Tag Archives: Reading Challenges

2018 Reading Challenge Check-In #1

We’re one month into 2018, so how are those Reading Challenges going?

I’ve fallen a bit behind, though not as much as I thought before I went and put together this post! I went to New York in early January, then came home and promptly got a massive cold. Which I attempted to ignore while catching up at work.

The cold would not be ignored. So, that went well.

On to the Challenges!

Mount TBR (hosted at My Reader’s Block for 2018)

Goal: 24 books
End of January Progress: 16% (target pace: 8%)

Ahead of schedule, and I even posted reviews of three out of the four. Of course, the one I liked the most, The Dollhouse, is the one that I didn’t get around to actually reviewing.


The Official 2018 TBR Pile Challenge at Roof Beam Reader

Goal: 12 books
End of January Progress: 8% (target pace: 8%)

This is the only Challenge that required a list at the beginning of the year. I’m right on target pace-wise, but I’ve discovered that I might have actually gotten rid of one of the books on my list! Oops.


Newbery Reading Challenge at Smiling Shelves

Goal: Konigsburg (75+ points)
End of January Progress: 4% (target pace: 8%)

  • Sounder by William Armstrong: 3 points (Newbery winner, 1970)

A bit behind on this one, but no reason to think I won’t catch up soon – probably later this month, once the 2018 YMAs are announced.


Old School Kidlit Reading Challenge 2018 at Read-at-Home Mom

Goal: 12 books
End of January Progress: 8% (target pace: 8%)

  • Sounder by William Armstrong, published in 1969

Right on target with this one. I’m also planning to re-read A Wrinkle in Time, which wasn’t on my original list, but qualifies, since it was published in 1962.

Book Riot Read Harder 2018

End of January Progress: 12.5% (target pace: 8%)

  • A children’s classic published before 1980: Sounder by William Armstrong, published in 1969
  • A one-sitting book: The Grownup by Gillian Flynn
  • The first book in a new-to-you YA or middle grade series: Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett

My next challenge will probably be the celebrity memoir one, just as soon as my library hold on Jenifer Lewis’s The Mother of Black Hollywood comes through.

2018 Book Blog Discussion Challenge

Goal: Creative Conversationalist (11-20 posts – aiming for 12)
End of January Progress: 8% (target pace: 8%)

2018 Share-a-Tea Reading Challenge at Becky’s Book Reviews

I’ve fallen down on this one and not posted about any teas in January. I’ll have to get to work on that!

So, how’s your 2018 reading going?

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A Disappointing Start

It’s been a bit of a rough start to my reading year here in 2018. I had high hopes for the first book I read this year, but it was not quite what I expected. I knew going into the second book that I hadn’t loved the book to which it was a sequel. And the book was okay, but that’s it.

Both books count for the Mount TBR challenge, and one counts for the TBR Pile challenge. Neither one satisfies a Read Harder task, so I ought to get cracking on that. I really need something good, too. (I am also reading A Study in Scarlet as part of my personal Canon Reading project, but that’s a known quantity.)

How is your reading year going? Are you working on any challenges? Did you choose a book specifically to be your first book of 2018?

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Reading the Canon 2018

Along with the challenges I signed up for, I set a goal for myself to read the four novels and 56 short stories of the Canon in 2018. I went through my handy single-volume, 1122-page Doubleday and divided it over the year. The way it worked out, I’ll be reading A Study in Scarlet in January, The Sign of Four in February, Adventures of Sherlock Holmes in March and April, Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes in April, May, and early June, The Return of Sherlock Holmes in June and July, The Hound of the Baskervilles in August, The Valley of Fear in September and into October, His Last Bow in October and November, and finishing out the year with The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes in November and December.

I anticipate reading some of the stories in digital form on my iPad rather than in my Doubleday, because there will be some travelling during 2018, and I’m not about to pack an 1122-page book in my suitcase!

This is the break-down by week, for anyone who wants to read along with me:

1/1 – 1/7 A Study in Scarlet, part 1 chapters 1-4
1/8 – 1/14 A Study in Scarlet, part 1 chapters 5-7
1/15 – 1/21 A Study in Scarlet, part 2 chapters 1-4
1/22 – 1/28 A Study in Scarlet, part 2 chapter 5-end
1/29 – 2/4 The Sign of Four, chapters 1-4
2/5 – 2/11 The Sign of Four, chapters 5-7
2/12 – 2/18 The Sign of Four, chapters 8-10
2/19 – 2/25 The Sign of Four, chapter 11-end
2/26 – 3/4 A Scandal in Bohemia
3/5 – 3/11 The Red-headed League and A Case of Identity
3/12 – 3/18 The Boscombe Valley Mystery and The Five Orange Pips
3/19 – 3/25 The Man with the Twisted Lip and The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle
3/26 – 4/1 The Adventure of the Speckled Band
4/2 – 4/8 The Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb and The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor
4/9 – 4/15 The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet
4/16 – 4/22 The Adventure of the Copper Beeches
4/23 – 4/29 Silver Blaze
4/30 – 5/6 The Yellow Face and The Stock-broker’s Clerk
5/7 – 5/13 The “Gloria Scott” and The Musgrave Ritual
5/14 – 5/20 The Reigate Puzzle and The Crooked Man
5/21 – 5/27 The Resident Patient and The Greek Interpreter
5/26 – 6/3 The Naval Treaty
6/4 – 6/10 The Final Problem and The Adventure of the Empty House
6/11 – 6/17 The Adventure of the Norwood Builder
6/18 – 6/24 The Adventure of the Dancing Men
6/25 – 7/1 The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist
7/2 – 7/8 The Adventure of the Priory School
7/9 – 7/15 The Adventure of Black Peter and The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton
7/16 – 7/22 The  Adventure of the Six Napoleons and The Adventure of the Three Students
7/23 – 7/29 The Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez and The Adventure of the Missing Three-Quarter
7/30 – 8/5 The Adventure of the Abbey Grange and The Adventure of the Second Stain
8/6 – 8/12 The Hound of the Baskervilles, chapters 1-4
8/13 – 8/19 The Hound of the Baskervilles, chapters 5-8
8/20 – 8/26 The Hound of the Baskervilles, chapters 9-11
8/27 – 9/2 The Hound of the Baskervilles, chapter 12-end
9/3 – 9/9 The Valley of Fear, part 1 chapters 1-3
9/10 – 9/16 The Valley of Fear, part 1 chapters 4-6
9/17 – 9/23 The Valley of Fear, part 2 chapters 1-2
9/24 – 9/30 The Valley of Fear, part 2 chapters 3-4
10/1 – 10/7 The Valley of Fear, part 2 chapter 5-end
10/8 – 10/14 The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge
10/15 – 10/21 The Adventure of the  Cardboard Box and The Adventure of the Red Circle
10/22 – 10/28 The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans
10/29 – 11/4 The Adventure of the Dying Detective and The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax
11/5 – 11/11 The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot
11/12 – 11/18 His Last Bow
11/19 – 11/25 The Adventure of the Illustrious Client and The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier
11/26 – 12/2 The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone and The Adventure of the Three Gables
12/3 – 12/9 The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire and The Adventure of the Three Garridebs
12/10 – 12/16 The Problem of Thor Bridge and The Adventure of the Creeping Man
12/17 – 12/23 The Adventure of the Lion’s Mane and The Adventure of the Veiled Lodger
12/24 – 12/30 The Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place and The Adventure of the Retired Colourman

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Share-a-Tea 2018

Like I could resist this one.

This is a pretty laid-back “challenge”, as it’s all about slowing down and enjoying a book along with a cup of tea. And discussing said books and tea with like-minded folks. You may have noticed that I like tea. A lot.

Becky says, “If you write a post on your blog announcing the challenge (and making a place to keep track of what you’ve read), consider sharing a bit about yourself–your reading and drinking habits.”

So, hi! I’m Beth, a Librarian at a busy branch library in the San Fernando Valley. I’m a transplant from Chicago, but I’ve been here 15 years. I’ve been told that my accent has even changed. (Of course, I can’t hear it!) I’m obsessed with Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson, knitting/crochet/spinning, and tea.

I drink a lot of black tea blends from Adagio. I also get a monthly subscription box from Tea Runners. I like lapsang souchong more than is probably reasonable. I also have a completely ridiculous sweet tooth. I recently won a tea-themed gift basket at a work function, in which there were 13 kinds of tea. (The basket was donated by my area of the library system. Three of those teas were donated by me.)

I’ll admit I was a tiny bit disappointed that that was not actually one giant Lindor truffle.

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Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2018

How many books do I have on my shelves that I’ve not got ’round to reading just yet?

Um… well… a few. Some. More than I would like. Enter the Mount TBR Reading Challenge!

Like the Official 2018 TBR Pile Challenge, this is all about reading those books that have been lying around waiting to be read. Those books that were enticing enough to buy, or perhaps were gifts, or (and this covers quite a few of mine) were part of a book-of-the-month type club many months ago.

This challenge is a little bit looser than the other TBR Challenge. Any book you own before 1/1/18 is fair game, and you can pick and choose throughout the year. There are several levels you can choose. I’m aiming for Mount Blanc: 24 books. Half of those will come from the other challenge, naturally. I may end up shooting for a higher goal by December. A girl can dream.

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Old School Kidlit Reading Challenge 2018

The Old School Kidlit Reading Challenge is another challenge that relates to my professional reading interests. In addition to keeping up with the latest trends in children’s literature, it’s good to go back and check out some classic books. The rules are pretty simple: set a goal number of children’s books published in the decade of your birth or earlier. I decided on 12 books as my goal, with this tentative list in mind:

  • Sounder by William H. Armstrong
  • My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier & Christopher Collier
  • Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes
  • The Slave Dancer by Paula Fox
  • My Father’s Dragon by Ruth S. Gannett
  • Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
  • M. C. Higgins, the Great by Virginia Hamilton
  • To Be a Slave by Julius Lester
  • It’s Like This, Cat by Emily Neville
  • The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pène du Bois
  • Roller Skates by Ruth Sawyer
  • The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

They’re all Newbery winners or honor books, because I’m doubling-up for these with the Newbery Reading Challenge.

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The Official 2018 TBR Pile Challenge

The Official 2018 TBR Pile Challenge is one of two challenges I’m going to work on that focus specifically on books owned but unread. (The other is Mount TBR, which I will post about tomorrow.) I have some books on my shelves that I totally meant to read, but never got around to. Book People know what I’m talking about here.

This challenge has stricter rules than most of the ones I’m attempting. There are no levels. There is no setting your own goal. There is one simple goal: read 12 books from your TBR pile within the year. Only books from 2016 and earlier are allowed; books published in 2017 and still unread do not qualify. The list of 12 – plus two alternates, in case a couple of the 12 turn out to be un-finishable – must be specified by January 15th, 2018.

My List:

  1. The Time of Our Singing by Richard Powers
  2. Geek Girls Unite: How Fangirls, Bookworms, Indie Chicks, and Other Misfits Are Taking Over the World by Leslie Simon – Reviewed: January 3
  3. Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes by Maria Konnikova
  4. The Daylight Gate by Jeanette Winterson
  5. The Wand in the Word: Conversations with Writers of Fantasy edited by Leonard S. Marcus
  6. Making a Literary Life: Advice for Writers and Other Dreamers by Carolyn See
  7. The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table by Tracie McMillan
  8. A Study In Lavender: Queering Sherlock Holmes edited by Joseph R.G. DeMarco
  9. Listening for Madeleine: A Portrait of Madeleine L’Engle in Many Voices Leonard S. Marcus
  10. Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street by William S. Baring-Gould
  11. Weight: The Myth of Atlas and Heracles by Jeanette Winterson
  12. Shadows Over Baker Street edited by Michael Reaves and John Pelan

And the two alternates:

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Newbery Reading Challenge 2018

The Newbery Reading Challenge fits nicely into my professional interests as a Children’s Librarian. It’s a points-based challenge:

  • 3 points for a Newbery Medal Winner
  • 2 points for a Newbery Honor Book
  • 1 point for a Caldecott Book

You choose which level to aim for:

  • L’Engle: 15 – 29 points
  • Spinelli: 30 – 44 points
  • Avi: 45 – 59 points
  • Lowry: 60 – 74 points
  • Konigsburg: 75+ points

I’m in for the Konigsburg level. I’m planning to double-up a number of books for this one with the Old School Kidlit Reading Challenge and looking at these possible titles:

  1. Sounder by William H. Armstrong
  2. My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier & Christopher Collier
  3. Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes
  4. The Slave Dancer by Paula Fox
  5. My Father’s Dragon by Ruth S. Gannett
  6. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
  7. M. C. Higgins, the Great by Virginia Hamilton
  8. To Be a Slave by Julius Lester
  9. It’s Like This, Cat by Emily Neville
  10. The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pène du Bois
  11. Roller Skates by Ruth Sawyer
  12. The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

Every year, too, after the ALA Youth Media Awards are announced (February 12th, 8am MT this year), I go back and read the books I didn’t get to yet. And Caldecott books are often a part of my weekly Storytimes.

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Book BINGO 2018

This is the first year I’m going to attempt the Book BINGO Challenge:

I’m shooting for a cover-all on here. I’m sure I’m going to read at least 24 books in 2018! It will be interesting to see how this card compares to my Read Harder Challenge card over the year.

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Read Harder 2018

I’m not entirely sure why I decided to make a BINGO card out of the Book Riot 2018 Read Harder Challenge tasks. But I did.

I’ve already started tagging books in my GoodReads TBR that could satisfy various tasks. Some of the tasks are going to be pretty easy for me, like “a children’s classic published before 1980”. I’m having difficulty with “an assigned book you hated (or never finished)”. If I really hated an assigned book (and I must have!), I seem to have repressed all memory of it. The only assigned book that I definitely remember not finishing at the time is Don Quixote, which I’ve since read and don’t really feel a pull to read again just now.

The most likely contenders for that task for me would be A Christmas Carol or A Tale of Two Cities, though I don’t think I’d say I hated them. (Hated the class in which I was assigned the latter, yes. But not the book itself.) Something will come up, I’m sure.

Someone in the Read Harder group on GoodReads mentioned Maurice as their posthumous publication choice. I’d forgotten that Maurice wasn’t published until well after Forster’s death. I’ve seen the movie, but I haven’t read the book yet. So, there’s that one sorted. Just 23 to go!

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