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July 10, 2017

Mission Impossible | Books I have to catch up on


At the beginning of the year, I had a few reading goals. This year, I did not just want to read more, but also broaden my bookshelf. Most importantly, I wanted to read more diverse books, especially debuts. Unfortunately, my reading life was derailed due to the difficulty of the last few months (you can read all of the juicy details here). 

I fell behind on a lot of things during the time I was away from blogging, but my Goodreads challenge has taken the most notable bit. Out of my goal of 80 books this year, I have only read 13. Thanks to the friendly reminder on Goodreads homepage, I know that I am about 28 books behind schedule. While I may not be a math person, I know that those numbers aren't what I was hoping for. 

Fortunately, of the 13 books I have read this year, most have been out of the realm of what I normally read. I have delved into adult science fiction, classics that I have always wanted to read but never mustered the motivation, and quite a few amazingly diverse reads. Even though I may not reach my numerical goal of 80 books, I have been pretty well on my diversifying. 

But, I still have some work to do. 2017 is a big year for releases, and I want to try to get ahead before falling even more behind. (What is the literary equivalent of a marathon? I need to know so I can start training.) So, I compiled a list of ten of the books that I REALLY need to catch up on.  



The Hate U Give
By Angie Thomas
Diverse, 


A Court of Wings and Ruin
By Sarah J. Maas


When Dimple Met Rishi

By Sandhya Menon


Once and For All
By Sarah Dessen


Saints and Misfits
By S. K. Ali



Strange the Dreamer
By Laini Taylor


The Names They Gave Us
By Emery Lord


Bad Romance
By Heather Demetrios


The Crown's Fate
By Evelyn Skye


Flame in the Mist
By Renee Ahdieh


Have you ever fallen behind on your reading goals? Are there any books that you need to catch up on this summer? What other books do you think I need to read soon?




July 5, 2017

Is there still a blog here? | On my absence and plans for the future (again)



Is a three-month absence too long to blame on technical issues? 

Unfortunately, it was not a broken computer, slow Internet, or a three-month long blackout that prevented me from blogging. 


The Details


For the last three months or so, I have attended two funerals, spent many long weekends consoling family, and tried to complete my last semester of high school without flunking everything. In between the crying, studying, and traveling, I have not had any time to read, let alone blog. 

While blogging has been an important part of my life (admittedly on and off) for the past five years, my family, and ultimately my sanity, were more important to me in the last couple of months. 

To be completely honest, there were times when I did not think I could ever return to blogging. The thought of writing a new blog post filled me with anxiety. There was a voice in the back of my head whispering that I was gone too long, no one would remember me, and that I was not even a good blogger in the first place. 

On that note, I would like to give the biggest shout-out to Roberta @ Offbeat YA and anyone else who had faith that I did not abandon this little blog of mine. It turns out you were right, even when I had doubts. I know my blog isn't the biggest, the prettiest, the funniest, or the most consistent, but it warms my bookish heart to know people care about my ramblings. You guys make everything worth it.

Anyway, I have learned quite a bit in the past weeks. Most lessons are painful and private that you don't want to hear about anyway. But, there is one that we all know, but we don't always appreciate. It is in the darkest times when books can be the most beneficial. In the past two weeks, I started reading again. Did reading fix all of my family's problems? No. But the real magic is that books don't have to fix everything. Picking up a book again made me feel like myself. In a world where our lives are chaotic, destructive, and sometimes downright depressing, books are a constant. The words on a page never change and characters never abandon their books. Even when life seems like a Hallmark movie that someone decided didn't deserve a happy ending, you can take comfort in your passions. 

Earlier in the year, I promised myself that I would never apologize for my blogging habits, no matter how sporadic they become. If you want to read the whole post about not giving into regret about blogging, click here. If you were too lazy to click the link, here is the quick and dirty: I am tired of being anxious, guilty, and sad about the state of my blog. Books have provided a safe place for me throughout my entire life, and I don't want blogging to erode that passion. So, I don't want blogging to become a chore to me, or else reading will as well. 

For better or worse, this means that I need to take breaks from blogging as needed. Over the last couple of months, I have definitely needed a break. I hope you can forgive me for my absence, but I have comfort in the fact that I have already forgiven myself.


Takeaways


1. I am not dead.
2. I am not quitting. New posts will be up by the end of the week, and hopefully, pretty consistently after that.
3. Reading is not a cure-all, but books can go a long way in the healing process.
4. I appreciate each and every one of you who continue to follow my blog despite the sudden disappearances, silence, and craziness. 
5. I have some catching up to do, with reading, blogging, commenting, and getting back into the groove of things. (And let's not even talk about the state of my Goodreads challenge right now). 


So, what did I miss? What books have you been reading lately? What are the latest releases I need to catch up with? How has your life been in the past three months? Tell me everything!