52 Book Challenge

After reading somewhere in the vicinity of 40 books in 2011, I determined to challenge myself to read at least 52 in 2012 - yes, that makes one book per week.  I knew that I wanted (and needed) a better way to track my progress than a simple list.  Part of the joy I find in reading comes from digesting the material.  Writing a short review forces that response.  A blog seemed the natural way to do that.  After all, if you read a good book, you want to share it with someone.  

I am proud to say that I not only accomplished, but surpassed the goal which I set for myself.  In 2012, I read a total of 54 books.  Before you picture me as someone who lays at home and does nothing but read and write this blog (wouldn't that be the life?), keep in mind that I have a full-time job, a part time job, and got both engaged and married during 2012.  Throughout the year, I have seen my TV time decrease significantly and have noticed a marked difference in the way that I read.  I pay more attention to what the author is saying between the lines and how he/she is saying it.  I have always loved reading, but this year, this challenge, helped me to rediscover the joy and excitement I felt for reading as a child.  

To read more about my challenge along the way, check out these posts, or make your way through the list below.

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  1. My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business - Dick Van Dyke
  2. A Clash of Kings - George R.R. Martin
  3. A Daughter's Walk - Jane Kirkpatrick
  4. The Duchess of Windsor: The Uncommon Life of Wallis Simpson - Greg King
  5. A Storm of Swords - Geore R.R. Martin
  6. A Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America - Erik Larson
  7. Divergent - Veronica Roth
  8. In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin - Erik Larson
  9. Captivating:Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul - John & Stasi Eldredge
  10. Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef - Gabrielle Hamilton
  11. The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
  12. Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins
  13. 11/22/63 - Stephen King
  14. Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins
  15. The Giver - Lois Lowry
  16. Gathering Blue - Lois Lowry
  17. Messenger - Lois Lowry
  18. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - Jonathan Safran Foer
  19. Erasing Hell - Francis Chan & Preston Sprinkle
  20. The Queen Jade: A New World Novel of Adventure - Yxta Maya Murray
  21. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
  22. A Feast for Crows - George R.R. Martin
  23. Insurgent - Veronica Roth
  24. Cinder - Marissa Meyer
  25. The Litigators - John Grisham
  26. The Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan
  27. First Families - Bonnie Angelo
  28. Four Kitchens - Lauren Shockey
  29. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake - Aimee Bender
  30. The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern
  31. The Company - K.J. Parker
  32. Let's Pretend This Never Happend: (A Mostly True Memoir) - Jenny Lawson
  33. Common Sense - Thomas Paine
  34. Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
  35. The Fountainhead - Ayn Rand
  36. Anne of Green Gables - L.M. Montgomery
  37. The Testament of Jessie Lamb - Jane Rogers
  38. The List - Siobhan Vivian
  39. The Plot Against America - Philip Roth
  40. Angels & Demons - Dan Brown
  41. The Most Important Year In a Man's/Woman's Life - Wolgemuth & DeVries
  42. Anne of Avonlea - L.M. Montgomery
  43. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
  44. The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
  45. Son - Lois Lowry
  46. Reading Lolita in Tehran - Azar Nafisi
  47. Anne of the Island - L.M. Montgomery
  48. Atonement - Ian McEwan
  49. The Casual Vacancy - J.K. Rowling
  50. Thomas Jefferson's Crème Brûlée - Thomas J. Craughwell
  51. Wench - Dolen Perkins-Valdez
  52. I Am America (And So Can You!) - Stephen Colbert
  53. My First Ladies - Nancy Clarke
  54. A Dance With Dragons - George R.R. Martin
Pages Read in 2012: 22,806