Posted by: Jenny | March 3, 2015

January Reads

The past several years, rather than make a New Year resolution, I’ve set a book-reading goal. My annual goal hasn’t varied – it’s always 52. It’s a reasonable goal, to knock out a book a week while enjoying the process (i.e. reading for pleasure).

Side note: aren’t goals supposed to progress over time? Should I be increasing my goal each year? Am I overthinking this?

I track the books read in my Kindle app (since most are in this medium) and in a log book (because a few are traditional books). I’ve found myself starting a book, getting that deja-vu feeling, before realizing I’ve already read it. So having a log is helpful, especially when I’m reaching for another Harlan Coben book among the million or so he’s written (and I’ve already read).

I decided to start a monthly blog post, not so much for tracking purposes, but to hear what others are reading. My goal for this monthly feature is to get feedback from my readers: books you’ve read last month, your thoughts on the books I read and get recommendations for authors. It’s a win-win for me and for you!

Here’s how I kicked off 2015:

Faithful Place by Tana French

Book Three in the “Dublin Murder Squad” series by Tana French, Faithful Place centers around Frank Mackey, who we first met in Book Two, The Likeness. If you’ve not read Tana French’s series, give it a try. Each book features a different cast of characters, all related to the Dublin Murder Squad, and the protagonist will have appeared in a previous book, usually in a supporting role, and not always portrayed in a positive light.

Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little

This was somewhat a chore to get through, and I found myself skipping through to the end to find out whodunit. Protagonist is a Paris Hilton/Kardashian-type character who’s found guilty of murdering her mother. The book follows her as she delves into her mother’s secret past to find out who really killed her mother. It’s author Elizabeth Little’s first novel, not bad for a novice, but Tana French and Gillian Flynn have set the bar high for debuts so I’m less forgiving now.

The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty

I suppose Liane Moriarty’s novels could be classified as “chick lit”, but she deserves a wider audience than what that category would attract. The Hypnotist’s Love Story is an interesting mash-up of themes such as grief, trust and the psychology behind stalker behavior. As with all of her books, I loved my time spent in Australia with her cast of characters, and look forward to her next novel.

Broken Harbor by Tana French

Book Four in the Dublin Murder Squad series, French again blends police procedural with the psychology of crime and those determined to solve it. We go inside the mind of Det. Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy, who was the object of derision in Faithful Place.

Four books, four weeks (okay, four weeks plus a few days). I’m on track to read number 52 by Dec. 31. What did you read in January? Do you set a goal for yourself each year? What challenges prevent you from reading as much as you’d like?

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Responses

  1. Do they have to be books you haven’t read before to count toward your goal? Or maybe a reread could count but it would have to be a deliberate choice, not accidentally reading something again? For example, I’ve been thinking I’d like to read Little Women again one of these days – it’s probably been at least ten years since I’ve read it. Or maybe it’s weird that I like to reread books? I’ve been told that before. 🙂

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    • Oh, rereads absolutely count toward my goal! I’ve found so many “new” books when intentionally rereading something I first read in a different stage of my life (as opposed to accidentally rereading something because I forgot I’ve read it already). WHO ARE THESE HERETICS who think rereading books is weird? Never mind, I don’t want to know!

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  2. My only real goal is to read a lot of books. I’ve been listing books I’ve read for years, but I don’t keep track as I wait to count up my books at the end of the year. I’ve just started my first T. French book (In the Woods) and, the book I most enjoyed reading in January was Dana Haynes “Gun Metal Heart”

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    • Thanks for commenting, Bruce! I’m going to put Dana Haynes’ books into my library wishlist. Your FB posts inspired this “series” 🙂 I wish I could wait until the end of the year to tally, but I have a weird internal competition with myself….which probably prevents me from truly enjoying the “journey” of reading each year in order to achieve the goal! (sort of just kidding – I do enjoy the journey)

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