2020 Reading Challenge Wrap Up

on Reading Challenge
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I really like doing Reading Challenges, though I don’t often manage to complete them all every year. I was doing pretty well this year for about half the year and then it all completely fell apart after June. Not exactly sure why as I was still reading a fair bit.

Mostly 2020 was a very mood dependant reading year. Still haven’t entirely figured out why I felt I could read some books but not others. According to StoryGraph, I primarily read books that were light-hearted, emotional, adventurous and/or mysterious. I also feel like I read a lot of middle-grade adventures and historical romances so that kind of works.

Pie chart that shows I primarily read books that were tagged light hearted, emotional, adventurous or mysterious. Smaller segments the graph are (in order of size) 'reflective', funny, dark, informative, tense, challenging, hopeful, sad, inspiring. and relaxing
2020 Reading Mood from StoryGraph

The Stella Project

The Stella Project is all about reading books from all the Stella Prize longlists. Each month a book is selected and discussed on Instagram or Goodreads. Failed rather a lot at this one. Even thought I didn't get to most of the books, I still liked seeing the posts each month. It's definitely still a long term goal of mine to get through the Stella books.

I read:

From the 2020 longlist
Lucky Ticket - Joey Bui
When One Person Dies The Whole World Is Over - Mandy Ord
The House of Youssef - Yumna Kassab

From the 2020 shortlist
The Yield - Tara June Winch
There Was Still Love - Favel Parrett
Here Until August - Josephine Rowe

2020 winner
See What You Made Me Do - Jess Hill

Monthly Backlist selection
The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree - Shokoofeh Azar

The Unread Shelf Project

The purpose of the Unread Shelf Project is to get better at reading the books in your TBR stacks. There is a challenge for each month, and if you don’t read or finish the book you’ve picked for that challenge by the end of the month you get rid of it. Obviously, this is designed to help you so you don’t have to do any parts of this that don’t work for you. For example, I started my March book right at the end of March, so I kept reading into April for that book (and love it).

I read:

January - any unread book
The Erratics - Vicki Laveau-Harvie

February - a book gifted to you
The Girl in the Gold Bikini - Lisa Walker

March - the book that’s been on your unread shelf the longest
The End of Mr Y - Scarlett Thomas

April - the book you most recently acquired
Here Until August - Josephine Rowe

May - a backlist title
Surrender - Sonya Hartnett

June - a book from a series
The Everlasting Rose - Dhonielle Clayton

Aus YA Bloggers Reading Challenge

I’ve been doing this one for a few years, and generally manage to do most, if not all, prompts. This year was very simple, one prompt for each month. You report back in the Goodreads Group or on the blog discussion post (which I am generally terrible at). I’ve always found this to be a great way to get through a good number of YA books that I’ve been meaning to read as well as finding new ones. I try to read Australian or NZ books as much as possible for this challenge.

January – New Beginnings
DNF’d my pick for this one.

February – Fun in the sun
The Girl in the Gold Bikini - Lisa Walker

March – Lost and Found
Waterhole - Fiona Bell

April – Spookalicious
Yellow - Megan Jacobson

May – After Dark
Surrender - Sonya Hartnett

June – Coming Out
Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal - Anna Whateley

December – Happy Holidays
Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares - Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Reading Women

The Reading Women challenge is something I dabble in every year. The purpose is to increase the number of books by women you read, this isn't really something I need as I'm well over 50% but the prompts are also designed to broaden the kinds of books read and to be intersectional, so are very useful. I managed about half of the prompts in 2020.

About the Environment
Bindi - Kirli Saunders

Picture Book by a BIPOC author
Saved! - Lydia Williams, illustrated by Lucinda Gifford

Stella or Women’s Prize winner
The Erratics - Vicki Laveau-Harvie

By an Arab woman
The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree - Shokoofeh Azar

A biography
Flush - Virginia Woolf

Featuring a woman with a disability
Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal - Anna Whateley

Over 500 pages
The Stolen Prince of Cloudburst - Jaclyn Moriarty

Under 100 pages
Living on Stolen Land - Ambelin Kwaymullina

Frequently Recommended to you
A Constant Hum - Alice Bishop

A feel good/happy book
Unicorn vs Goblin - Dana Simpson

By a favourite or new to you publisher
The Girl in the Gold Bikini - Lisa Walker

By an LGBTQ+ author
The Mercies - Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Bonus: Book by Toni Morrison
Sula - Toni Morrison

STFU + Read

I am pretty pleased with my efforts for this one. I only missed two prompts (An Australian Classic, Read a book and watch the movie).

Found on #Bookstagram
A Constant Hum - Alice Bishop

A Book by an Indigenous Australian Author
The Yield - Tara June Winch

A book about climate change
A Constant Hum - Alice Bishop

A Book by a LGBTIQ+ author
The First Third - Will Kostakis

A #LoveOzYA book
Deep Water - Sarah Epstein

A memoir by an Australian woman
Top End Girl - Miranda Tapsell

A poetry collection
Fire Front - ed. Alison Whittaker

A 2020 finalist for a state Premier’s Literary prize
The House of Youssef - Yumna Kassab

A book by a Territorian author - NT or ACT
Top End Girl - Miranda Tapsell

A book from across the ditch (NZ author)
Lizard’s Tale - Weng Wai Chen


TBR Trim is a challenge on Instagram (from @tiensblurb, @sacakat and @read3rz_revu). The purpose is to help trim your tbr. Each month you’re supposed to read the oldest and newest book on your TBR.

I managed to read the oldest book three months, but I’m pleased I also managed to read the newest book on my tbr ever month. which at least prevented it from growing as much as it could have.

Oldest books I read:

Willows for Weeping - Felicity Pulman

The End of Mr Y - Scarlett Thomas

Everything I Never Told You - Celest Ng

Newest books I read:

Murder, Magic and What We Wore - Kelly Jones

Best Friends - Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham

Deep Water - Sarah Epstein

Here Until August - Josephine Rowe

As Fast As I Can - Penny Tangey

What Zola Did on Monday - Melina Marchetta

Living on Stolen Land - Ambelin Kwaymullina

What Zola Did on Tuesday - Melina Marchetta

Hollowpox - Jessica Townsend

The Secret Life of Stars - Lisa Harvey

Bindi - Kirli Saunders

The Heartsong of Wonder Quinn - Kate Gordon

For 2021, I am planning to cut down on the number of challenges and really focus on reading my unread books. However, I probably still have a go at some of the Reading Women prompts, will definitely be endeavouring to participate in the Stella Project and I've signed up for the StoryGraph's Translation Challenge.