2017 In Review

Another year, another list of books. I had illusions of grandeur thinking I could get back to 50 books per a year with a two year old, a full-time job, and all while studying Spanish and math. However, unsurprisingly, I only made it to the 20 books per a year range (around half of what I hoped). So the list of books read during 2017:

  1. Pensees by Blaise Pascal
  2. On Liberty by John Stuart Mill
  3. Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
  4. The Woman in White
  5. Piers Plowman by William Langland.
  6. The Lais of Marie de France
  7. The Letters of Abelard and Heloise
  8. The Book of the City of Ladies by Christine d Pizan
  9. Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix
  10. Selected Poetry by Alexander Pope.
  11. The Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got That Way by Amanda Ripley
  12. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
  13. Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi by Amy-Jill Levine
  14. A Brief History of Ancient Greece: Politics, Society, and Culture by Stanley Mayer Burstein, Walter Donlan, Sarah B. Pomeroy
  15. If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino
  16. The Man of Feeling by Henry MacKenzie
  17. Took: a Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahn
  18. Alfie Bloom and the Secrets of Hexbridge Castle by Gabrielle Kent
  19. She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith
  20. The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith
  21. Lady with Lapdog and Other Stories by Anton Chekhov
  22. Garvey’s Choice by Nikki Grimes

I spent the entire summer reading Clarissa by Samuel Richardson. It is one of the longest works in the English language. I made it to book 5 out of 9 when I quit. I just couldn’t take it anymore. I did enjoy parts of it, but there were sections that I found dreadfully boring, repetitive, and it was way too long. I’ve read some long novels before that have kept me riveted, but this wasn’t one of them.  So I’m not sure if I should count it or not.

Meanwhile, one of my goals this past year was to improve my math skills. I worked my way through a high school level Geometry Textbook and continued reviewing algebra, while starting on early topics of Calculus. However, then I got interested in trying to learn Spanish again and I found balancing everything too difficult. So math over the last four months has disappeared from my daily routine. I’m not thrilled about this, but I’m not sure where I can get the time and energy to do both a second language and math, while keeping up with my normal reading.

I hope to read at least 30 books this coming year (more reasonable than 50 books), keep working on improving Spanish and maybe get to the B-levels (based on the European framework) or be at least conversationally fluent by the end of the year, and maybe find some time to incorporate the math I already learned so I don’t lose what I did?



9 thoughts on “2017 In Review

  1. Yeah, I was going to say, when I had a two year old…no, let’s just say, I did not begin my obsessive reading until 2012, when my youngest was FOUR or FIVE! Not to be discouraging. But twenty is impressive on top of everything else you are still doing. Be patient; you’ll get your time back.

  2. I know exactly what you mean! I read less than half of what I’d be happy with. I’m trying to find some silver lining to it, but I can’t help but feel disappointed about it. At least you can say the books you read were worth your time, though. Hey, you managed to make it through If On A Winter’s Night a Traveller! I’ve started that book four times and still haven’t made it. One day! Well, all the best in 2018 and I hope your time for reading increases at least a little!

    • If on A Winter’s Night a Traveller is definitely a strange book, but I liked it for its weirdness. I think it’s still good to have ambitious goals and plans, even sometimes we fail to achieve all of them.

  3. This is not a criticism, but a suggestion. I read a lot when my daughter was an infant by reading aloud to her. Not just Goodnight Moon, but whatever it was that I wanted to read. Of course she didn’t understand it, but she liked being read to, and the exposure to words and the use of language certainly didn’t hurt her. As she has gotten older, she requires more reading that she can grasp, but her vocabulary and her cognitive ability are pretty advanced and I think that reading whatever I wanted to read out loud to her was a contributor to that. And it’s never to early to be exposed to John Stuart Mill.

    • Sorry I didn’t get back to this comment sooner. I’m not sure my daughter would sit for John Stuart Mill or any high literature. I tried doing that once, mostly as a joke, and she said, “Dada, stop reading.” I’ve also tried reading in Spanish to her a few times and she always tells me to stop doing Spanish too! But she does really like reading.

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