Tag Archives: reading

2013 in reading

At the start of 2013 I decided not to set a target of an X number of books I had to read by the end of the year. I noticed that the years before I tended not to choose longer books so I could make the target of 100 books, plus I wanted to have time to do other things I enjoy. To enter the GoodRead reading challenge you have to enter a number so I initially entered that I wanted to read 52 books in 2013, one a week on average. I also added the challenge of reading 10 “classics” and an age challenge (read a book published in every year since I was born), the latter one I decided to spread over two years.

In the end I’ve finished 119 books, totalling 43958 pages. This year I discovered the serialized series Yesterday’s Gone by Sean Platt and David Wright. They call each short book and episode which is around 100 pages. Each “season” consists of six episodes, after that they focus on other series for a while and write the next season. Because I read three seasons, one of which I counted as one book and the other two as 12 different books I thought that although the number of books I’ve read was high my page count and average length of the books I’ve read would be lower than in 2012. I was surprised that it wasn’t so: I’ve read nearly 7000 pages more than in 2012 and the average length is 369 pages (in 2012 it was 354).

My favourite series this year was the Merrily Watkins series by Phil Rickman. I read several of his other books, including his Dr. Dee series, and he’s my favourite author this year. Other series I enjoyed are Donna Leon’s Guido Brunetti, Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson and Sigma Force by James Rollins. It’s very hard to decide which book I liked most, although I loved the Merrily books I think that I enjoyed the third book of the Mistborn trilogy, Hero of Ages, most because it ends the series so well.

In 2014 I want to continue my age challenge, which I’m behind in. I also want to read some of the longer books, of a 1000+ pages,  that have been lingering in my ebook library unread. As usually I will try to keep the number of active series down, I’m doing quiet well with this challenge lately, due to the fact that I’ve finished several series (plus I have three on my active list that only have one more book before I’ve finished or am up to date with the series) and although I’ve tried several new series none of them are good enough to continue. In 2013 I’ve become a lot more selective in what I want to read, both in series but also in books, if I don’t like what I’m reading I don’t feel guilty abandoning it anymore.

However most important for me is to enjoy myself, no matter what I read or how many books.

I’ve set up a page on this blog where I will keep track of my 2014 reading challenge.

Reading update July 2013

In Dutch there is the saying, when things go wrong, that something has thrown soot in the food. This is especially appropriate for my reading situation. Due to the fire next door and the huge cleaning task we’re still in the middle of to get rid of the soot, smoke and especially the smell my reading challenge has taken a back seat.

That isn’t to say I’ve stopped reading. The first days after the fire I didn’t read at all, after that I slowly started reading again. Because of the clean up and trying to get the store clean enough to open again (after almost seven weeks today was that day!) I haven’t read as much as I normally do but according to GoodReads I’m still 9 books ahead, so I might still make it to a hundred, or not.

All my challenges are on hold, I might go back to them later in the year but at the moment I read to relax. I’ve been reading easy books, not necessarily short ones. The only challenge I try to keep is not to keep the number of series down to a manageable number. I allow myself to read the first one, maybe two, of a series to determine if it’s worth continuing and if it is it’ll go on my next-series list.

I’ve been enjoying most book, lately. I tried the first book of Jo Nesbo’s Harry Hole series, normally I find Scandinavian literature tough going but this one was a page turner. However, that leaves me with a dilemma: the English translation of the second in the series won’t be released until December (yes, I’m a stickler for reading series in order). So I can wait until December with continuing (and get a chance to finish some ongoing series), skip it or read the Dutch translation.

I’ve also enjoyed the fourth installment of Phil Rickman’s Merrily Watkins series, The Cure of Souls, I liked the first three but this one was a quicker read and that’s something I enjoy.

Another book I really liked was the first Will Trent, Triptych, by Karin Slaughter. I’m reading her Will Trent and Grant County books in publication order because there are cross-overs in the series.

The White Queen, by Philippa Gregory wasn’t a success. I just didn’t like the main character, so I won’t be continuing with that series.

Yesterday I finished the first book in The Order of the Sanguines series, The Blood Gospel, by James Rollins (Sigma Force series) and Rebecca Cantrell. I’ve read the teaser short story when it came out, which also contained the first chapters of the novel at the beginning of the year. I really loved this book, a combination of adventure (as with Sigma force a quest for a religious artifact), thriller and fantasy. I hope the next in the series won’t take too long to write.

For my summer reads I will probably continue with the Grant County/Will Trent series, Merrily Watkins and pick up Sigma Force again. I might give the Mortal Instruments series a go. But most of all, I’m going to enjoy myself. After The White Queen I decided that I will abandon a book I don´t like sooner than I have done in the past.