2013 Reading Challenge


  • I’m an avid reader and a self-professed bookworm.
  • For 2013, I thought it’d be fun to set myself a reading goal of 52 books via Goodreads.
  • Although I ended up exceeding my goal (I completed a total of 60 books), my primary focus was more about being able to track the books I munched throughout the year and giving them a quick rating/commentary once done.
  • It makes for a good reference point.
  • Anyway, I read a combination of genres that spanned both non-fiction and fiction.
  • It was a mixed bag of absolute duds, some easy but forgettable reads, deeply engaging novels that sucked me in, etc.
  • Taking a quick look back at my notes, I thought it’d be fun to share a few standouts.
  • Of course there are other books beyond the below that I have happily added to my bookshelf but I thought I’d keep this fairly condensed.
  • I’ll be doing the same challenge again this year so if you’ve got any book recommendations for me, pop them into the comments because I’m always super keen to discover new reads.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

  • I found this story so engrossing.
  • It was tragic yet hopeful.
  • Raw in showing the imperfections of humans and raising some valid observations.
  • The only thing I wasn’t quite sold on was the characterisation of the adult characters because they seemed over-exaggerated.

Easy by Tammara Webber

  • I wasn’t expecting too much from this book when I picked it up but ended up really enjoying it.
  • The writing style was unique.
  • I rather liked the male protagonist – he had so many layers to him, was interesting, complex, had quirks and retained a relatable air.
  • My only criticisms are that the last 30 pages or so of the tale felt a bit disjointed in terms of time lapses/jumps between scenes, and that I think the female protagonist could have benefitted from more character development.

Michael Pollan

  • I find his books good if you’re interested in finding out more about food and nutrition.
  • His work seems well-researched, his writing style is very digestible and there are no preachy overtones.
  • Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual – I hesitate slightly to call this a “book” as it’s rather sparse in the amount of sentences. However, it’s a great quick read to ease you into Pollan’s work and features some simple tips to help you eat better (a lot of it is common sense but I’m sure you’ll pick up at least one thing that you hadn’t considered before).
  • In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto – Interesting examination of nutrition and how things have become skewed by misunderstanding and miseducation. Of course everything should be taken with a grain of salt but this does make you wake up and question whether there’s a better way to eat.
  • The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals – This book is pretty hefty but exposed so much about food that I hadn’t come across previously. The theme really resonated with me and I think it was a fairly objective exploration of food. The last third of the book may have been a bit too self-indulgent in terms of descriptions though.

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