Of Books and New Year Resolutions


2015 is here and the first week of January is already over. Why is time in such a hurry?

This year, one of my new year resolutions is to expand my horizons and get out of my comfort zone. In every way possible that I can. I remain resolute to saying YES to life’s various experiences and not limit myself in anyway possible. After all, this is my year. I can already feel it.

One of the challenges that I have undertaken upon myself is to read a variety of books that I wouldn’t ordinarily read. I am not proud to admit that I have been reading all the wrong kinds of books all these years. They have been safe, comforting, repetitive and not very imaginative. I haven’t even read the unabridged versions of so many classics that I love. But there you have it, I have even set a boundary for myself in terms of my imagination and where it can take me. Not what the doctor ordered at all.

So trashy books, step aside. Here is the 2015 Popsugar Reading Challenge that will hopefully empower me with more meaning in my life.

2015 reading challenge

I haven’t decided on all the books that I will read from this challenge and will definitely want recommendations from anyone who can help me decide. However, so far I have come up with the following:

1. A book with more than 500 pages. The Secret of Happy Ever After by Lucy Dillon

2. A classic romanceLavender and Old Lace by Myrtle Reed

3. A book that became a movieI Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith. I have already seen the movie adaptation before and you can find my review of the film here.

4. A book published this year. Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin

5. A book with a number in its titleThree Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

6. A book written by someone under 30. Girl Online by Zoe Sugg (This book is in my list despite the fact that it is ghostwritten by someone else.)

7. A book with nonhuman characters. Watership Down by Richard Adams

8. A funny bookThe Man With Two Left Feet and other stories by P.G.Wodehouse

9. A book by a female authorCarrie Pilby by Caren Lissner

10. A mystery or thrillerThe Voice of the Violin by Andrea Camilleri

11. A book with a one-word titleDracula by Bram Stoker

12. A book of short storiesIn a Little Town by Rupert Hughes Kiss Kiss by Roald Dahl

13. A book set in a different country. 

14. A nonfiction bookNo Death, No Fear by Thich Nhat Hanh

15. A popular author’s first book The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

16. A book from an author you love that you haven’t read yet – The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K.Rowling)

17. A book a friend recommendedFifty Shades of Grey by E.L.James (NOT looking forward to this one but Nicole this one’s for you! 🙂 )

18. A Pulitzer Prize-Winning book – The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford by Jean Stafford

19. A book based on a true story. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer 

20. A book at the bottom of your to-read list. There’s a Hippie on the Highway by James Hadley Chase

21. A book your mom loves. Since my mom doesn’t read books in English, I’m going to take up a book that my dad loves which is The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy.

22. A book that scares you. 

23. A book more than 100 years oldAnne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

24. A book based entirely on its cover. My Nine Lives by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala Poor Little Rich Slum by Rashmi Bansal and Deepak Gandhi

25. A book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

26. A memoirMy Point…..And I Do Have One by Ellen Degeneres

27. A book you can finish in a day. Just William by Richmal Crompton

28. A book with antonyms in the titleNight and Day by Virginia Woolf

29. A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit – The Aspern Papers by Henry James

30. A book that came out the year you were born – The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler (1985)

31. A book with bad reviews.

32. A trilogy.  The Perfect Trilogy (Almost Perfect, Just Perfect and Too Perfect) by Julie Ortolon

33. A book from your childhood.  The Three Investigators – The Secret of Terror Castle by Robert Arthur

34. A book with a love triangle. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

35. A book set in the future. All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin

36. A book set in high school. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

37. A book with a colour in the title. The Five Red Herrings by Dorothy L. Sayers

38. A book that made you cry. 

39. A book with magic. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S.Lewis

40. A graphic novel. Blankets by Craig Thompson

41. A book by an author you’ve never read before The Sweetness At The Bottom Of The Pie by Alan Bradley

42. A book you own but have never read.  One Night at the Call Center by Chetan Bhagat

43. A book that takes place in your hometown. I have been looking high and low for a book that is set in my hometown or broadly even in my state but alas, without success! So for this category, I decided to select a book set in my country (haha!). Around India in 80 Trains by Monisha Rajesh

44. A book that was originally written in a different language The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

45. A book set during Christmas. 

46. A book written by an author with your same initials. Surrogate by Tim Adler

47. A playThe Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

48. A banned book. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

49. A book based on or turned into a TV showPride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

50. A book you started but never finished. Goals! by Brian Tracy

The books I’ve mentioned in the list above are all I have never ever read before. I have been reading books in no particular order from this list. So far I have finished two of them and now onto my third. I’ll be posting reviews to keep up with the exciting challenge. 52 books (the two additional ones are part of the trilogy!) in 365 days. Let’s do this!

Update: Any titles that have been stricken through are books I no longer wish to include in my challenge. Replacement titles will be added.

You can email me at thistlesandwhistles@hotmail.com
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16 thoughts on “Of Books and New Year Resolutions

  1. Fimnora Westcaw says:

    What a fabulous idea! I have tended to stick with the same authors, as well. Though, of late, I’ve gone farther and have begun looking at some other authors. I’d love to know (if it would not interfere with your own journey this year), what some of your ‘safe’ books have been.

    Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thistles and Whistles says:

      Hi Fimnora! Thank you for stopping by! Always fun to chat with a fellow blogger. Yes, I don’t mind sharing the kind of books I had been reading earlier. Since the past 3-4 years, I had been reading a lot of mindless chicklit and romance novels. I know these are favored by many and for some time, I got sucked into the same vortex and this complacency was somehow a synonym of my own life as well. Recently, I realised that I was quite left behind since everyone was always talking about some or the other fabulous book they had read. I took up this challenge purely to shake things up for myself and get out of the rut. I have mixed things up in this challenge so if I feel like my reading is becoming too heavy, I will choose an easy, light read next to keep the momentum going. 🙂


  2. Fimnora Westcaw says:

    I agree, it’s great being able to share thoughts! I’ve never personally gotten into reading chicklit, though on the other hand, I love romantic comedy movies. And then combine romance with something like vampires (as in the Twilight movies – never read the books), and I’m revisiting them at least once a year!

    Way back when I was first getting into ‘serious’ reading, I would find an author, and if I liked it, I’d get everything else by them. That way of reading lasted decades. Then I began getting into genres instead of authors. Now, having a kindle, I read almost anything that comes into the Top Free 100 books lol.

    But I do like that idea of shaking it up. But what if you don’t like something you start reading? Would you stick with it, or move on to the next?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thistles and Whistles says:

    I love romantic comedies too! 🙂 I think I realised I was stuck in a rut when the only genre I was reading and watching was light chick lits and chick flicks. Not much of an adventure there.

    I used to read books by my favourite authors only too but unfortunately I wouldn’t experiment with others either – especially back in my teenage years when I would only stick to Nancy Drew and then I progressed to Agatha Christie etc. I still adore Agatha Christie books! She’s definitely the Queen! 🙂

    I do have the same tendency to abandon books if I am not hooked onto them within the first few chapters and move on quickly to another. But for the sake of this challenge and reviewing, I’ve decided to give difficult books a chance and finish them because you never know, the book could turn out differently at the end. The urge to give up a book happened to me a couple of weeks ago when I started reading “The Five Red Herrings by Dorothy L.Sayers” because it was dragging on and on but I finished it. Although I didn’t like it, I had to review it so I urged myself to carry on.

    What kind of books are you currently reading?


  4. sounja says:

    I’m totally determined to do this challenge with you. I am reading the Arabian Nights right now. That is my book with nonhuman characters. Next I will read Uncle Tom’s Cabin. That will be my book written by a female author. So glad you shared this challenge!

    Liked by 1 person

Hi, I would love to hear your thoughts! :)

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