2017 Reading Challenges: Finale!

We’re into 2018 so it’s time to look at how my reading challenges turned out.  I frankly got very distracted from them this year in the last few months.  When NaNo finished I decided to look at them again, and did a bit of a scramble to finish two during December!  Well, you’ll see…

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

I did well with this most of the year, and threw in two more in December to reach my target.  My first read of the year, Kira-Kira, and my last read, Sounder, tie for most depressing Newbery to date!  Good Masters, Sweet Ladies was my favorite this year, which was entirely a surprise!

  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
  12. The Cat Who Went to Heaven by Elizabeth Coatsworth
  13. I, Juan de Pareja by Elizabeth Borton de Trevino
  14. MC Higgins the Great by Virginia Hamilton
  15. The Dark Frigate by Charles Boahman Hawes
  16. The Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars
  17. Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze by Elizabeth Lewis
  18. The High King by Lloyd Alexander
  19. …And Now Miguel by Joseph Krumgold
  20. Sounder by William H. Armstrong

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

I scrambled for four books in December, with the result that I listened to several rather grim audiobooks about race relations (even though they were juvenile fiction!) and came out one book beyond my target.  I still think this is an important challenge, and it still depresses me that I have to consciously work for it (and that I’m not better at doing that!)

  1. The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig (Chinese heroine, Arabian 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 (Arabian)
  7. The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig (Chinese heroine, Arabian hero)
  8. Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven (African-American)
  9. Stranger than Fanfiction by Chris Colfer (various)
  10. The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi (Arabian)
  11. The Cat Who Went to Heaven by Elizabeth Coatsworth (Japanese)
  12. I, Juan de Pareja by Elizabeth Borton de Trevino (African)
  13. MC Higgins the Great by Virginia Hamilton (African-American)
  14. The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury (Arabian)
  15. The Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi (Arabian)
  16. Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze by Elizabeth Lewis (Chinese)
  17. Read My Mind by Kelly Haworth (Chinese-Caucasian mixed)
  18. Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul (African-Canadian)
  19. And Now Miguel by Joseph Krumgold (Hispanic)
  20. Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper (African-American)
  21. Sounder by William H. Armstrong (African-American)

peace-doveSpiritual Reading
Goal: 6 books on spiritual topics

To my surprise, I only read one more spiritual book in the last portion of the year.  I have a regular spiritual/psychological slot in my reading (they sort of go together in my head), and I trended towards the psychological in recent months.  Since my original goal was six and I got to 15, though, that feels fine!  I’m especially happy to have found some excellent books (notably I’d Say Yes, God and Accidental Saints), some of the best I’ve read all year.

  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)
  10. The Family of Jesus by Karen Kingsbury (Christian)
  11. Accidental Saints by Nadia Bolz-Weber (Lutheran)
  12. Between Heaven and Mirth by James Martin, SJ (Catholic, Jesuit)
  13. Pastrix by Nadia Bolz-Weber (Lutheran)
  14. A Voluptuous God by Robert V. Thompson (Christian)
  15. Saying Yes by Albert Haase, OFM (Catholic, Franciscan)

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

So I didn’t read any more Montgomery-related books…but I think this whole challenge took an unexpected sideways turn when I started rereading Montgomery herself.  I finish the year with only five related books, but I reread the entire Anne series (even The Blythes Are Quoted), the Emily trilogy, and three short story collections, for 15 Montgomery books.  So I think Maud and I are cool with how much time we spent together. 🙂

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
5. L. M. Montgomery and War edited by Andrea McKenzie and Jane Ledwell

And so rings out another year!  I’m still thinking about challenges for next year, but I think they’ll be downscaled…it feels like time for another low-key reading challenge year.  More on that another day!  Meanwhile, how was your reading for the year?

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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2 Responses to 2017 Reading Challenges: Finale!

  1. Wow what a lot of reading you’ve been doing – I particularly impressed with your spiritual reading. I was a little down on my reading numbers in 2017 (finishing 51 books), however I reached my goal to read more non-fiction and to make time for more re-reading; so I am really pleased. Happy reading in 2018! 😀

  2. dianem57 says:

    You are such an organized reader! Looks like you did well! Happy reading in 2018!

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