Yesterday, I hit my goal of 50 books for the year in the Goodreads 2015 Reading Challenge. I'm fairly certain this is the fastest I've ever hit my challenge goal. In 2014, I set out to read 45 books and hit that mark by the end of August. I suspect I've read a lot more smaller novels and novellas this year, but will hold off on doing a closer breakdown until later in the year. With a baby on the way though, I suspect my future reading habits will change significantly in the coming months. So, rather than change my annual benchmark and up the challenge, I'm leaving well enough alone (as I usually do with these reading challenges). I doubt I'll hit the personal high of 86 books as I did last year, but that's perfectly fine with me. Anything past the 50-book count is just gravy at this point, and there's still plenty of works I'm planning on consuming in the back-half of this year.
The stats thus far are 11,658 pages read, with the longest book so far being Ramez Naam's Apex, at 608 pages, which I read in the latter half of May. As usual, I'll do a more thorough breakdown of the challenge at the end of the year as I did for 2014 and 2013.
There has definitely been an increased focus on reading the works of fellow indies and small press titles this year, and several have really stuck with me.
The recently released zombie anthology, The Z Chronicles, was a top-notch effort with a number of stand-out short stories and a terrific platform to get introduced to some new-to-me authors. My buddies Lucas Bale and Nicholas Sansbury Smith continue to knock it out of the park with their ongoing series. Chuck Wendig's Atlanta Burns was a very strong opening salvo to a new heroine that I hope to be reading more about in 2016. And Ania Ahlborn continues her ascent in my list of authors to watch. She's just got a great authorial voice and is a very effective horror author. This year marked her first release with Simon & Schuster and there's a few more titles coming down the pike in the next few months including a digital novella, The Pretty Ones, and a second novel, Brother. Both sound superb and I'm looking forward to snagging copies of each as quickly as I can.
How's your 2015 Reading Challenge shaping up at this half-way mark?