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.


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 taleCinder (The Lunar Chronicles Book 1) – Marissa Meyer
2. A National Book Award winnerHarry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets – JK Rowling
3. A YA bestsellerLooking for Alaska – John Green
4. A book you haven’t read since high schoolCharlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
5. A book set in your home stateFighting for Tara – Sunanda J. Chatterjee
6. A book translated to EnglishThe Autobiography of a Sex Worker – Nalini Jameela
7. A romance set in the futureCinder (The Lunar Chronicles Book 1) – Marissa Meyer
8. A book set in EuropeThe Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins
9. A book that’s under 150 pagesTumor – John Grisham
10. A New York Times bestsellerSeriously… I’m Kiddiing – Ellen Degeneres
11. A book that’s becoming a movie this yearThe Best of Me – Nicholas Sparks
12. A book recommended by someone you just metKarna’s Wife – Kavita Kane
13. A self-improvement bookDon’t Lose Your Mind, Lose Your Weight – Rujuta Diwekar
14. A book you can finish in a dayHow I Braved Anu Aunty and Co-Founded a Million Dollar Company – Varun Agarwal
15. A book written by a celebrityYes, My Accent Is Real – Kunal Nayyar
16. A political memoirI 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 youAnne of Green Gables – Lucy Maud Montgomery
18. A book that’s more than 600 pagesShe Walks, She Leads – Gunjan Jain
19. A book from Oprah’s Book ClubLove in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel García Márquez
20. A science-fiction novelThe Martians – Andy Weir
21. A book recommended by a family memberOne Indian Girl – Chetan Bhagat
22. A graphic novelSick of Being Healthy – Monica Gumber
23. A book that is published in 2016Tales Of Sunshine – Sundari Venkatraman
24. A book with a protagonist that has your occupationFrindle – Andrew Clements
25. A book that takes place during summerSeducing Summer – Serenity Woods
26. A book and its prequelNo Place Like OZ and Dorothy Must Die – Danielle Paige
27. A murder mysteryLove on The Rocks- Murder On The High Seas – Ismita Tandon Dhankher
28. A book written by a comedianUnladylike – Radhika Vaz
29. A dystopian novelMaze Runner- Parody – The Dazed Runner – The Parady Brothers
30. A book with a blue coverAll Aboard – Kiran Manral
31. A book of poetryKidnapping Time in 88 Seconds – Laura Patricia Kearney
32. The first book you see in a bookstoreSidney Sheldon’s Reckless (Tracy Whitney #3) – Tilly Bagshawe
33. A classic from the 20th centuryRight Ho, Jeeves – PG Wodehouse
34. A book from the libraryOn Love and Sex – Khushwant Singh
35. An autobiographyCracking the Code- My Journey in Bollywood – Ayushmann Khurrana, Tahira Kashyap
36. A book about a road tripHot Tea Across India – Rishad Saam Mehta
37. A book about a culture you’re unfamiliar withPrincess –  Jean Sasson
38. A satirical bookShopping at Tesco – Sarah Ryle
39. A book that takes place on an islandA Midsummer’s Equation – Keigo Higashino
40. A book that’s guaranteed to bring you joyAlice 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.


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?