Thursday, 1 January 2015

Bye 2014, Hi 2015


2014 went by so fast and in the latter half of the year in particular I fell into a bit of a reading/blogging funk. But I'm still pretty happy with how I went on my challenges, the only one I didn't reach was the Australian Women Writers Challenge (bummer!):

Aussie Author Challenge, hosted by Booklover Book Reviews
Aim: "Kangaroo" level. Read and review 12 titles written by Australian Authors.
Achieved: 15 books.

Aim: I want to read 20 books by Australian women this year. 
Achieved: 15 books.

Aim: "Stenographer" level. Listen to 10-15 audiobooks.
Achieved: 35 books.

New Release Challenge (a personal challenge)
Aim: Read at least one new release a month, a total of 12 books published in 2014.
Achieved: 18 books.

Goodreads Challenge
Aim: Read 75 books.
Achieved: 89 books.

As for 2015 - I've decided I'm not going to sign up for any challenges, I'm just going to read what I feel like and see how I go. I've been umming and ahhing over what to do about my blog and I've come to the decision that I'm only going to blog if I feel like it. No pressure. That means no challenges. Well, except the Goodreads Challenge - which I've set to 100 books this year! But that doesn't necessarily require a review for every book, so hopefully it won't be stressful (although I am a little nervous about the number tbh). I plan to keep track of my reading on Goodreads still and will probably note down thoughts on each book there, but I don't know if I will aim to do full reviews for every one as I have tried (and failed) to do in the past. The goal is to do what I feel like, what makes me happy. It's all about having fun, after all. We'll see what happens! That said, I do have a couple of reading goals I will probably (hopefully) blog about regularly:

-The Heyer Project. I want to read through all of Georgette Heyer's Regency novels in chronological order. It will probably be mostly through audiobooks.

-V.C. Andrews Recaps. I started this last year but got distracted by other things - but I'd like to continue doing it this year, starting (again) with Flowers in the Attic.

So that's my plan for the year. Low key and hopefully fun. 

Happy 2015!

Top Ten Books I Read In 2014

Not counting rereads (which I happily did a lot more of than in previous years), and in no particular order, these are the books I really loved in 2014...

1. Beauty by Robin McKinley. A gorgeous rendering of Beauty and the Beast, made all the more captivating in audiobook form.

2. Enchanted by Alethea Kontis. A retelling of the Frog Prince (mashed up with other fairy tales), this was a really fun and lovely audiobook.

3. Chaos Walking by Patrick Ness. I'm cheating by including the whole series here, but it is really AMAZING and everyone should GO READ IT NOW.

4. False Colours by Georgette Heyer. I love, love, loved this story of twins switching places in Regency England - Heyer is a happy place kind of read, and it was extra fun in audiobook.

5. You Don't Have to Say You Love Me by Sarra Manning. Another fantastic audiobook (I'm sensing a pattern here), I related to Neve and her story so much it was scary.

6. Zombies Vs Unicorns, edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier. The literary equivalent of a dance off, the short stories featuring - you guessed it - zombies and unicorns in this book are by turns delightful, hilarious and touching.

7. About a Boy by Nick Hornby. I had low expectations due to hating the only other Hornby book I've tried (High Fidelity), but I ended up loving this darkly humorous story - and I listened to it in a fabulous audiobook of course.

8. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. This. Book. It was utterly heartbreaking but completely worth it.

9. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling. I read this at the very beginning of the year and it instantly became one of my all-time faves.

10. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. I actually listened to a bunch of Wilde's plays performed via audiobook and they were all great, but I loved this one the most.