Saturday, December 30, 2017

Year End Reading Challenge Wrap Up 2017

According to my Year in Review on Goodreads, I completed 60 books in 2017. If it was not for reading with my kids, that number would have fallen below my goal of 50 books.

The Well-Educated Mind Histories Reading Challenge (3/31) counts towards my most important and longest project, The Well-Educated Mind Reading Challenge (59/147). I got off to a rocky start with the Ancients (and quit reading The Republic 100 pages in), though I am on my fifth book, City of God, by Augustine. Nonetheless, I completed only three books for TWEM Histories Challenge this year - how pathetic!


I recently started LOTR Read-Along (1/3), hosted by Edge of the Precipice. I completed the first book, The Fellowship of the Ring, by listening to an audio version and reading along. This is helpful for me because I am not familiar with this story, and the dramatized version, complete with sound affects and different voices, helps clarify, which is better than if I try to interpret it myself.

Fanda at ClassicLit hosted Dickens in December , and I did read one Christmas tale by Dickens. Sadly, I did not get to my annual reading of A Christmas Carol, and now it is too late. Christmas is over. Ah, well; there's next year.

Keely started the Russian Literature Challenge (3/3) at the beginning at 2017, and I only completed two of my proposed, but later included my reread of Crime and Punishment to make it three.


Operation Actually Read Bible hosted Cloud of Witness Reading Challenge (3/4) in which I read three of the four chosen, though I am presently reading City of God for my fourth book; it will be few months late.


Back-to-the-Classics Challenge (10/12) is hosted by Books and Chocolate. I challenged myself to twelve categories, but I hit a snag halfway through This Side of Paradise and never read To Kill a Mockingbird. 

The Classics Club  (22/75) I added a few more books to my CC list, and I am beginning the second year of my challenge. I have 53 left to read before December 2020. No pressure.


Finally, The Manly Reading Challenge (26/100) is just a fun, long-term list I am filling in as I go along. This year I completed a couple. Three quarters left to go.

Reading challenges are encouraging and entertaining, but I have been finding them too difficult to keep, and sometimes I end up reading books my heart was not into. Instead of joining yearly challenges, as tempting as they are, I hope to focus more on what I want to read.

As of today, here is a list of books my heart desires to read in 2018, which may change because I am not entirely in control of my own life. But if all goes well, this is what I am excited to read, though not in this order:

City of God - Augustine (WEM)
Ecclesiastical History of the English People - Bede (WEM)
The Prince _ Machiavelli (WEM)
Utopia - Sir Thomas Moore (WEM)
Northangar Abbey - Jane Austen (CC)
Ourselves - Charlotte Mason (Education)
Formation of Character - Charlotte Mason (Education)
A Philosophy of Education - Charlotte Mason (Education)
Charlotte Mason Companion - Karen Andreola (Education)
The Two Towers - JRR Tolkien (LOTR)
The Return of the King - JRR Tolkien (LOTR)
Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini (TBR)
And the Mountains Echoed - Khaled Hosseini (TBR)
Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy (TBR)
Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy (TBR)
Caroline - Sarah Miller (TBR)
A Woman's Education - Jill Ker Conway (TBR)
The Republic of Imagination - Azar Nafisi (TBR)
Jane Austen's World - Deirdre Le Faye (TBR)
Reflections on the Revolution in France - Edmund Burke (CC)
The Problem of Pain - CS Lewis (CC)
A Grief Observed - CS Lewis (CC)
The Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank (reread)

Of course, I will add more as the year goes on, plus my children and I will read numerous books together, and I may even read The Little House books again because I cannot imagine a year without them. Until then . . .


Happy New Year, Everyone!

14 comments:

  1. You've got some fantastic stuff coming up!

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    1. Thanks, Stephen. I cannot wait to get started. : )

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  2. Yes, the WEM Histories was a challenge even for me. Too many dense books stacked together. I'm still only part way through The Republic but I will finish AND read all of Plutarch. It's good that you are reading The Problem of Pain and a Grief Observed together. They're a good comparison of Lewis at different points in his life and how he viewed grief and pain at each of them. All the best to you and your family for 2018!

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    1. This is true about WEM Histories. City of God is probably a year long study, and I'm trying to condense it in four months. : P
      I look forward to reading more CS Lewis this year. I saw that these two books were published/written far apart, so that makes sense.
      Happy New Year to you and yours, too, and happy reading!

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  3. I can't believe you've gotten through the history books you've already read. That's one list from TWEM I'll be skipping: too many other interesting things to read.
    I love The Lord of the Rings. I hope you're enjoying it. I can't wait to read it again, as well as the 12 volume Histories of Middle-earth, which I purchased last year.
    Happy reading this year!

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    1. Aw, I love history, but I just couldn't get into the Ancients. The LOTR is definitely adventurous and entertaining, though it is not really my genre. But I knew I had to read it at least once. So far, so good. I have never heard of a 12 volume history of Middle Earth. Fascinating.

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  4. I so loved Ecclesiastical History of the English People - I'd been dreading it but it was great and got me into some other Medieval histories. And Utopia, loved that. And The Prince was interesting. Tess is amazing too :) You've got a lot of reading to look forward to :)

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    1. Your words encourages me so much. Thank you, o. The topic of English history interests me, and I am excited to read about it. I also love Medieval history. The others I know very little, so glad to hear you liked them.

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  5. Don't be so hard on yourself for the challenges you didn't finish. You read some really hard books! It's better to read a few good classic books carefully than to gorge yourself on stuff you'll soon forget. Keep up the good work. (I'm popping in from Semicolon's Year End Book Lists.)

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    1. Yes, you are right. I was mostly upset b/c I really, really dragged my feet on those histories b/c I loathed them so much. Thanks. : )

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  6. Looks like a great list. I will be interested in reading future reviews. I hope I make my reading goals as well. Have a great New Year!

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    1. Thank, Sharon. Happy New Year.

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    2. I'm still deciding whether I want to read Bede for the History list, or skip ahead to The Prince. I loved rereading LotR last year; it was my 3rd time reading the book cover to cover, although there are individual passages I've read many times. I have read The Silmarillion twice, but not since before I signed up for GoodReads. I'd like to reread it eventually. As for the History of Middle-earth: it's about the textual history of LotR and The Silmarillion (how the books were put together and what got left out from other drafts, and why.) I haven't read the whole thing, but there are bits I really like.

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  7. Hey, Beth. I don’t know why, but I am excited about Bede. I may be sorry, but we’ll see. I am looking forward to The Two Towers. I should be starting it soon.

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