2017 Reading Challenges: Halfway Update

With six months of the year come and gone, it’s time to see how Reading Challenges are going.  I’ve felt like I wasn’t really focusing my reading lately, and that plays out in the books I’ve read–plenty of good books, but not targeted ones, so challenges haven’t moved very much.  Here’s what we have though!

PictureNewbery Medal Winners
Goal: 20 Newbery Medal Winners, halving the number remaining
Host: Smiling Shelves

Only a few new ones here, though since I read so many in the first quarter I’m still good overall.  It’s been harder lately to find audiobooks (I’m running through the ones the library has!) so that’s slowed me down.  These are mostly shorter reads though, so I should be able to do better in the next six months with a little focus.

  1. Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata
  2. The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman
  3. Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena
  4. Good Masters, Sweet Ladies by Laura Amy Schlitz
  5. Crispin: The Cross of Lead by AVI
  6. King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry
  7. Joyful Noise by Paul Fleischman
  8. The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron
  9. Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorenson
  10. The Wheel on the School by Meindert De Jong
  11. A Visit to William Blake’s Inn by Nancy Willard

Diverse Reading
Goal: 20 books with non-Caucasian protagonists
Host: ???  Haven’t found an official challenge yet

An appalling run here, with only one book to add to the challenge.  In my defense, I’ve been reading a lot of L. M. Montgomery and nonfiction books…but still time to make this my top priority for a while!

  1. The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig (Chinese heroine, Arab hero)
  2. Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata (Japanese)
  3. Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho (African-English hero, Indian heroine)
  4. Not Your Sidekick by C. B. Lee (Chinese)
  5. The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon (African-American heroine, Korean hero)
  6. King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry (Arab)
  7. The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig (Chinese heroine, Arab hero)
  8. Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven (African-American)
  9. Stranger than Fanfiction by Chris Colfer (various)

peace-doveSpiritual Reading
Goal: 6 books on spiritual topics

This is the challenge I’m doing best in!  I’ve read through another five books, and now I just need to get on top of actually reviewing more of them…

  1. Rumi: Bridge to the Soul translated by Coleman Barks (Muslim)
  2. Peace Is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh (Buddhist)
  3. The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh (Buddhist)
  4. Falling Upward by Richard Rohr, OFM (Catholic, Franciscan)
  5. I’d Say Yes, God, If I Knew What You Wanted by Nancy Reeves, PhD (Christian)
  6. Sabbath by Wayne Muller (Christian author, heavy Jewish influence)
  7. Resisting Happiness by Matthew Kelly (Catholic)
  8. Dating God: Live and Love in the Way of St. Francis by Daniel Horan, OFM (Catholic, Franciscan)
  9. The Sabbath by Abraham Joshua Heschel (Jewish)

L M MontgomeryL.M. Montgomery Reading
Goal: 12 Montgomery-related books

Still progress to be made here, with two new additions.  Seventeen she described as “making her laugh as she had not in a long time” (paraphrasing) and The Bonnie Brier Bush was a long time favorite she compared favorably to “modern” (say, 1930s) books.  Seventeen is funny but dated, while The Bonnie Brier Bush really is charming.  I’m less concerned about this challenge than I might be, considering I’m also most of the way through rereading the eight-book Anne of Green Gables series…

1. Remembering Lucy Maud Montgomery by Alexandra Heilbron
The Gift of Wings by Mary Rubio (reread)
2. The Lady of the Lake by Sir Walter Scott
3. Seventeen by Booth Tarkington
4. Beside the Bonnie Brier Bush by Ian McLaren


While I’m not going to actively stress about it (because I’m still enjoying my reading, and reading good books) I do like being more focused and intentional about my reading…so this was a good reminder!  I’ll see how the next few months go.

Do you have any reading challenges for the year?  How are they so far?

2 thoughts on “2017 Reading Challenges: Halfway Update

  1. I am pleased to see you are doing so well in your spiritual reading goal this year 🙂 As for myself, I completed my epic Classics Club challenge, for which I read 50 books in 5 years! While I am currently doing the easier 10 Books of Summer, for which I have read 4 books so far. Good luck with your continuing goals and happy reading 😀

  2. dianem57

    I am just impressed with how organized you are and how you have such planned reading lists. I have an on-going “books to read” list, but I don’t really adhere to it. If a different book catches my attention, I’ll read that, and sometimes (since I read a lot on a Kindle) I’ll follow that book with another that’s recommended for readers of the first book. I guess I’m more of a random reader, within certain categories of books. You are far more disciplined! 🙂

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