2017 Plans and Priorities

I’m not going to set goals for my blogging this year, exactly. Last year, my biggest goal was to finish my PhD, and here I am, still doctorate-less, when almost everyone I started with has graduated or will be doing so soon. That’s not a failure (quitting would have been a failure, and it was a pretty close thing sometimes) but looking at that post still makes me feel sad. However, there is a difference between goals and plans, which is that plans can be adapted and discarded as needed. I can lay out my priorities for the year, safe in the knowledge that I can throw them out or completely rewrite them if that is what I need to do.  

That said, here are a few things that I want to accomplish on this blog in 2017:

-Read more new releases. One of the advantages of having a library close by is that reading new releases doesn’t necessarily mean shelling out for expensive hardbacks. I can easily find the Coming Soon list on their website, and reserve them as needed. I don’t want to start accepting books for review again, as I didn’t enjoy the pressure of reading to a deadline (nor the guilt that sometimes came along with disliking a book I’d received for review), but I miss being part of the conversation around new releases.

Post more consistently. I say this every year, but I *think* I might have worked out a system that will work for me: I would like to put up one review and one non-review post per month. That seems small and sensible and manageable, and is roughly in keeping with what I’ve been doing anyway.

-Write about my other interests sometimes. This will remain mostly a book blog, but I do like other things too. My adventures in gardening, baking, being in the New Forest, and playing board games might crop up occasionally. I might also have a post about Star Trek primed and ready to go. So there’s that.

fog

Here is a photo that I recently took of some fog. I’m quite proud of it.

That’s pretty much it in terms of plans. Below are ten books I’m intending to prioritise this year, though I have no idea if I will do so or not. I seem to be drawn more and more to non-fiction at the moment, so there’s quite a lot of that on this list.

Priorities to read in 2017:

Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America by Michael O Emerson and Christian Smith

Hillbilly Elegy: a Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by JD Vance

Joan of Arc: a history by Helen Castor

Europe in Autumn by Dave Hutchison

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Speak by Louisa Hall

Spaceman of Bohemia by Jaroslav Kalfar

I Contain Multitudes by Ed Young

Silence by Shūsako Endō

Happy new year, everyone! What are you looking forward to or planning for 2017?

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5 thoughts on “2017 Plans and Priorities

  1. “However, there is a difference between goals and plans, which is that plans can be adapted and discarded as needed. I can lay out my priorities for the year, safe in the knowledge that I can throw them out or completely rewrite them if that is what I need to do.” Well said! Goals that don’t actually motivate and end up inducing only guilt for not making them are not usually productive.

    I’m sorry that you aren’t as far along in your PhD program as you expected to be, but like you said, there’s a difference between taking a bit longer to get to the finish line vs. quitting completely. I’m sure you’ll do fine!

    Happy New Year!

  2. Board game posts will be fun, especially as so many games are now story driven, which ties in with a book blog theme. I read the Vance book recently. If you grew up poor at all, it will be a familiar rehash; thus, I wish I had skipped it.

    • Storytelling and story-driven games are by far my favourites. In terms of the Vance book, I did grow up in a poor neighbourhood (and subsequently became a nurse in another poor neighbourhood)–one of my reasons for wanting to read it is that I’m curious to know how my experience of UK-based poverty differs from those in the US. However, I will bear your comment in mind and maybe it won’t be at the top of my list.

      • Ah! I didn’t realize you lived in the UK. It seems like the book focused on his mom finding new boyfriends and getting married and divorced a lot, substance abuse, whose house to live in (mom’s? grandma’s? birth father’s?), and looking poor in front of not poor people (e.g. not knowing what sparkling water is).

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