2017 Reading Challenge Wrap-Up

As usual, I participated in a pile of reading challenges throughout the year.  I am a challenge junkie, no denial.  I both enjoy the rush of checking books off my challenge lists, but also the very fulfilling feeling of tackling specific books or categories of reading in which I’ve been slacking off.

I do tend to bend the rules on one aspect of the challenges, mostly because it becomes a time factor.  I don’t always do my review link ups or post specific lists each month for books read toward a challenge.  What I do is create dedicated shelves for each challenge over on GoodReads so that if someone is interested, they can see what books I’ve read toward a particular challenge (though I only keep these shelves for the current challenge years or I’d be overrun by shelves).

So, how did I do (numbers reflect reading totals through 12.8.17):

  1. My Reader’s Block blog’s Mt. TBR Challenge hosted by Bev

My initial goal was Mt. Toro (75 books) and I advanced two levels to Mt. Olympus with 118 books older than a year from my TBR pile.  I’ll pile on a few more finishes by the end, but I won’t hit the peak of 150.

  1. COYER (Clean Off Your E-Reader) Blackout from mid Dec 2016 to beginning of Mar 2017 hosted by Stormi from Books Movies and Reviews Oh My blog, Michelle from Because Reading Is Better Than Life blog, and Berls from Fantasy Is More Fun blog

My initial goal was 50 books.  I hit 71 ebooks that were free or less than a dollar and also some audios that were free or less than five dollars.  Fantastic way to get to those irresistible Kindle freebies and I loved participating in their wonderful Facebook group activities to go along with the challenge.

  1. Herding Cats and Burning Soup blog’s Read All the Books hosted by Anna

The goal is to pick an author (and all their alias writing names) that you have more than 40 books to read and spend as much time as it takes reading all their books.  I chose Nalini Singh in late 2016 and am still working from the list.  This year I caught up on her Psy-Changeling series including the short stories and novellas and I also kept up on her new release and caught up on the short stories from Guild Hunter.  I still need to work on her contemporary books and some older historicals and fantasies.

  1. Caffeinated Reader’s March Take Control TBR Challenge hosted by Kimberly

My goal was 10 books and I reached 13 books from my TBR pile.  This challenge comes right on the heels of the end of COYER and is perfect when I’m still on a role of taking care of older books from the shelves.

  1. Austenesque Lovers TBR Pile Challenge hosted by moi on Good Reads

My initial goal was 20 books, but I moved up two levels to finish with 50 books.  Again, the aim is TBR pile.  See a pattern here?  LOL

  1. Caffeinated Reader’s May Clean Sweep Challenge hosted by Kimberly

My initial goal was to read 16 review books and I hit 25 books.  I was totally working through my existing stack of review commitments and it felt fantastic.  I think we might have even been able to turn on the blog review requests for a few weeks to take on new review submissions.

  1. UnConventional Bookviews blog and Books Movies Reviews Oh My blog’s New Release Challenge hosted by Lexxie and Stormi

My goal was Level 2 New Release Pro with 60 books, but it was my first time with this challenge and I aimed way too low.  I just finished my 193rd new release just this week.  Yep, I think I read a ton of new books each year and I have enjoyed trying new to me authors and series.

  1. Hot Listens and Caffeinated Book Reviews blogs’ Audio Challenge hosted by Kimberly, Loupe, and Melanie

My goal was Marathoner Level with 50 books.  I made to 67 audios.  This is my most ever in a year and shows I have picked up books on audio more and more.  I’ve even established favorite narrators and book series that are ruined for me if I don’t have the narrator to tell me the story.

  1. Delighted Reader’s Books N Tunes Challenge hosted by Shari and me

My goal was Level 3 Raging Rocker with 50 books.  Each year I’ve missed finishing by a handful.  At the moment I am sitting at 48 and you bet your boots I’m finishing this one up this year.

  1. Delighted Reader’s Literary Pickers Challenge hosted by Shari and me

My goal was Level 3 Professional Picker at 50 books.  I actually more than doubled that and found all the scavenger clues even that pesky book set in India that was stumping me for so long.  Woohoo!

  1. Herding Cats and Burning Soup’s Sassy Reader Instagram Challenge for June hosted by Anna

My goal was a rather vague ‘I’ll do some” and hey, surprise, I hit that goal.  I finished 19 of 30 book picture prompts.  It was fun and got me involved on Instagram more.

  1. Delighted Reader’s The Series that Never Ends Challenge hosted by Shari

My goal was to finish catching up on Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series.  I completed books #4-18 including the novellas and short stories in between.  Yay!  I love tackling a series each year and attempting to catch up or, at the very least, read all the books from it that I have on my shelves.

  1. Delighted Reader’s Bad Boys of Romance Challenge hosted by Shari

My goals was Level 3 Taking the Bad Boy to the Altar 15+ books.  I reached 26 books this year.

  1. Addicted to Romance’s Oldies But a Goodie Challenge hosted by Renee.

My goal was The Newbie with 10 historical romance books published before 2008.  I wasn’t sure I was going to finish this one on time, but pushed really hard this past month and hit 11 books.  I love going back to the older stuff that I might have missed or need a re-read after 30 years since the last time.  I need to keep pulling these down off my own and the library shelves.

  1. Simply Angela’s Outlander Series Challenge hosted by Angela

My goal was 4 books.  And this may seem easy, but two of my choices were well over 500 pages each.  And at this moment, I’ve got 30 hours of listening left on one book and haven’t even started the last one which is an after Christmas read so maybe… I’ll hit 3 out of 4.

  1. Under the Covers blog’s Romance Roundabout Challenge hosted by Francesca, Suzanne, Annie, and Angie

My goal was 15 categories with 5 books in each category.  I created a list ahead of time and really challenged myself to only count what was on the list.  Well… I made it.  My toughest categories were New Adult, Steampunk, Dystopian, and Fantasy.  New Adult is a very iffy genre for me, but the other three it was just getting in the right mood.

  1. COYER Summer Challenge hosted by Berls, Michelle, and Stormi that ran from mid-June to the beginning of September.

My goal was 45 books and I hit 78 books.  I chose to just read where the mood took me instead of sticking to a list and this obviously suited my reading habits.

  1. HoHoHoReadathon hosted by Kimberly at Caffeinated Reader and Marlene’s Reading Reality

My goal was five holiday or winter themed books.  I made it through six.  I actually tacked on 3 more just after the event was over because I was still in the mood for the holiday smoochies.

  1. Herding Cats and Burning Soup’s Blogger Shame Challenge hosted by Anna

My goal was 30 books that had been on my review pile four months or longer.  I hit 32 books completed and 6 DNFs that there was no way I was finishing.  And folks, it feels mighty good.  I have a Net Galley percentage of 98% with 17 left that are all future releases and I only have 3 hard copies left from the older pile.  This challenge has made me very conscious of only taking reviews that I can truly read within the next month or two and still give me time for my personal stack of books.  For the Win!

 

So there you have it.  My year of challenges left me euphoric and excited about what I got accomplished and what I want to get read and done in the New Year.  How did you do with your reading challenges?  Do Tell!

Oh, and if you’re looking for some good reading challenges, please consider joining Shari and I with one or more of ours.  We’d love to have you.

 

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • Well done!!!! Look at all the challenges you have done! Participating in quite a few next year including yours 🙂 Looking forward to swapping notes 😀

    • Woohoo! It was a rush, for sure.

      Yes, we can definitely egg each other on with the challenges this next year. I’m so glad you could join ours. 🙂

  • SOPHIA! You are a challenge rock star. I joined two and didn’t meet either of them. I really need to focus better on how much and WHAT I’m reading this year.

    You’re awesome! 🙂

    • I’m so addicted, Angie. LOL I try hard to limit and then see ‘just one more’ that looks fun. 🙂
      You hit it right there with the WHAT. I focused on specific challenges that helped with my reading goals and needs. I’m doing that again this next year.

  • Debbie Haupt

    Congrats to your successful year of challenges. Me I hardly ever participate because I can’t reveal most of my reviews until they’re published and frankly its too hard to keep it all straight. Happy New Year

    • Thanks, Debbie!

      I sure do get a rush out of finishing up my challenge goals and getting older books read and trying new ones.
      Yeah, I can see where that would be tough to do the counting and link ups when you have to follow other review rules.
      But you helped me by letting me leave several guest reviews for books toward my challenges this past year. 🙂

      • Debbie Haupt

        Glad to help 🙂

  • Wow, you got a lot of reading done, congrats. I don’t do the challenges but they do look fun.

    • Lordy, yes, I got a lot done. It felt great. 🙂

  • WOW you sure are a challenge gunky… That was a lot of different challenges to work with in 2017. Great job on all of them. I excited all of my reading goals I participated in and I’m looking forward to 2018.

    • Oh yes, I’m totally addicted. LOL
      Yay for you, Angela. 🙂

      • Maybe you will consider adding to your challenge addiction the Library Love Challenge…. ^_^

        • It wouldn’t be a bad idea. I do want to fit in more library books to support the libraries and not dent my book budget so much. 🙂

          • I saved over $660 on me alone not including all the kid books and movies I picked up for my family. It’s so worth it to use the library and that book budget gets saved for those books you really really want to own. ^_^

            • Holy Smoly! You did amazing.

              Very true. I only did about five library books last year, but worth it. And, I do like the option of the library when I’m test driving a new to me author or series I’m not sure about.

  • You have done an awesome job again this year, Sophia Rose! I would probably loose my mind just trying to keep track of this many challenges. lol

    • Yeah, tracking them isn’t too bad, but doing links back to the sign up pages is my undoing. LOL

  • You did amazing, Sophia And your Blogger Shame. Dang, girl! You kept me motivated just so you know 😀 Seeing yours pop up kept me from forgetting and often going to pick up a title. lol I think I wound up doing 24ish with 97% and 10 left to go.

    • Woohoo! I’m jazzed.

      I felt the same way each time I saw you post up on FB or your blog about knocking out more from the list. Can’t thank you enough for thinking of the challenge to get me more motivated to do something about that guilty stack. 🙂

    • So good!!! I’m hoping this will totally bring up my NG% too that’s why I’m doing it in 2018 😀

  • I’m always so bad with challenges so I keep the only one on goodreads lol it’s easier

    • That’s a good one. I love how that challenge reminds you of where you are at ahead/behind/on track. 🙂

  • Holy cow you kicked butt this year!!!

    • Felt so good to finish off several from the stack. 🙂

  • Greg Hill

    Wow you did a ton of challenges, and did great! I did three challenges lol land did okay, but I am seriously impressed here. 🙂 There are so many fun challenges out there, something definitely for everyone.

    Good luck in 2018!!

    • Oh, yes, I really did. LOL I love doing these. Thanks so much, Greg, and glad to hear you did okay with your own challenges. You’re right, there are some good ones out there and something for everyone.

      Cheering you on with your 2018 challenges, too! 🙂

  • I am actually trying out Goodreads shelves for my challenges next year to see how I like that. I like seeing all the challenges you joined this year and how you did. It’s nice you managed to succeed with most of your challenge or else made some good progress.

    You did great with the blogger shame one! I should work on my older review copies as well, but I usually favor the more recent ones as I try and review those within a timely time frame so they don’t add to the older pile. But I hope that maybe next year I can knock off a few more from the older pile too.

    • I’ll be curious to know what you think of organizing your challenges on GR shelves. I’ve been doing it that way for three years and find it easy to track my challenge numbers and make lists this way.

      Oh yes, that Blogger Shame was probably my biggest focus this year. I’m in much better shape with the review pile, but I know I have to be very careful from now on to know my limits. 😉 I’ll cheer you on and we’ll face it together.