How did I do with the reading challenges I undertook this year? Here’s a round-up of my progress, or lack thereof, along with my intentions for next year.
I always do well with the Book Blogger Discussion Challenge, perhaps because I set a reasonable goal for myself (one discussion per month), and so far I haven’t run out of ideas! Here are the topics I discussed this year:
- What books would you like to bring back?
- What books have shaped your view of the world?
- What is fiction for?
- Are you going to Book Expo?
- What’s in your personal canon?
- Would you like to contribute a post for Witch Week?
- Do you read in other languages?
- Why do I not read contemporary fiction?
- What are your favorite Arthurian books?
- Have I gone off fantasy?
- What makes a nonfiction favorite?
- Can a book change your mind?
With the Back to the Classics challenge, I fell short of reading from all twelve of Karen’s categories, but I certainly enjoyed what I did read. I made it to nine (earning two entries in the challenge giveaway) and am currently reading one more book which would count for pre-1800 (Don Quixote). I hope to finish DQ by the end of the year, but don’t think I’ll be able to post a review by then. Here are the categories and what I read:
- A 19th Century Classic – Frankenstein
- A 20th Century Classic – Scaramouche
- A classic by a woman author – A Fugue in Time
- A classic in translation – Season of Migration to the North
- A classic published before 1800 –
- A romance classic – Troy Chimneys
- A Gothic or horror classic – My Cousin Rachel
- A classic with a number in the title –
- A classic about an animal or which includes the name of an animal in the title – The Lark
- A classic set in a place you’d like to visit – The King Must Die/The Bull from the Sea
- An award-winning classic – The Winged Girl of Knossos
- A Russian Classic –
I challenged myself to read the New York Times list of Six Books To Understand Trump’s Win, and am super impressed that I did it! You can find my reviews of these titles, plus Dark Money (which in my opinion belonged on that list), in my Trying to Understand posts.
Now, Mount TBR! I started out strong and on target with my goal of 60 books, but floundered in the middle and gave up. Next year I’m going to deal with this goal differently, given that I seem to have the most energy for it in the first months of the year. I did read 34 books from my list and am working my darnedest to finish #35, the aforementioned Don Quixote, which is actually a pretty impressive result.
- The Blackthorn Key – Kevin Sands
- Bronze and Sunflower – Cao Wenxuan
- Carry On, Mister Bowditch – Jean Latham
- The Chemical Wedding by Christian Rosencreutz – John Crowley
- The Dispossessed – Ursula K. LeGuin
- Esperanza Rising – Pam Munoz Ryan
- Everyone Belongs to God – Christoph Blumhardt
- Excellent Women – Barbara Pym
- A Fugue in Time – Rumer Godden
- The Gilded Chalet – Padraig Rooney
- The Goose Girl – Shannon Hale
- Hell and High Water – Tanya Landman
- I Was a Stranger – John Haskett
- It Ends with Revelations – Dodie Smith
- The King Must Die – Mary Renault
- Life at Blandings – P.G. Wodehouse
- The Little Grey Men – B.B.
- Mansfield Park Revisited – Joan Aiken
- Midnight Is a Place -Joan Aiken
- A Month in the Country – J. L. Carr
- The Morning Gift – Eva Ibbotson
- My Cousin Rachel – Daphne Du Maurier
- One Half from the East – Nadia Hashimi
- The Return of the Native – Thomas Hardy
- Season of Migration to the North – Tayeb Salih
- Sidney Chambers and The Shadow of Death – James Runcie
- Smoky-House – Elizabeth Goudge
- Sophie Someone – Hayley Long
- The Spirit Within Us – Evelyn Capel
- Towers in the Mist – Elizabeth Goudge
- Troy Chimneys – Margaret Kennedy
- The Transcendental Murder – Jane Langton
- Why on Earth? – Signe Schaefer
- Wild Strawberries – Angela Thirkell
With Lark’s Backlist Reader Challenge, I read only one book out of my goal of ten (An Unnecessary Woman). Oh, plus I read The Little Grey Men aloud to my son. I like the idea of this challenge but I just had too many balls in the air at once.
I’ve already summarized my results from the Around the World project. I’m pleased with my progress on this one, perhaps because I had no particular goal for the year to meet or fall short of. A lesson for the future?
With that in mind, a challenge of mine for 2018 is going to be taking on fewer challenges. (Famous last words, right?)
I’m going to carry on with the Classics Club, but not do Back to the Classics. I’m going to continue Reading All Around the World, but not have a particular target for Mount TBR. My Backlist Reading will have to take a back seat for now too.
The Book Blogger Discussion Challenge isn’t really a reading challenge, and I love having discussions on my blog so it’s something I would do anyway. The linkups provided by the challenge hosts are a great help for connecting with other bloggers, and to me that’s the main point of the exercise.
One new challenge I do want to take on is the Chapter-a-day Les Miserables readalong. I just can’t resist the idea of reading a chapter a day of a single book for an entire year. Will it be too slow for me? Will I lose momentum? Or will it make the book feel more like part of my life than reading usually does? I can’t wait to find out!
What challenges have you undertaken this year, and how do you feel about them? What are you excited about for next year?