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Waaaay too many books, not enough time

One of the things I love about Good Reads is that users can set reading challenges every year. This year I had to up my goal a few times because I read a lot of picture books. The challenge doesn’t make you specify what kind of books or number of pages; it just counts the quantity of books.

As of this posting, my “to-read” shelf is at 631 books.1 I can’t possibly read that many books in a year; I fall asleep when I read (hey, it relaxes me!). Still, on average it takes me a week to get through a 300 page book. So a realistic challenge for me would be to read 52 books in 2014 (not including picture books).

But what to read? With over 600 choices, I thought it would be best to put down the titles on a “short list” and read those first. I tried to get a variety of genres as well as finish up some series I started. So, divided by genre, here are the 52 books I will read in 2014:

Classic

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Franny and Zooey by JD Salinger

On the Road by Jack Kerouac

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston3

 

Fiction

Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn

 

Non-Fiction

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins

Lucky by Alice Sebold

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

The Great Typo Hunt by Jeff Deck

Love You More by Jennifer Grant

College Girls by Lynn Peril

Homer’s Odyssey by Gwen Cooper

The Tao of Martha by Jen Lancaster

I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

Unlikely Friendships by Jennifer S. Holland

The Good Girls Revolt by Lynn Povich

102 Minutes by Jim Dwyer

For Her Own Good by Barbara Ehrenreich

 

Young Adult and Teen

The Void of Mist and Thunder (13th Reality #4) by James Dashner

Reached (Matched #3) by Ally Condie

Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth4

Lovesick (Ghostgirl #3) by Tonya Hurley

Delirium (Delirium #1) by Lauren Oliver

Hollow City (Miss Peregrine’s #2) by Ransom Riggs5

Shelter Me by Alex McAuley

The One (The Selection #3) by Kiera Cass

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

Fever (Chemical Garden #2) by Lauren DeStefano

Sever (Chemical Garden #3) by Lauren DeStefano

Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms by Lissa Evans

Ascend (Trylle #3) by Amanda Hocking

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Me Since You by Laura Wiess

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

The Rule of Thoughts (Mortality Doctorine #2) by James Dashner

Unhinged (Splintered #2) by A.G. Howard

The Testing (The Testing #1) by Joelle Charbonneau

The Fire Chronicle (The Books of the Beginning #2) by John Stephens

The Curse of the Broomstaff (The Janitors #3) by Tyler Whitesides

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

When Did You See Her Last? (All the Wrong Questions #2) by Lemony Snicket

Shutdown (Glitch #3) by Heather Anastasiu

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

So, just over half of the titles I picked are young adult and teen. This really doesn’t surprise me since it’s what I read most of the time. A lot of the titles, from all the genres, were books that I bought on impulse6 because I HAD TO READ THEM RIGHT AWAY. Some I’ve had for years. Others, just a few months. Either way, I thought I should whittle them down first before trying to accumulate more, even if they are just digital. 

The ones I don’t currently own, I will rely on getting from the library. Now that I’m in a smaller town, access to free books is a bit more limited. Indy had over 20 libraries to pull from so almost everything I wanted was available. Here, not so much. There are only a handful of libraries at my disposal so my choices are more limited. Should I not be able to get a title through the library and am unable to afford to buy a copy, I will substitute the title for another in that genre.

And if when I get through my list, I’ll refill my coffee mug and start a new one.

 

1. To give you an idea, my “read” shelf, compiled over 7 years, is at 567. So, it would take me a good 8 years to read everything on my “to-read” shelf if I don’t add anything to it.2

2. Yeah, right.

3. I was supposed to have read this for a class in college. I don’t remember which class and the only thing I remember about the book was the beginning, which I liked, so I think that I didn’t actually finish it. Oops.

4. I want to read this before I see the movie, which is set to release in theaters in March.

5. It’s been over two years since the first book, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, came out and left its readers hanging off a cliff!

6. No, Mom, I don’t own ALL of the books on my list. Just most.

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Posted by on December 14, 2013 in About me, Literature

 

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Tuesday, Wednesday, happy day!

Tuesdays at the CastleCastle Glower is no ordinary castle. Its alive, or as alive as a castle can be. On Tuesdays while King Glower is busy hearing his subjects, the castle rearranges itself to stave off boredom. Sometimes it even builds new rooms. Princess Celie, the youngest of the four royal children, has a special bond with the castle; it seems to favor her. Perhaps it’s because she’s the first person in its long history to attempt to draw a map of the castle, but no one knows for certain. What is obvious, though, is that Castle Glower helps Celie, along with her sister Lilah, brother Rolf, and friend Pogue, when the king, queen, and eldest son go missing. The royal council declares them dead, making 14-year-old Rolf king, but the children don’t give up hope so easily. The castle helps them sneak around and spy on guests to see if they are friends or foes.

Although Tuesdays in the Castle by Jessica Day George is a children’s book, it captures the hearts of all ages. The writing is light but the action is packed and there’s comedy throughout. The book was a fast read for me, but I enjoyed every bit of it. Prince Lulath was a particularly fun character because his English isn’t very good and he always has his four precious doggies with him. Celie is the main star of the show and readers will be drawn to her kind heart and loyalty to her family and Castle Glower.

***Spoiler Alert***

The sequel, Wednesdays in the Tower, is set to be released May 7, 2013. I had the privilege to read a digital ARC.

Wednesdays in the TowerIn the second book, the king, queen, and eldest son Bran have returned to Castle Glower. This time the castle shows Celie a tower with no roof and a rather mysterious occupant – an egg. It’s no ordinary egg, though. It’s huge and orange, like the color of flame, and is hot to the touch. At first Celie thinks it might be a dragon egg, but soon she learns that it’s actually a griffin egg. Griffins were thought to be mythical creatures, but Celie knows that it is not so. Bran, Pogue, and Rolf all help Celie gather information about griffins, from books in the castle library to old tapestries hanging on the wall depicting humans riding griffins in battle. They know that all of this ties into the history of the castle, where it came from (legend has it that it just appeared one day), and why it has started acting strangely. They just need to figure out how it all ties together.

Again, the writing was light with just the right mixture of action, comedy, and mystery. The history of Castle Glower starts to come to light in the sequel, as well as its capabilities. Celie starts questioning where all those rooms come from on Tuesdays and where do they go when the castle gets rid of them. Many readers probably asked the same questions when reading Tuesdays and George found a good way of addressing those questions without giving everything away right at once. In fact, she doesn’t give everything away in the book, but leaves it with a cliffhanger, an open ending just begging for another sequel. Which brings me to my totally selfish whine: I want to know what happens! The next book likely won’t be out until summer of 2014. I can’t wait that long! Why did I foolishly pick up the first book (and enjoy it, along with the second book) when the series is still being written? Argh!

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2013 in Literature

 

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