I’ve seen a fair few people posting updates about their 2018 reading challenges, but as my blog didn’t exist at the start of the year I thought I would combine both my challenge ‘announcement’ with updates.
Without further ado, let’s get into them.
- Read 52 books.
I think this might be the one you guys can most identify with – trying to regularly read as much as possible given your circumstances. For me, this was only 12 books last year as I struggled to make time to read given a hectic study schedule, but for 2018 I set my goal a fair bit higher at 52 books. This might seem like a drastic jump, but I have previously achieved this goal in 2016, back then I counted graphic novels and other bits which I don’t really want to count towards the total anymore. Nothing wrong with people who do count graphic novels, I just personally found that in 2016 I would shoehorn them in at the end of each month to bring my reading numbers up – and that isn’t what the challenge is about for me anymore. Whilst I do still count children’s books and audiobooks (which I know some other people do not), I feel much more satisfied with my choices, and can I’m focusing on quality as much as quantity. Life is too short to rush through good books, let alone force yourself to read awful ones just for the sake of statistics.
So far, I have read 41 books according to Goodreads, but a few of these are very short indeed, and I’m planning on reading well over the goal of 52 in order to satisfy myself. Although I loved Pratchett’s Shaking Hands with Death, it is too short for me to happily use it to fill a spot on my challenge. My reading is already slowing down due to my internship, and when I’m at uni I suspect that I will slow down to one book a fortnight at best. Oh well 😦
It might be obvious but if not – my favourite genre is definitely fantasy, so it comes as no surprise to find out that most of my finished books so far can come under the fantasy umbrella in some form or another.
You can see my Goodreads challenge here: https://www.goodreads.com/user_challenges/11295414
2. Read more female authors.
I have to admit that the vast majority of my reading has been written by men. White men based in the UK or USA almost always filled my TBR in the past but this year I have tried to make an effort to rectify that – the aim being to read an even ratio of male:female authors in 2018. Not doing too well with this one as I think only 15/41 books have been written by female authors – but there is still plenty of time to rectify that in the coming months.
At this point, I’ll acknowledge that even if I reach a 50/50 ratio this year, I still need to focus on reading more female authors, as well as those who don’t fit into the man/woman categories. This will be an aim for 2019. The same goes for reading stories from minority groups – I want to broaden my reading horizons in the future but at the moment I have been mood reading too much (and trying to get some of the ‘canon’ down) to research this. Please let me know of any excellent but less popular fantasy or science fiction books written by authors who fit these categories!
There is no shortage of amazing-sounding fiction from female authors available at the moment. I want to get to Miller’s Song of Achilles and Circe, as well as Morris’ The Tattooist of Auschwitz and Addison’s The Goblin Emperor this year for definite – for a couple of different reasons, really. One is the reimagining of myths (I do a Classical Studies degree so I’m always keen on keeping up with these), another being sheer entertainment and light-hearted fantasy with Addison’s work. I have heard that Morris’ novel is (at least a little bit) heart wrenching, so that might end up being a mood read for me but will definitely be staying on my radar.
3. Read more nonfiction.
Whilst I have indeed read more nonfiction books than I did in 2017, I have not read anywhere near as many as I would have liked. This comes down to the mood reading I discussed above as well as my student status. When I do make time to read at uni I just want to relax and be entertained – I spend too much time focusing on research papers and nonfiction analyses etc in my studies to want to learn more outside of that.
This year I really enjoyed Doughty’s From Here To Eternity, so I may pick up her other book at some stage, or maybe even read more broadly about the topic. She writes with a really conversational tone which helped to keep my interest in a topic that might otherwise have been a bit too… different to get through. Well worth a read, though!
That’s it for my update then – 4 and a bit months left in 2018, so I reckon I can smash my 52 book target and hopefully balance out the author gender ratios to 50:50 before making more of an effort next year to read more widely. Some of my favourite novels this year have been my female authors (I adored the long way to a small, angry planet – Becky Chambers), and I massively regret not taking time to evaluate author stats before.
Please comment if you have any reading goals to meet by the end of 2018, or let me know if you have any thoughts on mine. I’m always after book recommendations 🙂