Last year I decided to pursue a new goal. My goal was to read 12 books through the course of the upcoming year. The reason I chose this goal was because I noticed that in the past year I had not read many novels. I really enjoy reading in my spare time, and I thought that the new year was a great time to bring back my reading habit. I chose to read 12 novels because I thought that I would have enough time in each month to read one novel.
During the course of the year, I managed to keep up a pattern of one book every month, until about June. Around June, the school year ended, so there wasn’t really a routine that I followed. When school ended I began travelling and doing a variety of different activities. Over the summer I strayed from my original pattern, as I forgot to read 3 different books. When this school year started I was able to return back to the previous pattern, but I had to read a few more books each month. During the year I tried to read a variety of books that I normally wouldn’t have considered reading.
Here is a list of the different books that I read this year:
- Deception Point – This fiction novel is written by Dan Brown, and is focused on the story of researchers who travel to the Milne Ice Shelf to study an object that was found by a NASA satellite. While researching, they come to a surprising conclusion about the object they are studying.
- The Book Thief – This novel tells the story of a young German girl living in Nazi Germany. She becomes very interested in reading, and as she endures many hardships, her love for books grows. It is written by Markus Zusak.
- The Innocent – This book by David Baldacci is focused on a government hit man named Will Robie, who goes on an unusual mission and makes an unusual ally.
- Paper Towns – Paper Towns is written by John Green and tells the story of two teenagers, Quentin and Margo go on an adventure of revenge together, but the next day, Quentin and his friends are unable to find Margo. They then begin to search for Margo and the clues she has left behind.
- Angels and Demons – Angels and Demons is another novel written by Dan Brown. It focuses on Robert Langdon, a well known symbologist. Langdon works to stop an ever-powerful group from destroying the Vatican City with a bomb developed by a deceased physicist. His efforts seem to be in vain, until he discovers the truth.
- The Hit – The Hit is the sequel to David Baldacci’s The Innocent. Will Robie goes on another mission, but when he learns his target, he begins to question the veracity behind the mission.
- I Am Malala – This book was written by Malala Yousfzai and Christina Lamb, and is an autobiographical account of Malala’s life in the Swat Valley in Pakistan. The book focuses on the lack of safe and quality education that is available to many girls in Pakistan.
- Eleanor & Park – This novel tells the story of two students who meet on the bus. Slowly, their friendship grows, and soon a romance begins. Although Eleanor is very unfortunate, she finds solace in being with Park.
- Killing Kennedy – This factual novel by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard tells the story of John F. Kennedy and his time as President of the United States. The story includes details of Kennedy’s life that have never been told before regarding lesser known part of his life.
- Johnny Got His Gun – This novel written by Dalton Trumbo tells the story of an American soldier who was injured during the first World War. His injuries cause him to lose all of his senses, and the story follows his trials and tribulations in a completely uncharted world.
- Samurai William – Samurai William was written by Giles Milton, and is a factual account of foreigners in Japan. The majority of the story focuses on William Adams, who was one of the earliest foreigners to come to Japan. The book tells of his experience, and the complete differences between the culture he knows, and the culture of this mystical land.
- Killing Patton – Killing Patton was also written by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard, and outlines the life and death of George S. Patton. It explored Patton’s military genius and the mystery behind his sudden death.
During this experience I was able to learn many things. First, I was able to learn a lot about my ability to work towards my own goals. I realised that I am not very good at managing my time. Although I planned to read 1 book each month, the official goal was to read 12 books throughout the course of 2014, so I read a majority of my books towards the end of the year. This made the activity a bit challenging at the end of the year, because I was busy with school work, and did not have much time to work on finishing my books. Despite the fact that it was very difficult to read many books in a short amount of time, I was able to improve my reading skills by learning how to read faster. This skill will be very useful in the future in situations where I have to read very quickly.
I was also able to gain a lot of knowledge from reading the books such as different vocabulary and historic information. A few of the books that I read were non-fiction books which taught me about a few different current and historical events. For example, when reading Killing Kennedy and Killing Patton, I was able to learn about certain topics regarding the early 1900’s from and American perspective. When reading the book I am Malala, I learned about the conflict in Pakistan, and the effects of this situation upon the people of Pakistan. Finally, reading the book Samurai William, I was able to learn about certain aspects of Japanese history, and the introduction of foreigners in Japan. I was also able to learn many new words that I could use in a variety of situations.
The things that I learned from this experience will be useful in many of my classes. The different historical and current information that I learned could be very useful in I&S class, as it will give me a broader understanding of historical events. This will help increase my understanding of certain topics in our I&S class. The different vocabulary that I learned would be very useful in many of my classes, because it will help me improve my writing skills. Specifically, improving my writing skills would be very useful in English class, because it will help me write more fluently.
Although I was successful in reaching my goal, there are some improvements that I would make if I were to do this again. First, I would not leave all the ‘work’ to the end, and I would evenly space out the time that I had to read each book. I would also read an even larger variety of books, because many of the books that I read were by the same author, or very similar in genre. If I were to do this again I would also increase the amount of books, because I was not very challenged, when I only read one book a month. Regarding my goal making process, I would have followed the guidelines that I set for myself more strictly.
Finally, I think that this was a good experience, but there are some things that could have been improved. This experience will definitely help me in the future, and I plan on repeating this goal in 2015 while challenging myself even more.