July 6, 2015

A Mid-Year Report

Why hello there.

It’s been a while.

While I didn’t necessarily intend to take an extended break from the blog, it ended up being a really good decision on my part. The confluence of so many life events and challenges made it very difficult for me to find time to blog, and I’ll admit that for quite a few months I simply had no desire to sit down and type up anything for this blog. It was the right break at the right time, but now I’m eager to ease my way back into blogging.

Although my posts have been rather limited all year so far, the first six months of 2015 have been fantastic in terms of reading. As of July 1, I’ve read 65 books -- I’m far above any previous mid-year reading marks I’ve set, and I’m excited to think that I most likely will surpass 100 books read in 2015.

A number of elements combined to help make this crazy reading productivity possible. First of all, this past spring I had a class on YA literature that required I read 2 books a week (stay tuned -- I will discuss the class in detail in an upcoming post). I also have embraced alternative forms of stories through reading graphic novels, nonfiction, and poetry, and by listening to audiobooks. The fact that I have longer commutes now (and that it is acceptable to read at work when I’m not busy) has also been tremendously helpful. And the lack of pressure to write reviews and keep a reading schedule has actually helped prevent me from entering into any reading slumps.

Of the 65 books I’ve read, 11 were for an adult audience, 44 for a young adult audience (unsurprising, given my class), and 10 for a middle grade/children’s audience. Of those 65 books, 9 were audiobooks and 13 more were not your traditional prose narratives.

What really satisfies me are the many books I’ve read that were outside of my comfort zone, or those that I never imagined I’d pick up, much less enjoy. My ratings for 2015 haven’t all been positive (they kind of follow a typical bell curve), but for me the experience of reading all these different books has been worth it.

No mention of reading stats would be complete without me listing some of my favorites. So without any further ado, here are the top books I read in the first half of 2015:

I don’t have much to say about them now, other than that they’re all very, very good and I highly recommend them. Hopefully I’ll have the chance to review each and every one of them.

Over the next six months, I’m hoping to better integrating my blog with my studies (I’m taking a children’s lit class in the fall) and my real-life work in the children’s department of two libraries. This summer I’m helping out with two different Summer Library Programs -- let’s just say by the end of August I’m going to be well versed in superhero books. And hopefully these experiences will help give me even more inspiration for blog posts.

In other news -- my boyfriend and I are engaged! We celebrated our sixth anniversary earlier this year (it really doesn’t feel like we’ve been together that long), and later that weekend he proposed. It’s been months now since his proposal, and it’s still all so exciting (and nerve-wracking). I don’t think I realized quite how many aspects go into wedding planning. I’m fortunate that my mom is just as excited (if not more so) and has been so instrumental thus far in figuring things out.

Between wedding planning, classes, work, and blogging, the near future looks pretty busy. But I couldn’t be more excited for any of it.
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Amanda loves few things better than sitting down with a cup of tea and a book. She frequently stays up far too late, telling herself she just needs to finish one more page. When she's not wrapped up in the stories of others, Amanda works as a children's librarian in a public library.


  1. Congratulations on your engagement! How exciting, Amanda--I'm so happy for you! :)

    I'm glad you've gotten more reading time on your hands, lately, as that's always important. I really enjoyed The Name of the Wind, Simon vs. the Homo Sapien Agenda, and Uprooted especially. Glad to see they made your list and I'll have to check out some of the others. Fabulous post!

    1. Thank you so much, Keertana! :)
      Glad to hear you also enjoyed those four! I think I definitely need to do a post on The Story of Owen at some point, because it's not as well hyped as it should be. If you take any rec of mine, let it be that one. :)

  2. Oh good, I'm glad you're planning to share a bit about that YA class because I'm a bit curious as to what that would entail. And hurray for Anne and Celaena, who are also two of my favourites!! I still need to read those other books though. Congrats again on your engagement and I look forward to hearing a bit more from you on the blog from time to time!

    1. My YA lit class post is going live tomorrow. :)
      Thank you, Aylee! I don't talk too much about real life on here, but this is too big not to, so I'm sure it'll come up from time to time.


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