Tag Archives: re-reads

A 2019 Reading Goal

“I saw that you read 124 books in 24 years!” cheerfully exclaims my new friend. “Congratulations!”

“124 books in my 24th year,” I say. “From July 6 to July 6.”

She looks shocked. “124 in one year? Not all 24 years?”

The very idea of it taking me 24 years to read 124 books is somewhat insulting, but she means well.

I glance at my Goodreads, wanting to give an accurate number. “Try 1,820 books since 2009, excluding re-reads.”

She looks stunned.

Trying to soften it a little, I say, “But you know, I still have 928 books on my to-read list, and that is always growing!”

It doesn’t help. “You have 920 books you want to read?” she gasps.

I nod, forbearing to add the 8 at the end.

She leaves the room shaking her head, but I’m now curious. How soon till I hit 2,000 read books? 180 short…probably not possible by the end of this year but with effort and fewer re-reads maybe by the end of 2019…

I think I have a new reading goal. To pull it off I will need to read 30-40 more books this year and then stay on track for my average 150 next. Seems a little steep with my travel plans for 2019 thrown in. But what is life without something to strive for? 

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2017 Reading Metrics

Let’s recap: 

2017 Reading Goals:

  • 170 books
  • 25 re-read books
  • Get my to-read list down from 960 to 900 (and keep it there!) 
  • Read some Greek classics and church fathers

And what actually happened? 

2017 Reading Reality:

  • 119 books
  • 12 re-reads
  • To read list: 924
  • Greek classics and church fathers: 0

…Kind of depressing, really. The last time I read so few books it was 2010. And in 2010 I wasn’t really keeping track of what I read, so I might actually have out-read myself then too. I had high expectations for this year…but then I went to camp. And then I went to law school. I guess I have an excuse!

This year I read: 40,247 pages. (Only down 1,162 pages from last year.)  The longest book was Civil Procedures: A Coursebook by Joseph Glannon (aka…my Civ Pro textbook) at 1,287 pages. The shortest book was Enough Rope by Dorothy Parker at 110 pages. My average rating was 3.2 stars. 

Keep an eye out for my annual 5 Star Favorites…coming soon! 


Whatcha Reading…? 4/22/2017 Book Update

“What are you currently reading?” asks the Get To Know You form. I look at the inch provided to respond in and don’t know whether to laugh or cry. What am I currently reading…??

I am in the middle of quite a few books right now. The problem is time. I’ve been in the midst of several books for weeks and there are twice as many unread in my library basket but I don’t seem to be finishing them at my usual pace. I think I need to take a reading day. However, for now, here is what I am currently reading:

Legend by Marie Lu, Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay, Fierce Convictions by Karen Swallow Prior, Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling, New Collected Poems by Wendell Berry, and The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. I’m still working on An Autobiography by Agatha Christie and Jack by George Sayer.  I am re-reading Manalive by G.K. Chesterton and listening to Bleak House by Charles Dickens on audio book. 

I don’t have much time today so I won’t go into the relative merits of each of these reads but there are some really interesting ones. And some less interesting ones. Hopefully you’ll see a few reviews with these names over the next week!


#TBT Skulduggery Pleasant

In the spirit of re-reading more, I thought it might be fun to do a few #TBT (Throwback Thursday) posts with books I really enjoyed but never re-read. The first one I chose was Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy. Unfortunately, I think I hyped this one up too much to myself over the years. It wasn’t nearly as funny as I remember it being. I originally rated it 3 stars and I think that is fairly accurate. 

Plot: When 12-year-old Stephanie’s uncle dies, she inherits his entire estate and the friendship of the very strange Skulduggery Pleasant. Skulduggery is a skeleton. He should have died centuries ago but he never did so, instead he became a detective. When Stephanie’s new possessions put her in the path of her uncle’s killer, she teams up with the skeleton detective and enters a hidden world of magic to stop an evil maniac bent on destroying the world. 

My thoughts: This is a very creative story with lots of snappy dialogue and unique characters. The action starts right at the beginning and never lets up. Considering that hidden, magical worlds are not exactly new territory, this is book manages to stay fresh and fun even when handling occasionally old tropes.

However…I never found my care-factor fully engaged. Ultimately, I blame the constant action. Someone is always being kidnapped or betrayed or tortured or shot at. There is hardly a moment to catch your breath and actually process what is all going on. The characters are clever and snappy but experience very little character change. It isn’t that I would want this book to be longer, it is already too long, but it needs to be a bit more developed to appeal to a wider audience. Then again, perhaps it has no plans to appeal to a wider audience, and is simply aimed at the Middle School crowd. 

Originally I wanted to re-read this entire series but I don’t think I will. My former reviews and ratings of this series get lower as the books progress and there are other series better worth re-reading. It is a pity, really. I remember this book being so funny. However, I don’t think I laughed out loud once. It merely amused me. 


2017 Reading Goal: March

2017 Reading Goals Recap:

  • 170 books
  • 25 re-read books
  • Get my to-read list down from 960 to 900 (and keep it there!) 
  • Read some Greek classics and church fathers

 

How am I doing?

  • 47 books read (8 books ahead of schedule)
  • 2 books re-read (Ouch. Thought that was higher)
  • To-read list: 924 (not bad!)
  • Annndddd no Greek classics or church fathers so far

 

I was feeling really confident about March but I have hit a wall this past week. Hopefully this reading slump won’t last long. I’m going to have to get on it with my re-reading! 


Re-reading The Witch of Blackbird Pond

I have blogged at length before about my love of The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare. When forced to pick a favorite book, I usually default to this one. I’ve read it countless times. In fact, I wore out two copies of the book before graduating high school. However, it has been a while since I last read it, so I decided to pick it up again. I forgot how good The Witch of Blackbird Pond is. I really, really, really love this book. 

One reason I enjoy re-reading Georgette Heyer’s novels is that I always discover something new. She uses such subtlety with her characters that I constantly find I have missed something in my earlier reading. This is not the case with Elizabeth George Speare. However, that is not because The Witch of Blackbird Pond lacks subtlety. I have just read this book and daydreamed about it and analyzed it so many times that I almost think I could quote parts of it. Kit and Nat and Mercy and Judith are all old friends to me. I don’t think I could find a new side to them. 

Re-reading this book after a long break, I’ve been struck by how much my enjoyment is mixed up with my familiarity with the story. I find a sense of identity and pleasure as much in remembering reading it as I do in actually reading it. 

It is just like the Cornelia Funke quote in Inkspell:

“Isn’t it odd how much fatter a book gets when you’ve read it several times?…As if something were left between the pages every time you read it. Feelings, thoughts, sounds, smells…and then, when you look at the book again many years later, you find yourself there, too, a slightly younger self, slightly different, as if the book had preserved you like a pressed flower…both strange and familiar.”

This is exactly the reason I added a “re-read” section to my challenge. It is so nice to re-read favorite books. Now if you will excuse me, I have almost reached the scene where Kit discovers the meadow, one of my favorite parts! 


2017 Reading Goal: February

Since I find myself occasionally daunted by my reading goal of 170, I have decided to do a monthly “reading goal update.” I’m hoping this will help keep me inspired and on track. So what were my goals?

  • 170 books
  • 25 re-read books
  • Get my to-read list down from 960 to 900 (and keep it there!) 
  • Read some Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, and Aquinas

So far this year I have read, drum roll please, 30 books! That means I am currently 7 books ahead of where I need to be to stay on track for the year. However, since I haven’t begun tackling the Greek philosophers or early Church Fathers, I figure the lead won’t last long. The more books between me and the red, the better. 

As far as re-reading goes, I’ve only re-read 1 book but Goodread’s new re-reading option has me jazzed to read more, so I am not too worried. 

My to-read list is currently at 937. I’m rather proud of that. I might actually succeed at keeping it below 900 this year. 

I already noted the lack of Plato in my literary diet. I suppose I should start this part of my challenge soon.  

Overall, though, not a bad start, eh?