I’ve done it, folks. I’ve taken a big swing this time and I really hope it connects. I’ve just set my 2019 Goodreads Challenge for 100 books!
One hundred books in one year!
The Goodreads Challenge has been a core part of my year since this day in 2017, and their “52 books a year” baseline has proved a real inspiration to me. It’s why, in part, I was so pleased to join Byron in this book review blog in the first place.
I’ve always read in fits and starts, treating reading as a kind of Wikipedia deep dive, when I’d like to be a different kind of reader entirely. The beauty of Goodreads’ 52/year baseline is that it’s one book a week – doable, but a challenge. That structure helped me incorporate regular reading into my weekly schedule – or it was supposed to. The trouble is that, as soon as you get behind a week you’re back to binging. And boy, do I love that under the gun “let’s read 500 pages a day for the next three days and we’ll make it”. And that’s what I’ve done for the past two years. I’ve achieved my Goodreads goals for 2017 and 2018 by reading in fits and starts, and this year I’m stepping up my game.
There’s no way other than good old fashioned regular hard work that I’ll be able to read 100 books in a year, and you better believe I’m not letting this winning streak end.
I’m also really hopeful for 2019 in terms of the kinds of books that are coming out. It’s no secret that 2017 blew my little socks off, and in comparison I felt that 2018 was a little slow. There were certainly some stand-out gems, but 2019 gives every indication that it’ll be a return to the wealth of literary excitement that 2017 brought. Why, in January alone five of my favorite series publish their latest editions, including: Katherine Arden’s The Winter of the Witch, S. A. Chakraborty’s Kingdom of Copper, Seanan McGuire’s In an Absent Dream, R. E. Stearns’ Mutiny at Vesta, and Alastair Reynolds’ Shadow Captain. With 2019 starting off this solidly, I have hope abundant and excitement to go along with it.
With so many books to read in 2019, I’ll also be reading books I didn’t feel I could make time for last year. This includes the third installment of one of my absolute favorite series from 2017, Ada Palmer’s Terra Ignota series. While The Will to Battle was published in late 2017, I was so focused on keeping up with new publications this past year I didn’t feel I would be able to devote to it the attention it deserves. There’s nothing more disappointing than rushing through a much-anticipated book and cheating yourself out of its full depth, complexity, or beauty.
I’m also planning to devote more attention to comics than I have in years past, and can’t wait to see what I can find. I’m starting, of course, with Brian K. Vaughan’s Saga series.
More than anything, I’ve set my challenge at 100 books to truly challenge myself. I’m so excited to share this journey with you all, and I hope you’re as excited about what 2019 has to bring as I am.