In which I talk about Excel, a lot.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my goals for 2018, which I’m sure I’ll share here at some point. New Years is my absolute favorite holiday for many reasons, one of which being the promise of a fresh start. The excitement of new beginnings and the idea that anything is possible with a blank slate.

Oh, and did I mention champagne? 

My goals for 2018 are starting to coincide with one of my favorite (nerdy) pastimes – massive lists and Excel spreadsheets. As you’ll soon come to know about me, I am a lover of lists. And Excel spreadsheets. Especially Excel spreadsheets, and even more especially when I can color-code them with lots and lots of tabs. It feels like I often walk the line between hyper organized and a complete disaster, and Excel docs ease my mind.

Plus they’re fun. At least, there are to me, and you can ask any of my friends or family – I’m equipped with an Excel doc for any (and I mean ANY occasion). Baby shower? Excel doc. Moving into a new apartment? Excel doc. Planning a trip for next year? Excel doc. Just some hyper-organized, good ol’ fashioned grid-style list fun.

This latest Excel spreadsheet is focused on a clear goal I’ve set for 2018 that I’ve actually already started working on – reading more. The details of the resolution haven’t been set yet, but in the meantime, I’ve been reading on my commute to and from the office. During my general downtime (when not working on a super-secret Christmas present), I’ve been compiling a massive list of all the books I want to read.

A reading bucket list, of sorts.

I can guarantee you that there’s no way I could read all of these books in one year. There’s hundreds of books in many, many genres on this list, and I would have to quit my job, figure out how to stop sleeping and/or eating, and read around the clock to even make a dent in this list next year.

But the scope of this list is not intimidating. Instead, for me, it’s exhilarating. I’m excited about the numerous options and choices I’ve laid out and feeling inspired to cozy in with some great reads that will reignite that love for reading I took for granted.

And since I’m so excited, I thought I’d share the genre breakdown of my list, and perhaps a few key reads I’m over the moon about tackling next year. (Subject to change, because you know, inspiration, and in no particular order, but here’s a starting point.)

Classic Literature: Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, 1984 by George Orwell, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, A Separate Peace by John Knowles, Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Memoir/Biography: Wild by Cheryl Strayed, Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, Paris Letters and A Paris Year by Janice MacLeod, When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, Love Warrior and Carry On Warrior by Glennon Doyle

Chick Lit: Paris for One by Jojo Moyes, Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid, What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty, Over You by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus, The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller

YA Lit: Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot, Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum, 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough

Contemporary Literature: Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff, The Martian by Andy Weir, The Expats by Chris Pavone, Modern Lovers and The Vacationers by Emma Straub, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot by David Shafer

Mystery/Thriller: Into the Woods by Tana French, Rebecca by Daphne de Maurier, The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton, I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Historical Fiction: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelley, The Book Thief by Markus Zusack, Life after Life by Kate Atkinson

Holiday Lit: Calling Mrs Christmas by Carole Matthews, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Let It Snow by John Green, Lauren Myracle, and Maureen Johnson

Non-Fiction: How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill, What Unites Us by Dan Rathers, The Lost Art of Dress by Linda Przybyszewski, The Nazis Next Door by Eric Lichtblau, Landslide: LBJ and Ronald Reagan at the Dawn of a New America by Jonathan Darman

Creative: Women in Clothes by Sheila Heti, Dressed by Deborah Nadoolman Landis, All Wound Up by Stephanie Pearl McPhee, The End of Fashion by Teri Agins, The Beautiful Fall by Alice Drake

Business: Secrets of Powerful Women by Andrea Wong, The Anti 9-to-5 Guide by Michelle Goodman, Girl Code by Cara Alwill Leyba, Sprint by Jake Knapp, The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer

Self-Help: Better than Before and The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin, The Defining Decade by Meg Jay, I’m Not for Everyone, Neither Are You by David Leddick, How to be Parisian Wherever You Are by Anne Berest, Born for This by Chris Guillebeau

Science Fiction/Dystopian/Fantasy: Divergent by Veronica Roth, Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer, A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, Dred Chronicles by Ann Aguirre, An Ember in the Ashes Sabaa Tahir

Cookbooks/Food: Real Food Heals by Seamus Mullen, The UltraMind Solution by Mark Hyman, Body Love by Kelly LeVeque, The Love and Lemons Cookbook by Jeanine Donofrio, The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk

Short Story/Essays: How Did You Get This Number by Sloane Crosley, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? By Mindy Kaling, Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik, One Day This Will Matter by Scaachi Koul, Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris

Romance/Research*: Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray, How to Make Anyone Fall In Love with You by Leil Lowndes, The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists by Neil Strauss, Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari, It’s Just a F**king date and He’s Just Not that Into You by Greg Behrendt

(*Yeah, more on this later.)

High brow, low brow, and everything in between, as they say, variety is the spice of life. Remember when I said it was a long list? This is maybe .11913579% of it – but I’m so excited to get reading in the New Year.

But first, Christmas. (More on that later too.)