Reading Goals for 2014

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Photo CC-BY bayasaa

I used to set reading goals every year. They were often fairly elaborate and involved joining multiple challenges. I stopped setting goals a couple of years ago, though, because it felt like my reading life had lost its serendipity. I spent too much time organizing my reading life and making sure I was reading a certain number of books each month to satisfy challenges. I was reading a lot of books I thought I “should” be reading–and when I read following only the dictates of whimsy, I often felt like I ought to be reading something different.

But for 2014, I think I’m ready to try some goals again. 

The only “good for me” reading goal I’m setting is to continue with the Nerdbery Challenge. I plan to read the winner and all of the honor books for 2014 (which shouldn’t be a chore) and then my goal is to read 12 Newberys this year. I may read more, but one per month seems like just about the right pace for me for this challenge. Yes, it will take me forever to finish at this rate. But that’s okay.

A much more fun challenge is the Nerdcott Challenge. I am reading all of the Caldecott winners and honor books aloud to my older son. We will probably finish this challenge in 2014.

I want to read more adult fiction and nonfiction. I’m teaching a Contemporary Lit class in the spring and will read several short story collections for that course. I might try to read some from the Amazon Editors’ Best Books of 2013 list. There are at least 20 books that look good to me on this list.

I’m working on my #MustReadin2014 list, and that is going to consist of hardcover middle-grade and YA fiction I bought in 2013 because Ihadtoreadthemrightthissecondifnotbefore and then I didn’t get to them. I am going to try to limit that list to no more than 20 books, and they will all be very good books that I know I will mostly enjoy.

My final goal for 2014 is to read 12 books on my YA Shelf of Shame. There are many, MANY books I could select for this challenge, and here are some I’m thinking about:

  • Markus Zusak, The Book Thief
  • Markus Zusak, I Am the Messenger
  • M.T. Anderson, Octavian Nothing
  • Melina Marchetta, Jellicoe Road
  • Megan McCafferty, Sloppy Firsts
  • Jerry Spinelli, Stargirl
  • M.T. Anderson, Feed
  • Meg Rosoff, There Is No Dog
  • Libba Bray, The Diviners
  • Ned Vizzini, It’s Kind of a Funny Story
  • James Dashner, The Maze Runner
  • Nancy Farmer, The House of the Scorpion
  • Nancy Farmer, The Sea of Trolls
  • David Levithan, Every Day
  • David Levithan, Boy Meets Boy
  • Patrick Ness, Books 2 and 3 of Chaos Walking series
  • Maureen Johnson, 13 Little Blue Envelopes
  • Marissa Meyer, Cinder
  • Malinda Lo, Ash
  • Leigh Bardugo, Shadow and Bone
  • Paulo Bacigalupi, Shipbreaker
  • Ruth Sepetus, Between Shades of Gray
  • Chris Lynch, Inexcusable
  • Judy Blundell, What I Saw and How I Lied
  • Nancy Werlin, The Rules of Survival
  • Neal Shusterman, Unwind
  • Julie Anne Peters, Luna
  • Victor Martinez, Parrot in the Oven
  • Carolyn Coman, Many Stones

ALSO, I hereby solemnly vow to update my Goodreads list AT LEAST once a month so that I do not have to spend the last two days of 2014 typing in 600 books.

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10 thoughts on “Reading Goals for 2014

  1. Still smiling at this shelf of shame . . . 🙂 Between Shades of Grey was one powerful read – whoa. I have lent my copy out many times. I read The Diviners this time last year. LONG! But very, very, interesting! Don’t start with that one or it will feel like you aren’t knocking any off your list! I’ve heard it is amazing as an audio book but think I’m too much of a chicken!

  2. My Shelf of Shame is full of great books, for sure! Some of them I have tried to read multiple times (don’t even know how many times I’ve picked up Book Thief, for instance–and I think I abandon it at the same spot every single time!) but just can’t connect for some reason. I live 60 miles from work, so I’m always looking for great audios to pass the commute time. I’ll definitely look for The Diviners on audio!

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  5. That Amazon list looks pretty good to me. I LOVED Donna Tartt’s “The Goldfinch,” even though I wanted to dislike it since she only recommended male writers in her New York Times interview. It was so good though. I read it slowly and was sad when I finished it. My only criticism is she spends a lot of time on druggy bits and I find drug abuse a bit tiresome. And then of course the Kate Atkinson book is magnificent. It’s the kind of book that a writerly sort will feel very bad she didn’t think to writer herself. Ahem. I also liked the Lahiri and “The Wave”….

  6. I’m reading The Goldfinch right now–I got bogged down in the druggy bits and put it down for a few days. But I’ll get back to it and finish this week probably. I really want to read the new Lahiri. Still waiting for my library to decide to get it. I bought several of the books on the Amazon list for my mom and Ryan’s mom for Xmas, so they will eventually come back to me to read!

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