Anyway on to an update of what I have been reading this year and how my book challenges are going. First, I have been religious about using Goodreads to track all my books this year. I have been on Goodreads since 2010 but only used it sporadically. This year, I took some time and set up shelves which has made tracking books I have read so much easier. Also, it has been super helpful if I want to read the next book in a series but don't quite remember which one I read last.
Another goal I had this year was to spend less money on books and check out more books from the library. I have always felt a little guilty about checking out books instead of buying them until I read an author (sorry I can't remember who) who tweeted about libraries. She said the more books are checked out the better chance librarians have of getting books out to people and that it is good for authors. That was all I needed to hear! This year 74% of the books I read have been checked out from the library. Oh yeah did I mention that because of Goodreads I am going to share lots of statistics and numbers with you? One of my favorite things about my library is that when you check out books at the bottom of the receipt it tells you what you have saved by borrowing instead of buying. How much do I love this? I feel like I have earned a bunch of extra money although I haven't. Here are just a few of the receipts I have from this year.
Another good thing to come from going to the library so often is that I have started volunteering there. My library is very special as I have been going to the same one since 1989. I always wanted to work there growing up so volunteering is second best!
I decided to only do two challenges this year. The first one is the What's In A Name 7 challenge. I have read a book in four of the five categories. Here they are--
A position of royalty:
The Kings and Queens of Roam: A Novel by Daniel Wallace. This book is by the author of Big Fish which I absolutely loved. This book wasn't as good but I still enjoyed it. I love the darkness of Wallace's writing in this book. It often takes a grim turn but I really liked the magical elements.
A number written in letters: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. This book was so good. It was very sad and heart wrenching but I couldn't put it down. Sometimes when I read a book like this where there is a sad tragedy I wish that the ending could change and they would miraculously be alive. Definitely check this book out but only when you are in the mood for a sad read.
A forename or names: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
by E. Lockhart. I LOVED this book. Give me a book about boarding school and a 16 year old semi criminal in training and you have me hooked. Seriously I have read so many boarding school books this year (8) that I made a whole Goodreads shelf. This book is funny and I love E. Lockhart's writing. I really want to check out more of her books after reading this one.
A type of element or weather: Monsoon Summer
by Mitali Perkins. Ok I am not ashamed to admit I adore young adult books. Just because books are written for 15 & 16 year olds etc doesn't mean they can't be enjoyed by adults. Let's be honest I am 32 years old but I still think I am 16 sometimes because of the books, movies and TV shows I enjoy. Some of the best books I have read this year are young adult books. In fact, 36% of the books I have read this year are young adult books. Monsoon Summer was an excellent book. I love how Jazz is a teenage entrepreneur. I wish I had started my own business at fifteen. The description of the food in this book makes me want Indian food right now. I can't wait to read more of Mitali Perkins books.
The second challenge I am doing this year is Jon Acuff's Empty Shelf challenge. I credit this challenge with making me read more books this year than I have in a long time. I have always been a big reader but the past few years it has fallen away due to working hard on my business. I have made it a priority this year to read as many books as I can. I also participate in Jon Acuff's 30 Days of Hustle and one of my hustles a few months ago was to read a book a week. I was excited to reach that goal. I think reading is really important in keeping your mind in shape and taking some time for yourself. Reading relaxes me and I love to get swept away into other worlds, times and places. Check out my shelf on Goodreads to see all the books I have read for the Empty Shelf challenge. I have read one hundred twenty-six books for the challenge. I just want to highlight four of my favorite books I have read for this challenge.
To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee. Here is the biggest shame of my reading life: I just read this book for the first time earlier this month. This book definitely lived up to the hype. Wow, it was so good. I could barely put it down. It broke my heart, encouraged me, made me happy and sad. So, so good. I understand now why this is called one of the best books ever.
Tell the Wolves I'm Home: A Novel
by Carol Rifka Brunt. This book brought me to tears several times. It is such a beautiful but sad story. It was full of emotion and complex feelings. It was one of those books where after I finished it I had to sit quietly and just absorb it. If there is any book you read in 2014, I recommend this one.
Tell the Wolves I'm Home: A Novel
by Clint Hill. This book was really thorough on the five days surrounding the JFK assassination. It was written by Jackie Kenendy's Secret Service man. He was the one who crawled on the trunk to get to her after the shots. It was very well written and detailed and the personal account from someone so close to the terrible tragedy was very moving to read. There are also lots of photos in this book.
by Robert Galbraith. I started this book with a dose of skepticism. I had heard that many people didn't like the book. I also tried to forget that JK Rowling was actually the author. I ended up absolutely loving it! I enjoyed the flawed Cormoran Strike and although the murder plot wasn't the most brilliant the book was fast paced and exciting. I read it in just a few days. I have the second book on hold at the library (60 people in front of me yikes) and I can't wait to read it.
I promise I will be better about updating my blog for the latter half of 2014. I am always looking for new amazing books to read so please tell me the top four books you have read this year in the comments. Looking forward to adding to my to be read shelf!
Please note that Susan's Reading Adventure is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. However I will never post content on any book or product that I don’t love.