Here we have it my last wrap up post for 2020! At the beginning of last year I decided to take part, yet again, in some challenges to help vary my reading and push me to read more. I also found that the challenges were super fun last year and I wanted to do it again. This post is going to go into detail with 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 focused on the number of books I challenge myself to read.
I originally challenged myself to read 45 books but I decided to increase the goal by 1 each time I DNFed a book. By the end of the year my goal had changed to 51. I am happy to say, even with the change in goal, I successfully completed this challenge. Surpassing the desired number by an extra 12 books! This is the most number of books I have ever read!
I read 63 books! 56 of which I read all the way through.
2019 Sequels Challenge
This challenge is one I set myself. This is due to the fact that, a couple of years ago, I looked at my bookshelf and realised I had so many unfinished series just sitting there collecting dust. So, I made it my mission to read the next book in all the outstanding series I had ongoing and any other series I would subsequently start. I am happy to say that I also successfully completed this challenge.
- The Toll – Neal Shusterman (Arc of a Sycthe #3 – The Final Book)
- Tears of the Giraffe – Alexander McCall Smith (The No.1. Ladies Detective Agency #2)
- Murder at Enderley Hall – Helena Dixon (Miss Underhay Mystery #2)
- The Sea of Monsters – Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #3)
- Closed Casket – Sophie Hannah (New Hercule Poirot Mysteries #2)
- The Great Hunt – Robert Jordan (Wheel of Time #2)
- The Hod King – Josiah Bancroft (The Books of Babel #3)
- The Mystery of the Blue Train – Agatha Christie (Hercule Poirot #6)
- Finale – Stephanie Garber (Caraval #3 – The Final Book)
- Predator’s Gold – Phillip Reeve (The Mortal Engines Quartet #2)
- Sourcery – Terry Pratchett (Discworld #5)
- Murder at the Playhouse – Helena Dixon (Miss Underhay Mystery #3)
- The Well of Ascension – Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn #2)
- Wyrd Sisters – Terry Pratchett (Discworld #6)
- Dead Man in a Ditch – Luke Arnold (The Fetch Phillips Archives #2)
- The Winter of the Witch – Katherine Arden (The Winternight Trilogy #3 – The Final Book)
- Fullmetal Alchemist Vol 7-9 – Hiromu Arakawa (Fullmetal Alchemist Omnibus #3)
- Peril at End House – Agatha Christie (Hercule Poirot #8)
- Murder on the Dancefloor – Helena Dixon (Miss Underhay Mystery #4)
- The Titan’s Curse – Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #3)
- The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home – Jeffrey Cranor and Joseph Fink (Welcome to Nightvale #3)
- The Dragon Reborn – Robert Jordan (Wheel of Time #3)
- The Hero of Ages – Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn #3 – The Final Book)
Some of these book weren’t in my original plan at the beginning of the year but after I had posted that plan, which is just guidelines at the end of the day, I ended up reading a couple more books from some of the series or picking up a book from a series I haven’t read in 2 years!
I also decided to not continue with two series from my list at the beginning of the year.
- Looking Glass – Christina Henry (The Chronicles of Alice #3)
I decided not to read this book as earlier in the year I had read another book by this author and was disappointed so I didn’t want to set myself up for further disappointment.
- A Quarter Past Dead – T.P. Fielden (Miss Dimont Mystery #3)
I had no real desire to continue with this series and when I looked at all other books I wanted to read I knew I was never going to find time to pick it up.
THE ONTD Reading Challenge
This was probably the challenge I was most excited about starting! I really enjoyed the challenge last time so I couldn’t wait to do it again! This challenge was simple. Read a book that matched the theme/prompt of that month. I found this group on Goodreads. I am happy to say that I also successfully completed this challenge.
January – Read a book that has been adapted into a movie or TV show.
For this prompt, I chose Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. I had heard it was coming to Netflix in October of 2020 and I had previously seen a play adaptation but I had never read the book. I ended up really enjoying the book. I then watched the film on Netflix later on and I wasn’t too fussed about the adaptation. It felt like it was missing something.
February – Read a book set in Nigeria or written by a Nigerian author
For this prompt, I chose My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite. I was really intrigued by the premise of the story and had never read a book by a Nigerian author before. Sadly, this book didn’t work for me. I really enjoyed the short chapters but I felt that the story was missing something.
March – Read a book about a dad, with a memorable or prominent dad character or where fatherhood is a major theme
For this prompt, I read The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan. One of the main conflicts in this series is the relationships the demigods have with their parents and most importantly one of the main characters, Luke, and his relationship with his father, Hermes. Their fractured relationship is really want starts the whole story and I thought it was a great one for the prompt.
April – Read a book that caused scandal or major controversy when it was first released.
For this prompt, I chose The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. This booked was scandalous when it was first released due to its criticism of the American Dream, mention of alcohol and drugs and mention of infidelity. I loved the movie adaptation with Leonardo DiCaprio so I was looking forward to reading the book but it disappointed me greatly. It was just so boring!
May – Read a book about a cat or where a cat is an important or memorable character.
For this prompt, I chose Coraline by Neil Gaiman. Mainly, because it was the only book with a cat I could think of. I loved the movie and was disappointed by the book. Not much else to it.
June – Read a book that was published between 1946-64 or written by a author born between 1946-64.
For this prompt, I read 2 books. Both of the books fit in the bracket of the author born between those years. I read Sourcery by Terry Pratchett, which I didn’t like and White Fragility by Robin Di Angelo which was super informative.
July – Read a book with a plot twist.
For this prompt, I read 2 books also. I didn’t have any books planned at the beginning of the year but I ended up picking. The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson and The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, both books were amazing!
August – Re-read a book that sparks joy for you or read a feel-good book.
For this prompt, I went for the feel-good option and chose The Princess Bride by William Goldman. While it definitely had feel-good moments, I just couldn’t connect to the story so I DNFed it.
September – Read a book about or with a prominent character who is a curmudgeon: a crotchety, grumpy, cantankerous character
For this prompt, I read 2 more books. Both books had male grumpy protagonists and I chose The Last Wish by Andrezj Sapkowski for Geralt of Rivia and Dead Man in a Ditch by Luke Arnold for Fetch Phillips. Both books I really enjoyed!
October – Read a book with or about a creepy character.
The original prompt got changed a couple of months in and I didn’t realise until I had practically finished the month but thankfully I had read a book that fit the prompt. I read Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch which had a really creepy antagonist. I didn’t enjoy the book though.
November – Read a book with flashbacks.
This was a prompt I struggled to find a book for. All of the books I researched just didn’t intrigue me. My boyfriend got me The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home by Jeffrey Cranor and Joseph Fink for my birthday a couple of months back and I lit up when I saw it had flashbacks. I ended up loving the book as well which was a bonus!
December – Read a Book That Won an Award in 2020
Again, I didn’t plan this prompt until the month before because I wanted to wait for a bunch of awards to be given out before I made my decision. I decided to go with Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James which won the 2020 Locus Award for Horror. I did not enjoy it sadly and DNFed it.
Second Chance Challenge
So this was a new challenge that I have created for myself. I had a couple of books that I DNFd ages ago but kept on being drawn back to. These books were books that I read just as I was getting back into reading, books that I thought I would probably love now because I have now read a variety of book genres and styles and my tastes had changed greatly. So, I had decided to give them a go and see how my feelings have changed over the past couple of years.
Turns out I only liked one of them. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, was the only book I read that I enjoyed.
I read Stardust but didn’t enjoy it and the other books I DNFed all over again. I wouldn’t call this challenge a fail as I read each one and acted according to how I felt but it was a shame to only enjoy one of the books.
My focus for my physical TBR was to read at least 3/4 of it which was roughly 16 books. I ended up reading all of my physical TBR that I had logged at the beginning of the year. Any books I bought within 2020 I reserved for 2021 so now as 2020 draws to a close. I am met with the biggest physical TBR I have ever had over 50 books! But I am happy to say that with reading all of my Physical TBR, I successfully completed the challenge.
Last year, I made the decision to read more classics. I felt it was a genre I was sorely lacking experience in and since then I feel that I have tried a good amount of classics. I read:
- The Original Folk and Fairy Tales – Brothers Grimm (DNF)
- Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
- The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald (DNF)
- The Paris Mysteries – Edgar Allan Poe (DNF)
- The Mystery of the Blue Train – Agatha Christie
- The Honjin Murders – Seshi Yokomizo
- Peril at End House – Agatha Christie
So, there you go. A wrap-up of all the challenges I attempted in 2020. I had decided to shake up some of my challenges for next year only slightly. My 2021 Reading Plan will be up next!