nerd alert 2014

This marks the 3rd year I’ve recapped my reading adventures, like a proper dork.

In 2012, I read 100 books.

In 2013, I read 114 books.

I had secret hopes to read more than 114 books this year, but with the first half of the year dedicated to the whole wedding thing, I didn’t stand a chance. I still came in at a very respectable 104.

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Within those 104 books, I read 31,617 pages which comes to 86 pages per day. The longest book I read was World Without End by Ken Follett which clocked in at 1,014 pages, coming in not far behind were Fall of Giants at 985 and Winter of the World at 940. Also by Ken Follett. That guy likes to write…

Some of my favorites this year in no particular order…

1. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

2. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

3. Sand Omnibus by Hugh Howey

4. The End is Nigh by Various Authors

5. The End is Now by Various Authors

6. World Without End by Ken Follett

7. Fall of Giants by Ken Follett

8. Winter of the World by Ken Follett

9. Silo 49 Series by Ann Christy

10. The Runner Series by W.J. Davies

11. The Sisterhood by Helen Bryan

12. Humanity Gone Series by Derek Deremer

I guess the theme of this year was a lot of series. I love a good series. Why read one book on a subject when I can read 3+!

I also got into fan fiction a bit this year. The Silo 49 series and The Runner series were based set in the world of Hugh Howey’s Wool, still one of my favorite series of all time. It was so fun to jump back into that world with different characters and perspectives.

Oh, and one audio book. It was okay. Someone recommended Amy Poehler’s book as an audio book so I may try that next. I just read too fast, audio books slow me down. Unless I can figure out how to read a book while listening to a book. Now there’s a thought!

No huge disappointments this year, I didn’t rate anything 1 star! There were a few 2 star books but they were all amazon freebies.

I still have about 15 new books on my kindle that I didn’t get a chance to read this year. I put 14 new books on for our honeymoon and only got through 3-4. Lots of reading to catch up on in 2015. Since I will only be in school for 4 months of 2015, maybe I can crack 125 books! Happy reading!

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nerd alert 2013

Since I read 100 books last year, I wanted to do the same this year and I secretly wanted to try to read a few more. Well, cutting to the chase, I suceeded! I clocked in 114 books this year, 14 more than last year/over goal. Pretty good, if I do say so myself. Although I have been trying really hard to hit 115, I’m in the middle of 100 Years of Solitude, but it might take me 100 years to finish.

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Within those 114 books, I read 35,963 pages, which works out to 98 pages per day. The longest book I read was Stephen King’s The Stand which clocked in at 1,153 pages. A close second was The Dark Tower at 1,050. Stephen King is a wordy fella.

Speaking of Stephen King, I started out the year reading several of his books. I had read a few as a teenager, but never really got into him, so I made a point to try this year. He’s not my favorite author, but he’s not the worst. I really enjoyed some of the books and didn’t care for a few others but I’ll get to that in a minute.

It was also the year of re-reads. Hugh Howey’s Dust was coming out and since I adored the previous parts of the story, I went back and read them all to prepare. It was totally worth it. I have a habit of reading and promptly forgetting, so this made it so that I went into Dust fully submersed in the Silo world. It was an incredible ending.

I also re-read The Chronicles of Narnia which were just as great as I remembered. Except I don’t think I ever finished the last few books because I didn’t remember them at all. I had fun reading those and discussing them with Keith, since I was actually reading his copies.

I also re-read Matilda, just to see if it was as magical as I remember and it was. I adore that book.

Some of my favorites this year (not including re-reads), in no particular order:

  1. The Stand by Stephen King
  2. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
  3. The Green Mile by Stephen King
  4. Dust by Hugh Howey
  5. Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower IV) by Stephen King
  6. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
  7. Allegiant by Veronica Roth
  8. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  9. Someday, Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham
  10. The Hedge Knight by George R. R. Martin
  11. The Sworn Sword by George R. R. Martin
  12. The Mystery Knight by George R. R. Martin
  13. The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
  14. Snatched by Karin Slaughter
  15. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

The weirdest book I read this year? John Dies at the End by David Wong. I gave it 3 stars so it wasn’t terrible but I seriously had no idea what was going on the whole time. The weirdest series was The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. I didn’t care for the first book, was hooked by the second, apparently loved the 4th, but by the end things got realllllly weird. I feel like Stephen King had a midlife crisis in the middle of writing it and lost his mind. Ugh. It could have been so perfect.

Absolute favorite book of the year was a three way tie: The Stand by Stephen King/Dust by Hugh Howey/And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini. The Stand was awesome. It was actually the first book I read this year and I just loved it. I read 13 other Stephen King books but it was the best. Also Dust by Hugh Howey, which I stated before, it was just a great ending to one of my favorite series. And the Mountains Echoed was just heartbreakingly beautiful. I have adored all three bookes by Khaled Hosseini. He is an amazing writer, I love that he writes about life in the Middle East as it is not something I would probably read about otherwise and he just manages to create these beautiful characters and storylines.

Biggest disappointment this year was The Fault in Our Stars. I feel like I must be broken. This book has over 400,000 reviews on Goodreads with an average of 4.5 stars. I liked it, but it didn’t really do anything for me. Friends of mine have said how they weeped through the book and although I may have gotten a little misty at the end, I didn’t actually cry. I thought it was well written, I enjoyed the characters and the storyline…it just missed the mark for me.

Biggest surprise were the three Dunk and Egg novelas by George R. R. Martin. I supposedly had been told about these before but had no recollection. They are set 90 years before A Song of Ice and Fire and are short little books about a hedge knight and his squire. Really enjoyed them. Wish there were 100 more.

In case you care, you can see all my other books/ratings for the year here.

Let’s shoot for another 100 in 2014!

nerd alert 2012

So I don’t really make New Year’s resolutions, but I did have a goal this year…to read 75 books. I have always been a big reader but once the internet came along, I would spend so much time reading wesbites, I wasn’t really reading books anymore.  In 2011, I decided to get back to it and read 50 books. I absolutely love the website goodreads both for keeping track of the books I read and getting recommendations for new books.

Well, once I hit 75 books sometime this fall, I decided to go for the gold and try for 100.

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Woohoo! Goodreads also breaks it down by pages. I read 39,122 pages this year, which averages out to 107 pages a day. The longest book I read was A Storm of Swords which clocked in at 1,178 pages.

Out of the 100 books I read, only 10 of them received 1-2 stars from me. You can see my full list with ratings here, but some of my top books in no particular order…

1. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

2. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

3. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

4. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

5. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

6. Still Alice by Lisa Genova

7. The Greenhouse by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir

8. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

9. The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

10. Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo

11. War Brides by Helen Bryan

12. Zeitoun by Dave Eggers

13. Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

14. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

15. Wonder by R.J. Palacio

My absolute favorite book this year is a 12 way tie.  Not even kidding, haha. The months of July, August and September found me devouring the five books from A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. I’m sure everyone knows what they are so I won’t even bother explaining. I keep wanting to slip back into that world but the 6th book isn’t supposed to come out until 2015. The Game of Thrones show will definitely make it a bit easier, though. Also, I recommend watching at least a season of the show before reading the books…it really helped keep the 32423 characters and their crazy names straight.

At the beginning of this year, I read Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howey and it immediately jumped to the top of my list. It is a collection of 5 books and the 6th and 7th (First Shift – Legacy, Second Shift – Order) also came out this year. It is Sci-Fi/Dystopian fiction, but even if you are not a fan of sci-fi, you should read it. There is nothing far-fetched about it. No spaceships, no robots, no time travel. Just a group of people living in an underground silo. So so good, I want to go back and read it again.

I mentioned to Keith yesterday that I had finished my 100th book for the year and he expressed doubt that there is anything left to read…but oh is there. Can’t wait to see how many books I can read in 2013. (Probably more considering the length of the ASOIAF books).