Reading Challenges 2017

Sure, I might squeeze in another couple of books before midnight on December 31, 2017 but I think I can safely draw a line under the reading challenges for the year.

I participated in five challenges this year – finished three; one is ongoing (I made a solid start); and I failed one – not miserably but I didn’t complete the target number of books.

Australian Women Writers – I read 21 books by Australian female authors (the target was ten). Safe to say that lots of what will appear in my Favourite Books for 2017 list came via this challenge (notably the Blain and the Rose).

What’s In a Name – finding a book with cutlery in the title was the hardest part of this challenge (thanks Lisa for the suggestion of Miss Chopsticks) but of the books I read, The Museum of Modern Love was easily my favourite (that fulfilled the category of a book title featuring a building).

20 Books of Summer – I always use this mid-year challenge to clear a few hard copies that have been lingering in the TBR stack. Again, lots of the books I read for this challenge will appear on my Favourites list (I’m certainly looking at you Jennifer Down).

Mount TBR – so I failed… thirteen books short of my target of 48. I will be signing up in 2018 though – it keeps me focused on reading from what I already own. Notably, this challenge delivered my worst book for 2017.

Around the World in 80 Books – my first year of an ongoing challenge and I managed to cover 19 countries. I’m sure this challenge will get more difficult as I go on. Glancing down the list, my pick for Morocco was memorable.

Finally, I started the year with a War & Peace goal… I read fuck-all. I was very excited about reading it in instalments on the Serial Reader app until I realised that the translation was rubbish. I have a hard copy of the book (and I had done some research into which translation I should read) so I guess if I ever read it, I’ll start over with the hard copy. It probably won’t be in 2018.

As for reading challenges in 2018, I’ll be participating in all of these again and perhaps looking for one or two new ones (A Novel Challenge has lots of suggestions). Are you trying any new challenges?

(find the book pencils here)

15 responses

  1. No, I’ve given up on challenges. I have an ongoing project to read all the Nobel winners (novels, that is, not the obscure Swedish poets) and all the Bookers, plus I make a desultory effort every now and again with 1001 Books, but that’s as far as it goes. I like reading on impulse:)

    • I really only do the challenges to focus some of my reading on the books I already own – very occasionally I can’t find a book in the TBR stack to fulfil particular criteria (like Miss Chopsticks!) but the majority come from what I already own (the exception being the Australian Women Writers challenge because I usually read the entire Stella longlist and regularly buy new Aus releases).

  2. My Morocco novel would have been The Naked Lunch, but I knew I’d read another one so I googled Morocco Novel and there, top of the list was Paul Bowles, The Sheltering Sky. And there are three different novels called A Fork in the Road, if that helps.

  3. I failed one of my reading challenges by two books. Two! (They’re both over 500 pages though, so more like four). Tempted to ignore my family and just sit reading for the next few days. I suppose time with family is more important than an arbitrary challenge (she says through gritted teeth). Next year I’m just doing #read harder so that I can keep on top of arcs and new releases.

  4. You did well. I signed up for three last year, Read Scotland, which I filed miserably at, read 9 of 21! And signed up for both era’s on Vintage Covers Scavenger Hunt, completing the Silver era and missing Gold by one book, drafts! Only signing up for two maybe three next year.

    I must have those pencils!

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