Top 10 Books of 2016

A bit overdue–apologies for that! This past year, I was determined to read more in any capacity. As I mentioned in my post highlighting my 2016, I decided to help myself along by tracking my reading via a GoodReads reading challenge. My goal started small, at just 20 books for the year, and I was able to bump up my goal to 40. It might not make sense to keep raising it after I did it–at that point, any extra books were just a bonus, but I kept moving it just a bit beyond my reach each time to spur me on. However, this backfired a tiny bit in that I tended to favor graphic novels, especially since my library has an amazing selection of new releases. While valid books to read, they are much quicker reads, and as a result 26 of 41 books were graphic novels. Of the remaining 15 books, 8 were non-fiction (which I’d wanted to read more of, and the other 7 were fiction/YA and the Harry Potter play.

Next year, I think I’d be better off setting a smaller goal and keeping it there, so that I’m not tempted to avoid longer books in favor of book count. That’s just counterproductive and a con of trying to game-ify my reading habits. But nonetheless, I read far more than I have in the past few years, partly because I’m not in school anymore, but also, again, because my library is, in fact, the bomb-diggity. I read more non-fiction, particular memoirs, business books/self help/Malcolm Gladwell type books, and books about feminism. I read some educational graphic novels, which I love.

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January 2017

I initially started this post writing about how it’s become more and more difficult for me to remain passive with some of my Trump-supporting relatives, but that quickly took on a life of its own, worthy of its own post. It will likely come after this one does, so please check back for that or consider subscribing via email on the right column of this site, just below the search bar. #plug

I also tried started to write about being a bit disappointed by comments made by some of my Latino family who were very outspoken against immigration despite themselves being immigrants from a country that at the time was ruled by a dictator… but then that also took a life of it’s own.

Not much has been normal this past January. On many levels for me.

This month really is not the best one to try to make some changes to my monthly recap posts because it was a bit of an outlier (or at least I HOPE IT IS) for the year. I think the bf and I already had our fill for worst month in the first month.

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Top 5 Animated Films of 2016

fox and bunny having an argument

In 2015, I tracked my media consumption on a page on my blog, but then never did anything with it. Earlier in 2016, much like I adopted GoodReads to track my books, I created an account on LetterBoxd to track films, and my oh my, how much easier it is. I’m not sure why I never did your typical end of year wrap ups on my blog before, but here we are making up for it.

That being said, I wrote the post over on my animation website, So please head over there and give it some love. 🙂

Unfortunately, my picks were not totally in-line with the Oscar nominations, which were released this morning. We were on very similar planes regarding the film, but we definitely have our differences. And there’s one that I haven’t seen, that wasn’t nominated, that, based on performance and reviews, sounds like it should have made the cut. I also mention an animation-related documentary that was nominated for an Oscar as well! But I plan to go into the Oscars a bit more in the future, both on AnimationComplex and on the in-progress, not-yet-launched Animation Complex YouTube channel.

2017 Resolutions

Between sickness and incidents (see my last post), this year has already started off a bit rocky. But I’m determined to regain the momentum I lost.

I already did a quick recap of 2016, which covered some things I was focusing on this year. Some of my goals also reflect in my recap from 2015, which already feels like so long ago. Say what you will about resolutions, argue about the negatives of sharing your goals out-loud, cite articles about how silly it is to wait for an arbitrary date to implement life-changes. The way I view them is pretty casually, and more like inciting incidents. Like, hey, if I do the bare minimum I’ve set for myself, then I’ll have done all of this stuff in a year. Rules set that you some times break are better than none. That’s just what’s always worked for me. I used to try to treat my birthday as the time to start my resolutions, as that is literally my personal new year/life anniversary, but it just doesn’t make sense for me what with my birthday right before the major slew of year-end holidays (read: chaos). That, and I was embarrassed to be one of those people who did sort of take resolutions “seriously.” Get over yourself, PastJen. 😛

It’s a bit of harmless fun that should only be meant to help you along.

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When Your Year Doesn’t Start

It’s only ten days into January and I’m already behind.

This year has already started out rough for me..saying goodbye to a dear friend who lives on the other side of the world, getting sick, and then this past weekend I was in a car accident. I’ve been out of work more days this year than I’ve been in work. Which, again, only 10 days in, so I know that statement is a little overdramatic. But I’m giving myself a pass considering the ACTUAL existential crisis I’ve been dealing with when contemplating my own mortality and replaying this weekend in my head, or thinking about it in regard to the bf, who was the driver at the time. I won’t go into specifics, other than it was pretty bad but we got pretty lucky. And that the other driver was drunk. 🙁

I think the weirdest thing about all of this is how life just moves on. And it’s not as if I haven’t experienced these thoughts or realizations before in other ways, at other pivotal moments. I don’t necessarily think this moment is pivotal either. I’m definitely not handling it well mentally, and I know that that will take much longer to heal than my body. One of my co-workers wisely said that being okay is the most important, and then the healing process. We’re almost ok in the ‘get better soon’ sense, but it won’t be a thing that just is over. I’ll think about it daily until one day I just don’t, and then it’ll only crop up once in a while. At least that’s what I hope. You can’t predict how you will handle these things. I think I’m attempting to, I think I’m determined to not let it do the thing, but by blogging about it aren’t I letting it? But, you can argue, acknowledging it will put it out there and now that it’s out there I can move past it. Let’s go with that, yes?

Now it’s the healing and all of the stress of the aftermath, as ungrateful as that sounds. But let’s be real, I’m a complex enough person to simultaneously be grateful for our safety and dreading/frustrated at all of the legalities we have to deal with now. Those feelings can exist at the same time. It’s going to be stressful, and we’re probably going to turn off our already (happily!) low-key social lives to pinch pennies even more.

That all being said, I’m still working out my logistics for the year! I still have posts I wanted to write about 2016, but now it seems too late. But I’m going to post them anyway, because they are just some fun posts about my favorite books and anime/TV shows I watched this year, and finally my 2017 resolutions…which…are still IP…

All in good time. I’ve got actual goals this year, and expectations for myself month-to-month, but I’m not so naive to ignore the self-care I need right right now.