goal five: read 25 books

I think this goal is one of my very favorites.

For me, it’s the most satisfying, most productive, most enjoyable thing of all the things on my list. Because for me, reading is magic– there is magic in the stories, in the best ones at least, just waiting to be opened and connected with, and for this very reason, I keep reading.

I keep reading and reading and reading.

I can’t remember the exact point in which I became a reader. A real reader. The kind of reader that feels the magic. But I do know that it was some point after I graduated college. Crazy, right? It seems hard to believe that it took me nearly 21 years to become a real reader, but it’s the truth. If I had to pick a time and a place, I think it would be on those long T rides to and from work that I first started to believe in the power of books, to see the beauty in the stories.

Besides being a reader of books, I also happen to be a collector of them. I get that from my mother, and for this I am grateful. But being a collector means there are many books in my home that I haven’t even turned the pages of yet. They are waiting patiently on my shelves to be taken down and opened up. Those books up there in the photograph are a few from the unread pile in the collection. They are first up on my “to-read” list so I can place them into the read pile once and for all. As for the others, I’m going to pick them up as they come– choosing ones friends’ recommend, and even those that speak to me from the shelves of local bookstores. I’m not going worry too much about which ones I end up choosing in the end— as long as I read, I’ll be satisfied. {Also, audio books count, too, just to clarify. Books are books!}


My 2013 book list {COMPLETE. 37 books. BOOM.}:

The Night Circus

The Time Traveler’s Wife


The Giver

The Hobbit

The Light Between Oceans

Where’d You Go Bernadette

The Witch of Blackbird Pond

The Tiger Rising

Tuck Everlasting

The One and Only Ivan



The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

I Feel Bad About My Neck- And Other Thoughts On Being A Woman

Beautiful Ruins


If I Stay

The Rules of Inheritance


The Art of Fielding

Me Before You


The Last Child

Eleanor and Park

The Handmaid’s Tale

Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls

Anansi Boys

The Storyteller

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

The Second Summer of the Sisterhood

Girls in Pants

Forever in Blue

Sisterhood Everlasting

A Thousand Mornings

Tiny Beautiful Things // Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar {ALMOST FINISHED!}


And I know I’ve asked before, but if you have any favorites you think I should know about, send them my way, please and thank you. I’m always interested in hearing what you love.

All the books, my friends. All the glorious books.


P.S. I made a favorite list once {and updated it recently}. You can take a look at it here.


  1. Guh, I love this goal! I see some of my faves up there (I read One Hundred Years of Solitude while in Costa Rica, and something about the hot weather lined up perfectly with the story. I recommend that one for the peak of summer, for sure). I’m currently reading The Secret History by Donna Tartt, and it is amazing!!

    I also loved The Marriage Plot and Gone Girl. and if you like short stories, Jenny and the Jaws of Life by Jincy Willett is one very close to my heart. Oh! Also If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This by Robin Black (the title story is heartwrenching!).

    Ok, I’m done… for now! :)

    • Oh, Gone Girl is so good. Crazy, but good.

      As far as the other recs, they’re all new to me… so thank yoU!!

  2. I’m so inspired by your goal! Between a new baby & work I rarely get to read these days but I must make time for it! Hopefully I’ll get some more time this summer. My hands down favorite book is Mikhail Bulgakov’s Master & Margarita. An absolutely mesmerizing read, incredibly thought provoking and it has stuck with me for years. I’m actually considering rereading it!

    • I always think about re-reading books. Ones I my read again list: The Red Tent, Peace Like a River, Harry Potter (all of them!)…

      I’ve not yet heard of Master & Margarita, so thanks for the tip!

  3. I just began “Last Letter from Your Lover” by JoJo Moyes on Audible and I am already so sucked in… It’s set in 1960s London, which in my opinion, couldn’t be more suited to my tastes. Same author as “Me Before You” which I devoured and loved.

  4. yes yes yes! i am on my way over to your favorite list… the count of monte cristo is sooo wonderful. enjoy it!

  5. Martha Stephens says:

    “The Dovekeepers” by Alice Hoffman is an excellent read. It kept me up pretty late several nights in a row :) Reading more is one of my goals for the year as well.

  6. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Anna,
    From your pile in the picture, I read “Tuck Everlasting” when I was student teaching in a 5th grade classroom. They LOVED it and so did I! “The Girls” was excellent and so was “The Dive From Clausen’s Pier”.

    Some of my favorites off the top of my head……..
    “The Dogs of Babel” by Caroyln Parkhurst
    “Pictures of Hollis Woods”
    -Love Elizabeth Berg’s books
    “The Patron Saint of Liars” by Ann Patchett
    “The Secret Life of Bees”
    “The Help”

    Happy Reading!

    • Oh, I love Pictures of Hollis Woods. Read that in grad school and loved it. Also loved The Help. Just wonderful.

      Thanks for all the other book ideas– love a good long list!

  7. I just ordered “Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald” and I’m super excited about it.

  8. Love this goal! Everyone should read more. I just finished “The Dinner” by Herman Koch and thought it was amazing. If you’re interested, I do weekly mini-reviews of what I’m reading, so feel free to check it out!

  9. I love books, but I think I love it even more when other people love books. I enjoyed many of those you photographed. Stargirl’s wonderful. The Things They Carried is too and yet it’s nothing like Stargirl. Their Eyes Were Watching God is a book I read while young. It’s not a favorite of mine, but I like it for being different and for being deep. Anyway, you have great taste in books. I hope you enjoy reading them.

  10. I’m reading “Please Look After Mom,” which was wildly popular in Korea but hasn’t gotten that much press over here. I think you’d really like it; it’s very thoughtful, like your writing style here.

  11. a few of my favorites I recommend:

    1. The Count of Monte Cristo (Honestly one of my faves ever! So keep plugging through! I know it’s long but it just gets better and better!)
    2. Reading Lolita in Tehran
    3. An Invisible Thread
    4. The Language of Flowers
    5. Little Bee
    6. The Forgotten Garden

    ok I could go on & on, but these are some of the ones at the tippy top of my favorite books list. I am a crazy reader so book goals are always my favorite :)


      I loved Little Bee, too. Such a good one.

      And such a great recommendations list. Excited to have this to look back on!

  12. Oh man, I see you have the Tiger’s Wife in your photo. I usually PLOW through books and I could. not. get. through. it. Unfortunately, I’m one of those people that cannot just stop reading a book once I’ve started so it took me about 3 months! so painful. I look forward to hearing if you like it and I’m the crazy one.

    If you want a good series to get lost in for awhile I really recommend the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. It’s historical fiction and is just wonderful!

    • Oh, good to know. Maybe I’ll try to see if the library has an audio book of that one? That’s a good way to get through the harder ones, I’ve discovered!

      And the Outlander sounds great– love historical fiction!

  13. I keep hearing about The Night Circus! I think im gonna add it to my GoodReads list!

  14. can we start a Boston book club?!

  15. Love the way you described reading! There really is something to getting lost in a book. I read Stargirl when I taught middle school and really liked it. Another I read back then was Tangerine which I thoroughly enjoyed.

    I’m currently on book 6 after I went crazy with reading in January & February. Then Treasure Island set me back a bit. My goal was to get through 12 books though (1/month) since I’m such a slow reader.

    Yay reading!

    • How was treasure island? The classics are hard, but I think most of the time worth it.

      And I’m going to look up Tangerine! Love a good YA book!

  16. You’ll have to let me know what you think of The Dive from Clausen’s Pier. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it until I visited New York. Before going to the city, I didn’t think I liked the book, but afterward I felt I understood the main character so much better.

  17. bah! this is the goal of all goals. you knocked off so many of my favorites! i neeeeeed to know your feelings about time travelers. i just was in sobs for weeks over that book……and still am. whoops.

  18. Jacob Have I Loved has been a favorite of mine since I was smaller. Not one you see around too often – a gem!

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