2014 Reading Challenge

Just like in 2013¬†I challenged myself to read a set number of books in 2014.¬†This time the magic number was 45. And just like in 2013, I hit the target exactly, although it was much less close run than last year (when I frantically raced to finish my last book on New Year’s Eve). This time I actually finished with about a week to spare.

Here’s the list of what I read. Mostly¬†the usual mix of classic sci-fi and fantasy, programming, random non-fiction.

Favourite¬†fiction?¬†To Kill a Mockingbird. Somehow our class managed to not read this in school, so I thought it was time to catch up on¬†a classic that seemingly everyone else had read, and it didn’t disappoint. A real page-turner, but with true heart.

Favourite non-fiction? This was much tougher to choose, but probably Our Pet Queen: A New Perspective on Monarchy. Short, incisive, fascinating and often funny.

The two biggest chunks of reading were A Song of Ice and Fire books 3-5 and Orson Scott Card’s Ender Quartet books 2-4. Both series did start to flag a bit as they went on. Ender more so; it would always have been hard to keep up to the standard of the amazing¬†Speaker for the Dead, but¬†Children of the Mind‘s plot¬†really did descend into¬†the ridiculous. Not sure if I’ll return to Card’s¬†series, I’ve heard the Shadow books are good but after the bad taste Children of the Mind¬†left there’s plenty of other books I want to check out first.

As for ASoIaF, while¬†A Feast for Crows was a bit of a slog, I’ll join the massed ranks of people waiting eagerly for¬†George R R Martin to hurry up and¬†resolve some of these unanswered questions and cliffhangers!

For 2015 I pondered dropping the challenge entirely. It’s been rewarding,¬†but¬†I want to focus a bit less on reading: it’s absolutely still something I want to make¬†time for, but¬†there are plenty¬†of other things I want to do more of¬†as well (writing, coding, photography, maybe picking up guitar again).¬†There’s also some intimidatingly¬†long books on my “to read” list (Pillars of the EarthI’m looking at you here!) which I found myself putting off at least partially because they would make it harder to hit my target. In the end I’ve decided to scale my goal back¬†to 40 books again this year. Whether I make it is anyone’s guess, but at least it gives me something to blog about same time next year!

One thought on “2014 Reading Challenge”

  1. Pillars of the Earth is very funny, it was a very fast read IIRC. But I read it so many years ago…

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