2015 Reading Goal: Progress Report #4

Well, here we are! Getting to the end of the semester. I will definitely be continuing my reading goal through the end of this year, though.

So far, I’ve read seven books. I’ve gotten behind again. To be fair, the most recent book that I read was a very large collection of short stories: The Dedalus Book of Finnish Fantasy. It was very interesting to read! I’m not even entirely sure why I picked it, I was browsing the e-Book store on my Nook, and this was in my recommended reads. It was really interesting to read about the history (and lack of history) of writing in Finland. Turns out, there hasn’t really been much written in Finnish in the past. This collection was also different than I expected. I expected it to be more like fairy tales and folk tales given the word “fantasy,” but actually, a lot of it was science-fiction and slipstream, much like the kind of stories I’ve been reading lately already. Some of it was still fantasy, but a really interesting take on it. I would definitely recommend that book to anyone looking for a good short story collection.

As for my reading goal, seven books in four months is not going to cut it, but hopefully once the school semester winds down and work calms down a little (at my job, summer is usually the slowest time of year), I’ll be able to spend more time reading.

I’m also working on my documentary for my next post for this class. I’m looking at the way e-books have changed reading. I think it’s really interesting how passionate people can be about print books, and in fact I used to think I would never use an e-reader. But here I am, using my e-reader every day and very rarely picking up a print book. I think both will stick around, though, as they each have their pros and cons.

How many books have you all read this year so far?

2015 Reading Goal: Progress Report #3

We are just under three and a half months into 2015. My goal for the year is to read a total of at least twenty-five books. So far, I have completed six: Stardust by Neil Gaiman, Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami, Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman, Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami, and Birthday Stories, a short story collection curated by Haruki Murakami.

At the rate I’m going, I’m reading about two books per month now, so I’ve sort of gotten back on track with my reading schedule, though I am still a little bit behind where I would like to be.

With my full time job, plus my part time job and classes, I’ve had a hard time reading as much as I would like to. It’s been tough balancing everything this year so far, and I’ve become increasingly exhausted. Hopefully later in the year I’ll be able to fit in some more time reading to catch up on my goal.

Currently I’m reading another short story collection called the Dedalus Book of Finnish Fantasy, so I should be done with that fairly soon hopefully.

I’m not sure what to read next, though. Obviously, I haven’t expanded my reading range much this year. I’ve read three books by Neil Gaiman and two by Haruki Murakami, plus one short story collection that was put together by Murakami. If I’m being honest, I am probably going to continue reading more Murakami or Gaiman, even though I know I should expand a bit.

What are you all reading right now? Any recommendations?

2015 Reading Goal: Progress Report #2

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I haven’t been doing as well with my reading goal this year as I had hoped to do. My goal is to read at least 25 books this year (complete books, which means I can’t leave a book unfinished if I want to count it toward my goal — which is unfortunate, since there are a couple of books I didn’t have any desire to finish!)

So far this year, I’ve read now 4 books. At my last update, I’d read 3, so I did manage to finish a novel in the meantime. The one I read was Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (a post about this book coming soon).

I’ve been really enjoying reading books by Neil Gaiman lately, as well as Haruki Murakami. I have a whole post already typed up about my fascination with Murakami’s writing, in fact, so that will be coming soon to the blog.

The thing that makes me nervous about that is that I can’t go on reading the same two authors forever! So far, in the past year, I’ve read at least four books by Neil Gaiman (maybe even five) and NINE books by Haruki Murakami. Nine! I’ve read only about three books by other authors that I actually completed, and some others I didn’t even manage to finish. I just can’t get into stories by other authors right now. I’ve tried, but I keep coming back to these two. There’s just something about their writing. They are not even all that similar, but both of them seem to have the ability to create wonderful, intriguing worlds that I don’t want to part with.

For right now, I’m still really into the writing by these two awesome authors, but I definitely need to find some other good books and authors to try out.

I’ve been testing out some other genres, and I’ve found that I had a hard time getting drawn into some older “classics” that I probably should have read before, as well as memoirs. Then again, it could just be the authors’ styles that I didn’t really like. What I have found is that I enjoy sci-fi/fantasy a lot more than I ever expected to, though I’m not sure why I am surprised by that! I grew up loving Harry Potter, after all, and that’s definitely a fantasy story. I guess I just tried so hard to like the books that I felt like I should. Now I’m starting to realize that some books just aren’t my type.

Does anyone have any┬árecommendations for books that they’ve enjoyed?

2015 Reading Goal: Progress Report #1

This year I set a goal for myself to read 25 books. Last year, I read a total of twelve, but 10 of those were in the last 6 months of the year so I decided to base my goal off of those six months and increase my number by a few for 2015.

So far, I haven’t been doing as well as I’d hoped. I try to read every day but with working two jobs and taking classes I’ve been exhausted and have had a hard time fitting in the time to read anything.

At a goal of 25 books for the year, that’s a little over two books per month. So far this year, I’ve only completed three books and it’s been about two months already.

In January I read Stardust and Neverwhere, both by author Neil Gaiman, and in February I spent some time trying to read some different genres and authors but couldn’t find any books that I wanted to stick with.

I started a couple of books and read them for a few pages before deciding I wasn’t interested (you can download samples of ebooks onto your Nook to try them out for the first ten pages or so, and then purchase them if you like them).

There is one book that I even spent a couple of weeks reading but just could not bring myself to finish. This book was called A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, written by Dave Eggers. I have heard great things about Dave Eggers as a writer and so I picked up this book because it sounded interesting.

I tried so hard to like this book but I just could not get into it. The story is truly heartbreaking and it should be a really enthralling read about a young man who ends up raising his little brother. But I just didn’t want to read it anymore. I may go back to it at sometime and try to complete it, because I hate leaving books unfinished, but I just needed to take a break and read something else.

I didn’t like the author’s style. It reminded me a little bit of reading The Catcher in the Rye. Now, I know there are a lot of Catcher in the Rye fans in the world but let me tell you, I HATED it. The main character was totally obnoxious and annoying and whiny. And sure, the main character doesn’t always need to be likable, especially in a memoir because at that point the main character is really just the author himself. But I just couldn’t get into it. I couldn’t get lost in the book like I can with a book I really enjoy, and that’s really important to me.

Ultimately, I decided to find something else to read. I went back to one of my favorite authors, Haruki Murakami (more on my love for Murakami’s writing to come in a later post), because I know I can always count on his books when I want a good read, and so my third book of the year so far was Kafka on the Shore.

Hopefully I can get back on track with my reading goal for this year. I’ve been home sick the past few days so I’ve gotten quite a bit of reading in. I also try to read on my lunch hour at work each day. Even if I don’t meet my goal, though, I’ve definitely been reading much more than I ever have and that’s something to be proud of for sure.