Achieving my reading goals was easier than I thought it would be.

My Year in Books: Achieving reading Goals Happy New Year! It’s been 6 months since I updated here and I’m thinking about closing the blog down or at least re-designing the site. Just something I’m pondering in the new year.

One of my main personal achievements this year was reading more, and more broadly. I achieved my goal of reading 50 books and here’s what worked:

Book Clubs: This is a no-brainer. My book club people are super-chill and many times people don’t read the books and that’s fine with me. It gives me a deadline that I work toward and exposes me to books I may not have chosen for myself.

Pick a number: Books are things and easily countable. You could choose hours reading instead, but having a number I wanted to reach really motivated me to keep track. I use Good Reads and like the handy widgets. Other popular trackers are LibraryThing, and WorldCat. Some people use a spreadsheet or a list in a notebook.

Everything counts: It’s my personal challenge so I get to decide what “counts” toward my goal. I decided to count comic book volumes and children’s books. In doing that I found that I actually don’t read as many children’s books as I thought I did. I usually just flip through them when I’m shopping for the kiddos in my life. Those on the copleted list are the books I sat down and read through completely.


Here’s what my year in reading looked like:

Achieving reading goals: My year in books
Infographic by Good Reads: Click the image for more information about what I read in 2015

 For 2016 I’m stepping up my game and setting a goal of 55 books. I’m willing to give up some of my mindless TV time and will need to be watchful of getting sucked into internet surfing and I’m considering that an added bonus.

I’m also joining the BookRiot “Read Harder” challenge: A great way to stretch outside of a comfort zone. Here’s the list (pdf) and I will be looking for recommendations for these categories, so please let me know.

Read Harder Book Challenge 2016

Happy Reading!

Read all the books – finished and listed

If you are not touched by the video above, I don’t think we can be friends.

Books finished in the past month:

I am Malala : the girl who stood up for education by Malala Yousafzai

“I told myself, Malala, you have already faced death. This is your second life. Don’t be afraid — if you are afraid, you can’t move forward.”

The fault in our stars by John Green

“The world is not a wish-granting factory.”

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”

Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich

“Babe,” Ranger said, “you need to make some decisions.” “I made decisions. I’m just having a hard time sticking to them.”

Books added to my “to read” shelf:

Quesadillas: a novel by Juan Pablo Villalobos , trans. by Rosalind Harvey
Why: Shelf-awareness says: Like Villalobos’s first novel, Down the Rabbit Hole, Quesadillas is a child’s skewed vision of life, but this time the story is much funnier, with an economic vision of Mexico from the bottom up that’s alternately heartbreaking and hilarious. When the five-year-old twins go missing, 15-year-old Aristotle becomes convinced they’ve been abducted by aliens and takes Oreo with him to burglarize the neighbor’s pantry for supplies and then set out on a quest to rescue them.

See Jane Run by Joy Fielding
Why: The Guardian says: A woman finds herself in a shop wearing nothing but a coat, the pockets of which are stuffed full of money. She has lost her memory and has no idea who she is, so when a man comes forward claiming to be her husband, and armed with plenty of proof, she has no choice but to let him take her home … This is the archetypal Everywoman-plunged-into-a-nightmare novel.

The thirteenth tale : a novel by Diane Setterfield
Why: When her health begins failing, the mysterious author Vida Winter decides to let Margaret Lea, a biographer, write the truth about her life, but Margaret needs to verify the facts since Vida has a history of telling outlandish tales.

How to Be Invisible by Tim Lott
Why: The Times Higher Ed says: Strato Nyman couldn’t be more of an odd-one-out. He’s the only black kid in Hedgecombe-upon-Dray, he knows more about particle physics than his teacher, and he’s constantly picked on by school bully Lloyd Archibald Turnbull. It’s only at home that he blends in to the background – his parents are too busy arguing to notice he exists.

The Righteous Mind Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt
Why: Times Higher Ed says: fascinating attempt to apply moral psychology to politics. It descibes cutting-edge research research in an entertaining accessible manner.


My List of Summer Reading Lists – 2012

Starting about the age of 8, if you asked me what my favorite thing about the long vacation ahead, I would have replied: “I can read all day!” And when I could get away with it, I did. My parents would shoo me outside and I would take a book.

I still fantasize about the possibility of uninterrupted time spent just reading for pleasure. When I see the Summer Reading Lists start to appear I hoard them like a knitter hoards yarn. Just like knitters (like me) live in fear of being under-yarned, readers live in fear of being under-booked. Here’s a list of book lists that have me itching for those long Summer stretches of time spent with good books.