Reading Challenge 2015: A Slow Start

I may have been overambitious setting such a high standard for myself. In my first blog post, Wednesday Weekend,  I discussed my goal to read 50 books by the end of the year. It’s been nearly four months since I challenged myself (on January 7, 2015) and I am progressing steadily, but according to, I am falling behind.

goodreads graph

I was on a steady reading route until I started reading books I didn’t enjoy.

I spent two weeks reading Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. I was nerdily excited about this read since it was a book about books, but it wasn’t what I expected at all. There was a strange and curious bookstore, but the story wasn’t dramatic enough to keep me engaged. Curiouser and curiouser? I think not.

I spent another two weeks reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, a book I’ve picked up numerous times at the bookstore and finally decided to sit down and read it. This story was more scientific than most of the books I read, so I had to slow down and re-read through some parts to make sure I understood. I read it all, including the epilogue and was disappointed. The epilogue was so long that I didn’t know I was reaching the end of the book. All of a sudden the story concluded and I was left with an extended editorial to wrap it all together.

One particular novel really derailed my whole reading schedule. I would like to blame The Picture of Dorian Gray for causing me to fall behind. I spent all of March and a portion of April struggling through a book I didn’t even like, to the point where I had no desire to read it at all. I preferred to play games on my phone rather than read. Finally, I thought to myself, Why should I keep trying to read something that I’m obviously not into? I read for pleasure and I was avoiding this book. The novel is only about 200 pages long, which could take me as little as a few days to read. After a good six weeks, I gave up. I didn’t finish reading the book. 

I am disappointed that I wasted so much time on The Picture of Dorian Gray, but I’m not sorry that I quit reading it. I believe that you should read what you like. I have read a total of eight books in just under four months, and yes, I am counting The Picture of Dorian Gray. I may not have finished it, but I definitely put a lot of time into it. I’ll put an asterisk next to it to identify that I attempted to complete the novel.

I am steadily continuing my reading. As of last night, I finished The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, a novel that I quite enjoyed. Goodreads has updated my progress and now I have completed 16% of my goal, but I am still eight books behind schedule. Below is a list of the books I’ve read so far in 2015.


January Reads

The Fortune Hunter by Daisy Goodwin

The Cat, The Quilt and The Corpse by Leann Sweeney

The Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas

Classified as Murder by Miranda James


February Reads

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan


March Reads

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde*


April Reads 

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde*

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman


Here’s what I’m looking forward to reading in 2015:

Dead with the Wind (A Southern Ladies Mystery) by Miranda James, coming out in September

Rhett Butler’s People by Daniel McCaig

I am also considering The Illusion of Separateness by Simon Van Booy


 Drink of choice: S’mores Frappuccino

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