Book Challenge 2015

I want to read more in 2015. It’s my first full calendar year that will not involve any mandatory academic reading, and I want to fill it with as many good books as possible. I read 32 books in 2014. My goal for 2015 is 45. But how to choose?

I’m particular (and fickle) about what I read. Something that ends up on my “to be read” pile one month may not interest me at all the next. And none of the book challenges I’ve seen have struck me as something to which I want to commit.

So to keep me on track and set a reasonable goal, I’m devising my own book challenge combined with minimizing my book collection.

In September and October Eric and I moved out of our very first apartment and into a house with Clare and the puppy. There are many benefits to a house, and I’m enjoying a lot of it, but there are several aspects I still struggle with. One of them is the tendency to accumulate more stuff when you occupy a larger space.

July 2009 (156)

Above is a view of my bookshelves at home circa 2009. A textbook [ha] example of having way too much stuff.

Moving across the country and being on a very tight budget has kept me from accumulating too many books in Seattle. But with the textbooks and the [very dangerous] Seattle Public Library annual book sales, I’ve collected more than two dozen new books since moving here.

DSC_0050 (3)

Top shelf of one of the bookcases in our apartment. Much better.

I’m keeping my large selection of reference texts – art history, anthropology, museum studies, travel guides, and field guides. But I would like to pare down my fiction collection so at the end of 2015 I have read every novel I own and am only keeping those I know would read again. And I have some nonfiction to read as well.

Here is the list of books I own and have not read, or books I read so long ago that I should read them again. (I assume I liked them, as they left a favorable enough impression to bring them to Seattle/eventually purchase them. But we’ll see.)

-Canterbury Tales by Chaucer [in-progress]
-Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
-Therese Raquin by Emile Zola
-Emerald City: An Environmental History of Seattle by Matthew Klingle
-The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
-The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
-Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Life by Alison Weir
-Emma by Jane Austen
-Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
-The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis
-Pioneer Naturalists: The Discovery and Naming of North American Plants and Animals by Howard Ensign Evans
-The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
-Redwall by Brian Jacques
-Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
-The Saffron Kitchen by Yasmin Crowther
-Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
-Persuasion by Jane Austen
-Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War by Clive Barker

At the end of the year I will donate any of these I haven’t read, as well as those I read and don’t plan to re-read. In addition to these 18, I want to read at least 27 other books to reach my total of 45. Follow along on Goodreads to see my progress!

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