Taking Stock of My Book Reading Challenges 2016

Happy New Year, folks! I wish that 2017 is rich with the blessings of love, joy, warmth, and laughter for you and your loved ones.

I know, it’s been eleven days since the New Year has rolled in and I am late in waking up to this momentous occasion on my blog. But like they say, better late than never! Hope you are sticking to your new year resolutions and turning them into habits. I have set some goals and challenges for myself in the new year, but more about them a bit later. First, it’s time to take stock of the challenges that I took last year.

Last year, I set for myself some pretty ambitious reading challenges. Yes, I took 6 reading challenges. I took these various reading challenges because I am truly book obsessed and wanted to add variety in terms of authors and genres in my reading. So without much ado, let’s do a bit of review of my reading challenges of 2016.

1. Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge

I planned to read 150 books and I actually did it.

2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge Shilpa has completed her goal of reading 150 books in 2016!

150 of 150 (100%)

view books

2. HT Brunch Book Challenge

It was a simple one. All one has to do is read at least 24 books before the end of the year and at least three of those 24 books must be Indian.

I read 30 books for the HT Brunch Book Challenge. The first book that I marked for #BrunchBookChallenge is eluding my memory and records too, though.

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3. Pop Sugar : This one was pretty interesting, creative and challenging. I simply loved finding a book for each of the prompt and then reading it.

Pop Sugar 2016 Reading Challenge

These are the books that I read for the various prompts…

1. A book based on a fairy tale Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles Book 1) – Marissa Meyer
2. A National Book Award winner Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets – JK Rowling
3. A YA bestseller Looking for Alaska – John Green
4. A book you haven’t read since high school Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
5. A book set in your home state Fighting for Tara – Sunanda J. Chatterjee
6. A book translated to English The Autobiography of a Sex Worker – Nalini Jameela
7. A romance set in the future Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles Book 1) – Marissa Meyer
8. A book set in Europe The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins
9. A book that’s under 150 pages Tumor – John Grisham
10. A New York Times bestseller Seriously… I’m Kiddiing – Ellen Degeneres
11. A book that’s becoming a movie this year The Best of Me – Nicholas Sparks
12. A book recommended by someone you just met Karna’s Wife – Kavita Kane
13. A self-improvement book Don’t Lose Your Mind, Lose Your Weight – Rujuta Diwekar
14. A book you can finish in a day How I Braved Anu Aunty and Co-Founded a Million Dollar Company – Varun Agarwal
15. A book written by a celebrity Yes, My Accent Is Real – Kunal Nayyar
16. A political memoir I Am Malala – The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban – Christina Lamb and Malala Yousafzai
17. A book at least 100 years older than you Anne of Green Gables – Lucy Maud Montgomery
18. A book that’s more than 600 pages She Walks, She Leads – Gunjan Jain
19. A book from Oprah’s Book Club Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel García Márquez
20. A science-fiction novel The Martians – Andy Weir
21. A book recommended by a family member One Indian Girl – Chetan Bhagat
22. A graphic novel Sick of Being Healthy – Monica Gumber
23. A book that is published in 2016 Tales Of Sunshine – Sundari Venkatraman
24. A book with a protagonist that has your occupation Frindle – Andrew Clements
25. A book that takes place during summer Seducing Summer – Serenity Woods
26. A book and its prequel No Place Like OZ and Dorothy Must Die – Danielle Paige
27. A murder mystery Love on The Rocks- Murder On The High Seas – Ismita Tandon Dhankher
28. A book written by a comedian Unladylike – Radhika Vaz
29. A dystopian novel Maze Runner- Parody – The Dazed Runner – The Parady Brothers
30. A book with a blue cover All Aboard – Kiran Manral
31. A book of poetry Kidnapping Time in 88 Seconds – Laura Patricia Kearney
32. The first book you see in a bookstore Sidney Sheldon’s Reckless (Tracy Whitney #3) – Tilly Bagshawe
33. A classic from the 20th century Right Ho, Jeeves – PG Wodehouse
34. A book from the library On Love and Sex – Khushwant Singh
35. An autobiography Cracking the Code- My Journey in Bollywood – Ayushmann Khurrana, Tahira Kashyap
36. A book about a road trip Hot Tea Across India – Rishad Saam Mehta
37. A book about a culture you’re unfamiliar with Princess –  Jean Sasson
38. A satirical book Shopping at Tesco – Sarah Ryle
39. A book that takes place on an island A Midsummer’s Equation – Keigo Higashino
40. A book that’s guaranteed to bring you joy Alice In Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

While I am glad that I was able to read for all the prompts for this Pop Sugar Reading Challenge, there are a few gaps. For instance, I realized just now that I had marked Cinder under two prompts in my excel sheet. Wish I had looked at this lapse a bit earlier. Also, She Walks, She Leads by Gunjan Jain had 584 pages, so I missed the 600 mark by 16 pages. I had planned to read (re-read actually) Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell for the prompt ‘a book that’s more than 600 pages’, but then I just didn’t had the time towards the end.

From this challenge, I realized that dystopian novels are not my cup of tea, for I started and abandoned 3 dystopian novels and finally settled for a short one ‘The Dazed Runner’ in this category. 

4. New Authors Challenge : As part of this challenge, I had to read 20 New authors. The guideline was that the authors must be new to you and, preferably from novels. Given below are the 20 New Authors I read for this challenge.

20 New AuthorsYou are the best wife - Ajay K PandeyThe Other End of the Corridor - Sujata rajpalThe Dance with the Corporate Ton - Lata SubramanianFalse Ceilings - Amit SharmaThe Not People - SonaraThe Story of a Sui

5.  2016 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge : 2015-Outdo-Yourself-Reading-ChallengeThis was hosted by the lovely and inspiring Corinne.

This challenge had 4 levels :

  • Getting My Heart Rate Up: read 1–5 more books (or 250–1,499 more pages)
  • Out of Breath: read 6–10 more books (or 1,500–2,749 more pages)
  • Breaking a Sweat: read 11–15 more books (or 2,750–3,999 more pages)
  • I’m on Fire!: read 16+ more books (or 4,000+ more pages)

And no marks for guessing that I was on Fire for this one!

6. Audiobook Challenge 2016 : I wanted to explore audio books and challenged myself to check out 5 audio books last year and I heard 6.

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It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end. I had super fun reading books for all these challenges. I loved the whole process of planning and looking for books, their reviews and then buying them too. I maintained my reading progress in an excel sheet and reviewing it from time to time inspired me and pushed me to go for the finish line. While I read with a leisurely pace all through the year, the months of November and December saw a peak in my reading life. I read nearly one book a day and sometimes even two. That I was in Kuwait during Nov-Dec and had a lot of free time after work (no household chores and cooking) made this reading spree possible. Achieving my reading goals of 2016 has made me happy like a kid in a candy store, I mean a book store!!

My last year reading journey has re-defined my reading habits. The scales have tipped in favor of Kindle books. Yes, now I don’t want to read anything that is not on my Kindle. Audio books have got my acceptance too and the physical books are last on my preference list. This is a shocking realization even to me for I took a long time to warm up to Kindle books. Aah! The winds of change!!

Well, that was my last year in books. How was yours?

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26 thoughts on “Taking Stock of My Book Reading Challenges 2016

  1. You know what, I read ‘How I braved Anu Aunty and Co-founders a Million Dollar company’ one night too! I finished reading it in flat 3 hours. Hi-fi

    I should have kept my eyes open for these type of challenges before 2017 started.. they seem pretty cool! Anyway, I’m checking out some of these books for my 2017 challenge 🙂

    Happy New Year 2017, Shilpa ❤
    Mithila Menezes @fabulus1710 recently posted…The Bare NecessitiesMy Profile

    • Give me five, Mithila. Yes, ‘How I braved Anu Aunty and Co-founders a Million Dollar company’ is pretty interesting and a fun read.
      You can still take up reading challenges for the year. It’s never too late to start a good thing 🙂
      Thank you, Mithila. Wishing you a fantastic year too 🙂

    • There are a whole lot of book challenges out there. You need to pick what interests you. Hope you have a good reading time in 2017, Pratikshya. Cheers 🙂

    • Thank you so much, Tulika. I think I had a great satisfying and enriching reading time last year.
      Do check out some audio books. Hope you enjoy the experience of reading with your ears 🙂
      I am hoping so too. Thanks!

  2. OMG what is going on here!
    Your reading level is insane… I can’t even…
    Wow and you read so many different genre too, that’s commitment of highest order. Kudos Shilpa. You are the boss!
    Let me go and drink some water to digest this.
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…Happiness Is …My Profile

  3. 150 books is amazing. I managed 45 and I am on cloud nine as I haven’t read as much in the past 20 years or so. Dystopian, fantasies and YA are out for me too. Though I am currently reading some YA/LGBTQ Short stories and they are mindblowing. Glad to know you are enjoying audiobooks. It is a good medium if narrated well. Best wishes for 2017 challenges.

    • I can imagine your happiness and satisfaction. I havent read like this before as well. So cheers to us for doing what we love.
      Audiobooks are cool, but yes they should be narrated well. A lot depends on the narrator in this medium.
      Thank you and good luck to you too, Lata. Happy reading in 2017!

  4. Goodness gracious me! Did you actually take part in 6 challenges? I could barely keep up with one and I don’t know if I can do it this year because with more housework, the challenge gets even more challenging. Good luck with your reading this year

  5. Wow !
    I read this post the first thing in the morning, and I feel I’ve feasted on these books already ! Your lists look so appetising,dear ! I have read some of the books in your list too, though not as a part of the challenge. I loved ‘Princess’ for the very different perspective it offered. You must read the sequels too, if you get them ( Daughters of Arabia, and Desert Royal). They’re awesome, and you’ll love them too!
    I don’t remember how many books I read this year, but I could read many from my long-pending TBR! That’s a plus for me 🙂

    Good to be back in this space after a long hiatus !

  6. Wow !! shilpa, hats off to you, you are simply great, I am glad and appreciate your enthusiasm for books. Thanks for inspiring. I set a goal for one month a book and could just manage 3-4 books and then so many other things took priority. Its motivating to see how you have been consistent.

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