My Reading Goals​ for 2018

In 2018, I have a few reading goals that I want to work to accomplish. One is blog related, but most of these goals are going to be related to what I read, how often I read, and my overall reading habits.

Firstly, I want to post on this blog far more regularly! I started this blog the day before I went back to university (which was poor timing on my behalf) and got super busy immediately, meaning I had little time to read, or post. This year I want to be more productive, organised and post at least once a fortnight.

Secondly, I want to read at a minimum a book a month. The amount of time I read varies throughout the year. When I’m on break, or holiday, I can go through three or four books a week, but then when I’m at uni or just going through a busy period, I really struggle to find time to sit down and read, and actually enjoy it. My goal is to read a book a month, and if I am a bit busy, to listen to audiobooks. The first book I am going to be starting with is Exile by James Swallow, which is the sequal to Nomad, which I read on holidays recently and thoughouly enjoyed.

Thirdly, I want to read different genres of  books, and experiment with different styles of writing. I typically stick to fantasy or crime novels, so this year I want to find more variety in the books I read, and try out reading plays and poetry too.

Finally, I want to improve my overall reading habits. Rather than not reading for a few weeks and then reading a whole book in one sitting, I want to read more consistently. I want to try and read a chapter a day, or a few chapters if I can. I also want to read more consciously, and focus on the book and not other things going on around me.

So these are the reading goals that I want to accomplish in 2018. If you have any tips or adivce, or want to share your own goals, I would love to hear them!

Until next time.

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Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue​

This month, I listened to Imbolo Mbue’s sensational debut novel Behold the Dreamers on Audible. The novel tells the story of Cameroonian immigrants Jende and Neni Jonga, who migratedBehold the Dreamers to New York in 2008 to pursue a better life for their family.

Struggling in the busy city, Jende and Neni work relentlessly to provide for their family, yet struggle to make ends meet. Neni, who dreams of becoming a pharmacist, excels in college whilst simultaneously working as a care worker, and Jende drives a cab and washes dishes in a restaurant. Their luck changes after Jende is offered a job working as a personal chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a Lehman Brothers executive, and his family. As Clark’s trust in Jende grows, he offers Neni a temporary summer job cleaning and cooking at the Edward’s summer home. Just as their lives start looking up, Jende and Neni soon learn that living in America is not as prosperous as they were led to believe. Despite living a wealthy and luxurious life, the Jonga’s learn that the Edward’s home is not as perfect as it seems. As Clark and Cindy’s marriage falls apart, lives are turned upside down, and cracks begin to develop in the Jonga’s home. Following a few heartbreaking revelations, the Jonga’s are forced to face the harsh reality of what life truly looks like as an immigrant.

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Throughout the novel, Mbue expertly explores the themes of race, class and the realistic, tragic depiction the difficulties faced by immigrants chasing the quintessential American dream. The honest depiction of what life as a poor black immigrant, rejected or ignored in the wealthy white world, truly looks like in contemporary society is both a significant and necessary literary feat and highly relevant in today’s economic, social and political climate.

This honesty and integrity of this debut novel not only makes it a book worth reading, but a story that needed to be told.

This is the first book review I have written. I would love for some mature readers and reviewers out there offer me some constructive criticism that could help me improve both my content and writing style. Please feel free to leave comments down below or email me at thepaperbackreview@outlook.com. 
– Erin