2015 Reading Challenge: Final Update

New to the List:

  • East of Eden by John Steinbeck (A book with more than 500 pages)
  • The Hunger Games and Philosophy edited by William Irwin, George Dunn, and Nicholas Michaud (A book you own but have never read)
  • The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes (A book at the bottom of your to-read list)
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare (A play)

And here it is, my final update for the 2015 Reading Challenge

I don’t know if I have said this before, but John Steinbeck is one of my favorite authors of all time. I have read many of his books during my secondary academic career, but I still continue to enjoy him. East of Eden, in my opinion, might be his best book ever. It may be lengthy, but ever word is worth the read. In a previous post I mentioned how I did not like The Hunger Games Trilogy, and while this is still true, I did enjoy reading The Hunger Games and Philosophy. It was very interesting to examine the trilogy from a philosophical standpoint. I like pretty much everything I read, but I have to say The Sense of an Ending was slightly underwhelming for me. I don’t know if it was the plot, or the style of writing, but it was a real struggle for me to get into the story. Finally, I read Hamlet. This was not the first time I have read the amazing play, but I decided to do a bit of a refresher before seeing the great Benedict Cumberbatch play the title character in a live broadcast performance.

Overall, I am very pleased with everything that I have read this year; it was an amazing journey, even if I did not read everything on the challenge list. I have decided that for 2016 I am going to start on the 30 Books You Should Read Before You’re 30 list. Since I have only just turned 22 on Christmas Eve, I am not going to try and cram all 30 of these books into next year (I have eight more years to complete the list after all), so…

As always, I already have a pretty long running list of Books to Read Next, but if anyone has suggestions for other great reads let me know and I will add them to the list 🙂

What I’ve read thus far:


  • I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • The Smith of Wootton Major by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Farmer Giles of Ham by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories by Joseph Gordon-Levitt
  • The Disappeared by Kim Echlin
  • The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
  • Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
  • The Hundredth Monkey by Ken Keyes Jr.
  • The Truth by Michael Palin
  • The Divine Comedy: Inferno by Dante Alighieri
  • The Divine Comedy: Purgatorio by Dante Alighieri
  • Hector and the Search for Happiness by François Lelord
  • The Divine Comedy: Paradiso by Dante Alighieri
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
  • A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin
  • This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
  • A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin
  • A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin
  • An Event in Autumn by Henning Mankell
  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Pearl by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Sir Orfeo by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
  • A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin
  • Then They Came for Me by Maziar Bahari (started Dec. 14 – finished Jan. 15)



  • Then They Came for Me by Maziar Bahari (A memoir)
  • Without You, There Is No Us by Suki Kim (A nonfiction book)
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (A book with a love triangle)
  • I’m Not a Terrorist, but I’ve Played One on TV by Maz Jobrani (A funny book)
  • Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell (A mystery or thriller)
  • The Hours by Michael Cunningham (A Pulitzer Prize-winning book)
  • The Twits by Roald Dahl (A book from your childhood)
  • It’s What I Do by Lynsey Addario (A book that made you cry)
  • Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee (A book published this year)
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (A trilogy)
  • Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (A trilogy)
  • Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (A trilogy)
  • Irish Fairy and Folk Tales by Multiple Authors (A book of short stories)
  • The Ultimate Harry Potter and Philosophy: Hogwarts for Muggles edited by William Irwin and Gregory Bassham (A book a friend recommended)
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (A book with nonhuman characters)
  • Someone by Alice McDermott (A book by a female author)
  • The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemmingway (A book written by someone under 30 – he wrote it when he was 27)
  • The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby (A book you can finish in a day)

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