Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013 in Books and My 2014 Reading Resolutions

Happy New Year, Internet!

I think there's no better way to start the 2014 than recounting my media consumption for the year. Indulge me; it's a tradition I like doing.

Mara Confession Hour: for someone who writes for a living, I haven't read a lot of books. Based on my Shelfari account, I have only read 149 books since 1997. That's an estimated 18 books a year, 1.5 books a month. One and a half of a book. That's like finishing one, picking up another, and getting too lazy to finish it within the month. One of my greatest pretensions in life is to say that I like reading. Of course, I do. What kind of human being are you if you don't? But to say that I read a lot is a lie.

Loki: Liar; Thor: Truther.

I read when I can. It's just that reading books is like dating for me. I judge you by your cover, your synopses, and your first few paragraphs. I rely heavily on friends' recommendations. When I fall in love with a book, I re-read and re-read. But as much as I am picky with the books I read, sometimes you end up with the bad kind, the sleazy kind - chic lit, Vampire fantasy, (bad, hipster-y) Young Adult. These are exactly the types of books that I ended up reading last year, and I would like to apologize to my 2013 Self for what I did.

So without further ado, I share with you my pathetic excuse for a 2013 Reading List.

1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

I will not slander John Green in this blog lest an army of young 'uns tirade me with their angst. Let's just say he's a YA writer and his style and voice suit him and his audience. I'm also not going to say that I didn't shed a tear for this book. It happens when you're dealing with cancer. But I will also not say that this book will keep a permanent place in my library.

2. The Undead-Betsy Book 1: Undead and Unwed by Mary Janice Davidson

Vampires + chic lit = The deadliest combination. Chic lit is my guilty pleasure. You know when you just want your brain to shut down at the end of the day? You read chic lit. You also say goodbye to your literacy and vocabulary. Truth be told, I'm not really too engaged in the story (and Betsy's, supposed shoe addict, taste in shoes is a bit pedestrian). I just love fancasting Gabriel Macht as Sinclair. Wouldn't you?

3. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James.

How do I say this without sounding pompous? OK, here goes: as a self-proclaimed Pop Culture Enthusiast, I read best-selling books that I absolutely have no inclination to pick up on my own just to see what the fuss is about. Before it was Coelho then SMeyer. Save for time lost, I see no love lost if I haven't read titles by these two authors. The same thing could be said for this book.

Seriously, Humanity. Seriously.

P.S. I couldn't get past Book 2.

4. The Undead-Betsy Book 2: Undead and Unemployed by Mary Janice Davidson

5. The Undead-Betsy Book 3: Undead and Unappreciated by Mary Janice Davidson

Source. Also how my physical copy of the book would look like if I have one.  Thanks to the Sisters Vega for introducing me to this awesome book!

6. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Finally, a fanfic writer turned novelist who does it right. Of course, it has to be a Harry Potter fanfic writer. This is how shit is done, Twilight fans.

In Tumblr lingo, "I have so many feels for this book." I have never bravely and confidently answered the question If you were a character from a book, who would you be? but after reading this book, I knew: I am Cather Avery. Sans fan fiction writing. The level of obsession, having your life revolve around your fandom, was so relatable, it felt like reading one of my journals. If only my life played out like Cath's and I ended up having a Levi. #WishList

7. Every Day by David Levithan

My first David Levithan book. Friends say they find the pacing too slow, but it makes sense if you're living day-to-day. I love a good love story, but I do not like half-baked science fiction.

8. Gossip Girl: Book 2. You Know You Love Me by Cecily von Ziegesar 

I guess it's befitting to punctuate this post with my 2014 Reading Resolutions, seeing that my 2013 list is no better than a fifth grader's.

1. Read More; Less TV.

I am happy to report that I have cut ties with my internet provider in Taguig to pave way to a reading habit.

2. Classics. They have endured for a reason.
My ineptitude in Sherlock Holmes made this even more apparent. This has to change. Also, it may be age, but there's something lyrical about classics that makes me want to read them now more than ever (and without my Literature teacher breathing down my neck).

I'm not ready to go hardcore Shakespeare yet, so I am starting with English and American authors first.

3. Just finish the Gossip Girl, Undead Betsy, and probably Pretty Little Liars series and be done with chic lit.

4. Re-evaluate the legitimacy of audiobooks as official entries into my Book List.
Because a Book List is serious business. Or maybe I can just listen to chic lit and consider it radio drama.

5. Only 1 re-read per 2 months.
So choose wisely!

6. Pick my Top 10.
And eloquently discuss why they are on my list.

7. Read at least 24 books in 2014.
So help me God.

I hope you have read better books than I have. Care to share your reading list?

Tweet me your reading list!
Show me pins of books/book quotes you love over at Pinterest!
Let's freak each other out with book faces on Instagram (because selfies are so 2000 and 13)! 


Mara Ruiz said...

If I may recommend, the last book I read in 2013 was Milan Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being. It has enough juicy elements of a chick lit (infidelity) but it also puts the brain on a tread mill. It's not hipster-y too, and this lazy reader finished it in three days. :) It was almost un-put downable!

Mara Ruiz said...

Hey, Danielle! Thanks for the reco. Friends have been telling me to read Kundera, too, but alas. Where do we find the time, no?

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