Books

My 2017 Goodreads Reading Challenge

I’m writing this post 13 days before the end of the year because I know I don’t have a hope in hell of finishing another book. Y’see, I have one working day left of the year and the only time I get a chance to read is when I’m on the bus (for nine hours a week). That’s why I’ve been able to smash my reading target of 50 with a whopping 64 books. Well, that and a combination of avoiding Game of Thrones and throwing in a few children’s books. Don’t get me wrong, adding the picture books I read with Jenson is cheating but the likes of Roald Dahl is fair game.

Goodreads Reading Challenge 2017

Looking for some book recommendations for 2018? Here’s a list of what to add straight to your basket (and which to avoid!).

The *****

Goodreads Reading Challenge 2017

I’m not sure how Goodreads has ordered the books here (beyond star rating) but The Dry narrowly missed out on being my book of the year. It’s my favourite thriller, though, and the follow-up (Force of Nature) is pretty epic.

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is another favourite this year and one that I’d recommend in an instant. As is A Glorious Freedom.

Now Playing holds a special place in my heart as it reawakened the film geek in me and I’m making of a point of trying to watch more films in the new year.

Holly Bourne is one of my favourite writers and her Spinster books get a few mentions.

I’ve also reviewed A Boy Made of Blocks and Creative Pep Talk – I’ve been sent a fantastic range of books. I’m gonna need a bigger bookcase!

Goodreads Reading Challenge 2017

It’s funny when you read a children’s book for the first time as an adult – I think it gives you a completely different perspective. Maybe that’s why I fell for Danny, the Champion of the World. It might well be my favourite Roald Dahl book.

As I’ve mentioned several times before, Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power is my book of the year. It was a last-minute review copy and a title that completely took me by surprise. As with some of my favourite films, I went in with little to no expectations and was completely blown away. Give it a read.

The ****

Goodreads Reading Challenge 2017

I first came across Maya Angelou’s work at a gallery opening this summer and immediately went and looked up more of her writing. Unable to afford to buy, my library ordered them in for me – and let me keep them! It was such an awesome day. I keep putting them back down when I get sent new releases but I really need to finish them in the new year.

Several books have filled my eyes with tears this year (remember how I only read on public transport?!), most notably Water in May and Wild. Don’t let that put you off. They’re two very different (young adult and memoir respectively) and powerful books.

Goodreads Reading Challenge 2017

Don’t you just hate it when you enjoy a book and then discover that there’s a sequel/it’s the first in a series? I had this problem with The Next Together, Caraval and Raven Boys. They’re all titles I won in competitions and probably wouldn’t have read otherwise but now I’m hooked and need to know what happens next.

Another surprise was The Cursed Child. I’ve not read any of the Harry Potter books but have seen all the films, so was intrigued to see what happens next. There’s no way I could ever see this on the stage because just reading the screenplay nearly wrecked me. Fantastic storytelling.

Two highlights of the year are The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving A Fuck and You Do You – genuinely life changing.

Goodreads Reading Challenge 2017

Thanks to Christmas 2016 I read a few celebrity autobiographies at the start of year. I also read Constance Hall’s Like a Queen when it was passed around of group of mum friends – highly recommended.

The ***

Goodreads Reading Challenge 2017

Now we’re getting to the point of the list where the books were pleasant enough to read but I wouldn’t go straight out and recommend them. Spandex and the City was light-hearted fun but not particularly substantial and Just Friends was incredibly predictable.

Goodreads Reading Challenge 2017

Oh Yeah, Audrey is a book I should have loved on paper (Audrey Hepburn fan and blogger goes on a pilgrimage to Tiffany’s to eat pastries, etc) but was a bit too ‘predictable YA fare’ for me. I also made the mistake of reading Thirteen Reasons Why after I saw the TV show, so I think that’s why it had less of an impact on me. Anyone else prefer the show?

Yeah, so I actually reviewed everything pretty positively. Maybe I’m too nice? How do you define your star ratings? I rank ***** as perfect/can’t say anything bad, **** is for a book that I really enjoyed but I had a teeny niggle with, *** is good but with some issues, ** is pretty poor and * is terrible. Maybe I just got lucky with my titles this year?

As for next year, I think I’m going to keep my target at 50 as it allows for at least one a week, when you account for annual leave, etc, and I’ll try not to avoid longer books. I’ve only read the first two Game of Thrones books and really need to catch up.

How did you get on with your reading challenge this year?

2 thoughts on “My 2017 Goodreads Reading Challenge”

  1. I aimed for 80 books and have read 92 (I tried for 100 last year but it was too stressful!) some nice picks there one which is already on my wishlist and a few I’ve added.

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