Thursday, January 7, 2016

Reading Challenge Wrap-Up, Reflections, Do-Overs, And Excuses

This is part 3 of my 5-part 2015 wrap-up

2015 Reading Challenge Wrap-Up, Reflections, And Excuses

2015 Goodreads Challenge

Like most bloggers, I decided to participate in a few reading challenges in 2015. In the beginning of 2015, I set my Goodreads reading challenge at 60 books. I reached that in late summer and upped the goal to 80 books. I reached 80 a few months later. I didn’t up the goal again, but I was secretly shooting for 100. I ended up finishing the year at 96 books. So close, yet so far.

I’m happy with how much I read in 2015. I felt like I was reading at a comfortable pace and remembering what I read. I can’t complain about reading 96 books. Most of them were great.

2015 Popsugar Challenge

So . . . I failed this one, but not by very much. I was hoping that the challenge would force me to read outside of my bookish comfort zone. It didn’t do that because the books that I planned on reading just happened to fit into the categories. The only book that I read specifically for the challenge was The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. I was supposed to read this book for a European history class a few years ago, but my Amazon shipment was delayed, and the book didn’t arrive until after the essay was due. By the time the book came, I had already faked my way through the essay. I never bothered to read the book because it didn’t look very interesting. Reading Anne Frank’s diary was the only time that the challenge forced me out of my comfort zone.

Here is my challenge. Click the links to see my reviews.

1) A book with more than 500 pages - The Waste Lands - Stephen King 
2) A classic romance 
3) A book that became a movie - Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn 
4) A book published this year - A Darker Shade Of Magic – V.E. Schwab 
5) A book with a number in the title - Ready Player One – Ernest Cline 
6) A book written by someone under 30 - Vicious– V.E. Schwab  
7) A book with nonhuman characters - Cinder – Marissa Meyer 
8) A funny book - Me and Earl and the Dying Girl - Jesse Andrews  
9) A book by a female author – The Tales of Beedle the Bard – JK Rowling 
10) A mystery or thriller - Gated – Amy Christine Parker  
11) A book with a one-word title - Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell 
12) A book of short stories – Moral Disorder: And Other Stories – Margaret Atwood 
13) A book set in a different country - Hachiko Waits – LeslĂ©a Newman 
14) A nonfiction book – How to Read Literature like a Professor – Thomas C. Foster 
15) A popular author's first book - St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves – Karen Russell 
16) A book from an author you love that you haven't read yet - The Impossible Knife of Memory – Laurie Halse Anderson 
17) A book a friend recommended - Feed - M.T. Anderson 
18) A Pulitzer Prize winning book – A Visit from the Goon Squad – Jennifer Egan 
19) A book based on a true story – What is the What – Dave Eggers 
20) A book at the bottom of your to-read list - Incarceration – M.G. Field 
21) A book your mom loves 
22) A book that scares you - Wizard and Glass - Stephen King 
23) A book more than 100 years old - Peter Pan - J.M. Barrie 
24) A book chosen based entirely on its cover – The Raft – S.A. Bodeen 
25) A book you were supposed to read in school but didn't - The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank  
26) A memoir - Wild – Cheryl Strayed 
27) A book you can finish in a day – Coraline – Neil Gaiman 
28) A book with antonyms in the title  - The White Darkness - Geraldine McCaughrean 
29) A book set somewhere you've always wanted to visit - Kit's Wilderness - David Almond  
30) A book that came out the year you were born - The Drawing of the Three – Stephen King 
31) A book with bad reviews - Me Being Me is exactly as Insane as You Being You – Todd Hasak-Lowy 
32) A trilogy - MaddAddam - Margaret Atwood 
33) A book from your childhood – Stargirl – Jerry Spinelli 
34) A book with a love triangle - Rumble – Ellen Hopkins 
35) A book set in the future - Not A Drop To Drink – Mindy McGinnis  
36) A book set in high school – Twisted – Laurie Halse Anderson 
37) A book with a color in the title - The Silver Linings Playbook - Matthew Quick 
38) A book that made you cry 
39) A book with magic - The Gunslinger – Stephen King  
40) A graphic novel - American Born Chinese - Gene Luen Yang 
41) A book by an author you've never read before - Sky Jumpers - Peggy Eddleman 
42) A book you own but haven't read yet - Stone Mattress - Margaret Atwood 
43) A book that takes place in your hometown (or surrounding area) 
44) A book that was originally written in a different language - The Faster I Walk, The Smaller I Am – Kjersti Skomsvold  
45) A book set during Christmas - Landline – Rainbow Rowell 
46) A book by an author with your same initials 
47) A play – A Streetcar Named Desire – Tennessee Williams 
48) A banned book - Smoke - Ellen Hopkins  
49) A book based on or turned into a TV show 
50) A book you started but never finished  

These are my excuses for the categories that didn’t work out:

A classic romance. This one is strange because I usually read a lot of classics. There was one year (2012, I think) where I only read classics. None of the classics I read last year were romances.

A book your mom loves. My mom doesn’t like to read. She doesn’t love any book. Unless you count Facebook, which I don't.

A book that made you cry. A book has never made me cry, so there wasn’t much hope for completing this category.

A book that takes place in your hometown (or surrounding area). My hometown is pretty small, but I was hoping to find a book set in my home state. I guess Colorado isn’t a popular setting for the types of books I read. I read one book set in Nebraska and one set in New Mexico. That’s as close to Colorado as I got.

A book by an author with your same initials. Unless I missed something, this just didn’t happen.

A book based on or turned into a TV show. I don’t watch very much TV, so I don’t always know when a book is based on a show. I don’t think I read anything that fits in this category.

A book you started but never finished. I rarely DNF books. When I do, it’s for a good reason. If I don’t finish a book, I will never finish it.

2016 Reading Challenges

This year, I’m going to be doing 5 challenges. My 2016 Goodreads challenge is set at 100 books. I really want to read more graphic novels, plays, and poetry this year, so I might be able to finish more books than last year. Books in those genres tend to be quick reads. Let me know if you have any graphic novel, poetry, or play recommendations.

I’m doing the Horror Reading Challenge and the Dystopia Reading Challenge this year. I want to read some classic horror, and I need recommendations, so tell me your favorite classic horror stories. I want to read the older stuff that inspires the modern stuff.

I’m a huge believer in reading diversely, so I’m going to be doing the Diverse Reads Book Challenge. I want to read more translations. If you have a favorite book that was translated to English from another language, let me know.

Finally, I’m going to be doing the 2016 Popsugar challenge. I might try a little harder to complete it this time, but some of those categories look difficult.

How did you do on your 2015 reading challenges? Which 2016 challenges are you doing?


  1. Congrats on your Goodreads challenge! I am in awe of those who complete or even attempt these challenges. Kudos to you!

  2. I only did the Popsugar one last year and failed pretty bad. I think it was because I had just started blogging, got caught up in ARCs and what not. This year I am doing it again and hopt to complete it - and at least it is shorter. Also doing the Rock My TBR challenge to help me get to all the books I own. Good luck with your challenges this year!

    1. I’m hoping to do better on the Popsugar challenge this year, too. Last year there were a few categories that I just knew I wouldn’t complete.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

  3. You did great on last year's challenge! I don't do well when I sign up for challenges. I have a very hard time reading to fill a list. I really just want to get some control of my ARC pile in 2016. Good luck with this year's challenges!

  4. I keep saying I'm gonna do all these challenges and then I don't. Good luck to you!

  5. Great job with your Goodreads challenge! I didn't even get close to my goal. Lol. And good luck with your 2016 challenges! I've been so tempted to do the Horror and Dystopia challenges, but I have so many already. Enjoy!

    Cheryl @ I Heart Fictional People

  6. Oh my goodness, you read so much last year! I hardly read anything and didn't do any reviews or keep up on Goodreads. It was a bad reading year for me. So this year, I am excited to get back in the game!

    Happy reading! Megan @ Doodles 'n Scribbles