Challenge Update (AKA I Am A Big Failure)

This is my first full year of book blogging and I started with lofty ideals of winning at all the challenges. I have just checked my original posts about these challenges and realised that I am a terrible, terrible person.

Goodreads Challenge
This, at least, is one that I have well and truly nailed. I gave myself a target of reading 151 books and have currently reached 190. This one was, perhaps, slightly disingenuous; I read 151 books last year so I set myself the same target in 2016, despite being fully aware that I’d beat it. And, no, I am not increasing my target, because I really enjoy logging into Goodreads and being told that I have exceeded my target. It makes me feel like I’ve achieved something.


2016 Classics Challenge
Sigh. I probably have managed to read a classic each month, but my initial intentions of reading The Mill on the Floss and Middlemarch have somewhat fallen by the wayside. I originally voiced my intention to read Hard Times, which I did, and it was horrible. I diverted from my own plans slightly by re-reading Northanger Abbey and Sense and Sensibility, as well as some modern classics, like Jean Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea and Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, all of which I class as modern classics. I also read Matilda for the millionth time, as well as Winnie the Pooh with my daughter, and children’s classics count. However, I need to read George Eliot or feel like a failure forever.

Flights of Fantasyflightsoffantasy-2016
This is where I’ve truly excelled (yay for me). I planned to read V.E. Schwab’s 2016 releases (A Gathering of Shadows and This Savage Song) and have done, and I’ve demolished Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass series. I also read Magonia, An Ember in the Ashes and The Sin-Eater’s Daughter, all of which were on my sign-up post. I’ve started to seek out more diverse fantasy novels too, and have recently read Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor and Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova.

This is my grand failure; because of my disgraceful inability to stop buying books, pretty much everything that’s been knocking around my bookshelf forever is still there, including David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks and Sandra Newman’s The County of Ice Cream Star. I wanted to read The Raven Cycle and, woohoo, I have, so I think I get a gold star for that. I originally intended to read some of the books I had piled in my Kindle, which I did, like Undermajordomo Minor, All My Puny Sorrows and The Girl in the Red Coat. Unfortunately, I also planned to read last year’s Booker shortlist; Satin Island was horribly boring and I didn’t manage to get past page 50 of A Brief History of Seven Killings, although I did read The Year of the Runaways. Sadly, I can only count this challenge to be a success if I rename it Constantly Add to My TBR, in which case I am a big winner.

This experience has probably taught me that I shouldn’t bother signing up for challenges, but I doubt this will stop me next year.

Did you sign up for challenges this year? How are you doing? Are you failing on a grand scale like me?

3 thoughts on “Challenge Update (AKA I Am A Big Failure)

  1. Holly says:

    I do the same thing with my Goodreads challenges– I set it to a number that I know I can definitely exceed so that I don’t feel pressure to rush through books for the sake of reaching that number. I use the challenge stats page more as a tool to keep track of my reading for each year. Best of luck with all of your other challenges– you can do this! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. curlygeek04 says:

    I sympathize, I’m having a terrible year for reading classics. Here’s my thinking. DO read George Eliot, she is amazing. But read her when you want to, and enjoy it. Middlemarch is wonderful. One of the problems I have with challenges is whether we enjoy our reading less because we guilt ourselves into it. On the one hand I like to push myself. On the other hand, why shouldn’t we read something when we want to read it, since we’re grown ups? (umm…because maybe we wouldn’t get to it?) You can see I don’t have any answers. Good luck and congrats on what you’ve accomplished!


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