2014 Goodreads Reading Challenge - Six Months In

  2014 Reading Challenge

Hard to believe we're already halfway through the year, but here we are. Figured it's a good time to check-in with my stats on this year's Goodreads reading challenge and take stock of how well I've been satisfying this year's resolutions and aspirations.

As with 2013, I've challenged myself to read 45 novels this year. I beat out my expectations last year, and look to be on track to do the same again. So far, I've read 29 books, and am reading my thirtieth at the moment. This puts me, at the moment, eight books ahead of schedule. You can check out the full rundown of this year's titles here.

So far, the biggest highlight has been Jason Gurley's Eleanor (review), with Daniel Price's The Flight of the Silvers running a very close second.

When I started the challenge, I resolved to get caught up the authors that I had a significant backlog on in my TBR pile: James S.A. Corey, Lee Child, Brad Thor, Preston & Child, and Jonathan Maberry. This hasn't worked out too well, or at all really...

Another weak spot has been in pursuing non-fiction reads. Last year, I only read three, which felt like a significant weak spot in my reading habits. And even though I've accumulated several non-fiction titles over the last six months, I've only had a slight improvement with five read, two of them being self-publishing advice books as I prepped for the launch of Convergence. There were a number of non-fic titles I wanted to get to, but haven't been able to muster up the desire for just yet.

One thing that's a bit interesting to note, particularly in comparison to last year's stats, is that all of my reading has been done entirely on my Kindle. Last year, dead trees edged out over eBooks, and I divvied up my reading habits between physical copies and my wife's iPad. For Christmas, I bought myself a Kindle and haven't touched a physical book since, despite having a pretty significant pile of to-be-read books in print.

If last year was my year of horror, then so far, 2014 feels very sci-fi. Horror has still been a large part of my reading, and will continue to be, but the titles I've been picking seem to be a bit more diverse, or at least broader, genre-wise.

I think the second half of 2014 will need to be a bit more focused on non-fiction titles. Some of this should be easy enough, since I recently bought three books on climate change and its effects for researching a future novel I've been pondering over. I also bought Carl Sagan's Cosmos, and Glenn Greenwald's No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State. There are plenty of other titles for me to pick from, obviously...

Honestly, trying to predict my reading trends is a huge challenge on its own, as I ultimately tend to go with whatever particular mood hits. What the next six months worth of titles will be is anyone's guess. That's the great thing about books, though - there's just so many opportunities for discovery and new tastes for familiar cravings. While they're a nice idea in theory, I'm certainly not going to stress too much on my resolutions or goals, outside of my sure-to-reach target number, and am more than comfortable with letting my fickle whims decide the way (or, at least, within reason...I still have a good number of titles to review thanks to Netgalley and the generosity of some terrific new writers, so are those are top priority right now).

What about you? Are you doing a reading challenge, and how is it coming along? Any great discoveries or recommendations?

Michael Patrick Hicks

Michael Patrick Hicks is the author of the science fiction novels Convergence, an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2013 Quarter-Finalist, and Emergence. His work has appeared in several anthologies, and he has written for the websites Graphic Novel Reporter and Audiobook Reviewer. In between compulsively buying books and adding titles that he does not have time for to his Netflix queue, he is hard at work on his next story.

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