2011 Reading Challenges Wrap-up

It’s the end of December, and time to report on Reading Challenges (before I dive into my reading for 2012, of course).  I met all my goals this year, thanks to some careful reading in December to finish out the last few.  🙂  I really enjoyed all the challenges, and the nice feeling of accomplishment it gave to my reading whenever I read something that fit a list.  Not every book I read for the challenge was excellent, of course, but I did find some good ones, and I got to read many books (and types of books) I’ve wanted to, but tended not to get around to.

So I’m calling that a success!  A little more detailed reflection on each challenge below.

Here’s my final list for the year.  Linked titles go to my review of the book.   If you see something you’re curious about that doesn’t have a review, let me know!  If I don’t feel like I have enough to say for a full post, I’ll at least let you know what I thought in a reply-comment.  Rereads are designated with an R for all but the Library challenge, and aren’t counted.

Here’s what I’ve read in 2011 (books prior to the end of September, my last update, are in a lighter shade):

Hosted by A Few More Pages.  Goal: “Series Expert,” read 12 books that are first in a series.

I tried 10 new series for this challenge, plus read the first book of Discworld and The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, series I was already reading later books of.  Thank you to reader suggestions for a few series!  This was so successful I would up with eight new series to see about finishing, and decided to join a “finish the series” challenge for 2012!

R) Sarah’s Story by Ruth Elwin Harris

R) The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

1) Foundation by Isaac Asimov

2) The Children of Green Knowe by L. M. Boston

3) The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

4) The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig

5) The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

6) The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines

7) The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett

8 ) Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

R) A Spell for Chameleon by Piers Anthony

9) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

R) The Great Good Thing by Roderick Townley

10) The Dark Mirror by Juliet Marillier

R) Beka Cooper: Terrier by Tamora Pierce

11) Mister Monday by Garth Nix

12) Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve


Hosted by Stiletto Storytime.  Goal: read fifteen “classic” books (and I have it direct from the organizer that sci fi and children’s count!)

This one was good for knocking off several books on my “I ought to read that” list.  I finally read the Brontes for the first time, and Jane Eyre was definitely my favorite of the classics.  And I’m kind of thrilled that now I understand 2001: A Space Odyssey!

R) The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

1) Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

2) Foundation by Isaac Asimov

3) Trilby by George du Maurier

4) Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

5) The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett

R) Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

6) The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare

7) The Call of the Wild by Jack London

8 ) Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

9) The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy

10) The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

11) The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

12) 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke

13) Dracula by Bram Stoker

14) Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

15) From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne

PhotobucketHosted by Among the Muses.  Goal: Enchanted level, read 6-9 books that are inspired in some way by fairy tales.

Halfway through the year I realized I didn’t really need to work at reading more fairy tale-retellings.  I read lots and lots this year, and I love the variety authors can get out of the same story–like the six very different retellings of Sleeping Beauty I read this year!

R) Spindle’s End by Robin McKinley (Sleeping Beauty)

R) Beauty by Robin McKinley (Beauty and the Beast)

1) Ice by Sarah Beth Durst (Cupid and Psyche / East of the Sun)

2) The Rose Bride by Nancy Holder (The White Bride and the Black Bride)

3) Castle Waiting by Linda Medley (Sleeping Beauty)

R) The Rumpelstiltskin Problem by Vivian Vande Velde (Rumpelstiltskin)

4) Cloaked in Red by Vivian Vande Velde (Little Red Riding Hood)

5) Straw into Gold by Gary D. Schmidt (Rumpelstiltskin)

R) Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones (Tam Lin)

6) Sleeping Helena by Erzebot Yellowboy (Sleeping Beauty)

7) The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines (mostly Cinderella, plus Snow White and Sleeping Beauty)

8 ) The Healer’s Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson (Sleeping Beauty)

R) Fairest by Gail Carson Levine (Snow White)

9) Toads and Diamonds by Heather Tomlinson (Toads and Diamonds)

10) Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George (Cinderella)

11) The Wide Awake Princess by E.D. Baker (Sleeping Beauty)

12) The Swan Maiden by Heather Tomlinson (The Swan Maiden)

13) Troll’s-Eye View, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling (short story collection)

14) The Sleeping Beauty by Mercedes Lackey (Sleeping Beauty and Snow White)

Hosted by Home Girl’s Book Blog. Goal: read 100 books from the library.

I was very surprised by how close this challenge ended up being!  In January I was confident it would be no problem…and then I started borrowing lots of books from my wonderful friends, and trying to read more of the unread books on my shelves.  One way or another, I managed to read over 60 books this year that weren’t from the library…but I still squeaked in with just enough library books by the end of December.

This list was getting unwieldy, so I’m only listing the new ones since my last update:

80) Going Postal by Terry Pratchett

81) Star Trek: Best Destiny by Diane Carey

82) Troll’s-Eye View edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

83) Songs of Love and Death edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois

84) Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson

85) The Mark of the Golden Dragon by L. A. Meyer

86) Mairelon the Magician by Patricia C. Wrede

87) Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

88) Time at the Top by Edward Ormonroyd

89) Before Ever After by Samantha Sotto

90) Enchantress from the Stars by Sylvia Louise Engdahl

91) Dating Hamlet: Ophelia’s Story by Lisa Fiedler

92) Snuff by Terry Pratchett

93) Juliet Naked by Nick Hornby

94) Hogfather by Terry Pratchett

95) The Pleasure of My Company by Steve Martin

96) From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne

97) The Constellation of Sylvie by Roderick Townley

98) The Sleeping Beauty by Mercedes Lackey

99) Mister Monday by Garth Nix

100) Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve

About cherylmahoney

I'm a book review blogger and Fantasy writer. I have published three novels, The Wanderers; The Storyteller and Her Sisters; and The People the Fairies Forget. All can be found on Amazon as an ebook and paperback. In my day job, I'm the Marketing Specialist for Yolo Hospice. Find me on Twitter (@MarvelousTales) and GoodReads (MarvelousTales).
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7 Responses to 2011 Reading Challenges Wrap-up

  1. How’d you find Mister Monday?

    I actually picked up Best Destiny on my last run to Half Price Books for the simple reason that I liked the title. Do I have much to look forward to?

    • I enjoyed Mister Monday–thanks for the recommendation! It reminded me a little of Diana Wynne Jones and of Neil Gaiman, oddly enough… I definitely liked some aspects of the world. It’s on my list of series to finish!

      Best Destiny isn’t one of my favorite Trek novels, but it’s a good one. Remember the girl on Fanfiction who kept changing her name? Well, I read Best Destiny for the first time years ago because she recommended it as her favorite. The characters and adventure are good, although none of the characters are regulars. It’s mostly about Robert April, George Kirk, and a 16-year-old Jimmy Kirk who has a lot of growing up to do before he becomes the Kirk we all know. That’s a fun process to watch though!

  2. dianem57 says:

    You are clearly a voracious reader. I’m sure you’ll set new challenges for yourself in 2012. Congrats on meeting your 2011 goals!

  3. Cassie says:

    I LOVE fairytales (especially re-told) so I’m adding all of those books to my goodreads.com “to-read” pile as soon as I finish typing this comment. Which ones should I read first?

    • Glad to help you find some retold fairy tales! I’d especially recommend Robin McKinley and Vivian Vande Velde. Also Fairest, Toads and Diamonds, Princess of Glass, and Mercedes Lackey’s Sleeping Beauty.

      I’m always on the lookout for new ones–what have you read that you’d recommend? 🙂

  4. Tilly Slaton says:

    Nice job! Looks like you had yourself a blast 🙂

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