Friday, January 1, 2021

Challenged by Challenges

After struggling with challenges throughout the life of this blog, in 2020  I set myself a low Goodreads challenge, and midway through the year I started trying to read 2 books by a BIPOC author for ever book by a white author. That went better than any previous vague goal of "reading more authors of color." 

As I've said before, I like the idea of challenges, but I don't like feeling boxed in by them, and I get annoyed with having to post updates and check-ins. For someone who a) started a book blog of her own free will and b) who has spent the last nine months mostly sheltering in place, I sure do resist being forced to socialize. Still, there are so many fun ones out there. My current tentative plan (2020 showed all of us the foolishness of thinking any of our plans are final) is to sign up for a few, track on my own, and just check in at the end of the year.

We'll see.

First, the basics. 

I always sign up for the Discussion Challenge at the Dabbler level, since it only requires 1 post, and I KNOW I can do that. Plus, Shannon at It Starts at Midnight and Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction are two of my favorite bloggers, as well as being lovely human beings. The discussion posts people share are usually great reads too! 

I'm also still a fan of setting my Goodreads goal at 100. Less than I'll read, but big enough it will take some time to get there. I even remembered to update the widget at the bottom of my blog!

On to the more challenging challenges. 
I found two that seem nice and flexible, and if I can make one book overlap into both, all the better. They are the Pick Your Poison challenge on Gregory Road and the Book Bingo 2021 on Unruly Reads.  With categories like"Who's in Charge?" (subtopics: books about empires, social movements, being a first time parent, or cats) and "Rabbit Hole," I'll be both inspired to pick up new things but also to think about the books I'm reading anyway in a different light.

Finally, I've culled several book challenges and put together a list of topics I like. I think I'll keep those as an ongoing challenge, much like my Printz Project, which is not something I have a deadline on. There's also Classics Club, which I am attempting in a very desultory way. (Yes, it took my several tries to spell that right.)


  1. Every year I am torn about doing challenges and every year I sign up for them knowing I won't complete most of them. :-)

  2. I've skipped challenges for many years, but the oddity of a pandemic year made me wish I had taken on more last year. I've signed up for several this year, and I've greatly enjoyed making a tentative yearlong reading list. Subject to periodic revision, of course.

  3. I am so iffy on challenges. I recently came across the Read Women Challenge, and I'm going to give that a go in 2021 because it very intentionally targets women authors from diverse backgronds!

  4. Good luck with all your reading goals. I am sticking with the same ones I did last year. Hopeful I get my discussion mojo back and can actually post something to the Discussion Challenge.

  5. After several years of blogging I basically only do challenges I know I can manage, like the Discussion Challenge which is no sweat because I have so many bookish questions. Cheers to going at your own pace and having fun with it. We certainly don't need more stress.


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