Inspired by Julia’s reading challenge, as well as the annual prompt from Goodreads, I challenged myself to read 45 books this year. I know what you are thinking – “But Erin, last year you read 49, as admitted to in your Favorite Books of 2012 post… shouldn’t you be MORE ambitious?” Normally I would agree with you, however this year’s challenge includes some beasts:
- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstory at 850ish pages,
- Inheritance by Christopher Paolini (Eragon Saga) at 850+ pages
- Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts at 950ish pages
- Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond at 550+ pages
- Winter of the World by Ken Follett at 950ish pages
- World Without End by Ken Follett at 1000+ pages
Now why would I choose all of these novels you ask?
Well, my 2013 challenge was set in part to address my book hoarding problem. So I included 25 specific books in my challenge that I already own, but have not read; those six beasts fall into this category. The other 20 books are a combination of the 12 Unputdownable Book Club books (1 per month) and 8 of my own choosing.
So, it is now April 2 (wow, where did the first quarter of 2013 go…) and boy do I feel the fool for setting such an ambitious goal! Unlike Julia, who is apparently on fire, this is how my last three months have been going:
I have read 9 books so far and at this pace I am 2-3 books behind where I should be to meet my goal… AND I only started the first of the beasts last month and am only one third of the way through! So far I have read 3 book club books: Our Daily Bread by Lauren Davis, The Imposter Bride by Nancy Richler, and Prisoner of Tehran by Marina Nemat, as well as 5 from my challenge list (one overlapped with book club) and 2 others.
Despite my slow progress (partly due to a week-long birthday trip to Las Vegas during which time I read absolutely nothing…. Hey, its Vegas!) I have read some great books. My two favorites are:
Our Daily Bread by Lauren Davis – This was an amazing novel with characters and a story that just draw you in. Davis took a difficult topic and dealt with it with tact and sensitivity – turning it into a truly unputdownable read! You can read my full review in this post.
When God Was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman – This novel is follows Elly from childhood through adulthood, focusing on her relationships with the various people in her life, in particular her brother, with whom she is very close, and her best childhood friend. It has themes of love and friendship, violence and tragedy, and weaves them into an amazing story of one family’s trials from the 1960s through 2001. The characters are wonderful, the story is engaging, and the writing is honest and magical at the same time. Winman transports you into a story that you don’t want to leave until the last page. I highly recommend it!
I was also terribly disappointed by one book that I had been looking forward to reading for almost a year. This review will be the topic of my post next week… stay tuned!
Hopefully I can pick up the pace in the next few months and get on track or its going to be a loooooooong December, full of late nights finishing all the remaining books… because I hate not meeting my goals 😉
My 2013 reading challenge list:
- Angela’s Ashes – Frank McCourt
- Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
- Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis de Bernières
- Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed – Jared Diamond
- Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Jonathan Safran Foer
- Inheritance (Inheritance, #4) – Christopher Paolini
- Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë
- Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel García Márquez
- Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
- Mistress of the Sun – Sandra Gulland
- Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss – Hope Edelman
- Our Daily Bread – Lauren B.Davis
- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking – Susan Cain
- Shantaram – Gregory David Roberts
- Tess of the d’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
- The Age of Miracles – Karen Thompson Walker
- The End of Your Life Book Club – Will Schwalbe
- The Sisters Brothers – Patrick deWitt
- The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
- The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera
- They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children: The Global Quest to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers – Roméo Dallaire
- Web of Angels – Lilian Nattel
- When God Was a Rabbit – Sarah Winman
- Winter of the World (The Century Trilogy #2) – Ken Follett
- World Without End (The Pillars of the Earth, #2) – Ken Follett
How is your 2013 reading challenge going?