Reading Goals, Six Months In

Jun 28, 2013

June is almost over, which means we're about halfway through the year. (I know, I hate being reminded of this as well, but it is what it is.)

I've been slowly working through the reading goals I set for myself in January, so I thought now would be a good time to give an accounting of myself:

1. Read a new genre (not complete)
I should probably change this goal to "Read a graphic novel" since that is what I have always intended that "new genre" to be.

No, I have not read one yet. This should be such an easy goal to check off, but graphic novels are just so different. I'm just not sure they're for me. But I think I just need to pinch my nose and down one. Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised.

I know there are a lot of great graphic novels out there, but I finally decided that I'll read Shannon and Dean Hale's Rapunzel's Revenge. I've already read almost everything else by Shannon Hale, so why not just complete the list? Plus, I've heard good things about it.

2. Finish a series I already started (partially complete)
I decided to finish The Chronicles of Narnia. I had to read the last four books (I'm going by date of publication) to complete the goal. I've read two: The Silver Chair and The Horse and His Boy. I thoroughly enjoyed both, and I'm looking forward to completing this goal with The Magician's Nephew and The Last Battle.

3. Begin and finish a series (not complete)
Yikes! I haven't even started this one. What's more, I still don't even know what I'm going to read for it! I set this goal because I have such a difficult time finishing series in a timely matter that I wanted to see what it was like to have some continuity and finish a series from beginning to end in a respectable amount of time. But obviously . . . I'm afraid of it. I dread thinking about this goal.

So, suggestions are welcome! What series should I read in its entirety this year? I think I'm going to have to restrict my options to trilogies (so, sorry, as much as I want and need to read Harry Potter, it's not going to happen this year (at least not all seven books)). Help me out, and name your favorite trilogy--one that will be so gripping, I won't have any trouble reading all three books in a row!

4. Read and reread a book (complete)
Done and done! I read Boys Adrift: The Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men by Leonard Sax in April, and then six weeks later, I read the entire thing again.

I've discussed it with my education group and will also discuss it with my family for our book club during our family reunion. It is such a powerful book.

I'm hoping to write up my thoughts in more detail about the experience of rereading a book so soon after reading it for the first time, but let's just say that I could definitely read it a third time and still learn new things and retain more information.

5. Read something less well-known by an author I like (complete)
One of my very favorite books is Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse. To complete this goal, I decided to read Hesse's newest novel, Safekeeping. While I enjoyed it, it didn't come anywhere close to Out of the Dust for me.

If I have time, there are several other authors who have lesser-known books I want to read.

6. Read two classics from the 19th century and two classics from the 20th century (not complete)
Hmmm . . . have I read anything this year that could be labeled a classic? The Silver Chair and The Horse and His Boy are classics, right? Yes! 20th century done!

Just kidding. I'm not about to cheat like that as the whole point of the goal was to encourage me to read more classics.

For the 19th century, I'm pretty sure I'm going to read A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle (haven't read any Sherlock Holmes yet) and The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (I'm saving that one for October).

For the 20th century, I'm thinking of being brave and reading something by John Steinbeck (anyone have a favorite?). And then I still need one more idea, so any suggestions?

7. Read at least four Newbery candidates for 2014 (partially complete)
I've read one: The Center of Everything by Linda Urban. It was okay, but I hope there's something better out there. I'm still kind of waiting to see which books are getting the most nods (although I do have Navigating Early from the library right now).

Right now, I'm leaning towards reading The Water Castle, Navigating Early, Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures, or maybe The Thing About Luck.

8. Read Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson
It's scheduled to be released September 28th, so I guess you know what I'll be doing on September 29th (unless I can miraculously get my hands on a copy of it sooner!).

If you took the time to add them up, you know that I have to read at least 20 books to complete my goals. So far, only six of the books I've read this year have contributed to these achievements. I definitely need to get crackin' and make up some lost ground.


  1. These are such great goals! I've been thinking I'd like to try reading a graphic novel, too. I read about "A Game for Swallows" on another blog recently, and it looked interesting... Maybe I'll start there. :)

    I like Steinbeck's short stories far more than his novels (blush). Might be worth looking into...

  2. I love seeing how you set reading goals and how you're keeping track of your progress. I checked out Navigating Early a while back, but I keep getting side tracked. I really want to read it!

    1. Me too...I've probably had Navigating Early for at least a month now and still haven't read it.

  3. When I saw your request for favorite series, I immediately thought of recommending The Demon King series, because it is a recent favorite of mine. But there are five books in the series, so... Then I thought about my all time favorite trilogy, which is the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson. I don't know if you've read them, or even like fantasy, but they are so good. The books are a bit thick, but I couldn't put them down.

  4. Favorite series (besides Harry Potter): Anne of Green Gables. There are technically eight books, but you could read just the first three and get the feel for it without missing a lot. I can't remember if you've already read them!

    Favorite Steinbeck: "The Grapes of Wrath" (but be warned that there's a lot of language)

  5. Honestly, I like the Sherlock Holmes short stories (The Adventures, The Memoirs, The Return of Sherlock Holmes) better than the novellas.

    East of Eden is definitely my favorite Steinbeck and one of my favorite books of all time. To Kill a Mocking Bird is always a good re-read and a 20th century classic. Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Awakening, anything by Wallace Stegner, the border trilogy by Cormac McCarthy are also books that I've read and enjoyed.

  6. I love love loved East of Eden. Then I never read Grapes of Wrath. Whoops.


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