reading challenges

Books of 2018

Here are all the books I’ve read this year. This year, to make things interesting, I’ve signed up for a few challenges; these are Beat the Backlist, A to Z Reading and Monthly Motifs and you can find out more about the challenges here. I will also continue to make my way through my Read the World Challenge this year and once again I’ve set my goal to read 50 books and to review at least half of what I read. You can find out more about what I’m reading on my Twitter or Goodreads.

Without further ado, here’s what I’m reading in 2018! Any titles with asterisks are rereads and if it has a link that goes to my review.

January:
Artemis – Andy Weir
City of Clowns – Daniel Alarcón and Sheila Alvarado
So Long a Letter – Mariama Bâ
Gould’s Book of Fish: A Novel in Twelve Fish – Richard Flanagan
A Certain Woman – Hala El Badry
Flame in the Mist – Renée Ahdieh

February:
And the Mountains Echoed – Khaled Hosseini
Crazy Rich Asians – Kevin Kwan
Zorro – Isabel Allende
Heidi – Johanna Spyri

March:
All Day at the Movies – Fiona Kidman
– The Knife of Never Letting Go – Patrick Ness
Reading the Ceiling – Dayo Forster
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage – Haruki Murakami
The Hotel Tito – Ivana Bodrožić
– Animal Farm – George Orwell
– The Life and Loves of a He Devil – Graham Norton

April:
The Devils’ Dance – Hamid Ismailov
Raffles: The Amateur Cracksman – E.W. Hornung
– The Ask and the Answer – Patrick Ness
The Nowhere Girls – Amy Reed
Boy: Tales of Childhood – Roald Dahl
– Monsters of Men – Patrick Ness

May:
Othello – William Shakespeare
Queens of Geek – Jen Wilde
One Day I will Write About This Place – Binyavanga Wainaina
Goldfinger – Ian Fleming
Love, Hate and Other Filters – Samira Ahmed

June:
Bleak House – Charles Dickens
I’m Travelling Alone – Samuel Bjork
– The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson
– The City of Brass – S.A. Chakraborty
Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash – Eka Kurniawan
Who Runs the World? – Virginia Bergin
A Thousand Perfect Notes – C.G. Drews
– Nyxia – Scott Reintgen
Kartography – Kamila Shamsie
– I Stop Somewhere – T.E. Carter
– Light Years – Kass Morgan

July:
DeNiro’s Game – Rawi Hage
Smaller and Smaller Circles – F.H. Batacan
The Last Gift – Abdulrazak Gurnah
Summer Is My Favorite Season: A Memoir of Childhood and War in Kosovo – Ilir Berisha
Never Stop Walking: A Memoir of Finding Home Across the World – Christina Rickardsson

August:
– The Princess Diarist – Carrie Fisher
Fish Soup – Margarita García Robayo
The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
Thirty Days – Annelies Verbeke
Negative Space – Luljeta Lleshanaku

September:
La Bastarda – Trifonia Melibea Obono
– Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
– I Capture the the Castle – Dodie Smith
One Would Think The Deep – Claire Zorn
Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng
The Murders in the Rue Morgue – Edgar Allan Poe
Tales of Suspense: Hawkeye & the Winter Soldier – Matthew Rosenburg, Travel Foreman, Rachelle Rosenburg

October:
– Be a Sloth – Sarah Ford and Anita Mangan
Jessica Jones Volume 1: Uncaged! – Brian Michael Bendis, Michael Gaydos and Matt Hollingsworth
Fables: Cubs in Toyland – Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha and Gene Ha
The Power – Naomi Alderman
Lala – Jacek Dehnel
The Yellow Wallpaper – Charlotte Perkins Gilman
The Sad Part Was – Prabda Yoon
1984 – George Orwell
– Then She Was Gone – Lisa Jewell

November:
The Nimrod Flip-Out – Etgar Keret
Dune – Frank Herbert
Multitudes – Lucy Caldwell

December:
The Garden of Evening Mists – Tan Twan Eng
The Fox Was Ever the Hunter – Herta Muller
The Bone Clocks – David Mitchell
Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Currently reading:
???

Books Read: 72/52
Books Reviewed: 55/26

Book titles in italics are just suggestions for now as to what I might read for the challenge – it’s not set it stone.
The A to Z Reading Challenge is to read a book beginning with each letter of the alphabet during the year.
A – Artemis – Andy Weir
B – Boy: Tales of Childhood – Roald Dahl
C – City of Clowns – Daniel Alarcón and Sheila Alvarado
D – The Devils’ Dance – Hamid Ismailov
E – Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng
F – Flame in the Mist – Renée Ahdieh
G – Gould’s Book of Fish: A Novel in Twelve Fish – Richard Flanagan
H – The Hotel Tito – Ivana Bodrožić
I – I’m Travelling Alone – Samuel Bjork
J – Jessica Jones Volume 1: Uncaged! – Brian Michael Bendis, Michael Gaydos and Matt Hollingsworth
K – Kartography – Kamila Shamsie
L – Love, Hate and Other Filters – Samira Ahmed
M – The Murders in the Rue Morgue – Edgar Allan Poe
N – The Nowhere Girls – Amy Reed
O – Othello – William Shakespeare
P – The Power – Naomi Alderman
Q – Queens of Geek – Jen Wilde
R – Raffles: The Amateur Cracksman – E.W. Hornung
S – Smaller and Smaller Circles – F.H. Batacan
T – The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
U – Uprooted – Naomi Novak
V – Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash – Eka Kurniawan
W – Who Runs the World? – Virginia Bergin
X – Lala – Jacek Dehnel
Y – The Yellow Wallpaper – Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Z – Zorro – Isabel Allende

Book titles in italics are just suggestions for now as to what I might read for the challenge – it’s not set it stone.
The Monthly Motif Challenge is to read a book that fits a set theme each month of 2018.

JANUARY – Diversify Your Reading
Read a book with a character (or written by an author) of a race, religion, or sexual orientation other than your own.
So Long a Letter – Mariama Bâ

FEBRUARY – One Word
Read a book with a one-word title.
Zorro – Isabel Allende

MARCH – Travel the World
Read a book set in a different country than your own, written by an author from another country than your own, or a book in which the characters travel.
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage – Haruki Murakami

APRIL – Read Locally
Read a book set in, or a main character from, your country, state, town, village
Raffles: The Amateur Cracksman – E.W. Hornung

MAY – Book to Screen
Read a book that’s been made into a movie or a TV show.
Goldfinger – Ian Fleming

JUNE – Crack the Case
Mysteries, True Crime, Who Dunnit’s.
I’m Travelling Alone – Samuel Bjork

JULY – Vacation Reads
Read a book you think is a perfect vacation read and tell us why.
A Thousand Perfect Notes – C.G. Drews

AUGUST – Award Winners
Read a book that has won a literary award, or a book written by an author who has been recognized in the bookish community.
Negative Space – Luljeta Lleshanaku

SEPTEMBER – Don’t Turn Out The Light
Cozy mystery ghost stories, paranormal creeptastic, horror novels.
The Murders in the Rue Morgue – Edgar Allan Poe

OCTOBER – New or Old
Choose a new release from 2018 or a book known as a classic.
Nineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell

NOVEMBER – Family
Books where family dynamics play a big role in the story
Dune – Frank Herbert

DECEMBER – Wrapping It Up
Winter or holiday themed books or books with snow, ice, etc in the title or books set in winter OR read a book with a theme from any of the months in this challenge
The Garden of Evening Mists – Tan Twan Eng

Reading Challenges in 2018

It’s that time of year again where I start finding some interesting challenges and I decide to sign up for a bunch of them. To save space I’m going to put all the challenges I maybe somewhat foolishly sign up for here.

Over on Twitter I saw the hashtag #BeatTheBacklist doing the rounds and after checking it out I knew I had to sign up for the challenge.

Beat The Backlist is hosted by Novel Knight and the challenge is to read books during 2018 that were published before 2018 – thus not letting us forget about the potentially awesome books that are sitting on our shelves just because a shiny new release has come out.

My target is to read 30 books published before 2018 – a target I should meet as I the majority of my reading is “older books” and my physical TBR is close to 100 hundred books so I’ll have plenty to choose from.

There’s Instagram challenges as well as the chance to win points for your team (I’m a Novel Knight!) if you post reviews of your Backlist Books on your blog/Goodreads as well as on retail websites like Amazon.

Another challenge I’m signing up for is the A to Z Reading Challenge hosted by Ginger Mom Reads. The aim is to read books that start with every letter of the alphabet during 2018. Words like “The”, “A” and “An” don’t count as a title, instead it’s the following word that counts towards a letter, and you don’t have to read books in alphabetical order.

Having a quick look at my physical TBR, I have books for every letter but Q, X and Y at the moment, so this challenge is doable. Plus, you have one “Freebie” you can use for a letter that you can’t find a book for. So for example, if I couldn’t find a book I wanted to read that began with X, I could choose any other book beginning with any letter and put it as my X read. A Freebie can only be used once so I better make it count.

The final challenge I’m signing up for (at the moment anyway) is the Monthly Motif Reading Challenge hosted by Girlxoxo. This challenge is to read a book that fits the assigned motif or theme for each month. I like how each theme is pretty broad so there’s a lot of choice when it comes to deciding what books to read while still making it a challenge.

Mid-Year Reading Update

We are over half way through 2016 (obligatory, how on earth did that happen?! statement) so as I did an update on my film-watching goals of the year, I thought I should have a look how my reading is doing. I had four main reading goals for this year so without further ado, let’s see how I’m doing.

Read 40 books
Done! Thanks to the fact I read eight books in ten days while I was at my Dad’s in Spain, I have reached that target and I have currently read 43 books. I honestly didn’t expect to read that many books in the first six months of the year! I’m surprised but happy that I’ve already reached my reading goal – especially because over the past week or so I seem to be in a reading slump as I can’t figure out what I feel like reading. To try and combat that slump I’m reading the unread graphic novels and trade paperbacks comics I have on my shelves, hopefully the shorter, more “easy read” nature of them will get me back into reading.

Have 50 unread books or less on my shelves
This one definitely needs some work. While I have been reading a lot, I also seem to have been buying a lot of books. My TBR at the start of the year had 93 unread books on it and now, after I’ve read books but also bought more, it stands at 80 unread books on my shelves. So unfortunately I need to read 30 more books and not actually buy any more for the rest of the year to reach my goal. I’m not sure if I’ll reach it to be honest. I think I do need to have a look at my bookshelves too see if there’s any books there that I know I’ll never read and then give them a new home at the charity shop.

Review at least 26 books
This challenge is well on its way to being completed. I have currently reviewed 21 books. I have more reviews scheduled to post and, as long as I read some more books over the next six months, I’m pretty sure I will end up reviewing more than 26 books. I’m not sure why but I am actually really enjoying writing reviews this year, I don’t review every book I read and maybe that’s why I’m enjoying the reviewing process, I don’t feel pressured to have definitive thoughts and opinions on every book I read.

Complete the Bookish Bingo
This is a bingo challenge hosted by The Girly Geek to try and get you to read a lot of different books. There are 35 bingo squares or challenges and I have currently completed 20 of them without really trying. I haven’t been concentrating too hard on the challenge as I didn’t want my reading to be too structured or feel like I have to read certain books. So every few weeks or couple of months I go through what I’ve read and see what fits with the various categories – it’s been quite a good way to do it. Hopefully this system continues to work for the rest of the year but I do need to think of a book that has stars on the cover – any suggestions would be much appreciated!

So that’s how my reading is going so far this year. Three out of four goals are doing very well, I just need to stop buying so many books! Did you have any reading goals at the start of the year? If you did, I hope you’re well on your way to completing them!