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Infinite Country by Patricia Engel | Thoughts

   Published : 2021   ||    Format : print   ||    Location : Colombia ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆   What was it about the country that kept everyone hostage to its fantasy? The previous month, on its own soil, an American man went to his job at a plant and gunned down fourteen coworkers, and last spring alone there were four different school shootings. A nation at war with itself, yet people still spoke of it as some kind of paradise.. Thoughts : Infinite Country follows two characters - young Talia, who at the beginning of this book, escapes a girl’s reform school in North Colombia so that she can make her previously booked flight to the US. Before she can do that, she needs to travel many miles to reach her father and get her ticket to the rest of her family. As we follow Talia’s treacherous journey south, we learn about how she ended up in the reform school in the first place and why half her family resides in the US. Infinite Country tells the story of her family through the other protagonist, El

2021 Reading Goals and Plans

I usually wait until mid to late January before posting my reading plans or goals. Mainly because I'm very optimistic about my superhuman capabilities during the start of a new year but much of that enthusiasm fades over the next couple of weeks. I tend to believe I can read more than ever but reality is usually closer to how much I averaged in previous years. So, to allow myself the opportunity to dream big and then plan well, I take the ambitious goals for a road test during the first couple of weeks of the year. If they still look achievable, great! If not, I will part ways with those that are a stretch. 

The numbers

I have an arbitrary number set in Goodreads for this year but it's not a number I will quote as I tend to change it often and it is intended to factor in the many picture books I read with my kids. But that said, there are three numbers I would like to improve this year (last year's stats in parentheses) - total number of pages read (approx. 11k), average number of days spent per book (4 days), and average number of pages read per day (44 pages). In other words, read more and read often. 

The focus

As always, I start every year planning to read better, and almost always, I spend more time than I want to figure out my next read. I tell myself that I could have finished a book in the time it takes me to decide a read. So last month, I went through my reading lists and noted down 20 titles and 20 authors that I have always been meaning to read. These are authors that many love or authors who I have enjoyed in the past but have not read enough of. 

Another goal I have for myself this year - something I have shied away from a lot due to limited reading time - is to read more big books. To be honest, even reading one book will be a win, considering it has been a while since I last read a 500+ pager that isn't a YA title. My goal is 2 for this year and while it may take me a long time to read them, just reading is progress. To hold myself accountable, I'm signing up for the Chunkster Reading Challenge

The third thing I want to focus on is to read more from my own shelves. Again this is a goal that I sign up for every year but then books on the other side (usually from the library) tend to look shinier. Signing up with the Mount TBR challenge at the Pike's Peak level (12).

The prompts

And this is where I'm sure I won't last long. I almost considered abandoning them but truth be told, I love the prompts that each of these three challenges - Reading WomenUncorked Reading Challenge, and Read Harder - have posted. These aren't abstract prompts, and many are what I would consider challenging (for me), because my reading rarely takes me there even though I want it to. So, while I am not sure how much progress I will make against these prompts, I plan to at least try some of them. 

No matter how this ends, the fun is both in the planning and the discovery of new books. Besides, it has been years since I did any reading challenges, so this will be fun as well. It's been wonderful checking out everyone else's plans for the year so far. Are you doing any of the above challenges?