My Reading Challenge 2016


At the beginning of last year, I decided to attempt the PopSugar 2015 Reading Challenge.

I wouldn’t say it was a hugely successful attempt.  I did read a lot of books (especially towards the end of the year) but not many of them were on the reading challenge list.  I think in total I managed about four!

Never one to accept defeat lightly, I decided to give it another go this year.  A new year, a new list of books to attempt.

I can tell just by skimming down the list of topics that this is not going to be easy for me.  I want to yawn just looking at some of the genres/themes included.

You see, the problem is that I read for enjoyment.  I don’t read to be educated, or informed, or to have my views challenged.  I don’t like to read about real-life, gritty issues.  I don’t want political or ethical writing. I absolutely HATE unhappy endings!

That’s not to say I never read a book that doesn’t end happily.  Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper is about as depressing as it comes, but it is a brilliant book.  But I really don’t like it when I’m engrossed in a fantastic book and then – bam!- out of nowhere comes heartbreak and misery.  (Ahem – I’m looking at you Philip Pullman).

I read for escapism.  To be carried away from the real world and it’s tragedy and cynicism.  I love a good fantasy story, where good conquers evil.  Or a crime thriller where the bad guy is apprehended.  But my absolute favourite is the historical romance, with all it’s clichés and clinches!

So looking down this list of 40 books I have to read, I’m thinking – “uh-oh”.  I’m never going to pull this off.

But I’m going to try.  There are lots of books out there that I’d like to read, or feel I should have read, or have been recommended to me and I’m going to attempt to crowbar them in to one of these categories.

I’ve already managed the first one – A book based on a fairy tale.  I’ve recently fell in love (no pun intended) with the works of a romance author called Eloisa James and she’s done a whole series of books based (loosely) on fairytales.  I read book 5 in the series, “Once Upon a Tower” as the first book in my reading challenge, which was a very nice start.  As with all of Eloisa’s books, I found it ridiculously easy to read and devoured it in a small number of hours!  I’m not going to go into too much detail as I think I may write a whole post about the series.  Am I a book blogger now?

I’ve already selected the next few books in the challenge.  They are:

National Book Award Winner – The Colour Purple

A YA bestseller – Divergent

Not read since school – Jane Eyre

Set in your home town (Nottinghamshire) – Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

I may not always do the challenge in order, but I think that should get me off to a good start.  I’m also supposed to be watching my budget at the moment, so I’m going to try and do this challenge without buying a single book, with the help of my already groaning bookshelves and the local library.

Are you taking part in a reading challenge?  What do you plan to read this year?  Or do you have any recommendations for any of the categories above?  Leave me a comment below!

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One comment

  1. Graeme Price says:

    Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham is a book everyone should read (and I know that’s an off-putting thing to say). Not that many people I know have read it but all those who have love it.

    Give it a go: it’s long (about 500 pages) but not a difficult read.

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