2016 Reading Challenge · Books · Mini Reading Challenges

2016 Reading Goal Completed! – New Challenge?

I hit my 2016 reading target with two months to spare! 12 books in 2016 – quite a small target, really, but I’m so pleased I managed it. I’ve now officially read the most books in a year that I have for the past few years. For 2017 I’ll definitely set a higher goal, and hopefully I’ll be able to keep up momentum and finish that as well.

  1. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green (07/02/16)
  2. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini (02/03/16)
  3. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (19/05/16)
  4. Quiet by Susan Cain (nf) (thoughts on) (24/05/16)
  5. The Farm by Tom Rob Smith (20/06/16)
  6. Northern Lights by Philip Pullman (22/06/16)
  7. The Angel Tree by Lucinda Riley (review) (14/07/16)
  8. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (review) (15/08/16)
  9. The Falconer by Elizabeth May (review) (21/08/16)
  10. The Girl on the Stairs by Louise Welsh (review) (27/08/16)
  11. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (review) (28/09/16)
  12. When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr (review coming soon) (15/10/16)

Now, instead of setting myself another reading goal for the last 2 months of the year, I’ve decided to instead challenge myself in a different way. My Goodreads is full of books I want to read. (Isn’t everyone’s?) The problem I have – and probably the problem everyone else has – is that my reading list is far too big for me to actually finish. This is largely because there are books on there that have been on the list for far too long, and whenever a new, exciting book comes along, the older books stay on the list. Books are added more than they are removed, and my bookshelves at home still hold books I’ve been meaning to read for years.

I’ve scoured my reading list and compiled a list of the main culprits:

clockwork-angelsClockwork Angels by Kevin J. Anderson

This is a bit of a weird one. It’s actually a novel based on the album of the same name made by Canadian band Rush, and my mother – a huge Rush fan – has been trying to get me to read it since its release in 2012. It’s set in a steampunk world, controlled by a dictator known as the Watchmaker, and follows the coming-of-age story of a character intrigued by the world’s possibilities. Or something like that. It’s the companion to the concept album that is widely regarded as one of Rush’s best albums, however within the fandom this book isn’t exactly considered to be as good as its counterpart. Apparently it contains quite flowery language and holds Rush lyric references on every page. But, still, I’m intrigued enough to want to read it. Just not intrigued enough to read it right now.

Children of Men by PD Jamesthe-children-of-men

I am so, so intrigued by this novel. I’m a great fan of dystopian fiction, and this was a book recommended to me while I was working on my final writing project at university – also a dystopian. This 1992 novel is set in the not-too-distant year 2021, where we discover that male sperm counts are at zero and the last few humans to be born are treated like royalty. It’s such an interesting premise, and although I don’t know much more than that, I’m certainly eager to read it. The only problem I have is that when I first attempted to read it a couple of years ago, the first few chapters just felt like doom and gloom. I had to then put it down in favour of something much happier and more indulgent, meaning that I’ve been putting it off ever since. It is long, long overdue a proper read, this one; and I hope that when I do get round to it, the story lives up to its recommendation.

norwegian-woodNorwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

Now this book has been hyped. I’ve barely ever seen any negative reviews for this, despite the fact I don’t have any idea of what it’s actually about. The copy I was given is actually two volumes in one, with a lovely gold case to hold them in, and is apparently the first (or, at least one of the first) UK editions of the book. I’m worried to read it because it’s so pretty, and I’ve put it off because it doesn’t seem like a book you just read. I am however fascinated by Japanese culture, and every time I think about it, the more I want to read this.

The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul by Deborah Rodriguezthe-little-coffee-shop-of-kabul

I know barely anything about this book. In fact, aside from my interest in Afghanistan since reading Khaled Hosseini novels, I don’t really know why this is on my reading list anymore. Since buying I’ve read some fairly negative reviews of it, some of which have put me off reading. But there’s something about the cover, the name, and the idea of there being a romantic little coffee shop in Kabul that has prevented me from getting rid of the book. I’m eager to at least try it, despite the outspoken negativity from part of the chick-lit community, if only to rebel against my own prejudice.

My unofficial challenge now is to finish these four books. To force myself to read them; to get them off that list and, potentially, off my physical bookshelves at home. Because I sometimes wonder, despite all the intrigue I feel for these books, why they’re still on my list? Why do I still “want” to read these if, in fact, I don’t want to read them?

There will be no timeframe for this – my only challenge is to read the things. If I can get the four of them done before the end of the year then that’ll be a great bonus. And I’m definitely giving you all permission to nicely remind me if you see me reading something new and flashy that’s been on my list for 5 minutes. Okay?

The next book I pick up will be one of these four. It’ll be interesting to see which I choose first!

Have you read any of the books on this list? What did you think of them? (No spoilers!!)


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