of nofiction on my shelves. I’m not getting rid of anything. I’m just simply putting books I don’t think I’m going to be reading in the next 250 years in storage.

I don’t know if any of this will work. I hope it works out. But one thing I know for sure: it will be better than what I’ve doing now, which is basically nothing.

Nostalgia Battles: Hmm. I wonder if Beyonce ever cries about not having the time to read Harry Potter. (Reading VS. Writing)

I like to classify people into one of four categories: People who are into reading and writing, People who are into math and science, People who are into neither reading and writing or math and science and, of course, the magical unicorns who are just good at everything and we should just worship them as if they’re Beyonce.

Hey, I’m the one who does the crying around here, Beyonce. If you want to cry and talk about your problems, start your own blog.

For many years, I have struggled with reading and writing consistently. I don’t really consider myself a reader because I just don’t feel likebI read enough. At the same time, I’ve always considered myself a writer, but I barely write. It’s funny how that works, but I just feel more connected as a writer than a reader.

It’s actually difficult to define my relationship with reading. I’ve always loved books, but I don’t remember reading a lot as a child. I would go to the library a lot and checkout books but wouldn’t actually finish or even read a lot of the books. As I got older, the problem got worse. I was still borrowing books, but I wasn’t reading them. Now, there is no need for me to go to the library because I’m crying over stacks and stacks of unread books that I own.

And, yes, if you are one of those people who can read 100 books in a year, I hate you. I respect you, but I hate you. :p

I enjoy reading for two reason. One, is for the nostalgia factor. It just takes me back to a simpler time and makes me long for the past. Second, whenever I read a book, I feel like I’m transported into someone else’s life and getting a glimpse of their life. It often gives me inspiration for my own stories. I often get inspiration from movies and TV shows but I feel more accomplished when I finish a book as opposed to a movie or TV show. I know, what a surprise. How dare me for feeling more accomplished finishing Beloved than Mean Girls.

I am a man of very few talents. I know useless TV trvia from TV shows that others have stopped watching seven years ago. I can organize your office within a reasonable amount of time. Oh, and I can write, I guess.

Like with reading, I don’t remember much about how I got into writing. I guess I always had an interest in writing, but I didn’t realize it was a passion until I was in my teens. I didn’t really write outside of a school setting until I was well into my 20s.

When I do write for fun, I often get frustrated because my writing never comes out the way I want to. I guess I should write more often, heh. I do consider writing as the main passion for me because I just can’t think of any other way to best express myself. I guess I could try interpretative dance.

OK. Maybe not. I’m not Asian enough.

It’s difficult for me to choose a preference. I love writing, but every time I write, I want to throw something out the window. Reading is far easier, but it can still be difficult. For the sake of nostalgia and my sanity, reading is the winner.

It’s finally happening!!! A post to celebrate Asian ladies all over the world. Oh, and I have updates too.

It’s been very quiet here at Nostalgicism. There are cobwebs on the walls. The crickets are chirping. The relentless mobs of angry Asian moms have discovered Green Tea Frappuccinos and are now taking their bamboo torches to Starbucks. If you live in an area with a large Asian population and you like getting Green Tea Frappuccinos, I strongly suggest that you make your own if you want to avoid getting tofu thrown at you by angry Asian ladies.

And, yes, I chose a video uploaded by an Asian woman because I like supporting Asian ladies. Go Asian ladies. :p

Given the nature of my blog, I have posted about a wide variety of different subjects. TV. Books. Music. Movies. Technology. It varies. I don’t really talk about my personal life outside of pop culture that often, and that’s fine by me. Despite this, I do have a lot of updates that are a bit on the personal side. Brace yourself.

I have started my next project

I’ve been wanting to start a new project, but was having trouble figuring out what exactly. I finally decided to build a Lego replica of the Big Bang Theory apartment. I’m making a little bit of progress. At this point, I have not used the official Big Bang Theory apartment set, but I will eventually use it for props. I’ve just been using parts from my collection and bought various parts online and pretty much building my own version of it.

I am eventually going to start writing again, but I’m having trouble figuring out how to go about it. Like with everything, it’ll happen…eventually.

I still don’t have a Smartphone, and I have no regrets.

I’ve talked about not having a phone right from the very beginning. Hardly anyone calls me, and I literally use my phone, at most, twice a day, and that’s only to call someone for a specific reason. I wasn’t lying in my bio when I said I still think I’m in the year 2004.

They now make Dark Chocolate Twix.

Roughly 12 years ago, I discovered Dark Chocolate Twix at a college bookstore. At the time, it was limited edition, and shortly after, it disappeared.

Now, in a world where even Tropical Sour Patch Kids exist, and every brand is expanding their flavor, Dark chocolate Twix is now available widely.

Surprise, I still don’t keep up with the news.

For a while, I wanted to keep up with the news because I did not enjoy feeling like I was out of the loop on current events. Needless to say, I failed.

Now, I haven’t been trying to keep up with the news, but I do make more of an effort to read the headlines on Yahoo. And it helps that I listen to podcasts, so I can at least gets news from people who are more imformed than I am.

I’ve officially given up on Twitter

Besides a FaceBook account I barely use, I don’t use social media but I wanted to start socializing and networking and thought Twitter was a good place to start. Ultimately, I realized Twitter wasn’t really my thing and quickly gave up.

I’m still maintaining my on-again off-again relationship with television

I sometimes find it silly that one of my main goals right now is to watch more TV. I do think that being a massive TV fan that I am, I’m just not watching as much as I used to. Right now, I’m in a TV slump right now, and I’ve been watching a little TV here and there, but I haven’t been committing to anything right now.

I’ve been reading again…sort of.

Finding the time and energy to read the endless tower of books I’ve been meaning to read for years has not be easy. In fact, it only took me over two years to finish one book.

Once again, I’m trying the BookRiot Read Harder Challenge, but my own variation of it, and I have since finished one book. And, yes, I know it’s the end of June. But, hey, it’s progress, and I have since been reading on a semi-regular basis. At this pace, I might end up finishing another book in just eight months. Hooray.

Oh, don’t mind me. I’m just ripping the pages off these books to use them as toilet paper.

I recently finished reading a book after over two years of trying. Even though it’s a very minor accomplishment, I honestly considered it to be a miracle. I guess all I needed was a little faith.

After some mild success from doing the Book Riot 2015 Read Harder Challenge, I decided to do the Book Riot 2016 Read Harder Challenge. Needless to say, I failed miserably.

I decided to do a reading challenge again, but this time it would be choosing 24 different types of books from all four of the Book Riot Challenges. Some might consider this cheating, but my goal of doing the reading challenge was never to diversify my reading. It was to actually start reading and actually finish books. So, yes, I’m making it easier on myself because I would rather not torture myself with Jane Eyre.

Now, because I attempted to do two of the Read Harder challenges, I already have a number of books that I bought for the challenges. On top of this, I happened to have books that I did not specifically choose for the challenges that happened to fit a category or two. Actually, of the 24 books I chose, I only need to get seven of them. I don’t know whether I should be happy that I don’t have to buy as much or ashamed that I have so many unread books. I think I’d go with a little of both.

While I was deciding which books I wanted to read, I knew I wanted to go a little outside of my comfort zone and pink as many fiction books as possible, as my comfort zone is with memoirs. That is largely because I do not like reading in third person narration, and memoirs are always going to be in first person narration. At some point, I will start reading third person narration, but I decided to stick with first person narration for now, and go from there. Of the 24 books I chose, 15 are either novels or collections of short stories. That’s pretty good for me.

As you can see in the list below, I did not choose any of the more complicated categories. Again, the whole point of me doing this is to start reading again and not take two-and-a-half years to finish one book. So I, more or less, stuck with my comfort zone, although I did take a few risks. It’s nothing I can’t handle though. I am Superwoman.

To make it easier for me, I ordered the list in the order I’m planning to read each book. I have already started on the first two and, although, right now, I’m not close to finishing either, I’m way ahead compared to previous attempts. Ugh. I seriously need to hire someone to slap me every time I procrastinate.

Read a book of social science – Confessions of a Bad Teacher by John Owens (Memoir)
Read a romance novel – The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (Novel)
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 (YA Novel)
Read a book you’ve read before – Chase Us by Sean Ennis (Collection of Stories)
Read a book about war – Redeployment by Phil Clay (Collection of Stories)
Read a nonfiction book about science – Working Stiff by Judy Melinek and T.J. Mitchell (Memoir)
Read a book about books – Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (Novel)
Read a collection of essays – Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson (Collection of Essays)
Read a book that is by or about someone from an indigenous culture (Native Americans, Aboriginals, etc.) – The Round House by Louise Eldrich (Novel)
Read a travel memoir – Love With a Chance of Drowning by Torre DeRoche (Memoir)
Read a food memoir – The $64 Tomato by William Alexander (Memoir)
Read a book that is a retelling of a classic story (fairytale, Shakespearian play, classic novel, etc.) – Lamb by Christopher Moore (Novel)
Read a book about nature – The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs by Tristan Gooley (How-to/Instructional)
Read a horror book – Forever Odd by Dean Koontz (Novel in a Series)
Read a book that someone else has recommended to you – Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Novel)
Read an essay anthology – Goodbye to All That: Writers on loving and leaving New York by various and edited by Sari Bottom (Collection of Essays)
Read a microhistory – The Revolution Was Televised: The Cops, Crooks, Slingers, and Slayers Who Changed TV Drama Forever by Alan Sepinwall (Critical Analysis)
Read a debut novel – Don’t Get Caught by Kurt Dinan (YA Novel)
Read the first book in a series by someone of color – Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel Jose Older (Novel in a Series)
Read a book by an immigrant or with a central immigration narrative – Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt (Memoir)
Read a book with a cover you hate – This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz (Collection of Stories)
Read a collection of stories by a woman – The Frangipani Hotel by Violet Kupersmith (Collection of Stories)
Read a fantasy novel – A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (Novel in a Series)
Read a nonfiction book about technology – Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future by Martin Ford (Nonfiction)

Currently Hiring: Someone to silently and not-so-silently judge me when I’m sitting in front of my computer not doing anything. Some slapping required.

This is the moment all of you have been waiting for. The moment I’ve finally accomplished something so amazing, so time-consuming, so mind-blowing that it would impress even the strictest of traditional immigrant Asian parents. I’ve finished a book.

Yes, it’s been a long, long journey when it comes to me and reading books. I’ve always considered myself as a reader and lover of books. Unfortunately, if you looked into my reading history, you can’t really classify me as a reader. It’s very similar to me and writing. I consider myself as a writer. Too bad I haven’t written as much as I would like. I might as well smear some eyeshadow on some girl’s face and call myself a makeup artist.

After a decade or so of struggling to read books, I finally made progress in the end of 2014, when I finished the memoir We Hope You Like This Song by Bree Housley. By May of 2015, I had finished over 20 books. A big part of this major accomplishment was the 2016 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge and, surprise, I ended up reading nothing. As 2017 was getting closer and closer to an end, I had one goal for myself: to finish at least one book by the end of the year. There were a few books I started, but I wasn’t really making progress with any of them. Except for one: Loud in the House of Myself By Stacey Pershall, a book I had chosen for the 2016 Read Harder Challenge. What’s funny is that the reason why I managed to finish the book before the new year was because of this blog post. Gasp.

I wanted to do a “Born in 1986” post, but I just wasn’t feeling it. I was planning on doing a post about finally finishing a book before the end of the new year, then I realized that I had less than two weeks to finish the book AND write the blog post. Needless to say, it was a good motivator, and it only took me two years to read one book.

Originally, I was just planning to read random books and hope for the best that I can finish a book before I turn 70. Now, I’m planning on doing a modified version of the BookRiot Read Harder challenge. Seriously, I need to hire someone to assign me books to read and give me looks of disappointment when they’re not satisfied of my progress. Anyone want to apply for the job?

I am writing the saddest memoir ever…it involves books and, well, not finishing them

It’s been well over a year since I’ve finished a book. I am still hoping for the giant miracle of finishing one book before the year ends. If that happens, I might as well enter the lottery.

Enough about books I haven’t finished. Let’s talk about books I have finished. Admittedly, the list isn’t long, but I am still quite proud of myself of reading approximately 30 books in less than a year. They’re all of varying genres and themes. Coincidentally though, all of the books below are about death. I swear, it was by accident. I’m a person who likes variety. I guess here you could say there’s a variety of different types of deaths here, heh.

Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem

A man with Tourette’s is determined to find out who is responsible for the death of his boss and mentor.

Lionel Essrog struggles with Tourette’s, a disorder where he has uncontrollable tics and involuntarily shouts random words and sounds. What a fun thing to have, I know. As a young orphan, he is taken under the wing of Frank Minna, who owns a private eye company. Now a grown adult, Lionel’s world comes crashing down when he witnesses the murder of his boss and mentor during a routine stakeout.

It is obvious from the complex and sometimes hard-to-follow narration that Lionel struggles with his Tourette’s on a daily basis. It has literally taken over his body and soul. Although Lionel has Tourette’s this isn’t a story about a man who has Tourette’s. This is a story about a man who is determined to find out who is responsible for the death of someone close to him.

We Hope You Like This Song by Bree Housley

A woman grieving over the death of her best friend since childhood lives her life as her best friend would.

In her touching and heartfelt memoir, Bree is still grieving over the death of her childhood best friend Shelly, who died years prior from complications from childbirth. In order to cope with her grief, Bree, along with her sister, decided to live their lives as Shelly would. It would be a year-long project where they would do a weekly task and blog about it.

The book focuses both on the past and the present of which she wrote the book, which was roughly the late 2000s. It explores all aspects of her life and leaves no stone unturned. She basically opens her life for everyone to see. Me, I like to hang an opaque shower curtain between me and the world. You are welcome to seeing some things, but not everything.

I am personally fond of memoirs because we get insight into someone else’s life, even if we have no idea who they are. It’s as if you’re in someone’s else head. You see what they see. You feel what they feel. When they want to stab someone with a pen, you want to stab that person with a pen too.

Good Grief by Lolly Winston

After her husband dies of cancer, a woman decides to move from California to Oregon to start a new life.
Sophie Stanton just lost her husband to cancer, but she is not sitting in her bathtub crying her eyes. No, she’s not that type of widow. Instead, she crashes her car into her garage door. Now, that’s my kind of widow.

After what feels like an eternity of sulking and grieving, she decides to move to Oregon to start a new life. SHe does get a new life, but it’s not all smelling of roses. In fact, it smells a little bit like fire.

While it sounds like the book is full of clichés, the truth is it’s a breath of fresh air and humor to an otherwise sensitive subject. We have no time for crying here. OK, maybe a little bit of crying is OK.

Getting to know myself intimately in a very public way.

I’ve said it once, I will say it a million times. I hate it when people ask me what my favorite things are. I immediately panic and my mind goes blank. By now, I should know that I always have to have default answers to questions I know I will get asked on a regular basis. Where are you from? What are your favorite TV Shows? What music do you like? What types of books are you? What type of Asian are you? Luckily, I know that I’m Chinese, so that’s one question that I don’t have to worry about. Yay. I will take a moment to celebrate by throwing dried rice up in the air. Oh, wait. That’s something else. Screw it. I’m throwing dried rice in the air to celebrate my Asianness.

You must want to ask me, “Kenny, how do you not know where you’re from?” Well, it’s complicated. Depending on my mood, I will give a range of answers. I usually just say that I’m from Queens, New York because that is where my heart is. Technically, though, I’m from New Jersey. Eh, it’s close enough. I do have a long-winded answer waiting in the wings for when I want to explain the saga of where I’m from.

For questions regarding my favorite things, I usually just say “A little bit of everything.” Sometimes they leave it at that. Other times, they ask specific question after specific question, and I’m lead down to an existential rabbit hole of awkwardness and regret.

The main reason why I do not like to mention the things I like is because I am a bit cautious about mentioning things that the other person might not be aware of. I always assume that the only shows they know of are Friends and ER and they’re only aware of super-mainstream bands and artists to, like, I don’t know, Madonna, the Rolling Stones or Beyonce. During one such occurrence, I said I liked Billy Joel and Hootie and the Blowfish. They’re fine, but they’re not really an accurate representation of what I like.

So, here I am, putting myself out there. I will essentially have a conversation by myself with the point of asking various “What do you like questions?” If you choose to leave now, I won’t blame you. I’m just hoping I don’t shrivel up and, you know, die.

What kind of music do you like?

Folk, Rock, Pop

How interesting. What are your favorite musicians/bands?

Joshua Radin, The Black Keys, Aerosmith

How about movies. What type of movies do you like?

Pretty much everything except for horror.

That’s a shame. What are your favorite movies?

50/50, Juno, Hot Fuzz

What’s 50/50?

It’s a comedy/drama about a man dealing with cancer.

Sounds sad. Do you watch TV?

Yes, I watch petty much everything.

Oh, great. Like what?

Burn Notice, Dexter, Breaking Bad

What do you like to do for fun?

The usual boring stuff. Writing, Reading, Web Design

Oh, you like to read? What do you like to read?

Pretty much everything. I especially like memoirs and autobiographies.

Can you give me some examples?

Amy Poehler’s book. There are others, but they’re really not well known. I like to read memoirs written by eveyday people.

How wonderful. I have to go now. Goodbye. -scurries off-

Um, bye.

Oh, look, I’m sitting on a tower of unfinished books and crying. Again.

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.