Another Year Gone — 2018 in Review

Yeah, I know I’m late to the game. Super late. But here’s my year in review 2018 edition!

Honestly, it’s been a very disappointing year for me all around; all the goals that I set for the year (reading, writing, spirituality, etc) I could not meet for one reason or another, mostly my laziness and unmotivatedness. Is that a word? My spelling checker’s saying that it is not.

You might be asking, then, why on earth would I post about my failures? My unmet goals? My wasted time and potential? Well, dear readers, I am SO glad you asked. (sarcasmisquiteobviousormaybenotIdon’tknow)

But one should share not only one’s successes but also one’s failures, I think. I don’t know, as a reality check and as a ‘oh, I gotta do better next time’ kinda thing.

So here. Last year, I:

  • read 8 books (my goal was 15)
  • started and gave up on NaNoWriMo
  • rarely wrote anything
  • didn’t keep up with Bible reading, Bible study, or prayer as much as I should have
  • watched TOO MUCH YOUTUBE. Like, all day every day. Literally.

Um. Yeah. Not the best. But no matter! It’s a year new, new me! (she says while shifting her eyes to and fro…)

I do want to let you all, my dear readers, know about the books that I read.

Here is a chart.

As you can see, last year in books looks very lacking. With a total of 8 books, I have read two books written by non-white authors (one Asian, one Native American) and six books written by white or Caucasian authors.

Here is another chat. This time, a pie chart.

If you look at that pie chart (not an actual pie, sorry!) you’ll see that two of my 2018 books were written by female authors, and six are written by men. Unfortunately, I have not read any books by non-binary authors but I have some already on my to-read list for 2019! you’ll have another color to look forward to! (male, female, and non-binary)

Here is yet another chart. Again, I’m sorry if you’re getting hungry but it is a pie chart and not a real pie. By the way, my favorite kind of pie is meat pie Australian style. Yours?

Okay, so I’ve always been a child. A child at heart, that is, and it definitely shows in this chart. What you don’t see that ALL of them are Rick Riordan’s books. I love that man. I love his worldbuilding. I love his characters– although Riordan himself is a white male, he has a vast repository of diverse characters all across his books. Riordan’s books (the ones I’ve read at least) are all based on mythology, which I’m all about. In particular, his series Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Heroes of Olympus, and Trials of Apollo are my favorites, and all the books are based on Greek and Roman mythology, and I’ve always loved Greek mythology. Riordan makes it very easy to fall in love with each and every element in his books and also to learn about different mythologies and world cultures, to an extent. I will forever praise him. Not only for his own writing but also for his fairly new publishing company which helps writers of other cultures’ mythology and folktale based stories! AND ONE OF THE NOVELS THAT HE PUBLISHED JUST THIS MONTH IS BY A KOREAN AUTHOR AND IS BASED ON KOREAN MYTHOLOGY! AHH! I DEFINITELY WILL BE READING THAT!

What’s the moral of all that? Uncle Rick is best Rick. Sorry, Rick Sanchez.

Right. So I didn’t read a lot of books last year to begin with, but the fact that I only read one non-fiction book… wow… BUT the non-fiction book is probably the best book that I read in 2018. Not only is it a good read but it’s an important read. I don’t recommend it, I encourage you to read it, my dear readers. Even if you don’t know anything about North Korea and what kind of situation that its citizens are in, Hyseonseo Lee’s memoir about her escape from North Korea through China and Southeast Asia to South Korea will open your eyes and your heart to the people oppressed.

I crown thee, the brilliant memoir that is The Girl With Seven Names, written by Hyeonseo Lee, a North Korean female defector, who has had to go through quite the journey in order to gain the freedom that everyone should have but a lot of people don’t, the recipient of the Jisun Lee Choice Awards for the Best and Most Important Books That She Read In 2018!

THE CONCLUSION

Most of the books I read while growing up and going to school were written by white authors and were about white characters. I used to wonder if it’s because the people whose native language is English would mostly be white. But now I find that notion ridiculous. The world is growing ever so global, ever so interconnected and international that in my mind it’s a for sure that there would be a lot of non-white authors out there. Not even that, there is such a thing as translated works that readers very much enjoy. So then, why are non-white authors not so easily seen in the world of literature in the Western world? I want to change that.

In 2019, I want to vary my reading. I want to diversify my reading, in every sense of the word. I want to read books written by males, females, and non-binary authors and about males, females, and non-binary characters. I want to read books written by authors in the LGBTQ+ community and about characters in the LGBTQ+ community. I want to read books from genres that I have not read before or don’t really read. I want to read more non-fiction stuff like memoirs and creative non-fiction stuff. I want to read books about religions that are not my own, Christianity. I also want to read more Christian fiction books and pastorly and scholarly books on the Scripture and Christian living, as well as translated works. I want to read stuff in Korean and Spanish, two languages I can speak. I also want to try and read works in other languages. I want to read books written in interesting formats such as letters, dialogue scripts, found poem styles, etc. Anything and everything. A group of friends and I are doing the Reading Women Challenge this year in order to ensure that we read books by female authors.

If you, my readers, have a good title to recommend, I would love to hear about it!

And of course, as a writer, I want to provide a platform with which I can help the Asian voice in the world of literature, particularly in the Western-centric society that we all seem to live in. Especially in the Western world. I also want to combine my different cultural experiences and ideologies and churn out products that demonstrate what true globalization means. I am a third culture kid and I think there’s something beautiful about being from more than one culture. Even if one just knows different languages, the worlds that one opens up when learning and speaking multiple languages are stunning. Something meaningful that one can take to one’s grave. I believe that when one opens up to other cultures and life experiences, there is no limit to what one can do. I want to show that through my writing somehow. I also want, just as reading in Korean and Spanish, to write more things in Korean and Spanish as well as English. Maybe bilingual stuff! Maybe trilingual!

I also want to create works that would be widely read. Novels, short stories, and poems as a Christian author, an Asian author, a female author, a Korean author. a culturally American author. as a third culture kid. a global citizen. an artist. an avid music listener. a reader. a Harry Potter, Disney, and Rick Riordan fanatic. a Hufflepuff. I just want to pour myself out into my writing so the world can read them and learn more about themselves, the world they live in, and each other.

Too cheesy? Sorry, I’m getting a little carried away… anyway, to summarize…

My goals for 2019 are:

  • to keep up with daily Bible reading. so far I’m doing well!
  • to keep up with the Reading Women Challenge. (I am also going to count non-binary authors for this)
  • read more in general. more diverse. more varied. more everything.
  • to read more works in Spanish and Korean (translated or otherwise)
  • to read some of the classics
  • to write, write, write
  • to read, read, read
  • to attempt NaPoWriMo, NaNoWriMo, and an art/drawing challenge of some sort
  • to become a small group leader

We’ll see how I do; I’ll keep you updated, dear readers. Until next time, mischief managed!

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Book Review // Nevermoor: Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

I don’t know who told me, or where I heard this, but they say that you have to push through the beginning of anything before you start to enjoy whatever it is. And to be honest, it was exactly like that with Jessica Townsend’s Nevermoor: Trials of Morrigan Crow. The first bit of it, I didn’t really care for mostly because the main character, Morrigan Crow, an 11-year-old girl, is mistreated and neglected by everyone around her, even her own family, and my heart just ached for her. Only her grandmother seemed to care about her ever. so that part was okay. and in hindsight, the sheer anger I felt probably speaks volumes about how great a writer Townsend is.

When I finally pushed through the start, the novel really switched on me. If I could give it 6 or 7 stars, I totally would. Continue reading “Book Review // Nevermoor: Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend”

Book Review // The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

So I finally got around to reading The Fault In Our Stars five years after its publication and to be honest, I’m not ashamed of waiting that long. Something about hype has just always irked me, even though I know that a book or a movie or whatever the hype is about is supposed to be awesomely fantastic. When TFIOS first came out, it was all the rage, and because of that mere fact, I was determined not touch it until everyone shut up about it. That’s my fatal flaw: stubbornness. 

I did read it though, and even though it’s five years too late, I didn’t feel like any time has been lost or wasted; I didn’t feel like if I had read it sooner, I’d have enjoyed it more. I did enjoy the book. However, I do think that if I had read it as a younger version of myself, there might be a chance that I would have enjoyed TFIOS a whole lot more, seeing how TFIOS is targeted to a younger audience than 26-year-olds. I read one other book by John Green, Paper Towns, and that is also targeted to a younger audience, but I did read that when I was younger, so I think because of that, I was able to enjoy the book to the full.

Continue reading “Book Review // The Fault In Our Stars by John Green”