I have been participating in the Goodreads challenge since 2011, and before that I was part of an online 52 books to read in a year challenge.
Even the years that I don't quite finish the challenge, I still manage to read many books. I do love to read, and the challenge is a great gentle reminder to take the time to read.
In 2012, I completed my goal of reading 52 books in one year. I read 55 books.
I looked back on the list of books I read last year. Many were young adult novels. With our big move and all that happened last year, I needed fast-paced fantasy stories. Often, my teens read the same book. Sometimes they suggest titles or I do. Either way, I love having that extra connection with them.
Here are a few of my favourites I read last year:
The Town that Drowned by Riel Nason. This is the first novel by this Canadian author from New Brunswick. I enjoyed the story and especially the characters.
From Goodreads: "Living with a weird brother in a small town can be tough enough. Having a spectacular fall through the ice at a skating party and nearly drowning are grounds for embarrassment. But having a vision and narrating it to the assembled crowd solidifies your status as an outcast. What Ruby Carson saw during that fateful day was her entire town buildings and people floating underwater. Then an orange-tipped surveyor stake turns up in a farmer's field. Another is found in the cemetery. A man with surveying equipment is spotted eating lunch near Pokiok Falls. The residents of Haverton soon discover that a massive dam is being constructed and that most of their homes will be swallowed by the rising water. Suspicions mount, tempers flare, and secrets are revealed. As the town prepares for its own demise, 14-year-old Ruby Carson sees it all from a front-row seat. Set in the 1960s, The Town That Drowned evokes the awkwardness of childhood, the thrill of first love, and the importance of having a place to call home. Deftly written in a deceptively unassuming style, Nason's keen insights into human nature and the depth of human attachment to place make this novel ripple in an amber tension of light and shadow."
A favourite series I read, and my son enjoyed too was the Uglies series by Scott Westerfield. We both preferred the first two books.
From Goodreads: "Tally Youngblood is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait for the operation that turns everyone from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to party. But new friend Shay would rather hoverboard to "the Smoke" and be free. Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world and it isn't very pretty. The "Special Circumstances" authority Dr Cable offers Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever."
The last YA story I wanted to share with you that stood out when I looked at my list was Cinder by Marrisa Meyer. This YA novel was similar to the Cinderella story but with a twist. I thought it was very interesting and I am looking forward to more novels by this author. This was her debut novel. Adrienne also read this one.
From Goodreads: "Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future."
Finally, a "regular" fiction I read this past year and thoroughly enjoyed was A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. I thought it was a nice mixture of characters (witches, vampires, daemons..), different settings, a bit of history and science too. Years ago, when I was in college, I read Anne Rice's The Witching Hour and this book reminded me a little bit of it.
Since September, I have been part of the library book club and I am reading books that I might not choose on my own. It has been a wonderful experience.
I am giving myself the same reading challenge this year again, to read 52 books in one year. I have two already read so far. I added a widget at the bottom of my blog and you can visit me at Goodreads. Let me know if you are doing the challenge too! You can set any goal for yourself.