And just like that, the first month of 2018 is nearly behind us! If the first month is any indication of my reading pace this year, I think I’ll have a pretty successful reading-year! I’ve definitely picked up quite a few books lately that I’m super eager to read so I think I will have no problem continuing to make reading a priority in my life. I think my plan for this year will be to try to hit 320,000 words per month (equivalent of 4 average sized books). I use words as my measurement because I found when I was going just by number of books, I strayed away from reading longer books as it was preventing me from meeting my goals. Last year my goal was 240,000 words per month (3 average sized books). I decided at the last minute, as I was writing this to bump up my goal. So, let’s see what kind of start I’m off to…
Origin by Dan Brown
Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the ultramodern Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend a major announcement—the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever.” The evening’s host is Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old billionaire and futurist whose dazzling high-tech inventions and audacious predictions have made him a renowned global figure. Kirsch, who was one of Langdon’s first students at Harvard two decades earlier, is about to reveal an astonishing breakthrough . . . one that will answer two of the fundamental questions of human existence.
As the event begins, Langdon and several hundred guests find themselves captivated by an utterly original presentation, which Langdon realizes will be far more controversial than he ever imagined. But the meticulously orchestrated evening suddenly erupts into chaos, and Kirsch’s precious discovery teeters on the brink of being lost forever. Reeling and facing an imminent threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape Bilbao. With him is Ambra Vidal, the elegant museum director who worked with Kirsch to stage the provocative event. Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch’s secret. Source
I rekindled my love of Dan Brown’s novels this past summer when I finally read the Lost Symbol. Robert Langdon is a fascinating character and Dan Brown’s research really shines through in these novels. I really enjoyed Origin, so much so that I finished it in basically one sitting on my way home from Paris!
Word Count: 157,905
All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda
It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched.
The decade-old investigation focused on Nic, her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne’s boyfriend Jackson. Since then, only Nic has left Cooley Ridge. Daniel and his wife, Laura, are expecting a baby; Jackson works at the town bar; and Tyler is dating Annaleise Carter, Nic’s younger neighbor and the group’s alibi the night Corinne disappeared. Then, within days of Nic’s return, Annaleise goes missing.
Told backwards—Day 15 to Day 1—from the time Annaleise goes missing, Nic works to unravel the truth about her younger neighbor’s disappearance, revealing shocking truths about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne that night ten years ago. Source
I picked this up on a whim as it was on sale when I was at Chapters during the Black Friday weekend. It looked psychological-thriller-y so I decided to give it a shot. I really enjoyed this one and enjoyed how it unravels the story in reverse. Definitely worth checking out if you are into that genre!
Word Count: 87,725
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
Just after midnight, a snowdrift stopped the Orient Express in its tracks. The luxurious train was surprisingly full for the time of the year. But by the morning there was one passenger fewer. An American lay dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside.
With tension mounting, detective Hercule Poirot comes up with not one, but two solutions to the crime. Source
Since this was recently adapted into a movie I thought I’d give the novel a read as I always enjoy reading a book before seeing the movie. Though I did find it a bit slow at times, I enjoyed the story and seeing how all the clues came together to solve the mystery. I am looking forward to seeing the movie to see the characters come alive on screen!
Word Count: 53,950
Total for January: 299,580
The pink represents the goal for each month(s) and the purple is what I actually read. I didn’t include it this time as it would have been a duplicate, but the final column will show my progress compared to where I should be with my yearly goal (reading 320,000 words per month). As you can see I came REALLY close to meeting my goal for the first month but didn’t quite make it. I’m about half way done a book right now but just couldn’t finish it in time. But, there is always next month!
Have you read any amazing books lately that you would recommend? Let me know in the comments below!