Reading Challenge Completed


Dear fellow bookworms,

because of your kind support and understanding about my failure last week, I have now completely recovered and am a perfectly happy bookworm again. Thank you for all the hugs and love you’ve sent in real life, via Gribook, Facebook and Twitter. You rock.

As promised, I’ll be sharing great news with you today.

Back in January 2011, I set the goal to read 50 books this year. Not tremendously ambitious. In my defense, I was in a serious relationship and anticipating a most exhilarating (and hectic) year ahead. At some point, I didn’t even think I’ll ever complete the challenge. I did. By mid-November, too.

I completed my 2011 Goodreads Reading Challenge.

Here is a list of the books I’ve read this past year – some okay, some life-changing, some not worth opening. I’ve included an entirely subjective one-to-five-stars-rating-system – Β with 5 turquoise stars meaning I was blown away by how awesome the book was – to give you an idea of what I thought of them.

The books I’ve read in Romanian are marked with (Ro) and the ones I read in e-book form – (Kindle). I only own about half of these, so I have dear friends to thank for the generosity of providing me with the other half.

Without further ado, the list:


  • The Right Attitude to Rain, Alexander McCall Smith
  • Listening to Others, Joyce Huggett
  • In Every Pew Sits a Broken Heart, Ruth Graham (Ro)
  • Encouragement, Larry Crabb (Ro)
  • Out of the Silent Planet, C.S.Lewis (Ro)


  • The Careful Use of Compliments, Alexander McCall Smith
  • Healing the Wounds of Trauma, Margaret Hill
  • Desiring God, John Piper
  • The Lies Women Believe, Nancy Leigh DeMoss (Ro)
  • Summer People, Brian Groh
  • Church: Why Bother? Philip Yancey (Ro)


  • Boy Meets Girl, Joshua Harris
  • The Comfort of Saturdays, Alexander McCall Smith
  • Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, Peter Scazzero
  • Rediscovering Wonder, Ravi Zacharias (Ro)
  • Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte (Ro)


  • Crazy Love, Francis Chan
  • The Protector, Dee Henderson
  • The Reason for God, Tim Keller
  • Visioneering, Andy Stanley (Ro)
  • The Healer, Dee Henderson
  • Anonymous, Alicia Chole
  • The Rescuer, Dee Henderson


  • The Double Comfort Safari Club, Alexander McCall Smith
  • The Confident Woman, Joyce Meyer


  • He Still Moves Stones, Max Lucado
  • Home to Holly Springs, Jan Karon
  • Things I Wish I’d Known Before Marriage, Gary Chapman
  • In the Company of Others, Jan Karon
  • Flickering Pixels, Shane Hipps


  • The Me I Want to Be, John Ortberg
  • Wild at Heart, John Eldredge
  • The DNA of Relationships, Gary Smalley
  • The Note, Angela Hunt


  • Sophie’s World, Jostein Gaarder
  • Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster
  • Savannah from Savannah, Denise Hildreth
  • Savannah Comes Undone, Denise Hildreth


  • What a Girl Wants, Kristin Billerbeck
  • It Happens Every Spring, Catherine Palmers (Kindle)


  • Summer Breeze, Catherine Palmers (Kindle)
  • The Happy Room, Catherine Palmers
  • Falling for You Again, Catherine Palmers (Kindle)
  • Winter Turns to Spring, Catherine Palmers (Kindle)
  • The Help, Kathryn Stockett (Kindle)
  • The Bible Jesus Read, Philip Yancey (Ro)


  • The Act of Marriage, Tim and Beverly LaHaye (Ro)
  • The Best of Me, Nicholas Sparks (Kindle)
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams

Thanks for celebrating with me. And tell me about your reading goals for 2011. How are you faring?

P.S. we’re working on some awesome projects here at gribook & friends. I can’t contain my excitement, so I’ll be sharing about it in the next couple of weeks. You. will. love. it.


19 thoughts on “Reading Challenge Completed

    1. Lol – thank you. You make me very proud, too.

      As I was telling a friend on FB, I was actually pretty happy with myself for reading 50 books this year, until I stumbled upon this amazing girl’s blog: – she read an astounding number of 297 (!!!) books in a year. So my accomplishment seems rather modest in comparison πŸ˜€

      p.s. thank you for the incredibly cute and cool rating stars you made for me!


    1. will do, will do! πŸ˜€

      Haven’t decided what I’ll be reading next year, but I’d like to try some Malcolm Gladwell and Seth Godin. I’ve two Bill Bryson books and Steve Jobs’ biography that I’m also planning to read. I might even adventure into some geek-ier material, but we’ll see πŸ™‚

      thanks, man! and we should meet up sometime soon – haven’t seen you in a while.


  1. Out of the Silent Planet – I loved that one! But the second one, Perelandra, is even better. Maybe you should include it in your book list this year. I’m also curious what you thought about Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I recently read that one and thought it the strangest book I had ever read, yet at the same time, highly entertaining. The only other two on your list that I’ve read are Jane Eyre and The Help. Oh, and Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. Nancy had us read that earlier this year. I guess we don’t read many of the same books. Looks like you had a good list, though, and I’m interested to see your list for next year.


    1. Kalyna, I actually do want to read Perelandra next year, maybe even sooner. I’m not a big SF fan and it’s quite unusual for me to read 2 SF books in a year. I read Out of the Silent Planet because it’s C.S.Lewis, and The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy because it was voted 2nd most funny books of all time by Brits. It was quite entertaining, although definitely bizzare. Will take an SF break and then – Perelandra’s next!

      I haven’t thought about my TBR shelf for next year, just some ideas. But maybe I’ll come up with a list and post about it in January. Thanks for the suggestion!

      What books have you read this year?


  2. This has been a crazy year for me and I haven’t had nearly as much time as I’d like to to read, so I haven’t read as much as usual. However, here are some of the books I enjoyed this year:

    Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand
    The Mark of the Lion series, by Francine Rivers
    Redeeming Love, also by Francine Rivers
    The Help, by Katherine Stockett
    The Princess Bride, by William Goldman (I’ve always loved this movie and finally read the book)
    A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini
    The Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer
    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon
    The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
    The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams

    I have also re-read several of my favorites, such as:
    The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis
    The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis
    The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
    The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
    The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster
    And I am currently rereading another favorite, Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen.

    Those are the ones I remember off-hand, and I guess I have read more than I thought. πŸ™‚ As you can see, I love fiction, but mostly, I think, good quality fiction, particularly classics (though I’m also a sucker for fantasy).


    1. Kalyna – you’ve read 26 books so far, this year. For a mum of three boys, who’s a missionary in a foreign country – that is no small achievement. Not sure my reading habits are going to stay the same if I become a mother πŸ™‚ Or maybe I’ll just increase the number of books for kids I read πŸ˜€

      I have The Hobbit on my Kindle, and I’d like it read it at some point. Fantasy books and me don’t always agree, so I’ll try this one before I plunge into The Lord of the Rings trilogy πŸ˜€

      are you on Goodreads, by any chance?


  3. No, I’m not on Goodreads. What is it exactly?

    Yeah, if you’re not much of a fantasy buff, The Hobbit is a better place to start than The Lord of the Rings. That is quite an in-depth read!


    1. Kalyna, meant to tell you this today, but forgot. Goodreads is a web application where you can keep track of the books you’re reading, the ones you read, the to-reads, etc. They also have a Reading Challenge where you set a goal and they help you track how you’re doing. I have a personal library document on my computer, but I like Goodreads, because I can keep all of the books in one place. And I like having everything nicely organised – I really do πŸ™‚


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