Reading Challenge: the First Quarter

This was the first book I read in 2021, and one of my favorites so far. With so little travel possible now, I really needed this vicarious trip to Italy.

As of the end of March, I’ve read my way through the first quarter of the 2021 Goodreads reading challenge, and am actually a few books ahead right now.

This is a challenge I’ve taken part in since 2015. You set your own goal for how many books you want to read each year. When you finish a book, you enter it on the site, and Goodreads keeps track of your numbers.

This year, I set my goal at 125 books for 2021. That’s down a bit from the last few years; since 2017 my yearly goal has been 130 or 135. Last year I noticed I was consciously choosing shorter books at the end of the year, when I was afraid I wouldn’t make my goal (I did make it). I don’t like choosing books that way, so I decided to lower the goal back to 125 this year. At the moment, I am at 35 books read, which Goodreads tells me is four books ahead of where I need to be to make my goal.

So, what have I read so far this year? I did a Harry Potter series re-read. And I read books that were entered in two different writing contests I was judging. I read several political themed books, in honor of the presidential inauguration. And in the past week I’ve been re-reading the science fiction novels and novellas a friend wrote, as research for a book we’re writing together that will be part of the same universe.

The first book I read this year: Women in Sunlight, by Frances Mayes, a novel based on her own experiences as an American living in Italy. This one focuses on a group of four American friends, all at crossroads in their lives, who rent a villa in Italy for a year. This is one of my favorites so far this year. Who doesn’t want to rent a villa in Italy for a year?

That was one of my favorites so far this year. Here are a few other top picks, in no particular order:

  • A Rosie Life in Italy, by Rosie Meleady (I sense a theme…)
  • Kindred, by Octavia Butler (that one was a re-read)
  • The Poet X, by Elizabeth Acevedo
  • The BookWoman of Troublesome Creek, by Michele Richardson
  • All the Harry Potter books (don’t make me choose)

Now, it’s on to the next quarter of reading adventures!

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