A month and a week ago, I set out to read twenty-five books in one year. I’m happy to say that as of today, I’m ahead of schedule by two books. 🙂
Twenty-five books in one year breaks down to a book every two weeks. When I set this goal, I kind of thought I was really pushing myself, but I’ve managed to read four and a half books in five weeks. I couldn’t be more pleased. Now, granted, I’ve had a stomach flu that’s knocked me on my butt for three straight days which has given me time to read, and I’ve also had a late night or two up reading a book I just couldn’t put down, but I’ve done it, and I’m so proud of myself.
I thought making reading schedules and forcing myself to keep up a steady pace was going to make reading these books feel like a chore — and it might yet — but right now, I’m pleased to read. I think having no cable has helped, since I’m now forced to be choosy about what shows I watch on Hulu, which gives me plenty of time to read. And I do think it’s improved my writing, and improved my intelligence, just to be constantly filling my brain with the written word.
I’ve also employed both physical books, and the Kindle app on my iPhone, which has opened up a whole new spectrem of time to read, since I can now read whenever I have a spare moment or two, as long as I have my phone (which if any of you reading this knows me, I have constantly attached to my palm).
I’m counting this experiment as a success, and look forward to totally blowing my goal out of the water by next November. Here’s what I’ve read so far:
1. Relic by Preston & Child, Pendergast #1
– Started 11/23/2011
– Finished 12/12/2011
– My thoughts: I really didn’t think I would enjoy this book when I first started reading it. It was a gift from a friend, and I really did like the description on the back cover, but when the first chapter started discussing all these technical things, it took me a day or two to continue it. However, once I got into the book, I was hooked. Filled with technical jargon (much of which I actually had to Google), you would think this book would be a tough read. But it was so intriguing and thought-provoking, and the language flowed so easily, that I simply got swept away by it, and didn’t struggle through it at all. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it kind of grossed me out a bit, but most of all, it gripped me and held my attention. Borrow this book from me. You will not regret it.
2. The Hunger Games by Collins
– Started 11/29/2011
– Finished 12/3/2011
– My thoughts: This book came highly recommended by the Eldest Celtling (who happens to be 13). I realize that I’m not the target market for this book, and that made it easier to read. But as you can tell from the amount of time it took me to read, this book was one I could absolutely not put down. Once I got into it, I became obsessed with it. I was lucky that I had the Kindle version because every spare moment I had I spent reading it. And there was even a Friday night I stayed up until 3 a.m. reading it. It was impassioned, it was tragic, it was awe-inspiring. There wasn’t a single word in this book I did not love. My only complaint, however, was that there were a few moments that I felt too adult to be marketed toward kids under 16. There were a few gruesome scenes that turned my stomach, and I’m not sure, if I was a parent, I would want my kids to read this book before they were over 16. I wish I had read it before the Eldest Celtling, though she seems to have handled it fine.
3. Dead(ish) by Kramer
– Started 12/5/2011
– Finished 12/7/2011
– My thoughts: Um… well, this book was a short read. And the ending kind of redeemed most of the beginning and middle. But there wasn’t much I enjoyed about this book. I think I kept reading it because it was very odd and one of those “I have to know what happens to understand it” kind of books. I wouldn’t recommend this one to anyone, though. It was… very strange, and not in a good way.
4. Dead Beat, Book Seven of the Dresden Files by Butcher
– Started 12/12/2011
– Finished 12/29/2011
– My thoughts: I am very impressed by Butcher’s imagination. And his descriptions of Chicago are very impressive. However, Butcher, it’s Soldier Field, not Soldier’s Field. That mistake was made twice and as someone from the Chicago area, missing that tiny detail bothered me. Isn’t that what copy editors are for?
I’m halfway through Water for Elephants as well, and I’m kind in love with it, too. I still have a list of books left at my disposal, plus I can easily get my hands on the second Hunger Games book, the eighth Dresden Files Book, and I will probably be picking up the second Pendergast book. I don’t think I will have a lack of books. 🙂