Disclaimer: I have previously received PR products from Penguin and HarperCollins. Swing Time and Ways of Seeing (pictured in header) are Penguin books, and the ABC Murders is HarperCollins. Any Penguin/HarperCollins books mentioned are marked with [PR relationship]. This is based on the edition I own/plan to read.
I know the GoodReads reading goal is somewhat controversial, but I wanted to set myself some reading goals that stretch beyond just reading X amount of books! I’m going to be having a look at The StoryGraph’s challenge section as well, and see if I can create some challenges on there to help me achieve these goals. I’m splitting my goals down into a few different categories:
My Total Reading Goal (how many books am I going to read?)
Diverse author & story goals (what underrepresented groups am I making an effort to read more of?)
Genre and form goals (diversifying the types of story I read!)
My Winter TBR
My Total Reading Goal
OK, so this is super straightforward, and where the GoodReads Challenge comes in. My aim is to read 70 books again this year. I also want to start getting through some of my more daunting (read: chunky) books, so I think I’ll try to have one of those on the go at a time, and read other books in between.
Diverse Author & Story Goals
Most of the authors I read are white women. In 2021, I still want to read plenty of stories written by women, but I also want to read more by authors of colour, in particular Black women. Last year, I read quite a lot of Japanese fiction, so I want to make sure that isn’t the only diverse reading I do. I also read barely any LGBT+ books last year, so I want to try to read more books with LGBT characters, or books by LGBT authors this year. I have [PR relationship] The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo at the top of my TBR, and I’d love for you to leave me any recommendations in the comments if you have any. I don’t want to set myself a % or number of “diverse books” to read this year, because I don’t want to read to fill a quota. Instead, I will make a commitment to continue seeking out authors of colour and LGBT authors, and pick up their books more consciously. I also want to read more translated fiction, which I think fits into the category of more diverse reading!
Genre and Form Goals
Many of the books I read are literary fiction, which I do enjoy, and I do want to keep reading a fair amount of that, but I also want to try reading more crime fiction, and more non-fiction and poetry this year. I really enjoyed [PR relationship] Murder on the Orient Express when I read it last year, so I want to try some more Agatha Christie and maybe also some other similar crime authors. In terms of non-fiction, my goal is to read one non-fiction book per month as a minimum. Again, I might read these alongside novels, but I really want to read more non-fiction. My main reason for reading is to expand my understanding of our world and cultures within it, and politics, so it makes a lot of sense for me to read more non-fiction. I also have a lot of poetry books sat under my bed that just gather dust at the minute. I doubt I’ll be reading these back to back really, but I would like to pick them up and leaf through them more often than I do.
My Winter TBR
Last spring, I made a spring TBR, so I thought I’d do the same for winter! I’m going with astronomical winter which is December 21st through to March 20th so I’ve not lost a month. And to make it easy, I’ll add on the last ten days of March, so this TBR is for up until the end of March! I’m putting 15 books on it, because some of my reads will be book club picks and I don’t want to get too ambitious!
- [PR Relationship]. Swing Time – Zadie Smith
- [PR Relationship]. Everything Under – Daisy Johnson
- The White Book – Han Kang
- [PR Relationship]. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – Taylor Jenkins Reid
- [PR Relationship]. Ways of Seeing – John Berger
- In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens – Alice Walker
- Kudos – Rachel Cusk
- Why Marx was Right – Terry Eagleton
- Cannonball – Joseph McElroy
- Good Morning, Midnight – Lucy Brooks-Dalton
- [PR Relationship] The ABC Murders – Agatha Christie
- The Little Friend – Donna Tartt
- The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton
- The Wedding of Zein – Tayeb Salih
- The Book of Laughter and Forgetting – Milan Kundera
As I’ve done a Winter TBR, it makes sense that at the start of April I should do a check in on my Winter TBR, and make myself a Spring TBR with an update on how my reading progress is going! I think doing quarterly check-ins will help me to make sure I’m working towards these goals consistently through the year. What are your 2021 reading goals? Let me know in the comments if you’ve set yourself any!