Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Fifty Five Books in 2015 by Savita Kalhan

In 2015 I did my usual thing of trying to read at least fifty five books, and I managed to reach my target. I love reading, but sometimes work and life can get in the way, so having a target and keeping a record helps keep me on track.

It's also interesting to look back at what I've spent the year reading. Some of it is work related, of course, and some constitutes research. But it's definitely quite an eclectic list that ranges from middle grade books, to teen books, young adult, and general fiction. 

Last year I also set up a teen reading group at my local library, and what I discovered was that the kids in my group not only share my love of reading, but that, like me, they love a huge range of location, theme and genres in the books they read.

Interestingly, what they don't like is being misled by the blurb on the back of a book - especially if it's written in a very different style to the book. They like an honest blurb that more accurately describes the book. Some of them like chapter headings, some of them glance at the last page - just to make sure that the ending isn't going to be one they're not going to like, which can make them put the book down before the end.

My group are mainly younger teens, so although we did shadow the Carnegie for a while, we moved on within a few months. We discussed all the books on the long list and short list, and the group read several of them, but there were a few books that they could not finish because, in the kids' words, 'they were for much older kids.' I'm glad they tried them and knew when to put them down. Some of them will come back to them in a few years, I'm sure.

So here are a few of mine and my teen library group's favourite reads last year:

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley
Silent Saturday by Helen Grant
Looking at the Stars by Jo Cotterill
I Heard the Owl Call my Name by Margaret Craven
Buffalo Soldier by Tanya Landman
Cow Girl by G R Gemin
Whale Boy by Nicola Davies
Liccle Bit by Alex Wheatle

And some more:
Half Lives by Sara Grant
Lockwood and Co: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
The Fastest Boy in the World by Elizabeth Laird
Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan
Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar
She is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick
The Curious Tale of the Lady Caraboo by Catherine Johnson
13 Hours by Narinder Dhami

I wish I could fit in more than fifty five books. Maybe I'll raise the bar to sixty books this year...

Happy reading in 2016!

Savita's website
Facebook page


Katherine Roberts said...

Am impressed! That's more than one book a week... how did you come up with the 55 challenge?

Savita Kalhan said...

It's been going up gradually, Katherine. In 2013 I aimed to read 40 and read 48, and then increased my target to 50, and then 55. This year I'm going for 60! Teen and young adult books tend to be shorter than a lot of adult fiction, and I can read them in a couple of hours - I also need to keep up with my teen reading group and read what they read too. And I read a lot on holiday...

Dianne Hofmeyr said...

Phew thats quite a challenge but a good motivator. An interesting selection of adult and YA. Now will have to rethink my plan for 2016 and its already the 5th Jan!

Savita Kalhan said...

Yes, it's a great motivator! There's time yet for you to rethink your plan, Dianne...