Category Archives: Reading Challenge

Tackling the TBR #TBRChallenge2020

This year, with the idea of keeping life simple and uncomplicated I had no book-reading goals except to make headway on the ones I already have. With that thought I stayed away from all reading challenges except the one on Goodreads only because it gave me the freedom to choose my own books. I’ve pledged to read 36, like last year. Three books a month is ambitious enough.

Then Shalz and Soumya came along with a challenge with an almost similar goal – to make a dent in your TBR pile. I went through the prompts and managed to fit almost all the prompts with books I have – 20 out of the 24 required. Can it get any better? This challenge might actually help me stick to my TBR. Also, I have the freedom to read 12 other books to make up my Goodreads Challenge. Sounds like a win-win.

Here is my (almost final) reading list:

  1. A book from a genre you generally avoid
    The Crimson Meniscus by Jason Werbeloff
    I once had the notion that science fiction would be boring but one short story changed that for me. Now I’m looking forward to exploring more in this genre. 
  2. A book that’s a part of a series
    Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
    Last year I read Cinder and completely loved it. I am now dying to get through the rest of the series and am trying to pace myself, reserving each book for days when I can read it at a stretch. Yeah, that’s how much I loved Cinder. 
  3. A book you started but never finished
    One Part Woman by Perumal Murugan
    I haven’t quite made up my mind about this one. I liked it but didn’t absolutely love it. But I do plan to go back to it.
  4. A book by an author you have been meaning to read but haven’t dared to so far
    Letters from a Father to His Daughter by Jawaharlal Nehru
    I’ve heard so much about this one but have dismissed it as boring. I hope to give it a shot this year.
  5. A book written 100 years ago/Classic
    A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
    I’ve been meaning to read this one for ages and yet Dickens’ style of writing is proving a bit much for me. I’ve read him earlier – Oliver Twist, Great Expectations but I just don’t seem to have the patience any longer. Hoping I’ll get thought this one. Maybe I’ll settle for an abridged version. It would be pretty weird though, graduating from originals to abridged versions.
  6. A book picked up after reading a favourable review on a book blogger’s site or a recommendation from a book obsessed friend/relative
    The Book of Fate  by Parinoush Saniee.
    This one was recommended by my sister-in-law, who is an avid reader. Also, she’s completely off social media so her recommendations stem purely from book-merit, not media hype.
  7. A book set in the past or the future
    Cress by Marissa Meyer
    That’s book three in the Cinder series – Scifi, set in the future.
  8. Re-read an old favourite
    Love Story by Eric Segal
    What can I say about this book. I just want to re-read it.
  9. A book to be read on a vacation or the plot is based around a holiday (could be a travelogue) – Down Under by Bill Bryson
    He’s an author I love for his humour. Looking forward to this one.
  10. A free hit (choose any book you wish here)
    City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert.
    Giving a last chance to this author, despite DNFing Eat Pray Love.
  11. A book that would be a foodies delight
    The Lemon Tree Café by Cathy Bramley
  12. A book with the cover in your favourite color
    The Blue Between Sky and Water by Susan Abulhawa
  13. A book with a love triangle. TBD
  14. WWI or WWII drama (could be a true story or fictional)
    All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr/ Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
    I have had Catch 22 with me for ages. 
  15. A book written by a famous personality (could be an autobiography/memoir or just fiction) – Dopehri By Pankaj Kapoor
    I stumbled upon this one pretty recently recommended by Shalini and I had to read this because it’s set in my hometown. I’m still trying to decide if I should go for the original Hindi version or the English translation.
  16. A book gifted to you
    10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World by Elif Shafak
    This one was gifted by Shalz and is by one of my favourite authors. A must read.
  17. A YA book
    Fairest by Marissa Meyer
    Told you I want to finish the series! That’s the last of the Lunar Chronicles.
  18. A book based on mythology (Indian, Roman, Greek etc)
    The Baramullah Bomber by Clark Prasad.
    This is ‘a science fiction espionage thriller and India’s first mythological thriller’ according to an online description. Doesn’t it sound intriguing? 
  19. A book that’s been on your shelf for more than 5 years
    Of Love and Other Demons by Gabriel García Márquez
  20. An award winning book
    Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

Bonus Prompts (Optional):

21. A self help book. TBD
This is not my favourite genre. I thought I’d slot ‘Who Moved my Cheese’ but that has less than 200 pages so I’m still looking for options.
22. A book by an author whose name starts with the first letter as your name
The Bones of Grace by Tahmima Anam
23. An Audiobook/e-book or a PDF read
Anne of Green Gables LM Montgomery
24. A crime fiction
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
Everyone seems to have read this and I shall get to it too.

So that’s it. Have you read any of these books? Got a better recommendation for any of the prompts? Do share. Also, drop by here if you find the prompts interesting and want to join in.

Reading plan for 2019



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Hola people and welcome to this brand new year. Reading-wise 2018 was a good year for me. I got through 36 books and am pretty happy with that.

Normally I plan my reading meticulously but the end of 2018 was so chaotic on the home front that I was caught off guard without a reading plan. The thing to do then was to get my act together fast.

Very quickly then, here are the Challenges I’m taking up.

#ReadMyOwnDamnBooks Challenge

To be honest this was already a part of the plan formulating in my head for a long time even though I did not consciously give it voice. Taking a cue from that (the voice in my head) the first Challenge I pledge myself to this year, is the #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks Challenge. I desperately need to, and I will, focus on reading the books I already have, at least one, maybe two, of the three I hope to read each month. I really have just too many of them and it’s an absolute shame to have them all sitting there staring at me while I pretend to ignore them and continue on a buying spree.

Of course part of me is already protesting:
There are new books coming out everyday and they’re so interesting and everyone talks about them all the time, and social media is buzzing with them; the covers are so enticing and the blurbs are intriguing and they’re so inexpensive on the kindle…

But Shushhh! I tell that part of me, as I renew my pledge to make a dent in the TBR pile at home. That’s going to be the mainstay of my reading this year.

The Goodreads Challenge

Then there’s the Goodreads Challenge which I’ve faithfully taken up and completed for the past three years. I love the freedom it offers: one can set his/her own target, read any kind of book and also that one can revise it at any point in time. Though if one does revise it, it kind of defeats the whole purpose of the challenge. But hey! To each his own.

That said, it works well for me because it gives me a push without making me feel the pressure. That sounds oxymoromish but it works perfectly. Also, more importantly, it does not distract me from my primary goal of reading the books I already have. In fact it is right in line with it.

The Write Tribe Challenge

Lastly there’s the Write Tribe Reading Challenge that sounds deliciously interesting while seeming easy to take up. Since I’m already pledging to read 36 books, this one seems doable too and so I look forward to reaching the level of a ‘bookworm’ at WT. I’m hoping the one ‘luxury book’ I allow myself each month shall go towards this Challenge.

And now I feel guilty for implying that books I already have are ‘non-luxury’ which sounds like they’re unloved and that is not the case at all – they’re all books I’ve bought or have been been gifted, very lovingly. I still need to fit titles into the WT categories and I shall get to it soon enough. I shall certainly be sharing it all here with you guys and looking for recommendations too.

That’s it from me. I’d love to hear from you. What challenges are you taking up? Do you too have a pile of books waiting to be read?

Piles to read before I shop

IMG_20180123_132401-2

Hola folks and happy new year. I know we’re almost done with 1/12th of the year but I like to think that while we’re in January the year is still new.

Here I am with my 2018 reading plan though I’ve already done four books and am mighty pleased with myself. It’s a good start, I’d say.

Last year I’d drawn up a rather elaborate list of categories and books I’d planned to read. I made decent headway during the first few months and then I lost my way.

The thing with books is that new ones keep dropping onto your radar in a terribly distracting manner. Before you know it you’re at your kindle ordering one and then another one and then another and you’re reading ones you’d never planned to but found that you just had to. That’s what makes sticking to a list so very tough. A friend’s recommendation, a great review, a FB group discussion anything can lure you away.

So I meandered. And to tell you the truth, I am not one bit sorry because I read some super fabulous books that’ll remain on my favourite list for ever. This is one act of unfaithfulness that yields wonderful results and no regrets.

However this year, I am setting goals which are more realistic and, hopefully more budget friendly.

Reading Resolution No1

I’m staying away from all Challenges except the one on Goodreads where I’ll be reading 37 books. That might sound like an odd number. Last year I’d pledged 35 and managed to complete the challenge. I wanted to raise the bar just a little bit and 40 sounded too much so 37 it is.

Reading Resolution No2

In addition to that first one I am also taking up the ‘Read My Own Damn Books Challenge’. This, I think, is a fabulous idea, which kicked off way back in 2015 at Estella’sRevenge . Considering that I have half a dozen unread books on my kindle and a tottering pile by my bedside I really should get to them. I don’t think I’ll finish them all but try I shall.

Reading Resolution No3

Finish last year’s list. I’d gone to a lot of trouble to make the list and it has some wonderful books on it. It would be a shame to dump it all.

So there, that’s it. That’s my reading plan for this year.

If you have a reading plan or resolutions around books do share with me in the comments or leave a link if you’ve done a post. Would love to drop by and catch up.

Linking up with Shantala’s #ChattyBlogs

Booked for 2017

Last year, for the very first time, I took up a reading challenge – to read 30 books over 365 days. That’s a little over two books a month. With all that goes on outside of books that’s all I could hope for.

I managed 32. That was heartening.

I am a rather disorganised person and I have grown to love Goodreads for the order it brings to my reading. With that support this year I intend to streamline my book adventure further and also bring in some diversity. There are plenty of reading challenges across the Web I know, but I need one that caters to my personal preferences.

The idea is to :

  • Include some genres I haven’t much delved into – short stories, translations, travelogues.
  • Challenge some prejudices – ‘I cannot read non-fiction’, ‘biographies are boring’.
  • Read fiction from countries that intrigue me – North Korea, China, Israel – I’d love to know more about them. I must also add Pakistan and Bangladesh – our neighbours – so like us and yet so distant.
  • Try something new, audio books, for instance.

None of this is binding of course. I hereby give myself complete liberty to dump a book mid-way if I don’t like it. Reading shouldn’t be hard work, right?

So here is the list I’ve drawn up

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I hope to be ready with my TBR within the week. I’d love for you guys to chip in with suggestions since some categories are completely new to me.

And now, totally awed and satisfied with how organised I’m being this year I shall head out to meet the day. Wish me luck!

Do share your reading plan. Do you have one? Are you following a challenge? If you don’t and if you aren’t, join me and we can read together.