With my infant daughter getting older, I find myself blessed with a bit more free time that I have been accustomed to over the past six months. My little girl has moved into a phase of keeping herself occupied and doesn’t require me, or my wife, entertaining her around the clock. These bits of free time have allowed me to pick back up some of the hobbies that I put on the proverbial back burner.
The hobby that I was quickest to return to was reading. Even while my books sat, collecting dust, I managed to add to the to-read pile even when I wasn’t actively reading. As you would imagine, that has left me with a rather daunting stack of literature. Not only do I have a leaning pile of physical novels, I also have a virtual stack of eBooks to get through.
In an effort to keep a running log of my reading, and to keep things organized, I have been using the Goodreads service. I recently logged in to add two more books to the To-Read shelf (Dragon Keeper and Dragon Haven, both by Robin Hobb, thanks to my mother-in-law and sister-in-law for the Christmas gifts) when I saw a widget on the sidebar for a 2011 Reading Challenge. It was very simple, just tell it how many books you want to read throughout the year and it watches your bookshelves for completed books and counts down to your goal. I decided to give it a go and set a small goal of twelve books (one book per month seems very achievable in my situation).
Right out of the gate I have been doing very well, finishing one book that I started late last year (which was counted towards my goal) and finishing up another late last week. Both books are part of the First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie. Once finished, I started in on a stand alone novel by the same author, Best Served Cold. This novel is set in the same world as the trilogy and takes us on a journey throughout a different part of the world. It intertwines storyline from previous books and creates a very dynamic setting for all of the books to coincide.
I have been enjoying joe Abercrombie’s work so much that I have pre-ordered his latest book, The Heros. With a release date of early February, I hope to receive it just as I wrap up my current book. I can’t wait to get started but am a little bummed out that I didn’t order the novel from a UK based bookseller (Joe Abercrombie is based in London and thus his books release in the UK first). Not only could I have had the book a bit sooner, I could have also had the version with the nicer cover art. Instead, I purchased through Amazon US and took advantage of Prime two-day shipping and such.
With a lot on my plate, in terms of reading material, I look to have a busy year ahead of me. To be honest, I’m really looking forward to trying to get in as much reading as possible. I’m not sure in which order I plan to tackle all of these books, but it should be loads of fun.