Tag Archives: reading challenges

Reading Challenges: Set Goals for Yourself

An update at last!

Yes, apologies for being away for so long. I really haven’t felt like I had anything to write about lately, but I’m finding some more inspiration this week.

I never posted anything about my reading challenge last year, so I did want to talk a little bit about that and about reading goals in general.

Last year I decided to do the Bringing Up Burns 26 Books in 2015 as a means of staying motivated to read after graduating from college. And boy did it work.

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Here is a book challenge I did not make. Click it to find the original source.

I started halfway through the year, and even then I managed to devour 26 books and a few extra besides. What I liked most about the challenge was that it left me the flexibility to still read things I wanted to read, while offering me opportunities to branch out. For example trying reading some nonfiction, or poetry, or a memoir instead of my typical teen fiction or classics.

But now for this year. This year I thought about doing some kind of a challenge, and I opted out. Because I decided there were too many different directions I wanted to go, and I also just never found another one I liked as much as the one I did last year.

But I do have a few goals I’ve set.

For one, Goodreads always offers a goal set at the beginning of the year. So I’ve set my count to 60 books. I read 52 last year, so this seems like a good step up from what I managed while still in school.

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But alongside just wanting to read 60 books, I have decided to try to motivate myself to read some books I might not just pick up on my own. And that has happened through picking up a few different books lists.

The first one is a little bit silly because the whole thing really started as a sort of internet hoax. Some of you might have seen it but there’s this claim going around that BBC Believes You’ve Only Read 6 of These Books

Honestly from the little I’ve looked into it, seems like someone loosely based it off the BBC 100 best loved books list and then decided to add a tagline to get people to look at it. Though the list is not really true (because BBC has never said such a thing), it does have a variety of books, many of which I haven’t read and would like to at some point. So in order to motivate myself, I’ve started steadily working through the list. As of right now I’ve read 39.

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I’m not setting a time limit on this goal (I know being such a bad Girl Scout), but I want to give myself the freedom to read other things in between and to take my time on some of the heavier works. Nonetheless, I’ve already found that this challenge has exposed me to some pretty amazing works. I just finished The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks, a book I would never have picked up on my own, and it is to date the only book that has left me physically shaking at the end.

Alongside that one I’ve also decided to try to read a Buzzfeed list of 29 Books to Get you Through Your Quarter-Life Crisis. As a 23 year old who recently graduated and is still trying to figure out life, I’m feeling more than a little in need of this right now. I don’t know that I will read all of them, but a few of them have definitely intrigued me enough to check them out.

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Finally, I also have wanted to increase my women’s literature background, so I decided to go with an easy one and picked 9 Classic Novellas by Women You Can Read in a Day. So far I’ve enjoyed these works and have found them quite a treat after working through Thomas Hardy and other equally long works.

So those have been keeping me busy for now. Just plugging away and trying to make sure I keep reading even when I’m busy. So far it’s been a great way to destress after a busy day of work.

So there’s a little update on my reading life. What are you reading? How do you stay motivated to read? Do you set goals for yourself? What sources do you use to find books? Always love hearing what readers have to say!

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Reading Challenge 12: A Book with a Lion, a Witch, or a Wardrobe

This was one of the hardest challenges to find a book for, mostly because I couldn’t decide if I should find a book with a lion, a witch, or a wardrobe. But I ended up settling for something that seemed quite appropriate for the prompt. After all, fairy tales are often full of all sorts of witches. Which is why I chose the book The Witch and Other Tales Retold by Jean Thompson.

I’m not even sure how the book ended up on my reading list to be honest. Most likely it was a recommendation on some Goodreads based on my other reads. But I’m always a sucker for fairy tales, as some of you might remember me saying in my review of Poisoned Apples.

Like the book I reviewed prior, The Witch and Other Tales Retold takes classic fairy tale scenarios and puts them into modern ones. Princes become forgetful one night stands, wolves become sexual predators, curses become unfortunate accidents that destroy families, and witches become abusive foster mothers. What is familiar in these fantasy world becomes somehow familiar in our own world as well.

As something of a fairy tale lover, I’d say I’ve read some modernized versions I’ve liked better than these. Thompson’s were interesting and kept me reading, but unlike Poisoned Apples I didn’t feel like I walked away with a lot. They do, I think, keep that cautionary tale element that these stories were so well known for. Urging people to watch out for these potential problems in their own lives too. It was clever, but I really don’t think I’ll think on this book much in the future. I recommend it to any fairy tale lovers, but other than that I can’t really rave about it. Though not necessarily modernized, I’d put Kissing the Witch by Emma Donoghue ahead of this one on a list of fairy tale books I liked.

Any books you know of that would fit this reading requirement? Do you think fairy tales can still be useful today? Or have they simply been relegated to good stories from the past? Any fellow fairy tale lovers have anything to add?

Here is a book challenge I did not make. Click it to find the original source.

Here is a book challenge I did not make. Click it to find the original source.

Past Entries:

1. A Book You Own But Haven’t Read

2. A Book that was Made into a Movie

3. A Book You Pick Solely for the Cover

4. A Book Your Friend Loves

5. A Book Published this Year

7. A Book by an Author You Love

9. A Book with a Color in the Title

15. A Book of Poems

17. A Book that Will Make You Smarter

21. A Book with a Great First Line

22. A Book with Pictures

24. A Book You Loved…Read it Again!

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