Reading Challenges 2018

Sure, I might squeeze in another couple of books before midnight on December 31, 2018 but I think I can safely draw a line under the reading challenges for the year.

I participated in six challenges this year – finished four; one is ongoing; and I failed one – not miserably but I didn’t complete the target number of books.

Australian Women Writers – I read 23 books by Australian female authors (the target was ten). AWW delivered some amazing memoirs this year, notably the Ward, Szubanski, and the Keogh, all of which I’m still thinking about. I was also surprised by how much I enjoyed Clare Wright’s The Forgotten Rebels of the Eureka.

What’s In a Name – I zipped through this challenge this year, although perhaps my choice for a book with a shape in the title (Young Hearts Crying) and with a season in the title (The Dry) were generous?! The Yates was easily my favourite of the books I read for this challenge, followed by the Tremain short story collection.

20 Books of Summer – I always use this mid-year challenge to clear a few hard copies that have been lingering in the TBR stack, although this year I must admit I didn’t stick to my original list, partly because I was reading for the Melbourne Writers Festival. Highlights? Atkinson, Wright, Tremain, and I finally got around to a true-crime classic.

Memoir – I read 17 memoirs (the target was five). I thoroughly enjoyed this challenge and practically everything I read for it was fantastic. Apart from the memoirs already mentioned, other highlights were SpringsteenCole and Lee.

Mount TBR – so I failed… 11 books short of my target of 48. I will be signing up in 2019 though – it keeps me focused on reading from what I already own. Happily, this challenge delivered some of my favourites for the year, Atkinson and Boyne (but also the worst!).

Around the World in 80 Books – my second year of an ongoing challenge and I managed to add 18 countries to the 19 I covered in 2017. I was expecting this challenge to be much more difficult this year, so I was pleased with my progress. Glancing down the list, my pick for Denmark was memorable.

As for reading challenges in 2019, I’ll be participating in all of these again and perhaps looking for one or two new ones (A Novel Challenge has lots of suggestions). Are you trying any new challenges?

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4 responses

  1. Thank you for an entertaining 2018 Kate. I don’t do challenges, though I record my reviews on the AWWC website in case others share my liking for old books by Oz women. Harper was using Dry in the sense of drought rather than season, but then I am one of the few readers less than impressed by her (second hand) evocations of Australian bush life. Very amused at the opportunity to reread the Niederhoffer review – you set a very high standard this year! I’m not sure how far round the world I went – I managed every Scandavian country with crime fiction, including Finland and Iceland, but zero Africa, Eastern Europe, Central & South America, NZ …
    Looking forward to bamfab 2019.

    • I recall that you were in the minority on the Harper – I read so few books in that genre so to come across one that I couldn’t guess the outcome by the end of the first chapter made for compelling reading!

  2. I’m impressed you made such good progress and even beat your own targets. I usually do badly with challenges …. Not sure yet what my own plans will be but I’m thinking of just finishing the challenges I already have rather than starting new ones. And yet the AWW and Mount TBR ones you mention are tempting

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