Friday, January 26, 2018

2017 Reading Challenge: A Review

I have always been what one might call a “voracious” reader. I was one of three students in grade six who won a contest for reading the most books. Every summer the local library hosted a summer reading challenge and I was always diligent about recording the books I read.

Once I started university, my reading for pleasure took a back seat. I even went through a period as a second year history student where I wouldn’t read fiction. I just wasn’t interested in people’s made up worlds where people may or may not survive or fall in love or whatever, all at the author’s whim. During the summers of 2013 and 2014 I was in France and my reading options were limited…mostly because I hadn’t discovered the versatility of borrowing e-books through the library.

In 2015 I went on a cruise and in one week I read five books. Once I finished my masters degree in 2016 I started really reading for pleasure again. At some point I started a Goodreads account and in the Fall of 2016 I started tracking my reading more closely. In January 2017 a friend of mine shared a 52 week reading challenge. I knew I already was reading a fairly wide variety of books but I figured this would be a good way to challenge myself to read genres I generally avoided (aka fantasy). I tracked my reading both on Goodreads and in a bullet journal. By the end of 2017 I had completed the challenge. My total for the year was a whopping 117 books read. <-super -="" by="" check="" cool="" goodreads="" graphics="" it="" o:p="" out="" provided="">

I was reading right up to the afternoon of New Year’s Eve which was a bit stressful so I’ve reduced my 2018 target down to 108. That’s still over two a week, basically nine a month. Very doable, assuming I maintain the pace of last year. I also have a new 52 week challenge. I’ll cover that in a separate post. Right now I want to review what I read last year.

Of the 117 books I read 38 via audio and one as it was released via podcast. Two of those I started the paper version and ended with the audio. The rest were either hard copy or e-book. So that’s 32% done via audio. I have a forty minute commute each way to work so that really helped pass the time.
Here's just a few of the books I read. You can see the complete list on my Goodreads account. 

Some thoughts on the books I read:

My Top Five of 2017
  • All the Light We Cannot See
  • The Light Between the Oceans
  • The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration – Isabel Wilkerson
  • The Eye of the Needle – Ken Follett
  • Longbourn – Jo Baker

Worst book: “Guns, Germs and Steel” by Jared Diamond (so boring)

Read in one day: “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green

Books that should only be listened to on audio
  • Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
  • Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson

Books I read only because of their title
  • Badass Librarians of Timbuktu: and their race to save the world’s most precious manuscripts by Joshua Hammer 
  • What I was Doing While You Were Breeding: A Memoir by Kristin Newman

Book everyone should read: The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson 

No comments: