Monday, 27 July 2015

Reading Challenge Progress

I've not been very active on the Goodreads group recently (well, for the last couple of months). I haven't been able to get online as much as I usually do over the summer because of hospital appointments and the summer being a quiet time for the groups and things that usually bring me to my in-laws' house (and internet connection) several times a week.

But I'm still plodding away at the Reading Challenge.

In case you've not heard of it, or have forgotten what it looks like, I'm talking about this Popsugar Reading Challenge which appeared on the internet last year:

From here.

We're now past the halfway mark of the year and I'm doing really well. I've been reading them in almost exactly the order on the list (apart from the last two weeks which I got confused and inadvertently switched).

Here's how my reading list is looking so far:

  1. A book with over 500 pages: Emma by Jane Austen (4 out of 5 stars) 1st time read
  2. A classic romance: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (out of 5 stars) 1st time read
  3. A book turned into a movie: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (out of 5 stars) Reread
  4. A book published this year: Miramont's Ghost by Elizabeth Hall (2.5 out of 5 stars) 1st time read
  5. A book with a number in the title: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne (out of 5 stars) 1st time read
  6. A book by an author under the age of 30: Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecroft Shelley (out of 5 stars) 1st time read
  7. A book with a non-human character: Roverandom by J.R.R. Tolkien (out of 5 stars) Reread
  8. A funny book: The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde (4.5 out of 5 stars) 1st time read
  9. A book by a female author: The Game by Laurie R. King (2.5 out of 5 stars) 1st time read
  10. A mystery or thriller: Tales of Terror and Mystery by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (3.5 out of 5 stars) 1st time read
  11. A book with a one word title: Filth by Irvine Welsh (1.5 out of 5 stars) 1st time read
  12. A collection of short stories: The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling (out of 5 stars) Reread
  13. A book set in another country: Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier (out of 5 stars) 1st time read
  14. A non-fiction book: Sherlock Chronicles by Steve Tribe (out of 5 stars) 1st time read
  15. A popular author's first book: The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens (out of 5 stars) 1st time read
  16. A book from an author you love that you haven't read yet: Unfinished Tales by J.R.R. Tolkien (out of 5 stars) 1st time read
  17. A book a friend recommended: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (3.5 out of 5 stars1st time read
  18. A Pulitzer Prize-winning book: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (out of 5 starsReread
  19. A book based on a true story: A Strange Eventful History by Michael Holroyd (out of 5 stars1st time read
  20. A book from the bottom of your to-read list: Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells (3.5 out of 5 stars1st time read
  21. A book your mum loves: The Island by Victoria Hislop (out of 5 stars1st time read
  22. A book that scares: Terrifying Tales by Edgar Allan Poe (3 out of 5 stars1st time read
  23. A book that is more than 100 years old: The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell (2.5 out of 5 stars1st time read
  24. A book based entirely on its cover: Becoming Bindy Mackenzie by Jaclyn Moriarty (out of 5 stars1st time read
  25. A book you should've read in school by didn't: Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy (out of 5 starsReread/1st time read
  26. A memoir: Vet Behind the Ears by Christopher Timothy (3.5 out of 5 stars1st time read
  27. A book you can finish in a day: How a Ghastly Story Was Brought to Light by a Common or Garden Butcher's Dog by Johann Peter Hebel (out of 5 stars1st time read
  28. A book with antonyms in the title: The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud by Ben Sherwood (3.5 out of 5 stars1st time read
  29. A book published the year you were born: Her Majesty's Wizard by Christopher Stasheff (2.5 out of 5 stars1st time read
  30. A book set in a country you've always wanted to visit: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by Deborah Moggach (out of 5 stars1st time read
I'm really pleased with how I'm doing with the challenge. Especially because I've only got 3.5 rereads on my list (the .5 is because at school I started reading Tess of the d'Urbervilles but never finished it, so it's both a reread and a 1st time read). That means that the majority of the books I've read for the challenge are brand new to me.

I have a habit of just revisiting the same familiar books over and over again, so usually my book journal shows a heavy weight in favour of the rereads. Of course, this list isn't showing all the books I've read this year, just the ones for the challenge, so there are quite a few rereads on my list for the rest of the year. But I'm still finding a lot of new authors and books.

And I'm reading a lot of classics. Mainly because they're free and it saves me from having to buy books when I can get them for nothing on my Kindle. Many of them, like Emma and Pride and Prejudice and Tess of the d'Urbervilles are books that I've always felt I should read, but just haven't gotten around to yet.

But now I am. And I'm finding I'm really enjoying them.

I'm still not sure if I want to take part in a challenge like this next year. On the one hand, I thrive on challenges like these. It gives me a motive to step outside my comfort zone. On the other hand, I normally follow a fairly regimented routine when I'm reading (working my way through my bookshelves, from one shelf to the next) and I keep on losing my place or having to jump forward or back to read the next book from the challenge list.

Perhaps I'll find something that's a little less demanding, with fewer books to read.

Or maybe I'll find another list like this for me to throw myself in to.


  1. You are making fantastic progress, I keep getting distracted by other reading. So many books, so little time. :)

    1. Thank you. I know what you mean about getting distracted by other books. I often bemoan the fact that I will never be able to read ALL THE BOOKS! Life is so unfair. ;-)


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