Goodreads Hacks: Using a “Someday” Shelf

As part of my reading goals for 2018, I’m working on cleaning up my “Want To Read” shelf on Goodreads. One way I’m doing that is by shifting books off to a “Someday/Maybe” shelf.

Goodreads lets you create endless shelves. The key to me using the someday/maybe shelf is that I’ve set it as an “exclusive” shelf. What’s that mean? A book can only be on one exclusive shelf.

If you haven’t created any of your own, you have one of three options: Want to Read, Currently Reading, or Read. I’ve added a “Paused” shelf, “Never Finished,” “Not Interested,” and now “Someday/Maybe” to my exclusive shelf options.

What’s the advantage to this?

It becomes a nice holding area for books I don’t want to forget about, but I know I won’t be reading anytime soon. I’m also using it for books on topics where I’m not actively reading currently, but if/when I want to get back to that topic, those are the titles I want to read.

It’s also where I’m parking books that I’m keeping on my “ideas for bookclub” shelf, but only want to read them if my bookclub selects them.

My “Want to Read” shelf is still overloaded, but as I go through it again, and delete titles I no longer want to read, I’m trimming it down even further by shifting titles over to the “Someday/Maybe” option.


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Cover Love: Around the World in 80 Days

My local bookclub is embarking on a round-the-world via books theme for this year (and maybe next year too) and we started off the year with Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days. Which is a perfect book for another edition of Cover Love!

The 1873 edition has a beautiful cover. And if you have several thousand dollars you don’t know how else to spend, you too can have the 1873 edition.

Around the World in 80 Days cover

While I don’t generally like retellings, I do like the cover on this Classic Starts retelling. And, it’s very appropriate to the book (unlike some other covers).

Around the World in 80 Days cover

I hate to pick on the Dover Thrift edition, but it’s really pretty boring, and kind of looks like somebody was playing with clipart.

Around the World in 80 Days cover

Nothing but raves for this audio version of the book, as Jim Dale is an amazing narrator. As a cover however, I side-eye the balloon. Did I sleep through the portion of the book where the balloon makes an appearance?

Around the World in 80 Days cover

Love this cover from Penguin Classics.

Around the World in 80 Days cover

Love this cover from Penguin as well.

One final great cover, this one from Puffin Classics.

Around the World in 80 Days cover


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Top Blog Posts from 2017

I always find it interesting to see which are the most popular posts on the blog, because they’re not always the ones I would expect. Who knew the Emma cover post would be so popular? Well, I guess the popularity of anything Jane Austen isn’t surprising. So, besides the Emma post, here are the other most-visited posts I wrote last year:

  1. 10 Nonfiction Books I Can’t Stop Recommending

  2. 2018 Book Club Selections

  3. 4 Books Becoming Movies in 2018

  4. The Best Book Club Item EVER

  5. 2018 Reading Resolutions

  6. Cover Love: Emma

  7. The Most Gorgeous Bible

  8. 10+ Books Perfect to Read in Autumn

  9. The Ultimate List of Library Hacks

  10. Goodreads Hacks: Creating a “Not Going to Read” Shelf


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Favorite Books of 2017

Yes, this is a list of twenty-five titles, but that’s only about 10% of my yearly total.
These are the ones that I loved, the ones that stuck with me, the ones that made me think. I might not recommend them all to you in particular (some definitely need the right sort of reader to appreciate them) but they were my favorites for 2017.

Fiction

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
Hands-down the book I recommended most often this year. It’s a slower-paced read, but so absorbing with wonderful characters.

Moloka’i by Alan Brennert
Heart-wrenching but such a compelling look at another world and time.

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
Beautifully-written historical fiction, with just a hint of a mystery.

Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry
Poignant but lovely.

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
Gripping and fast-paced (unlike all the previous ones I’ve mentioned) it’s not high-quality literature, but it’s thought-provoking and intriguing.

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
Reminded me so much of an Agatha Christie book, and it would make for a very fun book club selection, as there’s enough going on beyond the whodunnit factor, unlike some mysteries.

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith
Gruesome yes, but I love the characters so I can forgive all as I wait for the next book in the series.

Series Reads

Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny
I love how the characters have developed throughout the series, and the amazing sense of place most of the books have.

Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear
Maisie is such an enjoyable character, and the way the series takes place across the years allows Winspear to show so many changes in the world. I can’t wait to see what happens next in it!

Bess Crawford and Ian Rutledge series by Charles Todd
Bess is an appealing character, and I’m so sad to be all caught up on the series. Fortunately for me I still have several with Rutledge. I enjoy the setting and time period for both, and following along with the main and secondary characters.

Peter Grant series by Ben Aaronovitch
I might be cheating a bit by listing this for 2017, as most of the series was read in 2016, but I finished it last year, and read all the “extras” (audio freebie, a short story, and some graphic novels). It’s such a fascinating world Aaronovitch has created.

Nonfiction

Memoir(ish)
Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
Heart-breaking yet hopeful and encouraging.

Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr
I almost felt like I was there with Doerr as he experienced his year in Rome (and I so want to read the book he partially wrote during that year, and I will get to it in 2018)

Of Mess and Moxie by Jen Hatmaker
Excellent on audio, with all the humorous asides. Chatty and fun.

Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries by Kory Stamper
Surprisingly fascinating look at all that goes into modern dictionaries.

Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs by Heather Lende
Heart-warming and it stuck with me long after I would have expected it to be forgotten in the flood of other reads.

Other Nonfiction

Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics by Tim Marshall
A fascinating look at the geopolitics behind 10 significant areas of the world.

Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done by Jon Acuff
More motivating than many self-help books that are all about the “bigger faster more hype” because this one was so encouraging about “this is what actually works to get things finished.” I want to re-read it this year when I can take notes (I listened to it the first time).

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck
Incredibly encouraging slash terrifying, as I realize the importance of the mindset I’m developing in my kids. And thinking about how can I ensure they all have growth mindsets, because of how essential they are for long-term success and happiness.

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
Not always completely practical for life as a stay at home mom, but I’m still mulling over how I can put some of these ideas into practice in my life.

Barking Up the Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong by Eric Barker
Lots of interesting tidbits of info. I do love this sort of book so I was predisposed to enjoy it.

The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People’s Lives Better, Too) by Gretchen Rubin
A fascinating look into the four tendencies, and great ideas about how to work with your own tendency, and the tendencies of people around you.

Special Mention

Because when friends write books, it’s impossible to be impartial.

The Yes Effect: Accepting God’s Invitation to Transform the World Around You by Luis Bush with Darcy Wiley
All about the amazing things that can happen when ordinary people say yes to God.

Reading People: How Seeing the World through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything by Anne Bogel
Interesting summary look at various personality typing systems, and how to use them to make improvements in your own life.


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December 2017 Recap

For feeling like I was in a lengthy reading slump to end the year my year-end total is a surprising 230 books. Surprising, because that’s my “books read for me” total – it isn’t counting all the kids’ books I read.

This is why Goodreads shows me at 374 books finished for the year, and even that isn’t completely right but I refuse to look into it because I will want to obsess over it and that is a poor use of my time. So. A lot of books, which Yay! Books!

The Month in Stats

Books Read This Month: 13
Books Read This Year: 230

Things That Happened

  • Book club – we did a recap of the year-in-books for my in-person book club and Swear on This Life in the Facebook group.
  • Christmas, which ended up being much more eventful than I wanted. M had a reaction to something (we’re suspecting it was pistachios) and had major face-swelling and several days of woe.
  • Basketball had some games and then took a three-week hiatus.
  • H passed her taekwondo belt testing and is now a senior red belt. Next stop: black belt!
  • We did “holiday school,” which meant more holiday book reading, less official reading from the Instructors Guides. Plus H had a few days where all she did was art.

What I’m Anticipating in January

  • Back to basketball. This is when I really appreciate it – it’s SO COLD here and the kids don’t manage to play outside much. Basketball gets them running around and burning off energy a couple of times a week which is fantastic.
  • Disney on Ice with the girls (and H’s Girl Scout troop).
  • G gets braces. Yes, braces. Phase one, and it will hopefully make for a simpler phase two down the road by getting some more space in his mouth right now.
  • A visit to the allergist, to try and confirm what caused M’s reaction, and possibly to get a prescription to an EpiPen if it turns out to be necessary.
  • Girl Scout cookie sales begin – I hadn’t realized they started right after the new year. H was wanting to go around the neighborhood like G did with his Cub Scout popcorn, but when it’s below freezing here (and below zero with the wind chill) that isn’t going to happen. I’m hoping she can still reach her goal because she has her heart set the reward at a specific level. 🙂
  • Book club – Around the World in 80 Days for my in-person book club and The Gifts of Imperfection in the Facebook group.

Books I Read in December

I shared the list of books I read in a recent post.

Not that many readalouds finished, because I wasn’t counting our Christmas books. I just was reading them.


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Books I Read in December 2017

I had about a two-week stretch in the middle of the month where I read almost nothing, so really, my reading total is surprisingly high. I was pushing the last few days to wrap up a few titles before the end of the year, to avoid carrying them over into 2018.

My local bookclub is doing a read-around-the-world theme for 2018 (and probably 2019 as well) and I’m on the hunt for a great book set in Scotland for us to read and discuss. I’ve tried two mysteries and I’m still looking. 🙂

    Fiction

  1. King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner

    A re-read as I listened to the audio, to get ready to read the next in the series. Also, just because I adore this series.

  2. A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner

    I decided to read this one first, and then I’ll listen to it later (I already own the audio). This one features a different main character, so I missed the usual narrator, but it’s still in that fabulous world MWT has created.

  3. Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin

    Probably too gory to be the discussion book I was hoping to find, so I’m still looking for the right Scotland book for my local book club.

  4. Black Powder War by Naomi Novik

    I enjoy this series, except for the drawn-out battle scenes. I have so little interest in descriptions of battle tactics. Fortunately, those are easy to either skip ahead and miss and get back to the rest of the story.

  5. First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen

    A sweet follow-up to Garden Spells. Once I adjusted to Bay as the primary narrator, I enjoyed this as a very light read.

  6. Death of a Gossip by M. C. Beaton

    Too dated and not enough depth to it for it to be a good fit for my book club. The hunt continues for the perfect Scotland book.

  7. Nonfiction

  8. Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics by Tim Marshall

    LOVED this geopolitical look at the world and history and why some regions are so contentious.
    I listened to it, and the narrator was good, but it’s one where the lack of maps to actually show what they’re describing is a drawback to the audiobook.

  9. The Alpine Path: The Story of My Career by L.M. Montgomery

    I enjoyed the peek into the creation of some of her famous stories, but overall it was such a brief overview it left me wanting more depth and detail.

  10. Dogtripping: 25 Rescues, 11 Volunteers, And 3 RVs On Our Canine Cross-Country Adventure by David Rosenfelt

    Entertaining story behind a move from Southern California to Maine with 25 (large) dogs. Animal lovers should love the book, but it’s not a must-read for anyone else.

  11. Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brené Brown

    I think my expectations were too high for it, as I was mostly underwhelmed by it. If I hadn’t gone into it remembering all the peole who said it was AMAZING and TRANSFORMATIVE I probably wouldn’t have felt so let-down by it.

  12. Kid Lit

  13. My Brigadista Year by Katherine Paterson

    Well-written and engaging middle-grade historical fiction. My perspective on Cuba is so skewed from growing up in Florida, knowing many Cuban refugee families with nothing at all good to say about Castro and his government. I appreciated learning about some of what it was like there as he took power, and especially reading about the successful literacy push.

  14. The Unbreakable Code by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman

    The sequel to Book Scavenger, and it was someone more graphic – the secondary plot line involved an arsonist, and there’s more personal risk to the characters. I do enjoy the characters and setting, and as long as I’m in the mood to suspend disbelief over several plot points, it’s a fun read.

  15. I Saw Three Ships by Elizabeth Goudge

    Old-fashioned Christmas story. I was pre-reading it as a possible readaloud for my kids, but quickly realized they would not have enjoyed it.

  16. Never Finished

  17. The Expats by Chris Pavone

    I abandoned it still with hours of reading time left in the book and got an overall plot summary of it from someone else. Nothing I was told about it made me regret not finishing it on my own, as the book isn’t a good match for my reading tastes.

  18. The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey

    Too much Jane Eyre in one year left me uninterested in finishing this retelling.


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New on the Stack in December 2017

Welcome to New on the Stack, where you can share the latest books you’ve added to your reading pile. I’d love for you to join us and add a link to your own post or Instagram picture sharing your books! It’s a fun way to see what others will soon be reading, and get even more ideas of books to add to my “I want to read that!” list.New on the Stack button

Nonfiction

Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brené Brown

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: January’s book club selection, and listening to it wasn’t happening.

The Alpine Path coverThe Alpine Path: The Story of My Career by L.M. Montgomery

How did I get it: Bought a Kindle copy.
Why did I get it: January’s book club selection for my LMM group.

Prisoners of Geography coverPrisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics by Tim Marshall

How did I get it: Borrowed it via audio from the library.
Why did I get it: It sounded interesting.

Dogtripping coverDogtripping: 25 Rescues, 11 Volunteers, And 3 RVs On Our Canine Cross-Country Adventure by David Rosenfelt

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: My mom told me I had to read it.

Fiction

Emily of New Moon coverEmily of New Moon by Lucy Maud Montgomery

How did I get it: Used bookstore find, passed along by a friend.
Why did I get it: 2018 is the year of Lucy Maud Montgomery! I’m part of a group reading thorugh her books this year.

Emily Climbs coverEmily Climbs by Lucy Maud Montgomery

How did I get it: Used bookstore find, passed along by a friend.
Why did I get it: Will be reading in 2018.

Emily's Quest coverEmily’s Quest by Lucy Maud Montgomery

How did I get it: Used bookstore find, passed along by a friend.
Why did I get it: Will be reading in 2018.

Pat of Silver Bush coverPat of Silver Bush by Lucy Maud Montgomery

How did I get it: Used bookstore find, passed along by a friend.
Why did I get it: Will be reading in 2018.

Mistress Pat coverMistress Pat by Lucy Maud Montgomery

How did I get it: Used bookstore find, passed along by a friend.
Why did I get it: Will be reading in 2018.

Further Chronicles of Avonlea coverFurther Chronicles of Avonlea by Lucy Maud Montgomery

How did I get it: Used bookstore find, passed along by a friend.
Why did I get it: Will be reading in 2018.

Akin to Anne coverAkin to Anne by Lucy Maud Montgomery

How did I get it: Used bookstore find, passed along by a friend.
Why did I get it: Will be reading in 2018.

A Conspiracy of Kings coverA Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Next in the Queen’s Thief series. I decided I wanted to read it first, and then listen to the audio. Will be reading in 2018.

First Frost coverFirst Frost by Sarah Addison Allen

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Sequel to Garden Spells

Black Powder War coverBlack Powder War by Naomi Novik

How did I get it: Borrowed it via audio from the library.
Why did I get it: Next in the Temeraire series.

Knots and Crosses coverKnots and Crosses by Ian Rankin

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Looking for a great Scotland book for my local bookclub to discuss.

Death of a Gossip coverDeath of a Gossip by M. C. Beaton

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: Looking for a great Scotland book for my local bookclub to discuss.

Crocodile on the Sandbank coverCrocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters

How did I get it: Borrowed it electronically from the library.
Why did I get it: My friend Katie really recommends this series, and so I’m giving it another try.


“New on the Stack” Link-up Guidelines:

1. Share your posts or Instagram pictures about the new-to-you books you added to your reading stack last month. They can be purchases, library books, ebooks, whatever it is you’ll be reading! Entries completely unrelated to this theme or linked to your homepage may be deleted.

2. Link back to this post – you can use the button below if you’d like, or just use a text link.

The Deliberate Reader

3. The linkup will be open until the end of the month.

4. Please visit the person’s blog or Instagram who linked up directly before you and leave them a comment.

5. By linking up, you’re granting me permission to use and/or repost photographs from your linked post or Instagram. (Because on social media or in next month’s post, I hope to feature some of the books that catch my attention from this month.)

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Introducing January’s Book Club Selection: The Gifts of Imperfection

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown cover

The Gifts of Imperfection

Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are: Your Guide to a Wholehearted Life by Brené Brown

What’s It About?

(Description from Goodreads)

New York Times best-selling author and professor Brené Brown offers a powerful and inspiring book that explores how to cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection to embrace your imperfections and to recognize that you are enough.

Each day we face a barrage of images and messages from society and the media telling us who, what, and how we should be. We are led to believe that if we could only look perfect and lead perfect lives, we’d no longer feel inadequate. So most of us perform, please, and perfect, all the while thinking, What if I can’t keep all of these balls in the air? Why isn’t everyone else working harder and living up to my expectations? What will people think if I fail or give up? When can I stop proving myself?

In The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown, PhD, a leading expert on shame, authenticity and belonging, shares what she’s learned from a decade of research on the power of Wholehearted Living–a way of engaging with the world from a place of worthiness.

In her ten guideposts, Brown engages our minds, hearts, and spirits as she explores how we can cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough, and to go to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am sometimes afraid, but I am also brave. And, yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am worthy of love and belonging.

Why Was This Title Selected

I was looking for a discussable nonfiction title, Brown has been on my “To Read” list for ages, and I thought this would be a nice one to begin the new year.

Anything Else to Know About It?

The discussion will begin soon in the Facebook group, and you’re welcome to come and join us.

It’s available in Print, for Kindle or Nook, or on Audible.

What’s Coming Up Next?

The Death of Ivan Ilyich coverThe Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories by Leo Tolstoy

What’s it about? “A middle-aged high-court judge who had never thought about his own mortality, Ivan Ilyich must readjust his thinking when he learns he has a terminal illness.”

Find the book: Print | Kindle | Nook | Audible | Goodreads

See all the books we’ll be reading in 2018 here.


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2018 Reading Resolutions

2018 Reading Resolutions and GoalsI don’t always make reading resolutions, but next year my goals are:

  1. Finish book club selections the month before the discussion begins. I had one or two months where I was wrapping it up during the first days of the discussion and I prefer being completely ready to go when the discussion begins.

    What will I be reading? My Facebook book club choices have been announced. My in-person book club selections aren’t all finalized, but for 2018 we’re doing an “around the world” theme and reading books set in different countries all year long. I’m super excited about this plan. I’ve also joined a group that’s reading one Lucy Maud Montgomery title a month, and I’m looking forward to reading her beyond her Anne of Green Gables stories.

    Why this goal? It makes it easier when I’m not scrambling to get the book read right before the discussion. Plus, for my own group, I like being able to give everyone else a heads-up about any possible content issues.

  2. Each month, tackle one book off my “learn something new” nonfiction list. I don’t have to finish the book, but I need to at least either read it or know that I’m not going to read it.

    Why this goal? I want to make some progress on reading books on that list, and not just keep endlessly adding to it. Also, getting two books off the list in one month gives me grace for a future month. I need to get 12 off the list for the year. If I get on a roll and take care of 12 super early in the year then it’s yay me. It does not have to truly be one-each-month.)

  3. Clean up my Goodreads “Want to Read” shelf. I’ve been slowly working my way through it (more on this later) and I’d like to get that project completed next year.

    Why this goal? Currently, there are so many books on that list it’s losing its usefulness to me.

These goals were all written in part using ideas from Jon Acuff’s book Finish. So while I want to make ALL THE GOALS! I’m dialing it back, to help ensure I actually FINISH them all. I’m so good at starting projects, and not so good at finishing them. Starting something new is always more fun than finishing up the last bits of an old project.


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November 2017 Recap

The Month in Stats

Books Read This Month: 17
Books Read This Year: 217

Things That Happened

  • Book club – At Home in the World for my in-person book club and Ordinar Grace in the Facebook group.
  • Thanksgiving, with a pie extravaganza.
  • Basketball began. H doesn’t like it as much as soccer, but she’s liking it more every time she plays or practices. G has improved quite a bit, but it’s still not his game. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is his last year playing. Although, it’s such a good time of year to have a scheduled (indoor!) activity for them.
  • G received his 1st degree decided black belt (the one with his name on it). Super exciting!
  • Both big kids started jiu-jitsu. They usually only go once, maybe twice a week, but they seem to enjoy it.

What I’m Anticipating in December

  • Belt testing! H is going for her senior red belt.
  • Our 15th anniversary. We have no special plans.
  • Christmas! I am not ready.
  • Lots of Scout activities – both Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts.
  • Book club – no official title (just enjoying the end-of-the-year party) for my in-person book club and Swear on This Life in the Facebook group.

Books I Read in November

I shared the list of books I read in a recent post.

I feel like I should have finished more readalouds with the kids, but these are all I could remember.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!