Wednesday, 6 January 2016

2016 Reading Challenge (+ 2015 Wrap Up)

So in January last year I posted a sort of bingo card of my 2015 reading goals (although I was just aiming to complete as many as I could) and this post is basically going to be discussing how well I did with it and posting my goals for 2016.

If anyone wants to join in with my challenge, feel free (you could use mine or you can edit it to suit your own goals -- I'll include a blank version at the end of the post).

Let's start with the 2016 challenge before getting to the wrap up for last year since that'll be quicker:

The aim of my 2015 one was really just to get me out of the habit of staying in my reading comfort zone (primarily reading recently released YA books from only a handful of genres, all in the same format) or to get to some of the books that have been on my shelves way too long (particularly classics).

I'm going to stick with that theme for this year because it was surprisingly fun. Some of the challenges I failed last year are making a reappearance this year (maybe altered slightly to be less ambitious), plus any I enjoyed, but most are new.

2015 Reading Challenge Wrap Up:


I'm a major procrastinator, so I did better than I thought I would with this. 17 (well, 17.5) out of 25 isn't bad, right? It would've been higher but I decided that I couldn't have any books count for more than one challenge.

Completed:

  • Read a book translated into English - As Black As Ebony by Salla Simukka, translated from Finnish.
  • Read a book recommended by a friend - Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawthorn, read on Julie's recommendation
  • Re-read an old favourite - I re-read the first Harry Potter book (audiobook, but still) for the first time in years.
  • Read a non-fiction book - I read Down Among the Dead Men by Michelle Williams, a delightful memoir of a mortuary technician.
  • Read 3 books with LGBTQ+ main characters - I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson (gay character), What We Left Behind (trans character, lesbian character), Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (gay character -- technically not finished yet, but still...).
  • Complete a series - I actually completed a few (which is why it had 2 orange crosses then stopped counting), but the first one I completed was Jaclyn Moriarty's Ashbury/Brookfield series.
  • Read a children's classic - I read The Little Prince during a read-a-thon. Odd little book, but very beautiful.
  • Read 3 books with non-white main characters - I read Black Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth Wein, Cinder by Marissa Meyer, and It's About Love by Steven Camden
  • Read a thriller/crime novel - I read In a Dark, Dark Wood in December and really enjoyed it.
  • Read a book with more than 500 pages - Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas
  • Read a graphic novel - I finally got round to reading Maus.
  • Read an America classic - cheated a bit with this one by reading Of Mice & Men by Steinbeck which is a novella, but since I didn't specify it had to be a full novel...
  • A book that's been on the shelf for 2+ years - I read A Gathering Light by Jennifer Donnelly
  • Read a book that's been made into a movie - I finally read the novel version of Bridget Jones's Diary at the beginning of last year.
  • Listen to 2 audiobooks - I listened to Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein and Yes Please by Amy Poehler (and loved them both).
  • Read a book of poetry - I read a book of Pablo Neruda's poetry (sadly a major disappointment).
  • Read something historical - I read These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly and it was wonderful.
Almost completed:
  • Read 2 British classics - I did read Pride and Prejudice this year for the first time and I started Jane Eyre, but a lot happened over Christmas/New Year so I didn't finish it in time for it to count.
Failed:
  • Read The Hobbit (or another fantasy novel) - Technically I did read fantasy novels this year, but I meant more...classic fantasy, not ones recently published, so I'm considering it a fail.
  • Read 3 of Shakespeare's plays
  • Read a Stephen King book
  • Read a classic horror novel/short stories
  • Read 2 Russian classics
  • Read a French classic
  • Read something published before the 15th century
And I think that's all. The challenge was surprisingly fun and there were definitely some books on there I wouldn't have picked up last year if it hadn't been for this, and it made me realise that I do really love classics when I'm in the right mood for them.

Here's the blank 2016 sheet if you want to join in (open in a new tab for the full size):
Later.

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