2015 Reading Challenge Completed


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 Higg(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) **

Children’s Literature:

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)

Books of the YearTake Charge of Your Emotions, by Linda Solie (non-fiction) and Watership Down, by Richard Adams (fiction)

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:

2014 Reading Challenge  –  60 books
2013 Reading Challenge  –  60 books
2012 Reading Challenge  –  64 books
2011 Reading Challenge  –  56 books

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?


10 thoughts on “2015 Reading Challenge Completed

  1. Hey Elena!

    My favourite book this year is also Watership Down. Thank you for introducing me to this great children’s book (never thought I’d use this phrase).

    Seeing this blog post makes me want to have a blog and write about my ⭐ favourite books.


    1. I am so glad we got to both enjoy Watership Down and I have a feeling our future kiddos will hear a lot about it, too.
      You’re welcome to guest post on gribook – I’m sure I’m not the only one curious about your top reads of 2015.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Do you like Agatha Christie? I have a book but I haven’t got a chance to read it. It’s not really my type. Have you ever read a book by John Grisham? I like him better than Agatha’s books. He writes legal thrillers. You get so hung up on his books. My favorite is The Testament.


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