Monday, January 15, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday!


The Broke and the Bookish officially closed on January 11th. Top Ten Tuesday is now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week's topic is 'Bookish Resolutions/Goals'. I pretty much already did this in my New Year's post, but I will share update and add another goal that I meant to but forgot.


1. 2017/2018 Presidential Reading Goal

I set the goal for myself last year to read one book about each president. Then in February I started writing my book about Eleanor of Aquitaine and I have been distracted ever since. I started 2018 off pretty solid and knocked a few out within the first couple days. Only 30-some more to go! You can check out my progress HERE.

2. Goodreads Challenge: 150 Books

Quality over quantity is a must this year. Last year I set my goal to 150 but reached it pretty quickly, so I continued upping it. Buuuut I also kept reading these short little books from a smaller publisher that were a little lacking at times. The books were not great or in-depth, but I mainly use them to either gauge my interest in a topic, or to see how a topic I know very well is being presented. I am not going to do that this year, and will read a better mix of longer and shorter texts.

3. Give NetGalley Attention

In 2017 I really let my digital galleys fall to the wayside and that was not fair to the authors and publishers waiting on feedback or reviews. This mainly had to do with my own book, again, but it will not happen this year. I have finished up a few galleys already and gotten myself back over the 80% mark, woohoo!

4. Write a Damn Book Already

I am. I'm working on it right after typing up this post even. It has been my dream since I was very young to be an author. In 6th grade I had an English teacher named Kevin Hanzlik who one day told me, "Sarah, you are a writer." I took those words to heart and never looked back. He still encourages me to this day and this book is as much for him as it is for my little Eleanor. I can't think of a better gift for a teacher (and I say this as a teacher myself) than to go out and do the thing he believed I could do all along.

5. Buy Less, Read More

I have a serious BookBub addiction, but have refrained from even looking at the deals for over a month now. The Kindle is seriously out of control. Plus all the physical books I own, due to Half Price Books and Amberley Publishing, make it necessary for me to stop buying and start reading. I had a slight stumble on Saturday and purchased some new books at my fave Christian bookstore, Divine Truth, but other than that I'm doing fine, this goal is fine, everything is fine.

6. Be a More Active Blogger

I am making a better effort this year to visit blogs that I follow on days besides Top Ten Tuesday, First Line Friday, and/or Saturdays for Stacking the Shelves. I am really trying to be more engaged in what others are reading and to be part of and start conversations about all kinds of bookish delights. I am also going to get back to reviewing a bit more too, when time allows.

Do we have any similar goals? Leave a link to your TTT, I'll be sure to stop by.

Happy Reading!

67 comments:

  1. Wow! You've got some fabulous goals. I really hope you write that book. How exciting! I've signed up for a few challenges this year; all of them focusing on whacking back that TBR pile. Good luck with your goals.

    https://thebookconnectionccm.blogspot.com/2018/01/top-ten-tuesday-top-ten-bookish.html

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    1. Hi Cheryl, thanks for coming by! I definitely know what it is like to look at that TBR and think, "There is no way I can conquer this thing." I whittle the list down, then add more, it is a never-ending cycle!

      Thanks for the writing encouragement - I am so excited for the project and I hope I can do Eleanor of Aquitaine justice. She is my favorite historical figure, and what I wouldn't give to have a time machine to go back and talk to her!

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  2. These all sound like great goals, Sarah! You can do it! I need to focus more on my NetGalley books as well. And buy less, although that didn't make my list. I wish you the best with your goals this year. Have a great week.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, I definitely need the encouragement! I'm always gung-ho about goals and then I lose focus and I must not let that happen this year. We seem to have a few in common, we can encourage each other. Happy Reading!

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  3. Good luck with these goals! :-) I want to keep on top of ARCs and hopefully request less.

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    1. Thanks Chrissi, that is my big problem too, I see one on NetGalley, then I start really browsing, and BOOM! Ten minutes later I've requested ten new books. Or I've gotten them from publishers who have already auto-approved me. This is a tough business we're in, all these books just lying around everywhere, haha

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  4. I've decided that if I am going to be a blogger I need to be neighborly and leave comments when I visit blogs and when others leave comments on mine I try to comment back. It has helped me feel better about my efforts.

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    1. Right! I will always visit a blog in return when someone has taken the time not only to read my bookish thoughts, but comment as well with some bookish thoughts of their own. I need to be better about venturing out into the blogosphere more often and just see what people are posting daily, not on these 'special meme/feature' days. Happy Reading!

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  5. Great list! First of all, good luck with #4! That's an awesome goal and I hope you do it. :) I'm thinking of dipping my toes in the Netgalley waters this year. And having more bookish conversations *nods* I want to do more discussion and other posts to facilitate that a bit.

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    1. Thanks! I am deep into research and have the first couple chapters done, but I am always finding more info to add to the chapters already written. I am so excited for the project and to potentially be able to call myself a published author.

      I really like NetGalley, I definitely recommend giving it a try! And I will always try my best to join any bookish conversations you start :) Happy Reading!

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  6. I agree with most of these, especially numbers 3 and 4. Some of mine are similar :) https://wp.me/p9mpJR-qO P.S. I love your blog name!

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    1. what are you writing about? I love talking about writing as much as I love talking about reading!

      The came about it kind of a funny way. I was setting up my blog and every witty name I tried was already taken. I literally said out loud, "UGH! All the book blog names are taken!" and BOOM, my blog was born :)

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  7. Great list! Your presidential challenge sounds so unique and interesting! Hope you manage to achieve all your goals 😊
    Amy x
    My TTT: https://wp.me/p8Niyg-DK

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    1. Thank you! I am really trying, especially because I tend to read so much about the more well-known presidents. I need to branch out. Thanks for coming by!

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  8. Write a book, that's a huge goal and I'm very impressed. I'm with you on #6, it's hard to find time... but I'm trying. Good luck on your 2018 goals.

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    1. Thank you! I have love to write and spent most of my youth scribbling in notebooks. I am so excited for this prospect and to possibly be published. We can be good reminders to one another for goal #6 - I HAVE to get better at that one!!

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    2. You will have to keep us updated on where to purchase your book :)

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    3. Absolutely :) I am hoping to have the first draft done by August 1st, sooner if possible.

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  9. Great goals! #4 😆😆😂😂 I grok the feeling. Good luck with the book writing!

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    1. Thank you, good luck to you as well! What is your project about?

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  10. I know you've said that you don't want to read about Trump for the Presidential Reading Goal, but I recommend picking up Fire and Fury - it's actually deserving of the hype that's been surrounding it (at least so far, I'm just over 1/3 of the way through).

    I'm also attempting to be a more active blogger, and it seems to be working so far... Not sure if I'll be saying the same in a couple of months!

    You can see my bookish resolutions here.

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    1. Yes, I have been hearing so much about it that I added it to my To-Read list. I have a couple friends who said I should read it also, and your comment seals the deal! I requested the book from my library system here, and it is still on order. I am currently hold number 223 waiting on 62 books. Hopefully everyone ahead of me will breeze through it quickly and I can get to it within the next couple months!

      I am trying also - and like you I hope I can keep up this momentum. I am also a mom and a teacher, so dividing my time up gets tricky when all I want to do is hang out with my four year old because she is the funniest, sassiest, most awesome little person. But, I know I need to devote time to blogging too.

      Happy Reading!

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  11. I am so behind on Netgalley too -- as are other bloggers like yourself, which actually makes me feel better about it lol!

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    1. Lol, no fear, you are definitely not alone!! I had so many books from the end of *2016* that I basically ignored when I started writing my book. I am making those a priority over all other books until I can get those reviews and feedback to the publishers. The problem is once I go onto NetGalley to post, I start looking around...and then end up requesting MORE, haha.

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  12. Buy Less Read More...oh if it were that easy! I need to be doing more of that!

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    1. We can totally do this, we just have to never look at any websites that sell books and never go into any stores that sell books, right? Right.

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  13. Fabulous goals. I even share a few with you :) Definitely want to buy less and read more. Also want to take care of my NetGalley files. Certainly they don't deserve me :P

    Today I have talked about my top ten bookish pet peeves. My TTT: http://flippingthruthepages.com/2018/01/top-ten-bookish-pet-peeves/

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    1. I have found that a lot of us seem to have similar goals - great minds think alike. Happy reading!

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  14. Your Presidential challenge is really interesting! Best of luck with all your resolutions, especially getting your book written.
    My TTT

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    1. Thank you Louise, I am trying my very best to accomplish it this year, since last year was such a bust. The writing is coming along, lots of research but it will be worth it!

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  15. I'm hoping to finish my novel this year, so we do have a similar goal in that respect!
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/01/16/top-ten-tuesday-142/

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  16. I like your idea of reading a book about each president - though in my case, it might be each 'First Lady'. I've long been fascinated with the 'woman behind the man' (at least until we have a 'man behind the woman'). And good luck with your writing goal.

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    1. Thank you! I am hoping to have the first draft done by August.

      There are some great books about First Ladies, and it's funny you mention it because when I finish my president goal, I am contemplating doing First Lady and VP goals too.

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  17. 'Buy Less, Read More' is literally one of my exact same goals too haha!! I'm also a writer...what are you working on I'd love to know more about it.

    www.laurencarrollreadsandwrites.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Great minds think alike! I have seen variations on lots of blogs, but who knows how long we will all be able to last without adding new books to our shelves :)

      I am writing a biography about Eleanor of Aquitaine and I am terrified because it is Eleanor after all, the most famous woman from the medieval world. I also have a few children's books I am working on, and some short stories, but the Eleanor bio is my main focus right now.

      What are you working on??

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  18. Great list!
    I’m going to focus on saying “no” to books I just can’t possibly get read. And be a little more selective on those I say “yes” to.

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    1. Thank you Trisha! That is a good goal to have, life is too short to read books you are only on-the-fence about. I want to DNF more books that I am not into. I have gotten better at this, but there is always room for improvement. Happy Reading!

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  19. Oh I love this! The only real goals I have this year are:
    1. Catch up on my backlist TBR.
    2. Read 100 books.

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    1. Simple and direct, I like it! My to-read is beyond anything I can complete this year but I am hoping if I stop buying, I can make a dent. Good luck with your goals Rachel!

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  20. Some great goals. I think it's awesome you're reading more books about the Presidents. I don't read a lot of non-fiction but think it's great when people do. Good luck on all your goals!

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    1. Thank you Barb! I LOVE non-fiction and history in particular. If you ever are looking for recommendations, let me know. Happy Reading!

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  21. Ha! I need to put "Write the damn book already" on my list too. I've wanted to write a book for so long and I've dabbled and I even have 3 chapters, but I just never sit down and write. Great list!

    My TTT Post

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    1. Thank you Jenni! The best advice I received was to write every day, even if you don't feel like. You can always go back and edit cut, revise, etc. Even if it is just for ten minutes, do it every day!

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  22. You've got some fantastic goals! Some of mine include saying "no" because deadlines can be stressful. I also want to be more of an active blogger by supporting my fellow bloggers.

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    1. Yes! Supporting other bloggers is super important to me this year, something I was not as good at last year. I am making it a priority. Good luck!

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  23. Good luck with that book! I've always wanted to write one too, but I just don't have the discipline to sit down and work on it enough to actually complete a novel. I'm too much of a pantser and a perfectionist. I just drive myself crazy.

    Happy TTT and good luck with your resolutions!

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    1. Give it a try! Even if you just write for ten minutes a day, you never know what might come out of it! Happy Reading :)

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  24. Buy less read more is one I need to add to my list! I'm bad about stockpiling books but not making any progress on the stacks. I love the Presidential Challenge! That sounds really interesting - especially about the presidents that aren't as well known. Good luck with your book. Eleanor of Aquitaine is a fascinating subject.

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    1. Thank you Katherine! Eleanor is amazing, I home I can do her story justice. And I never realized how little I knew about so many of these men until I started looking over the list. Thanks for coming by!

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  25. #4 has me laughing because this is my dream, too. I write a lot - but 99.9% of it consists of short stories of less than 5k words. But hey... it' keeps me from strangling people so it's all good. Best of luck with that!

    Many years ago, my husband lost his job and I had no choice but to stop buying books. It really was the best thing for me because now I stop and think about whether I really HAVE to have this or if I can wait for the sale that will eventually come. :)

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday, thanks!

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    1. Ha, always a good reason to write! And you can always put together a collection of short stories. I have contemplated this when looking back over writing prompts I have started. I think short stories are so much more difficult than a longer novel or non-fiction text.

      I'm sorry that it took an extreme event to change book-buying habits, but glad that something good came out of it for you. We all could probably do with being a little more discerning in what we buy. it's hard though, I am the worst at impulse book-buying. Thanks for coming by!

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    2. Right? And that's very true - with a novel you have time to flesh out your details, get the plot right, etc. But with a short or a novella, that time is crunched.

      It actually turned out to be a good thing for us (minus the struggling) because it put things into perspective and helped us learn what we needed vs what we wanted. Ah, I feel you on that - a used bookstore recently opened by my house and when you can get paperbacks for a buck, it's sometimes hard to say no. :)

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    3. Short stories and novellas make for great writing exercises at least, and are good practice. Some of mine could possibly be reader-worthy and some make me cringe, thinking "How could I have written such garbage?!"

      Want vs need is always a hard lesson to learn but I am glad it helped. For me, Half Price Books is the devil, and library sales where the books are $1 or less are also so detrimental to my shelves - they're going to break under the weight :)

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  26. We should all try to buy less! I think it's hard when we want to support authors we loved and have the books we are excited about. I'm also trying to be more active as a blogger this year. Tori @ In Tori Lex

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    1. Agreed! I read a lot of non-fiction so I have some historians I am very loyal to, but luckily they aren't usually putting out multiple books a year - I am just an impulse buyer!

      That being active is a big thing for me and something I want to focus on. Thanks for sharing, happy reading!

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    2. Also, I read your TTT post and tried to comment, but when I tried to click on the 'comment', it was not an active link. I'm not sure what I did wrong, but I did see we have a lot of goals in common so perhaps we can help each other reach those goals this year!

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    1. Thank you so much Ronyell. I hope it does Eleanor of Aquitaine justice. It is kind of terrifying to write about someone I admire so much. Happy Reading!

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  28. High 5 on the BookBub addiction! I also have loaded my kindle over the past year with tons of new books thanks to the dreaded BB daily email. In fact, just the other day I purchased a bunch. Doh! I wish you better luck than I'm having!

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    1. The struggle is REAL! I would go straight to the website because there were so many more books on my recommended page vs what they included in the email. Good luck to both of us for resisting the urge to buy more before we finish what we have. Thanks for stopping by, happy reading!

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  29. I need to add "Write a damn book already" to my own goals! Haha. Like you, I've wanted to publish a book/be an author since I was very young. Unlike you, I haven't made much progress. I always start projects and then get busy or distracted (or some combination of the two), and then I eventually abandon them. Any tips for being a more productive writer?

    I think several of our goals are very similar, though I'm very impressed with the goal of 150 books! I was just under my goal of 70 last year (I ended 2017 with 69 books completed), so I decided to stick to 70 again this year. Sometimes I feel like I'm choosing shorter books in order to fit more in, but I'm trying to push myself to read a few longer (500+ pages) books this year.

    Good luck with your goals! :-)

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    1. Hi Kristen, thanks so much for stopping by! For a long time I was the same way, I would have these ideas and characters walking around in my head, but then I would get bored and abandon them once I started actually getting the words out. Maybe you need a non-fiction project to kick-start your writing career!

      But seriously, the best tip I ever received has simply been to write every day, whether it is for twenty minutes or two hours, write, create something, get some words onto the paper or computer. A book I really like that I have used for years is called 'A Writer's Book of Days' by Judy Reeves. it is broken down in chapters by month and gives tons of practical advice and techniques to try out. There is then a prompt for every day of the year and I think it helps a lot to get those creative wires firing. I have the edition that was updated in 2010, so there may be a new one since then.

      I am definitely going for quality this year over quantity, I fell into that same kind of trap, reading shorter books that were okay, but nothing spectacular. Here's to better books in 2018!

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    2. Thank you for the advice ... I really appreciate it! :-) I'm going to have to check that book out. I love the idea of daily prompts because, like you said, sometimes you need a little inspiration to get started.

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    3. No problem, I am always willing to help where I can. And all writers need moral support, it is a tough gig! I have been away from fiction-writing for a while and pulled the book out last night before I replied to you. I definitely found some old pieces that could possibly be polished and turned into a gem. It's amazing how different writing can look when we are away from it for a little bit!

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  30. I love that the words of your teacher from middle school echo for you still today. I also had several very encouraging teachers through the years whose words I still greatly appreciate and reflect on when I am feeling discouraged. Teachers have such an awesome opportunity to touch the lives of their students. Good luck accomplishing your reading goals, while also keeping quality in mind, I think that is awesome!

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    1. Thank you so much, and thanks for coming by! I always try to first and foremost remember my job as a teacher is to care for my students. I want them to know someone believes in them and wants them to be successful. I was so lucky to have Mr Hanzlik, and many other teachers, who believed in me.

      Quality is so important, isn't it? That is definitely a big focus for me this year. Happy Reading!

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