Did I Read 58 Books Last Year? Summary of My 58th Year Challenge

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I recently had a birthday, so it is time to evaluate how well I did on my birthday challenge.
I challenged myself to read 58 books because I was 58 years old last year. Did I meet that goal?

Turns out I was a reading fool! I read 111 books.

I’ve always loved books and last year I read differently.

  • I read series. In fact I read books from 8 series. The first series I’ve read to completion as an adult is The Mitford series by Jan Karon. Then I discovered Louise Penny, Shannon Stoker, Douglas Preston and James Patterson (to name a few). I don’t know why I went on a series binge, but it certainly was fun.
  • I finished some unfinished titles. I was able to read to completion four books that have been languishing in my to-finish pile. I am most proud of finishing Moby Dick. I really s-t-r-u-g-g-l-e-d with the first part of that book. Then when I picked it again last year, I LOVED reading it.  And I wondered why it took me so long to finish. The Imitation of Christ was such a deep read, I just couldn’t rush through it.
  • I discovered the Gilmore Girls reading list. I read 8 books from that diverse list last year. I plan on reading the 339 books that Rory read. So far I’ve read 82 books.
  • I am obsessed with yearlong quests. Several years ago I read Living Oprah: My One-Year Experiment to Live as TV’s Most Influential Guru Advises. And I was hooked on this genre. This year I read three such books. The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life was my FAVE book in this category. And it is one I will reread so I can re-immerse myself in its helpful ideas.  This link has 12 ideas and I plan on reading from this list this 59th year.

Read the rest of the post to see the 111 titles and other categories.

Assorted Titles

  1. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron – I read and did the assignments with my daughter.
  2. Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Power of Gratitude: 101 Stories about How Being Thankful Can Change Your Life by Amy Newmark and Deborah Norville
  3. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
  4. Daughters of the Dragon by William Andrews – I read this as an e-book while traveling in Taiwan.
  5. The Einstein Prophecy by Robert Masello – New author to me which I enjoyed a lot.
  6. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
  7. The Good Life Lab: Radical experiments in Hands-On Living  by Wendy Tremayne
  8. Iscariot: A Novel of Judas by Tosca Lee – I want to read more books by this author.
  9. The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name by Sally Lloyd-Jones – This book has beautiful pictures and words
  10. Long Way Gone by Charles Martin – This is a title for the reread list.
  11. Miss Julia Inherits a Mess by Ann B. Ross (published this year-2016)
  12. One Memory At A Time: Inspiration & Advice for Writing Your Famiy History by D.G. Fulford
  13. The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller
  14. The Optimist’s Daughter by Eudora Welty
  15. A Paris Apartment: A Novel by Michelle Gable – While reading this book I kept Googling historical events and people.
  16. Pure Heart, Enlightened Mind: The Life and Letters of an Irish Zen Saint by Maura O’Halloran
  17. Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside the New Science of Motivation by Gabriele Oettingen
  18. The Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner
  19. The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher – This is also a must reread. 
  20. A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by Phillip Keller – I confess, this is not the fist time I’ve read this book.
  21. A Spy’s Guide to Thinking by John Braddock
  22. Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon
  23. Still Alice by Lisa Genova – Tears, and more tears as I read this book about Alice, a 50-year-old Harvard professor diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s.
  24. Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson
  25. Thinner in 30: small changes that add up to big weight loss in just 30 days by Jenna Wolfe
  26. The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battle by Steven Pressfield

Audio – I am not usually one who listens to books on tape. And I enjoyed doing this while walking or driving.

  1. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
  2. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  3. Memoirs of a Geisha: A Novel by Arthur Golden
  4. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
  5. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Spears

Austen in August – This is the second time I participated in this yearly internet challenge.

  1. Emma: a Modern Retelling by Alexander McCall Smith
  2. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith and Jane Austen

Book to Movie – So far, I’ve only seen one of these books as a movie. If you’ve seen these movies, which one(s) do you recommend?

  1. The BFG by Roald Dahl
  2. The Circle by Dave Eggers
  3. The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins
  4. A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers
  5. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ramsom Riggs
  6. Silence by Shusaku Endo

Gilmore Girls Book List – There are 339 books on this list. I read 8 of them this past year. Now the total # I’ve read is 82.

  1. Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
  2. Atonement by Ian McEwan
  3. Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
  4. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  5. Deenie by Judy Blume
  6. Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters by Mark Dunn
  7. S is for Silence by Sue Grafton
  8. Swimming with Giants: My Encounters with Whales, Dolphins and Seals by Anne Collett

Recommended – I got these ideas from friends, blogs, and Facebook.

  1. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilber
  2. Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World by Anthony Doerr
  3. The Chocolate Snowman Murders: A Chocoholic Mystery by JoAnna Carl
  4. The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick
  5. Lying Awake by Mark Salzman ]
  6. Moloka’i by Alan Brennert
  7. The Nazi Officer’s Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust by Edith H. Beer and Susan Dworkin
  8. The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
  9. We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson

SERIES – I read books in EIGHT series this year 

One. Alexander McCall Smith: Isabel Dalhousie Series – I plan on reading all the books in this series. I started reading this because I found books #57 & 58 at the dollar store and loved them.

  1. The Careful Use of Compliments (book 4/11)
  2. The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds (book 9/11)

Two. Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child: Gideon Crew Series – Completed the series.

  1. The Ice Limit
  2. Gideon’s Sword
  3. Gideon’s  Corpse
  4. The Lost Island
  5. Beyond the Ice Limit

Three. James Patterson: Women’s Murder Club (books 1-9) – I plan on reading all the books in this series.

  1. 1st to Die
  2. 2nd Chance
  3. 3rd Degree
  4. 4th of July
  5. The 5th Horseman
  6. 6th Target
  7. 7th Heaven
  8. 8th Confession
  9. 9th Judgement

Four. Jan Karon: The Mitford Series (books 3-10) – This is the first series I read to completion as an adult. There are only two book series I read when younger (and again as an adult): Chronicles of Narnia and Anne of Green Gables.

  1. These High, Green Hills
  2. Out to Canaan
  3. A New Song
  4. A Common Life: the Wedding Story
  5. In This Mountain
  6. Fluke Light from Heaven
  7. Somewhere Safe With Somebody Good
  8. Come Rain or Come Shine

Five. Joanne Fluke: Hannah Swenson Mysteries with Recipes

  1. Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (book 1/21)
  2. Strawberry Shortcake Murder (book 2/21)
  3. Blueberry Muffin Murder (book 3/21_
  4. Lemon Meringue Pie Murder (book 4/21)
  5. Blackberry Pie Murder (book 17/21)
  6. Double Fudge Brownie Murder (book 18/21)
  7. Wedding Cake Murder (book 19/21)
  8. Christmas Caramel Murder (book 20/21)

Six. Justin Cronin: The Passage Trilogy

  1. The Passage (1/3)

Seven. Louise Penny: Chief Inspector Gamache Novels (books 1-11) – Completed the series and I wish there were more!

  1. Still Life
  2. A Fatal Grace
  3. The Cruelest Month
  4. A Rule Against Murder
  5. The Brutal Telling
  6. Bury Your Dead
  7. The Hangman
  8. A Trick of the Light
  9. The Beautiful Mystery
  10. How the Light Gets In
  11. The Long Way Home
  12. The Nature of the Beast
  13. A Great Reckoning

Eight. Shannon Stoker: The Registry (books 2-3) – Completed the series.

  1. The Collection
  2. The Alliance

Unfinished: Books that took me several years to finish reading

  1. The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis
  2. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  3. The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence
  4. Umapped Darkness: Finding God’s Path Through Suffering by Thomas Finch

Yearlong Theme – I am captivated by books in this genre

  1. The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life by Janice Kaplan
  2. My So-Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife: a One-Year Experiment and Its Surprising Results by Sara Horn
  3. Learning to Breathe: My Yearlong quest to Bring Calm to My Life by Priscilla Warner

Your Turn . . . 

  • Did you make any reading goals last year? Did you meet them?
  • Did you read “differently” this year? If yes, how so?
  • Were any books a surprise?
  • Which one(s) would you recommend that I read?

Related Resources . . .

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Entry filed under: Books, Bucket List, goals, Main. Tags: , .

Friday’s Fave Five – November 3, 2016 Musicals Bucket List – My 59th Year Challenge

2 Comments Add your own

  • […] out I was a reading fool! I read 111 books” are the words used by Susan Wright in Fruitful Words to invite us into a review of a year-long challenge, recently […]

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  • 2. revreed  |  . at .

    A couple years ago I forced myself to finally wade through Moby Dick and all I can say is that those of us who can tick that box on “great books” lists should get some sort of award! lol. Thanks for the complete list–I like seeing what others are reading because I often discover new things through them!

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59 Musicals to Watch During my 59th year

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