Reading in the New Year 2015

We are verging on our 4th day of the new year and all my bookish buddies have made their new reading
resolutions for 2015, analyzed, and written up the statistics of their reading from 2014.  So here I am sliding in to home plate with mine.  I made some over zealous reading resolutions last year.  See here if you don’t remember.  Well I promised to read certain titles, read Australian and Russian literature and to read some unread books on my shelves.  Well it was all a fail except reading some of my unread books and readingMy gift goodies! The Good Lord Bird.  Well better something than nothing.

The good thing about last year’s reading was that I managed to choose and read a lot of very good books.  My top 10 of 2014 is full of the best of the best. (post coming soon) No complaints. Five of them received five-star ratings and for me that’s excellent, since I rarely give out five stars.  So in this fresh new year my resolutions will be few but meaningful.  I want to do a lot of pleasurable and meaningful reading, as last year, that seems to work for me.  I have no time for mediocre reading, I feel I’m too old for that.  There are a multitude of books I want to read before I die.  That wasn’t meant to sound desperate but I need to write my book for that.  Last year my page count was a miserable 13,511. Wretched! So my last and biggest goal of the year will be to increase my page count abundantly.

As for my reading stats, I read:

53 books and 7 of them were over 400 pages

13 graphic novels

27 novels by black authors

21 novels by women

32 novels by men

9 memoirs/non-fiction (4 of these were graphic novels)

from 13 different nationalities, including French, American, Indian, Nigerian, English, Scottish, Columbian, Norwegian, Dominican, Portuguese, Japanese, Canadian, and Cambodian.

The longest book I read was Americanah with 477 pages and the longest graphic novel was Habibi with 672 pages.

The shortest book I read was Phenomenal Woman: Four Poems Celebrating Women, with 32 pages.

Having been shy of my Goodreads Reading Challenge goal by two books and short of my Big Books goal by three, I’ve decided to fix my Reading Challenge at 50 and the Big Books Challenge at 10.  Hoping that this will keep me well-rounded and reading longer books, but most importantly extremely good ones.

As you’ve probably noticed there are some big changes on the blog today.  I’ve changed the name of my blog to Brown Girl Reading and opted for a new style.  The name change has been a long time coming and I feel this one suits me better, as does the style of the blog.  I hope you enjoy and approve of the changes.  So, here’s to you for following me and to 2015 which I hope will be great for you all – in life, in love, in friendship, in health, and in reading.  Happy New Year!

2014 Reading Resolutions

Hello all! Firstly I’d like to wish you all a very Happy New Year full of loads of excellent reading and book connecting.  I’ve been reflecting quite a bit these days on my reading resolutions for this year, while reading of course.  I’ve decided to be practical and throw out some titles that I’d like to pick up this year.  Last year I wanted to read more varied and I think I attempted that but I wouldn’t say it was a total success, but not bad.  I also wanted to read more classics.  Well that was a bomb!  However, I did read more Afo Literature, which I will continue to do this year.  I did read some graphic novels and thoroughly enjoyed all of them.  Now enough of last year and on to what is happening and what you and I have to look forward to.  The following books have been on my shelves now since about the month of November.  The main reading goal of this year is to read as many of those big books that are hanging around on the shelves that I’ve been passing over.  The next big goal is to try to read quality.  That doesn’t mean that I can’t get in a little Walking Dead or something else light now and then.

These first 3 are called The Australian trilogy and it’s by Bryce Courtney.  Now I’ve read The Power of One and Tandia and enjoyed them immensely.  I saw these three on Goodreads and I thought they would help me fulfill the Australian reading challenge over on Booklover Book Reviews.  I’m aspiring to take part in and to succeed at the Wallaroo challenge.  If you guys have any titles to recommend, drop them in a few lines below.

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The next trilogy I’d like to attempt is MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood.  Now I’ve only had the pleasure of reading two of her books The Robber Bride and The Handmaid’s Tale and they both left me reflecting for some time there after.  They were excellent!  So, I figured since MaddAddam came out in September 2013, why not check out the entire series.  I hate nothing more than reading book one and then having to wait 2 years for the next bit to be published.  Having the entire trilogy in my possession is sparking my interest  even more.

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Now the next books are my prize winners/finalists for something.  I can’t help it but I just fall for those kinds of books.  Pulitzer, Man Booker, Nobel Prize in Literature, Women’s Prize,etc. you name it and I’m checking it out.  One of these is and oldie and hopefully a goodie and the other two were finalists for the Man Booker.  I’ve been dying to read them and I’m sure some of you already have.  I received these books in November for my birthday and couldn’t make the shift to get started on any of them. 2014 is the moment!

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The next two are epic novels that are being talked about and raved over all over the net, in newspapers, and literary magazines for a few months now.  They have been on my TBR since I heard they were being released at the end of last year.  I absolutely have to read these two books this year.  One is from the young new Booker prize winner and the other is from an astounding author whose last book was published in 2002 and whose first book was a hit that her fans can’t stop talking about, The Secret History.

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These last three novels were picked up toward the end of last year as well.  Curiosity is the best way to describe why I picked them up.  This will be my first time  trying these authors but I’ve heard so many good things about the first 2.  The last one I discovered while reading a Goodreads pitch about it.  I couldn’t resist.  They say curiosity killed the cat but I prefer to use Stephen King’s variation “Curiosity killed the cat, satisfaction brought him back”.  That’s definitely going to be me in 2014.

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Well that’s all I have for reading goals in 2014.  I want to read loads of big books and most of all good books.  I’m participating in the 2014 Big Book Challenge where we read books over 400 pages.  I’ve challenged myself to 10 books this year.  Last year I challenged myself to 5 and I read 7 which was pretty good because I didn’t really read that many big books. I felt like I was subconsciously avoiding them.  This year a big book is going to be the go to book.  My Goodreads 2014 reading challenge is 55 books just like last year.  I succeeded in reading 58 books in 2013 and stayed at least 1 book ahead on my reading challenge the entire year.  I was pretty proud of myself for that.  I’m looking forward to bringing you more reviews and maybe even introducing you to some books you wouldn’t normally read.  I’ll be continuing Teacher Feature as I find more interesting teachers that you’ll enjoy reading about.  I also hope to do some more book spine poetry and some hauls.  There may be more surprises throughout the year as well so sit tight, keep reading, and commenting. 🙂