Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Thursday, January 24, 2013

To Read 100 Books

After Lighting Candles in the Snow came out, it was impossible to draft another novel. I had two in mind, neither of which came to anything. I loved the people in Candles too much-- Karoline and Jeremy and Mrs. London especially-- to easily transfer my affection to new characters.

So I began work on a cookbook, a really enjoyable process. Writing is fun-- cooking and eating! Revising is even more fun-- cooking and eating some more! I'm also working on a selection of essays, another welcome departure from fiction. As they say "A change is as good as a rest."

And I challenged myself to immerse myself in reading. REALLY immerse myself, meaning to read 100 books before beginning to write another novel. This challenge has led me to read books outside my normal choices, like science fiction, novellas, books that have been on my to-read list for ages, YA and MG books (they're short LOL).

I review each one on Goodreads because it makes counting down easy. To see where I am, I click My Books on my Goodreads profile-- right now it shows that I've read 265 books. My goal is to get to 350, since I was at 250 books read when I began the challenge, which makes 85 books yet to go!

Have you set yourselves a reading and/or writing challenge for 2013?

28 comments:

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    1. Alex, Let's see how impressive it is once I reach the goal. CassaStar was #8 on my journey to 100. Really enjoyed it!

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    2. I saw that on Goodreads - thank you! Think you'll like the second one even better.

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  2. I haven't set a reading goal, but I've challenged myself to write down everything I read this year so I see what I do read over the course of 2013. I know I read a lot, but I have no idea exactly HOW much. Should be fun!

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    1. Liza, Are you on Goodreads? I like it because it keeps track for me!

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  3. Lovely KarenG! You are amazing!! Cookery books, essays, novels...! Take care
    x

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  4. Great idea and I must check out Goodreads, a place I have not yet visited. After writing a post about the best books I read in 2012 and forgetting to mention at least three, I have decided to keep a list of books I read this year. I forgot about the list too, but now that you have reminded me I will start one right this minute.

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  5. Sounds like a really good idea. I hope you do it!

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  6. I'd be happy with 10 that weren't marketing or promoting or whatever related!

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  7. That is a really impressive target.

    Mine is 35 books this year. I'm ahead of schedule because I've had five glorious weeks off work. Now it will get harder.

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  8. That is a fun goal! Keep us updated.

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    1. *One hundred* books read, and cookies baked also? There should be a medal for this. You get one from me.

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  9. I like the idea of writing a cookbook; even though I don't cook very well (and to be honest, most of the time I don't cook at all), it's still fun to read the way other people describe food. Maybe you could put your recipes and fiction into the same book. Former NY Times restaurant critic Ruth Reichl did in at least one (if not both, I can't remember) of her memoirs, and Nora Ephron included recipes in her novel, Heartburn.

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    1. Neurotic, I did that with Candles, and it was a lot of fun to use recipes to reflect the mood and activities of the main character Karoline London. Then the final recipe in the novel gave a clue as to what happened beyond the story to these characters.

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  10. Writing challenge, certainly! I want to draft two novels this year, something I've never done before. The first being the third book in my Nathan Shepherd series, and the second being my next project for when Nathan's story is over.

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  11. I would love to do this! But for some reason my four children want to eat every single day.

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  12. YAY, Karen,

    What fun! I was actually contemplating to write a baking book. SInce I am into diet and fitness, I have altered many of my favorite GOODIES to be more health conscious. It's only a thought, but I hope to get to it by spring. I have two other projects I need to finish up.

    READING... That is awesome. I vowed I would read much more this year, since last year I hadn't read much. Only one book so far, but I have a list. I hope to start this weekend.

    CONGRATS on all of you endeavors... Have a wonderful weekend.

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  13. Enjoy your new project, Karen. Have fun with it. And don't fret over the number of books you read. Enjoy them. Each book is to be savored...

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  14. Good for you. I have a writing challenge. And a softer reading challenge. So far I'm doing better on the writing one.

    Good luck!

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  15. Sound daunting, but fun. I wish you much luck with it!

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  16. I keep track of how many books I read each year and post the list on my blog at the end of December. My goal is always to read more than the year before. So far this year I've read eight books.

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  17. Hi Karen .. I'm certainly wanting to read - let alone more .. but good for you ... and I hope to be a better reader shortly .. I'll be interested to see how and what you're reading.

    You've achieved so much .. and have lots of ideas - the cookery book / recipes ...

    Cheers for now .. Hilary

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  18. What a great challenge. I remember the days when I had time to read like that! My goal this year is 36, which doesn't sound like a lot but that's not counting "personal" books, just review books.

    Which leads me to my next comment - I found your blog going from author blog to author blog & I would really love it if you added me to your book review sidebar list. I review mainly indie books, & I post my reviews to my website, http://anastaciaknits.net, and to goodreads, amazon, and barnesandnoble.com. There's my review policy & stat info on my website as well.

    Thank you for thinking of me. Have a wonderful day.

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    1. Anastacia, I'd love to add you! I'll click on your blog name and hopefully that will take me to your site so I can add the URL. Thanks for stopping by!

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  19. One hundred books. Love that challenge! I only make it through about 40 a year. You are so amazing--talented in many facets. A cookbook! I love that. For me, change is essential. I have to be learning a new skill or I get lethargic.

    Thanks for sharing, dear! Have a wonderful Sunday!

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  20. What a great goal! I'm trying to read 10,000 books in the course of my lifetime (it's a challenge, but why not). Writers got to read too:)

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  21. Wow! That is amazing! I haven't set a goal for reading yet, but I really should!

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  22. That is a lot of reading! Good job and good luck! I don't have a goal, but read whenever I can. I'm really lucky to be able to read very quickly (if I'm interested). I wish I'd kept track of how many I've read.

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