Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 Personal Reading Challenge (and 2014 Review)

Moving back to America over the summer, we were reunited with the books that were in storage for three years. Twelve boxes' worth of books. We thought about whether we were ever going to re-read (or in some cases read for the first time) the massive collection that had waited for us. A lot of books were academic books. My wife has a computer science degree, I have one in philosophy. Hers are from ten years ago so they are a bit dated. Mine are a lot of esoteric topics that would have been useful if I had stayed in academia but are shelf fillers otherwise. So we decided to sort through and make three groups: (1) ones we want to keep, (2) ones we want to get rid of, and (3) ones we want to read (or re-read) to see if we want to keep them. The "read and keep or donate" shelf looks like this:

"Read before donating" shelf

Oh, and this shelf...

More books on the chopping block

And this shelf...

We ran out of book ends!

If I had a full time job reading books I might possibly read them all in one year, but at my current rate, that's clearly impossible. Here's my ambitions for this year:

Books of fiction:

Books on theology/religion:

Books on philosophy and science:
  • The Meaning of Relativity by Albert Einstein--I'm dreading this a bit because it'll be tough and it may wind up a "read and donate" book.
  • Unpopular Essays by Bertrand Russell--also close to the "read and donate" piile.
  • If Aristotle's Kid Had an Ipod by Connor Gallagher--intriguing idea for sure.
  • Two books by Mortimer Adler--Like O'Brien above, I've had these books for a while and been meaning to get them. Not sure which ones I will choose, probably the shortest ones!
  • Two books by Josef Pieper--ditto above.

Books on writing:
Professional Blogging for Dummies--Leftover from last year, I keep meaning to up my game in blogging. Maybe without all the European wandering I can get caught up!

So, there's no zombie books on my horizon but I'm sure that will change.

My other reading challenge is the Eighth Annual Graphic Novels and Manga Challenge 2015. I'm signing up the for the Silver Age challenge, which is 52 books in a year. Last year a read 42, so I think I can make it. I already have some planned (continuing Saga, re-reading Y: The Last Man, trying out Avatar: The Last Airbender graphic novels).

Here's what I planned and accomplished in 2014 (I did read more books than listed below). I'm glad that the blogging book is the only leftover!

Zombie Lit
English Lit
Christian Lit
Writing Lit (or is that redundant?)
Graphic Novels
  1. Hellboy in Hell #5, Dark Horse Presents #31 (in which Hellboy gets married!), Hellboy Christmas Special--reviewed here
  2. The Stuff of Legend Omnibus One--reviewed here!
  3. Time Travellers Hidden Rome--reviewed here!
  4. Hellboy: The Midnight Circus--reviewed here!
  5. Julius Caesar: The Life of a Roman General--reviewed here!
  6. B.P.R.D. 1948--reviewed here!
  7. Fanboys vs. Zombies Vol. 1--reviewed here!
  8. Fanboys vs. Zombies Vol. 2--reviewed here!
  9. The Stuff of Legend Omnibus Two--reviewed here!
  10. Dark Horse Presents #32 (Hellboy unweds), Twilight Zone #1 and #2--reviewed here!
  11. The Book of Revelation--reviewed here!
  12. Bone Vol. 1--reviewed here!
  13. Bone: Rose--reviewed here!
  14. Ray Bradbury Chronicles Vol. 2--reviewed here!
  15. Asterix and the Normans--reviewed here!
  16. Serenity Vol. 1--reviewed here
  17. Asterix and the Great Crossing--reviewed here
  18. B.P.R.D. Vampires--reviewed here
  19. Asterix and the Soothsayer--reviewed here
  20. Witchfinder Vol. 2--reviewed here
  21. Locke & Key Vol. 5--reviewed here
  22. The Walking Dead Vol. 19--reviewed here
  23. Locke & Key Vol. 6--reviewed here
  24. The Walking Dead Vol. 20--reviewed here
  25. Asterix and the Big Fight--reviewed here
  26. The Walking Dead Vol. 21--reviewed here
  27. Bone Vol. 2--reviewed here
  28. Bone Vol. 3--reviewed here
  29. Marvel Zombies vs. Army of Darkness--reviewed here!
  30. Bone Tall Tales--reviewed here
  31. Twilight Zone The Monsters Are Due on Mulberry Street--reviewed here
  32. Bone Vol. 4--reviewed here
  33. Bone Vol. 5--reviewed here!
  34. Zombillenium 1--reviewed here
  35. Bone Vol. 6--reviewed here!
  36. Bone Vol. 7--reviewed here!
  37. Zombillenium 2--reviewed here!
  38. Bone Vol. 8--reviewed here!
  39. Bone Vol. 9--reviewed here
  40. Bone Handbook--reviewed here
  41. X-Men: Days of Future Past--reviewed here
  42. Saga Vol. 1--reviewed here!


  1. I like how often our podcast has been mentioned! Aside from that I love seeing how many graphic novels you have reviewed. I just can't get into them but I do read all your reviews of them. :-) I look forward to seeing how you like Anansi Boys. It is a favorite of mine. The audiobook is especially good.

  2. I wish I had time to read every book you discuss on the podcast. I just checked our county library and they do have the audiobook version of Anansi Boys as a downloadable audio file. I may try that out--we've only ever borrowed CDs from the library.

  3. Rose had to show me how to download those library files. (How are the mighty fallen!) They are pretty handy!