Friday, January 3, 2014

My 500 Words: Day 3 - My Book Shelf

Just as my blogging had tapered off throughout 2013, so had my reading.  I love both, but both took a back seat to the priorities of life.  It's hard to get excited about hobbies when you're going through one of life's greatest challenges.  As with blogging, I have determined that reading is another area where I need to make improvements.

I have been on Goodreads for some time now.  When I am going through a good reading spurt, I am on there charting my progress, adding books, rating the books I've read, and so on.  It's also a good place to easily see what some of my friends are reading, thereby giving me some ideas of what should be on my own reading list.  If you'd like to be friends on Goodreads, click HERE.  One of the things I really like about Goodreads {aside from their mobile app} is the fact that they have an annual personal reading challenge on the right sidebar of their website.  You simply plug in the number of books you wish to challenge yourself to complete that year and it tracks your progress as you update your book reading.  They even have a widget you can post on your blog if you desire.  At the time of writing this post, I have completed 1 of 20 books for my 2014 reading challenge.  The widget will update here as I complete additional books.

2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
Sarah has
read 1 book toward her goal of 20 books.

There are times in my life when I crave books that are faith-based.  I enjoy reading books which I hope will help me in my walk with Christ.  I long to build a stronger relationship with God and there are a number of books out there that can help.  There are other times, however, when all I want is something mindless.  Not trashy.  But something that doesn't involve a whole lot of deep thinking.  As I begin 2014, my I am in a "mindless reading" frame of mind.  I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing.  I've been through a lot - aside from working through the grief process, I've been dealing with illness, injury, surgery, and recovery.  I don't think I can handle a lot of weighty subjects right now.  So, there you have it.  My current reading choices are not bringing me to the edge of some sort of intellectual or spiritual enlightenment at the moment, nor will they cause me to go out and change the world.  But I'm reading...and I'm ok with that!

All of that said, you may be wondering what it is I'm reading right now.  That "1" book that I have completed towards my 2014 reading challenge was Hard Eight by Janet Evanovich.  I've already cracked open her 2003 follow up, To The Nines.  My reading choices aren't even current!  I had picked up on this series way back as they were being written in the early 2000s when several ladies at my job were reading them or listening them in audiobook format during their long commutes.  They were great for listening to in the car.  I kind of lost touch with the series after To The Nines.  I decided last year that I was going to get each of the books in this series and re-read what I'd already read and then get myself up to date on it.  Like I said, it's mindless stuff, but it's getting me into an active reading habit.

I have always tried to be a "one book at a time" kind of person, but I find myself with several open items in my reading queue.  I am currently about half-way through A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book 1 by George R.R. Martin.  Perhaps an odd choice if you know me, but Ron and I recently finished watching the HBO series based on this series of novels.  Again, perhaps an odd choice. There's certainly a lot of needless stuff in the screen version, if you know what I mean, but the story and characters are quite interesting.  I decided to read the books.  I'm glad I saw the series first because there are so many characters it's hard to keep them all straight.  I'm thankful for wiki sites where I can easily look up specific characters in the show to see who they were so I can visualize it correctly as I'm reading.

A little further down the pipeline is The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones which is book one of a series by Cassandra Clare.  Again, this is a book which was made into a movie which Ron and I recently saw after its release to DVD.  There's a lot of stuff going on in that book.  I thought it might be interesting to see if I could make more sense of it by reading the book.  We'll see how that goes.

That's what's currently in my reading queue.  I'm sure some non-fiction Christian books will work their way into the queue.  Hopefully soon.  I do love that genre as well.  If all continues to go well, I am hoping that I will surpass my goal of reading 20 books this year.

Do you set reading goals each year?  What are you currently reading?

{if you're counting - that was 870 words for my third My 500 Words post, for a total of 2,524 this month!}
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