Category Archives: Reading Goals

2018 Reading Goals

It’s a new year, and we bookish people know what that means–it’s time to set our reading goals! I won’t say that I always do a wonderful job sticking to my reading goals (my post about how I’ve done with my 2017 goals is upcoming), but I do like setting some ambitions to kick off my reading year. This year, I’m trying to make my goals realistic, but still push myself to read some great books.

So here are my 2018 reading goals!

Read at least one Catherynne M. Valente book. I recently finished The Refrigerator Monologues, and it was one of my favorite books of 2017. It made me want to read lots more from Valente, so in 2018 I’m hoping to pick up either Radiance, Deathless, or Palimpsest. I own all three, because BookOutlet.

Read at least one Octavia Butler book. I have an ongoing goal to read everything that Octavia Butler has ever written; I’m currently only at 5, so I have a ways to go. I have a few options on hand: I own a copy of Kindred and a bind-up of the Lilith’s Brood trilogy (I’ve only read the first book, Dawn), and I also have the ebook of Unexpected Stories, which is a bind-up of two previously unreleased stories. I’ve also made a deal with myself that I can’t buy the bind-up of her Patternmaster series, Seed to Harvest, unless I read one of the books of hers I already own, so hopefully that will give me some motivation.

Read at least one Margaret Atwood book. Again, one of my favorite authors and I would ideally like to read all of her books. I’m at 8 so far, and I have two on my TBR shelf: Stone Mattress and Hag-Seed. I meant to read both in 2017 and didn’t (oops). At least one of these is getting read this year.

Read more short story collections. This was a goal that I failed at in 2017. It’s not that I didn’t read any short story collections (I think I read 6), it’s just that I tend to absolutely love short story collections and give them super high ratings, but I rarely gravitate towards them when I’m browsing my shelf. I also own a ton of unread short story collections that have been on my self for awhile that I really need to read.

Read more than one classic. This is another repeat goal from last year, and I think is a good yearly goal in general. I don’t read a ton of classics nowadays, but reading a few every year is a good way to try to stay in touch with the classics even if I’m reading mostly contemporary literature. The two I’m most interested in getting to this year are Persuasion by Jane Austen and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte.

Read big books. There’s nothing better than reading a giant book that you’re able to get sucked into. I have a bunch of these chunksters on my physical TBR shelf, and I’m hoping to read several in 2018. Particularly, I’m looking at reading A Little Life by Hanya Yanigahara, The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell, The Book of Strange New Things by Michael Faber, The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera, and/or Little, Big by John Crowley.

Read more diversely. This is an ongoing goal; essentially, I want to keep trying to read more and more LGBTQIA+ authors and authors of color in 2018.

Find some new great YA authors/books. I tend to be really picky with YA and DNF books a lot due to my pickiness. However, I also have a lot of love for YA, and get super excited when I find a new great book or series. Lately, however, I feel like I’ve been sticking to a few key authors and not branching out enough with my YA reading, and in 2018 I’m hoping to find some new gems. Books I have high hopes for include The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis and The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco.

Read the ten books from my “Top 10 2018 TBR” list. I went through my physical bookshelves and picked out 10 books that I’m super excited to read in 2018 (pictured at the top of this post), and my goal is to actually get to all of them. I’ve done this the past two years and somehow never made it through more than half of my picks, but this year I aim to break that pattern.

#readmyowndamnbooks. This one’s pretty self-explanatory; I’d like the majority of my reading to be from the books I actually have on my bookshelves, since I am a book buying fiend and really need to read what I’ve purchased.


And I think that’s it! Wish me luck on my 2018 goals; I’m hoping to start strong with a lot of great books in January.


Do you have any reading goals for 2018? Let me know!


Halfway Through 2017: Reading Goals Check-In

So, at the beginning of 2017 I set a whole bunch of reading goals to help myself stay on track to read lots of different types of books and find new favorites. Since we’re halfway through the year (what?!) and I just met my Goodreads goal of reading 50 books (yay!), I thought I’d do a progress check-in for myself to see which goals I’ve actually been accomplishing and which I need to give a little more love to in the second half of 2017.


Reading Goal #1: Read more than one classic, including one longer classic

How am I doing? Not too shabby! Thanks to the help of the Serial Reader app, which I discovered on Litsy, I’ve finished 2 classics so far in 2017 (which is 2 more than I read in 2016), North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell and Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and one of those is what I’d call a “longer classic;” North and South was 531 pages long.

Reading Goal #2: Read more diversely

How am I doing? I could be doing a lot better; I definitely need to read more books by diverse authors in the second half of 2017. Right now I’m in the middle of listening to The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas on audiobook, and I’m also currently reading Hunger by Roxane Gay, but looking through the 50 completed books on my Goodreads shelf, very few are by #ownvoices authors.

Reading Goal #3: #readmyowndamnbooks

How am I doing? According to my Goodreads shelves, which I think are up-to-date, so far 28 of the 50 books I’ve read have been from my physical TBR shelf. I honestly don’t know if that’s a good ratio or not; it does seem like I’ve been reading a lot of physical books vs. library books, but library audiobooks are throwing off my ratio.

Reading Goal #4: Read more big books

How am I doing? OK, but not great. I’ve read four 500+ page books so far this year: North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, Stiletto by Daniel O’Malley, Replica by Lauren Oliver, and The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee. The amount of big books I finished isn’t bad, but there are so many really long books on my TBR that have been there for so long that I’d really like to tackle.

Reading Goal #5: Read more lesser-known and/or independently published books

How am I doing? On one hand, I have read some lesser-known books and I did pick up a bunch of books from indie publishers at BookCon, but on the other hand, I do feel like a lot of my reading this year has unintentionally focused on popular 2016 and 2017 releases.

Reading Goal #6: Discover new favorite authors

How am I doing? Hmmm. To be honest, I’m not sure that I can honestly say that any author I’ve discovered so far this year has become a new favorite. I’ve found new authors that I’ve really liked, but I can’t really say that there have been any that I’ve necessarily loved. So that’s a bit unfortunate. I guess that’s something I really need to address in the next six months.

Reading Goal #7: Read more books from authors I love

How am I doing? Well, so far I’ve read another book from only three already-loved authors: Jeff Vandermeer (Borne), Roxane Gay (Difficult Women), and Ilona Andrews (Magic Binds). So, not very well.

Reading Goal #8: Relax, and enjoy what you read

How am I doing? Pretty well! I’m trying not to let myself feel guilty for picking up “fun” reads rather than more highbrow literature when I’m in the mood for it.

Secret Goals

So, in addition to my stated goals from the beginning of the year, I also have a few “secret goals,” which are reading goals that either seem silly or unrealistic so I didn’t write them down. The first of these goals was to read 100 books, which I’ve never before been able to accomplish in a year. I didn’t want to make this an “official” reading goal, because I didn’t want to put pressure on myself and dissuade myself from picking up longer reads when I’m in the mood for them. Since I’m already at 50 books, though, I may just make it.

My second “secret goal” is to win a giveaway on Goodreads. I’ve been entering giveaways for books I’m interested in since I joined Goodreads and have yet to win one. I’m definitely picky about what giveaways I enter, since I only want to win a book if I’m genuinely excited about wanting to read it, which means that I do enter a lot of the more popular ones. This is the one goal I really have no control over, but I’m going to keep trying!


How are you all doing on your reading goals? Let me know in the comments!

Short Story Collections: Thoughts, Goals, and TBR


I love short stories. I really do. I’m continuously impressed by how much plot and emotion can be packed into such a small number of pages, and to me it really speaks to the skill of an author. I’ve recently started to recognize my love of short story collections and have been attempting to pick up more of them (and buy A LOT more of them), but when I gathered all of the short story collections I’ve read together on a Goodreads shelf, I was really not impressed by the number. It inspired me to want to pick up short story collections more often, and to set a solid reading goal for myself (as I laugh at myself for thinking I can actually stick to a reading goal) (No, but for real this time, I actually want to stick to this one) : to read one short story collection per month in 2017.

I already missed January, but that’s OK. This month I’m currently reading Kissing the Witch by Emma Donoghue, which is a collection of feminist fairytale retellings (is there anything more in my wheelhouse than that phrase?), but I need to keep this going strong throughout the year. Short story collections are great because you don’t necessarily have to read straight through them; you can read one or two stories per day and get through one in a week or so that way. Because of that, I feel like one short story collection per month is actually a pretty attainable goal, and I’m going to hold myself accountable this time.

Here is the (embarassingly low) number of short story collections I’ve completed so far (it’s possible I’m missing a few? But I don’t think so): 10

Interpreter of MaladiesFragile Things: Short Fictions and WondersStranger Things HappenSmoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and IllusionsMagic for Beginners: StoriesThe Bloody Chamber and Other StoriesTrigger Warning: Short Fictions and DisturbancesThe Girl Wakes: StoriesUnaccustomed EarthGutshot

As you can see, there are a lot of repeat authors here: the vast majority of short story collections I’ve read have been from Jhumpa Lahiri, Neil Gaiman, and Kelly Link. Because they are awesome. But this also does point to the fact that I really need to branch out to new authors in my short story reading. Amelia Gray’s Gutshot was one of my favorite books of 2016, and it was a total gamble on a new-to-me author who I ended up loving, going to see speak, and buying another book from. Carmen Lau’s The Girl Wakes was my absolute favorite read of 2016 and I found it at a local small press book fair. Branching out in reading always pays off.

My short story TBR list contains a lot of books that I already have on my physical TBR shelf, so this works well with the #readmyownbooks challenge. A lot of my picks are well-within my wheelhouse: female authors, magical realism, weird fiction.

Short story collections from authors I’ve already read and enjoyed:

Pretty Monsters: StoriesStone Mattress: Nine Wicked TalesWhat is Not Yours is Not YoursGet in Trouble: Stories

I have all four of these on my physical TBR shelf (yes, I have two unread Kelly Link short story collections on my TBR shelf. Oops.) and I keep meaning to pick all of them up and then not doing it. I actually did start Pretty Monsters at one point, but after the first story I never returned to it, and I felt like it was just sitting on my bedside table judging me, so I put it back on the shelf. As far as Stone Mattress goes, Margaret Atwood is one of my absolute favorite authors and I have no excuse whatsoever for not reading it yet. I’ve only read one book by Helen Oyeyemi (Boy, Snow, Bird, which I really enjoyed) and I have FOUR unread books of hers on my physical TBR shelf, one of which is a short story collection–What is Not Yours is Not Yours. I’m planning on saving White is for Witching for an October read, but I really have no excuse for not yet picking up the other ones.

Short story collections from new-to-me authors: The Other World, it Whispers by Stephanie Victoire, The Unfinished World by Amber Sparks, By Light We Knew Our Names by Anne Valente, and A Guide to Being Born by Ramona Ausubel. I own physical copies of all of these except By Light We Knew Our Names.

The Other World, It WhispersThe Unfinished World: And Other StoriesBy Light We Knew Our NamesA Guide to Being Born: Stories

Apparently short story collections get the most beautiful covers in the world. I can’t even with these lovely rainbow situations.

And here are a bunch more! There Once Lived a Girl Who Seduced Her Sister’s Husband and He Hanged Himself by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya (what an amazing title, btw), Bad Behavior by Mary Gaitskill, Can’t and Won’t by Lydia Davis, North American Lake Monsters by Nathan Ballingrud, The Color Master by Aimee Bender, The Last Animal by Abby Geni, Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls by Alissa Nutting, and And Yet They Were Happy by Helen Phillips.

There Once Lived a Girl Who Seduced Her Sister's Husband, and He Hanged Himself: Love StoriesBad BehaviorCan't and Won't: StoriesNorth American Lake Monsters: Stories

The Color MasterThe Last AnimalUnclean Jobs for Women and GirlsAnd Yet They Were Happy


I would love to hear everyone’s thoughts on this–what are some of your favorite short story collections? Have you read any of these? Do you ever set goals for yourself for reading short stories? Let me know!


2017 Reading Goals


Here are my (belated) reading goals for 2017! I’ve been thinking a lot about the books I managed to read in 2016 and how I can adapt that in 2017 so that I can not only get more enjoyment out of my reading but hopefully also continue to learn more and more through books. Pictured above are the ten books at the top of my TBR list for thisΒ  year, and below are the goals that I’ll try to use to shape my reading in 2017.

Reading Goal #1: Read more than one classic, including one longer classic – I completely failed at my goal to read at least one classic in 2016 (I read zero) but this year I’m determined. My classics reading has really taken a nosedive in recent years, but I really do enjoy them–not to mention I hate feeling like I haven’t read certain books that pretty much everyone else has.

Potential reads: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, Persuasion by Jane Austen, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

Reading Goal #2: Read more diversely – I didn’t do as well at reading diversely in 2016 as I’d wanted to. This year, I’d like to significantly increase the percentage of books I read by diverse authors.

Potential reads: Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor, Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, The Mothers by Brit Bennett, A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki, The Devourers by Indra Das, and about a million other books

Reading Goal #3: #readmyowndamnbooks – 2016 was a huge year for book buying for me, and my physical TBR shelves have exploded. This year, I’d ideally like to focus on reading the books I own for the majority of my reading so that things don’t get too out of control.

Reading Goal #4: Read more big books – I’ve always been a huge fan of immersing myself in giant reads, but it’s something that I think being involved in bookish social media has somewhat dampened for me in the past few years. I think that I’ve been putting pressure on myself, intended or not, to read a certain number of books per month, and the fact that it takes me longer to read a 500+ page book has played into my decision on whether or not to pick up those longer reads. I’d like to try to ignore that “pressure” and instead just focus on what I really want to read, whether it’s 100 pages long or 1,000.

Potential reads: 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami, Arcadia by Iain Pears, The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell, The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee

Reading Goal #5: Read more lesser-known and/or independently published books – Again, this goal goes back to being more active on Bookstagram and Litsy, as well as the blogging community. There are some books that we tend to see more than others on bookish social media, and they do tend to be new releases and YA books. There’s nothing wrong with that, and I do like to read both new releases and YA some of the time, but I also think that I need to do a better job at picking up books that aren’t as well-known and to discover hidden gems that aren’t always hyped up online.

Reading Goal #6: Discover new favorite authors

Potential reads: Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente, White Teeth by Zadie Smith, All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

Reading Goal #7: Read more books from authors I love

Potential reads: Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson, Kindred by Octavia Butler, Hunger by Roxane Gay

Reading Goal #8: Relax, and enjoy what you read – Sometimes I can get too caught up in TBR lists and reading goals, and the resulting pressure can nudge me into a reading slump. So in 2017, I need to let myself realize that reading is fun and amazing no matter what I’m reading, and I don’t always need to overthink things. Reading is what I love, and it should be something that relieves stress, not adds to it!


What are your reading goals for 2017? Let me know!




2016 Reading Goals: How Did I Do?

I’m currently working on my reading goals for 2017 and debating with myself on how I want to focus my reading in the coming year. I’m almost overwhelmed by the sheer amount of books on my TBR and I feel like I want to read everything at once and dive into a million different directions. But before the 2017 reading extravaganza can begin, and before I post my full-on 2016 wrap-up post (because 2016 isn’t over yet!) I wanted to look back and see how I did on the reading goals I set for myself for 2016. So, here they are: my 2016 reading goals, and whether I succeeded or failed on these eight different challenges.

Reading Goal #1: Read more long books.

I definitely didn’t pick up every long book on my TBR shelf in 2016 (not even close, actually), but overall I didn’t do too badly on this goal. I did read a bunch of longer books, although those did tend to be fantasy and/or YA, which are faster reads for me, and I didn’t challenge myself by reading any long classics or anything like that. The longest books I read in 2016 included The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss (1107 pages), A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (624 pages), Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (659 pages), and Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (647 pages).

Reading Goal #2: Read some older books, including at least 2 classics

Complete failure on this goal. I read zero classics in 2016 (I mean, I read Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” published in 1892, but I wouldn’t count that as a full book) and I’d say I read very few “older” books. The oldest books that I did read in 2016 were Love Poems by Pablo Neruda (pub 1952) and Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (pub 1966).

Reading Goal #3: Make a dent in my TBR shelf

Um. Well. I did read a pretty decent number of books on my physical TBR shelf, but I also bought a LOT of books this year, so a dent was definitely not made.

Reading Goal #4: Read more books I think I will love, and fewer books I think I will like

This goal was a tricky one; basically I wanted myself to not hold back from picking books that would be challenging yet rewarding, and not default to picking up silly books that I already sort of assumed in advance would turn into lackluster 2-star reads. I think overall I did better at this in 2016 than I did in 2015, but I think that in terms of those challenging-yet-rewarding books I hope to do even better in 2017.

Reading Goal #5: Discover new favorite authors

I’d say that this goal was a success! New favorite authors I discovered in 2016 include Amelia Gray, Jeanette Winterson, Becky Chambers, Jenny Lawson, Carmen Lau, Elena Ferrante, Samantha Hunt, and Cheryl Strayed.

Reading Goal #6: Read books I haven’t read by authors I know I love

I think I did pretty well at this goal; in 2016, I picked up books by previously-loved authors Kazuo Ishiguro, Octavia Butler, Leigh Bardugo, Sarah J. Maas, N.K. Jemisin, Jhumpa Lahiri, Seanan McGuire, Patrick Rothfuss, and Neil Gaiman.

Reading Goal #7: Participate in at least one Dewey’s Readathon

Success! I participated in both rounds of Dewey’s this year, and they were both wonderful.

Reading Goal #8: Continue with my favorite book series

Again, success! I read subsequent books in these series in 2016: the Kingkiller Chronicles, the Broken Earth trilogy, the Court of Thorns and Roses series, and the Six of Crows duology.


Do you set reading goals for yourself? How did you do on your 2016 goals? Let me know!



Dewey’s Readathon Goals and Game Plan


So I already posted my TBR post for Dewey’s Readathon this Saturday (here:, but I also wanted a space to lay out my Readathon game plan. Much like my TBR lists, my bookish game plans tend to fall apart, but it doesn’t mean it’s not fun to make them!

This is only my second Dewey’s Readathon, but I had so much fun with the first one I joined in October. It’s when I really got into the zone with Bookstagram and my book blog, and helped me dive into the bookish community and see what a friendly and wonderful place it is. It also made me immediately resolve to make the Readathon a bookish tradition for myself!


Game Plan:

My Readathon start time is 8 a.m., which would normally work out quite well, but I actually have to work from about 8:30 until around 2 (I hope! There’s a chance I might need to stay later) so I have to postpone the start of my physical book-reading until the afternoon. I’m planning on audiobooking during my commute to and from work, which should give me around an hour of audiobook time before I can tackle the rest of my TBR. I’m bummed that I have to work–I did try to switch shifts, but unfortunately I got stuck. So I’m trying to make the most of it! It’s a good thing I’m super into my audiobook, because it’s been making my commute better all week. I’m about 1/3 of the way through Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson, and I highly recommend it so far!

Yes, Chef


The second I get home, I’m planning on diving into full-on Readathon mode and not surrendering until I get into the Sunday a.m. hours. (Although I am also on call for work, so there is a chance I may have to go back for a bit, in which case more audiobook time!) I don’t plan on staying awake the entire 24 hours, because I am already an insomniac and can’t afford to have my sleep schedule thrown off anymore than it already is, but I think I’ll try to make it until 2 or 3 a.m. I know, it’s not hardcore, but it’s ambitious enough for me!

I feel like varying reading locations will be key to help prevent me from napping and missing reading time, so I’m going to be switching it up between my couch, my floor, and my roof–it’s supposed to be fairly nice out on Saturday, so some outside reading time might be nice!

Food-wise, I’m excited about the green tea chai latte mix I picked up at Trader Joe’s, because there’s nothing like reading with a delicious hot drink (even if it’s nice outside, it lets you pretend you’re snowed in with a book). I’m also thinking about ordering Thai food so I don’t have to cook anything, and also because I’m obsessed with Thai food.


Finish 3 books. This is totally doable, considering the shortness of the books I picked out!

Don’t nap. I’m afraid I’m going to fall asleep accidentally, and that is not allowed to happen! I can sleep when I’m done Readathoning but not before.

And that’s pretty much it! I’m planning on Instagramming a lot (@beachesnbooks, if you’re on Instagram!), blogging a lot, reading a lot of other blog posts, and just enjoying the fact that some amazing people worked hard to create and promote such an awesome event.

Happy Readathon to everyone participating tomorrow!




Reading the Weird in March

Earlier this week, I was in the middle of five different books and realized I wasn’t completely happy with any of them. I was enjoying them, but nothing was consuming my interest and inspiring me to reach for it obsessively. And then I figured out why: for the first time in probably years, not one of the books I was reading had any kind of fantastical or science fiction-related element.

I like to mix up my reading and read a mixture of genres, but science fiction and fantasy (along with their offshoots, magical realism, speculative fiction, etc) have always been my favorites. I love the feeling of reading something that is completely unlike anything else I’ve ever read, encountering new ideas and creative ways to tell a story. And by accidentally finding myself in a place without any of those books, I had strayed away from that. And I hated it!

That’s why the Month-Long #Weirdathon, held by Outlandish Lit ( is coming at the perfect time for me. I’ve already realized that in order to get back into the reading zone, I need to immediately jump into some scifi/fantasy reads, and making those books as weird as possible sounds like the perfect antidote to too much realistic fiction.

AreΒ  you reading anything weird in March? My TBR post will be up soon!