Books,  Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge

Hi, Hey, Hello!

I have mentioned it a couple of times now and there have been mentions of it over on ma Instagram. But this is the post that is formally announcing the 2016 Reading Challenge. I think I am currently on board for attempting to read the same amount as I did last year. Except that I am actually going to try and finish it this year. And the list shall follow after this pretty picture.

2016 Reading Challenge

1) A book based on a fairytale – Cinder – Marissa Meyer

I keep meaning to read this, I see it about everywhere and it seems like something that would be right up my street, so here it is. On the list.

2) A National Book Award Winner – The Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison

I half read this in my third year at uni, but it is too big to read in a week so it’s only half finished. Until this year. I failed with this one, yet again. I swear one day I am going to read this book. I loved what I’ve read so far and I want to know how Ellison’s one and only novel ends.

3) A YA Bestseller – The Art of Being Normal – Lisa Williamson

I keep seeing this book every time I go into a Waterstones (which is maybe more often than I should) and I always think ‘next time I will get you’ and then I never do. Well not anymore.

4) A Book You Haven’t Read Since High School –  Frankenstein – Mary Shelley

If I have to re-read a book I can’t think of a better one than Frankenstein. God it’s a good’un. And the only other one I could read would be Romeo and Juliet and I have read that too many times over the past 5 years.

5) A Book Set in Your Home State – Neverwhere – Neil Gaiman

I was gonna put this on the list last year, and then didn’t. 2016 is your time Neverwhere.

6) A Book Translated into English – The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson

This is the first book that didn’t get read last year and so is appearing on this year’s list. I tried reading this and was never in the mood. It’s so heavy. So, it’s rolling over.

7) A Romance Set in the Future – The Host – Stephanie Meyer

I have seen the film, time to read the book

8) A Book Set in Europe – The Mime Order – Samantha Shannon

Okay, but The Bone Season was so good. And now I need to read the sequel. I have wanted to read it since I finished the first one but didn’t have the time. So here it is on this year’s list. To be read soon.

9) A Book That’s Under 150 pages – The Crying of Lot 49 – Thomas Pynchon

It says its under 150 pages, but I have read the first 50 and it might as well be Infinite Jest for how complicated it is. Another fallen book from last year’s list and also something that again I was supposed to read in my 3rd year at uni, but seriously this was way too much to read in a week. I never quite mustered the courage to tackle this book in 2016. It mocked me every time I even looked at it. It’s gonna happen though, at some point.

10) A New York Times Bestseller – The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins

I am jumping on this train (see what I did there) because it was everywhere last year and I need to get it in my life a la Gone Girl. Also my edition of this book is beautiful and as such I am almost scared to touch it. I just want to look at it.

11) A Book That’s Becoming a Film This Year – Me Before You – Jojo Moyes

I see so many people on the train to/from work reading this and also the sequel, so my interest has been piqued.

12) A Book Recommended by Someone You Just Met – Station Eleven – Emily St. John Mandel

Technically I haven’t just met the person who recommended this buuutttt it’s probably as close as I am gonna get unless I start taking inspiration from people on trains who I catch with a book that might pique my interest. Don’t ask how we got onto the subject of a post-apocalyptic world at 10am on a Tuesday one day, but we did and this book came out of that discussion. I have somewhat high hopes.

13) A Self-Improvement Book – Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear – Elizabeth Gilbert

I searched on Goodreads/Google. I hunted for a book to fall into this category and this one came up and it rang a bell. I dunno, I felt like I had seen it somewhere, but I can’t remember where. So I chose it.

14) A Book You Can Finish in a Day – Carry On – Rainbow Rowell

I can read anything by Rainbow Rowell at lightning speed, because I love her.

15) A Book Written by a Celebrity – Just Kids – Patti Smith

I have been meaning to read this book for about 5/6 years. Therefore it’s time.

16) A Political Memoir – Alexander Hamilton – Ron Chernow

*Raise your hand if you are surprised that I somehow shoehorned this onto the list?* It didn’t happen in 2016, but it will in 2017.

17) A Book At Least 100 Years Older Than You –  Moby Dick – Herman Melville

Failed reading attempted in my second year at uni, so yeah. Let’s try again. Again. (Because yeah, this was also on last year’s list, I am really good at putting the reading of this book off.) I will finish this book one day. I just have no idea when. I hit the same wall each time. Halfway point, is the enemy of progress. But one day.

18) A Book that’s More Than 600 pages – American Gods – Neil Gaiman

I got this (along with other Gaiman books) for my birthday last year and then I committed to a reading challenge and couldn’t fit them into it. But I have two out of three in here now, so yay!

19) A Book From Oprah’s Book Club – Wild – Cheryl Strayed

I don’t usually fall in the category of ‘you have to read the book before you see the film’, however something is stopping me from watching the film and I can’t think what it is. So I’m gonna read the book and then watch me watch the film the second I put it down.

20) A science-fiction novel – The Giver – Lois Lowry

Hello another repeat offender. It will happen this year.

21) A Book Recommended by a family member – Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them – J.K Rowling

No one in my immediate family really reads. So it totally counts if you just include the book (that needs to be re-read (or actually read for the first time because I cannot remember if I have already done that…) before the film comes out anyway!!!) that your best friend gave you for Christmas. Well I’m saying it does.

22) A Graphic Novel – Sandman – Neil Gaiman

So much Neil Gaiman.

23) A Book that is Published in 2016 – On The Other Side – Carrie Hope Fletcher

I have read the first two chapters and am intrigued by it. So yeah, the pre-order has happened and when it falls through my letterbox later on in the year I will open it with interest.

24) A Book with a Protagonist with your Occupation –The Devil Wears Prada – Lauren Weisberger

My link here is tenuous at best. But it works in my head just enough for it to qualify. Plus, it was about time I read the book anyway.

25) A Book that takes place during Summer – Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Saenz

There have been many a sign that I should read this book, but the lack of availability to me for it  means that I couldn’t read it. However, I finally found it and now I can find out what all the fuss is about. Excited for it.

26) A Book and its Prequel – Fairest- Marissa Meyer

Cinder is the book and this is a prequel.

27) A Murder Mystery – Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – John le Carre

I am ditching the murder part and just going for the mystery part, plus a couple of other books probably also come under this umbrella. Yet again, not this year.

28) A Book Written by a Comedian – Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? – Mindy Kaling

I love Mindy Kaling. So, yeah gonna read her first book. And probably her second soon after…

29) A Dystopian Novel – The Maze Runner – James Dashner

I bought this book a year and a half ago. The fact that I haven’t read it really bothers me slightly for some reason. So it’s time is gonna come.

30) A Book with a Blue Cover – The Miniaturist – Jessie Burton

I am curious what this book is about. Bonus that the cover is blue. I would have found a way to put this on the list somehow.

31) A Book of Poetry – Don Juan – Lord Byron milk and honey – rupi kaur

I eliminated Shakespeare from this because I have read most of his poetry before and analysed it within an inch of my life. But it was a struggle because I love him so much. Anyway I somehow forgot that Byron and this existed. Thank goodness for Google (and Goodreads).

Right, we are in November and I have this damn poem somewhere in my possession, but I was walking around Waterstones today and milk and honey caught my eye as it has been on the perphial of my life for a while now but I’ve paid it little attention (as well as The Princess Saves Herself in This One) and so, because it is waaaayyy shorter and I am wary of how many pages I have left to read I made the late minute executive decision to switch books…which I was trying to avoid doing, butttt here we are. I’ve changed books.

32) The First Book You See in a Bookstore – A Moveable Feast – Ernest Hemingway

This may not technically have been the first actual book I saw upon walking in to Waterstones Piccadilly, but it was the first I registered as being in front of me because there was a whole stand dedicated to this book. I have a complicated relationship with Hemingway, so this should be interesting.

33) A Classic From the 20th Century – Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

I am 90% certain it was suggested that I read this at uni. Never did. Gonna do it now. Two years later…

34) A Book From the Library – Dark Places – Gillian Flynn

So it dawned on me the other day that I am more than a little bit in love with Gillian Flynn’s writing. And therefore this seems like the perfect time to add to my reading of her work (I already have her short story just sat on a pile of books somewhere waiting to be read).

35) An autobiography – The Diary of Anne Frank – Anne Frank

Final repeat from last year. I am actually going to do this one this year.

36) A Book About a Road Trip – The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck

How many books am I gonna put on here that I should have read in their entirety back at uni? This one is my final one from that list (it is longer than it should be). I did pick this up once this year, but I just couldn’t get into it. The scope felt too big and I want character driven.

37) A Book About a Culture Your Unfamiliar With – The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian – Sherman Alexie

I found out that this was on my ‘want to read’ shelf on Goodreads. I don’t remember putting it on there, but I am taking it as a sign.

38) A Satirical Book – Catch 22 – Joseph Heller

I was gonna read this last year, and then picked 1984 instead. It will finally have it’s day.

39) A Book that Takes Place on an Island – The Lord of the Flies – William Golding

I have watched half of the film (don’t ask) years ago (I’m was 15, I’m 23, it’s that kind of years ago) and since then I keep telling myself that I am going to read. And I haven’t yet. So I will this year.

40) A Book That’s Guaranteed to Bring You Joy – The Rosie Effect – Graeme Simsion

I loved the first book so much. Seriously I really did (I talked about here). So I am super excited to read the second one. I’ve owned it since I finished the first one last year, so it’s been a while.

And yeah, that is my current year in books, with some additions still to be made. It’s gonna be a good reading year, I feel.

Another little aside, before I finally stop talking, is that I will be doing individual book reviews this year. One because I kind of want to get more in depth with them, two because it will just be easier to do them as I go instead of waiting until I have five in the bank (or 4 for yesterday’s post) and three because I enjoy doing them and I want to do them more. A part of me feels like I’m back at uni analysing away and I quite like that. One final, final I cannot guarantee that the reviews will be spoiler free, but I am gonna try and if they aren’t then there will be fair warning. Done now.

*End of year update*

Sorry, The Invisible Man, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Moby Dick, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Crying of Lot 49, Grapes of Wrath and Alexander Hamilton 2016 was not the year that you get read. However 2, maybe even 3 (looking at you Moby Dick which I remain half way through), are going to be attempted again in 2017. Maybe. Possibly.

Here are the books that were read and reviewed in 2016 meaning that my total was 40:

The Grown Up

Kindred Spirits

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Summer Days and Summer Nights

Parentheses count: 12. See you tomorrow!


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  • Tabby

    Great list. I’m thinking of doing a reading challenge as well. I had one I shared in my Goals for 2016 post, but I just got an email from my town library with their own and for each book you read you get so many points towards a prize. So, I’m thinking of doing that, but still sharing my list on the blog 🙂 Good luck with yours!

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