2014 Reading Challenge – Completed

There’s this thing I do every year. Well, every year since 2011 at least. I set a personal goal to read a number of books for the year. I keep track of the books over on GoodReads. (I actually think they started this challenge in 2011. I could be totally mis-remembering this though.)

In 2011 I challenged myself to read 30 books. This was a considerable number given that I think I may have averaged 10 books a year for recreational reading. And that’s perhaps being generous on my part. I managed it though.

I read some good books that year. The first two Patrick Rothfuss novels in the Kingkiller Trilogy (Name of the Wind & Wise Man’s Fear), Ready Player One by Earnest Cline; and one of the few non-fiction books, The Calculus Diaries at the top of that list.

For 2012 I challenged myself to read 40 books. I managed 30 so 10 more shouldn’t be an issue. And it wasn’t. So much so that I ended up reading 57 books.  I dubbed this the year of Young Adult books. I read several series : Steampunk Chronicles by Kady Cross, Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger, Guild Hunter by Nalini Singh just to list a few. I also read The Hunger Games trilogy in 2012.

According to GoodReads I only read 40 of the 50 books I decided to challenge myself to read. However, it didn’t take into account that some of the books I listed were in fact omnibuses – multiple books bound together. So technically I did read 50 books, I just didn’t take the time to list them all separately. I peppered 2013 with more  non-fiction books to balance out all of the YA books I read in 2012. I read Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Jenny Lawson. However my favorite book in 2013 was a work of fiction. Neil Gaiman released Ocean at the end of the Lane and I happened to be able to go to a reading of it. There’s just something about hearing an author read their work.

So this year I challenged myself to read 50 books again. Diligently I kept track of what I read on GoodReads. I logged a whopping 54 books. It’s always fun to be able to look back and see what I’ve read over the year. 2014 was definitely the year of the Comic Book. I did read “traditional” works, but graphic stories outweighs them by quite a bit. This may have to do with the fact that I started to collect a few series this year. Harley Quinn, The New Suicide Squad, Pretty Deadly, and Lazarus.

Harley Quinn and  The New Suicide Squad were obvious to me – I adore Harley Quinn and these are the two comics that she is featured in. For the most part the story-line in Harley Quinn is solid which is what keeps me reading because I’m beginning to dislike the line work I am seeing. The New Suicide Squad is just fun to read.

I picked up Pretty Deadly because the art work intrigued me. It doesn’t follow the typical layout of graphic story. And I was totally blown away by the story itself. I picked this one up as a collection because I missed out on the single issues. Now I am patiently waiting for the next collection to come out so I can continue reading it.

Lazarus was whim. It looked interesting. It’s a Post Apocalypse story-line and gripped me from the very first page. I can’t really explain it without totally screwing it up. Let’s just say I am really glad I picked it up.

I picked up a few other collections. Mad Love (Batman) because it contains the closest thing to the original origins of Harley Quinn and most recently I picked up the first book of Gotham City Sirens.  I was quite impressed with it.

Other books that I read this year that I really enjoyed: Fever by Mary Beth Keane, The Ethical Slut by Dossie Easton, and The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer. (I gifted Amanda’s book to 4 of my friends shortly after reading it.)

I think 50 is a good number. I already have some books lined up to read starting in January when the holidays have ended and things settle down. My comic collecting may slow down a bit, perhaps only getting the collected versions instead of monthly issues. I’m not going to make that decision just yet.

What did you read this year?

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