Erin’s 2013 reading challenge – mid-year update

CanadaDay1So it’s almost the end of June and that means two important things:

  1. I should be half-way through my reading challenge for 2013
  2. It’s almost Canada Day!!! I love a long weekend, especially when I am celebrating the best country in the world’s birthday!

The last three months have been complicated and I have not made as much progress on my reading challenge as I would have liked. I am trying to sell my house and purchase a new one, and this takes up a lot of time – fixing up mine, moving half my stuff into storage, viewing new houses… In the end I will hopefully have a house that has a room I can make into a library, though!

My reading challenge, as I described in this post, is to read 45 books in 2013, including 25 specific books that I already own, but have not read. So at the mid-way point I have read 22 books in total, including 12 of my list of 25. Not bad, but not quite halfway – I guess I will have to pick up the pace for the rest of the year (which may be difficult since I will hopefully be moving!)

If you remember from my initial challenge post, I included 6 books that were beasts at about 900 pages each.  Well, I have read two of them (Shantaram and Inheritance), but I still have four more to go (Anna Karenina, World Without End, Winter of the World, and Collapse). This isn’t promising, but two is better than none!

I have read some great books in the last quarter, some of my favorites include

web of angels dark-places-book-cover Me Before You

Web of Angels – which I reviewed here and think would make an excellent book club pick (and its Canadian!)

Dark Places – which I reviewed here. A dark book with deeply disturbed characters, but an “unputdownable” read.

Me Before You (review here) – which left me with tears streaming down my face and a stuffed up nose for at least an hour. This is also this month’s UBC pick, so we will be discussing it at out next meeting!

quietQuiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

I consider myself an introvert, so when I saw this book I absolutely had to read it. Now, I don’t mean I am socially awkward or painfully shy, but given the choice between a crowded party of people I don’t know and a quiet night at home with a book, I will always choose the night to myself. This book looks at both introverts and extroverts and discusses the strengths that both bring. It highlights how introverts are often overlooked in North American culture – for jobs, promotions, etc. – because we are a society that promotes the extrovert ideal. It was very well written and extremely interesting, especially for an introvert!

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail wild

I discussed this book briefly in my post about my post on memoirs, but i just wanted to re-iterate that I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a story of the loss of a mother, a divorce, some bad decisions, and an 1,100 mile hike. There was something about Strayed’s story that drew me in and kept me reading.  I loved reading about her hike and the people she met a long the way and the background sections were tied in smoothly to the story. I felt invested, partly
I think, because I understand the pain of losing a parent and the way that this affects decisions for years to come – in my case the 1,100 mile hike was a 3-month stay volunteering in Costa Rica.

So hopefully I pick up my reading pace a little, or at least keep at the same pace!  I haven’t given up hope, but I am starting to waver in my belief that I can complete my challenge this year!

My 2013 reading challenge list:

  1. Angela’s Ashes – Frank McCourt
  2. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
  3. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis de Bernières
  4. Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed – Jared Diamond
  5. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Jonathan Safran Foer
  6. Inheritance (Inheritance, #4) – Christopher Paolini
  7. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë
  8. Life After Life – Kate Atkinson
  9. Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel García Márquez
  10. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
  11. Mistress of the Sun – Sandra Gulland
  12. Our Daily Bread – Lauren B.Davis
  13. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking – Susan Cain
  14. Shantaram – Gregory David Roberts
  15. Tess of the d’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
  16. The Age of Miracles – Karen Thompson Walker
  17. The End of Your Life Book Club – Will Schwalbe
  18. The Sisters Brothers – Patrick deWitt
  19. The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
  20. The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera
  21. They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children: The Global Quest to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers – Roméo Dallaire
  22. Web of Angels – Lilian Nattel
  23. When God Was a Rabbit – Sarah Winman
  24. Winter of the World (The Century Trilogy #2) – Ken Follett
  25. World Without End (The Pillars of the Earth, #2) – Ken Follett

About Erin Hopkin

I am a graduate of Carleton University with a Bachelor of Public Affairs and Policy Management, with a specialization in International Studies (yes that may be the longest undergraduate degree title ever). Essentially it means I was trained to work in international policy making for the government – but that is not where I ended up. I actually work writing proposals and winning lots of business for a facility project management firm. I have always been a reader; however, my book choices have changed over the years. In university I read a lot of fantasy or books with happy endings because I was studying political science and international relations – often there are no happy resolutions to those conflicts. I now read more contemporary fiction novels with some classics, non-fiction, political and YA (a guilty pleasure) thrown in. I was drawn to the Unputdownable Book Club by my love of reading, wine and food and I am never disappointed!
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5 Responses to Erin’s 2013 reading challenge – mid-year update

  1. Pingback: Julia’s 2013 reading challenge – quarterly update | The "Unputdownable" Book Club

  2. Pingback: Favorite Authors – Ken Follett | The "Unputdownable" Book Club

  3. Pingback: Erin’s 2013 Reading Challenge – ¾-of-the-way Update | The "Unputdownable" Book Club

  4. Pingback: Erin’s 2013 reading challenge – the final chapter | The "Unputdownable" Book Club

  5. Pingback: Erin’s Favourite Books of 2013 | The "Unputdownable" Book Club

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