Reading Goals: The Halfway Point

Jul 8, 2015

We've passed the halfway point of the year, and so it's time for me to take a minute and report on how my reading goals are going so far this year (and remind myself of what they are . . . oops!).

1. Read a past Newbery honor and a past Newbery winner (partially complete)
In April, the boys and I read Ginger Pye, which won the Newbery Medal in 1952 (we loved it, by the way). I'm still looking for a Newbery Honor to complete the second half of the goal. We are just about to start Ramona and Her Father as our next readaloud. It won a Newbery Honor in 1978, but I haven't decided yet if I'm going to count it for this goal. The whole point of the goal was to branch out and read a Newbery book I hadn't yet considered, and Ramona and Her Father has been on my list for a long time because I'm planning on reading all the Ramona books to my kids. I don't know . . . we'll see how the second half of the year goes. If I get in a pinch, I'll count it.

2. Read two classics by female authors (partially complete)
I added the qualifier that one of the books needed to be by an author I'd read before and the other by an author I hadn't. I still need to read a book for the first half of this goal (and I'm thinking it will be Little Men by Louisa May Alcott), but I'm done with a book by a female author I hadn't read before. I read Middlemarch by George Eliot. I'm patting myself on the back for that one. I may have some catching up to do with these goals, but I think I can safely assume that's the thickest book I'll read this year, and it's done!

3. Read a book I put on my to-read list in 2010 (complete)

I read The Education of Little Tree, which I put on my to-read list on July 20, 2010 (this is one of the great reasons to use Goodreads. For more of my Goodreads tips, click here). I admit, I picked up The Education of Little Tree for the sole purpose of completing this goal, but I ended up really enjoying it. I still have my eye on a few books from my 2010 list (to clarify, these are books I added to my to-read list in 2010, not that were necessarily written that year), so I may exceed this goal.

4. Read a children's classic (not complete)
The boys and I read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz this year, and I consider that a children's classic, but I'd read it before, so I'm not counting it. Even though I made up these goals and can accomplish them however I choose, I'm not a cheater, and my original intent was to read a children's classic I hadn't read before, so that's what I'm sticking to. I'm going to attempt Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories with the boys. Hopefully it will go over well.

5. Read a book on writing (partially complete)
I've started The Sound of Paper: Starting From Scratch by Julia Cameron, but I'm only about thirty pages into it. It's slow going because at the end of every chapter (and each chapter is only about four pages long), she gives a little writing prompt, and I've been trying to follow most of them. My favorite one so far was the challenge to describe myself as a literary character in third person.

6. Read a short stories collection (not complete)
After I made this goal, my friend, Jen, loaned me a big stack of short stories collections. I've glanced through them, but for the most part they've sat untouched in my nightstand. Even though it shouldn't feel like that big of a commitment, it does. I think I have a fear of getting one or two stories in before realizing that that collection's not for me. I wish I had a collection in mind that I was really excited to read.

7. Read something of a religious nature (complete)
I read Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. It was a great companion to my daily scripture study, and I'm sad it's over.

8. Read two more installments in series I've already started (partially complete)
I read the fourth installment in the Penderwicks series: The Penderwicks in Spring. It was fantastic--a highlight of the year so far. It's funny though--until I started writing this post, I didn't even realize that I'd partially completed this goal. I guess that just goes to show that there is nothing assignment-like about the Penderwicks for me. Reading about them is pure pleasure (also, it helped that I was already caught up with the series and was just biding my time for the next installment).

9. Read a food memoir (not complete)
I've kind of held off on this one on purpose because I know how much I love food books in the fall.

10. Finish a series (partially complete)
I'm finishing the Emily trilogy by L.M. Montgomery this year. I'd already read Emily of New Moon (twice) but was having trouble getting to the last two books. Now I've read Emily Climbs, and I'm looking forward to reading Emily's Quest in a few weeks. If you love the Anne books but haven't read these ones about Emily, then I highly recommend them.

So it looks like I've read six of the fourteen books I need to complete these goals. That's not great, but I'm not terribly behind either, so I think I can manage it. If you have any great recommendations for books I should read to complete these goals, I'd love to hear them! How are your 2015 goals coming along?


  1. Have you ever read _The Swiss Family Robinson_? I found it a lot of fun, although the language might be too formal for the boys. If you read that for your Children's Classic, then _Just So Stories_ would count for your short stories.

    I'd also count the Romana book towards the series goal, and maybe read _Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon_ by Steve Sheinkin (Flash Point/Roaring Brook Press) for your Honor book. It's nonfiction, so it might be a different read, which is always a good thing for me when checking off goals.

    Or Lin's _Where The Mountain Meets the Moon_ is another great honor book, and also a good read aloud. Or _The Thief_ by Megan Whelan Turner, which was one of our favorite read-alouds (but might be a little old for Bradley).

    1. Oooh, multi-tasking! I like it! I have considered Swiss Family Robinson--I guess I just need to check it out and read the first chapter or so to myself to see if it seems like something they'd like. And why did I not think to use the Just So Stories for my short stories collection? Brilliant (and not at all scary)!

      I've read Bomb and The Thief, but I have not read Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, and it's been on my list for a long time, so you've settled it--I'm going to read it!

  2. Way to go on the goals! My only reading goal this year was to read one classic per month. So far I've read 5, so I'm falling behind. One of them is kind of a cheater--the reviews I had read said it was a classic in its genre, but it's not one you'd find on an honor's English list by any means (John Muir's "Travels in Alaska.") I'm still counting it! (Unless I really go to town and end up with more than 12...yeah; there's a chance of that, I guess. A slim chance.)
    Also, my mom and I are going to read "Count of Monte Cristo" at the same time--I got the unabridged version, and that book weighs 5 pounds! It's huge! I guess I didn't account for how loooong some of these glorious classics are. :)

    1. Linnae - That's a huge goal! Depending on its size, a classic can take me anywhere from three weeks to three months to finish! So I am super impressed that you're attempting one each month! And Monte Cristo . . . my husband loves that book, and I hope to someday have the stamina to read it. :-)


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