Reading Challenges 2019

Sure, I might squeeze in another couple of books before midnight on December 31, 2019 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; and I failed one – not miserably but I didn’t complete the target number of books.

Australian Women Writers – I read 32 books by Australian female authors (the target was ten). AWW delivered some amazing novels this year – I enjoyed books by favourite authors, notably  Exploded View by Carrie Tiffany, There Was Still Love by Favel Parrett and The Weekend by Charlotte Wood; and also loved Jenny Ackland’s Little Gods and Ceridwen Dovey’s In the Garden of the Fugitives.

In terms of nonfiction, I thought The Arsonist by Chloe Hooper should have been listed for #ALLTHEPRIZES, and Kate Rossmanith’s memoir, Small Wrongs, is a book I’ve kept thinking about. I’m almost finished Vicki Hastrich’s Night Fishing and I’m wondering how I will write a review that will do this beautiful, reflective memoir justice.

Memoir – I read 21 memoirs (the target was five). Highlights were Rossmanith, White, Krug, Levy, and Hastrich, as well as two books that will make my favourites list for the year – Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb and The Bright Hour by Nina Riggs. I am currently thoroughly enjoying Louis Theroux’s memoir – his warmth, humour and empathy shines (but mostly I just love Louis).

Mount TBR – so I failed… 11 books short of my target of 48. I will be signing up in 2020 though – it keeps me ever-so-slightly reading from what I already own. Happily, this challenge delivered some rippers – LagunaZusak, and Brook (but also my worst book of the year).

20 Books of Summer – I use this mid-year challenge to clear a few hard copies that have been lingering on the TBR stack, although this year I must admit I didn’t stick to my original list, mostly because I was reading for the Melbourne Writers Festival. Highlights? Normal People by Sally Rooney and Putney by Sofka Zinovieff.

Around the World in 80 Books – my third year of an ongoing challenge and I managed to add nine countries to the 19 I covered in 2017 and the 18 I covered in 2018, bringing my total to 46. It’s getting increasingly more difficult! Glancing down the list, my picks for Italy and Czechoslovakia stand out.

As for reading challenges in 2020, I’ll be participating in all of these again and perhaps looking for one or two new ones (A Novel Challenge and GirlXOXO both have lots of suggestions). Are you trying any new challenges?

11 responses

  1. I should do one post rounding up the year like you’ve done, but I’m doing three as I usually do. The first is my AWW one on Monday. (BY the time I finish, everyone will be bored!) I only read 24 this year for the challenge – the least I’ve ever done I think. I’m usually 30-34. BTW I am reading The arsonist now. Wow. I knew I’d love it, and decided yesterday I was going to let those other review copies wait a little more and just read what I wanted to read!

  2. I’m still undecided about whether I do any challenges next year. I’m leaning towards a year completely free of challenges but then I see blog posts like yours with mentions of interesting challenges and then I start to waver…..

    • The reason I like them is that they make me explore my TBR stack, to dive in and find books to fit various categories. That said, I’m not a ‘completist’, so if I don’t finish a challenge I don’t care!

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