Monday, January 8, 2018

2017 Reading Challenges Summary - Success or Fail

Last year, I decided to put some spice into my reading and joined a few book reading challenges and see if I were up to them. 

Here are the 7 challenges that I participated in and the results and of course the excuses for not having completed some of the challenges. Whether valid or not, it's up to you to decide. I won't mind. 

First off, I am proud to say that I have finished, completed and surpassed the number of books I set to read in the Goodreads Reading Challenge again this year. I set up 100 books and I finished the year with...
Drum roll please....

219! Yey! This is a great improvement also from last year's 146/70 books.

Next is the POP Sugar Reading Challenge. This is my first time to join this challenge. The challenge is to read books per each category. For example, a book recommended by a librarian. There were 52 categories and I actually checked off 31. That's 60% completion which is more than half, but I think is still a fail. Generally, especially in school, the passing rate is 75% and if that were the same benchmark for this then, I failed and I am bound to repeat this challenge to move on. But instead of doing the challenge over again, like listing down new set of books to read. I decided to just continue the challenge this year and read those on the list that I was not able to read. That way, I could still say I finished the challenge but just not within a year.

This is also my first to participate in this challenge. Like the Pop Sugar, this challenge also have categories and you have to list the books of your choices for each category. There were 7 categories and I wrote almost 2 books for each. In total, I listed 12 books and read 11 of them. Yes! I finished 92% of the Wild Goose Chase Reading Challenge which is really great. Unfortunately, I missed one book which is Quack by TJ Slee. Again, just like the Pop Sugar, I'll make sure to prioritize this book in my TBR this 2018.

The 4th reading challenge I signed up for was the Retellings Reading Challenge. As the title of the challenge suggests, this involved reading retellings of a classic stories, fairy tales or whatever. To be able to come up with my list, I search for the book titles in Goodreads and came up with 14 titles. The challenge has 4 levels. Each level contains the number of books that you finished. So, as you finished more books, you get to progress to the next level. I only finished 4 books, which is 25% and which just puts in the Easy level. Well, this is my first time so maybe, I'll be more fortunate this year and strive to read the rest on my list. 

Like the Retellings Challenge, the Banned/Challenged Books Reading Challenge also have 4 levels. This challenge involved reading books that have been removed from circulation or tagged as banned or being challenge because of the content of the book such as racial discrimination, sensitive themes and other things. You can click on the picture and it will bring you to the challenge and explain it throughly. I would admit that I am, in a way a rebel. I would be more curious to read a book if it was listed as a banned or challenge book. To site an example, I will tell you about a story when I was back in college about one book, which according to our Theology teacher is not fit for reading yet for our young minds and with fragile faith. This book is the Hiram Key. It talks about Jesus Christ and some revelations about him, like he was a hunchback and other stuff. This book was supposed to be born out of years of research by the authors. Well, I did not head the warning of my professor. I actually bought the book years after when I already started working. I read the book and it didn't change or affected my faith in any way. I also did not believe all the things the books said. It was a curious book but then, it's up to the reader to also challenge and question the things that the book purports to be. For me, I filed the book as historical fiction. It did not any way change my image of Jesus Christ, much less my belief in someone more powerful and in control of all these things going on in the universe. I realized that this book would be the first of many other books I would like to read because I was told not to. I actually read the sequel of this book which is The Book of Hiram and I haven't finished it to this day, because it was getting a bit boring. It was more of enumerating some facts and names and not done like the first one which was a in story form. The second book was a bit like reading a research or term paper. 

Anyway, back to the challenge. I listed 20 books that were banned or challenged according to The American Library Association. I finished 8 and to be honest, I didn't read any of them in 2017. I've read them years before. I don't know if that still counts because this was supposed to be a challenge for the year 2017. But anyway, this is my blog so I think I can just ignore that technicality. So, I finished 67% of this challenge and 8 books put me on the 3rd level for this challenge, which is:

  • Read 7-12 books. You are a Blow-up fire. Sudden increase in fire intensity strong enough to upset control plans.
We'll see if I can finish the rest of the list in 2018.

The next challenge is the 24in48 Readathon. This is done twice in year. I joined 2016's challenge and read 7 books in 24 within a 48 hour period. And that's exactly what the challenge is--to read as many books as you can in 24 hours but you have 2 days to do that. So, it's up to you how you pace yourself within the two days to be able to read in 24 hours. So, in the 2017 Winter Readathon, which was in the January 22-23, I was able to read 3 books. Yes, only 3 which is just so-so and way below my performance in 2016 if I have to compare the two. And since it's January already, I think this challenge will again happen and I haven't decided if I want to join or not since I jut got a new job. I haven't done a lot of reading and reviewing lately and allotting 24 hours to just read is way too much for me right now. I might pass on this challenge for now.

The last challenge is the Back to the Classics Challenge. Just to tell you, I love the classics. In fact, I have bought a few books of Shakespeare and some other classic writers but unfortunately, some of them are still unread up to this moment. I bought most of them from a second-hand bookstore. And since these are already old stories, I think they can wait a few more for me to get to them. With that said, I did not read any of the 19 books I listed which are I think what I have on my shelf. Yes, it is an EPIC FAIL and I am too ashamed to admit that. I did start Wuthering Heights but I did not finish it. Hopefully, as I have said, I will be able to read and check off the list this year.

So, that was how challenged I was in my reading in 2017, not to mention the list of authors who have requested me to review their books. I still owe some of them and hopefully, before the first quarter ends, I will be able to email them back of the good news that I have read and posted a review of their books. I was way behind last December and of course, that will carry over this January and add more to my already towering TBR pile. But then again, this is reading we are talking about. This is my favorite thing in the world, so this won't be a challenge at all. More like I need a longer day or year.

Happy New Year everyone and may this 2018 bring us more opportunities to improve and challenge ourselves. Whether they'd be books, movies, or situations. May we be like the heroes and heroines in the stories that we have read, who rose up to the challenges and proved everyone wrong. I am very very positive that this year is a great year for me. The sort of fog that has enveloped me for the past 3 years or longer, has slowly dissipated. Last December was one of the clearest days I ever had and I will continue to have those kind of days. To finally wake up each day with a purpose and to actually feel empowered to make things better and work toward my goals. So, to all of us, best of luck and have a great year this 2018. I am sure I am going to have it. You should too! Picture it and claim it!

Be sure to click each picture to visit the individual links for each challenge and see more details.

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