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Books I Read in 2015 (What I’m Reading #8)

Last year, I decided to take on the Goodreads 2015 Reading Challenge. My goal was to complete thirty-six books (three books a month). Here are the books I managed to complete.

2015 books read

  1. Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
  2. The Bad Beginning (An Unfortunate Series of Events, #1) by Lemony Snicket
  3. Cup of Sake Beneath the Cherry Trees by Yoshida Kenkō
  4. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  5. Four Quartets by T. S. Eliot
  6. A Grief Observed by C. S. Lewis
  7. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick
  8. Utilitarianism by John Stuart Mill
  9. The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius
  10. Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom
  11. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  12. Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
  13. Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
  14. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  15. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  16. Mocking Jay (The Hunger Games, #3) by Suzanne Collins
  17. Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2) by Suzanne Collins
  18. The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1) by Suzanne Collins
  19. Calamity (Reckoners, #3) by Brandon Sanderson
  20. Firefight (Reckoners, #2) by Brandon Sanderson
  21. Mitosis (Reckoners, #1.5) by Brandon Sanderson
  22. Steelheart (Reckoners, #1) by Brandon Sanderson
  23. The Hope of Elantris (Elantris, #1.5) by Brandon Sanderson
  24. Elantris (Elantris, #1) by Brandon Sanderson
  25. The Alloy of Law (Mistborn, #4) by Brandon Sanderson
  26. The Hero of Ages (Mistborn, #3) by Brandon Sanderson
  27. The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, #2) by Brandon Sanderson
  28. The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1) by Brandon Sanderson
  29. Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive, #2)by Brandon Sanderson
  30. The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1)by Brandon Sanderson
  31. Wool by Hugh Howey
  32. On Love by Alain de Botton
  33. Animal Farm by George Orwell

I’m hoping to get around to reviewing many of the books listed here and as I do I will add hyperlinks to each review.  In the meantime, here are a few more statistics. 🙂

2015 in review

As you can see, there are thirty-three books listed, but I wouldn’t really count Brandon Sanderson’s The Hope of Elantris (Elantris, #1.5) or Mitosis (Reckoners, #1.5) as a book each, because they’re both just short stories. I could probably get away with counting them both as one book. So I’ll do that and say I completed thirty-two books last year.

While I’m on the subject of these two short stories, as a very brief review, I would not really recommend either of them to anyone, even a Brandon Sanderson fan.  Actually, if you’re an obsessive fan, and like the Reckoners series, I’d say go ahead and read Mitosis, just don’t expect anything. But take my word for it and don’t read The Hope of Elantris. Just don’t. There are very few things that I actually wish I could unread and this short story is one of them. 😦 More on it later perhaps.

Going back to the Reading Challenge, towards the end of 2015, I found myself torn between reading the books I wanted or needed to read (i.e. denser or longer books) and trying to reach my goal of thirty-six books. In the end, I decided that reaching my goal of reading thirty-six books wasn’t as important as reading books that I needed or wanted to read, but coming to that conclusion was difficult. So this year, I’ve decided to make things a bit easier for myself and make it my goal to read thirty books (2.5 books a month) instead. Hopefully, this will allow for a happy balance between both the amount and quality of books I read this year.

What are your reading goals for 2016?  If you have any, I’d love to hear about it. 🙂

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What I’m Reading #7

I was looking over my blog a few weeks ago and realised it’s been over a year since I’ve done one of these. A bit of shame, as I’ve gotten quite bit off track as far as my “reading plan” goes. For example, Dostoevsky has been completely neglected. But, at least, it’s not because I haven’t been reading; I’ve just been busy. I suppose another reason is, for the first half of this year, especially when I was going through my Sanderson binge, I was mostly reading e-books and listening to audiobooks, so my paperback stack was rather small. Anyway, this post is a bit of a catch up. I hope I can get back in the groove of doing this regularly.

Here’s a look at the books I’ve completed since my last “What I’m Reading” post.

DSC_9983

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
First and Second Things by C. S. Lewis
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger
Animal Farm by George Orwell
T. S. Eliot: Selected Poems by T. S. Eliot
On Love by Alain de Botton
The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
Paper Towns by John Green
Anam Cara by John O’ Donohue (Not pictured as I was only borrowing it.)

I know I always say I want to review the books I’ve read, but never seem to get around to doing so. Well, this time, this list includes some of the most unexpectedly great reads (e.g. Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian and Alain de Botton’s On Love), as well as, the most disappointing reads (i.e. Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist and Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays With Morrie 😦 ) I’ve come across and I intend to blog about them. I’ve already started on a post about Tuesdays With Morrie, so stay tuned. 🙂

Aside from the sixteen books listed, I’ve also gone through sixteen e-books and audiobooks.
Wool by Hugh Howey
Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
The
Hunger Games
trilogy by Suzanne Collins
And eleven books and two short stories (which I’m just gonna count as one “book”) by Brandon Sanderson (see my last post). I should probably also mention here that my passion/appetite for all things Sanderson has abated quite a bit since my last post. I guess we’ll see how I feel about him in the long run.

So, all together, 32 books completed in about a year. Not bad. That’s also not including the ten to twenty books I’m going through at the moment. I’m shooting to finish reading 36 books this year. I’ve already read twenty-five; I’m two books behind schedule. We’ll see how it goes.

Brandon Sanderson Has Hijacked My Life

This about sums up my life right now…

Brandon Sanderson

About half a year ago, a friend gave me The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance e-books. Prior to this, I’d never heard of Brandon Sanderson. I don’t own an e-reader, so any e-books I read, I read on my laptop and anyone who knows my reading habits knows that I prefer the printed word to e-books (note the pledge on the right side of the blog :)). That said, plopping down in front of my laptop to read a 1,000+ page book by an author I knew little about was not exactly something I was looking forward to. But I’d asked my friend for a book recommendation and this was what he’d recommended so I decided to trust his judgment and give it a try. That was two months ago.

One month later, I’d finished The Way of Kings and had already started on Words of Radiance. I finished Words of Radiance in a little over a week and felt so frustrated and disappointed that I had to wait till next year to read the third Stormlight Archive book. By this time, I’d learned enough about Brandon Sanderson to know he had a Cosmere and, best of all, more books! So I decided to tryout the first of the Mistborn series (audiobook). It had me hooked; by the second or third chapter I HAD to find out what happened next.

As of two days ago, I’ve finished the Mistborn Trilogy. That’s 4000+ pages in two months of Brandon Sanderson alone! Definitely a record for the amount of page time I’ve given any author in two months. Fortunately, about half of it was audiobooked, so I was able to multitask and get some things done. Still, this last month, especially, I’ve felt like a crazy Brandon Sanderson addict or zombie needing my fix, devouring book after book.

Thankfully, I think the crazy part of the voracious appetite attack for all things Brandon Sanderson (namely, relating to his Cosmere. I don’t think I will touch his Wheel of Time books–just not a fan of Robert Jordan’s WoT series), which reached it’s zenith with the Mistborn Trilogy, has subsided. Up next is Mistborn: The Alloy of Law and then, Warbreaker. The voracious appetite is still there, I’m just gonna have to pace myself.

More on each book, and why I find Brandon Sanderson’s fantasy so appealing, later. I just had to get this off my chest. 🙂

I will likely end up ordering hardbacks of most of the Cosmere books. Brandon Sanderson is going to be getting so much of my money. Heh.