Almost three months since my last entry, and since then SO MUCH has happened. I’ve continued to read my books through it all (over 60 finished last year, and already read 8 books this year), but I haven’t really been reviewing. It’s understandable it would get shoved to the side, but it’s also too bad in a way, since I do like to record my thoughts on the books I read.
Last year, my “challenge” was to only read the books I was drawn to. I had a good start, but stopped tracking my progress so well on the blog. I did try to keep it up, reading only books that I was drawn to, and was pretty successful in doing that, although perhaps there were too many books that didn’t fit that description that I ended up reading (mainly these were books that friends lent me; I can’t turn down a book borrowing offer from a friend because it means even if I didn’t love it, I get to talk to someone about it). Sometimes my radar led me astray, though usually not too badly. And one of my very favorite (possibly my actual favorite) book of the year was a book I felt drawn more than any other to–The French Lieutenant’s Woman. I was doing the dishes, and unbidden came the thought “You should read The French Lieutenant’s Woman.” It seemed completely random; the last time I’d heard the book mentioned was probably ~2 years ago, at least. But I got a copy out from the library a couple days after that thought occurred to me and I couldn’t be happier I followed up on that because it turns out it was amazing!
I’d really like to continue to up the quality of books I read. It seems that the more I read, the less impressed I am with the reading material. I used to give most books 4 or 5 stars, but lately it seems like 3 or even 2 stars is getting to be a much more common rating for me. This year, I’m going to keep trying to read the books that call to me. But, I also want to find reviewers, critics, awards, and websites that align with my taste. So I’m going to spend a chunk of time after reading each book reading reviews and trying to find ones that match what I think. Then, I want to start to follow those recommendations and see what happens. I know that ultimately, you don’t know until you read it, but I think I could maybe do with some quality control.
In line with this goal, I’m giving the Tournament of Books a shot this year. My plan is to read all the selections this year, even if it takes me until December. I like that there will be a built-in discussion on the website, and I’ll get to see whether or not their selections match my taste. I already had like seven of their books on my to-read list, so I figured, why not read them and then the others to boot? So far, it hasn’t been going great–I’ve read two, neither of which had been on my to-read list already, and one was a 3 star and one was a 2. I’m actually thinking of redoing my rating system, at least for the blog, since ironically it’s the 2 star book I would recommend over the 3 star.
Anyway, I’m in the middle of a move right now so we’ll see if I can actually get better about reviewing books on here. I would really like to, but I won’t lie–I have so many other things I need to prioritize right now.