See Ya FB, Hello Actual Books: Personal Reading Challenge

by farrah on January 4, 2015 · 14 comments

I wonder how many people drop some form of Facebook after the New Year. It has to be as popular a resolution as being healthier, decluttering, etc. In just the couple of days I’ve had FB off of my phone I had a handful of people tell me that they have also done the same. So now what do we do with all of this time not spent scrolling through other lives? Well, read about imaginary or historical ones of course!

Timeless Books

First, I realize that many people are doing a personal reading challenge this year. The number of books seems to vary from 12 to 50 or so, and it’s up to you to decide how many or how few you want to do. The key though- is to CHALLENGE YOURSELF. You know. Like I can’t say completing five books for me would be an accomplishment. A few years back it would have been when I had babies and severe sleep deprivation! But not anymore. Today there’s no excuse for me to not carry around a book or my old Kindle.

So what to read, where I am finding suggestions and where am I keeping track?


Historical fiction works do it for me. I realize it’s too much to ask GRR to get the next Game of Thrones book out there, so I’ll instead settle for something set in history. More talk about our driving through Scotland this summer has me thinking I really need to give the Outlander books another shot. Currently I am reading As Meat Loves Salt and have The Luminaries on deck. After that it’s The Goldfinch and not sure what else. I like very long books- ones that last a while. I do love short stories (especially ones by Raymond Carver or spooky tales) but I’m going to stick to novels for this challenge.

Where to find suggestions

Several bloggers have posed questions to their readers and started lists. I know There’s No Wine in Mom, Naps Happen, and Outlaw Mama all recently asked readers to name their favorite books (Outlaw Mama listed the 54 books she read last year with a brief commentary- awesome). My go-to is also NPR’s annual round up, and just keeping an eye on Amazon’s top sellers list usually doesn’t do me wrong either. My friend Maroc Mama also shared a link to a reading challenge too. So see? EVERYONE is doing it. Possibly even Mr. Zuckerberg.

Keep track

There’s Goodreads with their challenge and keep track on your ‘shelf’. I’m on there, (with an ancient avatar– just one baby lol!) if you want to add me. But I’ll warn you right now that I don’t really use Goodreads like I should. I am just using a very hum drum Pinterest board where I keep the websites with suggestions as well as the actual books themselves pinned. I am also going to track the pages since I read a ton last year and was curious as to how much I actually read in PAGES. Of course only a dork like me would care about this, so it’s not like I’m going to use total pages read as some sort of bragging rights.

Do it & tell me

So all the cool kids are doing a reading challenge in 2015. Actually I just made that up- I have no idea what the cool kids are up to these days. But reading is good for the mind and soul so I’d love to encourage you to do one too or hear about the one you’ve started. Tell me what you’re reading, how you’re keeping track, where you’re finding your suggestions, etc. If you need a great book to start with- I loved The Book Thief. Easily one of the best books I read last year. 

Photo By Lin Kristensen from New Jersey, USA (Timeless Books) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons



{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tanya TheOtherSideoftheRoad January 4, 2015 at 1:13 pm

Great idea! I got rid of FB from my phone for December and plan to continue. The best book I’ve read recently was the Storied Life of AJ Fikry. Really enjoyed it!


2 farrah January 4, 2015 at 7:29 pm

Thanks for the rec! I’ve never heard of that one before. And I have to say, having it off my phone is turning out pretty nice!


3 andrea January 4, 2015 at 1:34 pm

I have been thinking about removing FB from my phone too, I just need to suck it up and do it!

Some of the best books I’ve read lately: The Light Between Oceans; Orphan Train; Me Before You; The Girl You Left Behind; All The Light You Cannot See; Shanghai Girls (followed by Dreams of Joy); The Storyteller; Anything by Kate Morton but loved The Forgotten Garden and The Secret Keeper; The Miniaturist; The Goldfinch; The Golem and the Jinni. I am sure there is more, can’t wait to read what others recommend!


4 andrea January 4, 2015 at 1:45 pm

Ooh, I forgot Defending Jacob, Big Little Lies. I am sure there are more!


5 farrah January 4, 2015 at 7:31 pm

Great recs Andrea! I just looked up The Forgotten Garden as I thought I read that, but no- and it sounds awesome. I appreciate your suggestions- I’ll hit my goal with good ones like these 🙂


6 multitaskingmumma January 4, 2015 at 2:39 pm

I loved the book thief too. I have the movie saved on Netflix waiting to watch it.
I’m reading the bloggess’ book right now and I think I’m the last person to read it on earth.


7 farrah January 4, 2015 at 7:32 pm

I don’t think it’s on our Netflix yet- you’ll have to tell me what you think of it. And I loved her book- I only read the first one though- I think she has a second?


8 Julia January 4, 2015 at 2:40 pm

I love Good Reads for keeping track. I set my bar low this year with 20 books in past years I’ve tried to read 52 and fell short. I loved Big Little Lies, Me Before You, The Interestings, and Attachments.


9 farrah January 4, 2015 at 7:32 pm

You’re the second person to say Big Little Lies. This is going to be one I have to check out. Good luck!


10 Amanda January 4, 2015 at 4:12 pm

I use Good Reads and set a target to read 24 books this year which is one ir two more than last year. Currently reading Global Mom by Melissa Bradford, and a HSP book by Ted Zeff. Got ‘Quiet’ on the go too…….. need to get reading……


11 farrah January 4, 2015 at 7:33 pm

I haven’t heard of those…adding to my list. Thanks Amanda!


12 Christine January 8, 2015 at 4:44 pm

I loved the Goldfinch! (and so much fun since the real thing is so close to you) I’ve started The Anatomy Lesson (per recommendation) and so far it seems like a good one too. Hope you enjoy all the books you’ve got on your list. 🙂


13 farrah January 10, 2015 at 9:50 am

Oh that’s interesting, I didn’t know- I think I’ll have to add that next. I’m on The Paris Wife now- and was going to try and get through The Luminaries but I just cannot do it. Keep me posted on the Anatomy Lesson!


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