Sunday Post – 2016: The Year of Community & Discovery

This week I am excited to participate (for the first time!) in The Sunday Post meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer. The Sunday Post is for sharing news and recaps, and I’m using this installment as an opportunity to reflect on my 2016 bookish resolutions and to thank you, my fellow book-lovers, for the ways in which you have opened up my reading life. ❤

This year has marked a dramatic turning point for me re: my book obsession. Prior to 2016, I could have counted the number of times I read a “new release” on one hand. I only interacted with friends I knew from “real life” encounters on GoodReads; I didn’t read book blogs or write my reviews with any thought to how they might be read.

off-topicUntil December 31-January 1, when I greeted the New Year immersed in the collection about censorship on GR after the Amazon acquisition, Off-Topic: The Story of an Internet Revolt. This revelatory book provided the spark that initially inspired me to seek out bookish friendships in the virtual world (I’d not much adapted to new ways of digital life and hadn’t been part of an online community before). I was so inspired by Off-Topic that I made it my New Year’s Resolution to immerse myself in the virtual book community. And as my friendships on GR (and more recently, on this blog) developed, my reading interests expanded in wild, unpredictable directions.

lovecanal  smell.jpg  the fold
(what I read this week)

Examples: this week I read a book about the history of toxic waste in the US, a beautifully written middle-grade drama about children’s lives in the Alaskan wilderness, and a sci-fi novel about a fold in space. Right now, I’m wildly crazy about James Anderson’s debut, the Western-noir Never Open Desert Diner, in the throes of my first physics book in 10+ years (ok, it’s just pop-physics, but Penrose is next), and am also quietly enjoying a cultural history of rain.

Never-Open-Desert Diner3  mathuniverse  rain
(what I’m reading now)

girlglass.jpgMy budding fellowships with other book-lovers also galvanized me into making new (related, bookish) resolutions.  Like setting a goal to read more non-fiction, and aiming to read at least one newly-released book a month. Now, that was life-changing. I used to only read books that had been vetted; I poured over reviews, analyses, synopses… in retrospect this amounted to extreme risk-aversion that dramatically limited my reading choices. How little did I realize about all that I was missing out…

My first new-release was debut Girl through Glass by Sari Wilson, which I read in late January. I’m almost embarrassed by my review of it at the time, because it reveals my previously deeply-held… snobbery. My response to this absolutely stunning literary work of art amounted to something like “Wow, I expected this to be a Lifetime-channel worthy drama, but it was really good and I loved it so much!” I was basically shocked out of lifelong beliefs, such that contemporary literature is for the most part illiterate or pulpy (unless, of course, it’s won some prestigious award).

bought-to-read

Up Next, hopefully soon.

It’s now only a few months later, and I’m falling in love with every other new release I read, which seems to be pretty much all I ever crave anymore. I’d love to regain a balance at some point and return to catching up on the past 2000 years in world literature, but for now I’m like the kid in the candy shop for the first time.

And I’m going to allow myself to indulge for the remainder of 2016. Here’s to a Year of Bookish-Community & Discovery – of getting lost and sidetracked and surprised and enchanted and swallowed whole by books spinning way out of my usual orbits 🙂

15 comments

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and for your kind words, Kimberly! And, for hosting the Sunday Post! This lovely community is definitely the reason for my range at the moment, and for my newly acquired appreciation for new authors. I can’t believe I’m just getting started – already it’s been too amazing for words 🙂

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  1. Hi and welcome!!! I love this link-up because I visit a lot of other bloggers from around the world and catch up on what they’ve been doing.

    I didn’t really make any bloggy / reading resolutions this year but am trying to read outside my fave genres a bit more!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Deborah, thank you so much for stopping by! I’m pretty new at this, but I’m already loving the community I’m getting to know as well as ‘meeting’ people from all over. And I will definitely be ‘borrowing’ from your shelves – will be watching out especially for Aussie author/book recs 🙂

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    1. Feelings are absolutely mutual! And I did not realize your blog was also relatively new… It is so professional! It’s what inspired me to look into how to add feature images to posts and other updates I’ve been making to the design of my own – I’ve been following your lead 🙂

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    1. Hi Dani! Thanks so much for stopping by and for your kind words 🙂 If you’re interested, the Love Canal book is ‘read now’ on Netgalley (so even if you have no account you can make a free one and just download it without preapproval). Also I got The Fold at BloggingforBooks.com – just ‘discovered’ that site, it’s pretty cool, you make an account and select a book, which they send pretty fast.. After you write your review, you can pick another. Yay, free books 🙂 Happy Reading to you as well!

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