Friday, June 6, 2014

Jill's ABC Reading Update

Jill Williamson is a chocolate loving, daydreaming, creator of kingdoms. She writes weird books for teens in lots of weird genres like, fantasy (Blood of Kings trilogy), science fiction (Replication), and dystopian (The Safe Lands trilogy). Find Jill on FacebookTwitterPinterest, or on her author website.

Last year I posted an ABC reading challenge, just for fun. I started out strong, then I started skipping around and letting the books I wanted to read take cuts. And I never went back to some of them. Click here to see my original list.

Now, last year I read dozens more books that were not on my ABC challenge list. It might be interesting for me to try and keep track of how many books I read in one year. But I didn't keep track of everything I read, only the ones on my list, since I had printed it out so I could cross off titles.

Here are my results.

From my list, I read:
Alanna by Tamora Pierce - This was okay.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - Loved this one!
Cinder by Marissa Meyer - Enjoyed this one. Lots of fun.
Dune by Frank Herbert - This book was amazing, but I couldn't read it quickly.
The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan - Again, an amazing book, but I had to take my time.
Feed by M. T. Anderson - Very interesting, but a little depressing.
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale - Loved this one. Very cool. Disney should make this into a movie.
Jerk, California by Jonathan Friesen - LOVED THIS! And then I got to meet him and brag about it.
The Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers - Floored by this novel. I can't believe it took me so long to read it.
Z for Zachariah by Robert C. O'Brien - This one was okay.

I did not read:
Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Intervention by Terri Blackstock
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart and Carson Ellis 
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Owlflight by Mercedes Lackey

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
Quentin Durward Sir Walter Scott 
Redwall by Brian Jacques
The Spirit Well by Stephen Lawhead
This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe 
White Oleander by Janet Fitch
Xenocide by Orson Scott Card
Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay

What's next:
I decided I didn't like trying to force myself to read a book just because I needed a title with the letter Q. So for this next year, I've made a new list. Books I want to read and plan to read. And I will add books to the bottom of the list that I randomly read so that I can see how many books I read in a year.

So, rather than 26 books with a title for each letter of the alphabet, here is my To Read list in no particular order, we'll see how I do this time.

Books I want to read and plan to read:
Fool's Assassin by Robin Hobb
Light of Eidon by Karen Hancock
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Firstborn by Lorie Ann Grover
Remnants by Lisa T. Bergren
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
The Gunslinger by Stephen King
Green Rider by Kristen Britain
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen
The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen
The Archer's Tale by Bernard Cornwell
As Sure as the Dawn by Francine Rivers
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb
Shaman's Crossing by Robin Hobb
Shadow's Edge by Brent Weeks
The Silver Hand by Stephen Lawhead
The Endless Knot by Stephen Lawhead
The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
The Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians series by Brandon Sanderson
The Runaway King by Jennifer Nielsen
The Shadow Throne by Jennifer Nielsen
The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

Did you do the ABC Reading Challenge? If so, how did you do? And, either way, what's on your To Read list for the next year?


  1. I was so excited to see The Mysterious Benedict Society on your list, then I saw it was on the list of books you didn't read. I didn't do the ABC Reading Challenge. My to-read list for next year? Hmm...The King's Scrolls comes out next year sometime. I really want to read that. Other than that I have no idea

    1. I own that book, Alea, so I will read it sometime. :-)

  2. I once tried a game on goodreads called book cover bingo, were each week something was called and we had to read a book with that on the cover. Things like dog, blue, hat... I hated it! I would have a book I wanted to read, but had to wait on because I had to finish another book for the bingo, sometimes books I had never intended to read other wise.

    1. That's an interesting idea. I think it would frustrate me too, though, especially if I felt I had to read something I had no interest in reading.

  3. I've tried to keep track of books I read on Goodreads. But I'm not good at keeping it up to date, and I hate writing reviews, so...

    Pillars of the Earth is amazing. But it's very ... gritty.

    Ben tried The Gunslinger and didn't finish it. (Which he rarely does.) He said he didn't understand it and didn't like the characters. He's read tons of other Stephen King he loves, and he loves fantasy, so he thought it would be a slam dunk. Didn't work out that way though :(

    1. Oh, and he raved about Unbroken! I'm not sure how I would do with it (I really struggle with stories that involve torture) but I hear it's incredible.

      I loved The Silent Governess (very reminiscent of Jane Eyre) and I'm halfway through The Dancing Master.

    2. Clearly I'm procrastinating on editing because I just took the time to update my Goodreads page. *Eye roll* Jill, if I later complain to you about my limited work time, I give you permission to remind me of this.

    3. LOL! I'm having a slow morning too, Steph. I need to get busy!

      I own Pillars of the Earth, Gunslinger, and Unbroken. So I'm sure I'll get to them all eventually. I read the first chapter of Gunslinger and put it down. I was bored! People have told me the other books are better, but I don't want to start with a book two.

  4. You should still add Howl's Moving Castle, Uncle Tom's Cabin, and Redwall from the original to your new list! Oh, and if you haven't managed to read the Tales of Goldstone Wood, I cannot express to you how badly you're missing out. :)

    1. I own Howl's Moving Castle and Redwall, so I will get to them eventually. I did read Heartless a few moths ago. And I own book four in that series with the lady in red on the cover...

  5. The Voice in the Wind was really, really good, Jill. The trilogy kind of pushed the line for what I'm willing to read in some areas, but was so incredibly deep.

    Unbroken is on my to-read list as well.

    And I think you'll like Jennifer Nielsen's books. They're very solidly middle-grade writing style, but if you're okay with that, they're a lot of fun. She's one of the only people I've read who can pull off writing in first person while withholding from the readers significant information that the main character knows.

    1. I loved Voice in the Wind and the second one. Haven't read book three yet, but I own it. And we own all three Jennifer Nielsen books, but I'm reading them aloud to my kids, so that takes a lot longer at one chapter a night here and there. :-)

  6. Howl's Moving Castle, Throne of Glass, and Pillars of the Earth. YUS READ THOSE THEY ARE AWESOME.

    1. Okay, will do. I think Pillars will be next for me, since I'm writing fantasy. I realize it's not fantasy, but it feels like the right kind of book for me to read next. LOL

  7. Oh, my goodness, you must read The Mysterious Benedict Society! It's so good! And also Howl's moving Castle.

    1. I know! I've heard so many good things. I will read them. I own them both. :-)

  8. I also read Cinder and The Book Thief this year. I loved the sci-fi twist on an old fairy tale in Cinder and I was astonished at the uniqueness of Markus Zusak's voice. I also read Scarlet, which I thought was even better than Cinder because it wasn't predictable like Cinder was, and the tension just kept on rising and rising. I have yet to read Cress, but I just borrowed it from the library and I have high hopes for the quality of the book. You definitely have to read The Mysterious Benedict Society and Uncle Tom's Cabin! They will both add variety to your reading because while The Mysterious Benedict Society is a fun, imaginative read, Uncle Tom's Cabin is a very real and deeply moving story. The books that I plan to read from your list are Unbroken, Peter and the Starcatchers and The Goose Girl. I am actually going to read Unbroken for my school summer reading assignment. My school gave me a list of books and of course I had to choose Unbroken because it is about a long distance running (I love long distance!) and my dad recommended it to me. I'm so excited to read it!

    1. I'm excited to read it too, Ana. So much to read! So little time. :-(

  9. Peter and the Starcatchers is awesome. I have read the whole series. Would reading A-Z mysteries for the challenge be cheating? Each book starts with a different letter of the alphabet.

    1. LOL, there are no rules here. I just thought it would be fun. So if those are book you want to read, go for it!

  10. I didn't do the challenge and have read exactly none of the books on your list. Although I did start Uncle Tom's Cabin. Never finished it though. :)

    Here's some of the books I want to read this summer:
    1.Revolutionary by Krista McGee (last book in the trilogy - so excited!)
    2.Dark Blue and Harsh Pink in Melody Carlson's Color Me series
    3.So Not Okay by Nancy Rue
    4.The Unlikely Debut of Ellie Sweet by Stephanie Morrill
    5.Sierra Jensen by Robin Jones Gunn
    6.The Captive Maiden by Melanie Dickerson
    7.Me, Just Diffferent by Stephanie Morrill
    and there's probably more books too. :)

    1. Looks like a fun book likst, Sofia. I've read quite a few of those!

  11. There are so many books I want/need to read...just trying to read one at a time : b I've read Uncle Toms Cabin, and loved it!

    1. I will have to make time for that one someday, Keturah. :-)

  12. Redwall wasn't good as I had expected, given all the hype- however I am so sad you didn't get to experience Peter and the staracatchers and the mysterious benedict society- those are in my top five ever.

    1. I will read them. I own them both, so it will happen someday. :-)

  13. I didn't complete mine either, though I probably will eventually. :P But it is hard to find interesting books for some of those letters! You should read Mysterious Benedict Society though. I have a lot of other books to read so who knows how long this list will take? I might end up shifting around haha.

  14. For my reading list... Definitely looking forward for "The King's Scrolls" to come out next year. It's the second book in the Ilyon Chronicles (series of six) by Jaye L. Knight. They are Christian fantasy and the first one, Resistance, was GREAT!
    - Katie

  15. Aghh! I love that you read Goose Girl by Shannon Hale! The character progression in that story is phenomenal! If Disney made that into a movie, I'd be at the midnight premiere. I'll have to check out some of the others on that list. :)