Although I haven't been as good about posting to my blog this year as I have in the past, I didn't want to skip my traditional end of the year wrap-up posts. It is crazy to think that this is the 5th year I'll be doing this. It really doesn't feel like I've been blogging that long. Time flies... Anyway, on to my first review post - my year in books.
Books Read: 28 (though I'm trying to finish a few more in the next couple of days)
Favorite Book: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Favorite Sword & Laser Pick: The Martian by Andy Weir (it would be The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, but since I technically read that last year it didn't seem fair to pick it)
Honorable Mentions: Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson and The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss
I feel as though this has been a good year for me as far as reading goals are concerned. From last year the things I wanted to accomplish were:
(1) Read at least 24 books (2 per month). Score! I managed to hit my goal in November, so I'm quite pleased with my progress as far as quantity is concerned. Like last year (when I read 16 books), this is the most books I've read in a year since finishing grad school! I'm actually rather excited by that fact. I think following along with the Sword & Laser book club has helped - having a set schedule for reading certain books has pushed me to finish them in a timely manner.
(2) Read all of the Sword & Laser book club picks for this year. Well, I sort of didn't read the August pick (The Name of the Wind) but only because I read it very recently, and didn't feel the need for a re-read quite yet. But I've managed to follow along with all of the others, and only finished late for the month of June (because of skating stuff, mostly). I've also found a local book club that has started meeting to discuss these books, so it has led to some real-life friend making, which has been nice.
(3) Read more sewing books. Kinda half-met this goal. I mean, I've read a few sewing books this year, but not too many, and nothing detailed enough that I feel as though I've learned much new information. I have signed up for a few courses on Craftsy though (Black Friday sales were awesome!), so maybe some visual learning will happen in the near future. Basically I think I'm at a point where I know my skills need to improve, and I'm really interested in learning things that will help me achieve that. I was hoping books might, but this year they didn't too much. Perhaps I'll read more interesting sewing books next year?
(4) Read more science books. Failed on this one. I started to read one, but it was so long and in-depth that I had to put it aside to keep up with the book club choices. I do want to finish it though, as the writing was quite good. With any luck I can get back to it soon.
For next year I think I am going to focus on content more than quantity. Right now my reading goals for 2015 are:
(1) Continue to read the Sword & Laser picks. I think I won't be quite so dedicated as this year, but I've had a lot of fun reading the books and going to the local meetings, so I think I would like to keep up with that next year.
(2) Finish my half-read books. I have a lot of them. I would like to get my "Currently Reading" list down to 3-6 books instead of the 12-14 I have now. Granted, 3 of them are cookbooks, so they don't really count, but, well, I should actually read the introductions so I can mark them off as "read" at some point. Also, it would just make my soul lighter to say I've finished the Silmarillion.
(3) Read more sewing books, especially vintage sewing books.
(4) Read at least 2 science non-fiction books next year.
(5) There are a lot of science fiction stories coming to television/movies/web series in the next year. I would like to read as many of them as possible before the tv shows come out. They are including, but not limited to: The Shanara Trilogy, Childhood's End, Ringworld, Leviathan Wakes, Old Man's War, The Man in the Highcastle, Dragonriders of Pern, A Wrinkle in Time, the Outlander series (currently running on Starz), and Asimov's Foundation series. I've already managed to read Redshirts and The Magicians.
Are there way too many books for my to read to actually accomplish all of my goals for next year? Yeah, pretty much. At least it gives me a lot of options. Anyone have any really good books they read this year that they want to share? What about reading goals for next year? Or learning things from alternative sources, like Craftsy or video tutorials? Feel free to tell me what you're reading in the comments!