A Gamer Geek's Cogitations, Conjectures and other Cortical Experiences

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Biggs 2024 Goals

Ahh, the notorious goals (or more colloquially known as resolutions). I will cover the usual three main areas of focus: Technical Skills, Reading Challenge, and Wellness. I’m hoping for a little more diligence on my part to really focus on all of these goals. I did pretty well last year but there were a couple of bumps along the way. So let’s set those 2024 goals, shall we?

2023 Goodreads Reading Challenge

The reading challenge goal was 12 books and I missed it by about 150 pages. If I hadn’t decided to watch the ball drop on New Year’s Eve I might have finished the last few pages. Oh well, it’s close enough for me to let it go. Be that as it may, here are the eleven books I did manage to finish for the 2023 Goodreads reading challenge (** indicates a book I’ve read before).

2023 Goodreads Reading Challenge badge
  • Storm Front** by Jim Butcher
  • Winter** by Marissa Meyer
  • Throne of Glass by Sarah Maas
  • Eragon** by Christopher Paolini
  • Crown of Midnight by Sarah Maas
  • Eldest** by Christopher Paolini
  • Heir of Fire by Sarah Maas
  • Brisingr** by Christopher Paolini
  • Queen of Shadows by Sarah Maas
  • Inheritance** by Christopher Paolini
  • Tower of Dawn by Sarah Maas

2022 Goodreads Reading Challenge

I just came in under the wire for my 2022 Goodreads reading challenge (I literally read the last page of the last book 2 hours before midnight). If you happened to read my 2021 reading challenge recap I read 16 books that year. You will notice the list below only has 12 books. Why so few? Two of the books on the list combined for a total of almost 2,000 pages. I knew, by reading those books, it was going to affect my total for the year. Therefore I decided to be a little more reasonable with my goal.

Here is my 2022 Goodreads reading challenge list (** indicates a book I’ve read before):

  • Traitor by Clare Farrell
  • Kubrick’s Game** by Derek Taylor Kent
  • To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini
  • Skin Game by Jim Butcher
  • The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
  • Peace Talks by Jim Butcher
  • Cinder** by Marissa Meyer
  • Battle Ground by Jim Butcher
  • Scarlet** by Marissa Meyer
  • The Big Dark Sky by Dean Koontz
  • Cress** by Marissa Meyer
  • Empire Strikes Back From A Certain Point of View by various authors

2021 Goodreads Reading Challenge

I belong to something of an online book club called Goodreads for about 8 years. It’s now owned by Amazon but the essence of Goodreads hasn’t gone away. Every year the websites offers members to commit to a yearly reading challenge. My 2021 reading challenge was to read 15 books. Here are the books I completed.

2021 Reading Challenge - Harry Dresden

Cloak of Deception by James Luceno
Turn Coat by Jim Butcher
Changes by Jim Butcher
Ghost Story by Jim Butcher
King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
Redshirts by John Scalzi
Fire & Sword by Dylan Doose
Queen’s Shadow by E.K. Johnston
Thirst by Claire Farrell
Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo
Taunt by Claire Farrell
Tempt by Claire Farrell
Cold Days by Jim Butcher
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker by Rae Carson
Taken by Claire Farrell
Taste by Claire Farrell

Sweet Sixteen

If you’re keeping track at home, that list contains 16 books. I finished my reading challenge, exceeded it by one, and all before December 31st. Also, if you have a keen eye, I’m sure you noticed several books by Jim Butcher and Claire Farrell. The books by Jim Butcher shouldn’t be a surprise. I’m still working my way through The Dresden Files; but who is Claire Farrell.

My wife and I each have a Kindle and they connect to the same Kindle library. My wife added several books by Claire Farrell, and six of those books are the Ava Delaney series. Thirst, Taunt, Tempt, Taken, Taste and Traitor make up the series. As you can probably guess, I’m currently reading the last book, Traitor. Ava Delaney is a hybrid; she’s part human, part vampire. If you’re interested in a slightly different perspective on vampire lore, put aside what you know and check out these books. They are decent fantasy.

I read two books I’ve been wanting to read for a while: Redshirts and the novelization of The Rise of Skywalker. I always enjoy reading the books that accompany the films because they help provide more details and answer some questions. If you are a Star Trek fan then I would encourage reading Redshirts. I was pretty lazy this year and did not review all of these books, but I did write one for this book. If you’re trying to decide, I encourage you to check out my review.

That’s all for now. I will discuss my 2022 reading challenge plans in another post.


diablo3-reading“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” 
– Dr. Seuss

2019 Reading Challenge – Redemption!

My 2019 Reading Challenge was 15 books. The past couple of years I struggled to meet a 15 book reading challenge. My theory that I will be reading the Harry Dresden books this year will help. It was an absolute success! In fact I came within 30% of 16 books. I’m still setting my goal to 15 books again this year since I might choose a couple of longer books to read.

While I wasn’t a slacker on reading books this year, I was terrible about writing reviews. In fact of the 15 books I read, I only wrote reviews for a couple of them. I’ll try to be a little more diligent about writing reviews for new books I read. Granted there may be a few books I will re-read this year and I rarely write a review about books I’ve already read.

My 2019 Reading Challenge Book List

Below is my list of books I read for the Reading Challenge. You can click on those that are links to read the review of the book. If I did not write a review and/or you have a question about a book or want to talk about a book on this list, please leave a comment. Also, below the list, is my 2019 pick for the Best Read.

  • The Straggler’s Mask” by Juho Pohjalainen
  • “The Phoenix Project” by Gene Kim
  • “Summer Knight” by Jim Butcher
  • Star Wars: Leia, Princess of Alderaan” by Claudia Gray
  • Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View” by Ben Acker
  • “Six of Crows” by Leigh Bardugo
  • Before the Storm” by Christie Golden
  • “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkein
  • “Crooked Kingdom” by Leigh Bardugo
  • “Death Masks” by Jim Butcher
  • “Star Wars: Last Shot” by Daniel Jose Older
  • “Extinct” by R.R. Haywood
  • “Blood Rites” by Jim Butcher
  • “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” by Jason Fry
  • “Night Train to Rigel” by Timothy Zahn

My Pick for the 2019 Best Read

I didn’t know which book I want to pick for 2019. I really enjoyed nearly all of these books (“The Straggler’s Mask” being the lowest one on the list). The book I re-read this year was “The Hobbit”, which I haven’t read since high school. Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows series is really great and, allegedly, she has confirmed there will be a third book. Anyone that works in the IT field either as a developer, operations, or project management, “The Phoenix Project” is a must-read. The final book of RR Haywood’s Extracted Trilogy was very satisfying and I’m loving Harry Dresden.

So where does that leave us? I really wish I had read “Before the Storm” before the Battle for Azeroth expansion launched. “Night Train to Rigel” is the first book in Timothy Zahn’s Quadrail series so I’m still getting into that. I know it comes off as favoritism to pick a Star Wars book considering how much of a Star Wars fan I am. Despite all that, I think I have to go with “Leia, Princess of Alderaan” as the 2019 Best Read. We already know how much of an amazing character Leia is, and this book fuels that idea.

I also picked this book because it is now 3 years since we lost Carrie Fisher, and The Rise of Skywalker closes a chapter on Leia’s story. Therefore this choice also pays homage to one of the most extraordinary characters of the Star Wars Universe.

diablo3-reading“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
– Dr. Seuss


2018 Reading Challenge – Fail!

The 2018 Reading Challenge was 12 books. Since I barely missed 15 books from 2017, I actually started the year at 15 again thinking I could easily complete it. Half way through the year I was nearly 4 books behind so I reduced it down to 12 books.

I wish there is some brilliant excuse I could use to explain why I only read 9 books. I hit a huge lull late in the summer, which is right around the time I got a new First Reads book from Goodreads. Little did I know that book is over 600 pages. When it’s past June I rarely try to start a book that long so late in the year.

My 2018 Reading Challenge Book List

At any rate, below you will see the list of books I did read in 2018. I tried to write a review for all of them so feel free to click on the name if you’re curious about my thoughts. Below the list is the book I chose as the 2018 Best Read.

My Pick for the 2018 Best Read

Picking the best read for 2018 is difficult. These are 9 excellent books to choose from so its hard to pick just one! I want to go with Timothy Zahn, the man, the myth the legend. However, picking Timothy Zahn won’t work because 1) I read two of his books and I can’t pick just one; and 2) it’s Timothy frakking Zahn! It also wouldn’t be fair to pick Ready Player One because I re-read that one and I’d prefer to pick something that I hadn’t read before.

So there are the immersive worlds and cultures of the Olympus Union and the Shadowhunters, the suspenseful time travel of Executed or the remaining Star Wars books. It’s hard to pick one but I feel obligated to do so. I really enjoyed reading about Phasma’s origin and Ahsoka is my absolute favorite Jedi Padawan. However I’ve always had a soft spot for Ventress so learning more about her as written by Christie Golden is serendipitous. It is for that reason that I chose Dark Disciple as the 2018 best read.

FWIW, I recommend reading every book on this list!

diablo3-reading“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
– Dr. Seuss


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