I loved the idea of setting a goal to read 20 books from my shelves in a set period of time. I’ve been wanting strategies to cull books that I don’t really want, and my “well, I’ll get around to seeing if I want to read that eventually” doesn’t work.
What I Read
- The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass, by Phillip Pullman I really enjoyed these, though I thought they got better as the series progressed.
- Roseblood, by AG Howard I didn’t really like this one. I kept hoping it would get better, but it wasn’t my taste.
- Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett This one was sent to my by a friend, and I kept meaning to get to it, but just never did. I loved it.
- The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena It was a mystery/ thriller that just fell flat for me.
- The Mouse and The Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary This was chosen by a friend for our Popsugar challenge, for a “book set in a hotel.” It was a delightful kids’ book, and a nice break from so much meh.
- The Unseen (Books 1-4) by Richie Tankersley Cusick I blogged about this series here, and ranted about it on Goodreads, but suffice it to say, I was not a fan.
- Tweak: Growing up on methamphetamine, by Nic Sheff I ended up listening to it on audiobook, and it was a good memoir about addiction and recovery.
- Wish Girl, by Nikki Loftin I actually bought this book because I met the author at the local SCBWI conference. It was a sweet story and an easy read.
- The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton I’m about halfway through this one, and enjoying it. A friend sent it to me after I reread The Secret Garden and talked about how much I’d loved it.
- I read 14 books from my list (and am working on 15), and got rid of more than that. I tried (and abandoned) Wicked. I’ve completed one other Gregory Maguire book and hated it. That meant that all of his books went into the donate box, guilt free. (And I had quite a few of them… I don’t remember where I got them.)
- I felt a sense of accomplishment, getting through so many books. It’s always nice to set a goal and work toward it, even if I didn’t quite meet it.
- I hated reading from a pre-set list. I picked 20 books plus 5 alternates, and I struggled with them. I ended up reading 5 books in a row that I didn’t like, but I wasn’t ready to abandon. I wanted to pick something for my next book that I was a little more sure I’d like, but it wasn’t anything on the pre-picked list.
- When I started this, I didn’t know it was going to be a stressful summer for me. That meant that it was especially important for me to read things I enjoyed. Reading 5 books in a row I didn’t like was discouraging and made me want to stop reading off the list.
I’m going to set a quarterly goal of books to read off my shelf, but I’m not going to pre-pick them. That way, I can read whatever I’m in the mood for, but still cull my shelves, making room for new books.
Did you participate in 20 Books of Summer (or a different reading goal)? How’d you do? What do you think of reading challenges in general?
I hear you! I only got to 7 (almost done with 8, but I also switched out two). I also wasn’t expecting this to be my worst summer ever so I think this was not a good barometer for me. I totally agree with the sentiment of reading a stack from the shelves but pre determining was so incongruent with my reading style that it felt almost painful! I may try something like this again next summer but I am not sure I can pre-pick.