2015 Reads, Bout of Books, and 2016 Reading Challenges

I have gobs of bookish activity to catch up on; let’s get right to it!

2015 Reads:

I read 47 books in 2015 and fell just 10% of my goal of 52 books. I was a little bit bummed, but then I checked my stats and this is the most I’ve read since 2010. In other words, I had Atticus in late October and my reading promptly took a dip in numbers. In 2011 I read 43 books, in 2012 I read 42 books, in 2013 I read 29 books, and in 2014 I read 38 books. Yay! I’ve set the goal to read 52 books this year. I was going to pick a smaller number, but I’ve decided against graduate school (that’s a topic for another post) and I should have time for reading this year.

My top seven books of the year (not including re-reads) are:

  1. Among Others by Jo Walton
  2. The Quick by Lauren Owen
  3. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  4. The Children’s Book by A S Byatt
  5. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
  6. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  7. Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl

A few other stats with some interecting numbers:

  • I read 15 classics (published prior to 1960)
  • I read 11 rereads
  • I read 11 graphic novels
  • I read 7 Viragos
  • I read 4 non-fiction titles
  • I read 8 young adult books


Bout of Books


Bout of Books
I decided to start 2016 out with a bang and readathon with the Bout of Book folks. My goal is to read 700 pages. I’m on vacation this week, so as long as no small children get ill (cross your fingers) I should be able to accomplish this. The page number goal will give me a chance to dip into big classic novels and read graphic novels, smaller books, and YA. Keepin it fresh, yo.
I’ll be posting my Bout of Books updates on Twitter and Instagram, but will be sure to do a big wrap-up next week.
2016 Reading Challenges:
I always swear I won’t do these, but I’m a glutton for punishment.
First up is Andi’s #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks Challenge
My goal is to read 24 books from my stacks (i.e. already owned) and then read others from the library. I’m going on a book buying ban until my birthday at the end of April. I’m determining how much I can buy on my birthday by what I read. $2 for every book from my stacks read and $1 for each library book. Yes, I’ll still be buying books. I just need to get rid of the willy nilly book buying and stick to a budget.
I’ll be shooting for completing 12 graphic novels or comics this year.
My goal is to complete 9 of the 12 categories. Of course one classics challenge wasn’t enough for me. I also signed up for Becky’s Victorian Bingo Challenge. For Becky’s challenge I need to read five books from five different categories.
I don’t really have set lists for either classics challenge. I already know I will be pulling from my stacks for most of the books. A couple books I am especially eyeing include Charlotte Bronte’s Shirley, Wilkie Collins No Name, Trollope, Dickens, and some Virago titles.
Not really a challenge, but a side read is O’s readalong of The Pickwick Papers.
pickwick readalong
I’ve tried my damnedest to read this novel in the past and it just falls short for me. I’m hoping reading it by the publication schedule will help.
Speaking of O’s challenges, since I already love Brit Lit so much I decided (just now as a matter of fact) to participate in her Reading England Challenge.
reading england ii
My goal is to read at least 3 different counties. I decided to participate because I realize I tend to not pay attention to where books are set in England. I tend to smoosh all of it together. This will at least allow me to read with more awareness and less generalizing of British places.
One last challenge! Ali is hosting a #WoolfAlong this year.
My goal is to read some of Woolf’s shorter fiction and a non-fiction book about her.
That does it for challenges next year. I may throw some more readalongs and readathons in the mix!
Happy 2016 reading, y’all!


  1. Wow. Just Wow. I love reading about all your goals for the year. It really inspires me to get back into reading. I have nothing that complex or big on my goal list but I have started drifting more towards non fiction recently so I’m going to go with it and strive for 12 non fiction books this year. One book a month seems reasonable. I am building my stack right now and will hopefully have a picture to share soon! I’ll be cheering you along! Go Amanda!! Woot!

  2. Wow, you’ll be plenty busy! I read Woolf for the first time this year and was surprised by how much I liked her. I can easily recommend Orlando and A Room of One’s Own.

    Also, I love the idea of giving yourself money to spend for each book you read! Brilliant.

  3. Love your idea of paying yourself to read your own books! I’ve been trying to find the thing that will motivate me to read more from home and library and buy less for a while. I may have accidentally stumbled upon my motivation…I tracked my book spending last year for the first time ever and stunned myself with the total. You know it’s bad when the only person looking at the record is you, and you’re trying to figure out a way to “fudge” the numbers. “Hello, my name is Susan, and I clearly have a book-buying problem!” It’s really ridiculous because I have so many sitting on my shelves that I really want to read. So, that is my biggest goal – to read my own and “cheat” with the library, and really keep my spending minimal. We’ll see how it goes. I’m also working on figuring out how to get my goodreads account up and running – I truly am pathetic when it comes to social media. I need to figure it out while my older two are home to help me, but spending time with them is keeping me away from the internet…I’ll get there eventually.
    Happy reading to you!

  4. OK, I love your favorites list, and I have to comment individually:

    Among Others by Jo Walton – YAY! It’s on my TBR so I’ll be reading it amongst my own damn books.
    The Quick by Lauren Owen – Need to get back to it. It came in the midst of that terrible angry work-induced slump.
    East of Eden by John Steinbeck – FAVE
    The Children’s Book by A S Byatt – Sooo high on my want list.
    We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler – Actually really relieved to see this because I bought it for cheap last year, the hype/some of the teasers scared me, and I’ve been afraid to even open it.
    Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel – One of my year’s faves, too!
    Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl – I love this book and not enough people have read it!


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