Sunday, 8 January 2017

Reading Challenges for 2017

So last year, I tried to cut down on my reading challenges, but still completed a total of about 16 throughout the year. As is always the case during December, once I start looking for new challenges, there are just SO many that look exciting. Case in point, I'm currently looking at 28 different ones, most of them running throughout 2017. A lot of them are ones I've done before, but others are brand new ones I found while browsing online. Doing separate sign-up posts for all of them would just be exhausting (as it is, this post is likely to take hours), so I'll gather them all here.
  1. The Cannonball Read. The reason I started book reviewing in the first place. The Cannonball Read (sign-up here until the 13th of January) is an online race to read and review 52 books in a year (or 26 or 13) with a mission to donate profits to the American Cancer Society. We’re essentially a virtual book club where participants read what they want and write what they want, all while shouting “F— Cancer!”. My goal has always been at least a double (104 books), but in a very good year, I can complete a triple (156). My goal this year is just to do better than 2016, when I came in fourth, and reviewed 135 books.
  2. The Goodreads Reading Challenge. Again one I do every year, because I like to see the line creeping closer to my goal being fulfilled. For the last few years, my goal has been 104 books (the aforementioned double Cannonball), I don't see any need to change that. 
  3. The Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge. Read a total of 26 books, with a title starting with each of the letters of the alphabet (removing A, and or the). The exception to the rule are letters Q, X and Z, where the letter can be anywhere in the title. 
  4. The Backlist Books Reading Challenge. In an attempt to get through more of the MANY books on my TBR, most of which were published quite a few years ago, I'm signing up for this challenge, where the goal is to read backlist books - defined as anything published a year before you read it. So if I read a book on the 16th of January 2017, it needs to have been published on the 16th of January 2016 or earlier. I read a lot of new books, but should be fine with this challenge too. My goal is that at least two thirds of the books I read this year fit in this category.
  5. Color Coded Reading Challenge - one I really enjoy. Read books with the colour in the title or as the dominant colour of the cover (the challenge became so much more doable once they changed this rule). The colours in question are Blue (or any shade thereof, like turquoise, navy, azure, aquamarine etc.)
    Red (or any shade of it, like Scarlet, Crimson, Burgundy, Bloody etc.)
    Yellow (or Gold, Lemon, Maize, Blonde etc)
    Green (Emerald, Lime, Jade etc)
    Brown (Tan, Beige, Chocolate, Sand, Cinnamon etc.)
    Black (Ebony, Charcoal, Raven, Jet etc.)
    White (Ivory, Eggshell, Cream etc.)
    Any other colour in the title/on the cover (Purple, Orange, Pink, Silver, Grey etc.)
    A title/cover that implies colour (Rainbow, Polka-dot, Paisley, Plaid, Stripe, Darkness etc.)
  6. E-books Reading Challenge. As nearly all books I read over the course of a year, with the exception of the occasional dead tree book, or a comic book, are e-books, this challenge seemed like an obvious choice. The books have to have an ISBN, so you can't just read online serials. There are also levels. I signed up for Terabyte - at least 75 books in a year. I can choose to move up levels, but not down.
  7. Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge. Because I find that I have so many fantasy novels littering my TBR shelf (and my physical bookshelves), I figured signing up for this challenge might motivate me to read more of them. It doesn't have any levels, but I've challenged myself to read at least 12, so approximately one a month. I don't know if urban/paranormal fantasy counts, but I'm going to pretend it doesn't, just to make it a bit harder for myself. 
  8. 10th Annual Graphic Novel & Manga Reading Challenge. I have far too many comic book trade collections and graphic novels on my shelves that I've not taken the time to read (I bought four in New York last summer - have I read them yet? Nope). So to make myself read them over the course of this year, I'm signing up for the lowest level of this challenge; Modern Age - read and review at least 12 books during the year. 
  9. Historical Romance Reading Challenge. I do like a reading challenge that basically lets me keep reading exactly the genres and books that I already enjoy. Because I'm trying to diversify a bit away from historical romance, one of my favoured genres, or at least read a bit more widely within it, I may try to read from some of the various sub-categories suggested on the site: Medieval, Regency, Victorian, Western, Pirate, historical romance with a diverse protagonist or Time Travel romance (must take place 80% in the past). I've signed up for level 4 - Marchioness - 26-35 books.
  10. Diverse Reads Reading Challenge. As in previous years, I'm very aware that I could do a lot better about reading books by and about people who are not cis-gendered, straight white women. The challenge doesn't have levels, but I've promised myself to read at least 30 books that are written by or about characters including but not limited to LGBTQIA, persons of colour, gender diversity, people with disability (including physical, sensory, cognitive, intellectual or developmental; chronic conditions, mental illnesses and addiction) and ethnic, cultural and religious minorities.
  11. Literary Pickers Reading Challenge. I really enjoyed this literary scavenger hunt last year, so I'm going to do it again. Check the website for the full list of items to be found. Only one item per list can be included per book. The books must be published ones, and be of the romance genre or with a strong romantic element. There are a hundred items on the list, I've signed up for Garage Sale Guru (25 items). Apparently I'm also to make an update post once a month with my progress (will need to set a reminder in my phone for that).
  12. Monthly Keyword Challenge. This is one of my favourite challenges of the year, and it allows me to do one of the things I love almost as much as reading - making lists about things I'm planning to read. With five or six keywords for each month of the year, you read books that contain one or more of the keywords. The keywords can also be tweaked so that the keyword "family" lets you choose a title containing "sister", "mother" or the like. 
  13. Monthly Motif Challenge. After a year's hiatus, I've once again decided to do this challenge, mainly because I liked the looks of the 12 different motifs featured this year. I need to read at least one book a month featuring the suggested theme or motif, which should be eminently doable. 
  14. New Author Reading Challenge. A challenge that simply wants you to try books by new authors, be they debut writers or just ones whose books you've never tried before. Last year I set myself the challenge of 25, and beat that easily, so I'll challenge myself to try 30 new authors this year.
  15. New to Me Reading Challenge. It's important to me to not just read the same things and genres, it would get very boring. So I like this challenge, as it prompts me to discover new authors, series and genres. This year, there doesn't appear to be any levels, just a minimum requirement of 12 books, so I've set myself the challenge of at least 40 new things over the course of the year. 
  16. Historical Fiction Reading Challenge. This challenge allows all kinds of historical fiction (historical romance, historical mystery, historical fantasy, young adult) which is nice, because I read a lot of it. As in previous years, I'm signing up for the highest level (Prehistoric) of 50+ books.
  17. Pick Your Genre Challenge. Because I don't have a specific challenge for all the various romances I read, I made this my Romance Challenge last year, and I intend to do the same this year. The minimum here is also 12 books, but I'd like to be able to read at least 50 over the course of the year. 
  18. Paranormal Reading Challenge. Another challenge that is pretty much me linking up reviews for books I will already be reading, whether I'm signed up to this or not. I'm not reading as many paranormals as I used to, but figure I can set myself a challenge of 24 books. 
  19. Pages Read Reading Challenge. Last year, due to a massive workload and just generally life getting in the way, I read fewer pages than I had since 2011. I'd like to do better this year, but still don't think I'll be able to sign up for more than level 4 - Apple Tree - 48 000 pages. I do still have a lot of correction work in the coming months. 
  20. Review Writing Challenge. This challenge wants readers to actually review the books they read. Because I already try to review everything I read (and post them on a group blog where we try to make money for cancer charities), this seems like a fairly natural one to take part in. My goal is the same as on my blog - a minimum of 104 reviews.
  21. #ShelfLove Challenge 2017. This challenge tries to make you grow your TBR pile responsibly and read the books you actually own. As I currently have 544 books listed as "To Read" in my personal library (according to LibraryThing), this seems like a very necessary challenge for me to take part in. Last year, 28% of the books that I read were ones I'd acquired before 2016. I'd like my goal for this year to be at least 30% of the total. Because of that, I'm signing up for level 5, My shelves are now my BFF (41-50 books). 
  22. #RockMyTBR Challenge 2017. After a heroic cull of my Goodreads TBR shelf, said shelf still contains 947 books, so more books than I could read in about six years, even if I didn't keep adding to it. One of the side effects of the Cannonball Read is that I keep discovering authors and books that seem so tempting, and that's before you count all the other ones I find on the many other review sites I frequent. So a challenge to try to reduce my TBR list seems essential. With previous TBR challenges, my goal has always been to read at least 50, so while this site doesn't set levels, that's the level I've set for myself. 
  23. What an Animal Challenge. This is one that I've taken part in for years now and really enjoy. They appear to have changed the rules so that it's no longer enough if the book you count just has an animal on the cover or an animal as part of the title. An animal has to play a major part in the plot, or one of the characters is or turns into an animal of some sort (dog, cat, monkey, wolf, snake, insect, centaur, mermaid, dragon, vampire, were-creature etc). It does make it a tad bit more challenging than before, but I still think I can manage the highest level - 21 or more books. 
  24. What's in a Name 2017 Challenge. I failed to complete more than two of the seven categories of this last year, because I just didn't feel inspired. I like the categories for this year a lot more, and will therefore try again. 
  25. Women Challenge 2017. I've mentioned before that I think this challenge may be targeted towards people who don't already read primarily books written by women, but it's not going to stop me from signing up once more. As always, I'm signing up for level 4, Wonder Woman, 20 or more books written by female authors. As always, to make it a teeny bit harder, I'm only allowed to list each author once. 
  26. 2017 YA Reading Challenge. This challenge is all about the YA books, of which I also read many. Books may be horror, romance, dystopian, supernatural, graphic novels etc. There are no levels, but I feel like I should challenge myself to at least 12. 
  27. You Read How Many Books? 2017. As I failed in my goal to reach level 2 of this (150 books), I'm not going to sign up for more than level 1, 100 books, this year. I don't want to set myself up for failure, after all, but I certainly hope I'll be able to pass level 2 anyway. 
  28. Reading Challenge Addicts 2017. As the site says "Some of us have a bit of a problem. Some of us have a huge problem". Looking at the list of challenges I've signed up for this year, I think I'm in the HUGE problem category. I'm just competitive by nature, and like getting credit for things I already like doing. With my monster list of challenges, it'll take something spectacular for me not to be able to complete Out of This World - 16 challenges entered and completed by the end of 2017.
In addition to all of these numerous challenges, I will also be taking part in the RIP Challenge in September and October, and trying for two Dewey Read-a-thons (April and October). 


  1. WOAH! That's a lot of challenges! I can barely keep up with the 4 that I have! LOL Good luck!

  2. Amazing Variety that will not be boring, for sure, Malin. Thanks so much for joining our Writing Reviews and Literary Pickers Challenge.

    Cheering you on to finish all of these and generate some help for your fighting cancer charity.

  3. Wow you joined a ton of awesome challenges! Happy to have you on board with us at Shelf Love :)

  4. Hope you enjoy your WIAN books, Marlin! This year's categories should be a bit easier (that's the plan at least!)