December 28, 2017

Looking Back at the Reading Challenges I Joined 2017

reading challenges reflection image

I know reading challenges aren't for everyone and I am doing less of them each year. Yet for me...

  •  they do push me to read books I have sitting on the shelf or 
  • to read books that otherwise I might never read.

So for me reading challenges still have some purpose.  This year I didn't complete some, I turned off the "must complete" button and that was liberating. While I didn't complete some the journey was still worth it.

Challenges I Completed.

Read the Books You Buy   This one helped me focus on what I was buying and what I was leaving on the shelf unread. It has made me more aware. I won't be hosting this challenge in 2018, but I still plan to keep tabs on what I am buying and what I am reading.

Full House Reading Challenge  This is the other reading challenge that I hosted in 2017. This one led me to go back and reread Anne of Green Gables and a middle grade book I had been wanting to read for awhile - Soon by Morris Gleitzman.  So definitely a win.

Better World Reading Challenge.  I took this on into the year, I wasn't certain whether I'd finish but with a little "managing" by reading a few shorter books I made it. And I also cross used some books from other challenges.

  1. A Book Translated.   The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend  Katarina Bivald
  2. More Than 400 pages The Lake House   Kate Morton
  3. A Food Memoir   Dinner With Edward.  Isabel Vincent
  4. A Collection of Short Stories   Artefacts.   Rebecca Burns
  5. A book with colour in the title.   True Blue    Luanne Rice
  6. A book that's more than 100 years old.    Anne of Green Gables. L. M. Montgomery
  7. A book you pick based on cover.    The Book of Summer  Michelle Gable
  8. Set in a place like to visit.   The Cafe by the Sea     Jenny Colgan - islands Nth Scotland
  9. Based on a fairy tale.           Scarlet    Marissa Meyer
  10. A National Book Award winner   The Round House  Louise Erdrich
  11. Takes place in a forest.   In a Dark, Dark Wood.  Ruth Ware
  12. A romance that takes place during travel.   Family Baggage   Monica McInerney
  13. A book under 200 pages     Bridges: A Daphne White Novel. Maria Murname  194 pages
  14. A banned book   A Light in the Attic   Shel Silverstein
  15. A non-fiction book about nature   Life-Size Guide to NZ Native Ferns
  16. A fantasy novel.      Foxmask  Juliet Marillier
  17. A book by a person of color.    Bring on the Blessings  Beverly Jenkins
  18. A book by a female writer.     Small Great Things  Jodi Picoult
  19. A book of poetry.    Dream Work  Mary Oliver
  20. A book set in Asia     Dragon Springs Rd.  Jamie Chang
  21. A book about immigrants     Bridge of Scarlet Leaves    Kristina McMorris
  22. A book about an historical event.   Goodnight From London   Jennifer Robson (WW2)
  23. A book with a child narrator         Soon    Morris Gleitzman
  24. A book translated from another language   The Little Breton Bistro.  Nina George
  25. A book that has been adapted into a movie     A Man Called Ove   Fredrik Backman
The ones I never would have read with out this challenge are Dinner With Edward, The Round House, In a Dark, Dark Wood, Dream Work, New Zealand Native Ferns and Dragon Spring Road.  All of those books were definitely worth reading and broadened out my reading diet.

The Reading Assignment Challenge   This one was to read twelve books off my actual in my hand or on my Kindle TBR shelf.  It meant reading one book a month and I had to list the books beforehand with one opportunity to change mid way through the year.  I completed it and that's 12 books read off my shelf. Excellent!

Challenges I Didn't Quite Make it to the Goal

The Audiobook Challenge   I went for the 30+ level but only made 28 books. This fits into the category of still worth doing and being a couple off isn't a loss. As well I discovered the world of podcasts in 2017 and am developing a list of ones I really enjoy.  Another point is one audiobook might be 21 hours and another 7 hours. So do you leave off the long audiobooks? No, I don't. Longer books might leave less books listened to, but this year I wanted to savour books and slow down my reading so I am totally happy with my audio listening in 2017.

Challenges I Shouldn't Have Taken On.

Shelf Love Challenge   Well I did read 8 of the 12 I set so almost a win. It was about reading those dusty books off the TBR. I think one TBR challenge was enough so I shouldn't have taken this one on.

Bookish Resolutions   I made too many goals and lost interest by the end of March. Definitely one I should have left off the list.

Challenges I'll Take Part in Next Year.

I'll be writing up posts for these soon, just ignore them, they are link up posts or where I'll keep a record of what I read. I am going a little differently this year. A mixture of old and new.
You might not be joining a challenge but is there a path you'd like to see your reading going in 2018?


  1. About halfway through the year I seriously gave up on doing any challenges lol. When I ran into the snag of trying to get back to posting on a schedule I had to pick and choose what I was going to be able to focus on and those reading challenges had to go lol.

    1. Choice is our gift and aren't we fortunate we have it. Yes and some things just need to be left behind.

  2. I like the challenges that you chose! They are relevant and practical. I need to challenge myself to a challenge!

  3. Congrats on your completes and near completes Kathryn and I totally understand the challenge of challenges. For me as you know most of my reviews don't belong to me so I'm not even able to mention them for sometimes three months after I write them and when I do mention them I have to say courtesy of which ever publication I've reviewed it for. I do manage to read maybe 30 books a year on my own and I do listen to quite a few books while Pippa and I are out on our morning walks and I did sign up for the 2018 LIbrary Love Challenge because I do run an in-person book club and volunteer at my library. Happy New Year Kathryn!!

  4. I like challenges for the same reason as you -- to push me to read books I'd otherwise pass by and to encourage me to read books already on my shelf. Sometimes both at once. As long as I don't get mad at myself for not finishing a list I think it's a good habit.

    Your challenges seem well chosen to enhance your reading, not your stress levels. Have fun!

  5. A few years ago, I joined some challenges that did lead me to pick up books I might not have otherwise read. For example, an Eclectic Reading Challenge had me trying Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, etc. It was fun to do it once...but it did not end up with me loving those genres. LOL.

    I may not join any challenges this year, although I will continue to try to read more of the books I buy.

    Enjoy whatever you do!

  6. Challenges help you stay on track, but they can put pressure on you. That's great you turned off the "must complete" button. At least you tried to complete them and you did complete a few. I also like the ones you picked for 2018. I'm happy to see you doing the Library Love Challenge. It's fun, saves money, and gets you to grab those books you want to read from the library first. ^_^
    Have fun and good luck!!

  7. It looks like you were involved in a lot of interesting challenges. Pod Cast seem to becoming more popular. I will check some out in 2018. Happy New Year Kathryn!

  8. Congrats, Kathryn. I think you did an impressive job with your challenges!

  9. Challenges certainly enlarged my genre reading. When it became stressful to find books to fit into challenges, I gave them up. In 2018, I would like to read more male authors.

  10. I've given up on reading challenges because my follow through is terrible but seeing a few of the books you read simply because of those challenges has me reconsidering. I'm super curious about Emilie Richards' book challenge and I may try harder on Anne Bogel's this time around but stick mostly to challenges that don't require linking up because I'm the worst at that!

  11. I fell off on many of my challenges, too. I am trying again next year with hopefully better results.

  12. I agree that making good progress even if you don't complete a challenge is a win. :-) I will probably continue the ones I have been doing with a twist to include books I buy as otherwise I tend to keep them on the shelf for the next year TBR. ha ha.
    Happy Challenges this year!

  13. I'm impressed with the number that you take on! I set a Goodreads goal, and am trying to read more each month than I take in, but that is about as far as I get. Having said that, I love seeing other's progress, so keep it up!


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