Summer is in full swing and I couldn’t be happier. The weather’s been nice, and where I’m living has only had to deal with a few days of heat wave last week, so the temperature has been enjoyably moderate for me.
Spirits are up since my last update too, when reading was apparently more of a chore for me. I’d actually forgotten about that, so it’s nice to realize just how much that feeling is behind me at the moment. I think part of it has to do with the reading quotas I’ve started making myself stick to, which has gotten me through books at a much better pace. Making reading more goal-oriented on a smaller scale has been very motivating.
I’ve continued to stay well ahead of schedule on this challenge, thanks in no small part to a continued commitment to reading comics more regularly. As of writing I’m currently four books ahead of schedule, with 31 out of 55 read for my challenge. I’m on my way to hitting at least 60 books this year, a number I haven’t hit for a few years now.
So far, 15 have been graphic novels, one a deluxe magazine, and the other 15 have been books. That’s a nice even spread, if I do say so myself. I’m especially happy that I’ve been able to fit in ARCs and other books that I didn’t explicitly plan to read, without them interfering with my other challenges.
Scrappy To-Read List
Every year I like to assemble a hand-written list of books to read, all for the thrill of crossing them out as I complete them. This year I made the list a more reasonable 12 books, with the condition that each one must be a book that is not part of a series I have already started.
As it stands, here is the list:
Since my last post, the newly crossed out books are Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman, The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher, and Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut.
It may not have been my intention at the start of the year to assign a book to each month, but it seems that’s more or less what I’ve been doing. This is fine, but I expect I’ll deviate from this anyway once we hit October, as I plan to try and read both The Grip of It and ‘Salem’s Lot that month. Either way, the list is nice and steadily approaching completion.
I have some leftovers from last year’s list that I intend to read this year too: Star Wars: Master & Apprentice by Claudia Gray, American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis, and Moby Dick by Herman Melville. The first I read in Q1 of the year, but I’ve not read either of the latter two yet. I’m sure I’ll be able to squeeze them in somewhere, though. My hope is that I will get far enough along in all of my challenges towards the end of the year that I’ll have a nice window to read Moby Dick in. I’m still wary of my commitment to read that one.
This is a new personal challenge I started this year, to keep me on top of the series that I’m still in the middle of. The first cluster of books is part of my ongoing read-through of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, which I started back in 2016.
As you can see, I’m staying on top of my plan to read one of these every quarter of the year. So far, I keep putting them off until the final month, but I really don’t like reading these too close together. I love this series, but I’m now 20 books deep, and a sense of everything bleeding together is bound to creep in after so many books.
I read Hogfather in June, the perfect time for a Christmas-y story. Some things about the story structure frustrated me a little, but it was otherwise excellent.
These four books are also a part of this challenge, though they’re from across other series I’m in the middle of. This past quarter I finished reading Alien: River of Pain by Christopher Golden, coincidentally the editor of the previous book I read in this foursome. With that book complete, I have finished the trilogy of Alien books it was a part of, so that’s yet another trilogy completed from this cluster!
I plan to read Hellboy: The God Machine by Thomas Sniegoski sometime this summer, though I haven’t decided how soon just yet.
My creative writing drought continues, unfortunately, though I have been feeling the creative juices flowing a little more lately. This basically means I’ve been thinking more about writing certain things, looking into prompts and writing contests, and wanting to take another stab at an outline, but this hasn’t amounted to doing much of anything yet. I’ll get out of this slump one of these days, by hook or by crook.
How are your reading challenges coming along? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.
Thank you for reading!