Saturday, July 2, 2016

Mid-Year Reading Goal Check-In

A lot of readers in Litsy have been reporting on their goals, picking best reads for the year, etc. I started to get curious about the progress I have made on my reading goals, and decided to both investigate and share it with you. If you want to go back and listen to me discuss more behind the initial intent behind the goals, check out Episode 048 of the podcast.

Goal 1: Read a book from the countries left in Africa (from my ongoing "read a book from every country" project)

I'm encountering a minor version to what happened last year, when I got stuck reading books from New Guinea for four months - instead of reading one book in every country, I have read several books for many of the countries I aim to read. So while I've read 20 books for this challenge, I have only covered 11 countries. 31 to go if I'm going to read all the countries I've never read from. Five a month? I'm not sure that's going to happen, but here is what has:
The Stranger by Albert Camus (February 2016)
The Meursault Investigation (April 2016)

Wife of the Gods (June 2016)
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (June 2016)

The Book of Secrets by M.J. Vassanji (February 2016)

The Cruelest Journey: Six Hundred Miles To Timbuktu by Kira Salak (March 2016)
The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts by Joshua Hammer (March 2016)

The First Wife: A Tale of Polygamy by Paulina Chiziane (April 2016)

Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor (January 2016)

Our Lady of the Nile by Scholastique Mukasonga (February 2016)
Cockroaches by Scholastique Mukasonga (June 2016)

South Sudan
Beyond the River Yei (January 2016)
There is a Country: New Fiction from the New Nation of South Sudan (January 2016)

Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih (March 2016)

When Hoopoes Go to Heaven by Gaile Parkin (May 2016)

Child of Dandelions by Shenaaz Nanji (February 2016)
All Our Names by Dinew Mengestu (January 2016)
The Gravity of Sunlight by Rosa Shand (January 2016)
Thirty Girls by Susan Minot (January 2016)

New-Generation African Poets ed. By Kwame Dawes (April 2016)
Goal 2: Read some of my shelf of anthologies (perhaps develop strategies for this)

FAIL. I have made it through one anthology, and that was one I purchased after making these reading goals. Sigh.

Goal 3: Don't be a hoarder - complete six more book speed dating projects to make decisions about books I'm not sure about

I haven't been so great about not adding more books, but to be fair (to me) that wasn't the goal. I have done one speed dating project every two months, so for 2016, I have done three. I will work on another one sometime in July.

I recorded about each of them, so you can hear my thoughts:

Speed Dating 2016 #1

Speed Dating 2016 #2
Speed Dating 2016 #3

Goal 4: Reflective reading - experiment with journaling, video reviews, etc.

I definitely worked a lot with this although most of it is not something I can show. I absolutely prefer to record my thoughts in audio over video.

Goal 5: Read genres I usually ignore - crime and romance, maybe others
Heck yeah. I have read more romance this year than any other time in my life. That discussion is in the same episode as speed date #2, "The Wall of Romance." When I gave my students this project, I picked up a sportsing book.  I have read a few more crime novels this year, although I'm not sure if it's more than normal, and it is likely not the titles I had in mind when I made the goal.

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