Goodreads Reads: A New Project

Goodreads Reads: A New Project

In my experience, people are happier if they’re working on a project. I’ve blogged about this before. By project, I mean some set of actions that people undertake freely. It’s what collectors do, for instance, or quilters, or runners training for a marathon.

When Goodreads published their list of finalists for best book of the year in fifteen categories, I saw a potential project. I decided to read one book from each category. If I’d already read a book from that category, I’d read another. I thought such a project would help me discover some new books and read a little more widely, even in categories such as romance or horror which I usually walk right on by.

The first category was fiction.

Fiction: What I’d Already Read

I’d already read two books in this category: Someone Else’s Shoes and Yellowface. I enjoyed both books.

Someone Else’s Shoes by Jojo Moyes

Two women accidentally pick up one another’s shoes in a gym and find their lives changing. I read this book for my book club, and the discussion was lively. We particularly appreciated the way the book shows women joining together to achieve a common goal (in this case, revenge, which was fun) even when they don’t necessarily like one another.

Yellowface by R. F. Kuang

Told in first person by a writer who steals a dead writer’s manuscript and publishes it as her own, Yellowface has every bit of horrible behavior you’ve ever seen in writing and publishing. The unreliable narrator is so well done that you start to feel sorry for her, right before she does some other awful thing. It’s like a horror story for writers. I loved it. I’m leading a book club discussion on it in February. We’ll see if the non-writers in the club like it as well.

Fiction: The New Book

The rules I set for my project meant I had to choose another book. I chose The Wishing Game, by Meg Shaffer.

A reclusive writer of children’s books stages a contest whereby four former readers who are now adults vie for possession of the only manuscript of the writer’s new book. For the contest, the characters go to the island featured as the setting of each of the writer’s books and solve riddles. It’s entertaining to try to solve the riddles. Additionally, the cover artist is there producing unconventional art work that’s fun to read about. For me, the first part of the book was slow, but it picked up once they got to the island. The writing is very straightforward. Characters may have secrets, but when they talk, they mean what they say and there’s little subtext, which occasionally makes the book sound simple.

First Project Category, Done!

Onward to the Historical Fiction category!

Join me in this project or find one of your own. I’d be interested to hear what you think of these books, or of this project, or of your own projects.


Glass Girl is a page-turning crime novel set in a fantasy world with a dynamic teen protagonist.”–Windy City Reviews

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