It’s that time of the year … when I celebrate completing my 2015 Reading Challenge!
I read 65 books this past year. Some were wonderful, some others – not quite what I expected. Some I read to grow wiser and some were read for a laugh or to wind down. Some were read together with a book club and some simply because I got them for free. Many of these books were read on the Seoul subway, and a few I read in bookshops – both a first!
Here’s the complete list, with links and ratings – entirely subjective – only reflecting my own personal opinion, with 5 meaning “excellent”.
Take Charge of Your Emotions, Linda Solie (Kindle) *****
The Meaning of Marriage, Timothy Keller (Kindle) *****
The Hiding Place, Corrie Ten Boom (Kindle) *****
The Gifts of Imperfection, Brene Brown (Kindle) *****
Rumors of Another World, Philip Yancey (Kindle) ****
Seven, Jen Hatmaker (Kindle) ****
Soul Detox, Craig Groeschel (Kindle) ****
The Birth of Korean Cool, Euny Hong ****
The Gift in You, Caroline Leaf (Kindle) ****
For the Love, Jen Hatmaker (Kindle) ****
Unglued, Lysa Terkeust (Kindle) ****
The Janitor, Todd Hopkins ****
The Color of Water, James McBride ****
David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell ***
Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know Them, John Ortberg (Kindle) ***
You and Me Forever, Francis Chan (Kindle) ***
Culture Shock: Korea ***
Who Moved My Cheese?, Dr. Spencer Johnson ***
Chicken Soup for the Soul, Jack Canfield ***
Welcome to the Funny Farm, Karen Scalf Linamen (Kindle) ***
Meet Mrs. Smith, Anna Smith (Kindle) **
To Know God as Father, Lisa Cline (Kindle) **
The Chosen, Chaim Potok *****
The Novelist, Angela Hunt (Kindle) *****
Please Look After Mom, Kyung-sook Shin *****
All The Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr (Kindle) *****
Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand *****
The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco ****
The Dance, Dan Walsh (Kindle) ****
The Language of Sparrows, Rachel Phifer (Kindle) ****
The Shadow of the Wind, Carlos Luis Zafon (Kindle) ****
Ways to Live Forever, Sally Nichols (Kindle) ****
Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffengger ***
The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection, Alexander McCall Smith (Kindle) ****
And Then There Were None, Agatha Christie ****
The Mysterious Affairs of Styles, Agatha Christie (Kindle) ***
The Murder of the Links, Agatha Christie (Kindle) ***
The Big Four, Agatha Christie (Kindle) ***
Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Richard Bach ***
Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe, Max Lucado (Kindle) ***
The Dog Who Came in From the Cold, Alexander McCall Smith (Kindle)***
The Scent of Lilacs, Ann H. Gabhart (Kindle) ***
The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Mitch Albom ***
A Merry Little Christmas, Catherine Palmer (Kindle) ***
The Christmas Dog, Melody Carlson (Kindle) ***
Summer of Hope, Jodie Andrefski (Kindle) ***
Tidewater Inn, Colleen Coble (Kindle) ***
This Fine Life, Eva Marie Everson (Kindle) ***
Dying to Read, Lorena McCourtney (Kindle) ***
Home to Harmony, Philip Gulley (Kindle) ***
The Chance, Karen Kingsbury (Kindle) ***
The Potluck Club, Linda Evans Shepherd (Kindle) ***
Evangellyfish, Douglas Wilson (Kindle) ***
A Wreath of Snow, Lizz Curtis Higgs (Kindle) ***
The Christmas Shoppe, Melody Carlson (Kindle) ***
Doesn’t She Look Natural, Angela Hunt (Kindle) **
The Widow of Lakspur Inn, Lawana Blackwell (Kindle) **
Sweetly Smitten, Denise Hunter (Kindle) **
The Fence my Father Built, Linda S. Clare (Kindle) **
Welcome to Last Chance, Cathleen Armstrong (Kindle) **
Watership Down, Richard Adams *****
The Mysterious Benedict Society, Trenton Lee Stewart *****
Wonder, R.J. Palacio *****
The View from Saturday, E.L.Konigsburg *****
Stargirl, Jerry Spinelli (Kindle) ****
Total: 65 books
Non- fiction: 22 books
Fiction: 43 books
Kindle: 46 books (for the first year since I got a Kindle, I read mostly ebooks)
Most read Author: Agatha Christie (again, with 4 books)
Discovery of the Year: children’s literature (read more about it here)
2015 To Read List: I have read 7 out 10 titles (complete list here)
Out of my comfort zone books: my first novel by a Korean author (Kyung-sook Shin) and children’s literature. I read 20 books for children in total, but I have only included 5 as part of my challenge because they were exceptionally good. The rest, as I have mentioned in a previous post, have been included in a separate list: children’s literature.
Surprises of the year, besides kids’ lit (I’m raving on and on about it, I know!) were Brené Brown and Jen Hatmaker. Both recommended by friends and authors I laughed with, nodded my head to and learned heaps from. Lees pleasant surprises came from names I have much respect for, that didn’t quite raise to my expectations, Malcolm Gladwell’s latest being one example.
I have been setting Reading Challenges for myself since 2011.
Why do I do it? Because it keeps my reading organized. It gives me a pace throughout the year and it allows me to look back at all the books I read, all neatly arranged in a list. I don’t know if that’s just me, but there’s something quite satisfying about that.
Which only means that I will set another goal for 2016. I will announce it in my next post, together with my 2016 To Read List, just to keep things interesting.
Until then, you’re welcome to check out the previous challenges:
Goodreads has added another fun feature, where they show you “The Year in Books”, with a few statistics about the books you read, ratings and such. Check out mine: 2015 Year in Books.
How about you? How does your 2015 look like in books?