Early this year, I set myself a reading challenge. Here’s what I wrote about it at the time:
I like doing reading challenges, but because I already have so many Writing Goals for this year, I was hesitant to take on a really difficult or time-consuming one. I needed a challenge that isn’t too challenging, if you know what I mean. But also I didn’t want to cheat and choose one that didn’t take me out of my comfort zone at all.
Little did I know how far we were all going to be taken out of our comfort zones this year!
I chose the 2020 While I was Reading Challenge from Ramona Mead, which involved reading 12 books, each from a particular category. At the time I believed this was only going to be the first of several reading challenges I would tackle in 2020, but in the end this one proved more than enough for me. The twelve prompts were:
- A book with an emotion in the title
- A young adult novel
- A book translated from another language
- A book that’s centered around a holiday
- A novel based on a true story
- A book with song lyrics in the title
- A book that’s been on your shelf for more than a year
- A book with a non-human narrator
- A book with a month in the title
- A book you heard about on TV/Radio/a podcast
- A book set in the state you live in
- A romance novel
I designed myself a bingo card, reasoning that it was more fun than a list, and the more fun the better.
So, how did I go? Well, here’s my completed bingo card.
And the completed list, along with my star ratings.
- A book with an emotion in the title: The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- A young adult novel: Blackbirch: the Beginning by K.M. Allan ⭐⭐⭐⭐
- A book translated from another language: The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu ⭐⭐⭐⭐
- A book that’s centered around a holiday: Murder in the Manger by Debbie Young ⭐⭐⭐⭐
- A novel based on a true story: Josephine’s Garden by Stephanie Parkyn ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- A book with song lyrics in the title: Down to Earth by Monty Don ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- A book that’s been on your shelf for more than a year: Semiosis by Sue Burke ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- A book with a non-human narrator: The Bees by Laline Paull ⭐⭐⭐⭐
- A book with a month in the title: The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- A book you heard about on TV/Radio/a podcast: Don’t Read the Comments by Eric Smith ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- A book set in the state you live in: The Yield by Tara June Winch ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- A romance novel: The Christmas Swap by Sandy Barker ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
As always seems to happen, I had several books that could have fitted some of the prompts, while for others I only read one in the whole year that worked. Which tells me, for example, that perhaps I should be choosing more translated fiction and books based on true stories.
But look at all the stars! Nothing below 4 in this whole group. The average is 4.7, whereas my average for all the books I read so far this year is 4.2. I don’t really have an explanation for this, I’m just finding it interesting.
So I only attempted one reading challenge in this challenging year, but it turned out to be a good one. Hopefully I’ll be trying out a few more in 2021.
Did you do any reading challenges this year? Which was your favourite?