2012 Reading Challenges So Far

I’m taking part in 3 reading challenges this year – Book Chick City’s Mystery and Suspense Challenge, Chick Lit Plus’ Chick Lit Reading Challenge and Roof Beam Reader’s TBR Pile Challenge. I keep writing down on scraps of paper how I’m getting on with each, so thought it would probably be a good idea to look at each properly and see how I’m doing. As each challenge is 12 books, I really should have read 5 for each. Let’s see…

Mystery & Suspense Challenge:

1) Snapshot by Craig Robertson

2) The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson

3) After the Snow by SD Crockett

4) Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson

5) Memoirs of An Imaginary Friend by Matthew Green (still to review)

6) The Woman Before Me by Ruth Dugdall (still to review)

7) The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards

8) About Last Night by Adele Parks (still to review)

9) Never Look Away by Linwood Barclay (still to review)

10) Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult (still to review)

This is amazing. I never would have guessed I’d read so many so far. A lot of them aren’t traditional mystery/thriller books (I still think of the challenge as the Thriller and Suspense Challenge as it was in 2010 when I did it for the first time), but have elements in it – e.g. After The Snow is a dystopian novel about a boy’s survival when his family disappear. Because his family have disappeared, I think that counts, there’s mystery there.

I must say, this year this is the challenge I’m enjoying the most. Historically my favourite genre has always been chick lit, but I’ve found mystery/thrillers have gradually been creeping up on them. This year, if not a tie, I think they might have shot ahead for the fist time. That’s a huge statement for me, I’m not 100% behind it. Also, it’s only May, anything can happen in the next 7 months. I’ll re explore that in December.

Chick Lit Reading Challenge:

1) Between A Mother And Her Child by Elizabeth Noble

2) Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

3) The Brightest Star in the Sky by Marian Keyes (I thought I’d reviewed this, but apparently not!)

4) Goodnight, Sweetheart by Dorothy Koomson (still to review)

5) About Last Night by Adele Parks

Exactly on target – woo! For this challenge I need to read 2 novels by debut authors. I think that’s a brilliant rule for the challenge, I’d just totally forgotten it. Must go looking, and book buying – yay, one of my favourite things!

TBR Pile Challenge:

1) Petit Anglaise by Catherine Sanderson

2) The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Steig Larsson

3) The Brightest Star in the Sky by Marian Keyes (still to review)

4) Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult (still to review – not so bad, I only finished it last night).

Ah, not doing so well with this one am I? It’s not really surprising, the books on this list have been sitting on my shelf for ages, years even, and I’ve not read them. Is it any wonder that they’ve now been sitting there another 5 months? No.

Well, I picked another one up last night to start – Daniel Isn’t Talking by Marti Leimbach, so I guess, if I could get that read in the next 2 days, then I’m on track! As I’m off work ill, that’s not all that unreasonable. The problem is, because I’m off ill, I really want something easy to read. I’m not sure that will be easy, from the topic it might be quite harrowing, not sure. Not sure if I could handle that now. We’ll see I guess.

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In in all, I’m quite happy with my progress, especially on the Mystery & Suspense one. All in all I’ve read 18 books this year. That’s pretty good going – I think 2 years ago I only read about 16 in a whole year.

The problem with reading this much, is that my writing is definitely suffering. I tend to concentrate on one thing at a time, so if I’m reading a book, I want to carry on reading it when I have some spare time (when it’s a good book that is), not stop to write. I need to find the balance and learn how to do 2.

We’re going to move in either August or March next year. When we do, I think we’re going to move further out of London so we can get a bigger place for the same money, possibly (please) with a garden. Further out of London means longer commute. Longer commute means more reading on the tube (I literally get 6 minutes per journey at the moment). I think if I can read more on the way to work, I won’t be so into reading when I get home etc. But that’s months away (and more likely to be March, I’m not keen on moving during the Olympics, and I don’t think I’d be able to get much time off then. Still, it’s a plan for the future).

As always, my reviews (that I’ve done) can be found elsewhere on my blog. The ‘Books‘ tab is a central place where they’re all listed.

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