Did I Read 58 Books Last Year? Summary of My 58th Year Challenge
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.
- The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron – I read and did the assignments with my daughter.
- 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
- Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
- Daughters of the Dragon by William Andrews – I read this as an e-book while traveling in Taiwan.
- The Einstein Prophecy by Robert Masello – New author to me which I enjoyed a lot.
- The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
- The Good Life Lab: Radical experiments in Hands-On Living by Wendy Tremayne
- Iscariot: A Novel of Judas by Tosca Lee – I want to read more books by this author.
- The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name by Sally Lloyd-Jones – This book has beautiful pictures and words
- Long Way Gone by Charles Martin – This is a title for the reread list.
- Miss Julia Inherits a Mess by Ann B. Ross (published this year-2016)
- One Memory At A Time: Inspiration & Advice for Writing Your Famiy History by D.G. Fulford
- The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller
- The Optimist’s Daughter by Eudora Welty
- A Paris Apartment: A Novel by Michelle Gable – While reading this book I kept Googling historical events and people.
- Pure Heart, Enlightened Mind: The Life and Letters of an Irish Zen Saint by Maura O’Halloran
- Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside the New Science of Motivation by Gabriele Oettingen
- The Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner
- The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher – This is also a must reread.
- A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by Phillip Keller – I confess, this is not the fist time I’ve read this book.
- A Spy’s Guide to Thinking by John Braddock
- Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon
- 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.
- Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson
- Thinner in 30: small changes that add up to big weight loss in just 30 days by Jenna Wolfe
- 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.
- The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
- The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
- Memoirs of a Geisha: A Novel by Arthur Golden
- Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
- The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Spears
Austen in August – This is the second time I participated in this yearly internet challenge.
- Emma: a Modern Retelling by Alexander McCall Smith
- 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?
- The BFG by Roald Dahl
- The Circle by Dave Eggers
- The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins
- A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers
- Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ramsom Riggs
- 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.
- Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
- Atonement by Ian McEwan
- Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
- David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
- Deenie by Judy Blume
- Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters by Mark Dunn
- S is for Silence by Sue Grafton
- Swimming with Giants: My Encounters with Whales, Dolphins and Seals by Anne Collett
Recommended – I got these ideas from friends, blogs, and Facebook.
- Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilber
- Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World by Anthony Doerr
- The Chocolate Snowman Murders: A Chocoholic Mystery by JoAnna Carl
- The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick
- Lying Awake by Mark Salzman ]
- Moloka’i by Alan Brennert
- The Nazi Officer’s Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust by Edith H. Beer and Susan Dworkin
- The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
- 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.
- The Careful Use of Compliments (book 4/11)
- The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds (book 9/11)
Two. Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child: Gideon Crew Series – Completed the series.
- The Ice Limit
- Gideon’s Sword
- Gideon’s Corpse
- The Lost Island
- Beyond the Ice Limit
Three. James Patterson: Women’s Murder Club (books 1-9) – I plan on reading all the books in this series.
- 1st to Die
- 2nd Chance
- 3rd Degree
- 4th of July
- The 5th Horseman
- 6th Target
- 7th Heaven
- 8th Confession
- 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.
- These High, Green Hills
- Out to Canaan
- A New Song
- A Common Life: the Wedding Story
- In This Mountain
- Fluke Light from Heaven
- Somewhere Safe With Somebody Good
- Come Rain or Come Shine
Five. Joanne Fluke: Hannah Swenson Mysteries with Recipes
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (book 1/21)
- Strawberry Shortcake Murder (book 2/21)
- Blueberry Muffin Murder (book 3/21_
- Lemon Meringue Pie Murder (book 4/21)
- Blackberry Pie Murder (book 17/21)
- Double Fudge Brownie Murder (book 18/21)
- Wedding Cake Murder (book 19/21)
- Christmas Caramel Murder (book 20/21)
Six. Justin Cronin: The Passage Trilogy
- The Passage (1/3)
Seven. Louise Penny: Chief Inspector Gamache Novels (books 1-11) – Completed the series and I wish there were more!
- Still Life
- A Fatal Grace
- The Cruelest Month
- A Rule Against Murder
- The Brutal Telling
- Bury Your Dead
- The Hangman
- A Trick of the Light
- The Beautiful Mystery
- How the Light Gets In
- The Long Way Home
- The Nature of the Beast
- A Great Reckoning
Eight. Shannon Stoker: The Registry (books 2-3) – Completed the series.
- The Collection
- The Alliance
Unfinished: Books that took me several years to finish reading
- The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis
- Moby Dick by Herman Melville
- The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence
- Umapped Darkness: Finding God’s Path Through Suffering by Thomas Finch
Yearlong Theme – I am captivated by books in this genre
- The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life by Janice Kaplan
- My So-Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife: a One-Year Experiment and Its Surprising Results by Sara Horn
- 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 . . .
- 10 Read Aloud Questions and Answers
- 13 Benefits of Reading
- 21 Things I Learned by Reading Individual Bible Books in One Sitting
- Finding Laughter: Books on my Laughter Bookshelf
- Musicals Bucket List – My 59th Year Challenge
- Top Ten Books I Read in 2015