Stack Overflow: 2018 Reading Resolutions

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Happy New Year! Last week, we shared some reflections on what we read in 2017, compared to our resolutions at the beginning of the year. This week, we share some of our own reading resolutions for 2018. What are you hoping or planning to read this year?

Rebecca Angel with books
Photo: Rebecca Angel

Rebecca Angel’s Resolutions

Last year I joined the Goodreads challenge and set a modest goal of 26 books. Since I’m in two book clubs, I knew I’d meet that one. Yup, I did and then some. I ended up with 42 books read in 2017. Now, this did include cookbooks and children’s picture books, but if I linger on the pages of anything literary, I count it (and you should too!) I’ll be setting my Goodreads challenge to 45 for 2018.

My next goal is to read ALL the books in my “to-read” pile. And my impetus is that I cannot buy any books unless I finish the ones I have. This may be harsh, but it worked for my knitting and yarn. (Not kidding. I actually used up all my yarn one year when I forbid myself from buying anymore.) My pile is is 21 books high and a mix of fiction like Age of Myth: Book One of The Legends of the First Empire by Michael J. Sullivan, and non-fiction like The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking. Even if I don’t completely succeed on this one, I hope to make a good dent.

My final challenge is to read more fantasy fiction with diverse characters. This means culture, religion, sexual orientation, or whatever doesn’t fit in the usual fantasy genre still clinging to Tolkien’s model. Back in August, I wrote a post with this theme, and so enjoyed the books that I want to continue. I have Binti by Nnedi Okorafor on this list.

Phew! That’s a lot! Ready to start!


Robin Brooks’ Resolutions

My main hope for January is that family life will settle down enough to once again set aside 30 minutes of quiet reading time. In 2018 I’m also going to change the way I approach my book reviews. I’ve enjoyed making my Word Wednesday posts, and these will continue into the New Year. They’ve been so much fun to make, I want to expand to doing video and short written pieces for my fiction reviews too.

Sometime in January, I shall start delivering my new “5 Reasons to Read” column, which, as the name suggests, will give 5 quick reasons why I think a particular book is worth reading. I’m hoping to include a mixture of adult, young adult, and children’s fiction. Time will once again be the limiting factor in how many I can produce, but I’m hoping with this more accessible format, I can write accurate, entertaining reviews whilst the book is fresh in my mind. 

I’m not going to set any hard reading targets. That way lies disappointment. In the new year though, I’m looking forward to reading new books by Jo Walton, Robin Sloan, and James Smythe. Three authors whose books I’ve thoroughly enjoyed in the past. I’m also very intrigued to try A Hero Born by Jin Yong. This is the first book in the Legends of the Condor Heroes series, by an author known as “The Chinese Tolkien.” Hyperbole perhaps, but an affiliation that’s hard to resist! 


Jonathan Liu’s Resolutions

I don’t know what it is exactly, but I love lists of books. I love making lists of books I’ve read, lists of books I want to read, lists of books that I want to recommend to other people, lists of books that other people have made to read. I suppose I could get more reading done if I skipped the lists and just read books instead, sure, but there’s something about finding connections between books I love and books I haven’t heard of, and then adding to my “want to read” lists.

In 2017, I read a lot of books—predominantly comic books and fiction (with a heavy emphasis on time travel books), but pretty much fell down in the non-fiction department. But I’m getting back up and putting non-fiction on my list again. I don’t know what exactly yet, but I’ve got half a shelf of it staring me in the face, so I’m hoping to work through some of it, perhaps starting with some more of those books on space exploration.

The other thing, though, is that most of the reading I do all the time is books for review. If I see that somebody else has reviewed the book on GeekDad, I often set it aside because there’s no rush and I can read it later … which usually means never. In December, I finally picked up a few books that other GeekDads have reviewed—Artemis by Andy Weir (reviewed here by Jim Kelly), The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (reviewed by Robin Brooks) and A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers (also reviewed by Robin Brooks). I don’t often do that, but I’ve enjoyed getting to read a book just to enjoy it and not worry about writing about it afterward. And despite the number of review copies of books that I get, I still go to the bookstore frequently and come home with new books … that I shelve and don’t ever read.

So for 2018, one of my hopes is to spend more time reading those books—the books that my fellow GeekDads and GeekMoms have recommended here on the site, or books that I’ve picked up just for me. They may or may not appear in Stack Overflow (because, hey, if I read a book I like, I just can’t help but talk about it), but I’m hoping I’ll enjoy some more reading just for fun.

What are you hoping to read this year? Have you set yourself any challenges or resolutions?

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