The 2018 Annual Reading Challenge List Thread
#1  pdurrant 12-05-2017, 06:09 AM
2018 Reading Challenge List Thread

Welcome to our 9th Annual Reading Challenge!

The Annual Reading Challenge is neither a race, contest, nor an "exclusive club", anyone can join! This is just a fun activity that some of us have enjoyed doing in the past. Many of us have found reading challenges to be an entertaining way to set goals for ourselves, get ideas for books, and see what others are reading.

This thread is for you to keep a running tally for your chosen challenge. Please state your goals at the top of your post (in the title line if you can), and then start your list in the body of your post. As you read books, edit your post to update your list of books read, or other challenge status.

Please Remember: No discussion posts in this thread. Please use the other thread for that. Non-List posts will be deleted or moved to the other thread.

Discussions & Ideas can be found here:

2018 Annual Reading Challenge Discussion Thread

Post #2 of this thread is dedicated to a Table of Contents for all participants in this thread. Names will be added, to this TOC, in alphabetical order with a link to that individual’s post number from this thread.

Previous threads were for 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010

#2  pdurrant 12-05-2017, 06:18 AM
[Please Remember: No discussion posts in this thread. Please use the 2018 Annual Reading Challenge Discussion Thread for that. Non-List posts will be deleted or moved to the Discussion Thread]

Table of Participants

(Participants will be listed by user name in alphabetical order)
42 Participants .

#3  Nyssa 12-05-2017, 07:24 AM
#1 - The Southern Vampire / Sookie Stackhouse (01/13) - Buddy Read; Two Week Intervals
Start Date: January 1st; Expected End Date: June 30th

#2 - The Hollows (Rachel Morgan) (00/13) - Possible Buddy Read; Two Week Intervals
Start Date: January 7th; Expected End Date: July 15th

Bonus Stories:
#3 - The Demon Cycle (00/05) - Group Read; Monthly Intervals
Start Date: June 3rd; Expected End Date: October 31st

#4 - The Codex Alera (00/06) - Buddy Read; Monthly Intervals
Start Date: August 20th; Expected End Date: December 20th

#5 - The Hobbit & the Lord of the Rings (00/04) - Buddy Reads; Monthly Intervals
Start Date: September 1st; Expected End Date: December 31st

#6 - Innkeeper Chronicles (00/03) - Buddy Reads; Monthly Intervals
Start Date: October 28th; Expected End Date: December 31st

#4  pdurrant 12-05-2017, 07:47 AM
My goal is to end 2018 with fewer unread ebooks than I have at the start of 2018.
I start 2018 with 1116* books on my TBR pile.

Books finished in 2018
  1. January 1st: Grantville Gazette #75 edited by Bjorn Hasseler - £3.60 - 5/5 - 125pp
    The usual enjoyable mix.
  2. January 1st: F&SF, January/February 2018 edited by C. C. Finlay - £1.98 - 5/5 - 247pp
    An excellent issue.
  3. January 3rd: The Ship Who Searched by Anne McCaffrey and Mercedes Lackey - £2.00 - 4/5 - 241pp
    An accidental re-read. Good fun.
  4. January 6th: [I]Man-Kzin Wars III[I] by Larry Niven et al.- £2.50 - 4/5 - 278pp
    A short story by Niven and two Novellas by others. Fun.
  5. January 10th: The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin - £0.99 - 3/5 - 380pp
    Interesting world, but the style was rather off-putting, and this is clearly a third of a big book rather than the first book of a trilogy. I also guessed the twist at the end long before the last line.
  6. January 17th: Passing by Nella Larsen - £0.88 - 3/5 - 106pp
    It was OK. The flashback start seemed unnecessary. The ending was poor. It was an interesting insight into some aspects of Black American life in the Early 20th Century.
  7. January 19th: Kill Before Dying by Travis S. Taylor - £2.50 - 4/5 - 297pp
    Fun tosh.
  8. January 25th: The Shape of Water by Andrea Camilleri - £0.99 - 5/5 - 134pp
    An excellent detective story. I'm looking forward to more.
  9. January 26th: The Cackle of Cthulhu edited by Alex Shvartsman - £2.50 - 4/5 - 251pp
    Most enjoyable, even though I don't usually like Lovecraftian stuff.
  10. February 1st: Analog SF, January/February 2018 edited by Trevor Quachri - £2.49 - - 341pp
  11. February 4th: The Jack of Souls by Stephen C Merlino - Free - 4/5 - 352pp
    Enjoyable, and readable, but I hadn't realised the trilogy is unfinished. Perhaps a little too busy with mysterious magic and spirits.
  12. February 8th: Neogenesis by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller - £3.75 - 5/5 - 379pp
    Splendid. Now to wait for the next one!
  13. February 9th: Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton - £0.49 - 2/5 - ???pp
    [ABANDONED]Great idea. I'm just not taken by the style and plot.[/INDENT]

Books added to TBR in 2018

Freebies (4)
  1. January 28th: The Jack of Souls (read)
    January 31st: Killing Gravity (unread)
    January 31st: Witches of Lychford (unread)
    February 14th: The Eizzoli Bag (unread)

Ebooks Bought
Spoiler Warning below

Subscription books

Wishlist books (when on offer)
Spoiler Warning below

TBR: 1110
Books read: 12 (including 1 freebie, 1 abandoned, 1 re-read)
Books otherwise removed from TBR pile: 22 (freebies discarded)

Books removed from TBR pile: 33 (including 1 freebie)
Books added to TBR pile: 27 (including 4 freebies)
Removed/Added: 1.19
Net reduction for 2018: 6

Non-free books read: 11 (including 1 abandoned, 1 re-read)
Total cost of books read: £22.18
Average cost of books read: £2.02

Non-free books bought: 29 (including 6 not added to TBR)
Total cost of books bought: £55.54
Average cost of books bought: £1.92

Rating System:
1: Bad.
2: Poor. (Or just not to my taste.)
3: Satisfactory.
4: Good.
5: Excellent.

Pages are as given by the ADE algorithm in Calibre, or from the Amazon web page.

* That's the count I have in calibre at the start of 2018. I've removed 52 books from the TBR that I'm never going to read. No, I don't know why it's not 1120 as one would expect from my 2017 figures. And I've looked closely!

#5  HarryT 12-05-2017, 07:56 AM
Books read during 2018

Jan: "Disappearing Act", by Margaret Ball. Bought from Baen in October 2004. Baen description:

Maris's work with the local underworld on the huge space station was anything but honest, but life was much more pleasant than it had been before the gang's leader had picked her up from the slums. Then her boss grabbed a visitor to the station who was asking too many questions, only to find out that she was a very important diplomat. Worse, his prisoner had apparently committed suicide by jumping through an airlock into hard vacuum.

To avoid dangerous questions from station security, he decided to let Maris's corpse be found with the diplomat's IDs; but Maris saw through his plot and used those IDs to escape to the planet the Diplomat was about to investigate. Unfortunatley she landed in a hornet's nest of corrupt officials conspiring with a local tyrant. Surrounded by people who wanted her eliminated, the only person she could trust was Gabrel, a young officer who set off with her on a cross-planet trek to get evidence that would expose the tangled web of corruption.

Maris was strongly attracted to Gabrel and the feeling seemed to be mutual. But then, he thought she was a high-ranking government agent. What would happen when he found that she was only a petty criminal on the run
A very enjoyable SF romp!

Jan: "Deepsix", by Jack McDevitt. The second book in the "Academy" series, about a team of interstellar archaeologists exploring the remains of dead civilisations in the 23rd century.

It should have been a straightforward exercise; but they were reckoning without mechanical failures, earthquakes and hostile indigenous species.

It’s 2225. Mankind has reached the outskirts of the universe, and discovered evidence of intelligent life on dozens of planets. Nothing still alive, but some amazing archaeological remains. On the distant planet Maleiva III, known colloquially as Deepsix (it’s about to be wiped out by a rogue gas giant, the Jerry Morgan) they’ve found traces of an ancient civilization. With two weeks to go before the gas giant destroys the planet, a team of crack archaeologists lands on the surface to record and salvage as much of this ancient civilzation as they can.

Suddenly, the team is stranded there with no means of getting off it. With the Jerry Morgan bearing down on them day by day, survival is going to require some ingenuity…
Absolutely superb. A real page-turner. One of those books where you want to carry on reading to find out what happens next, but you don't want the book to end. VERY highly recommended!

Jan: "Rogue Berserker", by Fred Saberhagan. The first book in the "Berserker" series, in which the human race is being attacked by sentient robots from an ancient war who have the goal of exterminating all life from the galaxy. Enjoyable.

Jan: "Come to Grief", by Dick Francis. The third of the four books in the "Sid Halley" series, but all completely standalone. Sid Halley, a former champion jockey turned private investigator in the world of horse-racing, suspects that his best friend may be responsible for a series of attacks in which horses are mutilated. He must be wrong, mustn't he?

Perhaps not the absolute best by Francis, but still very enjoyable indeed.

Jan: "Berserker Spy", by Fred Saberhagen. The first book in the Baen omnibus titled "Berserker Man". In this one, the Berserkers try to wipe out the current inhabitants of a planet by attacking key points in history in the distant past, thus changing history. Very good SF.

Jan: "Chindi", by Jack McDevitt. I enjoyed "Deepsix" so much that on with the third book in the "Academy" series. Perhaps not quite as good as "Deepsix", but still very, very good indeed. In this instalment in the series, "Hutch" leads an expedition of wealthy sponsors of the Academy on a mission to track down the source of a mysterious alien transmission originating from a neutron star. Again highly recommended!

23rd Jan: Finished "Berserker Planet", by Fred Saberhagen, which forms approximately the second quarter of the very large Baen omnibus called "Berserker Man", which I bought in October 2004. A story about a group of "modern" hunters on a planet which has fallen back to a mediaeval level of civilisation, who find more fearsome prey than they were anticipating! Not outstanding but an enjoyable enough read.

24th Jan: Finished "To the Hilt", by Dick Francis.

Home for Alexander, an artist, is a small bothy on a remote mountain in Scotland. One day, his peace is shattered when he returns home to find some strangers waiting for him. After a scuffle, he is left for dead with only the wind and the words, "Where is it?" ringing in his ears.
An extremely enjoyable mystery/thriller. Highly recommended!

24th Jan: Finished "Berserker Man", by Fred Saberhagen; the title story of, and third book contained in, the Baen omnibus of the same name. This one didn't particularly grab me. OK, but nothing special.

27th Jan. Finished "Omega", By Jack McDevitt, the fourth book in the excellent "Academy" series, about a group of interstellar archaeologists exploring the remains left by dead extraterrestrial civilisations. In this book, the Academy has to try to save a civilisation, who are roughly at the technological level of the Roman Empire, from being wiped out by one of the mysterious "Omega Clouds" that we first met in the first book in the series, without violating the law which prohibits interference in other cultures. Absolutely excellent, like all the other books in the series so far. Highly recommended.

28th Jan. Finished "The Berserker Throne", by Fred Saberhagen. This is the final book in the extremely long Baen omnibus called "Berserker Man". I have to admit that I'm starting to find this series a little tedious. Nothing wrong with the plots, but I just don't like Saberhagen's writing style.

29th Jan. Finished "10lb. Penalty", by Dick Francis. This, like many of his later books, has only a fairly peripheral connection to horse racing, which appears in some way or other in all Francis' books. Description from Fantastic Fiction:

Teenager Benedict Juliard has no other ambition than to ride in steeplechases as an amateur jockey. Having agreed not to do anything that could destroy his father's growing public service and political career, Ben finds himself targeted in an attack mounted by his father's enemies.
Absolutely excellent - one of his very best books, I think. Very highly recommended!

Total: 12 books.

#6  issybird 12-05-2017, 07:59 AM
I'm revisiting challenges of the past two years where I fell short and adding to them the Great War because it's the centenary of the Armistice and a long-term goal to read all of Shakespeare's plays in chronological order. This year, I'm not going to have targets for my categories, just see how it goes. I may revisit at mid-year and add something different. My overall goal is for 120 books, but that's more of a benchmark than a goal.

I'm linking to my Goodreads lists because I'm lazy.

2018 read

Great War centenary

Antebellum America

Ancient World


Napoleonic Era

Shakespeare in toto

#7  Hollow Man 12-05-2017, 08:09 AM
January 2018

February 2018

March 2018

April 2018

May 2018

June 2018

July 2018

August 2018

September 2018

October 2018

November 2018

December 2018


#8  DrNefario 12-05-2017, 08:22 AM
Once again my main goal is to reduce my overall TBR, with a special extra requirement to reduce my paper TBR by at least 7. For extra credit, I'd like to reduce (or not increase) the TBR in every individual month of the year. It's going to be much tougher now I've dropped my daily short story requirement.

Removed: 10
Added: 11 (2 paid)
Net reduction: -1
Pages read: 3580

Paper TBR:
Removed: 2
Added: 0 (0 paid)
Net Reduction: 2

Books read:
1. Europe at Midnight - Dave Hutchinson (e) - 384
2. The Half Killed - Quenby Olson (k) - 275
3. Orbital Resonance - John Barnes (p) - 214
4. Steal the Sky - Megan E O'Keefe (k) - 323
5. Points of Impact - Marko Kloos (k) - 297
6. The Story of the Commodore Amiga in Pixels - Chris Wilkins & Roger M Kean (i) - 283
7. Six of Crows - Leigh Bardugo (k) - 462
8. The Hollow - Agatha Christie (h) - 252
9. The Red Knight - Miles Cameron (k) - 648
10. End of the World Blues - Jon Courtenay Grimwood (k) - 342

Monthly Breakdown:
Spoiler Warning below

Bought: 2 (£5.98)
Borrowed: 1
Free: 4
Read: 8 (£9.46)
Pages: 2490
TBR Drop: 1

Borrowed: 1
Free: 3
Read: 2 (£8.34)
Pages: 990
TBR Drop: -2

Additional Goals:

1. BSFA award winners. Ongoing challenge. 6 left at the start of the year. I'd like to complete the set this year.
Current total: 1
Spoiler Warning below

1987 - Grainne - Keith Roberts (k)
2003 - Felaheen - Jon Courtenay Grimwood (k)
2006 - End of the World Blues - Jon Courtenay Grimwood (k)
2007 - Brasyl - Ian McDonald (k)
2008 - The Night Sessions - Ken MacLeod (k)
2016 - Europe in Winter - Dave Hutchinson

2. Fifty Years of SF. 1950-1999. An ongoing challenge to read a book published in every year from 1950 to 1999, in order. I intend to complete the challenge this year.
Last year completed: 1991
Spoiler Warning below

1950 - Galactic Patrol - E E "Doc" Smith
1951 - The Green Hills of Earth - Robert A Heinlein
1952 - City - Clifford D Simak
1953 - Childhood's End - Arthur C Clarke
1954 - The Forgotten Planet - Murray Leinster
1955 - The Long Tomorrow - Leigh Brackett
1956 - The Death of Grass - John Christopher
1957 - The Midwich Cuckoos - John Wyndham
1958 - The Time Traders - Andre Norton
1959 - The Enemy Stars - Poul Anderson
1960 - The Tomorrow People - Judith Merrill
1961 - The Joy Makers - James Gunn
1962 - A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle
1963 - Star Surgeon - James White
1964 - The Planet Buyer - Cordwainer Smith
1965 - The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch - Philip K Dick
1966 - Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes
1967 - I Have No Mouth & I Must Scream - Harlan Ellison
1968 - Pavane - Keith Roberts
1969 - Slaughterhouse-Five - Kurt Vonnegut
1970 - The Year of the Quiet Sun - Wilson Tucker

1971 - Dinosaur Beach - Keith Laumer
1972 - Beyond Apollo - Barry Malzberg
1973 - The Man Who Folded Himself - David Gerrold
1974 - The Mote in God's Eye - Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
1975 - The Wind's Twelve Quarters - Ursula K Le Guin
1976 - Man Plus - Frederik Pohl
1977 - In the Ocean of Night - Gregory Benford
1978 - In the Hall of the Martian Kings - John Varley
1979 - Kindred - Octavia E Butler
1980 - Riddley Walker - Russell Hoban
1981 - Windhaven - George R R Martin & Lisa Tuttle
1982 - Helliconia Spring - Brian W Aldiss

1983 - Helliconia Summer - Brian W Aldiss
1984 - The Integral Trees - Larry Niven
1985 - Helliconia Winter - Brian W Aldiss
1986 - The Falling Woman - Pat Murphy
1987 - When Gravity Fails - George Alec Effinger
1988 - Deserted Cities of the Heart - Lewis Shiner
1989 - Orbital Decay - Allen Steele
1990 - Jurassic Park - Michael Crichton

1991 - Orbital Resonance - John Barnes

3. King of the Mountains. My 5 longest books should total over 2500 pages. (Not really a goal this year, but I enjoyed tracking it last year.)
Current total: 2165
Spoiler Warning below

648 - The Red Knight - Miles Cameron
462 - Six of Crows - Leigh Bardugo
384 - Europe at Midnight - Dave Hutchinson
342 - End of the World Blues - Jon Courtenay Grimwood
323 - Steal the Sky - Megan E O'Keefe

4. Follow the Money. I have around 30 unread ebooks that cost more than £3. I'd like to read at least 7 of them.
Current total: 2
Spoiler Warning below

The Red Knight - Miles Cameron
End of the World Blues - Jon Courtenay Grimwood

5. That's Numberwang. Read books with consecutive numbers in the title, in order, at a rate of one per month. Started from 0 in July 2017. I'm currently hoping to get to 13 before I run out of options.
Last number read: 6
Spoiler Warning below

0 - JUL 2017 - Towards Zero - Agatha Christie
1 - AUG 2017 - Just One Damned Thing After Another - Jodi Taylor
2 - SEP 2017 - Between Two Thorns - Emma Newman
3 - OCT 2017 - The Book of Three - Lloyd Alexander
4 - NOV 2017 - Sing the Four Quarters - Tanya Huff
5 - DEC 2017 - The Five Red Herrings - Dorothy L Sayers
6 - JAN 2018 - Six of Crows - Leigh Bardugo

6. David Gemmell Morningstar Award. Ongoing challenge to read everything ever shortlisted. I'm not sure what my 2018 target is yet, but I might as well carry on tracking.
Current total: 2
Spoiler Warning below

2011 - Warrior Priest - Darius Hinks
2016 - The Vagrant - Peter Newman
2017 - Steal the Sky - Megan E O'Keefe
2010 - Lamentation - Ken Scholes
2010 - The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart - Jesse Bullington
2011 - Shadow Prowler - Alexey Pehov
2011 - Tymon's Flight - Mary Victoria
2013 - Irenicon - Aidan Harte
2013 - The Red Knight - Miles Cameron
2013 - Stormdancer - Jay Kristoff
2014 - The Path of Anger - Antoine Rouaud
2015 - The Mirror Empire - Kameron Hurley
2015 - The Godless - Ben Peek
2015 - Age of Iron - Angus Watson
2016 - Battle Mage - Stephen Aryan
2016 - The Traitor - Seth Dickinson
2016 - The Fire Sermon - Francesca Haig
2016 - Starborn - Lucy Hounsom
2017 - Infernal - Mark de Jager
2017 - Duskfall - Christopher Husberg
2017 - Snakewood - Adrian Selby
2017 - Hope and Red - Jon Skovron

Book title: read 2015,read 2016,read 2017,read,own,don't own
(p) paperback, (h) hardback, (k) kindle, (e) epub, (i) ibook/pdf, (a) audio
+ especially liked, - didn't much like

#9  CRussel 12-05-2017, 09:00 AM
The goal this year is similar to last year's, 120 books read (or abandoned), with a stretch goal of 160 books. This includes audio books. Individual short stories will be recorded, but not counted towards that goal until I've got several I can combine. Longer "short" works (~100 pages or so) will be counted as a full book, though if I have two of them back to back, I'll tend to count them as a single book.

Secondary goal is to update this list no less often than once a week. I managed that until the summer last year, but then that completely fell apart for a bit, before I got it back on track. It's really easy to lose track or get so far behind that one abandons the attempt. One trick is to update my "Reason for Editing" each time to show the last book(s) purchased and recorded. This helps me keep track even if it's been a few days since the last edit.

This year, a new tertiary goal -- to read at least 10 of the 12 books in the New Leaf Book Club and actively participate in the discussion.

---------------------------------------------# Bought | $ Spent | # Audible Credits 32 | $ 66.90 | 6---------------------------------------------
Finally, all the silly colours here actually mean something, at least to me. The colour code for those who care:
Spoiler Warning below

  1. Fadeout,Dave Brandstetter,1,Joseph Hansen,$5.19,*****,
  2. Death of an Expert Witness,Inspector Dalgliesh,6,P. D. James,$6.10,****,Also AudibleUK
  3. The Daughter of Dragons,Legacy of Dragons,1,Jack Campbell,$6.99,***,Audible
  4. Emergence,Foreigner,19,C.J. Cherryh,$12.99,*****,
  5. The Imam of Tawi-Tawi,Ava Lee,10,Ian Hamilton,$7.20,****,
  6. Neogenesis,Liaden Universe,21,Sharon Lee & Steve Miller,$6.10,*****,Audible
  7. The Blood of Dragons,Legacy of Dragons,2,[b]Jack Campbell,$4.99,***,Audible
  8. Passing,,Nella Larson,$1.20,*****,AudibleUK New Leaf Book Club
  9. Block Party,Adventures in the Liaden Universe,27.5,,Sharon Lee & Steve Miller,$0.00,*****,
  10. Degrees of Separation,Adventures in the Liaden Universe,27,Sharon Lee & Steve Miller,$3.99,*****,
  11. The Price of Salt,,Patricia Highsmith,$0.99,****,New Leaf Book Club Nomination
  12. The Man of Property,The Forsyte Saga,1,Sir John Galsworthy,$0.99,****,Audible
  13. Death Claims,Dave Brandstetter,2,Joseph Hansen,$5.19,*****,
  14. Enter the Saint,The Saint,3,Leslie Charteris,$1.30,***,Also Audible
  15. A Taste for Death,Inspector Dalgliesh,7,P. D. James,$6.10,****,Public Library Also AudibleUK
  16. WWW: Wake,WWW,1,Robert J. Sawyer,$0.00,****,Public Library
  17. Switchblade,Harry Bosch,22.5,Michael Connelly,$0.00,***,Public Library
  18. The Demon's Den and Other Tales of Valdemar,,,Tanya Huff,$0.00,****,Public Library
  19. Into the Fire,Vatta's Peace,2,Elizabeth Moon,$14.99,*****,Also Audible
  20. England, Their England,,,A.G. MacDonald,$0.00,**,Public Domain
  21. WWW: Watch,WWW,2,Robert J. Sawyer,$0.00,****,Public Library

Link to Discussion Thread

#10  JSWolf 12-05-2017, 09:12 AM
I've already started reading.

#1: Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers

Currently reading: Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff

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