It's finally time for me to start signing up for reading challenges for this year! I love reading challenges, but I'm really trying to cut back this year. At the end of last year, finishing them all out just became a bit too stressful. So this year, I'm signing up for six. (That still kind of sounds like a lot, I know, but it's definitely less than it could have been!) I'm ready to get started reading and tracking!
It's always one of my goals to read my own books. Last week, I posted about my personal reading goals for the year, including having 50% of the books I read this year be ones I own. The Mount TBR Challenge, hosted by My Reader's Block, will definitely help keep me on track for this. I'm signing up for Mt. Vancouver, which means I need to read 36 of my own books.
I read fewer nonfiction books last year than any year since I started tracking my stats, so I'm signing up for the Nonfiction Reading Challenge hosted by Doing Dewey. We get to set our own goal for this one, and I'm choosing to aim for reading 15 nonfiction books.
This is the Litsy Passport Challenge, which I signed up for through the Litsy app. We chose a number of countries that we wanted to read books from, and then those countries were randomly selected for us. I chose 6 countries, and here's what I got: Armenia, Benin, Ireland, Kiribati, Tokelau, and Brunei. I have to admit that I hadn't even heard of two of those countries, so this will be quite the learning experience for me! I'm also discovering it's hard to find books set in a few of these places, so if you have any ideas, let me know!
Now for the kids' books! I'm again signing up for the Picture Book Challenge, hosted by Becky's Book Reviews. There are a couple ways to go about this challenge, but I'm choosing the checklist of 104 categories. It was a lot of fun to complete the giant checklist last year, and since my one-year-old devours books, I think it can happen again this year!
I LOVE middle grade books, so I definitely had to sign up for the MIddle Grade Reading Challenge, also hosted by Becky's Book Reviews. This one also has a checklist of 104 categories. Thankfully, a book can count towards two different categories (thanks, Christine!), but I still don't think I'll get all of them complete. I'm just going to try my best and see how I do!
And of course I have to sign up for my own challenge, the Newbery Reading Challenge! This year, I'm challenging myself to hit the Avi level, which is 45-59 points (check out the sign-up post to see how the points work). This is a level higher than I've signed up for in the past, but I think I can do it!
Well, my little guy and I survived a week alone! My husband was gone on a work trip from Tuesday morning to Friday night. That's the longest he's been gone since our son was born, and I'm happy to say that we all survived the separation. I know I am so blessed to have him here the vast majority of the time. Single parents are amazing. I don't know how they do it. I'm just glad our house stayed in one piece and my sanity is more or less intact!
What I Read Last Week
Anne of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery (I loved rereading this one for the umpteenth time. I'm hoping to sneak in at least one more Montgomery book this month.)
Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand (Another one off my Classics Club list! This play is amazing. I would love to see it performed sometime!)
The Lost Book of the Grail by Charlie Lovett (I think this might actually be my favorite of his. It was relaxing and suspenseful all at the same time, if that makes any sense.)
What I'm Reading Now
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (Next up for the Classics Club. I have to admit that I'm dreading this one a bit.)
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (First Newbery read of the year!)
What's Coming Up Next
I honestly haven't really thought past The Grapes of Wrath, because that's a big, thick book, and I'm on page 2. Right now, I'm just hoping to make a lot of progress on it this week!
Last year, I made some general reading goals for myself, in addition to participating in way too many reading challenges. I'm really going to make an effort to cut back on reading challenges this year (we'll see how that goes), but I love the way my personal goals worked out for me last year - so I'm going to try that again! Here are my reading plans for 2018.
Finish My Classics Club List
My deadline is the end of August, and it will be here before I know it! With the discovery of the Serial Reader app, I made a lot of progress on my list last year. But I still have a little ways to go, and I would really love to finish by my goal date. You can check out my full list here, but these are the books I have left to read in the next eight months:
Finish My TBR Bingo
Inspired by posts on Litsy, I made a TBR Bingo card for myself back in August. I had a goal of reading ten books from it by the end of the year. I read six. I really want to read them all, so I cleared off a designated shelf to put them on, so that I can grab one easily and be constantly reminded to read them. I've already got one under my belt this year. Seven down, eighteen to go!
Read My Own Books
In 2016, only 26% of the books I read were ones I owned. In 2017, I set a goal to increase that to 50% and I succeeded with 51%! I feel the urge to challenge myself even more, but it was hard enough to achieve that percentage, so I'm going to stick with 50% again this year - and hope I blow past it!
So those are my goals for 2018. Let the reading begin!
Apparently with this fresh new year, I've decided to tackle a long overdue project. I'm going through all of my bookshelves and getting rid of books that I will probably never read, or ones that I've read and don't need to keep. It's amazing how much space I've cleared up! It was desperately needed, because I have piles of books that need a place on the shelves - and now they will hopefully have one! I'm really looking forward to organizing the books that are left, but first I need to deal with the books I'm giving away. I'm sorting into three categories - for my Little Free Library, for the local bookstore (so I can get some credit to buy more books), and for Goodwill. I didn't necessarily intend to start this project, but I'm so glad I did!
How Did I Do in My Reading Plans for 2017?
My Year in Books - 2017 (including my top reads of the year!)
What I Read Last Week
Sourdough by Robin Sloan (This was a fun read. I didn't love it like I did Mr. Penumbra, but I did really enjoy it.)
Mail Obsession by Mark Mason (For Anglophiles and lovers of random facts! This book is awesome!!)
What I'm Reading Now
Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde (One of my 2017 goals was to reread one Jasper Fforde book a month. Well, he has 13 books published, so I had to continue a bit into 2018!)
What's Coming Up Next
Anne of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery (I like to revisit Anne every January. This one is up this year!)
Another year has flown by so fast that I didn't even get a chance to get this post up before it ended! So once again, no fancy pie charts (sad, because I love those, but I just don't have the time!). Here are all my stats! I'm pretty surprised at how much reading I got in this year, while chasing around a one-year-old. We'll see if that continues as he gets older and harder to catch! :)
Books read: 156
Pages read: 40,665
Male authors: 48%
Female authors: 52%
Books I owned: 51% (Woohoo! Up from 26% in 2016!)
Books from the library: 49%
Set in the United States: 37%
Set in Europe: 36%
Set elsewhere in the world: 10%
Set in a fictional place: 17%
Books published in the 2000s: 75%
Books published in the 1900s: 19%
Books published before 1900: 6%
My Top Reads of 2017 (I had so much trouble narrowing this down,
My name is Julie, and I own a lot of books. As in, they are stacked on the floor because I've run out of room on the shelves. And those shelves? There are so many books on them that they smile -- not sag; smile. This blog will cover book reviews and all manner of other bookish things.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.