"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Friday, January 29, 2016

A personalized mini-challenge

I was looking over my Goodreads account yesterday and got to the category of books I WANT TO READ. I had already decided to make a dent on that list this calendar year. My goal is to read the books on the list or, if I decide I don't still want to read it, remove them. There are currently 40 books on that list. It is a no-pressure challenge since I am just doing it for myself. But today, on closer inspection, I noticed that seven of the books on the list were books I started but did not actually finish last year. With these seven books I will do a mini-challenge within a challenge: read or dismiss each of these seven books within seven months (one per month.) Here goes...

Book#1- Gulp by Mary Roach
     I listened to about one tenth of this in audiobook format. I enjoyed it very much but it was automatically returned to the library after the due date and I never got around to checking it out again.

Book#2 Laughing at My Nightmare by Shane Burcaw
     This is a memoir in my library. I was only a few chapters into it when a teacher asked if she could read it. I need to place a hold on it so when it comes back I will get it next.

Book#3 Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Happiness by Tal Ben-Shahur
     This may end up being a book I dismiss rather than read. When I started it last year it felt a little like reading a textbook and I wasn't in the mood for that so I set it aside. I will give it one more go first, however.

Book#4 The Book of Aron by Jim Shepherd
     This book came to my attention because another author mentioned how much he enjoyed it. The Book of Aron was also a National Book Award nominee, which earns it points in my book. That said, when I started the book I realized I was in trouble. The book is written in vernacular and I struggled with the language. The audiobook version would probably help overcome those obstacles. I'll look for that, if no audio exists, the book will be dismissed.

Book#5 The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr
     I had the opposite problem with this book. I listened to over half of the audiobook and couldn't take it anymore. I don't know if it was me and my frame of mind, the topic, or the voice actor who did the reading. Something about the audiobook version of this book irritated me.  I abandoned the audiobook last year but will pick up the print edition this year and attempt to finish it up.

Book#6 We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielsen
     I set this short YA novel aside when I determined to my satisfaction it wasn't Printz-worthy. But I fully intended to finish it and set it aside for a short time. Apparently papers were piled on top of it. It was unearthed this week and is back on my pile of books to finish soon.

Book#7 Vanishing Grace by Philip Yancey
     Last Fall I purchased this book to use with a class I was teaching at church. I finished the class without finishing the book. I liked his first book on the same topic: Amazing Grace so I want to continue reading this one to see if it is as edifying. However, I am worried this book may not have been written with me in mind. Don't get me wrong, I hope to receive God's grace, it is just the intended audience seems to be folks who attend much more conservative churches than I attend. I'll give it a few more chapters before I decide to finish it or not.

Join me. List the books you started but didn't finish last year. Determine if you still want to finish them and set a date to have them completed. The others may need to be purged or forcefully dismissed off your list. Do it!


  1. I didn't finish Fairest. I also didn't finish a James Lee Burke mystery; I usually love his writing, but this one didn't grab me. I also haven't finished Dreams of Gods and Monsters, which is strange because I couldn't wait until the book came out.

    1. I muscles my way through Dreams of Gods and Demons to its satisfying and unpredictable ending. Glad I made it. I didn't like Fairest, either, but finished it begrudgingly. Ha! I bet I will end up dismissing more books off this list than finishing. We'll see.

  2. Great idea! Generally if I don't finish a book, there's a good reason. But I should clean up my goodreads to read list, and a challenge to myself to read some of the books already on it is a challenge worth pursuing.


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