Hip hip hooray! I did it! This was my second year taking on a reading challenge, and after the success I had with my first one, I decided to go at it again in 2013, and will probably continue to do so year after year. My goal has been consistent at 12 books a year, or roughly one book a month. Some books take longer than others. I am also a bit of a completionist, so once I start a book that is part of a series, I have a tendency to churn through to read everything else related to it.
Last year, I really enjoyed reading The Hunger Games trilogy, which helped me realize that I really enjoy reading books that (a) target young adult audiences, so long as they aren’t filled with teenage angst, (b) enjoy sci-fi and fantasy novels, but particularly (c) really enjoy the dystopia genre. I pretty much stuck to it last year, and still have several books on my Want To Read list for this year that fall into these categories.
This year, I also ended up adding some books to my Never Finished list. It turns out there were some books that I just could not get into, or did not find enough motivation to finish.
- Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell ★★★★★
- Bloodsucking Fiends (A Love Story #1) by Christopher Moore ★★
- Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies #1) by Isaac Marion ★★★
- The New Hunger (Warm Bodies #0.5) by Isaac Marion ★★★
- Ready Player One by Ernest Cline ★★★★
- Battle Royale by Koushun Takami ★★★★★
- Microserfs by Douglas Coupland ★★
- Ender’s Game (Ender Series #1) by Orson Scott Card ★★★★★
- Speaker for the Dead (Ender Series #2) by Orson Scott Card ★★★★★
- Xenocide (Ender Series #3) by Orson Scott Card ★★★
- Children of the Mind (Ender Series #4) by Orson Scott Card ★★★
- Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth ★★★
- Ender’s Shadow (Shadow Series #1) ★★★★★
- William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, a New Hope by Ian Doescher ★★★★
- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens ★★★★
As you can see from Battle Royale and Allegiant, I just couldn’t fill the hole in my heart left by the end of The Hunger Games. (Speaking of which… I was so ecstatic that the Catching Fire movie was released in November — which was AMAZING by the way! It was like watching the novel come to life! Beautifully done! And Peeta! Oh, Peeta! ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡)
I pretty much immersed myself in the Enderverse this year. A friend recommended it to me, and was surprised I never read it in high school as most other kids did. I really enjoyed Ender’s Game. Like, a lot. Obsessively. I couldn’t put it down. I couldn’t get enough of Ender, and his artificially sentient friend Jane (who I pictured to look and sound a lot like Mass Effect’s EDI). And Bean! Oh, I loved Bean! But as I progressed through the Ender series, and through the Shadow series, the books became less sci-fi, and more religious, political, and philosophical. I could sense the characters changing, almost in ways that didn’t feel true to their original selves. I just couldn’t continue on.
Started, but Never Finished in 2013:
- You Suck (A Love Story #2) by Christopher Moore
The first book was okay, and the completionist in me wanted to continue on, but honestly this book wasn’t even mildly entertaining. I set it down almost immediately after I started it.
- The Girl Who Was on Fire: Your Favorite Authors on Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games Trilogy by Leah Wilson
I actually started reading this in 2012, but didn’t get very far. I loved The Hunger Games, but I just couldn’t love a collection of analytic essays about The Hunger Games. Not my cup of tea, I guess.
- Early Retirement Extreme: A Philosophical and Practical Guide to Financial Independence by Jacob Lund Fisker
This is actually a good book. It’s a bit too extreme for my tastes, but I knew that coming in to it. I got just about halfway through it, and it definitely helped give me a new perspective on money and finance. I didn’t feel the urge to push through to the end just yet, but perhaps in the future, I’ll pick it back up again.
- Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light by Amy Thomas
This book was not what I expected. Maybe I’m just not a fan of non-fiction. This book was described to be “part love letter to New York, part love letter to Paris, and total devotion to all things sweet,” but it definitely was… not. I read a couple of pages, flipped through to the middle, and then jumped right to the end. There is a listing of shops and confectionaries in the back which may be of use if/when I visit Paris, but otherwise, this book came off as… blah.
Here’s hoping 2014 is a better year for reading! It’s not even February and I’m already on my third book!