January 8, 2019

December Books (and reading rebellion)

I totally meant to post this in December because I wanted to get all of 2018's books documented in one place. Oh well.

So, the truth is that I'm kind of over reading and over books. I know that is practically blasphemous talk in the book blogging community but it's just how it is right now. I've always enjoyed reading and I was a serial re-reader as a kid and even now as an adult. I have my favorites I go back to once a year or so.

But reading more in volume and more in the general span of genres was something I took up when we moved to Colorado. I started in Missouri in 2014, saying I would read 3 new books a month (the word "new" being the key). That spiraled into just seeing how much I could read in general and I was, I think, pretty successful at it. It was a whole focused part of my extracurricular time I hadn't had to that point as an adult. Of course, I used to read books, but maybe one new one a month or every few months or so. Forcing myself to read has taken the novelty out of it.

But, no matter how much I love books and love talking about books, reading is something I can take off my plate and not even miss. It's something I like to do, but not something I have to do. We all have these things, right? Yoga is something I like to do, not something I have to do.  Meal planning is something I like to do, not something I have to do. In fact, in the last year or so, I don't even know what I have to do anymore in order to function as a happy and satisfied human and be my best self, but cramming as many books as I can into each month (and, spoiler alert, it's not even THAT many) doesn't help me get there.

I even sorted through our books, over the last few months, and donated everything I didn't like enough to recommend or read again.

In going with the theme that I need a break from all things of-the-last-5-years, I decided to do something rash.

I had a thought a few weeks ago that just seemed almost rebellious and mean, but it was: I'm not going to read in 2019. I originally had a few certain books I wanted to make sure I got to this year...but...whatever. I'm probably not going to read in 2019. We'll see where I land in a month or so.

I'm totally aware that I haven't thought this all the way through, and if you give me a book, I'll read it. But this thought of "just let it go and stop trying so hard" kept coming to me over the last month or so, so I'm just going to go with it for now.

But this is what I read to close out 2018.

Up Shute Creek by Denise Grover Swank
This was the next installment in the Rose Gardner Investigations series. It was good. I like that the Rose books move the narrative forward (they come out like once a year) but the Neely Kate ones slow it down. I could do with less of her. I find her parts of the Rose books to be boring and trite. I liked the ending of this a lot.

The Next Together by Lauren James
Ugh. DNF. It was fine, honestly, and in a perfect world, I would've kept going but I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown in mid-December and I wanted to never read anything again (that may or may not have spurned my reading rebellion). I liked the storyline with the lab partners and the connections in the future, but the historical ones didn't pull me in.
It was a bit of a poor man's The Time Traveler's Wife. I'm not even a huge TTTW fan, but that book knew how to make you care about characters and plot. (To be honest, TTTW was like Inception-level for me. I had a constant headache trying to keep it straight. I also remember not crying at the movie and a friend side-eyeing me for that.)

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarity
I really appreciate the worlds that Liane creates. And the audiobooks are a a delight, narrated by Caroline Lee.
I loved the idea of Tranquillum House and thought I'd actually like to go there. No one to talk to and nothing to do for 10 days.
However...this was not my favorite of hers. The first half was fine but started to lose me somewhere in the second half. The last 3 hours were something I had to force myself to listen to...I mean, it was fine for regular realistic fiction, but not as good as Big Little Lies, The Husband's Secret, etc. I wasn't on the edge of my seat or anything. I'd honestly classify it with Truly, Madly, Guilty.

Linking up with Jana and Steph!


  1. I wonder if you'd get more enjoyment out of audiobooks rather than sitting down and reading one.

    I'm a believer in getting rid of things that don't work for you anymore and if you have to stop reading altogether, it's not something I understand, but I also understand.

  2. I think anything you are making yourself do will eventually stop being fun. I love to read, i do it because I enjoy it. But I also don't bother with books I don't want to read so that I don't get to a point where it stops being fun.

  3. if there is something i can take off my plate and not miss, it's gone. i do things that are good for me or helpful that i don't necessarily 'enjoy' doing, like meal planning or exercise, but other than that, things for 'fun' should be fun. that's why i am totally fine giving up on tv shows, if i can stop an episode in the middle and never think of it again, byyyyyeeeee. life is too short for that nonsense. so i'm trying to say i totally get it - reading is not one of those things for me, but if it is for you, i'd say stop for sure. if it's not fun, what's the point. also, reading for me is a *huge* coping mechanism with anything that goes wrong in my life, so i depend on it a little too much. it's the only thing that actually gets my mind off crappy stuff.
    on to the books - when i saw the cover of the next together, i was like what! basically, if i liked a book, you shouldn't read it. hahaha. i am not surprised you DNFd. it is right up by book-alley and i struggled with it a bit, from what i remember. the time traveler's wife is one of my all time faves but it took me a couple re-reads to really understand everything. i cry when i watch the trailer for that, but not the actual movie. how weird is that? i think it's because i was SO excited for the movie that when the trailer came out, all my feelings for the book came out. happened with the guernsey movie trailer too. but i am a weird, emotional person.
    glad you at least didn't hate nine perfect strangers :)
    sorry for the novel lol.

  4. I couldn't ever STOP reading, but if it's something that isn't enjoyable for you, then no, you shouldn't push yourself to do it. You might find a book here and there to read and maybe that will be much more exciting than cramming a few books into each month!


  5. I know with my new busy schedule, I've knocked down my goals for 2019 & at first, I felt book-guilt - & then thought, hey, my husband has never read a book in his life - if I read a little less in one year, I'm still good :) YOU DO YOU :)

  6. Oh girlie if its not serving you then leave it. Dont force it or it most certainly wont be enjoyable.

    Nine Perfect Strangers is on my list but ive just not gotten around to it yet

  7. I am a lifelong reader...but not always at the same pace. There are ups and downs. And if 2019 is a down year...okay. Or if January is a down month and you fall in love with reading again by February, that's okay too. The great thing about reading is that there are no requirements or rules- you can lay books down at any time and pick them right back up at any time.

  8. I think if we force ourselves to do anything it will eventually stop being fun. So if reading isn't doing it for your any more you can't force it. I mean, reading has been ingrained into my entire sense of self for as long as I can remember so I know I would personally miss it but plenty of people think it's weird that I can take or leave TV. I didn't even have one for about 5 years and I never missed it.

  9. Reading is so integral to my life, I'd never give it up. I don't read every day, but the days I don't are rare and I miss it. I never force myself into it, I totally do not believe in that. So I say do as you please!

  10. I am hoping that this year I will get my act together and read more.

  11. I'd say if you don't want to read, don't read. I can't imagine not wanting to read, but I'm not in your shoes either. You should do what makes you happy.

  12. Girl, I know exactly what you're talking about. I'm not "over" books, but I'm over the pressure to read, read, read. I've always been a reader to some degree, but prior to 2013, I typically read no more than 10 a year. Life and work circumstances changed that and for several years, books not only provided me with entertainment during my commute, but also a mental escape from life. I read 50-70 for several years in a row. Things have changed again, my commute is shorter and I don't need the mental escape, and my reading has taken a nose dive in comparison to recent years. It really bothered me last year, but I've finally just let it go. If I want to read, i will; if I don't, I won't and I won't feel guilty about it. I deliberately didn't sign up for the Goodreads Challenge and I'm not participating in Erin's challenge for the first time in... LOL! a long time! Life is way to short to do stuff you don't enjoy doing. Enjoy doing what you love!

  13. As long as you are doing what you want to do, and love, no worries!

  14. I think the pressure to read more and more books can be a real struggle. Especially if it takes away the joy of reading. I used to really push myself to read and hit goals of 100 or more books a year and it made me really not want to read which sucked. Now that I just read when I want to, I enjoy it so much!

  15. I barely read at all when my oldest was a baby - just transitioning to motherhood and the lack of sleep and the total shift in routine and responsibility and whatever was too much to handle so I did Pinterest and watched TV instead. Now that reading is such a part of my daily routine, I will never be able to give it up again but I say if it's not something you aren't enjoying doing, don't do it! If you ever feel like picking up a book, it's easy to track one down and give it a try so don't feel guilty!! You can always come back to it or maybe you'll end up finding something that you love even more...who knows :)


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