2013 Reading Challenge

A few years ago, I set myself the goal of reading 50 books per year (I’ve written about it before here, and here, and here). Late last year, a friend of mine mentioned reading an article in Marie Claire about the female Bain & Co. Chairman. Amber said this fascinating woman, Orit Gadiesh, reminded her of me. I read the article, and found that Ms. Gadiesh manages to read 100 books per year while successfully chairing one of the most successful consulting practices in the world, traveling extensively and having a family.  Inspired anew, and after a rocky start, I finished 2012 having read 58 new books. For 2013, I decided to up the ante, and increase my goal to 75 books.

I have been doing well so far, and only ten weeks into the year, I recently finished my twentieth book. Here’s my completed list so far by genre:


A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer
The Memoirs of Casanova by Giacomo Casanova
A Song Flung Up to Heaven by Maya Angelou
Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family and Fighting to Get Back on the Board by Bethany Hamilton


The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential by John C. Maxwell
The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness by Stephen R. Covey
The Barefoot Executive: The Ultimate Guide for Being Your Own Boss and Achieving Financial Freedom by Carrie Wilkerson
Fascinate: Unlocking the Secret Triggers of Influence, Pursuation and Captivation by Sally Hogshead
Leadership and Self Deception: Getting Out of the Box by The Arbinger Institute
Shine: Using Brain Science to Get the Best from Your People by Ned Hallowell


Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Dracula by Bram Stoker
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

Contemporary Fiction

A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood


The Talent Code: Unlocking the Secret of Skill in Sports, Art, Music, Math and Just About Everything Else by Daniel Coyle


The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict by The Arbinger Institute
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams and Reaching Your Destiny by Robin S. Sharma
Who Moved My Cheese: An A-Mazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life by Spencer Johnson

About Joya Cousin

A former award-winning telecommunications executive from the gorgeous Caribbean, I now live in France with my husband. I have found my new passion as a visual artist, creating vibrant paintings in a contemporary expressionist style.

8 comments for “2013 Reading Challenge

  1. July 29, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    Great collection of book. I read a few of them. Where do you find all the time to do everything? I have a modest target of 2 books a month, and I sometimes struggle. Anyways, keep up the good work and I look forward to your new posts.

    • September 9, 2013 at 11:34 AM

      Thanks Wayne. I recently finished book number 55 for the year. Reading a lot requires focus and commitment. It also helps that I don’t own a TV. 🙂

      • September 9, 2013 at 11:37 AM

        Good for you Joya. Now I am inspired and feel justified in not owning a TV myself.

  2. July 25, 2013 at 8:38 AM

    I never thought to keep a record of the books I’ve read which is weird since I read so much. I’m reading 3 books right now. Definitely going to keep a record next year and challenge myself the year after. Going to nosy around your site some more, liking what I see.

    • September 9, 2013 at 11:35 AM

      Thanks, Kimolisa, why wait until next year to start keeping a record of the books you read? Just go to goodreads.com and sign up right away! 🙂

  3. April 2, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    Hi Joya!
    Just stumbled upon this while checking out your Twitter… love it!
    How did you find Dracula? It’s one of my very favourite classics.

    • April 7, 2013 at 6:57 AM

      Thanks for stopping by, Julia! I absolutely loved Dracula. I can’t believe it took me this long to get around to reading it! 🙂

  4. March 25, 2013 at 7:26 AM

    FABULOUS Joya! I have Bootcamps going on right now too & I’m preparing to get a new group started in May! So nice to see you’ve set goals, will you be reading Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean IN? Much success to you with achieving ALL your goals! Abundant Blessings from FITNESS Focused FAITH!

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