Reading Goals Update – January 2019

Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

Yes, I know January isn’t over, but I’ve made such good progress towards my reading goals that I wanted to go ahead and document it. I think a monthly post will also help keep my momentum going.

downloadGoal #1: Read From the New Books Shelf at Work. I’ve read one book! It was The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. It’s a domestic thriller, which Anita Shreve blurbs on the cover as “Fiendishly clever… in the vein of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.” Well, I liked it somewhere between those two, giving it four stars for pure page-turning readability. It’s one of those books that’s pretty entertaining, slightly cheesy, and ultimately forgettable, sort of like reading an US Weekly magazine. Initially the writing didn’t float my boat (lots of brand-name dropping) but I let myself forget all that and just got lost in the escapist, twisty fun. I have a hold on the writing pair’s new book, An Anonymous Girl.

Now this isn’t really much of a stretch read for me as I do like mysteries and thrillers, but I’m just glad I read something that my branch owns for a change, ha ha!

Goal #2: Read The Count of Monte Cristo. I am currently on page 345 y’all! I am killing it. It’s still so good. I’m kicking myself for not reading it sooner, but I guess the right books come to you when you’re ready for them. (I mean after you’re out of school and teachers aren’t assigning you books way before you’re ready for them.)

Goal #3: Read more poetry. I’m progressing through Shauna Barbosa’s Cape Verdean Blues. It’s not grabbing me like I had hoped but I’m going to finish. I think maybe reading poetry is like exercising, and you have to get warmed up again after a period of inactivity. I also checked out five more books of poetry this weekend, so I’m at least setting myself up for success.

a1ndiwiiwqlGoal #4: Read More of My Own Books (#unreadshelfproject2019.) The prompt for this month on the Instagram challenge was to pick any unread book off your shelf and read it this month or get rid of it. I chose Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker, a book I purchased for myself during my birthday(ish) trip to Nashville and Parnassus Books. Sorry to say, this book was a DNF for me. I realized that I didn’t really care about wine to the degree necessary to make this book interesting or fun for me. I was annoyed by the obsessive sommeliers Bosker was interacting with and got to page 70 before throwing in the towel. I couldn’t imagine reading 230 more pages of it. I can see how some people would like this but it just wasn’t the book for me. However, this means I have gotten rid of one book from my shelf, so it’s a win (a donation to the Friends of the Library.)

Speaking of the library, I mentioned earlier that I’d gotten a promotion at work. I’m now the branch manager of my small public branch (seriously, we’re tiny, we normally have only three staff members.) I’m thrilled, relieved, and energized, and ready to try lots of new program ideas to try and get people in the door.

How are you all doing so far in January? I hope you’ve already found some great reads in 2019.


39 thoughts on “Reading Goals Update – January 2019

  1. Congratulations on your promotion!! This is super exciting!!! Woohoo!!!

    I am also super impressed you’re crushing your goals for 2019 already. I, personally, love it when bloggers admit they DNF books. We’re all human and need to allow ourselves to let go sometimes. Life is too short to read bad books. That said, I hope that the next book you own which you pick up is more gratifying. What’s next on the #unreadshelfproject2019 TBR for you?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jackie!!

      The next monthly prompt is to read a book someone gave to you. Well… that’s a toughie for me because no one gives me books! So I am thinking I’ll just pick one that was a “gift to myself” which would be any of the unread books on my shelf, LOL. 🙂 I’m thinking maybe John Boyne’s The Heart’s Invisible Furies.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I guess I understand that. I ended up with a lot of Barnes & Noble gift cards from my family members this year. I think they don’t want to get me a book I already own or are afraid that I might not like the book they pick up. I’d rather be gifted a book I already have, or that someone adores, than get a gift card, however. It’s the thought they put into the book selection which I appreciate more than the physical book itself. I guess we just need braver friends and family members!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s great news on your promotion! It’s evident you care about your work and the library values your hard work.

    Nice to see that you’re off to a good start with your goals for this month. Monte is on the radar for me later this year. I think my reading goals are also off to a good start, I’m almost finished with one short story collection, one that’s been on my shelf for years. Going to sign off and read now. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations! How exciting to hear about your promotion — what great news 🙂

    And you’re doing an amazing job on your goals already. Thanks for your thoughts on The Wife Between Us; I’m always interested in those thrillers but never really know if I’m going to love them. Your description helped me decide to not jump on this the next time I see it at the library.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congrats on the branch manager job! My suggestion about reading poetry is not to read too much of it at once. A poem or two with breakfast, and maybe another couple before bed. Also I like to read through a poetry volume backwards, or starting in the middle and working forward and then starting at the beginning and moving to the middle place I started. This makes you notice individual poems in a different way. Most poets do have a theme for their volume, and the first and last poems, in particular, may be there for a reason, but my experience with poets is that sometimes their theme doesn’t matter and their choice of first and last poem can be heavy-handed. It’s also okay to flip through a volume of poetry and find a few you like. Read those twice. Don’t read the others if nothing grabs you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Laila, I am SO DAMN HAPPY for you!!!! I know you were feeling a bit down about a lot of things in 2018, and this post reassures me that you’re doing okay. I love that you updated us on your goals (for a second I forgot you work at a library and couldn’t figure out why you had a “new books shelf” at work. I was like, “What kind of work place is this???” That’s my fault, lol). I’m also so happy you got a promotion! I was reading about working at libraries today. Apparently, it’s prominent in the library workplace culture for people to be accused of an aggressive tone of voice. I also follow this librarian on Twitter who has a hard time every day. I’m glad then that your library is small; it might have a better chance of avoiding icky workplace drama more akin to a hair salon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Melanie! 🙂
      Libraries are a weird place sometimes. They seem to attract oddballs – and that’s just the employees, LOL! The tone of voice thing is real. I guess that happens at every workplace, though – there’s bound to be someone who doesn’t realize how they come across. Since our branch is small, it’s critical we can work together in harmony.


  6. Congratulations. It doesn’t sound like such a small branch to me – my local branch wouldn’t run to two if it wasn’t for the by-law that says that there cannot be just one council employed worker on site at any one time. What kind of developments are you thinking about?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Congratulations on your promotion! How very exciting. And I love the fact that you’ve compared reading poetry to exercise, it’s a wonderful idea actually, I like the idea of ‘warming’ up to read something. I feel that way about short stories sometimes too.


  8. Congratulations! I’m sure you’ll make a huge success of it and hopefully have a lot of fun along the way! And now you’ll be able to manipulate the queue and get your hands on all the good books first… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  9. That’s great news on the job-front. Enjoy!

    And I echo the poem a day idea. For about a year, I started with just one or two in bed, before finally prying myself from the sheets to face the day ahead. It worked wonderfully.

    There’s also a neat book by Ruth Padel which considers 52 poems a year, which does a fine job of drawing attention to specific details that I am not naturally able to recognize/identify. I love it. *note to self to reread*

    Here”s to more reading updates and successes!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow! You are killing your 2019 goals! Kuddos to you 🙂 I am going to update my goals in my monthly wrap-up posts to keep myself accountable!!

    Congrats on your promotion!!! That is so exciting! My dream job is to be a youth services librarian or a school librarian. For getting people in the door – I highly recommend doing a ton of family friendly events or children events. This get’s families in the door 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Amanda. I’m going to continue to do a monthly goal update post to keep myself accountable.

      Thank you! I’m pretty excited. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do when I graduated college, but I started working part time at another branch library and moved up from there. It’s a good fit for me. I do story times every week as well and I love doing that. I am definitely going to focus on programs for families! Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Branch manager! Wow! Congratulations! You are doing really well on your goals, especially The Count. Too bad about Cork Dork. I hope you find something else from your own shelves that surprises you by how amazing it is 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh my gosh, congratulations on the promotion! What wonderful news! And I’m glad to hear that your goals are going well so far — if it helps, I used to work with a poetry person, and she told me she, an official poetry person, almost never enjoys all or even most of the poems in a given collection. She says if she likes a few poems in a single collection, she considers it a win.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. You are killing it with your reading AND at your job!! I am so happy for you. 🙂
    I think it would be lovely to work at such a small branch. Our library is the biggest in our ‘system’ – the others are much smaller. But the nice thing about it is that I’ve gotten to try out several different positions, some of which might not even exist at the smaller branches.
    A poem a day sounds like a good idea! I might even try it (once I get organized). Last year I found a system was to keep poetry in the bathroom (haha!), but since I finished the ones I had in there, I haven’t replaced them.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Congratulations on the promotion! That’s so exciting.

    I agree on The Wife Between Us- the twist was interesting but beyond that it wasn’t great, but I couldn’t put it down!

    Thank you for the review of Cork Dork. I tried listening to it and found I kept choosing something else when I had audio time so I finally gave up. Neat idea, but maybe better in fiction? Or as a reality show!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Catherine.

      I agree, Cork Dork would make for an entertaining reality show. I just couldn’t get past the insufferable sommeliers in training to pass their exams. It’s such a specialized world and I didn’t feel like the author did enough to pull me, a layperson, in.


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