30 Reads Went Fast!

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When I signed up for the Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge, I expected it to play out much like 2012. I would start out strong  by reading one book every week or two, but then summer would hit and all my time would be devoted to writing (and crafts). By the time fall hit, I’d slowly get back into the swing of things, but not fast enough to avoid a December scramble to reach my reading goals. Whew! Now that I’ve written it out, I can’t believe I put myself through this every year!

To my great surprise, 2013 turned out to be quite different from my usual reading year. On October 13th, I officially completed my goal of reading 30 books.

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An incredibly lucky streak of fantastic books prevented the summer lull from taking hold and I suspect the extra time afforded to me thanks to having a student teacher had something to do with it as well.

Some of my favorite books this year include:

The Maisie Dobbs Series

A feisty, smart, and compassionate female lead sits at the heart of this series. Set in post WWI London, historical fiction has never been more engaging with interesting (and highly accurate) insights into the culture of the time. As a mystery series, Maisie Dobbs never fails to offer up unorthodox cases of intrigue that always tie to the evolution of the main character. All 10 books are unputdownable!

Original Bliss by A.L. Kennedy

A subtle, sparsely written novel about two disillusioned people who find comfort in one another. As their impossible relationship flourishes, they find reasons to feel alive, again. A truly remarkable read.

Divergent (Series) by Veronica Roth

Easily one of the best Young Adult series I’ve read in a long time. Roth’s wholly original take on the concepts of free will and choice pushes these ideas to a new level. Her apocalyptic world of a faction-based society poses powerful questions about government, society, and truth.  Anything that challenges young people to question perception and think for themselves is well worth reading!

Jane Austen’s England by Roy and Lesley Adkins

Rather than write another biography about Jane Austen’s life, the authors of this book instead pick apart the world she lived in. Meticulous research of primary sources reveals incredible details about marriage, childbearing, childhood, work, religion, healthcare, clothing, and death in the early 19th century.

Gabriel’s Inferno (Series) by Sylvain Reynard

The fact that this is a romance novel with an intellectual edge makes this guilty pleasure one of my favorite books. Thematic references and quotes from Dante’s The Inferno  are brilliantly linked to both the story and characters. In many respects, it is refreshing to read a romance novel that works both the brain and the heart.

The Odd Sea by Frederick Reiken

Don’t let the minimalist style fool you. Reiken’s tale of a family coping with the tragedy of a missing son is a highly emotional and powerful read. Grief is explored from multiple angles and the ending invites serious contemplation.

Even though I’ve reached my 30, I’m still reading. My lucky streak of good books is still going strong and I have the additional goal of reading 2 more non-fiction books about writing and/or the publishing industry.

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How’s your reading life?

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c.b.w. 2013

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16 thoughts on “30 Reads Went Fast!

  1. Rita A.

    Hooray for Maisie! I need to figure out where I am in the series and get back to reading them.
    Great list and Congratulations on meeting your goal.

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  2. Congratulations on reaching your goal early! I think I only have two more books to read before I reach my goal and like yo him usually rushing at the end of the year. This year though I can’t read fast enough for all the books that I want to read!

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  3. Good for you!! This is my first year doing the Challenge and I seem to be stalled at 50% of my goal. But that’s OK – 50% of my goal is more than what I read last year. Maybe I’ll catch up, or maybe it’s a good exercise in finding my “reading life.”

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  4. How awesome! I’m hoping that my teaching/administrative duties won’t be quite so demanding next year so that I can spend more time with my nose in books that I want to read. : ) I’m definitely going to add some of these books to my list! They sound great!

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  5. I still have 20 books to read before the end of the year – my goal was 70. I’m trying not to fill all that up with manga, cause I can go through 20 of those in a week, and I’d like to read some actual words. But we’ll see…

    Congrats on finishing your goal!

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  6. This reminds me I have some catch-up reading to do! Maybe I’ll take a page from your list here and read a few of your suggestions, even though I have a tall pile of TBRs near my reading chair. Congrats on achieving your goal. :)

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