Goodreads Reading Challenge: Update

It’s the middle of April, and I am behind schedule by 5 books. I’m not pleased with this because I’m not sure I’ll be able to catch up at this rate, but I’m also not giving up hope either. So far, like the normal train of my thoughts, the books I have read this year are an eclectic hodge podge.

  • A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
    • I am now about halfway through A Feast for Crows. Martin tells a good yarn!
  • Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
    • I laughed so hard when I was reading this book, which I mostly read in various coffee shops while on vacation. I’m sure people thought I was weird.
  • Forever by Chanda Hahn
    • Finally wrapped up this YA series!
  • A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
    • Recommended during my thesis courses. I thought it was great!
  • The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks
    • Also recommended during my thesis courses since I have an assassin character and this book revolves around special assassins (called “wetboys” in Weeks’ world). This was a good read but also a difficult one. Like Martin, Weeks doesn’t shy away from the gritty reality of human nature.
  • Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
    • I have a love/dislike (not strong enough to “hate”) relationship with this book. Gaskin has a ton of experience in childbirthing, but she holds what feels like a pretty biased perspective on natural birth vs. hospital birth.
  • The Martian by Andy Weir
    • Again, laughed out loud a lot while reading this book, and the last quarter of the book held me riveted.
  • Overrated: Are We More in Love with the Idea of Changing the World Than Actually Changing the World? by Eugene Cho
    • Cho writes about social justice from a Christian perspective and lays out the pitfalls of good intentions. Although I thought I knew a lot about this topic, I still felt convicted to change some of my own approaches to justice.

So that’s where I am. Currently, I’m also actively in the middle of these books:

Any books you would recommend that I read this year?

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Reading in 2015: Wrapping Up

I recognize that it’s almost February of 2016, but I never returned to my 2015 reading challenge to explain which books I finished or how I did. I didn’t actually read all of the books that I had hoped to read, which was a disappointment, but I ended up juggling a lot* of other things by the end of the year and reading for pleasure took a bit of a back burner. Still, I enjoyed a lot of the books I did read and discovered that free books on Kindle really are a hit or miss situation.

Here are the rest of the books that I read last year:

  • The Lake by AnnaLisa Grant (meh)
  • Jumper by Stephen Gould (read as surprisingly modern)
  • A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
  • A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
  • A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin (didn’t quite finish this in 2015…it was long!)
  • The God Engines by John Scalzi
  • Ash by Jason Brant
  • The Truth of the Matter: Art and Craft in Creative Nonfiction by Dinty Moore (no, not the stew)
  • Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction: Work from 1970 to the Present by Lex Williford
  • The Art of the Personal Essay: An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present by Phillip Lopate
  • Darkangel by Christine Pope
  • Twin Souls by K.A. Poe
  • The Girl by Lola St.Vil (I don’t understand why YA heroines must have oddly colored eyes, be socially awkward/unconventionally attractive, and yet MUST attract the attention of a brooding love interest who is “so clearly far above them.” Why do these tropes continue to exist?!)
  • Rest for the Wicked by Cate Dean
  • Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson (SO GOOD!!)
  • Alphabet of Thorn by Patricia A. McKillip (a reread from several years ago but still as good as I remembered)
  • Drowning Mermaids by Nadia Scrieva
  • Wolves by C. Gockel (This was one of the few free Kindle books that I thought was both unique and entertaining.)
  • This Year You Write Your Novel by Walter Mosley (highly recommend)
  • Making Shapely Fiction by Jerome Stern (highly recommend)

As you can see, there is a mish mash of many different genres and a bunch of textbooks that I read for my program. A lot of these books were free on Kindle and most of those free ones weren’t really worth my time, but I feel ok not having paid to read them.

I’ve challenged myself on Goodreads again this year, but I’m cutting back the amount of books by five to see if I can actually achieve this goal. So far, I’ve finished a couple of books and am in the process of reading several others at the same time. If you have any ideas of what I ought to read this year, feel free to leave suggestions in the comments! I am especially interested in expanding my reading list to include more writers of color.



*By “a lot” I mean the following: thesis courses, ongoing illness, pregnancy, full teaching workload plus extra tasks, language lessons, and daily living.