The 2014 Reading Non-Challenge

Last year, I set a goal of reading a list of 30 books for my 2013 challenge. While I surpassed that number (I read something like 40 books – but I haven’t finished listing them to know for certain), I didn’t manage to get through my actual list. I think part of this is a.) I’m very easily distracted by shiny new books, b.) trying to fish through my TBR pile is a treacherous endeavor, and c.) as amazing and wonderful as Audible can be, I don’t always relish spending credits on an audiobook when I have the physical copy. Not to mention that I’m more likely to try something as an audiobook that I wouldn’t pick up as a physical book. Part of this latter bit is that I can listen to an audiobook ANYWHERE without requiring time spent devoted to the book. I can do dishes, clean the house, file Magic cards, fold laundry, drive or even grocery shop while listening to a book instead of sitting down with all of my attention and time focused on the pages before me. This is much easier to take, especially if I’m not sure if I’m going to love it or not. There have been books (like I am Malala) where the audiobook led to the purchase of the physical copy, and there are some books that as good as they were, I am glad I don’t have to find some way of liquidating the copy to free up shelf space for something more intellectually valuable for me.

Instead of saying that I’m going to read a specific list of books, as I have over the past few years, I am simply going to say that I will read 45 books in 2014. This is a slight stretch beyond where I was last year, but I think that it will be achievable. (Hell, by the time I’m done with all my reviewing, I may have read that many last year. Either way, keeping that pace while taking 9 credits of classes is an achievement, in my opinion.)

I will still keep track of the ones I want to read, because even though I didn’t read them, I still want to. Here’s last year’s amended list:

  1.     The Legend of Eli Monpress (omnibus) – Rachel Aaron
  2.     House of Leaves – Mark Z. Danielewski (in progress)
  3.     Lovecraft Unbound – edited by Ellen Datlow
  4.     Darkness – edited by Ellen Datlow
  5.     The Ghost Pirates -William Hope Hodgson
  6.     The Kingdom of the Gods – N. K. Jemisin (the remainder)
  7.     Book of the Supernatural – edited by Stephen Jones
  8.     Salem’s Lot – Stephen King
  9.     Conjure Wife – Fritz Leiber
  10.     Dreams of Terror and Death – HP Lovecraft
  11.     V Wars – Jonathan Mayberry
  12.     The Summoner – Gail Z. Martin
  13.     Mad Kestrel – Misty Massey
  14.     Richard Matheson: Collected stories 1
  15.     Richard Matheson: Collected stories 2
  16.     Richard Matheson: Collected stories 3
  17.     Burn, Witch, Burn – A. Merritt
  18.     Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell (in progress)
  19.     Thanks, But This Isn’t for Us – Jessica Page Morrell (the remainder)
  20.     The Trouble with Eating Clouds – Edmund Schubert
  21.     To Walk the Night – William Sloane
  22.     The Dream World of HP Lovecraft – Donald Tyson
  23.     Necronomicon – Donald Tyson
  24.     Alhazred – Donald Tyson
  25.     The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There – Catherynne M. Valente
  26.     Darker Than You Think – Jack Williamson
  27.     The Dark Descent – edited by David Hartwell (the remainder)
  28.     Scattered, Smothered, and Chunked – John Hartness
  29.     Luka and the Fire of Life – Salman Rushdie
  30.     Boneshaker – Cherie Priest

Some of the books I’m adding to my “To Read” shelf in Goodreads this year include some actual classics and others that are more modern classics. Many of these, I have already read, but want to revisit for various reasons. Some of them, I’ve never taken the time to read before.

  • Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury (re-read)
  • The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald (re-read)
  • Les Miserables – Victor Hugo
  • To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  • The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
  • Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass – Lewis Carroll
  • 1984 – George Orwell (re-read)
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
  • American Gods – Neil Gaiman
  • Vathek – William Beckford
  • Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier
  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson (re-read)
  • The Turn of the Screw – Henry James
  • The Terror – Dan Simmons
  • Books of Blood – Clive Barker
  • The King in Yellow – Robert Chambers
  • A Song of Ice and Fire (The Game of Thrones series) – George R. R. Martin

Let’s see how far we shall get. I’m already one book down for 2014, so yay me! Let’s hope I can keep up this kind of pace and hit 45 this year!

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