Thursday, January 07, 2021

My reading challenge for 2021

It’s a new year and that means a new Goodreads Reading Challenge. I’ve set myself a reading goal there several years in a row, and I find it a fun way to keep track of what I’ve read and maybe challenge myself a little too. Last year I made a personal reading record of ninety-five books (or eighty-five, if you only count those I finished). This year I pledged to read eighty books, though that may change later.

Every year, I make a list too, of books that I want to read. It’s a guideline more than a mandatory programme; last year I only read ten books from it. But I’ve noticed that it’s easier to keep up with everything I want to read if I’ve listed every book I already own and haven’t read yet, the books on my wish list and the upcoming publications by my favourite authors.

This year’s list contains a whopping hundred and fifty books, mostly because I did so poorly with it last year that several books moved over. It has four sections: books from the old list, new books, books from NetGalley, and books I chance to read outside itobviously currently empty.

There are fifty-two books from the old list. Some of them didn’t seem so interesting anymore, so I pruned it down to those I already own or definitely want to read. That brought it down to twenty books. These include The Burning God by R.F. Kuang, which was published in November and I got for a Christmas present and didn’t have time to read last year, and Crush the King by Jennifer Estep that I reserved from the local library, but haven’t got yet.

The list of new books filled with everything I bought last year and didn’t have time to read. There are several by Lindsay Buroker, for example, as many of her boxed sets were free or discountedand she’s published a lot. But there are also many upcoming books from my favourite authors; two from J.R. Ward and three from Nalini Singh. All in all, the list has seventy-nine books, so if I manage to read them all, that’s my reading challenge pretty much covered.

And then there’s the NetGalley section. I’ve already been approved to read twenty-two books, and that’s only until May. A couple of really interesting books there, like Victories Greater than Death by Charlie Jane Anders, which will come out in April; A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady Martine, the follow-up to A Memory Called Empire, which will be published in March; The Galaxy and the Ground Within by Becky Chambers, coming out in February, and The Russian Cage by Charlaine Harris that will be published in February too.

All in all, a full and interesting list. And there’s still room for surprises, so bring them on. Last year ended with one such surprise, as I picked Paladin’s Grace by T. Kingfisher, a really great fantasy romance, and instantly proceeded to read her Clockwork Boys, which is the first book I’ve finished this year. I’ve already started it’s follow up, The Wonder Engine. So the reading year is on to a good start. Follow this blog to find out how it proceeds.

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