Tuesday 6 April 2021

My reading challenges update

The first three months of the year are now behind us so I thought I would do an update on how my reading challenges are going. I'm only doing two this year, unusual for me to not to be doing half a dozen, although I have cut down a bit over the past couple of years and, to be honest, feel much the better for it.

First up the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2021 which is  being hosted by Marg at The Intrepid Reader and Baker.


I signed up for the 'Victorian Reader' level which is to read 5 books by the end of December. So far I've read 4 of the 5. These are they:

1. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

2. Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian 

3. Miss Benson's Beetle by Rachel Joyce

4. The Abominable by Dan Simmons

It looks like I'll have to up my level to 10 books, I must admit I did wonder if I was aiming a bit low. Also I perhaps need to head back a bit further in history, 3 of my 4 books are early 20th. century and although they're still classified as 'Historical' I did plan to go back a lot further than that when I first signed up. I am pleased however that each of the books I've read so far has taught me something about the time period in which it's set... which after all is the point of the exercise.

The other challenge I'm doing this year is, Book Bingo 2021 which is being hosted by  Unruly Reader.

This is the Bingo 'card' to work from:

The idea is to form a line or go for broke and read a book from every category. I'm just reading books and seeing how it turns out. LOL

Books read so far:

SURVIVAL: Into the Planet by Jill Heinerth 

RESTORATION: Krakatoa by Simon Winchester 

IMMIGRANT: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides 

BREEZY: Gardens of Delight by Erica James 

QUEST: Miss Benson's Beetle by Rachel Joyce 

TRIUMPH: The Abominable by Dan Simmons 

RABBIT HOLE: Emma by Jane Austen (This category covers, 'A book you fall into, or a book that inspires you to read related books'. I felt that Emma was both of those.)

So, 7 books read and not a bad start I feel. In fact, I'm only 2 short of a Bingo! on the righthand side but I shall plough on as I'm having too much fun to stop. 

So that's my challenge progress so far this year. Going pretty well I think and the main thing is I'm not stressed by either of them and they're 'fun'.


DesLily said...

I am glad you are "doing your thing" with challenges again. I do love books that are "novels" but have true history moments in them. If you worked in a Library you would have read every book in the place!! ILU!

Jeane said...

I have not done a reading challenge in years, but this one does look fun. What makes a book qualify as 'knotty'- one that makes your head hurt with a complicated twisty plot? and 'sugar?' something saccharine sweet unrealistic sappy ending type?

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

What a great start on the Victorian Challenge - I loved Middlesex.

Lark said...

Good job on doing so well with your reading challenges so far. I've been doing bingo like you--just reading whatever books I want and then seeing if any of them fit one of the categories. But it's fun to cross off the squares when they do. :)

Sam said...

Wow...you're on fire...way ahead of pace on the challenges. I don't have the imagination for challenges anymore; it's been a while since I've tried one.

TracyK said...

You are doing well on your challenges. I haven't been keeping up with where I am on mine, but I have been doing the linking more regularly than in previous years. Maybe sometime later in March I will have the time to see where I am with challenges.

I do like that Bingo Challenge but I never signed on for it.

Cath said...

Pat: I like doing my thing with challenges but before they were ruling my reading and I like to randomly decide what to read rather than having to read for a challenge, so cutting down was the way to go. ILU too!

Jeane: I like this challenge because the categories are open to your own interpretation. 'KNOTTY' is defined as 'a story with a lot of twists, or a book that leaves you feeling tied up in knots'. 'SUGAR' is 'a book that's sentimental, suger-coated or sweet - or an indulgent guilty pleasure'.

Diane: Thanks. Middlesex was excellent and fitted right into the 'IMMIGRANT' category. I liked that it fitted in an interesting way too.

Cath said...

Lark: Yes, that's the way I'm approaching this one too. Sometimes good books don't fit 'at all' but that's ok, I have another nine months of books to fit in so there's no hurry. :-)

Sam: Thanks. I like the stimulation of a couple of challenges a year but they have to be the kind that are not too easy. That's why this particular Bingo one appealed so much.

Tracy: Thank you. I try to keep up but it's easy to forget or for them to get away from you. That's why a post felt like a good idea, I'm going to try to do one every 3 months. This Bingo challenge is proving to be a lot of fun and very interesting. I would do it again, happily.

Vallypee said...

Well done, you!! I'm very much looking forward to more time to read in the coming months. I hope I'll be able to absorb lots of both crime fiction and memoir, my two favourite genres.

Cath said...

Thanks, Val! Funnily enough, two of my favourite genres are crime and memoir, especially when memoir is mixed with travelling.

CLM said...

I do like how you have found a themed book on so many topics! Miss Benson's Beetle sounds the most appealing to me.

I just finished (apologies if I mentioned this before) a book called The Narrowboat Summer, and the whole time I was reading it I thought of you. I immediately got the author's first book from the library as an audiobook and I now think I should have stuck to real book format. It is snowing and I took the day off to write a paper so I don't think I want to go to the library, however (this is unheard of but there must be at least 20 unread library books in the house already - I even left the new Paula Munier in the car so I wouldn't be tempted!). And I am leading a book discussion on They Loved to Laugh starting Monday so need to prepare for that.

Martha Peterson said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.