Reading Challenges & Resolutions for 2016

Hello 2016! I can’t quite get used to the idea that a new year has begun. Usually I feel the new year brings a fresh new start, but this year (understandably) my mind is just not ready yet.

Anyway, I finally got around to looking at reading challenges for 2016. And inspired by my fellow bloggers I also decided to write down a few resolutions!


  • Get my TBR down to 250 books.
    Ah, that eternal blasted TBR! In 2015, I purged many of my books during KonMari. I have since bought more books than I care to admit (but I swear they all spark joy!). My TBR is now at 287. In order to get it down to 250 I have to read plenty of books from my shelves, and not buy too many new ones… We’ll see what happens.
  • Bring my blog back to life.
    My poor neglected blog. During the last few months I posted no more than a monthly wrap-up, it seems. I want to write more reviews and other book-related posts.
  • Be a social blogger once more.
    I really miss hanging out with fellow bloggers. I have a ton of marked blog posts in Feedly that I still want to comment on, and I want to be active in challenges again. For those who don’t follow me on Twitter yet, I’m @brilliantreads. And if you’ve stumbled upon my blog, do leave a comment and I’ll come check out your blog! <3

I also have a few minor unofficial reading challenges I’m setting for myself:
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Top Ten of 2015

Unlike last year, when I gave you top tens for all my favourite genres, this year I’ll just give you my overall top ten of favourite books for 2015! Making this top ten was actually not that easy. Although there were a lot of 4 and 5 star books last year (44 out of 63!), I somehow feel not that many books really stood out, if that makes sense? Despite that, I read a lot of excellent books and was able to make a top ten, so here is my list of books I’d wholeheartedly recommend!

Harry Potter The Dark Forest The Letter for the King Slade House Read Real Japanese Fiction

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2015 Reading Stats

Ah, 2015. Definitely a year of highs and lows and very few inbetweens. The year started calmly, then I went through a period of a few months were I was exhausted and unfocused, then things got better and the last three months were great fun! I was looking forward to some quiet time during my Christmas break, to recharge and start 2016 afresh. But nope, the end of the year turned into a small nightmare with serious water damage to my home (everything fixable, thankfully, but repairs will take weeks). What a start of 2016, sigh.

As for reading, I once again set out to read 52 books. I was already halfway there in April, but soon I slowed down. In the end I did adjust my reading challenge to 60, and ended up reading 63 books (I finished 2 books on the last day of the year, hah).

This is what Goodreads looked like for 2015:

Goodreads Challenge 2015

You can see all the books I read in 2015 here, or you can take a look at my Goodreads Year in Books.

And here are my reading stats for 2015:
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[Review] きまぐれロボット by Shin’ichi Hoshi

[Review] きまぐれロボット by Shin’ichi Hoshiきまぐれロボット (The Whimsical Robot) by Shin'ichi Hoshi
Published by Kadokawa on 2006 (first published 1972)
Genres: Science fiction
Pages: 215
The verdict: three-half-stars
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Shin’ichi Hoshi (1926-1997) is considered to be one of Japan’s most influential science fiction writers of all time… but he’s not very well known among western readers, I think. A few of his works have been translated and are available as e-book, including this little book. You can find out more about Hoshi here.

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[Review] Read Real Japanese Fiction

[Review] Read Real Japanese FictionRead Real Japanese Fiction: Short Stories by Contemporary Writers by Michael Emmerich, Hiromi Kawakami, Otsuichi, Shinji Ishii, Banana Yoshimoto, Kaoru Kitamura, Yoko Tawada
Published by Kodansha on July 15th 2013 (first published 2008)
Genres: Horror, Japanese literature, Magical realism
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781568365299
The verdict: four-half-stars
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Read Real Japanese Fiction presents short works by six of todays most daring and provocative Japanese writers. The spellbinding world of Hiromi Kawakami; the hair-raising horror of Otsuichi; the haunting, poignant prose of Banana Yoshimoto; even the poetic word-play of Yoko Tawada.

Earlier this year I already reviewed Read Real Japanese Essays. The Fiction version has the same set-up as that book, so I won’t get into that again (check the Essays review for that). The structure of the book just works, and it’s awesome for students of Japanese, the end.

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