Wednesday, July 19, 2017

2017 Reading Goals: An Update

It's past the halfway point of 2017, so it's time for an a reading goals progress report. Most of my goals have been met or will be met shortly. I'm already working on my 2018 goals ('cause I'm like that), and I'm basing them on what worked and didn't with these goals. I've included the original information for each goal below, and the original post can be seen here.

My 2017 Reading Goals:

1. Re-read Sense and Sensibility.
Each year I read a Jane Austin novel, and having completed them all last year, I'm starting over again this year with my first Austin read. I am so excited for this!
Finished: July 16
It wasn't quite how I remember it, mostly, I think, because I've seen the movie too many times since I first read it! Review here.
2. Read We Knew Mary Baker Eddy, vol. 2.
I read volume 1 in 2015, and I'm excited to delve into volume 2 this year. The first volume changed my life and gave me new spiritual understanding. I look forward to seeing how volume 2 will challenge me.
Finished: April 8
It was wonderful. Feeling so enriched, I need to think of a goal like this for next year, too.
3. Read 50 books carried over from 2016.
That's right, 50. Go big or go home, baby! This isn't as lofty as it might seem since my TBR is so long I can easily find 50 books I'm dying to read. But I'd also like to clear off some older items from the list that I'm a little less excited about.
So far I've read 43 books that I carried over from last year. By the end of July it will be 44. Not far to go to reach this goal. I plan to continue past 50 to see how much of the TBR can be cleaned up before the end of the year.
4. Read 25 books published in 2017.
Last year I finished 42 books published within the year, but it was an exceptional year for new releases. I'm trusting in the law of supply to find at least 25 new books that excite me this year.
I've finished 22 book toward this goal, and there are a lot of great books releasing this fall. I'll continue with this goal no matter when I finish it.
5. Read 10 (pre-selected) high-profile books.
There are so many books that "everyone but me" has read. It's time to try them and see if the raves hold up for me. To show you how gung-ho I am about this goal, four of these titles are on my January reading list: All the Light We Cannot See, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Where'd You Go, Bernadette, and Wonder.
I still have one book left in order to reach this goal. I think I'll read either Endurance or Homegoing. (I read all of the titles listed here, and I loved all but Where'd You Go, Bernadette which I really didn't like.)
6. Read 10 chunksters.
This goal appears each year. It keeps me honest and provides a good challenge. I have a lot of exciting options for this goal, including several presidential biographies.
Finished: July 9
I'm in the middle of The Spirit of St. Louis, and I have a few more planned before the year is out. I'll probably finish the year with 15-17 chunksters under my belt. (I didn't read any of my presidential biographies yet.)
7. Read 10 contemporary novels.
I finished 16 contemporary novels last year, and for someone who didn't read fiction up until a couple of years ago, that's quite the accomplishment. I'm not sure I'd need to have this goal anymore, since it was originally designed to force me to read fiction, but it gives me something to shoot for.
Finished: March 22
This has been quite a year for fiction. I've finished 23 contemporary novels, two classics, and nine children's novels, which means I've read more fiction books than nonfiction this year. My favorite novel so far has been Beartown, and I doubt I'll read anything to surpass it. You guys, just read that book!
8. Read 10 books about presidents, first ladies, first families, the White House, or American history.
This wasn't on my list of goals until just a little bit ago. I finally realized that if reading about history was one of my absolute favorite things, it should be a goal. It's something I would have done naturally, but I like seeing the goal there anyway. I have a feeling I'll read way more than 10.
I've finished seven books, have one in progress, and at least two more on deck for August. I've been reading so much fiction that this goal hasn't gotten quite the love I expected it to.
9. Read 10 children’s books.
This shouldn't be too hard. I've found I really enjoy children's literature.
I've finished nine children's books, and I plan to finish this goal in August. My favorites? Wonder and Eleanor & Park.
10. Read 1,000 poems.
This is a goal from last year that I enjoyed completing so much I brought it back for a second year.
Finished: April 25
As of this writing, I've read 1,592 poems this year. Perhaps I'll finish 2,000 poems by the end of the year. My favorite book of poetry was William Stafford's Ask Me. Phenomenal.
11. Read 100 books.
This is the general goal I set every year. Anything over 100 is gravy.
I've read 73 books so far this year, and at my current reading rate, I should finish this goal in late September or early October.
12. Read 50 picture books.
I always surpass this number, but I like having the goal to remind me to actually sit down and read them, not just hoard them for "someday."
I've read 31 picture books so far this year. My favorites include A Greyhound a Groundhog and Hotel Bruce.
13. Complete 5 mini-challenges.
This is something I just put on the list this morning, believe it or not. I've pared down my list of goals quite a bit from last year, and I was afraid I'd lost some of the whimsy of the multiple small goals of last year. Some challenges include:
  • A book about sports.
  • A book that will likely rile me up.
  • A re-read.
  • A novel set in contemporary America.
  • A book with a person’s name in the title.
  • A seasonal book.
  • A book of haiku.
  • A reading curveball (book I’d not normally read).
  • A humorous book.
  • A huge book from 2016.
  • A book with a pink cover.
  • A book with a strong sense of place.
  • A whimsical book.
  • A book about or set in the south.
Finished: March 25.
I've finished 18 mini-challenges so far, and I have a 19th in progress. I guess this one could have been more ambitious. I'll know for next year.

Some of the challenges completed:

  • A book that will likely rile me up.
  • A book that’s been on my TBR a long, long time.
  • A book with Bo or suggested by Bo (my grandson).
  • An Agatha Christie novel.
  • A reading curveball (book I’d not normally read).
  • A book about Christianity or living a Christian life.
  • A re-read.
  • A book about reading or words.
  • A book about personal growth.
  • A humorous book.
  • A book about gardening or the natural world.
  • A book about another country/continent or traveling.

A look at what I'm excited to read in the second half of the year:




  1. Look at you knocking it out of the park! Seriously so impressed!

    1. I've really enjoyed my reading this year. I feel like I've tried books I wouldn't have without the goals, but I've also had enough flexibility to go where my interests have taken me. I think I struck a good balance this year.