2016 Reading Challenge - Fail or Partial Success? (You decide!)

For the last few years I have taken the Goodreads website reading challenge. My goal for 2016 was to read 80 books but I read fewer than that. (Big sigh.) I had high hopes for the year, but writing and editing three novellas as well as one full-length novel took away a lot of reading time. In my defense, I did finish the year strong by reading a lot in December and tallying in at 55 books for the year.

The best books of December included the Nine Minutes series by Beth Flynn and an incredible memoir of hope, strength, and survival, My Sister’s Mother by Donna Urbikas.

I had the pleasure of meeting Donna Urbikas at the Writers’ Institute sponsored by the University of Wisconsin and as a guest author at our local book club, Columbus Books & Book. The wartime family history she reveals to us is so compelling that it certainly reads like a fiction novel. Indeed, it seems nearly impossible that her mother and sister were able to survive the harsh conditions and seemingly unending trials of their time at a Siberian work camp and as refugees during WWII. These difficult stories were juxtaposed against the backdrop of Urbikas far more mundane childhood and struggle to find common ground within a family that had suffered such traumatic experiences. I highly recommend this book published here in Wisconsin by the University of Wisconsin Press. Great read!

My second recommendation from my December reads couldn’t be more different. The Nine Minutes series by Beth Flynn at first glance didn’t seem like something that could draw me in. I couldn’t have been more wrong! It begins with the abduction of a fifteen-year-old by a biker gang in southern Florida. Flynn goes on to weave a tale of violence, love, and loyalty that expertly takes readers between the past and the present through three separate volumes: Nine Minutes, Out of Time, A Gift of Time. I can’t wait for more from this author!

So on to my 2017 reading goal! Even though I’ve read as many as 100+ books in a year, that was at a time when I wasn’t writing and editing my own novels. I will be happy in 2017 if I manage to read one book per week. So here’s to a 52-book 2017! If you’d like to set your own reading goal on Goodreads, here’s the link to the challenge page!!


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