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.

Cheers,

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

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Reading in 2015

On a whim, I decided to undertake a reading challenge for 2015. It only makes sense to do it because sometimes I get caught up in other narratives (ah, Netflix, my sweetest downfall…I loved you first. I loved you first…) and honestly forget how much I enjoy reading. There’s something magical about the written word, and it’s quite a different experience to watching a story visually unfold.

reading challenge

This is what I’m aiming for this year…

Just as I had a really good reason to tune out the world in favor of Doctor Who (reboot) marathons, I also had a really good reason to pick up this reading challenge. Writers need to read: it’s as simple as that. Need. Not should, ought to, probably would be better off if they did, but need to read. So when I stumbled across a reading challenge, I decided, “Why not?” and committed to reading 50 books in a year. For someone who reads slowly, this is no small commitment, so I’m trying to balance my more serious reading with lighter fare.

I’m trying to plan my reading according to my “to read” list on Goodreads to see if I can hack away at it a bit–a Sisyphean task since I only keep adding new ones to the list. Ah well. Currently, I’m one book ahead of my reading schedule, although I was several books up earlier this year. Then life caught up and Doctor Who became my companion. (Heh.)

Without further ado, the list of books I’ve read so far this year:

  • Description and Setting by Ron Rozelle
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
  • Arcanum 101 by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill
  • Unenchanted by Chanda Hahn
  • Fairest by Chanda Hahn
  • Fable by Chanda Hahn
  • Reign by Chanda Hahn (These four were a YA series that I ate up.)
  • Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  • The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (SO good!)
  • The Courage to Teach by Parker J. Palmer
  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (breathtaking)
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (highly recommend)
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth
  • Insurgent by Veronica Roth
  • Allegiant by Veronica Roth (This was a fun romp, but not as much substance as I’d hoped for in the end.)
  • Fair and Tender Ladies by Lee Smith
  • What was Lost: a Christian Journey through Miscarriage by Elise Erikson Barrett*
  • The Taming of the Chew by Denise Lamothe (ok)
  • Everblue by Brenda Pandos (like a mermaid version of Twilight…DO NOT recommend)

So this is where I’m at so far in the challenge. I’ve read a decent chunk of YA lit, but I’ve also read several good nonfiction books and dabbled in the classics. I only regret a few books on this list, so that’s not so bad, eh?

Until next time!

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*If you or someone you know has suffered a miscarriage or other pregnancy loss, I highly recommend this book.