2015 Year in Review

So, it’s been awhile since my last post. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

Running. A lot more. I bought a gym membership because running is just plain hard to do on a regular basis if you don’t have a car in São Paulo. A gym has given me access to physical safety, controlled temperature, weights, and convenience. So worth it for my overall mental health and well-being. I plan to run a half marathon in 2016.

Proofreading. I’m taking a course, practicing, and studying. I want to transition some of my teaching hours into proofreading hours.

Studying Portuguese. No news here, I still suck at it.

Reading. I have been reading! But mostly books that I didn’t feel like writing book reviews for—either they were nonfiction, or audio (it’s harder for me to write reviews of audiobooks because I have a poor memory), or classics which don’t need another introduction.

Now that I feel like I sufficiently excused myself from blogging regularly, I'll progress on to the purpose of this particular post—doing a bookish recap of 2015!

My goal is always to read 52 books in a year, but I never make it. I don’t beat myself up over not reaching my goal, but I know that if I didn’t set any goal I would read half as much as I could. In 2015 I read 48 books. Many of these were graphic novels. Many of these were tomes. I am satisfied with how much I read.

I had another goal this year, which was to get over my prejudice towards self-published books. Honestly, I still have a prejudice when I think about buying self pubs, but this year I was so delightfully surprised by the level of quality in the books that I did read. Seriously impressed.

And finally, do you remember that I was casually doing the Pop Sugar Reading Challenge? Neither did I. But I got most of the categories without intentionally trying.

I changed the focus of my blog a lot in the past year. I was experimenting with different things, entertaining myself, and well, it’s my blog and I can do what I want. I did a lot of stuff with the book-blogging community in the first half of the year, grabbed a lot of advanced review copies from Netgalley, and honestly had fun. I got burnt out on that and decided to use my blog as a way to improve my own writing about books—insightful critiques, drawing parallels to other books or things out and about in the world, honing in on one specific problem I had with a book and trying to correct it. The latter sort of post naturally comes less frequently than the former.

As I’m writing this post and scrolling back through my blog, I’m proud that I kept this record this year. I’m so happy that I included book photos that I took myself (I’m going to continue doing that, and not be so lazy with it in the future). I am glad that I wrote all different types of posts. This blog is certainly more flavorful than my Goodreads list alone, and a year of book blogging has encouraged me to keep with it in 2016.

Blessed new year, friends!

  1. Piteco: Ingá by Shiko
  2. Landline by Rainbow Rowell 
  3. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  4. City of Lies by Ramita Namai
  5. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
  6. The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
  7. The Shadow Over Innsmouth by H.P. Lovecraft
  8. Astronauta: Singularidade by Danilo Beyruth
  9. Bidu: Caminhos by Eduardo Damesceno
  10. Orhan's Inheritance by Aline Ohanesian
  11. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Greene and David Leviathon
  12. A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
  13. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami 
  14. A Bride's Story, Vol 1 by Kaoru Mori
  15. Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer
  16. The Calling by James Frey
  17. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
  18. Akira (complete series of 6 volumes) by Otomo Katsuhiro 
  19. The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma
  20. Cleo by Lucy Coats 
  21. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
  22. Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare
  23. Salad Anniversary by Machi Tawara
  24. Wayward, Vol 1 by Jim Stub
  25. Low, Vol 1 by Rick Remender
  26. Fragile Bones by Lorna Schultz Nicholson
  27. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy 
  28. The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
  29. Neverland by Shari Arnold
  30. Penadinho: Vida by Paulo Crumbim
  31. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
  32. Welcome to My Country by Lauren Slater
  33. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury 
  34. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
  35. The Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman
  36. So Long, Insecurity by Beth Moore
  37. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  38. What's So Amazing About Grace? by Philip Yancey
  39. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  40. The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood
  41. A Call to Conscience: The Landmark Speeches by Martin Luther King Jr.
  42. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  43. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen 

    *Bold means the book impacted me in a significant way.