2014 Reading Goals

On Swap Bot, I’m a co-founder of a group called Carpe Librum. As you might expect, it’s all about books. One of the swaps I started at the beginning of the year was for 2014 reading goals. I find I do much better with goals if I have accountability, and a swap provided that. Eventually I had to cancel the series due to lack of interest, but I kept to my 2014 reading goals.

To continue accountability, I thought I would post my 2014 reading goals, and where I’m at with them. Even if no one reads them, I still feel like I’m being held accountable.

#1: Read 60 books
I figured I could manage a book a week, so my original goal was 50 books. Then I thought that looked puny, so I upped it to 60 books.
How many have I read? 40 according to Goodreads. Goodreads counts short stories, so the actual number of novels is 36. I’m still head of schedule, since I should be about the 25 book mark.

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May Reading Log

Witness In Death – JD Robb
One of my reading goals for the year was to read (and re-read) the first 10 books of JD Robb’s In Death series. I’d read the first 8, plus a few additional ones throughout the series, and I thought it would be nice to work my way through them again. This was book 10.
I hadn’t read this one before, and it was nice to get a book where I didn’t automatically recall everything about it. This one’s interesting too, in that it takes place in a theatre, on stage, with lots of people watching the play. Also, the murdered guy is an asshole, that almost no one likes or cares about. He gets what’s coming to him, and even Eve agrees, but she does her job, and makes sure that the actual murderer is caught.

Panic – Lauren Oliver
I was going to read Panic for Carpe Librum’s book club, but I ended up reading The Fault In Our Stars instead. I couldn’t get Panic soon enough from the library to finish it in time.
Panic is an interesting book. Oliver’s books usually focus around a character that usually comes from a messed up family, usually a poor one. Her best friend is usually more well off. And every character is flawed, usually to an extreme. This book is no exception to it.
I did find the game of Panic interesting: doing crazy things, starting with jumping into a quarry, and ending with a vehicular version of chicken, all to win a potential chance to get out of Carp. From what you see in the book, no one who’s won has really made good for themselves, and in a few cases, it’s messed the people up royally.
One thing I didn’t like was how predictable a couple things in the book were. First, Heather’s best friend Bishop is tied into Panic, and if you’re paying attention, you’ll catch on to why a couple chapters before it’s revealed. Also, there’s a woman who’s caring for tigers, and they escape, and one of them ties into the ending. I didn’t guess it in advance, but when I read it, I wasn’t surprised.
There’s one nitpick I have of the book, and it’s the amount the winner of Panic gets: $67,000. Seniors pay a fee of $1 per day school is in session, and at the end, the winner takes all. At least, I’m pretty sure it’s just the seniors, because paying into it every year for 4 years of high school seems excessive.
It doesn’t add up. Assuming every senior chips in $365, or $1 for each day of the year, you’d have to have 184 students in the graduating class. In a town of 12,000, that’s possible. I had 182 students in my graduating class, and I went to school in a town of 11,500 people.
But this is a case where it’s every day of school. The average in the US is 180 days, according to most sources I’ve read. So that’s just under half of 365. So, doubling the 184 kids means there would have to be a graduating class of 368 people to make up $67,000 (368 kids * $180). That’s way high for a town of 12,000 people. Even if that’s an usually large class, nearly ¼ of the town is under 18, and I don’t buy that. A minor nitpick, but it stuck with me.

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