The 50 Book Pledge: 2015

I’ve always loved books.

At age 4, I convinced by Mom to read me The Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. At first she tried to explain that I wouldn’t like the books because there were no pictures, but I’d been inexplicably drawn to the light-blue boxed set on the top shelf in our basement, & boy was she wrong! I fell in love and happily listened to Laura’s stories of growing up in the woods, adventuring in the wagon with Pa, Ma, & Mary, teaching in a one room school house, & meeting Almanzo Wilder.

“I owe everything I am and everything I will ever be to books.”

— Gary Paulsen

By Grade 2 I was reading Anne of Green Gables on my own, and could easily polish off several short chapter books in a day. Scholastic book orders were even better than the Sear’s catalogue at Christmas time! I will never forget the $5 garage sale box my Mom picked up at the arena during a fundraiser one summer. It was filled with Babysitter Club & Little Sister books that I consumed at a rapid pace. Remember the adventures of Kristy & Claudia & Hanny & Nancy?  Good times.

Fast forward to university and my love of reading made English an obvious choice for my major. Unfortunately, pursuing an English major can put reading for pure enjoyment on the back burner. Don’t get me wrong, I loved many of the novels and short stories I read in university, but having a book assigned is never the same as picking one to read on your own.

In 2015, the 50 Book Pledge forced me to reclaim my love of reading for pleasure. I threw conventions out the window. I banished the guilt I used to feel for reading anything “less” than literary fiction. I read graphic novels. I smaryannkubscribed to audible and began listening to audibooks as I worked in the garden or tackled a long road trip. I tried manga (for the first and last time). I read books that were, quite frankly, forgettable. I read books I wanted to recommend to every human being by standing on the rooftops and shouting, “This story is amazing. It’s life-changing! Read this book!” I even re-read favourites from my childhood. I read because it was fun again!

Curious? Check out the complete list of my 50 book pledge reads below, search the #50bookpledge hashtag on Twitter, or creep the archive of my twitter feed (@kirsten61), as I tweeted about my reading adventures throughout the year. gosetharper

P.S. I hummed & hawed for a few days about what kind of reading challenge I should try in 2016, & I settled on the 50 Book Pledge again. I’d love for you to join me! To sign-up visit

  1. Mr. Hockey By Gordie Howe
  2. An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield
  3. Say What’s Real By Melissa Molomo
  4. Unbroken By Laura Hillenbrand
  5. The Bean Trees By Barbara Kingsolver
  6. Into Thin Air By John Krakauer
  7. The Hound of the Baskervilles Graphic Novel Adaptation By Sir Author Conan Doyle
  8. The Ash Garden By Dennis Bock
  9. Room By Emma Donoghue
  10. Festive in Death By J.D. Robb
  11. When God was a Rabbit By Sarah Winman
  12. The Trouble with Alice By Olivia Glazebrook
  13. The Cellist of Sarajevo By Steven Galloway
  14. Saga By Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
  15. Prodigal Summer By Barbara Kingsolver
  16. The Contender By Robert Lipsyte
  17. Under the Banner of Heaven By John Krakauer
  18. I Am Hutterite By Mary-Ann Kirkby
  19. Survival Tips for New Teachers By Cheryl Miller Thurston
  20. Skim By Mariko & Jillian Tamaki
  21. American Sniper By Chris Kyle
  22. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks By Rebecca Skloot
  23. GENIUS By Seagle & Kristiansen
  24. Alice in the Country of Hearts By QuinnRose
  25. Moonwalking with Einstein By Joshua Foer
  26. Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hope & Miracles By Amy Newmark & Natasha Stoynoff
  27. Secrets of a Hutterite Kitchen By Mary-Ann Kirkby
  28. David Thompson: A Life of Adventure & Discovery By Ella Andra-Warner
  29. Masters of True Crime: Chilling Stories of Murder & the Macabre Edited By R. Barri Flowers
  30. Go Set a Watchman By Harper Lee
  31. The Keeper By Suzanne Woods Fisher
  32. Animal Farm By George Orwell
  33. Brian’s Hunt By Gary Paulsen
  34. Julie of the Wolves By Jean Craighead George
  35. The Wave By Todd Strasser
  36. Charlotte’s Web By E.B. White
  37. Turn Homeward, Hannalee By Patricia Beatty
  38. Anya’s Ghost By Vera Brosgol
  39. No Stone Unturned: The True Story of the World’s Premier Forensic Investigators By Steve Jackson
  40.  Friends with Boys By Faith Erin Hicks
  41. Death Sentence: The True Story of Velma Barfield’s Life, Crimes, & Punishment By Jerry Bledsoe
  42. Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas Magic By Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, & Amy Newmark
  43. Christmas with Anne & Other Holiday Stories By L.M. Montgomery
  44. The Birth House By Ami McKay
  45. A Cedar Cove Christmas By Debbie Macomber
  46. A Christmas Carol By Charles Dickens
  47. James & the Giant Peach By Roald Dahl
  48. Missing Wives, Missing Lives By JJ Slate
  49. Resistance: Book 1 By Carla Jablonski & Leland Purvis
  50. Til’ Death do us Part: A Collection of Newlywed Murder Cases By JJ Slate



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