I have much to tell you. This year has been quite something. I’ve finally decided on what to write next. I’ve decided to rename the blog. I’m hosting my own reading challenge that seems to have attracted dozens of people, if not more. I’ve been working at Half Price Books since August. I started a YouTube channel that is sure to be more active in the coming year. I didn’t read much or write at all, but there’s room for improvement on both fronts heading into next year. I finally got an Instagram account. I could go on and on, but y’all already know most of what I’m saying. I may not post ultra personal things on here, but I have told y’all what’s been going on in my life throughout the year. Now take a look at some fun stats gathered by WordPress to get a glimpse into just how wonderful it’s been on here.
PS: Next week I’ll have a series of year-end posts. Here’s to 2016!
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 33,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 12 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
Click here to see the complete report.
I’ve had this blog since June of 2013. Many of you know I originally started it to chronicle my journey writing my first book. My first six months was a whole lot of nothing. 1200 views. Like 80 followers. No interaction. Now I’m a little more stable in the world of blogging. And it’s time for a change.
The name of my blog was thought up in seconds. I didn’t ponder it for hours or days. I just thought of something and went with it. I think it’s a nice name. But this hasn’t been a writing blog for some time. And I fully intend to expand my other social media accounts directly related to the blog in the coming year. So it’s time for those accounts to all fall under the same name. Johnny Reads. I think it’s also a nice and simple name that’ll serve me well into the future. I won’t change the name until later tonight so y’all can get a little heads up.
Nothing else is changing on the blog. I want every person doing my challenge to be able to find me. Like everyone at work.
So that’s all I have for you. I don’t think this is a shock to most of you because my Twitter background is the name of my YouTube and Instagram accounts. This is something I feel is really necessary.
Feel free to tell me your thoughts!
I did this last year. Now I’m doing it again this year.
2015 was rather rough on the reading front. 10 books. Just ten. I have no excuse. I started off relatively strong with four books in January and then it was all downhill from there. Here’s the breakdown:
Best month: January
Books in a series: 4
New-to-me authors: 5
Books from Amazon list: 4
Most common genre: Mystery
Authors read multiple times: 0
I think that’s it. I don’t really have much to pick from when I’m only looking at ten books. I’ll do better in 2016, right? I sure hope so.
Also, I’ve added a new page to the blog titled “2016 Reading Challenge” that’ll show the progress of my challenge throughout the coming months. So don’t forget to take a peek.
How was your year of reading?
Hosted by yours truly.
At the start of 2015 Popsugar released their reading challenge for the year and it took off. You couldn’t have a book blog and not know someone who was taking on the challenge. And now I’m looking to start something that’ll give me a chance to have one more thing in common with you all, and something else to discuss on a regular basis.
Here’s what you need to know. The challenge isn’t as daunting as the Popsugar one. It’s only 20 books. Which I know is more than doable for just about everyone on WordPress, myself included. And it’s really just a fun and interactive way to perhaps read some books and authors you otherwise wouldn’t have. That’s it! I’m fully aware that my girlfriend might be the only one to actually take on my little challenge, but it’d be pretty awesome if ANY of you also wanted to participate. I’ll be making videos for every book I read that’s part of the challenge.
And who knows, if you participate and complete the challenge before I do you might get a nice reward in the form of a Half Price Books/ Amazon gift card to further fund your reading for the year. How cool is that!?
That’s it! Now here’s the list for my 2016 Reading Challenge. Feel free to steal the picture and post it on your blog or Instagram account. (And send me a link too).
What do ya think!? Maybe a little interested? Say yes. And don’t forget to tag me either here or on Instagram @johnny_reads whenever you start or finish a new book for the challenge!
For the record, I hadn’t seen the Popsugar list in months when I came up with mine. There are a few similarities, but it’s a new year and I imagine there are plenty of books that can be read to fulfill any of the requirements. Now shhh, I’m off to start my challenge! A little early. Hehe.
On this day in history (1945) the International Monetary Fund was established and the World Bank created.
On this day in history (1831) Charles Darwin set out for South America on the HMS Beagle.
On this day in history (1822) Louis Pasteur was born.
On this day in history (1932) Radio City Music Hall Opens.
On this day in history (1979) the Soviet Union takes control of Afghanistan.
But most importantly, (hehe) I was born on this day some 24 years ago. Happy birthday to me!
No, I didn’t get a few thousand words of my new story down on paper yet. It’s even more exciting than that. MUCH more exciting.
Last night I did something I’d never done before. *gulp* I booked my first trip! I’ve told some of you all that I’ve never really done any traveling, right? Cause I haven’t. I’ve been on a plane once and I’ve visited only two major cities outside of Texas. Chicago (where the plane I was on landed) and Orlando when I went to Disney World so long ago that I hardly remember it.
Want the details? Yeah? Okay.
So the trip will happen May 23-26 of next year. I’m not sure if people usually plan trips that far in advance, but I’d rather have months of preparation than weeks. And it gives me time to keep saving like I have been. I’ll be visiting one of the cities I’ve wanted to visit since becoming an adult. Washington DC!
Here are the places and monuments I’d like to visit in an ideal world:
Library of Congress
World War 2 National Memorial
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Smithsonian Museum of American History
Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
National Holocaust Museum
And if I somehow get through everything I want to see, then I wouldn’t mind spending half a day or so at Six Flags America. I’m so excited for this even though it’s almost six months away.
Of the places I mentioned I think I most want to see the Library of Congress. I mean, I might faint and die when I get inside, but at least I’d be surrounded by books! And it’d be the first time I get to check something off my Bookish Bucket List in forever!
Have you ever visited Washington DC? Do you remember your first trip on your own?
I’m not a fan of the holiday season at all, but there are some classic holiday movies I simply love. Home Alone is probably the one everyone thinks of, and it’s high on my list, but there’s at least one movie that sits above it. Can you guess it?
No. Probably not.
The Nightmare Before Christmas.
I’m not a fan of Tim Burton, but this movie is just perfect. Better than any of his more recent work, in my opinion. There are a few other holiday movies I find enjoyable, but this one is my all-time favorite. Easily.
What’s your favorite holiday movie?
Have a nice day off work today.
*turns on the movie now*
For it to be over.
The decorations can go back into the garage. The music can stop playing. People will stop questioning why I have a different opinion (gasp!) than just about everyone else.
People will stop complaining about it being so hot here. I’ll finally be able to do a little more at work because the store won’t be full of people. And I’ll see my family the one time this year. How fun. But hey, my birthday is coming up. So it isn’t all bad.
What’s your least favorite part of the holidays?
I haven’t bought a single Christmas present this year and I’m still quite happy the holiday season is coming to an end. I seriously hate that no one in my family listens when I say I don’t want anything. It’s ridiculous that they feel obligated to give me something I definitely don’t need or want. I don’t even believe in the stupid day. Ugh.
Anyway, I can’t do much about unwanted gifts here in the US. I could perhaps take them back with the original or gift receipt, but then I’d just have to replace them with something else I don’t need. But those living in Germany have another option. They can take their unwanted gifts to a vending machine that will be going around various shopping malls that does something rather amazing. It takes your unwanted gift and replaces it with a new release book! Has there been anything greater, ever? And the gifts are donated to charity!
I’ll be stuck with some unwanted and unnecessary gifts in a few days, but at least in Germany they can do something about it. I’ll just pretend to like whatever I get.
What do you think of this vending machine replacing unwanted gifts with new books?
This question may leave you with your jaw completely dropped. But I’m asking anyway. There are also Star Wars books along with all the movies, right? See, I don’t know anything about the series. I can probably name a handful of characters. Maybe. But I couldn’t tell you anything about the plots of the movies or the books. I’ve just never been interested. I’m still not.
So I haven’t seen any of the movies, and I have no desire to. But I just saw the Monday box office numbers and I started wondering where the movies originated? Were they a book series before they hit the big screen a million years ago? Or were the movies so successful that they spawned a book series? I suppose I could just Google and find the answer, but I’d rather make good use of you all. Hehe.
So tell me which came first. Heck, you can even tell me what you thought of the new movie. But I won’t have any idea who or what you’re talking about.