Reading Challenge

I've been planning to write about this for the longest time.

Last year I challenged myself to read 24 books in 2014.  Doesn't sound too unreasonable... that would average out to two books every month.  Unfortunately, I didn't begin the challenge until the year was already about halfway over.  I didn't make it to 24 -- which most likely had something to do with adding another member to my family -- but I did rekindle my love for reading and I read some great books (the Divergent Series, the 50 Shades of Grey books, Water for Elephants, The Host, The Fault in Our Stars, The Help, Gone Girl, Three Sisters).  So when it came time to set my book challenge this year, I knew 24 books was a reasonable goal.

And then I stumbled upon a reading challenge thanks to a fellow blogger.  My first reaction to the list was that it sounded fun and challenging, for sure, but that it wasn't for me.  Mostly, because I wanted to read the books I wanted to read and I knew this challenge would force me to try something new.  But when I kept thinking about the list of prompts, I knew I had to give it a try.  I'm on my 9th book since the new year and there is no sign of slowing down.

So far I haven't branched out too far from what I would be likely to read without the help of this challenge aside from reading "The Good Girl" by Mary Kubica.  It's a mystery/thriller book and those aren't the types of books I usually gravitate towards.  It reminded me of how I felt while reading "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn -- which is probably because that's one of the only other mystery/thriller type books that I've read.  But goodness, "The Good Girl" was FANTASTIC.  Devastating and fantastic.

I really, really loved the Beautiful Creatures books but I haven't been able to get into the spin off series, Dangerous Creatures.  I don't know if after 5 books from the series that I was just burnt out on their story, or if it was from the new perspective that I just didn't care for... either way, I decided to move on for the time being.  And I'm glad I did because after finishing "Beautiful Redemption" I decided to (finally) read "If I Stay" by Gayle Forman and I was blown away by how much I loved that book.  The second book, "Where She Went" was a book I finished with lighting speed... I just did NOT want to put it down and flew through the pages.  Gayle Forman said she isn't writing any more books in that series -- and I like her reasoning for it (hint: Don't look up her reasoning if you haven't read both books yet) BUT I hate that we don't get to know what happens after the books end.  That book hangover really gets me after reading books where the characters completely come to life for me... I guess I have a hard time moving on from things, in general.

I like that this book challenge has been something solo for me to do while sharing it with other people, too.  My sister, Amanda, has taken up the book challenge, too, and that has made it all a hundred times more fun for me.  It's been fun trying to find books to fit in each category and then comparing our lists.  If that's not considered "nerdy" then I'm not sure what is!

Just a few of the books I plan to tackle for the challenge:

"Yes Please" by Amy Poehler (A funny book)
"PRO" by Katha Pollitt (A book with a one-word title)
"The Opposite of Loneliness" by Marina Keegan (A nonfiction book)
"Wonder When You'll Miss Me" by Amanda Davis (A book written by an author with your same initials)

...and plenty more.  Up next of my books to read: "Uglies" by Scott Westerfeld (A book set in the future).

Let me know what books you've read, books you'd recommend, and books you're reading!
Also - still slowly chipping away at our Oscars movie list! We've seen some really great ones this year and several more to go before Feb. 22! What have been your favorite Oscar Nominees so far??


  1. I just finished reading We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler. It won the 2014 PEN/Faulkner award. It is smart and heart wrenching and beautifully written. I highly recommend that you pick it up.

  2. love this list! i think i'm going to start choosing books for my 2015 reading challenge according to this list.
    and i'm now looking up why gayle forman isn't writing any more books in the If I Stay series!


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