Well folks, somehow it is December already – when did that happen, right?! I’m pretty sure I blinked sometime in September and now it’s the last month of 2017. December means that it’s almost the end of the year, which means that it’s high time to panic about meeting reading goals so this year I thought I would pause for a second and take stock of where I’m at with each of my reading challenges and use this to partially dictate my December TBR. I don’t really do monthly TBRs because I tend not to stick to them, but I thought it could be useful as we enter the home stretch and those finish lines are in sight.
I nearly always set my Goodreads Challenge at 52 books, 1 book for each week of the year, and 2017 was no exception. I often surpass this goal, but not by very much, so I never aim for the loftier target of 75 or the nearly impossible (for me) target of 100 books. I am continually amazed by those readers who consistently hit 100 books a year – how do you do it?! However, when I realised I’d surpassed 52 books quite comfortably, I did up my target to 75 books and, as of today, I’m sitting pretty at 78 books – I did it! Whilst I feel pretty confident that I’ll be able to add a few more to that number, there is no way I’m going to hit the next ‘big’ number of 100 (especially since I’ve read most of my graphic novel stashes) so I’ll just leave it as it is and celebrate the victory now.
It’s no secret that the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge is intended to stretch your reading comfort zone and push you to try new things and things outside of the mainstream, especially when it comes to diversifying your reading. For this very reason, participating in the Book Riot challenge always feels like constructively trying to think about what books and authors you read and how these are perhaps not the most diverse, if you’re not being conscious of what novels you’re choosing. I fully respect and appreciate the Book Riot challenge for this noble goal. Unfortunately, I struggle most often with the Book Riot challenges, and this year is no exception. Right now, I’m sitting on 12 out of 24 challenges completed. There is no way I am going to finish this challenge, even if I binned the books I want to read before the year is out and only allowed myself to read things that would fulfil the challenge prompts. Because of this, I’m going to accept now that I’ve failed the Book Riot Read Harder challenge and come back next year ready to focus on it as a priority.
Mount TBR is focused on avoiding reading just new releases and instead getting you to read books that you’ve owned for a while. It stipulates the rule that you must have owned the book before the start of the year, and re-reads don’t count. You’d think that this wouldn’t be too difficult of a challenge but, believe me, with FOMO and the general hype machine that is Booktube and the book blogging world, it’s harder than it seems. I set my goal at a conservative “Pike’s Peak” which is 12 “backlist books” and I achieved it – yay! I had said I would aim for the next height which is “Mount Blanc” or 24 books but as I’m only at 19 now, I think it’s unlikely I’ll make it, especially given there are other challenges I wish to prioritise finishing ahead of this one. Still, I’m really happy that I managed to clear 19 pre-2017 releases from my TBR and I’ll probably participate in this challenge next year too.
I love the Around the Year challenge the most out of the annual reading challenges I participate in, and this year that has been made even more fun by the cute graphic of a hot air balloon I drew as my challenge tracker in my bullet journal – for every challenge I complete I get to colour in a square of the balloon. This has really helped me to visualise my progress with this challenge and it has been fun so I will definitely continue this theme in my 2018 bullet journal. As for the challenge itself, I’m currently sitting on 44 out of 52 challenges completed, leaving me 8 left to complete. Although it will be a close call, I think this challenge is just about doable, if I up my reading pace and really make an effort to power through. However, I would also like to finish a couple of books I have on the go, namely Temeraire, The Good Immigrant, and War and Peace, so this is definitely going to be quite the challenge indeed!
Since I’m taking this very seriously I’ve pulled out the challenges I have left and devised a list of possible books which fit each of the challenges and, to keep myself accountable, I’m going to display them here so that I can tackle them head-on in the few weeks we have left of 2018.
Week 9: Book in the middle of your TBR – Sapiens, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In a Ship of Her Own Making, The Gracekeepers, Therese Raquin, Grave Mercy , The Game of Love and Death DONE Week 13: Book recommended by one of your favourite authors – V.E. Schwab has recommended If We Were Villains, Jane Steele, The Bear and the Nightingale, The Winner’s Curse, The Princess Bride DONE Week 15: Book written/set in Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland) – The Bat , Faceless Killers, The Prose Edda DONE Week 19: A New York Times best-seller – Hamilton: The Revolution, The Hate U Give, The Nightingale, Big Little Lies DONE Week 39: Epistolary fiction – The Martian, The Historian, Attachments, The Princess Diaries, The Incarnations, Lady SusanDONE Week 44: Recommendation from “What Should I Read Next” – based on Shadow and Bone or Six of Crows: Grave Mercy, The Winner’s Curse, A Thousand Pieces of You, Three Dark Crowns, Lies of Locke Lamora, Station Eleven DONE Week 46: A time travel novel – The Time Machine, The Girl from Everywhere, A Discovery of Witches, A Thousand Pieces of You, A Christmas Carol DONE Week 50: A Penguin Modern Classic – Brideshead Revisited , Decline and Fall, A Murder of Quality, Alone in Berlin WILDCARD – READER’S CHOICE
As you can see, based on this list, I’ve got quite the December TBR ahead of me. I’ve underlined the choice I’m likely to go with for each of the challenges but I’m leaving it quite loose as to what I do end up reading. Mostly I’m just really hoping to tick off these remaining challenges because I would love to say I’ve completed the Around the Year in 52 Books Challenge and I’d like to see that hot air balloon in my bullet journal completely coloured in! Cross your fingers for me and wish me luck?
Have you participated in any reading challenges this year? How are you doing? Are you done with them? (Big congratulations to you if so!)
Otherwise, what books are on your December TBR? Are there any seasonal reads on there? Comment below and let’s chat books!