My Reading Challenge for 2014

Last year, I challenged myself to catch up on my reading and decided to read 25 books for 2013. I never thought I would reach my goal since during the whole month of November, I was not able to read anything. I was busy with the NANOWRIMO (National November Writing Month) challenge, writing a 50,000-word book which I finished on November 30 at 56,667 words. It is my second book and will be published as soon as I finished editing it. The Iron Butterfly is now up to 72,000+ words.

This year, I only added one more book to read for a total of 26 books for 2014 – one book every two weeks. Right now, I am 4 books ahead of schedule but I know in November, I will not be able to read again because I plan to join the NANOWRIMO challenge again. Also after the summer, I will be busy with other projects being president of Charleston Lowcountry Rose Society so I will not have enough time to do more reading.

I have seen people challenging themselves to read 100, 200, 250 books. That’s an amazing feat! Unless you read a short story, young adults or children books, I cannot imagine how you can finish 250 books in a year. That is like reading 5 books a week. Not feasible if you are reading a 500-page book. I read on Goodreads that someone had read 50 books already before January ended. How did he do that? Do you scan the book or really read it?

I have read some lengthy historical novels this year and I pushed myself to finish it. A stillness at Appomatox (I often wonder how the North won the Civil war) and The Grapes of Wrath (extreme poverty and hardships that kept me saying enough already) were two books that were a real struggle to finish. I had to follow them with light reading before my mind fried up.

Here is a list of the books that I read this year so far:
1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
2. Don’t Fall Off the Mountains by Shirley MacLaine
3. Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd
4. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
5. The Bells of Freedom by Dorothy Gilman Butters
6. In our Image by Stanley Karnow
7. Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini
8. The Nabob’s Widow by April Kihlstrom
9. A Stillness at Appomatox by Bruce Catton
10. The Way We Were New York by M. Howard
11. The Women of the House by Jean Zimmerman
12. The Buccaneers by Edith Wharton
13. A Distant Trumpet by Paul Horgan
14. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
15. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
16. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
17. Mount Vernon Love Story by Mary Higgins Clark
18. French Silk by Sandra Brown
19. Day of Infamy by Walter Lord