Looking Ahead: 2019 Challenges

It’s getting to be that time of year. The time when we (I) look at our valiantly attempted reading challenges, shrug off the incompletes, and look ahead to a fresh new year with fresh new challenges. Finding them really couldn’t be easier, since Feed Your Fiction Addiction has already done the work and compiled a Master List of 2019 Reading Challenges.

low angle photo of tower of books
Photo by Ajda Berzin on Unsplash

I’m a big fan of list-based challenges (Read Harder, anyone?), so I’m intrigued by Around the World in 52 Books and the Reading Women Challenge.

The Victorian and Georgian Challenges would combine nicely with my personal Classics Club list. And I’m just tickled by having the option of a list or a BINGO card for the Victorian one. That’s a nice touch right there.

I love a cozy mystery, and both Craving for Cozies and Cruisin’ through the Cozies look like fun.

12 Children’s Classics is a book-club style challenge with a set sequence of books assigned to months. February is Lamb’s Tales from Shakespeare, which happens to be on my Classics Club list.

Speaking of children’s books, there are challenges for both middle grade and picture books hosted at Becky’s Book Reviews.

I may feel a tiny bit called out by the Blogger Shame Challenge. My NetGalley feedback rating says I should do this challenge.

And then there is the Reading Challenge Addict Challenge, wherein one takes a challenge to complete a number of challenges. Wonderfully meta!

R.I.P. (Readers Imbibing Peril) XIII

You know what I really (don’t) need? Another reading challenge.

But I’m going to do one anyway.

I heard about Readers Imbibing Peril XIII on the latest episode of the For Real podcast. I am, as ever, late to the party, since the challenge started at the beginning of September.

And what is this challenge, you ask? From the site linked above:

The purpose of the R.I.P. Challenge is to enjoy books that could be classified as:
Mystery.
Suspense.
Thriller.
Dark Fantasy.
Gothic.
Horror.
Supernatural.

I think I can make that work. In fact, since I’m so far behind on my personal challenge of reading my entire Doubleday Sherlock Holmes this year, I’m already planning on reading both Hound of the Baskervilles and Valley of Fear this month, so there are two books already. (Yes, I am counting them as two separate “books” even though they’re both in my one massive volume, since I think that’s in the spirit of the challenge.)

I’d also like to read Jeanette Winterson’s The Daylight Gate this month, for my extremely neglected TBR Pile Challenge. Also on that list is Shadows over Baker Street, another seasonally appropriate choice.

That makes four books, which qualifies as “Peril the First”. Because why not aim high?

2018 Reading Challenge Check-In #3

The first quarter of 2018 has been and gone, so how are those Reading Challenges going?

 

Mount TBR (hosted at My Reader’s Block for 2018)
Goal: 24 books
End of March Progress: 16(ish)% (target pace: 25%)

I did finish A Study in Lavender, but I haven’t yet reviewed it, so it doesn’t count toward the TBR Pile challenge yet, and so I’m not counting it here yet.

February:
None. Whoops.
January:

 


The Official 2018 TBR Pile Challenge at Roof Beam Reader
Goal: 12 books
End of March Progress: 8(ish)% (target pace: 25%)

What I wrote up there under the last challenge? That.

February:
None.
January:

 


Newbery Reading Challenge at Smiling Shelves
Goal: Konigsburg (75+ points)
End of March Progress: 21% (target pace: 25%)

Falling a bit behind again.

  • Grand Canyon by Jason Chin: 1 point (Caldecott Honor, 2018)
  • Ella Sarah Gets Dressed by Margaret Chodos-Irvine: 1 point (Caldecott Honor, 2004)
  • Big Cat, Little Cat by Elisha Cooper: 1 point (Caldecott Honor, 2018)
  • Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell: 1 point (Caldecott winner, 2018)
  • A Different Pond by Bao Phi: 1 point (Caldecott Honor, 2018)

February:

  • The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats: 1 point (Caldecott winner, 1963)
  • Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson: 2 points (Newbery Honor, 2018)
  • Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly: 3 points (Newbery Winner, 2018)
  • Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds: 2 points (Newbery Honor, 2018)

January:

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

Old School Kidlit Reading Challenge 2018 at Read-at-Home Mom
Goal: 12 books
End of March Progress: 17% (target pace: 25%)

This one sort of sneaked in.

  • Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz by L. Frank Baum

February:
None.
January:

  • Sounder by William Armstrong, published in 1969

 


Book Riot Read Harder 2018
End of March Progress: 21% (target pace: 17%)

By the way, my hold on Mother of Black Hollywood finally came in.

  • A comic written or drawn by a person of color: Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet (Book One), written by Ta-Nehisi Coates and illustrated by Brian Stelfreeze

February:

  • A mystery by a person of color or LGBTQ+ author: Murder in G Major by Alexia Gordon
  • A romance novel by or about a person of color: An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole

January:

  • 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

 


2018 Book Blog Discussion Challenge
Goal: Creative Conversationalist (11-20 posts – aiming for 12)
End of March Progress: 8% (target pace: 25%)

Okay, this month, the blog’s been pretty much TBR stuff, one way or another.

February:
None.
January:

 


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

I have still not posted anything about tea this year. I’ve been drinking quite a lot of tea, though.

So, how’s your 2018 reading going?

2018 Reading Challenge Check-In #2

We’re two months into 2018, so how are those Reading Challenges going?

February flew by. I know it’s a short month, but it felt particularly short this year.

On to the Challenges!

Mount TBR (hosted at My Reader’s Block for 2018)
Goal: 24 books
End of February Progress: 16% (target pace: 17%)

I read a lot of library books in February, but I didn’t finish any books from my own shelves! Whoops.

January:

 


The Official 2018 TBR Pile Challenge at Roof Beam Reader
Goal: 12 books
End of February Progress: 8% (target pace: 17%)

No progress on Mt TBR means there was definitely no progress on this one. I started reading both Listening for Madeleine and A Study in Lavender, so I’m hoping to catch up by the end of this month.

January:

 


Newbery Reading Challenge at Smiling Shelves
Goal: Konigsburg (75+ points)
End of February Progress: 15% (target pace: 17%)

As predicted, my point total jumped after the YMA announcements on the 19th. And I haven’t even started this year’s Caldecotts.

  • The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats: 1 point (Caldecott winner, 1963)
  • Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson: 2 points (Newbery Honor, 2018)
  • Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly: 3 points (Newbery Winner, 2018)
  • Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds: 2 points (Newbery Honor, 2018)

January:

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

 

Old School Kidlit Reading Challenge 2018 at Read-at-Home Mom
Goal: 12 books
End of February Progress: 8% (target pace: 17%)

Another neglected challenge! A Wrinkle in Time is due for a re-read before the movie, so that will probably be next.

January:

  • Sounder by William Armstrong, published in 1969

 


Book Riot Read Harder 2018
End of February Progress: 21% (target pace: 17%)

I thought that “Celebrity Memoir” would be my next category, but my hold on Mother of Black Hollywood has not yet come in. Instead, I curled up with some cozy mysteries for one task and a fantastic historical romance for another. I recently picked up a copy of the first volume (four issues) of the Black Panther comics written by Ta-Nehisi Coates; the “comic written or illustrated by a person of color” task is likely to be next.

  • A mystery by a person of color or LGBTQ+ author: Murder in G Major by Alexia Gordon
  • A romance novel by or about a person of color: An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole

January:

  • 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

 


2018 Book Blog Discussion Challenge
Goal: Creative Conversationalist (11-20 posts – aiming for 12)
End of February Progress: 8% (target pace: 17%)

Um, oops?

January:

 


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

I have still not posted anything about tea this year.

 

So, how’s your 2018 reading going? I’ve got some room for improvement this month!

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?

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?

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

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.

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.

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.