2015 Reading Challenge: 10 Books Read

In 2014, I did my first reading challenge. It was the first time I'd ever kept track of what I was reading during the course of a year; I went with 40 books as a nice, round number and had a lot of fun reading so much. Not to mention that reading is the best way to improve your writing as well.

This year, I upped the number of books I intend to have read by year's end to 42. I have to say that I began reading two other books during this time and didn't get much beyond 5% into either of them. So, I'm not feeling obliged to plow through something I can't get into. But Grand Central, the most recent book I finished, is a short story anthology and it makes me want to read other short story anthologies--or maybe force my writing friends into writing one with me. Or at least practice writing short.

I've finished the first ten of a hopeful forty-two! Here's my list:

1. On Gold Mountain: The Hundred-Year Odyssey of my Chinese-American Family by Lisa See.
Non-fiction/ History/Family history/Chinese/Chinese-American. 4 stars. Review

2. Half Life (Russell's Attic #2) by SL Huang. Science-fiction/Fantasy/Spec fic. 5 stars. Review.

3. The Insecure Writer's Support Group Guide to Publishing and Beyond by Alex J. Cavanaugh et al.
Reference/Craft/Writing. 5 stars. Review.

4. A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander #6) by Diana Gabaldon. Historical fiction/Fantasy. 4 stars.

5. An Echo in the Bone (Outlander #7) by Diana Gabaldon. Historical fiction/Fantasy. 4 stars.

6. Written in My Own Heart's Blood (Outlander #8) by Diana Gabaldon. Historical fiction/Fantasy. 4 stars. Review.

7. The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy (The Smythe-Smith Quartet #4) by Julia Quinn. Historical romance. 3 stars.

8. Longbourn by Jo Baker. Historical fiction/Romance/Regency/Inspired by Jane Austen. 4 stars. Review.

9. Her Highland Fling: A Novella by Jennifer McQuiston. Historical romance/Victorian/Scotland. 2 stars.

10. Grand Central: Original Postwar Stories of Love and Reunion by Melanie Benjamin, Kristina McMorris, Jenna Blum, Sarah Jio, Alyson Richman, Karen White. Anthology/Short Stories/World War Two/Historical Fiction. Review.

What's everyone else reading?


  1. Good luck with your reading challenge! I'm aiming for 85 books, which is what I did last year. Right now, I'm re-reading Lisa Gardner's TOUCH AND GO, getting ready for her newest one, CRASH AND BURN.

    1. 85!! Oh, my goodness! I'm reading something for story research right now--which doesn't count toward my challenge total--and just started Z, about Zelda Fitzgerald.

  2. I'm reading two shorter work collections now! I might can be persuaded into at least writing a short for fun. ^_^

    So far I've knocked one book off my challenge, but I should clear this month with at least two more to keep me on track. Hopefully 3, but one of the collections I picked up is over 1000 pages!!

    1. Maybe we'll try writing a short sometime, Krystal, and see how we feel about it.

      Right now--I'm reading about Victorian theater.

    2. Meant to add: Really, I just want to write Pearl into a short story. Her plot in the TKOBE could be a good short story on its own.

    3. You should totally do that!! That would be s great short to read for sure.

  3. Yay!! How exciting to see you read See's book :)
    Currently, I am reading Rubin's The Princessa: Machiavelli for Women. Still trying to find some fiction that makes me crazy in a good way.

    1. I have China Girls on my to-be-read list as well--she's at your agency, right?

      Machiavelli for Women--sounds interesting.

    2. It is pretty interesting. A chapter I read last night really spoke to me. Like WOW.
      And yes she is. China Dolls** lol. Paperback coming out in March!!

    3. Oh that's right China Dolls. Whoops!

    4. Unless you meant Shanghai Girls, also by Ms. See ;-)

  4. Ten books already? That's epic. I really got back to reading a few years ago and started with the 40 book goal, but after working my way up, my 2014 goal was 100 books. Done and done! This year I'm a little slower...theoretically, but the books I have read add up to an equivalent of 5 or 6 if you take in length...even though it was only 3. What can you do when you run into a SUPER long anthology, eh?

    I just finished up a fantasy by a UK author and am about to dive into another anthology...but I can't remember the name at the moment. (Pregnancy brain.) I love that so many of the books on your list are historical in some aspect. Seriously, history has so many amazing places and aspects.

    1. Yeah, I was pretty surprised myself! One of the ten was a novella, so I basically read it in one day and another was a short story anthology--more like novelettes--but still. I did my first reading challenge last year with 40 books and I was really trying to read outside of my usual historical romance/historical fiction bubble. It's what I gravitate towards.


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