a year of reading

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads, lives only one.”

George R.R. Martin

As we grow up, our lives become overrun by responsibilities. Going to work. Paying the bills. Car maintenence. Attending appointments. We often forget to take time for ourselves, because we become so consumed by these mundane tasks. It’s difficult to find a happy balance. For the year 2016, I’ve committed myself to making time for me. More specifically, I plan on reading more books. I have always been an avid reader for as long as I can remember, but unfortunately, somewhere along the way, I’ve forgotten how to incorporate reading into my busy schedule.

I’ve currently set my reading challenge goal to 12 books for the year (1 book per month). It may seem like a small number, but to me it’s manageable and realistic. Hopefully I’ll be able to go above and beyond that number, but if not, I won’t be disappointed.

As I complete a book, I’ll add it to my list below. By doing so, I’m hoping it will keep me accountable. And more importantly, I look forward to re-reading this post at the end of the year to reflect and celebrate my achievements.

If you have any book recommendations, please feel free to comment. I’m open to any and all suggestions.

Happy reading!

MY 2016 READING CHALLENGE:

1. Wonder by R.J. Palacio
(Although Wonder is considered to be a children’s literature book, I think every human (young and old) should read this beautiful story. In some way (big or small), we can all relate to Auggie Pullman at some point in our lives. I loved that this was the first book I read for my challenge. I completed it within a week, and to be honest, I was quite sad that it came to an end. Hopefully more people read this book, and hopefully more people choose kindness)

2. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
(“You only get one life. It’s actually your duty to live it as fully as possible.” Yes, this book does involve a love story between two very different people, but I don’t think that’s the entire focus of the story. The most important take away for me, is that life is precious and we shouldn’t settle for ordinary. The story is about pushing your limits, living boldly, loving life and never holding back. ‘Me Before You’ took me on a roller coaster ride of emotions that I think I’m still trying to recover from. However, I’m looking forward to seeing the movie and reading the sequel.)

3. What I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey
I’ve never been a huge Oprah fan, but I do respect her. I thoroughly enjoyed this read and found myself highlighting/bookmarking specific inspirational quotes that I could relate to. Someone describes this book as a “deep cleansing breath” and I couldn’t agree more.

4. The Way I Used To Be by Amber Smith
The moment I started reading this book, I couldn’t put it down. I actually finished it in 4 days. The subject of this story is pretty sensitive in nature. It’s about the sexual assault of a young teenage girl named Eden. For me the story was heartbreaking, yet beautiful at the same time. I sympathized with Smith’s characters and felt that Eden’s story was powerful. Her experience pulled at my heartstrings. A worthwhile read, for sure.

5. The Season of You & Me by Robin Constantine
If you’re looking for a simple beach read, then The Season of You & Me is for you. I liked the concept of the story, two teenagers looking to escape the realities they are faced with in their lives. A summer romance. It was good in theory, but I just didn’t really enjoy the writing. The author utilized a hashtag throughout the story (#wheelchairperk), which just didn’t make sense to me. I know this was to appeal to an adolescent crowd, but it made me cringe every time I read it. It just didn’t seem to fit in. A little disappointed by it.

6. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (currently reading)