Looking back and moving forward


2013 has come to an end…finally. As I briefly mentioned in my previous post, the year was less than kind. I dealt with a car accident, the death of a beloved uncle and a great-aunt, job worries, health woes, and just the general stress that comes with everyday life.  There were, however, bright spots. In January, on the day of my niece’s 1st birthday party, I found out that I would soon be welcoming another baby into the family. In September, I got to meet my second niece, Ellie (who is absolutely precious).

I also celebrated some milestones in my life as a reader. In January, I published by 400th post on this blog, and I celebrated by 5th blogoversary in June. (As of this writing, I’m now 2 posts away from my 500th post, so it’s been a busy year.)

I challenged myself to read 400 books this year, and I surpassed that. I finished my 408th book of 2013 last night. (Not all of those were novels I reviewed here. There were also picture books, ebook novellas, one cookbook, and quite a few romance novels.) At times, I didn’t think I would meet this reading goal. It’s not exactly easy to read more than one book a day…even if some of those are 40-page picture books. But I did it, and I’ll be finalizing a display highlighting my year in reading when I get back to school next week.

Normally, I would recap all of the books I reviewed this year and make a list of the books I’m most looking forward to in 2014. I’m not going to do that this year. (That’s a lot of work, and it puts too much pressure on me. I’m trying to alleviate pressure as much as possible this year.) Instead, I’ll give you my top five reads of 2013, a list that was shockingly easy to make:

  1. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare (This likely surprises no one.)
  2. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  3. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
  4. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
  5. The House of Hades by Rick Riordan

I’d love to know what your top five reads of the year were!


As I look forward to 2014, I can only hope that the year treats my family better than 2013 did.  Yes, we welcomed a new life into the family this year, but we also lost a lot. My wish is that we will treasure each other more than ever. After all, we are not guaranteed tomorrow. I want to spend more time this year with my family–especially my nieces and my wonderful parents–and making myself into the person I want to be. (Loathe as I am to put this in print, I really need to work on getting some weight off.)

As far as my reading and blogging go in 2014, I’m not going to put so much pressure on myself to read a certain number of books this year.  Yes, I’d still like to read around 300 books (which is not all that difficult), but I’m not going to kill myself to meet that goal. I’d also like to post to this blog at least twice per week, but I make no promises. Again, I’m all about alleviating pressure this year.

With that, I bid you good day. I hope everyone has a lovely New Year, and may 2014 bring you nothing but happiness!

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