2021 & 2022 Reading Challenge discussion

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ARCHIVE 2018 > Elisa's 2018 Reading Challenge: 24 Books

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message 1: by Elisa (last edited Dec 07, 2018 08:42AM) (new)

Elisa Bandstra | 63 comments Heya! I'm Elisa from The Netherlands. I'm currently in my third year of my studies -> I'm studying to become an English teacher. So I would like to tackle some classics but I enjoy (contemporary) fiction, dystopian novels, some young adult bits and bops and a bit of historical fiction the most.


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My reading goal is to read 24 books, so two a month. I want to do 10 prompts from the PopSugar 2018 reading challenge. In addition I want to read the monthly group reads and participate in some monthly/quarterly challenges.

PopSugar reading challenge list:
1. A book set in a country that fascinates you (#7)
2. A book about a villain or antihero (#9)
3. A book with a female author who uses a male pseudonym (#11)
4. A book about mental health (#16)
5. A book with alliteration in the title (#22)
6. A book set on a different planet (#27)
7. A book that’s published in 2018 (#34)
8. A past Goodreads Choice Awards winner (#35)
9. A book set in the decade you were born (#36)
10. A book with an ugly cover (#38)

Group Reads done:
1. The Picture of Dorian Gray, January, Personalities
2. The Lightning Thief, February, Olympics
3, Big Little Lies, April, Surprises
4. A Christmas Carol, December, Joy

Monthly Challenges done:
1. The Bell Jar January, Personalities that match your type
2. Fahrenheit 451 March, Page to Screen in 2018
3. Crazy Rich Asians March, Page to Screen in 2018

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Progress: 24/24


message 2: by Susy (new)

Susy (susysstories) Elisa wrote: "...My reading goal is to read 24 books, so two a month. I want to do 10 prompts from the PopSugar 2018 reading challenge. In addition I want to read the monthly group reads and participate in some monthly/quarterly challenges. ..."

Sounds like you're set to go Elisa! Wishing you the best of luck with your goal and challenges. And of course a very happy reading year!


message 3: by Elisa (new)

Elisa Bandstra | 63 comments Susy wrote: "Elisa wrote: "...My reading goal is to read 24 books, so two a month. I want to do 10 prompts from the PopSugar 2018 reading challenge. In addition I want to read the monthly group reads and partic..."

Thank you so much!


message 4: by Blagica , Cheerleader! (new)

Blagica  | 11916 comments Good Luck with your goal in 2018!


message 5: by Elisa (new)

Elisa Bandstra | 63 comments Blagica wrote: "Good Luck with your goal in 2018!"

Thank you!!


message 6: by Elisa (new)

Elisa Bandstra | 63 comments #1 The Picture of Dorian Gray, January Group Read
Finished 07-01-2018, ★★★★★


What a book to kick-off this year! Loved the dialogue and writing thoroughly. Although it was a bit slow in some chapters, the overall story and progression of Dorian Gray is just astonishing. I wish I could have a chat with Lord Henry in real life, but then again he might poison me with his ideas.... hehehe


message 7: by Albana (new)

Albana | 4 comments Woah I didn't know "PopSugar 2018 reading challenge" was a thing, very cool book prompts! Looks like you've set yourself some great goals, best of luck :)


message 8: by Elisa (new)

Elisa Bandstra | 63 comments Albana wrote: "Woah I didn't know "PopSugar 2018 reading challenge" was a thing, very cool book prompts! Looks like you've set yourself some great goals, best of luck :)"

Yes it so much fun isnt it! Thank you!


message 9: by Elisa (new)

Elisa Bandstra | 63 comments #2 The Bell Jar Popsugar Challenge: A book about mental health + Monthly Challenge Personalities
Finished 14-01-2018 ★★★★


A book that, naturally, did not left me feeling happy or inspired. Nonetheless I liked the writing and the character was interesting and, even though I am fortunate enough not to be living in a bell jar, did match with my character type in some small aspects, for instance our undesire to be in a relationship for the feeling of being tied down to something.


message 10: by Elisa (new)

Elisa Bandstra | 63 comments #3 Little Fires Everywhere Popsugar Challenge: A past Goodreads Choice Awards winner
Finished 29-01-2018 ★★★★★


Very fun read with so many interesting characters. Page turner!


message 11: by Susy (new)

Susy (susysstories) Elisa wrote: " #3 Little Fires Everywhere Popsugar Challenge: A past Goodreads Choice Awards winner
Finished 29-01-2018 ★★★★★

Very fun read with so many interesting characters. Page turner!"


Sounds good; on my TBR but haven't gotten around to reading it yet though.

Elisa wrote: "#2 The Bell Jar Popsugar Challenge: A book about mental health + Monthly Challenge Personalities
Finished 14-01-2018 ★★★★
..."


Added to my TBR!


message 12: by Blagica , Cheerleader! (new)

Blagica  | 11916 comments Awesome progress so far this year keep it up!


message 13: by Elisa (last edited Mar 26, 2018 04:21AM) (new)

Elisa Bandstra | 63 comments #4 The Lightning Thief, February group read
Finished 04-02-2018, ★★★


Yeahhh.. I am not sure about this one. I could definitely tell that I have been reading "heavier" literature for the past few weeks, so naturally I found this young adult fantasy book to feel very much oriented towards the younger audience. However, I do not experience this with Harry Potter, The Hungergames nor with The Maze Runner for example, so perhaps I am just not so keen on the main character... I remember trying to read this book in my first language when I was around 10, and I didn't finish it at that time. I guess this world just does not grasp me. So overall, it was okay to read but I am probably not going to read the other books in the series.


message 14: by Elisa (last edited Feb 06, 2018 09:32AM) (new)

Elisa Bandstra | 63 comments #extra Life on the Refrigerator Door, school read
Finished 06-02-2018 ★★★★


For one of my courses this year we have to read four young adult books, one of which I have already read. I was contemplating whether to count these books for this reading challenge, seeing as they are not books on my TBR nor gifted/recommended. I decided that I will mention them here, and will only count them if I do not meet my goal.

I did not know what to expect from this book and realised very quickly into the story that this was going to be a difficult read for me seeing as the subject is close to heart. (view spoiler) Loved how the story is told through notes.


message 15: by Elisa (new)

Elisa Bandstra | 63 comments #extra Slam, school read
Finished 12-02-2018 ★★


Just meh. Easy to read but nothing astounding. Found the "whizzing"' very farfetched.


message 16: by Elisa (new)

Elisa Bandstra | 63 comments #5 Lolita, Popsugar Challenge: A book about a villain or antihero
Finished 25-02-2018 ★★★★


I've been wanting to read Lolita after it was recommended to me by one of my fav Youtubers -> Sunbeamsjess and when I read this Popsugar prompt about villains, this book immediately came to mind seeing as it is about a pedophile. However, this subject was not what I was struggling with the first few pages, but rather the unexpected prose. Now see, whilst the book was recommended to me, I did not look into the book as much. Therefore the astonishing prose came as a surprise. I was even contemplating putting this book down as it was difficult to follow at first but I am glad I did not because 80 pages in I finally sat down to slowly digest all the beautifully constructed sentences and the book "grew" on me. Now it is quite right that this book will not leave you with "lessons learnt" at the end but the language is just baffling, especially when one takes into account that this is not the author's first language. I should've read this book before taking my Profiency writing and speaking exams!! Will I recommend this book to a friend whose level of English/ interest in English isn't high? No, unlikely. But if you are up to a challenge, not only subject wise but also prose wise, definitely give this a (slow) go!


message 17: by Blagica , Cheerleader! (new)

Blagica  | 11916 comments You are doing great. Hoping March is a great month for you.


message 18: by Elisa (new)

Elisa Bandstra | 63 comments Blagica wrote: "You are doing great. Hoping March is a great month for you."

Thank you!! I have some fun books planned for March so it should be :)


message 19: by Elisa (last edited Mar 26, 2018 04:21AM) (new)

Elisa Bandstra | 63 comments #6 Fahrenheit 451, Popsugar Challenge: A book with alliteration in the title + March Page to Screen in 2018 Challenge
Finished 10-03-2018 ★★★★


What an easy to read book this was! (especially after Lolita). If it weren't for me feeling under the weather and too "headachy" to read, I could have probably read this in 1.5 days. I am an avid fan of books such as 1984 and the Handmaid's Tale so naturally this book was right up my street. Though it seems less mind twisting at first, when looked at the subtlety a bit deeper this book has an important message which I think is ever present in today's phone/netflix/pop culture obsessed society. If I have my own classes in the future, and can come up with my own agenda, I definitely want my students to read this book as it conveys such an important message in easy to understand language!


message 20: by Susy (new)

Susy (susysstories) Elisa wrote: " #6 Fahrenheit 451, Popsugar Challenge: A book with alliteration in the title + March Page to Screen in 2018 Challenge
Finished 10-03-2018 ★★★★

What an easy to read book this was! (e..."


Sounds good!
I've read quite different reviews on Fahrenheit 451, started to doubt if I should read it, but you've convinced me!


message 21: by Blagica , Cheerleader! (new)

Blagica  | 11916 comments A book is a dream that you hold in your hand. I hope that April brings you many more five star reads.


message 22: by Elisa (new)

Elisa Bandstra | 63 comments #7 Crazy Rich Asians March Page to Screen in 2018 Challenge
Finished 25-03-2018 ★★★★


As said on the blurb, this is a lovely beach/holiday read. Loved to delve a bit into Asian culture and imagine how life would be as a crazy rich person.


message 23: by Elisa (new)

Elisa Bandstra | 63 comments #8 White Teeth Sunbeamsjess (Youtuber) bookclub read
Finished 14-04-2018 ★★★


Whilst reading some reviews about the prose I was quite taken aback seeing as I found this book so easily readable. I like different story lines of different cultures/generations and how they intertwine so this book was right up my alley. Maybe it is because I am no expert on analysing books but I did not find this to uphold a certain idea of multi-culti society nor did I find the characters to be 2D. I thought it was a good story about how the past and your culture shapes you.


message 24: by Elisa (new)

Elisa Bandstra | 63 comments #9 Big Little Lies, April group read
Finished 22-04-2018 ★★★★★


I've read more than 200 pages of this book in one day, and I think that speaks for itself in terms of how much I ruddy love this book! The writing was superb, the characters were well written and my goodness it kept you on your toes! This has been my first crime novel, and I want more!!


message 25: by Blagica , Cheerleader! (new)

Blagica  | 11916 comments “Reading brings us unknown friends” While the warm weather is coming I hope you make some new friends in May! You are doing great keep it up!


message 26: by Elisa (new)

Elisa Bandstra | 63 comments #10 The Good People, Popsugar Challenge: A book set in a country that fascinates you
Finished 02-05-2018 ★★★★


Whilst I was in Dublin my eye fell on this beautiful book's cover. Turned out I was very much interested in the story after reading the blurb! It seemed fitting to buy a book about Irish folklore whilst being in Ireland and so this book landed in my basket.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this in an Irish accent. Having heard about "changelings" before in the series Outlander, I found the folklore and superstition stories utmost fascinating!


message 27: by Elisa (new)

Elisa Bandstra | 63 comments #11 Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
Finished 12-05-2018 ★★★★★


I also picked up this book in Dublin after seeing it sit in top place at every bookstore we visited and my goodness....does it deserve top place! I know how I said that Big Little Lies was one of my favourites so far well... this definitely beats that spot. What a read! Eleanor is such an interesting character! I completely devoured this. 10/10 recommend!


message 28: by Elisa (last edited Jun 08, 2018 08:31AM) (new)

Elisa Bandstra | 63 comments #12 The Girls, Popsugar Challenge: A book with an ugly cover
Finished 31-05-2018 ★★


I had such high hopes about this book being about a crazy cult but turns out the cult is pretty much left undetailed... Did not find myself caring for the main character at all. I only wanted to know more about this cult!!! Also the prose... I had to just skim certain pages because I could not care less to read a whole paragraph about spaghetti... Nope did not like this at all. I even did not bother reading the last 100 pages or so, just read the last page and skimmed a few before that and gave up.


message 29: by Blagica , Cheerleader! (new)

Blagica  | 11916 comments Awesome job Elisa!


message 30: by Elisa (new)

Elisa Bandstra | 63 comments #13 Whistle in the Dark, Popsugar Challenge: A book that’s published in 2018
Finished 15-06-2018 ★★★


The dialogue and characters were frustating at times but otherwhise enjoyable though dark.


message 31: by Elisa (new)

Elisa Bandstra | 63 comments #14 How to Stop Time
Finished 08-07-2018 ★★


Did not live up to my expectations about being a fun "time travelling history teacher". Instead it was about a boring self-pitying whining history teacher.


message 32: by Elisa (last edited Dec 01, 2018 08:21AM) (new)

Elisa Bandstra | 63 comments #15 Everything I Never Told You
Finished 13-07-2018 ★★★★


Such a captivating story! Amazing!!


message 33: by Elisa (new)

Elisa Bandstra | 63 comments #16 The Travelling Cat Chronicles, Journey to Stockholm Airport Pick
Finished 20-07-2018 ★★★★


Just a delightful story which was perfect on this holiday to Sweden!


message 34: by Elisa (new)

Elisa Bandstra | 63 comments #17 Home Fire
Finished 29-07-2018 ★★★★


This book will make you think and is so important regarding changing your view to how the Islam is portrayed. My "homegoing" of 2018!


message 35: by Elisa (last edited Dec 01, 2018 08:27AM) (new)

Elisa Bandstra | 63 comments #18 The Underground Railroad
Finished 20-08-2018 ★★★


I wanted to like this but for some reason it did not capture me at all. It felt cold and did not provoke any emotion in me. I think it's just his style..


message 36: by Elisa (new)

Elisa Bandstra | 63 comments #19 Surprise Me
Finished 22-08-2018 ★★★★


Such a delight after The Underground Railroad. I devoured this book!


message 37: by Elisa (new)

Elisa Bandstra | 63 comments #20 Mrs. Dalloway
Finished 09-09-2018 ★★★


My friend recommended this to me but the prose was not my favourite. I will probably have to read this again after having read notes on it as I did think it had such good elements in it.


message 38: by Elisa (new)

Elisa Bandstra | 63 comments #21 China Rich Girlfriend
Finished 27-09-2018 ★★★


Just a light read but nothing astonishing. I liked the first one better.


message 39: by Elisa (new)

Elisa Bandstra | 63 comments #22 Into the Water
Finished 21-10-2018 ★★★★


My first true taste the a thriller/crime genre and boy oh boy have I fallen in love! I could hardly put this book down and I think it's so well written plotwise! It also fitted perfectly as an autumnal read as the whole town in which it's set just gives ultimate fall vibes!


message 40: by Elisa (new)

Elisa Bandstra | 63 comments #23 Lullaby
Finished 04-11-2018 ★★★★


After reading my first thriller I wanted more! Luckily I'd picked this book up during my travels in Edinburgh. The prose was beautifully written and the story was truly daunting!


message 41: by Elisa (last edited Dec 01, 2018 08:39AM) (new)

Elisa Bandstra | 63 comments #24 Never Let Me Go
Finished 25-11-2018 ★★★★


Not what I expected but what I got instead was so much better! Black Mirror material right here... So good!

Thus I have reached my goal!!! I did not update this page as I wanted, nor did I participate in many monthly challenges/group reads but I do not want to force my self into anything. I would like, however, to participate more next year though I also want to join a catching up on classics/must reads group in addition to this group.


message 42: by Susy (new)

Susy (susysstories) Elisa wrote: " #24 Never Let Me Go
Finished 25-11-2018 ★★★★

Not what I expected but what I got instead was so much better! Black Mirror material right here... So good!

Thus I have reached my goal!..."


Congratulations on reaching your goal Elisa!


message 43: by Elisa (new)

Elisa Bandstra | 63 comments Susy wrote: "Elisa wrote: " #24 Never Let Me Go
Finished 25-11-2018 ★★★★

Not what I expected but what I got instead was so much better! Black Mirror material right here... So good!

Thus I have re..."


Thank you! <3


message 44: by Elisa (new)

Elisa Bandstra | 63 comments #25 A Christmas CarolNever Let Me Go, December Group Read
Finished 07-12-2018 ★★★★★


I've started this year with a group read and now I've ended the year with one as well. And what a stunning piece of work at that! I've missed Dickens' prose... I love his play of words and Scrooge was such an interesting character. Even though I feel like his journey feels quite rushed due to the shortness of the story, I still think his change in character is so heart warming.
Sometimes I feel like it's crazy to think that this book is written so long ago... I think it has been quite the shock for the time it's written in.

Loooved it!


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