The story so far

Books read and reviewed in Goodreads 2018 Reading Challenge, as of December 15th: https://www.goodreads.com/user_challenges/10308469

A little over halfway through the last month of the year, and it’s time to see how my bookish year has gone so far. I set myself an easy Goodreads challenge to read forty books in 2018 but soon upped it to fifty-two as I passed the first benchmark well within forty weeks. I’ve reviewed 53 books for the Goodreads challenge, but I’ve actually read two more, with two reviews in preparation (titles by Kate Atkinson and Natalie Babbitt). I may well hit fifty-six or more by year’s end as I’m reading two more at the moment.

Of course, I know I’m a lightweight compared to many of you so these are just observations (obvs!) and not a boast.

Another goal I’d set myself for this year was to even up the gender balance in terms of authors read. How did I do?

Well, here are the male writers read:

Eric Ambler, Anton Chekhov, Arthur C Clarke, Joseph Conrad, Otto Coontz, Edmund Crispin, Jasper Fforde, Neil Gaiman, A C Grayling, Peter Haining, Seamus Hamill-Keays, Simon Haynes and Tim Godden,* Henry James, Robert Macfarlane, Edwin Moore, Garth Nix, Leonardo Olschki, Grayson Perry, Terry Pratchett, Christopher Priest, Philip Reeve, Georges Simenon and R L Stevenson. Total: 23.

And here are the female writers:

Joan Aiken, Kate Atkinson, Natalie Babbitt, Nina Bawden, Eleanor M Brent-Dyer, Siobhan Dowd, Eleanor Farjeon, Patricia Highsmith, Gail Honeyman, Tove Jansson, Diana Wynne Jones, Daphne Lee, Ursula Le Guin, Hope Mirrlees, Fiona Mackenzie Moore,** E Nesbit, Jan Newton, Jeannette Ng, J K Rowling, N K Sandars, Mary Shelley, Sarah Singleton, Vanessa Tait, Marina Warner. Total: 24.

I know what you’re thinking: 23+24 does not make 53. The fact is, I’ve read several titles by Joan Aiken (you may have noticed) and by Henry James and Robert Louis Stevenson, hence the higher figure.

Now, these are not the only goals I set myself way back when. I also aimed to fulfil as many categories for the 2018 Ultimate Reading Challenge. Desperate as I know you are to see how I’ve got on with that, I shall share that with you a couple or so posts on as I may have a couple or more categories to add to my tally.

That’s all, folks!

And you?


* Haynes and Godden count as one author as they co-authored their Guidebook.

** Fiona Mackenzie Moore and Edwin Moore also co-authored, but the former wrote about the art entries and the latter about literature in their dictionary

15 thoughts on “The story so far

  1. This is an impressive list. I’ve not been counting, but I doubt I’ve managed more than twenty novels, and several of those for work. The work ones have had to be read several times over, though, so maybe I get close to thirty, that way.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m not organised enough for detailed spreadsheet statistics, Cath, but of course it’s all about the joy of reading, not the numbers. At least I don’t have the pressure of work, as you have, but I’m sure you wouldn’t do what you do if you didn’t also enjoy reading!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re so right. It is the opportunity to look in detail at writing, as well as the joy of sharing those discoveries with a group of readers that keep me teaching. I’m so lucky to have a job I love.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Cathy—I shudder to think how many tbr books I presently have, and daren’t do a tally (as you did when you started on your ‘journey’) for fear I’d be paralysed by sheer terror! 85 books is impressive, and especially praiseworthy as you focus on contemporary writers—I seem to be much more conservative in that regard.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, do explore ‘Ursula Le Guin’ in the search box or click on the tag with her name—you’ll see that it’s impossible to stop me writing at length about her! (A bit like the bloke from The Jane Austen Book Club … 😁)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. piotrek

    Impressive, and all of them reviewed, wow!

    I had no defined goals myself, but I’ll try to remember to check the gender ratio in my 2018 reading stats, there will be no balance there, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was appalled to note how disproportionate in terms of gender my reading used to be, but fantasy and Austen and Le Guin and blogger recommendations have all taken me to pastures I might not have considered ten, twenty or more years ago.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Impressive list, yes. I love your stats. As the end of the year is approaching, I am also thinking about the recap posts and the new year reading goals.

    I set a Goodreads goal of 50, but I ended up reading 65, (some really short, a few stupid titles for book club, which I won’t be at next year.)

    I must say I read two impromptu books following your reviews of them, and I loved having done that.

    This year, wait for something new! I have been shopping in my own shelves, and I am going to read just what I want, at the pace I want, hahaha. I have set aside a lovely tower of books, and I am also going to have fun photographing them and reviewing them. I will just keep up with two of my only challenges, the Back to the Classics, and Classics Club. I always love reading your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Set the goals you want to do, but never feel you have to follow them absolutely—after all, reading should be a pleasure, not an obligation! But classics, they’re always there waiting for you when you’re ready. But I’m glad you enjoyed the books I reviewed! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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