Browse Tag: Year in Reading 2017

2017 >>>> 2018

Jungwoo Hong
For me, 2017 featured a lot of growth and a lot of learning.

I know this is a surprise to zero percent of the people who know me in real life, but I am a little bit Type A and a little bit goal oriented and I love setting New Years Resolutions. I love how they have this promise that we’re all going to make vast improvements, fix all our flaws, change our lives. If there’s one part of the year when I want everyone to believe that it’s possible for people to make a change, it’s the grey chill of January.

In the spirit of New Years, I’m going to share my health and blogging goals for 2018.

Health
  1. Maintain my current level of fitness and make progress throughout 2018.
    I made a lot of progress on fitness in 2017, and I want to keep that momentum going in 2018. I will be running the Mississippi River Half Marathon in February. I plan on running a 5K at some point in the spring (perhaps in April) and I plan on running another half marathon in the fall. I’m not sure exactly which races those are going to be – I’m looking at some smaller local races for the 5k, and I’m considering doing the Detroit half marathon in October, but there’s also the Yazoo Delta half marathon in November that might be more doable.
  2. By the end of 2018, I will drink 68 oz. of water daily.
    I’m going to track this using the WaterMinder app (because I love seeing the water level get higher throughout the day.) I say that I’m going to do this by the end of 2018 because I know it’s going to take some getting used to – my goal for Q1 is just to track water intake every day, Q2 is to reach 40% of the goal every day, Q3 is 70%, and Q4 is reaching 64 oz. every day.
  3. I will floss every day in 2018.
    It’s a small thing, but flossing more often was a major improvement I made in 2017 – my dentist definitely noticed! As I’m getting older, it’s become more of a priority that I care for my teeth, and I plan to maintain and improve upon current levels of flossing in 2018. If you’re someone who wants to start flossing more often, the biggest recommendation I can make is getting those little plastic flossers and keeping them in a visible place in your bathroom.
Blogging
  1. Write two blog posts every month.
    Remember in college, when I would write a blog post every week (or more often than that, even?) That was a great time. Anyway, I realized that I only published 16 posts this year (I guess this is number 17) and I feel like I can do a lot better next year. I plan to blog about teaching, books, faith and personal finance.
  2. Write one book review every month for the blog.
    I haven’t read as many grown-up books this year as I would have liked. I read Mosquitoland, Dispatches from Pluto, Buffering, Hunger, Pushout, and most recently, Sing, Unburied, Sing. In the semi-embarrassing self-helpy category, I read Food Freedom Forever and Codependent No More. I’ve also read some excellent picture books, including numerous Pete the Cat books, Pout-Pout Fish and the Big Big Dark, and Milk Goes to School.
    I like reading, and I like writing about books, and I know that writing book reviews will push me to read more books.

Mosquitoland

I read this book because I heard someone recommend it, then I found out that it was set in Mississippi. 
One-click checkout, it arrived a few days later.

This is the first novel I’ve read in a while, and the first young adult novel I’ve read in a longer while. Most of the reading I’ve done lately is for school, so it’s nice to take a break from that. 

This book was set in Mississippi, partly, but most of it doesn’t take place there. The book follows Mary Iris Malone, Mim, a teenager with schizophrenia, as she leaves Mississippi for her home, Cleveland, OH. Her father and stepmother have recently moved to Mississippi, she hates it, and she wants to go home to be with her mom. She steals money from her stepmother to buy a bus ticket, then rides the Greyhound. Various disasters occour, at which point she’s making her own way back to Cleveland, with new friends she’s met along the way. The narrative includes diary entries, which were effective in giving us more of Mim’s personality, rather than making the book just a series of events that happen to her.
The story was interesting because Mim is interesting – she’s a strong character who has a distinct way of viewing the world. Throughout the book, I sometimes wondered if what she was saying was entirely accurate. Throughout the novel, there are mentions of the medication she takes for her schizophrenia, and partway through, she stops taking it. There wasn’t any major shift when she did, but it left me wondering if everything in the novel was as it seemed. 

The ending of the novel tied everything up a little too quickly for me – there wasn’t space for Mim or the reader to understand the entirety of what happened, and it left me wanting more depth.