My 2013 Reading Challenges: How Did I Do?

Well it’s that time of year again–the time to tally up the results and see if I completed all my reading challenges or not!

This was my first year participating in any kind of reading challenge, so I wasn’t sure how I would do or if I would like it. On the whole, I really enjoyed trying to complete the variety of challenges I signed myself up for. Five challenges was definitely a reasonable number of challenges to start with, and also provided good diversity in my reading. Most of the challenges I choose were pretty open-ended (like the New Authors Challenge or the Audiobook challenge), and I think this really helped keep me going when I was feeling discouraged about my progress in other challenges (i.e. Back To The Classics). For 2014 I will sign up for a few more challenges than I did in 2013, but I will still participate in the majority of these because I enjoyed them so much.

So without further ado…

My 2013 Reading Challenges: How did I do?

Challenge #1 (Incomplete)Back to the Classics Challenge, hosted by Sarah Reads Too Much

BackToTheClassics2013

Requirements to complete the challenge:

1. A 19th Century Classic: Persuasion by Jane Austen

2. A 20th Century Classic: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

3. A Pre-18th or 18th Century Classic: Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

4. A Classic that relates to the African-American Experience: Beloved by Toni Morrison

5. A Classic Adventure

6. A Classic that prominently features an Animal: Animal Farm by George Orwell

I got really close to finishing this challenge and know that if I had a few more weeks I would have finished it. Regardless, participating in this challenge exposed me to some great classic literature I might not have read otherwise…well this year at least. Honestly I loved every book I read for this challenge and don’t think I could pick a favorite!

Challenge #2 (Complete!)What’s in a Name, hosted by Beth Fish Reads

What'sInAName2013

Requirements to complete this challenge:

1. A book with up or down (or equivalent) in the title–Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

2. A book with something you’d find in your kitchen in the title–Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

3. A book with a party or celebration in the title–Size 12 and Ready to Rock by Meg Cabot

4. A book with fire (or equivalent) in the title–The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe

5. A book with an emotion in the title–The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

6. A book with lost or found (or equivalent) in the title–Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

This was so unique and was actually a bit of a challenge to complete. I enjoyed all of the books I read in pursuit of this challenge, but would probably pick either Bring up the Bodies or The House of Mirth as my favorites.

Challenge #3 (Complete!)Audio Book Challenge, hosted by Teresa’s Reading Corner

2013-Audio-Book-Challenge

To complete this challenge, you must choose your “level” and read/listen to the specified number of Audio Books. I am signing up for Lover, or I hope to listen to 25 Audio Books.

1. Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon

2. A Visit from the Good Squad by Jennifer Egan

3. Heading Out to Wonderful by Robert Goolrick

4. Wild by Cheryl Strayed

5. Matched by Ally Condie

6. Crossed by Ally Condie

7. The Twelve by Justin Cronin

8. The Sisters by Nancy Jensen

9. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

10. The Bungalow by Sarah Jio

11. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

12. The Expats by Chris Pavone

13. Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

14. Heads in Beds by Jacob Tomsky

15. The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe

16. Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan

17. The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope by Rhonda Riley

18. The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

19. The 500 by Matthew Quirk

20. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

21. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

22. I am Forbidden by Anouk Markovits

23. The Rook by Daniel O’Malley

24. Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

25. Frozen in Time by Mitchell Zuckoff

26. Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman

27. Enemies: A History of the FBI by Tim Weiner

I completed this challenge and then some! Audiobooks have quickly become one of my favorite things to listen to, and they certainly help to up my reading numbers!

Challenge #4 (Complete!)New Authors Challenge, hosted by Literary Escapism

NewAuthorsChallenge2013

I am signing up to read books from 25 new authors.

1. Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon

2. A Visit from the Good Squad by Jennifer Egan

3. Heading Out to Wonderful by Robert Goolrick

4. Wild by Cheryl Strayed

5. Matched by Ally Condie

6. A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

7. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

8. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

9. The Sisters by Nancy Jensen

10. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

11. The Bungalow by Sarah Jio

12. Chaos: Making a New Science by James Gleick

13. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

14. The Expats by Chris Pavone

15. Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

16. Heads in Beds by Jacob Tomsky

17. Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan

18. The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope by Rhonda Riley

19. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

20. The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

21. The 500 by Matthew Quirk

22. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

23. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

24. The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel

25. I am Forbidden by Anouk Markovits

26. The Rook by Daniel O’Malley

27. The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind

28. Frozen in Time by Mitchell Zuckoff

29. Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman

30. Beloved by Toni Morrison

31. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

32. Enemies: A History of the FBI by Tim Weiner

I like this challenge because it allowed me to track the diversity in my reading. Clearly, the majority of the books I read this year were from authors I was reading for the first time!

Challenge #5 (Complete!)This Isn’t Fiction, hosted by The Book Garden

This isn't Fiction Reading Challenge Button

Qualifying books for this challenge include any non-fiction book that is over 100 pages. I am signing up for the elementary school level, or I hope to read 10 books.

1. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

2. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

3. Chaos: Making a New Science by James Gleick

4. Heads in Beds by Jacob Tomsky

5. Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan

6. The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel

7. The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind

8. Frozen in Time by Mitchell Zuckoff

9. Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman

10. Enemies: A History of the FBI by Tim Weiner

I really enjoyed this challenge! This is by far the largest number of non-fiction books I’ve ever read in one year. I was nervous initially that I wouldn’t be able to complete this challenge, but I actually found it surprisingly easy.

Personal Reading Goals:

My goal for 2013 was to read 52 books, and I will fall just short of that with a total of 47 books. Although I didn’t meet my goal, I still read two more books than I read in 2012! Additionally, I wanted to read 8 more books off of the  The Big Read List. Again I fell a bit short of this goal by only reading 3, but the books that I did read (Rebecca, Animal Farm, and Persuasion) were great books!

***

Overall I had a lot of fun tracking my reading habits and trying to complete these challenges (and in most cases I did pretty good). I’m already excited to begin tackling the challenges that I’ve selected for 2014 (more on that soon)!

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Annie
    Dec 23, 2013 @ 08:35:11

    This Isn’t Fiction sounds like the most fun! It 2014 I would definitely like to do an audiobook challenge and maybe a debut authors one? Like you, I’m hoping these challenged would help me to ‘read’ more books. I also hope that they’d persuade me to read some novels which are a little unusual for me!

    Reply

    • exlibrisheather
      Dec 26, 2013 @ 11:36:22

      It was really fun–as I get older I’m finding I gravitate toward non-fiction because I feel like I learn things. Fiction will probably always be my first love, but I am surprised by how much I’m loving the non-fiction! Good luck to you in your 2014 reading goals!

      Reply

      • Annie
        Dec 26, 2013 @ 18:00:29

        Thanks. I read 95% fiction but I’m sure I should be making time for more non-fiction – especially history and biography. 🙂

  2. Geoff W
    Jan 02, 2014 @ 10:30:39

    I love how you’re like ‘five challenges’ isn’t too many and I’m like, three challenges at the minimal level is impossible 😀 Good luck on all of them this year.

    Reply

  3. exlibrisheather
    Jan 02, 2014 @ 11:06:30

    Hahaha I know it’s a little crazy. Right now I feel like the challenges force me to diversify my reading, but I don’t think I will be able to continue pursuing them forever. I guess we’ll see how 2014 goes..

    Reply

  4. Trackback: My 2014 Reading Challenges: How did I do? | Ex Libris

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