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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I hope you've enjoyed the holiday season. It's hard to believe it's 2014 now.

I'm hoping to get more into the swing of things here on the blog in the new year. My first step is to spend some time cleaning up the blog itself: updating the My Reviews tab, creating a Books Read in 2013 tab, cleaning up the links in the right column. I need to look and see when the next Bloggiesta is coming up!!

I'm also starting to make some plans for the new year, so I figured I'd share them. Perhaps that will help me to actually stick to them!

1. Read more children's books
First off, I plan to focus more on children's books this year. As my regular readers know, my son is participating in a Battle of the Books at his school, and I'd really like to read all of the books he's reading for that. So I'll be focusing on those books during this month and next.

I also may use this goal of reading more children's books to finally get to the Harry Potter series this year. We'll see if that happens. The size of the books is daunting! 

2. Read more from authors I've enjoyed
I'm starting the year reading The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. I've only read her one novel, The Secret Life of Bees before. I'm excited to read another by her. I have The Mermaid Chair on my shelf, so I plan to read that one this year as well.

There are many other authors that I'd like to read again, so I'll be focusing on that this year. Anyone know of a 2014 challenge that focuses on this?

3. Catch up on best sellers
I feel like I haven't kept up with the best sellers and most popular books of the past few years. I read a lot but rarely get to the big named authors and books. So I'd like to attempt to read more of these this year, even if it means spending the money on a hardcover book or two!

4. Write reviews within a week of finishing each book
I get so behind with writing reviews. It's frustrating. So I'm going to try to write my reviews right after reading each book. This will help make it less daunting since I won't have several to do at once, and I won't have to spend a lot of time remembering what the book was about and what I thought about it!!

Those are my four main goals this year. I haven't signed up for any challenges yet, but do plan to sign up for one or two, as long as they fit with my goals.

Here's a list of specific books I plan to read this year:

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (review)
The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd
Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
Honolulu by Alan Brennert
Defending Jacob by William Landay
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
The Free by Willy Vlautin (review)
Fair and Tender Ladies by Lee Smith (book club - Jan)
The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalb (book club - Feb)
Harry Potter series???

Plus the Battle of the Books selections:
A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park
Greetings From Nowhere by Barbara O”Connor
Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Savvy by Ingrid Law
The Tale of Desperaux by Kate DiCamillo
Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George
Woods Runner by Gary Paulsen
Zora and Me by Victoria Brand

What are your plans for this year?


  1. Sounds like some great plans for the new year, Julie! I'll let you know if I see any challenges related to reading favorite authors. I plan to sign up for new challenges this week, too. I'm getting a late start on the new year because we had a snow day last week, so my family was home instead of at work/school.

    You have some great books on your want-to-read list here! I really loved Ready Player One and Monsters of Men and can't wait to read The End of Your Life Bookclub.

    Happy 2014! Enjoy your books!

    Book By Book

    Book by Book is now on Facebook!

    1. I'm glad to hear you liked Ready Player One and Monsters of Men so much! I can't wait to find time to read them!


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