Thursday, January 25, 2018

2017 Reading Challenges Wrap-Up

I had such high hopes for catching up this month and posting my 2017 wrap-ups right away...sigh. Oh, well, you know my life motto - better late than never!

I did pretty well on my reading challenges in 2017, and most importantly, I really enjoyed them. Here are the challenges I participated in and what I achieved in each. You can see the complete lists of all the books I read for each challenge on my 2017 Challenges page.

Read Your Own Damn Books hosted by Estella's Revenge

My goal was to read 25 books off my own shelves, and I read (drumroll, please)...28 TBR books! woohoo! That's a win, even though my TBR books continue to multiply faster than I can read them. A new reviewing job this year meant that I got 3 new books on my shelves each month (and only read 1 for review), so they are adding up fast! My TBR bookcase (yes, an entire bookcase) now has 2 shelves with double layers of books. So, I did well on the challenge, but I'm going to need to do some culling this year - it's so hard for me to get rid of a book I haven't read yet! What if it's amazing?

2017 Monthly Motif Reading Challenge hosted by Girlxoxo
I really enjoyed this fun challenge the past two years, where there is a different theme every month.I optimistically planned to check the category before the month began, but you can guess how that went! But I still managed to complete each month's category, so I did well on this one.

Here were the monthly categories and the books I read:

JANUARY – Diversify Your Reading
Kick the reading year off right and shake things up. Read a book with a character (or written by an author) of a race, religion, or sexual orientation other than your own. 'Round Midnight by Laura McBride

FEBRUARY – Undercover Thriller
Read a book involving spies, detectives, private investigators, or a character in disguise. The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith

MARCH – Time Traveler
Read a book set in a different dimension, a book in which time travel is involved or a dystopian or science fiction book where reality looks very different than what we’re used to. The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron

APRIL – Award Winners
Read a book that has won a literary award or a book written by an author who has been recognized in the bookish community. The Leavers by Lisa Ko won the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, awarded by Barbara Kingsolver.

MAY – Book to Movie or Audio
Read a book that has a movie based off of it. For an extra challenge, see the movie or listen to the audio book as well. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood has had several movies and TV adaptations made from it; I am dying to see the newest TV show, but we don't get Hulu!

JUNE – Destination Unknown
Read a book in which the character(s) take a trip, travel somewhere, go on a quest, or find themselves on a journey toward something. The Atlas of Forgotten Places by Jenny D. Williams

JULY – Believe the Unbelievable
This month it’s all about fantasy. Epic fantasy, urban fantasy, fairytales, magic, etc. Mighty Jack and the Goblin King by Ben Hatke

AUGUST – Seasons, Elements, & Weather
Read a book in which the season, the elements, or the weather plays a role in the story. Dust by Hugh Howey

SEPTEMBER – Creepy, Chilling, & Frightful
Cozy mystery ghost stories, paranormal hauntings, murder mysteries, weird and scary creatures- it’s up to you! Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

OCTOBER– Games, Challenges, & Contests
Read a book that involves a game of some sort. Video games, war games, psychological mess-with-your-mind games, characters who participate in a contest, or a story in which the character takes on a challenge.  Artemis by Andy Weir

NOVEMBER – Last Chance
Read a book you’ve been meaning to get to all year but haven’t yet or read the last book in a series you started. How about Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen - I'd been meaning to get to it for about 5 years!!

DECEMBER – Picking Favorites
Read a book by one of your favorite authors: Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Back to the Classics Challenge 2017 hosted by Books and Chocolate.

My own personal goal for this one was to read 6 classics  (that would beat 2016's total of 4). Oh, I just missed it! I read 5 classics in 2017. Still better than the previous year, so that's progress.

They have 12 different categories to fit your classics choices into. Here are the 5 books I read and their categories:

1.  A 19th century classic - any book published between 1800 and 1899. The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells (1897)

2.  A 20th century classic - any book published between 1900 and 1967. Just like last year, all books MUST have been published at least 50 years ago to qualify. The only exception is books written at least 50 years ago, but published later, such as posthumous publications.
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers (1940)

3.  A classic by a woman author.
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

4.  A classic in translation.  Any book originally written published in a language other than your native language. Feel free to read the book in your language or the original language. 
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

A romance classic. I'm pretty flexible here about the definition of romance. It can have a happy ending or a sad ending, as long as there is a strong romantic element to the plot.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë 

A 2017 Reading Challenge to Keep You Well-Rounded hosted by /r/books.
This one is kind of non-traditional - no sign-ups or links list - but it looks like fun! The idea is to expand your reading horizons by aiming to read one book in each of 52 categories.

I completed almost all the categories, except for 9 of them. Some were nearly impossible, like a book with over 1 million ratings on any one website - I couldn't find anything that fit that! Others were genres I rarely read. I enjoyed this one, though. You can see the full list of categories and which books I read for each on my 2017 Challenges page.

Travel the World in Books Reading Challenge hosted by Mom's Small Victories, one of my favorite blogs. I signed up for this one back in 2014, so this is a continuation (it's a perpetual challenge). I read 30 books set in other countries/cultures (20 different places) in 2016, so I hoped to do even better in 2017. I finished the year with 27 books set in other places, with 14 unique places (including the moon!). That's less than the previous year, but I did get to experience some new places last year through my books, like Uganda, Pakistan, and Thailand.

2017 Literary Escapes Challenge hosted by Escape with Dollycas Into a Good Book.

Hurray! After a year off, I found another reading challenge that tracks where books take place in the United States. I enjoy this so much that I kept tracking my states even when there was no challenge the past few years. I read books set in 27 different states in 2016 so was shooting for even more in 2017. I ended the year with books set in 24 different states.

Bookish Bingo hosted by Chapter Break - not really a challenge per se, but a fun game that I play each month! I enjoyed playing every month last year - I think my best month was 23 squares filled in.

Big Book Summer Challenge hosted by Book By Book  - my own annual reading challenge, held every year from May to September!

Big Books (over 400 Pages) Read During Summer 2017:
  1. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater 
  2. Shift by Hugh Howey
  3. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
  4. Dust by Hugh Howey
  5. The Hearts of Men by Nickolas Butler
  6. Overpowered by Mark H. Kruger
  7. The Hunting Accident by David L. Carlson & Landis Blair

R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril Challenge (R.I.P.) hosted by Estella's Revenge and My Capricious Life

Another seasonal challenge I look forward to each September and October. I signed up for Peril the First (four or more books in mystery/suspense/thriller/supernatural/horror genres). I ended up reading 13! This is a great chance every fall for me to catch up on my spooky, creepy reading.

Books I read for R.I.P.:
  1. Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth, audio teen/YA fantasy 
  2. Overpowered by Mark H. Kruger, teen/YA sci fi thriller
  3. Hear the Wolves by Victoria Scott, middle-grade/teen adventure
  4. In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware, adult thriller
  5. Hollow City by Ransom Riggs, teen/YA fantasy
  6. Masterminds: Payback by Gordon Kormon, audio middle-grade thriller
  7. A Cold and Lonely Place by Sara J. Henry, adult literary suspense
  8. Horizon, book 1, by Scott Westerfeld
  9. Artemis by Andy Weir 
  10. If I Run by Terri Blackstock
  11. Before the Fall by Noah Hawley 
  12. Local Girl Missing by Claire Douglas 
  13. The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells 


  1. Such great challenges! I took a break from challenges for about 5 years and am so glad I got back into them in 2017. I am holding myself to about 4 so that I am not overwhelmed!

    1. I;m so glad you got back into challenges last year and are enjoying them! Mine look like a lot but two of them only last 2-3 months and don't overlap :)

  2. I'm so impressed with how much you read and reviewed for your challenges.congrats on heading to 27 places in 2017! I haven't done a 2017 wrap up or a 2018 sign-up yet !!

    1. Oh, Tanya, you always make me feel better! It's nice to have a friend who's always behind, too :) Glad to hear I'm not the last one yet...working on my overall 2017 wrap-up now!

  3. Good luck with 2018 Challenges.

    1. Thanks! I still need to choose them and sign up!