Half Year in Review, Now

This is exciting! This year has been filled with a lots of revelations, a lot of firsts and hell loads of things I never thought I’d do! One of the first things, is to keep a track of all the books I’ve read this year.

And I think this is the best time to look through all the 30 books I’ve read! I had a huge reading slump for three years and it took a whole lot to get back into reading again and also, I am a super slow reader.

The first book I read was The Ones who Walk away from Omelas by Ursula K Le Guin which was something really disturbing, or it may not as well! But sure, this small book was the first victory of the year! The last book which I finished reading was Essentialism by Greg McKeown (A small cheat, as I finished it on July 1 😜)

Looking back I wish I had written reviews to all the books I’ve read, but well I’ve written 12 reviews until now and have made it a point to write reviews for each of the books I read. The trick? I don’t mark a book as read on Goodreads until I’ve written the draft of the review! That builds up a sort of a pressure each time I look at the Currently Reading section there. I’m not sure if this would work for others, but sure does work for me!

Here’s the big Deal!

So, I’ve been tracking many aspects of the books I’ve been reading based on Genre, gender of the authors (this was after a realisation that most of the books I’ve read were by male authors and only 5% of the books were written by female authors), nationality and the language that the books were originally written in. Keeping a check of these stats helped me figure out a way to plan my TBR each month, Check it out, perhaps it could help you out as well.

This is something, I’ve been most excited about. From a lifetime average of 5% of the books read by female authors, I was able to push it to 7% of all the books I read, with 5 of the 30 books I’ve read this year. Perhaps it isn’t impressive, but what I observed was just keeping something as this in mind makes a huge difference, for I have made it a point to read atleast one book by females each month and well, by the end of the year I would have begun to see a change.

I was someone who hoarded books, I still do, but for different reasons altogether! Reading on my Kindle helped me cut costs and keep my highlights and notes collated at a single place and that was one of the reasons to shift my reading preference to the Kindle. I do at times read physical copies coz well, holding the book just feels amazing! And the smell of a book is fantastic. I’ve only recently begun listening to audiobooks and realised that they are a goldmine! I can read as many stories as possible and also experience it the way the authors intend the stories to be told. The first hand experience occured as I listened to Norse Mythology.

I’ve begun a project called Project Cross Borders where my goal is to go an international tour through the eyes of people by reading atleast one book from each country in the world! I’m quite satisfied with the progress I’ve made! I also have a similar project named Project India where I read atleast one book written from each state in India and well, I guess the original languages give a good estimate of the various kinds of books I’ve been reading.

This Pie chart would’ve been an insult to a 13 year old me who believed that non fiction was reserved to the old and boring folks! If I were to go back in time, I’d perhaps knock a few teeth and put some sense into all the knowledge I missed out over the last 12 years of my life! But still, the kid inside me still urges me to read more fiction, so I’ve tried to balance out both!

I have been reading medium range books primarily, to get back into the habit of reading and the joy of adding one more book into my Books Repository just fills me up with joy. I’ve had a goal at the beginning of the year to read 30 books by the end of the year, but thanks to a discipline of reading that I’ve achieved that in exactly half the year! I’ve had to edit my challenge to 50 books now! I wish to read two massive books by the end of the year though – The Count of Monte Cristo and Infinite Jest!

The Books I loved

These are the books that I absolutely loved and would recommend to everyone!
Goat Days by Benyamin
Show Your Work by Austin Kleon
Anything You Want by Derek Sivers. You can find the Notes and Summary of the book Here.
Born A Crime by Trevor Noah

Books I couldn’t finish

Sadly, there were a few books that I couldn’t get myself to read to completion and would perhaps try reading them again! Perhaps some people might be super offended by looking at the list I couldn’t, it’s just that I had been reading these books mainly when I had my university project at the top of my head and didn’t have the space to read these.

The Blog

I have been blogging on and off for the past four years, deleted a few, created a few more… not really sure why, though. But, I somehow realised that if I had money on the line, I do get things done! So, I went ahead and bought the domain name for myself and I’ve surprised myself in the amount I can write!

The last few months were exciting and with a lots of learnings and the best part was the fact that I’ve found a few amazing blogs and I thought I’d spread the cheer here as well!

  • The Critilizers: This is one of the sites I really love where the folks there talk about a lot of topics and actually analyse them! I mean Critically+Analysing+folks=Critilizers!
  • RTW Roxy: If you love to travel, or absolutely hate to move, or you just miss the oppurtunity to travel these days, this is the one place you would just love to be in! This is a blog about solo travels of a girl on a bike riding all over the world!
  • Tempo Cyclist – Tasmania: I just love this blog about cycling and it just has everything that a cyclist would love!
  • Lifesfinewhine: If you are new to blogging or even one of the pros, this is one blog you have to check out! It’s a one stop shop for almost anything you could want!
  • When it comes to blogs about books, I just love That Girl Who Speaks and Paperbacks and Planners. Drop in to both of these sites if you wish to fall in love with books, and read some amazing Book reviews and just super fun Book stuff!
  • The Written Revolt is a blog you definitely have to subscribe to read amazing Weekly Suspense Serials. The stories written here are just Fabulous and one day wish my Stories could be as good as the ones here!

The Posts from my blog that I want to shamelessly Advertise Again

If you’re new here or you wish to look at few of the best posts of mine check these!
Short Stories: But, What is Your Name
Poetry: The Long Journey
Lifestyle: How To Get Into A Reading Habit
Adventures: Cycling and Social Distancing

I am also super excited about the two Literary Projects I have taken up. Please do check Project India and Project Cross Borders.

Also, check out the Book Reviews and Notes I’ve written!

I guess that’s about all I could get out for this Half Yearly Review!

Thank you all for sticking until the end of this page! So, here you go, a song that I love, for you!

Until next time,
Stay Home, Stay Safe!
More Power to You

3 thoughts on “Half Year in Review, Now

  1. Oh my god, thank you very much Kushal! I find Barely Wise equally fun annnd educational. 30 books are a lot, hope you fulfil the rest of your reading list for the year 2020. I totally love how positive your perspective towards life is. Not to mention all of your projects, keep going. More power :))


  2. Kushal, first of all let me say that you were always a fascinating kid from to me for sure. Thanks to your parent’s way of bringing you up and the way they have nurtured you to a fine, intelligent personality. In fact I feel proud to have known you.
    I wish I could read all the books you have mentioned in your blogs but will certainly make a point to go through your various blogs.
    May all your wishes come through and God Bless!

    Liked by 1 person

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