Reading Challenge for January

I never sign up for reading challenges because I’m pretty sure I will fail. Not that I’m afraid of failing (you should’ve seen me bowling last week!), but it stresses me out trying to keep up. And I want my reading to be enjoyable, not stressful.

That said, I thought I’d set a challenge for myself this month, since I know my habits and can set the bar as low as I’d like. I simply want to finish the January releases already in my TBR stack. Here’s what I’m looking at:





















  1. Lunatics by Dave Barry by Alan Zweibel
  2. The Jaguar by T. Jefferson Parker
  3. All I Did Was Shoot My Man by Walter Mosley
  4. The Chalk Girl by Carol O’Connell
  5. City of the Lost by Stephen Blackmoore
  6. Start Shooting by Charlie Newton
  7. The Rook by Daniel O’Malley
  8. The Whisperer by Donato Carrisi
  9. The Invisible Ones by Stef Penney

That looks like a reasonable list, don’t you think? Just nine books, two a week and three one week. Oh, wait, I have to squeeze in a couple of February titles for Shelf Awareness—Lisa Gardner’s Catch Me and Erin Kelly’s The Dark Rose—since reviews are due a month in advance. And there are some December titles I want to finish: Taylor Stevens’s The Innocent, Colin Cotterrill’s Slash and Burn, and DC Brod’s Getting Lucky. Plus, I received The Hunger Games for Christmas since my friend Lauren got fed up with my saying I still haven’t read it. AAACKK! I’m stressed out already! Whose idea was this??

Do you have reading goals this month/year? What’s at the top of your TBR stack?



  • Reply
    January 3, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    That’s quite a list, there. I’ll be picking up Jeff Parker’s ‘The Jaguar’, Stephen Blackmore’s ‘City of the Lost’, and oh… maybe that guy named Crais finally doing the novelization of that 2008 Liam Neeson movie, TAKEN. What? That’s not what the story is about? Hmm… Okay, I’ll still pick that up along with the new Walter Mosley mystery (even though I’m one book behind on the Leonid McGill series).

    p.s., you going to Mysterious Galaxy in Redondo Beach for Stephen’s book signing this Friday?

  • Reply
    Eric Beetner
    January 3, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    This is exactly why I don’t do challenges either. Like you said, I like my reading to be enjoyable and stress-free. Probably why I have some 2008 releases still in the stack . . .

  • Reply
    January 4, 2012 at 7:48 am

    Dear God, woman–that’s a challenge if ever there was one!! Dying to know what you think of THE WHISPERER. I’m halfway through START SHOOTING and am loving it. If you find you need help, I’d happily take the Parker and Mosley off your hands ;))

  • Reply
    Holly West
    January 4, 2012 at 7:55 am

    My challenge this year is 50 books total. There’s no way I could read as many books as you do–I wish I could. CITY OF THE LOST is on my January list though. Currently reading GHOSTS OF BELFAST which has been on my TBR pile for 2 years. That’s just how I roll.

  • Reply
    January 4, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Great list, but much too stressful for me. My best was 12 books in one week during a staycation 2 summers ago. Won’t try to beat that any time soon! Happy reading!

  • Reply
    Jen Forbus
    January 4, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    First of all, I will bow down to you for reading 9 print books this month! Sometimes I read 9, but only if that includes my audiobooks as well.

    Some of your titles are in my stack: the Walter Mosley and Stef Penny I hope to read. A couple I’ve already read, the Charlie Newton and Donato Carrisi.

    The next one up in my queue is actually a book called Q. But one of my goals for this year is to fit in at least a few mystery YA books to provide some content for younger readers who might stumble past my blog! We’ll see how that works out.

  • Reply
    Pop Culture Nerd
    January 4, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    le0pard13—Haha! Crais’s novelization of that movie not only improves on it, it alters the plot completely. I just found out I won’t be able to attend Stephen’s event this Friday. Will you go and report back? I also looked up Jeff Parker’s book tour and he won’t be anywhere near me. Might have to just catch him at the book festival in April.

    Eric—I have a few two- and three-year-old titles in my stack, too. This is why I wish I could read while I sleep.

    Erin—I’ve had two others tell me THE WHISPERER is terrifying, which makes me excited to read it. With all the lights on, of course. And I’d be happy to lend you the Parker and Mosley if you promise to reenact them for me afterward, complete with props and costumes and stunts.

    Holly—I really need to read that book, and COLLUSION, too. I’ve seen Stuart Neville speak two or three times now and he’s always fascinating. Are you liking GHOSTS?

    Jann—I remember your twelve-books-in-one-week accomplishment. My hat’s off to you. I think my eyeballs would explode.

    Jen—You must read more than I do since you read 98 last year while I ended up somewhere near 80 (I lost my list a couple months ago but remember having 72 on it before it disappeared). What did you think of THE WHISPERER? I think it’s a great idea for you to provide some mystery content for younger readers! Which books are you thinking of covering first?

    • Reply
      January 4, 2012 at 1:02 pm

      I’m going on Friday to pick up the book and see Stephen (plus, to check out the new Myst Galaxy book store in Redondo Beach). I was planning to see Jeff Parker when he’s at Vroman’s in Pasadena on the 14th.

      • Reply
        Pop Culture Nerd
        January 4, 2012 at 1:41 pm

        D’oh! Somehow I missed that listing for Vroman’s. Will see if I can make it. Thanks!

  • Reply
    January 4, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Slow and steady wins the race, PCN. Just keep turning the pages, you’ll get there. Yes, I realize I just said the same thing twice.

  • Reply
    jenn aka the picky girl
    January 4, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    I have that Dave Barry book on audio and need to read it. The Rook has an awesome cover!

    Just like you – I try to steer clear of challenges because of the self-imposed pressure. Think I’ll stick with that. 🙂

  • Reply
    Tea Time with Marce
    January 4, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    The 9 I was thinking wow but good for you and then you added Dec and Feb reads, overwhelmed I am for you 🙂 I do yearly challenges, monthly will send me over the edge for sure.

    Enjoy the reads

    (whispering – don’t bother with Hunger Games until the movie comes out)

  • Reply
    Pop Culture Nerd
    January 5, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    EIREGO—Slow is the operative word here.

    jenn—If the authors are reading LUNATICS, it should be hilarious!

    Marce—Overwhelmed, too, I feel (I love Yodaspeak).

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