2017 Reading Challenge discussion

Generalities > Update on 2016 Reading Challenge after 6 months

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message 1: by Ann (new)

Ann | 11 comments Here are my books for the reading Challenge, after 6 months:

Read a book that takes place on each continent, or is written by an author from that continent (fiction or non-fiction)

1. North America — 11/22/63, by Stephen King
2. South America
3. Africa — The Story of an African Farm, by Olive Schreiner
4. Antarctica — Race to the Pole, by Ranulph Fiennes
5. Europe — Skeletons at the Feast, by Chris Bohjalian
6. Asia — The Sympathizer, by Viet Thanh Nguyen
7. Australia — Bittersweet, by Colleen McCullough

8. A banned or challenged book —
9. An award winning book (Pulitzer, Hugo, Man Booker, etc.)— World’s Fair, by E.L. Doctorow (National Book Award)
10. Memoir/Autobiography/Biography — Fighting Chance by Elizabeth Warren
11. A dead author's last book — Travels with Charley, by John Steinbeck.
12. A book with LGBT matter or character(s)— A Home at the End of the World, by Michael Cunningham
13. A book your favorite author loves
14. A retold fairytale
15. A Young Adult book
16. A history book (fiction or non-fiction) — The Quartet by Joseph Ellis
17. A book where you have seen the movie, but not read the book — The Big Short, by Michael Lewis
18. A book from the NYT Bestseller list — The Wright Brothers, by David McCullough
19. A book with the point of view of an immigrant —Brookly, by Colm Toibin
20. A controversial book — The Giver, by Lois Lowry
21. The first book you see when you walk into a library or bookstore
22. A classic
23. A debut novel
24. Published this year (2016)
25. Based entirely on the cover—Peace Like a River, by Leif Enger
26. Own but never read
27. A book by an author you never read before — Emperor of Ocean Park, by Stephen L. Carter
28. A book recommended to you by a friendly librarian — The Garden of Evening Mists, by Tan Twan Eng
29. A book by a Nobel Prize winner —Too Much Happiness, by Alice Munro
30. Mythology (not just Greek)
31. A book written by someone born the same year as you — Arthur & George, by Julian Barnes (1946)
32. Dystopia — The Heart Goes Last, by Margaret Atwood
33. Reread of a favorite book
34. A book about books—My Reading Life, by Pat Conroy
35. Book published the year you graduated high school— If Morning Ever Comes, by Anne Tyler (1964)
36. A book a child/teen/someone younger than you loves — Finding Winnie, by Lindsay Mattick
37. A book about/set by the sea — The Sea, by John Banville
38. A book with two authors
39. Author from your own state, province, or country — The Train to Crystal City, by Jan Jarboe Russell
40. A book about a trip (road, cruise, around the world) — Avenue of Mysteries, by John Irving
41. A book with the name of a person in the title — The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot
42. Science Fiction — Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick
43. Fantasy — The Buried Giant, by Kazuo Ishiguro
44. Wild card — In the Unlikely Event, by Judy Blume.
45. Wild card — Prague Winter, by Madeleine Albright
46. Wild card — American Pastoral, by Philip Roth
47. Wild card — Piece of Cake, by Derek Robinson
48. Wild card — Transparent Things, by Vladimir Nabokov
49. Wild card — Books, by Larry McMurtry
50. Wild card — Go Set a Watchman, by Harper Lee
51. Wild card — Once Upon a Town, by Bob Greene
52. Wild card — A Banquet of Consequences, by Elizabeth George

message 2: by Thomas (new)

Thomas Johansson (dakkster) I'm almost exactly halfway, both in terms of page count and number of books. I've finished 26 and I'm about to finish one 500-pager and one 900-pager.

I've changed a couple of categories that I just didn't think would be enjoyable, so I went back to look at the categories we voted on instead of just making them wildcards. The Antarctic one for example. I really tried finding something and started reading a comic book version of The Thing, but it was just too bad and then I just dropped it.

Was in on the challenge last year and this year, but next year I'm not doing a challenge. Next year I want total freedom, even though this is a lot of fun and I'm still nerding out with an Excel sheet and everything.

message 3: by Natália (last edited Jul 02, 2016 07:45PM) (new)

Natália Lopes (silkcaramel) I'm way behind this year (only 19 books), even though I'm more than halfway through my GR challenge. Idk, I loved making the list and I'm changing things around if I find a book I really want to read and that fits the category. I'm also trying to fit books that are on my TBR list instead of new books, but there are way too many books coming out this year that I really want to get my hands on. I'm picking up speed, though, and I'm hoping to finish at least tier 1, even though I planned almost all the books into tier 2.

I may do the challenge next year, but I'll concentrate on finishing the book series I've already started in 2015 and 2016, and if they fit the categories, good, if not, I'm not going to stress it out like this year. I like hunting for books to fill the categories and I like following a list when I have no idea what to read next, but sometimes I want freedom to choose books that doesn't fit into anything.

message 4: by Kathy (new)

Kathy I am at 39 books so far. I think this will be a record year for me with the number of books I read. For the most part, I love how I have to read things I wouldn't normally read, but I also hate that I have to read things that I don't really have an interest in reading.

I also did the challenge last year and I had decided not to do it again, but then we started voting on the categories and I got really excited about the possibilities. I am not sure I will participate next year, but the same thing will probably happen when we choose categories. I enjoy the strategy of finding books for categories and finding categories for the books I want to read!

message 5: by Kristina (new)

Kristina For this year, instead of having a lot of wild cards, I decided to combine this challenge with the non-overlapping categories of the pop sugar challenge, so I have a 72 category "super challenge" to complete. I'm also in a monthly book club and made a personal rule that book club books won't count toward my challenge. I've read 44 books so far this year, but for the challenge, I've completed 26 out of the 43 categories listed here, and 33 out of the 72 categories of my super challenge.

I'm focusing on finishing the 43 categories listed here first and then continuing on to the rest of the categories. I think I can finish everything but the timing will definitely be tight.

message 6: by Sarah (new)

Sarah So far this year I am 28 books down and I am staying on top of things. There have been some books I really didn't like so I struggled through them and would read other books in the middle of the book I had trouble with, but for the most part I am glad to be taken out of my box. I love books and I find myself often perusing the used section of Powells, book shelve at Goodwill, I am a fixture at the two book sales put on by my library (you can not beat $5 for a paper grocery bag of books!) and I will occasionally buy new.... In any case, this challenge is helping me stay on top of my fresh supply of books I bought but haven't read (making my husband a little less leery of the groaning shelves) and also gives me an excuse to walk the mile and a half to my library for books I don't own. My other reason for starting this challenge because I am a History Major and found myself reading a lot of very serious history books. I have made sure that none of that reading would count towards my challenge and forced myself to read so I would have a break. It has worked out nicely so far! I do have one gripe: sometimes I find myself having trouble finding a book I want to read that fits into a category or finding a way to fit the book I really want to read into a category.

I have a feeling that by the end of the year I will be ahead in my challenge and I may have a few extras finished; especially since this fall I will have an hour and a half commute each way to school!

message 7: by Melissa (new)

Melissa I set a challenge to read 100 books this year and I have all ready met that goal. Currently I have read 120 books. I am thankful for this book that has pushed me to not only read more, but to read a wider variety of books. I've read books I would have never read before, and I am so glad I did!! It's been a great 6 months!

message 8: by Amy Beth (new)

Amy Beth I am 38 books in so far. That said, I've read 50 books this year, but so many of them don't fall into any of the categories. I am sort of not in the mood to read things from the categories I have left. But it has been fun. Maybe I'll finish it! I am happy that I read a lot of things out of my usual comfort zone.

message 9: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Todd | 45 comments I've read 16, and I have 13 more on my "to read" list for this year. I set my personal reading challenge for this year at 30 books, so I'm one short right now - but I know I'll fill that spot soon. My coworker and I are always recommending things to each other.

message 10: by Casey (new)

Casey (casey-h) | 4 comments I'm at 26 books for the challenge. I walked into the library yesterday with the "first book you see" challenge in mind. Of course the first one I see is a sequel. Since I'm weird and can't bring myself to read them out of order, I grabbed the first one first. At least it'll fill my "Europe" slot.

message 11: by Frogli (new)

Frogli | 118 comments I am behind (26), work just went insane and there were other distractions... Anyway, I am just starting to get back on track although I have a few categories where I still haven't decided on a book, lots of options none I'm terribly enthused about (eg. banned/challenged, controversial, and the dreaded dsytopia) but I am putting them off for a while & hoping inspiration strikes later at some point.

I have plenty to read in the meantime though, currently The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Non-fiction for 'first book you see in a bookstore'.

message 12: by Anne (new)

Anne (librarianguish) | 636 comments Mod
Oh my. I'm up to 24 for this challenge, but I've read 51 books so far this year (my goal is 100). I could probably stick a few of those into the wild card slots, but there's still many months to go...

I've been reading what I want, and fitting them into the categories if they fit. I'll probably target some categories again soon. I've got a nice stack of books ready for my upcoming camping trip!

message 13: by Erin (last edited Aug 05, 2016 09:38AM) (new)

Erin (erinskelly) | 16 comments I'm very behind on the 52-book challenge. I only have 14 read at this point. I was doing quite well until mid-February, and then all hell broke loose at work, and I haven't been able to catch up. If I buckle down, I might be able to do it... we shall see. I've finished 4 books in the last week, which is promising.

I'm still updating my progress on this thread:

(I'm message #62.)

message 14: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (jld451) | 34 comments Thrilled to be 3 books ahead of schedule! The challenge has certainly inspired variety and encouraged me to read more. A few of the categories are of very little interest to me and like Thomas I desire 'total freedom'.

message 15: by Sheba (new)

Sheba | 16 comments I have read 36 books so far for this challenge. At the beginning of the year, I decided to make this the year of enlightenment due to the topics. Well, I have decided that being enlightened is overrated. I have a few more books to read for that particular endeavor before I call this year a success. I will stick to no more than one or two heavy reading books a year. I'm struggling with the remaining categories. Next year I will pick 12 books (1/month) from a challenge and then read what pleases me without stress.

message 16: by Anabel (last edited Aug 10, 2016 12:27PM) (new)

Anabel | 15 comments Sheba wrote: "I have read 36 books so far for this challenge. At the beginning of the year, I decided to make this the year of enlightenment due to the topics. Well, I have decided that being enlightened is over..."

I feel just the same, I thought it would be good to broaden my horizons but everything that grabs my attention it's 700 plus pages so I'm very behind my goal of 52 books and stressing out about the categories left because some of them I don't really read voluntarily (sci-fi for example). And truth be told I've read more books this year that don't fit the categories or are the same one already read. I'll probably shorten my challenge next year.

message 17: by Susan (new)

Susan | 9 comments Sheba and Anabel you make me feel like a regular person. Like you, my objective for this year was to read several books of substance, in terms of volume (lots of pages), elevating and enlightening topics that would at best, improve my vocabulary and boost my intelligence. I fell off that train so fast and so hard as I laid on the beach soaking up the sun and downing those tasty tropical drinks. Actually, I now am a little ashamed of the quality of, dare I say, literature that I chose to read during those weeks.
Still, without adding those books, I am close to my reading goal for 2016 and no longer feel the need to over extend myself without maximizing my reading pleasure.

message 18: by Thomas (new)

Thomas Johansson (dakkster) Don't feel down, guys. We do what we do and who cares if we don't always hit our goals? As long as you're enjoying yourself reading books you like, everything is good, right? :)

message 19: by Susan (new)

Susan | 9 comments Thanks for your feedback.

message 20: by Anabel (new)

Anabel | 15 comments Susan wrote: "Sheba and Anabel you make me feel like a regular person. Like you, my objective for this year was to read several books of substance, in terms of volume (lots of pages), elevating and enlightening ..."

I do feel a little ashamed of some of my weekend selections however I really enjoyed the not so deep texts :) and I still want to complete this challenge so I'll take it one book at the time and see where I find myself in december

message 21: by Anabel (new)

Anabel | 15 comments Thomas wrote: "Don't feel down, guys. We do what we do and who cares if we don't always hit our goals? As long as you're enjoying yourself reading books you like, everything is good, right? :)"

Thanks, it was good to share that it was not as easy as I thought it would be (after all I love to read). I've enjoyed searching the books for each category and I liked specially the book for Africa. I'll continue reading and see where it leads. :)

message 22: by Valerie (new)

Valerie | 280 comments I have finished. BUT, I had surgery in January, and was laid up with nothing to really do but give my Kindle a workout. SO, I am ready to start thinking about NEXT year.

message 23: by Anne (new)

Anne (librarianguish) | 636 comments Mod
I am so not anywhere near finishing the challenge...

message 24: by Cristine (new)

Cristine | 44 comments I'm nowhere near finished either :(

message 25: by Sharmon (new)

Sharmon (tpgirl) I have 33/52 completed but I have already filled all of the Wild
Card slots. I have finished 62 total books this year so far but I am working on several challenges and trying to get to several book club choices each month...I won't finish but I am having fun trying.

message 26: by Sheba (new)

Sheba | 16 comments Thomas wrote: "Don't feel down, guys. We do what we do and who cares if we don't always hit our goals? As long as you're enjoying yourself reading books you like, everything is good, right? :)"

Thanks Thomas. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I feel that I will let the group down if I don't finish. NO, I never feel that way about anyone else. I figure life happens. I will try to lighten up.

message 27: by Natasha (last edited Sep 10, 2016 10:40AM) (new)

Natasha | 6 comments My primary goal for this year was to read 52 books. I discovered this group at the beginning of the year and thought this would be an excellent way to stay motivated through out the year. It has accomplished that. Originally I was going to do tier 2, however I have lots of books I want to read that do not fit into the remaining categories. So I will read 52 books but 36 for this challenge.

Not sure what I will do next year, that's a decision for December.

Happy reading everyone!

message 28: by Sarika (new)

Sarika (_sarika_) | 62 comments My goal was to finish this group reading challenge (which I think is fabulous!) and also to read 100 books this year. So far I'm three books short on both accounts. Not too bad considering there's plenty of time.

message 29: by Teresa (new)

Teresa (teremazon) That's a great result so far, congratulations. I got mixed intentions as I was combining 4 different challenges, with overlapping categories among them. The tally so far is:

* For Mount TBR (Ararat, 50 books), I've managed 44 so far.

* For this one, I have 23 left, I hope it is still doable.

And very foolishly, I also had compiled lists for both Popsugar lists (repeating the 2015 list, and also this year's), simply because I could not/did not want to make up my mind between the two, so,

* On the 2015 list, I still have 22 left

*On the 2016 list, only 13

Still, some of the entries for these overlap, but I suppose that aspire to finish them all is too ambitious.

This is my second year with specific challenges besides the quantity pledge with GR. For the most it has been a very interesting experience, but it has also had me at some points begrudging the hour I decided to go for it as last year I "had" to postpone lots and this year too. A couple of times I found myself having to persevere with books I was definitely not in the mood for, or reading "strategically", which may be a rather strange concept since the good old times of being a student and having to read what another person wanted me to read. All in all, thumbs up to the challenge, but I think it is likely that next year I will not bother, and go for all the rejects from the past two years.

message 30: by Sarika (new)

Sarika (_sarika_) | 62 comments Completed both my challenges today, finished my 100th book which was also my last challenge (owned, but not read). Yay!

Looking forward to Reading Challenge 2017! :)

message 31: by Teresa (new)

Teresa (teremazon) Congratulations, Sarika. Amazing achievement. My count so far is 98, out of a (revised) projection of 130, brought down from an initial aspiration of reaching 150. I'm still hopeful I'll manage. I'm on holidays now and managed to read 4.5 in a week!!!

message 32: by Sarika (new)

Sarika (_sarika_) | 62 comments Thanks Teresa! I'm going to keep reading, of course but I won't set an additional goal for this year. I'm sure you will reach your goal!

message 33: by Carla (new)

Carla (carla1957) Congratulations Sarika, that is quite an accomplishment.

message 34: by Annerlee (last edited Sep 29, 2016 08:34AM) (new)

Annerlee | 128 comments Teresa wrote: "That's a great result so far, congratulations. I got mixed intentions as I was combining 4 different challenges, with overlapping categories among them...."

Teresa. Your reading life is soooo complicated!! I wonder that you find time to read with all that tracking! You must be really organised!

I've taken part in two challenges this year and have been able to slot my books into both without too much problem

Just a few categories to find...
** 11. A dead author's last book
** 14. A retold fairy tale
** 20. A controversial book
** 29. A book by a Nobel Prize winner - will be July's People by Nadine Gordimer probably
** 30. Mythology (not just Greek)
** 31. A book written by someone born the same year as you
** 38. A book with two authors

Nothing much springs to mind for any of them

message 35: by Frogli (new)

Frogli | 118 comments Congratulations Sarika, that's impressive!

I have about 15 to go if I don't shove some already finished books into some categories, so I'm fairly confident I will manage to finish the challenge.

Having said that I'm still a bit stuck & lacking inspiration on a few categories...
** 9. A banned or challenged book
** 12. dead author's last book
** 41. A book about a trip (road, cruise, around the world)

Hopefully something will occur to me before the end of the year!

message 36: by Sarika (new)

Sarika (_sarika_) | 62 comments Carla wrote: "Congratulations Sarika, that is quite an accomplishment."

Thank you Carla!

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