Challenge: 50 Books discussion

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Finish Line 2013! Yay! > Hayley's 2013 Challenge

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message 1: by Hayley (last edited Dec 30, 2013 01:41PM) (new)

Hayley (applesticker) 50 Book Challenge 2013

So I finished 2012 with exactly 50, with 9 read in December, so it was a pretty big push to finish. This year I know I will have even less time to read, so I'm going to have several smaller goals, though will still aim for 50 books in 2013. So the goals:

24 for fiction books for the year. That's two a month, or a one a fortnight. I think with my busy honours schdeule, that should be doable. Also, I specified fiction for a reason - any non-fiction I read will still count towrads the overall goal, however I will up current total by 1 for each nonfiction book. So today (01.01.12) as I am planning this, I only have 1 non-fiction on my list, so my current goal is 25 books for the year.

I'm also trying to buy less books, read more of the ones I already have, and make better use of the library.

I'll make a general list for planned/planning to read below, and each book will get an individual post once it is read.

Time Frame: 01.01.13 - 31.12.13
Books purchased this year: 10
Complete: 26/25


01. A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle 20.01.13 ♥♥♥♥
02. Inheritance by Christopher Paolini 24.01.13 ♥♥♥♥
03. The Crush by Sandra Brown 30.01.13 ♥♥♥♥
04. The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle 09.02.13 ♥♥♥
05. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern 15.02.13 ♥♥♥♥♥
06. Fallen by Tim Lebbon 02.03.13 ♥♥♥
07. Gaebrel's Gamble by Zackery Arbela 09.03.13 ♥♥♥
08. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle 28.03.13 ♥♥♥♥
09. Fearless by Cornelia Funke 28.03.13 ♥♥♥♥♥
10. Broken Faith by Brandy Nacole 03.04.13 ♥♥♥
11. Abode of the Damned by Matt Cole 04.04.13 ♥♥♥♥
12. Legacy by Nancy Holder 16.04.13 ♥♥♥♥
13. Dark Genesis by Dave Ferraro 10.05.13 ♥♥♥♥
14. The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle 07.06.13 ♥♥♥♥♥
15. Letters from the Ministry by Phillip Donnelly 22.06.13 ♥♥♥♥
16. Murder on Olympus by Robert B. Warren 27.06.13 ♥♥♥♥
17. Thirst by L.A. Larkin 29.06.13 ♥♥♥♥♥
18. A Prescription for Delirium by Noree Cosper 02.07.13 ♥♥♥♥
19. Vampire Origins - Project Ichorous by Riley Banks 09.07.13 ♥♥
20. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle 17.06.13 ♥♥♥♥♥
21. Fallen Spire by Aaron Safronoff 25.07.13 ♥♥♥
22. The Steward by Christopher Shields 30.07.13 ♥♥♥♥
23. Black Moon by Jessica McQuay 09.08.13 ♥♥♥
24. Steel Lily by Megan Curd 13.08.13 ♥♥♥♥♥
25. The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown 21.11.13 ♥♥♥
26. The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith 26.12.13 ♥♥♥♥♥


message 2: by Tiffany, Administrator (new)

Tiffany | 1853 comments Mod
Hayley wrote: "I'm also trying to buy less books, read more of the ones I already have, and make better use of the library."

Wow, this is *such* a common theme for our group :) I think we're all book addicts ;)


message 3: by Monica (new)

Monica (monnieh722) This list looks amazing! I may have to read some of these ;)


message 4: by Jess (new)

Jess Cattanach (jesscatt) | 217 comments Wow, nice list! :)


message 5: by Hayley (last edited Jan 04, 2013 06:57PM) (new)

Hayley (applesticker) Haha thanks everyone! :)

Tiffany: I think we all have to be book addicts to be here! So far, there are only three on that list that I don't have, but it's not a 50 yet so I'm sure I'll be breaking that rules a few more times...


message 6: by Hayley (last edited Jan 25, 2013 12:09AM) (new)

Hayley (applesticker) Book 1: A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
Finished: 20.01.2013
Rating: 4/5
Pages: 162
Total pages this year: 162
Read my review here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

A nice little book to start the year. A great read - I've been wanting to dig into these for a while, planning on reading all 9 of them this year. It was a good story, got a bit confusing at the beginning of part two, and lost me for a bit, before I figured out what was going on, and then I wanted to know what was going to happen! Looking forward to picking up the next one.
A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle


message 7: by Hayley (new)

Hayley (applesticker) Book 2: Inheritance by Christopher Paolini
Finished: 24.01.13
Rating: 4/5
Pages: 849
Total pages this year: 1,011
Read my review here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

A good end to this epic series. I didn't find myself connecting with it as well as the others, but it has been a while since I read them. I had a few gripes with some plot/character decisions, but otherwise an enjoyable read, worth the effort.
Inheritance (Inheritance, #4) by Christopher Paolini


message 8: by Hayley (new)

Hayley (applesticker) Book 3: The Crush by Sandra Brown
Finished: 30.01.13
Rating: 4/5
Pages: 478
Total pages this year: 1,489
Read my review here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

This was a pretty good bood; fast-paced, well written, with good characters and a great twist at the end. I did see a pattern, however, between the general plot of this book and of the previous Sandra Brown book I read. But I have enjoyed her work and will hopefuly be able to pick up more.
The Crush by Sandra Brown


message 9: by Hayley (last edited Mar 29, 2013 04:34AM) (new)

Hayley (applesticker) Book 4: The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle
Finished: 09.02.13
Rating: 3/5
Pages: 150
Total pages this year: 1,639
Read my review here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

A pretty good follow-up to the first one, though not quite as good or as engaging. Also, whilst I understand it is a product of the time in which they were written, but I'm hoping to see some more action from the female characters in future books.
The Sign of Four (Sherlock Holmes, #2) by Arthur Conan Doyle
*not actual version I read


message 10: by Rose (new)

Rose (obsessedreader9) | 215 comments Hayley, be aware that female characters in Sherlock Holmes books rarely do much. Nevertheless, I have adored Sherlock a very long time.

Rose


message 11: by Hayley (new)

Hayley (applesticker) Obsessedreader wrote: "Hayley, be aware that female characters in Sherlock Holmes books rarely do much. Nevertheless, I have adored Sherlock a very long time."

Haha thanks Rose - guess I'm just hopeing for a bit too much! But I am still looking forward to reading them all and I shall persist with it.


message 12: by Hayley (last edited Feb 22, 2013 12:49AM) (new)

Hayley (applesticker) Book 5: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Finished: 15.02.13
Rating: 5/5
Pages: 490
Total pages this year: 2,129
Read my review here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

First 5 star book of the year - absolutely fantastic! The use of the present tesnse, and occasional passages in second person were engaging and refreshing, and the language was mystical and magical. A fantastic read, though I found many of the secondary characters more interesting than the main characters, but it was still a fantastic read and I highly, highly recommend it.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern


message 13: by Hayley (last edited Mar 02, 2013 11:12PM) (new)

Hayley (applesticker) Book 6: Fallen by Tim Lebbon
Finished: 02.03.13
Rating: 3/5
Pages: 527
Total pages this year: 2,656
Read my review here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

This was an enjoyable book. It's dark, gritty, Lovecraftian horror, with a sense of adventure thrown in too. The setting was vivid and interesting, the characters and their relationships diverse and easily kepy my interest. But despite the darkness of this story, I still felt that the ending was too a bit too depressing, and really lacked closure.
Fallen by Tim Lebbon


message 14: by Hayley (new)

Hayley (applesticker) Book 7: Gaebrel's Gamble by Zackery Arbela
Finished: 09.03.13
Rating: 3/5
Pages: 172
Total pages this year: 2,828
Read me review here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

I got this free from the author in exchange for a review, and overall it was a good book. The characters were all very different, which caused a great deal of interesting conflict as they spent a great deal of time essentially trapped together. The main character Gaebrel was particularly entertaining. However, there were a few grammatical and continuity issues that at times made it a little difficult to read. But all in all a good book.
Gaebrel's Gamble by Zackery Arbela


message 15: by Hayley (new)

Hayley (applesticker) Book 8: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
Finished: 28.03.13
Rating 4/5
Pages: 300
Total pages this year: 3,128
Read my review here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

Another good Sherlock Holmes novel. This one was different, in that each chapter formed a short case, and whilst at first I didn't like it, the format did grow on me, and in the end I quite enjoyed that I could sit down and after half an hour have a resolution to the issue at hand. Very much looking forward to continuing this series.
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
*not actual version I read


message 16: by Hayley (new)

Hayley (applesticker) Book 9: Fearless by Cornelia Funke
Finished: 28.03.13
Rating: 5/5
Pages: 432
Total pages this year: 3,560
Read my review here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

Loved it! Picks up a few months after Reckless finish, and straight away I'm hooked. The characters are all amazing (how much I love Jacob and Fox!!), the storyline engaging and always surprising, and I just can't get enough of the magical fairy-tale world behind the mirror. Can't wait for the next instalment!
Fearless (Reckless, #2) by Cornelia Funke


message 17: by Hayley (new)

Hayley (applesticker) Book 10: Broke Faith by Brandy Nacole
Finished: 03.04.13
Rating: 2.5/5
Pages: 190
Total pages this year: 3,750
Read my review here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

This was a pretty average book - promising storyline, but the writing style really let it down, and made it hard to enjoyed
Broken Faith (Spiritual Discord, #1) by Brandy Nacole


message 18: by Hayley (new)

Hayley (applesticker) Book 11: Abode of the Damned, by Matt Cole
Finished: 04.04.13
Rating: 4/5
Pages: 11
Total pages this year: 3,761
Read my review here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

No, that's not a typo, this was only an 11-page short story. So should I really be counting it here? I thought about it, and decided that as I don't have as much time as I would like to dedicate to reading this year, then every little bit should count, so here it is. This was a good little story, easy to read and easy to engage with.
Abode of the Damned by Matt Cole


message 19: by Hayley (new)

Hayley (applesticker) Book 12: Legacy by Nancy Holder
Finished: 16.04.13
Rating: 4/5
Pages: 315
Total pages this year: 4,076
Read my review here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

This was the third book in the series, and has it had been over a year (maybe even two) since I read books 1 and 2, it took me a little while to remember what was going on, and get back into the swing of it. But once I did, I remembered why they were such great books - I love the way magic is written, and all the different characters. This was a very bleak story, however, so hopefully it lifts up again in the next one.
Wicked Legacy (Wicked #3) by Nancy Holder


message 20: by Hayley (new)

Hayley (applesticker) Book 13: Dark Genesis by Dave Ferrero
Finished: 10.05.13
Rating 4.5/5
Pages: 439
Total pages this year: 4,515
Read my review here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

Great stand alone fantasy. The world building was fantastic, and I loved the alternate earth that was put forward. Alyssa was a great heroine, strong and feisty and determined, though at time a little more than human. The characters around her were great, especially the monsters. Two great twists - one right at the end - came as a real surprise. Only a few typos and grammar issues made it fall short of the full 5.
Dark Genesis by Dave Ferraro


message 21: by Hayley (new)

Hayley (applesticker) Book 14: The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
Finished: 07.06.13
Rating: 5/5
Pages: 151
Total pages this year: 4,666
Read my review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Best one of the series to so far. All the cases were interesting, it was fantastic to finally meet Mycroft, and the ending with Moriarty was great - even though I knew what was coming! Can't wait to pick up the next one.
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle


message 22: by Alison (last edited Jun 22, 2013 09:00AM) (new)

Alison G. (agriff22) | 540 comments I just finished 11/22/63 last night. I thik u will like it!


message 23: by Hayley (last edited Jun 22, 2013 04:06AM) (new)

Hayley (applesticker) Book 15: Letters from the Ministry by Phillip Donnelly
Finished: 22.06.13
Rating: 4/5
Pages: 380
Total pages this year: 5,046
Read my review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Quite an odd book really, although it grew on me and I liked it in the end. A few bits didn't quite make sense, however, and I wasn't a fan of the ending, although it made a good point.
Letters from the Ministry by Phillip Donnelly


message 24: by Hayley (new)

Hayley (applesticker) Book 16: Murder on Olympus by Robert B. Warren
Finished: 27.06.13
Rating: 4/5
Pages: 376
Total pages this year: 5,422
Read my review here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

A great read - an inventive twist on the detective-cum-fantasy genre, using a modern setting with the Gods of Olympus thrown in. Plato was a fantastic main characters, and his supporting cast didn't let him down, either. A few stylistic and continuity issues meant it lost one start, but otherwise very well done.
Murder on Olympus (Plato Jones #1) by Robert B. Warren


message 25: by Hayley (new)

Hayley (applesticker) Book 17: Thirst by L.A. Larkin
Finished: 29.06.13
Rating: 5/5
Pages: 332
Total pages this year: 5,754
Read my review here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

A bit of a surprise, this one, but a fantastic read in the end. The characters were a diverse bunch, all of them very much three-dimensional. Perhaps the best parts were the amazing descriptions of the beautiful and mystical Antarctica.
Thirst by L.A. Larkin


message 26: by Hayley (new)

Hayley (applesticker) Book 18: A Prescription for Delirium by Noree Cosper
Finished: 02.0713
Rating: 4/5
Pages: 280
Total pages this year: 6,034
Read my review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Great book. Fantastic concept and, for the most part, very well executed. Some great characters and a really engaging story. Look forward to book 2.
A Prescription for Delirium (A Van Helsing Organization, #1) by Noree Cosper


message 27: by Hayley (new)

Hayley (applesticker) Book 19: Vampire Origins - Project Ichorous by Riley Banks
Finished: 09.07.13
Rating: 2/5
Pages: 377
Total pages this year: 6,411
Read my review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Started off really well but went downhill once the current action kicked in. A great concept - vampires being involved in every big even in human history - and those bits were great. Also loved most of the characters, but I felt it difficult to really connect with any of them, let alone care too much about what they did (especially when for some of them it was their own fault). Ending was way to blunt and didn't feel like proper closure for the story.
Vampire Origins - Project Ichorous (The Strigoi #1) by Riley Banks


message 28: by Hayley (last edited Aug 18, 2013 03:42AM) (new)

Hayley (applesticker) Book 20: The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
Finished: 17.07.13
Rating: 5/5
Pages: 279
Total pages this year: 6,690
Read my review here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

A great edition to this series, exciting and mysterious and suspenseful, and enjoyable as always.
The Hound of the Baskervilles (Sherlock Holmes, #5) by Arthur Conan Doyle


message 29: by Hayley (new)

Hayley (applesticker) Book 21: Fallen Spire by Aaron Safronoff
Finished: 25.07.13
Rating: 3/5
Pages: 305
Total pages this year: 6,995
Read my review here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

I got this book for free from the author after I found book one average - and this one, too, was average. Some improvement in areas I'd suggested last time, but I still found it hard to connect with any of the characters, and thus, the story. But I made it to the end and would probably read the next one.
Fallen Spire by Aaron Safronoff


message 30: by Hayley (new)

Hayley (applesticker) Book 22: The Steward by Christopher Shields
Finished: 30.07.13
Rating: 4.5/5
Pages: 336
Total pages this year: 7,331
Read my review here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

I got this free from the author, and it was fantastic! Took a little while to get into, but once I pushed through it was well worth it. The characters were great, the story lines and descriptions fantastic, and the twist at the water trial - and at the end - wow! Can't wait to read the next one!
The Steward (Weald Fae Journals, #1) by Christopher Shields


message 31: by Hayley (new)

Hayley (applesticker) Book 23: Black Moon by Jessica McQuay
Finished: 09.08.13
Rating: 2.5/5
Pages: 240
Total pages this year: 7,571
Read my review here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

Another free one from the author, but this one I didn't enjoy so much. In general it was a good premise, but things moved quite quickly and I couldn't figure out what some characters were thinking at times. Also struggled to really connect with Paige, although loved Naialah and thought that was a good storyline.
Black Moon (Paige Tailor, #1) by Jessica McQuay


message 32: by Hayley (new)

Hayley (applesticker) Book 24: Steel Lily by Megan Curd
Finished: 13.08.13
Rating: 5/5
Pages: 380
Total pages this year: 7,951
Read my review here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

This one was an ARC, and I absolutely loved it! The characters were rich and deep and real (and hot!) and they felt real. The story line was interesting and kept me guessing at every turn, and the final twist came as a complete (but awesome) surprise! Can't believe I have to wait until December to read the next one!
Steel Lily (The Periodic Series, #1) by Megan Curd


message 33: by Hayley (last edited Dec 24, 2013 09:26PM) (new)

Hayley (applesticker) Book 25: The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
Finished: 21.11.13
Rating: 4/5
Pages: 509
Total pages this year: 8,460
Read my review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

This was an alright read, not Dan Browns' best. The whole noetic science/ancient mysteries was a bit too flimsy for me, and never really properly explained, always circled around. But good twits and turns and kept me reading.
The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, #3) by Dan Brown


message 34: by Hayley (new)

Hayley (applesticker) Book 26: The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith
Finished: 26.12.13
Rating: 5/5
Page: 449
Total pages this year: 8,909
Read my review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

I first picked this up because it was actually written by JK Rowling. I started reading it because it sounded really interesting. And it was. Great characters, all diverse and different, but most - especially the main ones - easy to connect to. Even the murder victim, Lulu, really came to life even thought she was dead from page 1. The plot was great, too, and I did not catch on to who it was until the final reveal! Can't wait for the series to continue.
The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike, #1) by Robert Galbraith


message 35: by Hayley (new)

Hayley (applesticker) With my final book for the year read, and this indeed being the final day of 2013, time to look back and see what it was all about.

I had a busy schedule with honours, which would mean little time for reading, but in the end I would find time during my experiment to make my way through several e-books. This was a first for me, and I picked up quite a few freebies through Goodreads, and almost all of them turned out to be fantastic! I'm now hooked on a few series that I'll hopefully read next year!

Best book of the year is difficult to pick. Thirst by L.A. Larkin was a freebie that I was hesitant about, but a real surprise that it was a fantastic read! Great plot, great characters, great message. Really glad I won that giveaway.

Best book of the year probably goes to Steel Lily by Megan Curd. A free e-book I picked up on Goodreads, this had me hooked from the start, and the ending was such a twist I never saw it coming. Can't wait to pick up the next one!

There were many 5 and 4 star books, so all in all it was a very good year. I am looking forward to aiming for the big 5-0 again next year! :)


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