0

What is Deborah Geeking Over This Week Vol. 5

Gosh it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these but here we go:

icecream

It’s not Superman ice cream but damn it, if I love artificially blue colored ice cream. This is a cotton candy flavored ice cream mixed with other things. Also ice cream is best enjoyed in winter.

beatlesbook

I’ve been wanting this book since 2000. I am now finally the proud owner of it. Seriously, dream come true. My 16 year old self is freaking out right now.

books

This was my library haul the other day. The sad/good part is that I still have 11 books on hold I need to pick up. Holla!

Last year I raved about the garlic tuscan bread from Wegmans. While I still love it, I decided to try out something new. Which led me to randomly choosing their jalepeno cheese bread. Holy crap! While I normally don’t like hot stuff, this was DELICIOUS. There are whole pepper slices in here. And cheese. And it’s bread. NOM NOM NOM.

Lately I’ve found myself expanding my beer tastes even further and I’ve discovered that I really enjoy a good coffee stout. The more coffee taste the better. This is the most recent one that I’ve tried that I enjoy. Look at me, trying out new things.

But going back to old things, Blink 182’s been in the news a lot the past week due to Tom DeLonge may or may not be quitting/being kicked out of the band. I have always had a HUGE crush on him since….I was 15? So let’s think of happier times with an old school pic of my crush.

0

Being different has made me more aware

One of my goals for 2015 is to read more diversely. This is something that has been brought to my attention after reading several articles on Book Riot about this very topic.

Most of the authors that I read were white (white women to be specific) and therefore almost all the books I read had white main characters in them. Growing up the majority of my friends were white and therefore I wanted to be white too. I wanted to have brown or blonde hair, lighter skin, and blue eyes. I even wanted freckles. I also wanted a last name that people could easily pronounce. I used to want to just blend in with everyone instead of being the one that always stuck out. I hated that someone could just reference “the Asian girl” and it almost always meant me. It’s refreshing to know though that I wasn’t the only one who felt this way.

The thing is, as awful as all that sounds, it’s made me become so much more aware today than I think most people are.

Sadly I know a lot more prejudice and racism that my white friends will luckily never experience. I’ve been called names, made fun of, and heard so many jokes about features of myself that I can never change. It’s hard also seeing depictions of my race and culture constantly being made fun of in media and entertainment. While I can take and make a cultural joke, it’s also really hard to hear and see truly derogatory insults on a regular basis.

I do feel like I see the world differently than most of my friends. Unless they go out of their comfort zone and do some traveling, it will be very likely they will ever feel like the minority. I don’t know think they know what it’s like to sit down and see you’re the only one in a sea of similar people. And it’s probably hard to understand why I would not want to be myself and be like them instead. You can learn to understand this more if you marry into the culture but at the same time, it’s still really hard to understand what I go through.

I’m not saying all this to play up any race cards or make anyone feel guilty. I’m just trying to explain why I am in favor of learning more about diversity. In those Book Riot posts, it’s talked a lot how most books we read subconsciously are written by white authors and also about white characters. It is what sells. Just like the writers in the post, I too got very excited any time there was a character in a book that looked like me. Claudia Kishi from The Baby-Sitters Club was my favorite character because she was the only Asian girl and therefore I could relate to her. Mulan is my favorite Disney princess because she looked like me. I have always been disappointed that there was only one Asian American Girl historical doll, Ivy, and even then she’s the sidekick friend and not the main doll but even then, it’s exciting because hey, she looks like me! But these are exceptions to the rule and not the norm sadly.

I’d love for more people to become more culturally diverse. I can’t force or make anyone else learn or understand this. But I can do it for myself in books I choose to read. And it’s helping me to see the world a lot differently in a good way.

1

Blades of (non) Glory

skating

When I was growing up and watching the Winter Olympics, I wanted to be a figure skater. When you’re a young girl, that’s the best sport ever. Plus, two of the best US figure skaters at the time were Asian American. So naturally I wanted to be like them. There was one small catch: I’d never been ice skating before.

In fact I didn’t get to go ice skating until senior(?) year in high school. And it actually wasn’t horrible. I mean there was no way I could ever see myself doing a jump and landing on that tiny blade but it was fun to get out on the ice. I remember having a good time with my friends skating around the rink. I did it again in college too and once again remember enjoying myself as I was actually pretty good at moving around the rink at a decent pace.

Fast forward to this past week.

It appears that winter sports and I just don’t seem to mix anymore.

We already know how I don’t ski, though I gave it a shot. Well, this past week I went ice skating due to a friend’s birthday. Even though it’d been about a year and a half since I last went to our local rink, I wasn’t worried about it. After all, I have a 100% record of NOT falling on the ice. I know, it’s hard to believe but it’s actually true!

I was a little nervous because the worst part is always when you get on the ice for the first time. But then, that feeling of being terrified never really went away. The weird part was I found myself unable to really move on the ice.

Believe it or not, I can actually skate. You wouldn’t have guessed it from that night but I used to be able to move pretty darn well, at least being able to hold my own. But yet that night, I found myself lapping the rink exactly six times in 60 minutes. Yep. It took me ten minutes to get around the rink each time.

Michelle Kwan I was not that night.

More like this instead

I think it’s the fear of falling and not being in control. I hate that feeling. It’s also probably the fear of breaking my ankle and it’s a risk I’d rather not take. I just could not get my feet to move faster than a turtle’s pace no matter how much I wanted to.

The strange part is that two years ago, I went ice skating at that exact same rink and I was perfectly fine. To be honest I think part of it was due to not feeling like I had to one up someone anymore. When you already feel like you’re the worst at something among all your friends, instead of trying to do better, I think I just sort of give up. But when I’m with someone who is worse than me (especially if there’s a hidden motive), I feel the urge to out do them and it motivates me to do better.

This is not to say at all that I didn’t have fun. I actually did. Trying to concentrate on not falling was quite the challenge. I think though that unless something drastic happens, my ice skating days are probably numbered. It is ok. I gave it my best shot and I’m ok with it.

0

Geeking about The Beatles: Please Please Me

If you’ve known me for any extended amount of time, then you know that my all time favorite band is The Beatles. One of my blogging goals for 2015 is to have a regular feature and because I’m completely random, I will be featuring a Beatles album monthly. This is exciting because it gives me a chance to relisten to these albums again. I’m not exactly reviewing it (as I am not a music reviewer) but instead enjoying it as a fan.

Please Please Me was the first full studio album released by The Beatles in March 1963 under the Parlophone label with George Martin as the producer. They recorded this album in less than 13 hours on a single day. Can you imagine how insane that is compared to what people do today? There are 6 covers on here and the rest are Lennon/McCartney originals.

  • I Saw Her Standing There (Lennon/McCartney) – Lead singer – Paul
  • Misery (Lennon/McCartney) – Lead singer – John/Paul
  • Anna (Go to Him) (Arthur Alexander) – Lead singer – John
  • Chains (Goffin/King) – Lead singer – George
  • Boys (Dixon/Farrell) – Lead singer – Ringo
  • Ask Me Why (Lennon/McCartney) – Lead singer – John
  • Please Please Me (Lennon/McCartney) – Lead singer – John/Paul
  • Love Me Do (Lennon/McCartney) – Lead singer – John/Paul
  • P.S. I Love You (Lennon/McCartney) – Lead singer – Paul
  • Baby It’s You (David/Williams/Bacharach) – Lead singer – John
  • Do You Want to Know a Secret (Lennon/McCartney) – Lead singer – George
  • A Taste of Honey (Scott/Marlow) – Lead singer – Paul
  • There’s a Place (Lennon/McCartney) – Lead singer – John/Paul
  • Twist and Shout (Medley/Russell) – Lead singer – John

Standout song: Twist and Shout

Personal favorite songs: Twist and Shout, Anna (Go to Him), Baby It’s You, Please Please Me

Least memorable: Boys, Chains

While the Beatles had recorded songs before, this was the first album they recorded together as a group. I know that bands, groups, and singers these days have albums coming out when they are young teens but almost all the time they never write their own songs. A lot of those songs also have four or more writers credited. So for a bunch of guys that are 23 or younger (!!), this is pretty incredible.

Most of the songs are very light about love. There’s nothing too deep lyrically in these songs plus the guitar chords sound quite simple and not as complex as they will become later on. This album sounds very oldies like. I also find it interesting that everyone in the band gets to sing. These days it almost feels like a lot of popular bands really consist of the band backing up the lead singer (who usually doesn’t play an instrument either). Here George gets two and even Ringo joins in on the fun. Unfortunately for them, the selections chosen for them aren’t very outstanding. Two of these songs were originally done by girl groups so it’s a curious selection. Then again so was “Baby It’s You” but I just adore that song in general so maybe it’s in the way it’s sung.

Twist and Shout is the best song on this album. It was also the last song recorded during that 12+ hour session and you can absolutely tell that in John’s voice as it’s basically ripped to shreds.

All in all a decent first album. While, it’s not my favorite and other than “Twist and Shout” there’s nothing really jumping out, it’s a darn good start.

Next month: With the Beatles

1

Hope in the Midst of Suffering

This past week, our church had a tragedy happen to a family in our congregation. I won’t go into detail on it here but this is a Facebook page where if you want to find out more info you can.

When I first saw the news on Facebook, I didn’t really think twice about it. I didn’t recognize any of the names and as our church is fairly large, I just assumed that it was people who I wasn’t connected with. But then as it kept popping up on my feed from numerous folks, I finally clicked on one of the links. It turned out that even though I was not actually acquainted with the family, I did know who they were.

Several years ago at a women’s brunch, the speaker talked about how she had gone through her divorce and despite how difficult it had been and all the pain she went through, she knew that God was with her through it all. Her talk was so inspiring to me. This is because that was exactly the time when I was in the process of ending my marriage and going through my divorce Her speaking was exactly what I needed to hear. Even though we didn’t go through the same situation, just hearing someone talk about that in the church was a blessing. Though I knew that there were many divorced people in the church, no one really talked about it. To hear her testimony in front of all those women was bold, brave, and incredibly inspiring. It showed me that I wasn’t alone and that I would get through it. I knew that the timing of that could only have come from God.

I never told her how much her talk meant to me. Honestly since that day, I sort of forgot about her because of everything that went through in my life. Until last week, when I saw the news of what happened to her family. And then I remembered. What she has gone through is something no one ever wants to.

This past Sunday, our church did something that we normally don’t do. Instead of continuing his series, our pastor led our church in a time of open grieving and prayer. We were allowed to cry and mourn. We were allowed to ask God why he let things like this happen. But we also were reminded that He is in control and that we can still trust in Him even when we don’t understand why. It was honestly one of the best church services I have ever been to in my life. Like someone in my small group said, it made me know that my church is the right one for me.

One of my biggest fears is that going through a hardship alone. This Sunday showed me that it won’t happen. You may not share my faith and that’s ok. I just know for myself I am glad to be able to have a faith where I know I can have the hope and trust that when hard times happen (and they will happen) I WILL be ok.

But this isn’t about me today. I’ve been praying for this family and I hope and know that the Lord will work through this situation in ways we won’t be able to see until later. His goodness will show. His plan will happen. We shouldn’t lose hope because He is our hope.

 “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:3-4)

1

I’m a Cereal Girl

I ran out of milk the other day. I know, boring story who doesn’t run out of milk? It’s weird though, because there are some days when I’ll have to throw out even a half-gallon (hey, it’s just me drinking it) because I didn’t get it all finished in time before the expiration date. THen there are days when it’s gone in less than a week. It took me a while but I finally discovered why.

Milk disappears when I have cereal in the house.

I am one of those types of people who love cereal. It’s true. Sugary cereal. Healthy cereal. Cold cereal. Hot cereal. It’s ALL good.

This is me basically:

Growing up cereal was a treat in our house. We always had at least one box to share between the three of us. However my mom was pretty choosy over what we could get. We could only get “the good stuff” if it was $2 or less. This meant that getting stuff like Froot Loops or Lucky Charms could only happen when they went on sale. This made it all the more challenging and worth it because you never knew what was going to available at the store. Also there were cool toys and things to be had in cereal boxes but really for us, the actual cereal was more exciting.

I still carry on this tradition to this day as an adult. I only get cereal when it’s on sale for $2 or less. My only exception is granola. But it really is amazing how if you just wait, you’ll be able to get all the delicious cereal at some point. And when they do go on sale, I make sure to stock up. Currently I have Lucky Charms, Golden Grahams, and Reeses’ Cereal. This is why my milk disappears.

My favorite movie theater, the Alamo Drafthouse, has a cartoon cereal party series they host often where for $5 you can watch 2 hours of cartoon on the big screen PLUS get all the sugary cereal you can eat. And milk. It’s the best deal ever. Last time I had about 5 bowls of Froot Loops, Cocoa Krispies, and Apple Jacks. It’s like your childhood dreams have come true.

Cereal is like candy. But it’s also healthy when you want it to be. I do also enjoy a bowl of (Honey Nut) Cheerios or (Frosted) Shredded Wheat. The clusters in Honey Bunch of Oats are the best. Top them off with fruit and you got yourself a balanced breakfast.

There are some cereals that I miss and wish would make a comeback. Rice Krispies Treat cereal. And Oreo Os. Also I have never been a fan of any of the Captain Crunches. Interestingly also we never bought the bag cereal. I realize it’s basically the same but something about a bag vs box makes me choose a box every time. I have also found that the generic cereal is just as good and can be cheaper but if the price is the same, I’ll choose brand name. I know, weird.

Seriously though cereal is the best. It is a quick and easy meal when you don’t feel like cooking. I realize there are folks out there that don’t like it. And it’s ok. We all can’t be awesome.

Like this restaurant. Which is the dream.

2

What Good Books Have You Been Reading Lately Vol. 7

To newcomers of this blog, this is a semi-regular feature on my blog. I have no set date on when these posts will go up. It all depends on how much I read and how good the books are that I read. Lately, I have been picking good books so it’s been good reading times for me. My spreadsheet is getting a workout!

I Work at a Public Library by Gina Sheridan (Adams Media Corporation, 2014)

My blurb: This book is HILARIOUS. Though you will probably appreciate it more if you work/worked in a public library (obvs). Which I do. If you do read it, please don’t be those people.

Checkmate by Steven James (Signet Select, 2014)

My blurb: I’ve been reading this series from Steven James for about 6 years. It is one of the best thriller series I’ve ever read. It’s also one of the few series that my mom and I both read. This was the conclusion and it was very satisfying. Also gory. Which is fantastic. Also elements of faith. Also fantastic. Also set near DC, woo! Sad to see end but so worth it.

Goodnight Darth Vader by Jeffrey Brown (Chronicle Books, 2014)

My blurb: These are just the cutest books ever. Seriously if you’re a Star Wars fan and you don’t like these, then you are not one with the Force. While you can read this to your kids, adults will enjoy them even more. SO CUTE.

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick (Touchstone, 2014)

My blurb: As you already know, I’m a huge fan of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. One might think that this book was redundant, because The LBD is already a retelling of Pride and Prejudice so wouldn’t this book be more so? Nope. It gives more insight into the story, plus the writers had to make sure everything matched up with the videos. That meant if they mentioned a date they had to go back to the timeline they had  created already to make sure that all characters were actually available on that date. Talk about fact checking! It’s a wonderful addition to the series.

Yes Please by Amy Poeher (It Books, 2014)

My blurb: This book is awesome. First off, it’s a beautiful book. The pages are not your normal book pages, they’re more glossy and heavy. Second, if you’re a fan of Amy’s you’ll love this book. It’s hilarious just like her as well as insightful. It’s not all deep and heavy full of secrets like other celeb memoirs. It’s just Amy. If you’ve read her BFF Tina Fey’s book Bossypants, you’ll enjoy this one too.

That’s what I’ve been reading. What good books have YOU been reading lately?

0

Words Words $#K@:R#@ Words

Last week in the Christian fiction book world there was a review of an upcoming book from a well known Christian fiction author that was given a rating of 1/2 a star due to language. There were other issues in the book (such as they couldn’t tell it was a Christian book at all) but that was the main focal point of the review. The reviewer summarized by saying that if this book had been marketed as a general market novel it would have gotten a higher rating but since it’s a Christian book, it was worth only 1/2 a star. There was a rather interested reaction to this review from members of the Christian fiction community. While there were those that agreed with the review, there were others (including authors and readers) who felt the review to be unjust and nitpicky.

What was most interesting to me was that in another Christian fiction book, I found a curse word used AS a curse word and NO ONE has said anything about it yet in all the reviews on Amazon and Goodreads that I’ve read through. That same reviewer in fact gave the book high stars! I don’t get it.

Let me start out by saying two things. One, I realize that everyone is entitled to their own opinions and that this publication has every right to uphold their own beliefs. The second is, I’m a Christian and I curse sometimes yet I feel that my relationship with God is on solid ground.

Cursing is not something I enjoy doing and I actually don’t do it a lot. There are certain words that I really don’t like using/seeing//hearing but it also comes with the intent behind the words. A word is really just a word. It’s all in what you mean behind it. A curse word stripped down is just a bunch of random letters lined up next to each other. It cannot hurt you until you take that word and throw it at someone in a derogatory way. That being said, any word can be used to harm someone. Chicken is word that most use to call an animal or a type of meat. Or it can be used as an insult. I mean even the word “girl” is used as an insult.

Going back to the review, personally I’m looking forward to reading this book. While I enjoy reading a lot of Christian fiction books, I also take issue to books that want to stay in the bubble. I understand that there is and always will be an audience that wants to separate themselves away from the rest of the world and I respect them for it. But at the same time, I also prefer reading books that don’t preach and is able to be enjoyed by ANYONE who picks it up. I have known for years that I’m not the target audience for most Christian fiction and that’s ok. I stated on another blog that I just like author’s who do share my beliefs and are able to tell a good story.

It just irks me when I see authors who do just that get harsh reviews from those that don’t see things that way. Again, everyone is entitled to their own beliefs. It’s just funny that Christians want a label stating that it’s not “really” a Christian book, while those who aren’t of the same faith will want a label saying it’s a faith based book. While excessive cursing used as filler in any type of book is unacceptable because it’s sloppy and unimaginative, the opposite is just as bad too.  Too many times have I read novels where it’s very obvious that the writer is trying to avoid using curse words but it comes across as looking completely unrealistic.

I guess the biggest thing for me is that I feel like it shouldn’t even be that big of an issue when there are so many other things that is lacking in that genre. (Diversity for one) I do feel like Christians spend too much time worrying about keeping things clean and trying to make everything safe.

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good.” – The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe

0

My (non) adventures in skiing

Winter has arrived and with it come ski season.

You know that time of year when people get excited to go down a mountain with two planks strapped on their feet and two poles in their hand.

I’ve gone skiing once in my life. It might probably the only time in my life.

I’m a huge fan of watching skiing during the Olympics. I enjoy watching all the downhill events as well as the freestyle skiing events. I can give or take cross-country but that’s mainly because the US isn’t really good at it so I have no real incentive to watch.

Skiing was not something we did in my family growing up. Both my parent are from countries where snow just does not exist therefore they are not big fans of it. Snow was a hindrance that needed to be shoveled away immediately and not something to play in. Therefore they saw no reason as to why we should pay money to play in snow. Plus we lived at least 4 hours away from the nearest ski resort so it really was out of the question. My youth group never went on skiing trips and I was never invited by any of my friends to go with them so I went 29 years without ever seeing skiing in person.

Honestly it never really was that big of a deal to me missing out on it. Now snowboarding I would have loved to have done because that just seems really cool and the people who snowboard are even cooler.

Then I moved up to the Northern Virginia area and the group of friends I was in had nearly everyone being a hard core skier. Like these are folks that get season passes to the resorts around here, go on ski trips almost every weekend, all own their own skis, and go out for trips out west just to ski. Most of them either grew up in snowy areas where they had to ski (or die) or their families growing up placed skiing as a priority and so they learned at a young age. Clearly I was not in their league.

But as I was trying to do a bunch of stuff before turning 30, skiing once was on the list of things to do. I was invited with a group of friends to go out to western Maryland to a ski resort. Seeing as how I was the ONLY person in the entire group who didn’t know how to ski, I decided to sign up for lessons. First I went out and bought ski pants and ski socks (because normal socks won’t cut it). The lessons were kind of a joke. I barely learned how to do anything in that hour but what do you expect when you’re not paying for personal lessons. Two of my friends (who are rather good skiers) decided to accompany me on my first (and only) trip down the mountain on whatever the easiest slopes were.

I knew I was going to be in for a rough time when I fell down while we were STANDING in line. I then fell getting off the ski lift.

We proceeded to go down the mountain where I just kept falling over and over again. My problem was that it felt like I was going super fast (which I really wasn’t) and that I was going to either a) fall off the side of the mountain or b) keep running into people. Falling isn’t fun at all. You get snow down your pants and getting up is really hard when you’re not used to wearing ski boots. I honestly was afraid I was going to break my ankle again getting up. Plus the goggles I was wearing kept fogging up plus they were fogging up my glasses inside so I could barely see.

I was about 3/4 down the mountain and had fallen down yet again when I just was tired of it all and refused to get up. The following conversation may be more dramatic than what actually happened.

D: I can’t get up. Just leave me.
C. You have to get up. You can’t stay here.
D: Just leave me, I can’t do this anymore.
C: (getting frustrated) Just get up. You’re almost there.
D: No. I’m done. I hate this. *keeps sitting*
C: YOU GET UP RIGHT NOW. YOU GET UP OR YOU WON’T EAT. GET UP NOW!
D: (tries to get up but keeps falling so C has to help her) …..ok

And we eventually got down the mountain (I fell again) and I called it a day.

There’s no photographic evidence of me skiing (thank the Lord), at least not to my knowledge. And I’m perfectly fine with that. I was very sore afterwards.

I just don’t see myself doing it again. It’s an expensive sport and from where I live, you have to travel several hours to be able to do this. Plus it’s a time sensitive activity as it can only be done a few months of the year. I honestly just cannot justify the expenses for it. Do I feel a bit left out because it literally feels like 95% of my friends ski and I don’t? Yes. But then I’ve realized that I’ve tried it and I don’t like it so there’s no point in me wasting money in making myself miserable. I’m NEVER going to catch up with my friends unless I go and pay for high quality lessons and then spend pretty much every day skiing which is never going to happen.

So I’m perfectly content with going snow tubing (THAT’S fun) and/or staying in the cabin by the fireplace drinking my hot cocoa while everyone else goes to ski. Sure I wish I could join them but I’ve accepted this lot in my life. And I’m perfectly ok with it.

2

That Time I Got Really Geeked About a Spreadsheet

So I’m going to get all book nerdy on you today.

Last week I talked about my reading stats for last year and my reading goals for 2015. You might also remember that I had trouble remembering exactly how many books in each category that I read last year. This was due to Goodreads being the only source of how I kept track of my books. In order to figure out numbers in each genre, I had to count from the beginning several times. When one reads over 200 books, this becomes a bit problematic because after a while everything just runs together. I knew I wasn’t giving the correct numbers but I was tired of having to keep going back and forth.

I knew that I needed to make a different change in 2015. That’s when I decided to keep a reading spreadsheet.

Now let me first say that I really love doing data entry. I’ve worked in records management and secretly let me tell you it’s something I really enjoy. I love stats and keeping track of things so I can see trends and growth over time.

I knew that other folks had been keeping their reading habits on spreadsheets but I had dismissed them earlier. After all, I used Goodreads. Why should you use something else? Then I ran into my problem and realized I needed something more than just Goodreads.

Book Riot (which if you love books and reading is site you need to be visiting every day) had an article up a few months ago called “How I Track My Reading: The Ultimate Reading Spreadsheet.” The author of the post feels the same way I do about data, tracking, stats, and reading. She also gives a link to where one can download a template for a spreadsheet and then customize it to their own preferences.

Google Drive is an amazing feature. I don’t currently own Microsoft Office products but with Google Docs and Google spreadsheets, I don’t need to. And being online, I can update this spreadsheet anywhere that I can have internet access. No more waiting hours later to write down that book!

As stated last year, the biggest genre I read the most of was Christian fiction. This meant that the majority of the authors I read were white and female. This year, I want to read more diversely. This doesn’t mean I’m purposely choosing what I read but I want to keep a closely better track of what authors I’m reading. I also want to read more non fiction as well.

So here are screenshots of what my spreadsheet looks like. I have many different things I want to keep track of as you can see. And yes I have read 10 books at this point, by the time this publishes it might be more. (Click on the images to make them bigger)

Here’s the first half. The first column is for when I finish the book. Then there’s title, author, gender of author (drop down menu to choose from female, male, collaboration), publisher, year version I’m reading is published, date started, date ended, pages, Fiction or Non Fiction, Level (drop down menu for Adult, YA – young adult, or MG – Middle Grade).

Reading Spreadsheet1

The second half – Genre, Format (book, ebook, ARC – advanced reader copy, etc), source (where did I get book from), Nationality of author, Diversity – is the author a Person of Color (this is any author that is not white). Then we get to the formula tracking columns which tally up pages read, books finished and how many POC authors I’ve read.

ReadingSpreadsheet2

I realize that not everyone cares so much about data like this! These are the things that are important for me to keep track of when I read however. I know that some people couldn’t care less who writes their book or even how many books they read. But I am trying to read outside my normal routine so for me it is important to know that I’m not just reading the same thing over and over. Re: tracking diversity of author, it can get a little tricky because sometimes that means researching an author’s background but after last year of reading over 200 books and only reading THREE POC authors, I want to make an effort this year of reading more.

I still use Goodreads to keep track of what books I’m reading and also because I’m doing their reading challenge. And it’s a good tool and website. I just know that for me personally, I want more info and that means doing this spreadsheet. It may mean a little bit more work but that’s ok! You may get sick of seeing spreadsheets after work all day. But for me, this is great fun.

Now on to more reading!

Thank you very much to Book Riot for the inspiration to do this.