So it was always a goal of mine to turn this blog into not just an historic recounting of my memorable times at BCT and OCS, but also an outlet for, well, whatever the heck I want to write about. Before I ever left for basic, I had the idea to create another separate blog for my Goodreads challenge and book reviews. Well, to absolutely no one’s surprise–I ended up creating that blog, and currently I have no idea what it was called or how I logged into it. RIP baby blog that never even got it’s first book related posting.
Thus, a new pet project here. In the end, it’s probably for the best anyway, since I’m looking forward to sharing some fresh #content out of the realm of everything Army.
As background, I’ve always been a reader of sorts. I’m pretty sure I started reading at like five years old because I have distinct memories of being a special student that was pulled aside by my kindergarten teachers and allowed to bring secret books home to read because the rest of the peasant children in my class just were not on my level. I grew into the great comedian I am today because I was sculpted by the likes of Captain Underpants and Junie B. Jones (embarrassingly, I used to walk around in my ONE pair of block heels and read Junie B. Jones books to myself, acting out each part in different voices to no one).
Two years ago, as my parents struggled to think of adequate Christmas present ideas for me, I gave them the suggestion of a subscription to Book of the Month club. It was a company I had sort of happened upon, and unsure of what the quality of books was going to be or if they were even going to be any good, my parents obliged with a lengthy 3-month subscription. (Note: for those that are curious, BOTM is one of the best things I’ve ever willingly spent money on. At the beginning of every month, you have the option to use one of your monthly credits on one out of five book selections their judges choose, or if nothing speaks to you that month, you can skip the month and end up carrying your credits over. With that being said, it’s obvious some months are going to be better than others, but in general, the quality of the books [both physically and content-wise] are very good, and they do their best to have a wide selection of topics to try to cater to everyone. In the grand total of like 15 months I’ve had BOTM, there was only one book I started and didn’t finish, and that was because I chose the book to try to read something out of my normal taste. If you generally choose a book that you think you’ll like–you probably will! Not only that but it seems like almost every month they have a selection from a debut author or a book that’s not available in wide release yet, so you really are getting up and coming books that typically end up being highly rated on Goodreads).
SPEAKING OF GOODREADS (great segue), I downloaded the Goodreads app about the same time I started BOTM club. While, at its core, it’s a handy app to track books that you’ve already read and/or books that you eventually want to read, its rating system seems pretty solid. In general, books rated high 3 through above 4 stars are worth reading, low 3 to mid 3 stars can be hit or miss, and anything below 3 is probably not worth wasting your time on reading. Especially for niches that I am really interested in (war autobiographies, selections from specific authors like Steven King and Chuck Palahniuk), I get a really good gauge on what books I should pick up and what to skip over.
I very briefly mentioned my reading goals last year in my Before Boot Camp Bucket List post that my goal was to read eight more books before leaving for basic to bring my total book count up to 30. My original Goodreads challenge goal in 2017 was 75, I believe, which would have been feasible had I not
wasted spent the months of August through December with virtually no free time to partake in comfort reading. This year, with the understanding that I still have 19 weeks of BOLC (Basic Officer Leadership Course for those wondering) to complete, and not quite knowing what my year was going to look like with free time, I decided to set my Goodreads goal at 40 books. So far in 2018, I have finished 8. They are:
- Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
- It, Stephen King
- One of Us Is Lying, Karen M. McManus
- I Wrote This For You, pleasefindthis (Iain S. Thomas)
- Not That I Could Tell, Jessica Strawser (March BOTM selection)
- I Didn’t Come Here to Make Friends, Courtney Robertson
- The Call, Peadar O Guilin
- Our Kind of Cruelty, Araminta Hall (April BOTM selection)
I’m looking forward to doing a book review post on my last read, Our Kind of Cruelty, because in a rare instance, I actually feel like its ratings on Goodreads are a bit unjustified and it deserves higher. But, my rave reviews will be saved for a later date.
So, for y’all that came here strictly for military content, you’ll have to sift through the mundane posts about life. And for those that will humor me and love on my book reviews and other meaningless agendas, bless your hearts.