At the end of last year I decided to take part in some challenges to help vary my reading and push me to read more. This post is going to detail how well I did on these challenges.
Some of these challenges I set myself and others were created by other people. Check out last year’s Reading Plan post to see what I had originally planned.
Goodreads Reading Challenge
Every year I try to complete the Goodreads Reading Challenge which is purely focussed on the number of books I challenge myself to read.
I originally challenge myself to read 25 books but very early on I changed it to 33 which was one more than I read in 2018. I am happy to say I successfully completed this challenge. Surpassing the desired number by an extra 24 books! This is the most number of books I have ever read!
2019 Sequels Challenge
This challenge I set myself and this was due to the fact that I looked at my bookshelf and realised I had so many unfinished series just sitting their collecting dust. So I made it my mission to read the next book in all the outstanding series I had and any other series I started recently. I am happy to say that I also successfully completed this challenge.
- The Arm of the Sphinx by Josiah Bancroft
- Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Also, reading Obsidio marked the end of the Illuminae Files for me.
- The Next Person You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. Reading this book also marked the end of this duology for me.
- The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
So, those were all the books I had planned to read as my 2019 sequels. I did end up reading some more sequels this year that wasn’t on my original plan. E.g
- Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett
- The Big Four by Agatha Christie
- The Two Towers by J.R.R Tolkien
- Mort by Terry Pratchett
- Fullmetal Alchemist Vol. 4 – 6 by Hiromu Arakawa (I read the first 3 volumes that August)
One final update, there were some books in my original list that I didn’t read. Not because I never got to them, just because I decided to DNF the series as a whole. These books were:
- The Mermaids Voice Returns in This One by Amanda Lovelace
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
- Poirot Investigates by Agatha Christie (I actually decided to leave all the short stories to the end of my read-through and buy the short story collection book.)
THE ONTD Reading Challenge
This was probably the challenge I was most excited about starting! I had never done a challenge like this before. But full disclaimer… I messed up the first month badly and I didn’t realise until the end of the month. OOPS. So, technically I didn’t succeed in this challenge as I read the first month wrong.
This challenge was simple. Read a book that matched the theme/prompt of that month. If you want to take part here is the link to the Goodreads Group.
January – Read a book that has been adapted into a movie or TV show.
So, this was actually meant to be “… in 2019!” I missed the in 2019 bit of the prompt. What I ended up reading was The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett and The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R Tolkien. Both were turned into movies just not in 2019. Oops.
February – Read a romance or a book in which a couple breaks up.
I read 1 book for this month and read about 3/4 of another book. These books were Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff as well as 3/4 of Legendary by Stephanie Garber.
Legendary ended up just fitting into the prompt but wasn’t my actual choice. I chose Obsidio as I felt all the couples in the book represented different kinds of relationships.
SPOILERS FOR THE ILLUMINAE FILES
- I felt that Ezra and Kady represented the long standing couple. The couple that have been together through thick and thin and have eachother’s backs no matter what.
- Hannah and Nik represented the brand new couple. A couple who are figuring things out and figuring each other out. Questioning if they are right for each other or did they just get caught up in the moment.
- Asha and Rhys represented the reunited couple. The couple who broke up but came back together and became stronger. But it was a tough road to get there. I loved exploring these different couples and I was happy it wasn’t just butterflies and rainbows for each couple.
March – Read a non-fiction book.
This book wasn’t even on my initial list. This book was gifted to me for Christmas by my mum and step-dad. I wrote How To Adult by Stephen Wildish which is a satirical take of growing up. A really quick and easy read.
April – Read a book about time-travel.
This book was also not in my initial list. I ended up reading The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North. While not time-travelling to the extent of Doctor Who. This story followed a man who relives his life over and over again. His form of travelling back through time is by dying and being born again, in the exact same point of time.
May – Read a book set in a country you have never been to.
I read 2 books for this month. I wrote by intial choice which was The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden. This book was set in Russia and I adored this book. It made it into my Top 10 Books of 2019 post! My other book was a disappointing one which was The Boundless by Kenneth Oppal. This book was set in Canada.
June – Read a book about friendship.
I chose Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K Rowling for this month, as I feel we see a lot of different friendship dynamics form and change in this book.
- We see Ron and Harry have their first major falling out.
- This is the first time we as a reader are fully shown that Ron and Hermione like each other. This book really changes the dynamic of Ron and Hermione’s friendship.
- We have the scene where in the 2nd Task, Harry tries to save both Hermione and Ron as they are both his friends and mean a lot to him.
- We see Harry’s friendship with Cedric form.
- We also see snippets of Ginny and Neville’s friendship in this book when Ginny is Neville’s date to the Yule Ball. This is friendship that lasts throughout these entire series.
July – Read a re-telling.
I read Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige. This book was ok until the last 100 pages which ended up being so good! This was a retelling of The Wizard of Oz, where Dorothy becomes power hungry and rules Oz with an iron fist.
August – Read a thriller where a female lead is in danger.
Again, this book wasn’t originally on my list. This was actually the first book I read on my new Kindle. It was a birthday present to myself. I read Sadie by Courtney Summers and loved it!
September – Read a comedy.
Again, another book not on my initial list. I decided to stay on the Terry Pratchett band wagon I was on and read Mort.
October – Read a book about war.
I struggled to think of what I was going to read for this one but an ARC came in from Netgalley which was a murder mystery set during the height of the First World War. I ended up loving it a lot and it was A House of Ghosts by W.C. Ryan.
November – Read a graphic novel/manga/comic.
I was really excited about this month as I never really read any graphic novels or manga. But it just so happened that my boyfriend bought me the Fullmetal Alchemist Vol. 1-3 collection for my birthday in August. So I used this month to read the next batch, Fullmetal Alchemist Vol. 4-6 by Hiromu Arakawa.
December – Read a book that won an award in 2019.
I had no plans for this month as I wouldn’t know who to pick until I got to that month. I ended up choosing Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik, this book was awarded the Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel.
Overall, a pretty successful first try. I do plan to continue with this challenge for 2020.
Any authors you plan to read more of?
I said in my original post I wanted to read more Brandon Sanderson. I’m going to be honest. I only read one book of his in 2019 and it was The Final Empire. I did love it though. But considering, I had never read any of his books before I count this as a success!
Any genres you plan to read more of?
I wanted to read more classics as a lot of the Booktubers I follow read classics and enjoy them. I ended up reading:
- The Fellowship of the Ring – J.R.R Tolkien
- The Murder of Roger Ackroyd – Agatha Christie
- The Catcher in the Rye – J.D Salinger
- The Two Towers – J.R.R Tolkien
- The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
- Hills Like White Elephants – Ernest Hemingway
So, this challenge, which was also my last challenge of 2019, was a success!!
I have another post coming up soon which will be my entire 2020 reading plan which include some brand new challenges which I am excited about!