For the second year in a row, I’ve achieved my goal to complete my reading goal on Goodreads. Last year, I was ambitious and did 25 books. This year, I lost my mind and doubled that, thinking I could do 50. I did it, but it was not easy.
Let me first say that while I reached 50 books read, the majority of those were audiobooks. To be honest, I’m not a fast reader so audiobooks definitely help me both on my commute and while at home if we’re keeping the TV off. Now, I learned some very valuable lessons when approaching these reading challenges and finding success: don’t over-extend yourself. What I mean by this is I got to the point where I realized I could reach my goal but only if I read or listened to shorter books. The problem here is I had books I really wanted to read but felt they would take too long to finish. Obviously, I knew by the end that I needed to rethink my reading goal.
So for next year, I am giving myself some leeway and going to shoot for 30 books. I’ll very likely read more than 30 but I hated feeling the pressure of finishing a book just so I could keep on track. Reading in general is essential for me to not only learn but keep my mind active, not depending on stimulation by screen only. I’m not proud of it but I am one of those people that can always have the TV on. It doesn’t bother me to have it on just for background noise (this drives my wife crazy and is why we institute “no TV nights” in our house).
If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter then you are unfamiliar with my book reviews. I like to write three reviews for my favorite books I read for the last four months (Newsletters are released at the end of April, August, and December). Below you will find some recommendations not included in any of this year’s newsletters:
The Gunslinger by Stephen King
The first book of The Dark Tower series has been around for awhile and was on “To read” list for years. I finally got into it and really enjoyed the book. It’s not a tough read and establishes interesting characters in an even more interesting world. Action and conflict are not lacking here. For fantasy lovers, it’s a must.
Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
This was a fun listen since Anna reads the book. She’s the Pitch Perfect girl if you’re unfamiliar with her. She’s also full of spunk and her personality comes through as she reads. I was not aware of her background and her journey to acting and becoming an Oscar-nominated actress so this kept me interested and made me laugh a lot.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
I did a longer review of this one a few months back but with the movie adaptation coming out soon, I wanted to highlight it again. It’s a fast-paced virtual adventure with loads of geek-speak and 80s references, which is definitely trending again with Stranger Things Season 2 fresh in our minds. Check this one out even if you’re not a gamer or geek aficionado.
Call to Action: I encourage you to sign up over at Goodreads and take your own reading challenge for 2018. It’s a lot of fun and if you’re like me, setting a challenge for yourself might get you to set aside time each day to put your nose in the pages.