12 Books in 12 Months

Okay so.

The first thing you should know is that I have ADHD.

When I was originally diagnosed in 2017, it was, ohhh idk, 80-90% managed by having a structured routine. The other 20% was medication, taken as needed. Oh the freedom.

I worked at a restaurant as a waitress, I was doing bits of VA stuff here and there (unpaid at that stage), and I was enrolled to complete my Masters in Counselling the following year. And then I had hobbies! Surfing, paddle boarding, photography, painting, video games, reading. I’d co-written a fantasy novel with my best mate which was over 100’000 words.

I had structure. I had routine. I had *chef kiss* a life plan.

Aaaand then someone decided to not give way while crossing the highway and t-boned my car.

My dominant hand/wrist/arm was impacted so badly that I will never regain function. My grip strength is practically non-existent and I can hold, sustained, a weight of no more than 500g. Anything more than that, I will drop it. Either immediately or after a couple of minutes, depending on the weight.

And that’s not even covering the awful pain I’m in every day.

Now at this point you’re probably asking yourself “this is very tragic, but what does this have to do with the title of this blog?”

Well dear reader, after my accident, I lost my job, I ended up having to drop out of uni and my capacity to work is… Well it makes me sad. The difference between life now vs my life before the accident is stark.

For one, my ADHD is oh so wild.

I’ll probably write up a blog about that at a later date, but for now the relevance is, when the combination of being in pain all the time and rampant ADHD meant that I could not read books anymore.

Couldn’t do it.

I couldn’t focus, I had no interest, I couldn’t even follow the plot.

And then, this year, I discovered a reading challenge.

12 books, in 12 months. Each book recommended by a friend or person you know!

And I thought “Ooooh accountability…”

Actually, my first thought was “I don’t have 12 friends???” But it turns out I do.

Those 12 friends have recommended some BRILLIANT books. Here they are:

    The Dry – Jane Harper Kirby’s recommendation
    The Chemist – Stephenie Meyer my mum’s recommendation
  • JUNE
    Seven-Tenths: The Sea and Its Threshold – James Hamilton-Paterson my dad’s recommendation
  • JULY
    The Exorcist – William Peter Blatty Bec’s recommendation
    Sabriel – Garth Nix Patrick’s recommendation

    And these ones I didn’t get to read:
  • Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams Bilvy’s recommendation
  • Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky Matt’s recommendation
  • The Iron Druid Chronicles Hounded – Kevin Hearne Mickey’s recommendation
  • Braving the Wilderness – Brené Brown Laura’s recommendation
  • The Universe Has Your Back – Gabrielle Bernstein Jacinta’s recommendation
  • Little Women – Thyda’s recommendation
  • JJ Graves – Zoe’s recommendation

I’ve also read The Mediator: Remembrance and The Mediator: Proposal, the first Witcher book, Aunt Dimity and the Buried Treasure, Aunt Dimity and the Kings’ Ransom.

I missed March and April due to being overseas during a pandemic. 0 out of 10 do not recommend. (I was not one of those people who were like “oh sweet, a pandemic means cheap flights” no, no, I wanted to come home but wasn’t able to.)

Other months I missed due to a number of reasons (work, life, trauma) and sometimes I just plain forgot.

But in total I read 10 books this year (not including books I read for work) which may not sound like a lot but I am SO pleased.

I’ve managed to reignite my passion for reading! It’s a Christmas miracle!

So without further ado, here’s my review of the 5 recommended books I was able to read this year:

The Dry – Jane Harper Kirby’s recommendation

I REALLY enjoyed this one. Kirby recommends great crime/mystery novels and this was no exception. And! It was set in Outback Australia, which was cool. I was really interested in the characters and their motivations, and I particularly enjoyed the way Harper told the story of two different mysteries intertwining.

The Chemist – Stephenie Meyer my mum’s recommendation

I went into this with my expectations set low. I have read Twilight, which Stephenie Meyer also wrote, and I was not expecting anything special. While The Chemist wasn’t the best book ever, it was entertaining and enjoyable. It was also slightly unpredictable and had lots of twists and turns. The ending let it down in my opinion, but also it’s a Stephenie Meyer book so I probably should have expected that.

Seven-Tenths: The Sea and Its Threshold – James Hamilton-Paterson my dad’s recommendation

I have never had such a polarised opinion about a book. Each chapter was a theme related to the ocean. The first few chapters were exemplary. The chapter on death and the ocean, specifically captured me entirely and was truly a magical experience to read. I also adored the story of the lost diver, separated from his boat, which weaved throughout the book. However, the second half of the book was either immensely frustrating or incredibly boring.

The Exorcist – William Peter Blatty Bec’s recommendation

I had never seen the movie and never read the book. In fact, I’d never read a horror book before! Crime and thriller, yes. But never a horror. I was genuinely frightened reading The Exorcist, some of the scenes were super intense and I really enjoyed the pacing. I will say, however, that I felt like some of the questions/mysteries were left unanswered. I’m not sure if that was deliberate, overlooked or just something I missed.

Sabriel – Garth Nix Patrick’s recommendation

Mogget is my cat Mikasa. A white cat with a vicious attitude. 1000% Mikasa. In all seriousness though, I really enjoyed Sabriel. It was really exciting to read a fantasy novel with a female lead! I hadn’t read any other Garth Nix books nor had I read any others in this particular series, but this works perfectly as a standalone novel! I really enjoyed the way the different types of magic worked, it felt super unique and the world building gave my imagination a lot to work with!

I may not have gotten to all the books recommended to me (but I will eventually) but I read waaaay more than I expected to.

And! I’ve been using my kindle to read more which has been great and recently I’ve reactivated my Library card.

I have a rule now that I’ll only buy a physical book if I plan on sharing it with a number of people OR it’s a very special book I want a copy of.

I’m not going to do 12 books in 12 months in 2021.

Instead I’m going to catch up on the books I missed out on and then keep borrowing books from the Library. (I have 17 books on hold right now, all in transit to my local Library.)

I have books on antiracism, CPTSD and disabilities on their way, as well as fantasies, adventures, ghost stories, mysteries and love stories.

I’m so excited to keep growing my knowledge and understanding of the world through books!

From my cozy reading nook,

💜 Zita

Wahoo! Now we're penpals!

blog personal

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: