I love goals, but more importantly I love the idea of achievements. Maybe it’s this unlocking a trophy sort of age, but the more I can shape a goal into an achievement based exercise, the better I feel. So for this year I’ve set a goal for myself to read 50 books in 2015.
In college, I majored in English and found that the only time I read books were for class (which for the record I loved and definitely influenced the kind of literature I’m interested in now) or when school let out. Well now that school has officially let out for me, I’m ready to consume as many words as possible this year and grow from it.
I’ve taken to Goodreads to record the books I’ve read for the 2015 Reading Challenge. Between January and February I’ve managed to read physical books before bed or listen to audiobooks on my runs or commutes to work. So far I’ve totaled 5 books for the challenge.
The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho
“To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only obligation.”
The story of a young shepherd who listens to his heart and the language of the world in order to fine his destiny. Coelho’s book is inspiring and simplistic and made me really consider what it is I want out of life.
Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut
“Kilgore Trout once wrote a short story which was a dialogue between two pieces of yeast. They were discussing the possible purposes of life as they ate sugar and suffocated in their own excrement. Because of their limited intelligence, they never came close to guessing that they were making champagne.”
An unstable used car salesman, Dwayne Hoover, meets Vonnegut’s washed up science fiction writer, Kilgore Trout, at an art symposium in Midland City. Kilgore Trout feeds Dwayne Hoover the most poisonous idea of all, that Dwayne Hoover is the only living human on Earth and everyone is a robot. Breakfast of Champions or Goodbye Blue Monday is a chilling satire that offers up everything wrong with America.
I listened to the audiobook of this and at the end there was an interview with Vonnegut. It surprised me and he talked about the artists in his family, his musical ability, and the farting and tap dancing aliens.
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
“I thought that Mr. Clutter was a very nice gentleman. I thought so right up to the moment that I cut his throat.”
A story of the brutal murdering of a family in Holcomb, Kansas in 1959. Capote weaves empathy for both victim and murderers throughout the novel. I was on a Serial high at the time and needed another true crime story to keep me going. So I began the audiobook and was hooked on the story by mile 2. I watched Capote once I was done reading and had a better understanding of Capote and his work.
The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann
“Fawcett agreed that El Dorado, with its plethora of gold, was an ‘exaggerated romance,’ but he was not ready to dismiss the chronicles altogether.”
David Grann sets into the Amazon to seek the truth behind the disappearance of the famous British explorer, Percy Henry Fawcett, on his 1925 quest for the The Lost City of Z or El Dorado. Full of mystery, history, and adventure I felt like I was in the amazon myself.
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
“We did everything adults would do. What went wrong?”
Boys stranded on a coral island try to build a society and learn the follies of man. I never read the book in school, so I thought I’d listen to it on my runs and was pleased to find out that the author was narrating the book.
For the month of March I will continue my reading challenge, starting with my current reads, ‘Tis by Frank McCourt and The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (J.K.Rowling). Have you read any of these books and have you decided to try a challenge yourself?