Books I read in 2017

My goal for 2017 was to read 25 new books. I managed to read 15.

I could cheat and bring my total to 22 if I include the Harry Potter audiobooks, but my target book count is for books I’ve never read (or listened to) before.

Here’s how my 2017 reading compares to years past:

Book Reading Goals vs Books Read from 2011 to 2017

After failing to reach my goals in 2015 and 2016 I thought maybe I could push past that 20 book barrier again. After all, I spent many a late night reading while rocking my first born to sleep in 2014 so I figured a second baby would provide a similar opportunity. Nope. She slept like champion for the first 6 months of her life. I got lots of sleep and didn’t read at night at all. I have zero complaints about that.

On to 2018!

I’m hoping to read a whopping 12 books this year. I’m planning to read some serious non-fiction books and I always read those more slowly than fantasy and sci-fi. I use reading primarily as a way to relax so I’m not sure how long that’ll last.

Anyway, here’s the list of books I read in 2017, organized by date read. Here’s the same list on Goodreads.

January

Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection, by Brandon Sanderson
Uprooted, by Naomi Novik

February

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1), by V.E. Schwab

April

A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2), by V.E. Schwab
Ones and Zeroes (Mirador, #2), by Dan Wells
Goldenhand (Abhorsen, #5), by Garth Nix

August

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, by Becky Chambers

September

Age of Swords (The Legends of the First Empire, #2), by Michael J. Sullivan

October

The Caledonian Gambit, by Dan Moren
Red Rising, by Pierce Brown
The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth, #1), by N.K. Jemisin

November

A Hat Full of Sky (Discworld, #32; Tiffany Aching, #2), by Terry Pratchett
Wintersmith (Discworld, #35; Tiffany Aching, #3), by Terry Pratchett

December

We Are Legion (We Are Bob) (Bobiverse, #1), by Dennis E. Taylor
I Shall Wear Midnight (Discworld, #38; Tiffany Aching, #4), by Terry Pratchett

Cities I visited in 2017

These are the cities I spent one or more nights in during 2017.

This gets less and less exciting each year.

  • Kaysville, Utah
  • Orlando, Florida
  • Rigby, Idaho (Total solar eclipse!)
  • Sarasota, Florida

Where did you go?

See where I went in 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, and 2009.

Starting is Terrible

Starting new things is a huge pain for me. I’ve tried everything from pomodoro timers to allowing myself a bite of ice cream after every line of code I write (only a slight exaggeration).

Classical music puts me to sleep. Jazz music makes me want to dance. Indie music is neutral and my default. Watching TV surprisingly doesn’t help. Shutting off my access to social media works in short bursts. Repeatedly asking why until I’m motivated doesn’t even come close. Neither does wondering what the heat death of the universe would feel like (hot, I’m guessing, based on what it’s called).

I’ve only found one thing that consistently works for me:

Give up and don’t do anything.

Okay, just kidding. It’s this:

Define the absolute simplest thing I could possibly do to get started.

Then do that thing.

Repeat.

It almost never takes more than 3 simple things before I get sucked in.

When I say the absolute simplest thing I really mean it. Think, “stand up,” not “bake cakes for 400 people.” Break it down so that you feel silly not doing it.

Procrastination is the easiest thing in the world. Starting a new project is one of life’s hardest things for me, whether it be an exercise routine or a tiny one-off website to showcase my favorite kinds of donuts. It sounds horribly clich├ęd, but this one simple trick has helped me more than all the other things I’ve tried.

What helps you may very well be a vision board full of photos of cheese bread and Tesla cars. That’s cool. But if it isn’t, try giving up defining the smallest, most silly step you can think of and then go do it. Let me know if it helps.