I actually started this post in December, which might say something about how this is going already.
I’m signing up for four reading challenges this year, along with my ongoing Classics Club list, which is going to play a large part in three of the challenges.
My 2022 Reading Challenges:
Read Harder 2022: From the folks at Book Riot, this challenge (now in its 8th year) is “designed to help you break out of your reading bubble and expand your worldview through books.” I managed 22/24 tasks in 2021, largely thanks to a big push in December. Goal for 2022: spread the effort out a bit more.
Mount TBR Challenge 2022: Another one I completely dropped in 2021. One thing I did do last year, though, was purchase several of the books I want to read from my Classics Club list, which means they all count toward this goal. I also have at least half a shelf of books received when I was part of a mystery-of-the-month club that I would like to read and then probably donate to the library.
I know. I know. Every December I sign up for a bunch of challenges, and then life happens, and they fall by the wayside. And then it’s December again, and I sign up for another bunch of challenges.
Well, I just can’t help myself.
My 2021 Reading Challenges:
Read Harder 2021: From the folks at Book Riot, this challenge (now in its 7th year) is “designed to help you break out of your reading bubble and expand your worldview through books.” I managed 19/24 tasks in 2020.
2021 Netgalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge: I joined NetGalley in 2011, so I’ve requested a lot of books over the years. NetGalley recommends a feedback ratio of 80%, and mine is (at the end of 2020) a dismal 6%. I would have to give feedback on over 500 books to hit 80% right now, and that’s obviously not going to happen, but I’d like to get to, say, 10%. So, I’ll be aiming for the Silver level (25 books). Wish me luck.
Two weeks ago or so, the Shakespeare 2020 Project came across my social media feeds. It’s been a long time since I read any Shakespeare – not since some really excellent college classes, I think. In fact, it’s even been years since I donated/sold off the various volumes I acquired for said classes.
But y’all know how I love a self-imposed challenge. And I’ve still got Lamb’s Tales on my Classics Club list. (Although, oddly, no Shakespeare on that list.) Of course, I’m already two plays behind. I’ll get caught up on Henry VI before we all move on from part III, and I’m planning to go back and revisit Twelfth Night in December.
Yesterday, I took a bag of books to my local used bookshop to sell (they bought about half of them). Between that and a gift certificate from Christmas, I was able to pick up this lovely three-volume annotated complete works from the 1970s, in its somewhat battered slipcase. They’re not exactly portable, so I’ll be doing most of my reading from them at my desk, but I’m awfully pleased with the purchase.
The Reading Challenges haven’t gone so well for me the last two years. But I’ve once again succumbed to the promise of a brand new year and brand new challenges. Here’s what I’ve got lined up for 2020:
Back to the Classics is hosted by Books and Chocolate. I read two out of 12 last year (and failed to post about either one). Some of the titles I’ve picked for this year are carry-overs from last year’s list.
The Georgian Reading Challenge is hosted by Becky’s Book Reviews. The goal is a minimum of four books – fiction or non-fiction – related to the Georgian era (I’m using the 1714-1830 period – sorry, William IV). I’ve earmarked some possible titles, mostly the same as last year, since I read exactly zero books from the list in 2019.
Remember all those reading challenges for 2019 I was so excited about back in December of 2018? Turns out, 2019 had its own special set of challenges for me. Still, let’s take a look back and see how things went.
January:Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett (Finished: March 8) February:Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb March:Goody Two Shoes by McLoughlin Brothers April:The Children of Green Knowe by L.M. Boston May:The Tale Of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter June:Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne July:The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame August:Tom Brown’s Schooldays by Thomas Hughes September:Tales of Mother Goose by Charles Perrault October:Peter and Wendy by J.M. Barrie November:Raggedy Ann & Andy by Johnny Gruelle December:Nutcracker and Mouse-King by E.T.A. Hoffmann
2019 Middle Grade Reading Challenge (hosted by Becky’s Book Reviews) Goal: 6 or More Books with optional checklist Result: 10/6 (166%) (I know there were more, but I seem to have forgotten to log them somewhere in the middle of the year.)
a Newbery Winner: Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina (finished February 11)
a Newbery Honor: The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock (finished February 14)
realistic/contemporary: Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake (finished February 23)
Author beginning with C: Hurricane Child by Kheryn Callender (finished March 7)
nonfiction: Camp Panda by Catherine Thimmesh (finished March 8)
children’s book published in the 1880s: Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett (finished March 8)
historical fiction: Finding Langston by Lesa Cline-Ransom (finished March 13)
mystery: The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson (finished March 28)
fantasy: Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper (finished December 3)
any book in a series: The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper (finished December 21)
I’m still working on a 2018 Reading Challenge wrap-up, but I’m already looking forward to these new challenges. This year, I’ve created separated pages to keep track of most of the challenges, all linked up there in the menu bar.
The Georgian Reading Challenge is hosted by Becky’s Book Reviews. The goal is a minimum of four books – fiction or non-fiction – related to the Georgian era (I’m using the 1714-1830 period – sorry, William IV). I’ve earmarked some possible titles.
The Victorian Reading Challenge is also hosted by Becky’s Book Reviews, with options of a BINGO card or a checklist of 20 titles, as well as a couple more self-directed themes. I’m going for the checklist. Of course.
Read Harder comes from the fab folks at Book Riot. Some of the 24 tasks are going to be more challenging than others, but I’ve got #14 covered.
The Reading Women challenge comes from the Reading Women podcast. It also has 24 tasks, and some of these will definitely be challenging.
The Official TBR Pile Challenge is hosted by Roof Beam Reader. I’ve already picked out my list of 12 books (plus 2 alternates). I completely forgot about the check-in posts in 2018: another thing to improve on in the new year!
Outside Category Challenges
Blogger Shame Challenge: Hosted at Herding Cats & Burning Soup, this is a challenge meant to nudge those of us who read advance review copies to actually, well, review the books. I’m hoping to improve my NetGalley feedback rating a lot.
Reading Challenge Addict Challenge: If you’ve made it this far down the list, you already know why I’ve signed up for this one. My goal is “On the Roof” (6-10 challenges entered and completed.
Classics Club: I’ve put this in “Outside Category” because it’s a multi-year challenge. I have a list of 50 books that I plan to read before the end of 2023.
How about you? Are you doing any of these challenges? Or different ones?
It’s getting to be that time of year. The time when we (I) look at our valiantly attempted reading challenges, shrug off the incompletes, and look ahead to a fresh new year with fresh new challenges. Finding them really couldn’t be easier, since Feed Your Fiction Addiction has already done the work and compiled a Master List of 2019 Reading Challenges.
The Victorian and Georgian Challenges would combine nicely with my personal Classics Club list. And I’m just tickled by having the option of a list or a BINGO card for the Victorian one. That’s a nice touch right there.
You know what I really (don’t) need? Another reading challenge.
But I’m going to do one anyway.
I heard about Readers Imbibing Peril XIII on the latest episode of the For Real podcast. I am, as ever, late to the party, since the challenge started at the beginning of September.
And what is this challenge, you ask? From the site linked above:
The purpose of the R.I.P. Challenge is to enjoy books that could be classified as:
I think I can make that work. In fact, since I’m so far behind on my personal challenge of reading my entire Doubleday Sherlock Holmes this year, I’m already planning on reading both Hound of the Baskervilles and Valley of Fear this month, so there are two books already. (Yes, I am counting them as two separate “books” even though they’re both in my one massive volume, since I think that’s in the spirit of the challenge.)
I thought that “Celebrity Memoir” would be my next category, but my hold on Mother of Black Hollywood has not yet come in. Instead, I curled up with some cozy mysteries for one task and a fantastic historical romance for another. I recently picked up a copy of the first volume (four issues) of the Black Panther comics written by Ta-Nehisi Coates; the “comic written or illustrated by a person of color” task is likely to be next.