2016: A Year In Review

This has been one heck of a year.

I think that’s the best way to describe 2016, right?

With the death of beloved actors and musicians (this year made me an emotional wreck), the way politics have played out in the United States, engagements and births among family and friends, and hitting (or at least striving toward) some personal goals, this year has been a roller-coaster of emotions.

2016 Resolutions Review

To recap my resolutions from this past January, I think I’ve done well for myself:

  • While I haven’t read too many of the books I own… I’ve probably purged and donated/sold half the books I started out with. Yay  for decluttering!
  • I’m proud to say I’ve hit my Goodreads goal of reading 26 books in 2016! My goal was 25.
  • I’ve read most of the Pretty Little Liars series (one book to go!) and started to reread the Harry Potter series. (I need to reread Chamber of Secrets now that I have the illustrated edition!)
  • I am reading more memoirs or non-fiction books.
  • I’ve been exercising regularly.
  • I began the year by blogging regularly and that’s something to improve on for next year. Considering I haven’t written reviews for all the books I’ve read this year, I have some material to get me through the next few weeks.

Top 5 Reads of 2016

  1. The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth. A moving novel about two individuals with early onset Alzheimer’s who met in a care facility and fall in love, and how one caretaker recognizes their love despite the families’ objections.
  2. The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. Picked by Emma Watson for the Our Shared Shelf book club. A moving graphic novel memoir about the Islamic Revolution of 1979 in Iran, being a preteen/teenager and growing up a woman during this time and the perceptions of the revolution.
  3. The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick. A sweet debut novel about an elderly widowed man discarding his late wife’s possessions and finds a charm bracelet, which leads him on a journey of new discoveries and stepping outside his comfort zone.
  4. An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin. If you’re interested in the fine art/museum/gallery world, this was definitely one interesting read.
  5. What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler. This book had me angry for days, not because of the writing, but the topic. Star athletes at a small-town high school are accused of raping a girl who was passed out drunk at a party, and no one at the party speaking up. Rather than thinking about what the behavior and rumors have done to the victim, they worry about the athletes. And if anyone would dare speak up, they would be shunned by the whole town.

Honorable mention: In a world obsessed with Marie Kondo, I found Faye Wolf’s approach in her book New Order: A Decluttering Handbook for Creative Folks to be more palatable. I’ll write reviews on both approaches, but I like how Faye’s is less…um…aggressive. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

Resolutions for 2017

I’ll keep these short and sweet.

  1. Read 27 books in 2017.
  2. Reread the Harry Potter series in full. No breaks in between. Consecutive. Bonus: Read The Cursed Child at the end.
  3. Read more of the books I own.
  4. Blog regularly.
  5. Get organized and stay healthy.

Reading Challenges for 2017

Because I’m crazy, why not add a reading challenge of two for next year to help me stay on track with some of my new year’s resolutions?

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I hope everyone has a happy and healthy New Year and celebrates responsibly tonight! Enjoy yourselves, but be vigilant!

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