Last year, between the New York shut down and the reduced in person hours at work places, there was a lot of time to read. During this time, I joined Alexandra Bracken’s Brackfast Book Club (link in currently reading), and the books we read were voted on by everyone in the group. This led to us reading things that I wouldn’t normally have read on my own and it was an interesting way to analyze how I read different types of books. It was fascinating to see how my brain tackled series verses standalones, and how tracking my reading differently changed the way I was reading.
Most trackers focus on the number of books finished in the month but for me, I have trouble focusing on just one book at a time. So, I decided to start using my Happy Planner as a way to track pages and books read in a day.
This way of tracking and reading came about because of the book club. Specifically, with standalones and binging series, I kept getting bogged down with all of the information going into my brain at once. So, I started reading side books to break up the reading for the book club. But that also put me behind the book club’s pace and made me feel like I couldn’t keep up. Tracking the books differently wasn’t going to make me read faster, or help me keep up, but it made me reevaluate my goals and expectations for myself and experience less burn out. This is how it worked out for January’s tracker:
This month I was trying to finish We Hunt the Flame from the book club, but it’s just too much world building for me to speed read. So, I focused on a couple of other books that I had been meaning to read instead and got pretty far in all of them. Tracking this way had not only given me a more visual representation of my accomplishments, but also a way to make time to slow down and process what I was reading. I even wrote notes on the books for reviews.
In the end of the month I had made it 25% of the way through We Hunt the Flame, 15% of the way through The Naming, 15% of the way through This Time by Azaa Davis, and 17% of the way through Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith.
This wouldn’t be a recap without a brief description of the books I read so:
We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal follows Zafira and Nasir in the kingdom of Arawiya. Zafira is a woman in a society that doesn’t value their contributions beyond being in the home and working under men. But she desires more, and has lost much to get it. Nasir is deadly, but his actions are not his own. They are sent on a mission, both to seek, one to kill, one to survive. This book has the feel of The Hunger Games.
The Naming by Alison Croggon follows Maerad from her life in slavery, to her daring escape with her rescuer Cadvan. Along this journey she discovers that she is from a line of very powerful Bards, and her destiny may be more important than that of a simple slave. This book has the feel of Tamora Pierce’s Immortals Quartet.
This Time by Azaaa Davis (free copy for review) follows Nadira, a demon hunter who wakes up in a strange place and is unsure of how she got there or how long she had been there and once she escapes is shocked to find the answers she’s looking for. This book has the feel of Supernatural and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
So that was my January 2021, I didn’t finish any of the books but that’s okay, I’m sure I’ll finish some eventually and it’s the reading that’s important not the pace.