My Own Reading Challenge Wrap-Up

For 2019, I started out planning to do the Modern Mrs. Darcy reading challenge as I normally have the past several years. But then I ended up deciding not to and set my own reading goals – i.e. my own reading challenge – and just go with that. It is now December and this past week I have been looking back over my own reading challenge to see how I did. But I also thought it would be fun to see just how many categories I may have completed in the Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge without purposefully trying to. What I found was that I actually completed more categories with the Modern Mrs. Darcy challenge than I did with my own. Huh. Interesting.

So anyway, again this year I don’t plan to officially participate in the Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge. And I am not going to create my own reading challenge either. However, the reading goal I had the last year or two of reading widely, I still plan to practice. I notice that I tend to read a variety of books anyway. But I’d like to still try to make sure I fit in some poetry which I didn’t really accomplish this year like I wanted.

In 2020, I do have plans to participate in some read-alongs as well as a Japanese Literature Challenge (which I will post about soon). Other than that, along with my reading goals, I am leaving my reading year wide open to read books I am drawn to, maybe tackle some more books I feel would be good for me to read, work on my ever growing TBR list, participate in read-alongs that might come along throughout the year, etc. In essence two words:  reading freedom. 🙂

I will say though, I do plan to print out the Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge and put it in my reading journal to have for reading inspiration if needed. And I’ll probably check back with it at the end of the year to see if I ended up completing any of the categories unintentionally like I did for this year’s. 🙂 (You can see the 2020 Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge HERE.)

Anyway…here’s how I fared with my own reading challenge for 2019. Then below, just for fun, I’ll show the books I read this year that ended up fitting in categories for the Modern Mrs. Darcy 2019 Reading Challenge.

2019 simply reading challenge graphic

A Non-Fiction History BookThe New World by Winston Churchill

A Non-Fiction Science Book: Didn’t complete

Book of Poetry:  I did read a children’s book of poetry but I didn’t get a general book of poetry read like I’d hoped (like a specific poet or a poetry collection)

Book about Poetry:  I never made it to starting the book I bought for this category. Maybe in 2020….

Essay Collection: How Reading Changed My Life by Anna Quindlen, The Clothing of Books by Jhumpa Lahiri

A PlayShe Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith

Memoir or Biography: Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl (I read others, including one I’m currently reading on St. Nicholas.)

Two Books from My Own Shelf:  Well, The New World by Winston Churchill counts for this since this series has been on my shelf for a number of years. Also, The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey

Two Classic Literature Books:  This was easy! I read more than two! Among them are Don Quixote by Cervantes, Les Misérables by Hugo, Murder on the Orient Express by Christie

Re-read a Book I’ve Already Read:  I re-read more than one including The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim, and A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles


And now for what I read that fit the Modern Mrs. Darcy reading challenge categories.

2019 modern mrs Darcy Reading Challenge

A Book You’ve Been Meaning to ReadThe Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey,
84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

A Book about a Topic that Fascinates YouHow Reading Changed My Life by Anna Quindlen

A Book in the Backlist of a Favorite Author:  Well, I’ve read other books from favorite authors but unfortunately I read earlier works first so that the follow ups I read were published later (For example, the Narnia series – read them in order)

A Book Recommended by Someone with Great TasteFellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien, The Gown by Jennifer Robson (These are just a few. There were other books I read that were recommend by other readers that have great taste.)

Three Books by the Same Author: The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins – The Hunger Games, Catching FireMockingjay
Also, the complete Narnia series by C. S. Lewis except for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe which I read at the end of 2018

A Book You Chose for the Cover: Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly – I’m counting this because the cover drew me to the book and then I read the description and it sounded really good!

A Book by an Author Who Is New to YouI’ll See You In Paris by Michelle Gable, The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton (there are a number of books I could list here….)

A Book in TranslationDon Quixote by Cervantes, Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

A Book Outside Your (Genre) Comfort ZoneMurder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

A Book Published Before You Were Born: The Enchanted April  by Elizabeth von Arnim (this is another category I could list quite a few for….)

I’ll be back soon with a look at my favorite reads from this year.

This and That ~ January 11, 2019

Awhile back, I talked about the practice of re-reading. That post was a post where I pondered various bookish thoughts. But the idea of re-reading and the benefits of it, well, I have continued to think about that more. So much so that it’s one of my goals this year. I am aiming to re-read more. Adler says in How to Read a Book:

“Skimming or pre-reading is the first sub-level of inspectional reading. Your main aim is to discover whether the book requires a more careful reading.” (pg. 32)

I’m thinking a lot about this. Now as I read a book, I’m seeing if I think that book could be beneficial to re-read.

I have more thoughts on this topic that I might do a post about soon. For now, I know there are at least a handful of books I’d like to re-read this year. 🙂


don quixote

Are you looking for a nice long book to snuggle up with right now while it’s winter season? Silvia has invited others to join her in reading Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. I’m joining in. Want to join in too? Head on over and check out Silvia’s  invitation to read Don Quixote as well as her Don Quixote page.


I decided to make my own personal reading challenge this year based on my reading goals. The focus is on reading widely. I had a similar goal for 2018 and did reach those goals. But I am expanding my goals for 2019 and trying to incorporate more books in subject areas from history to science to poetry. I also want to do some re-reading as I already mentioned and I want to work on reading books from my classics list and from my own shelves. The idea occurred to me to create a printable for myself to have a pretty checklist printable. So I did!

2019 simply reading challenge graphic

You can grab a copy of this printable checklist HERE.

I’ve adapted the checklist a bit from my original list in THIS post for those who might want to join in. My personal goal is to read at least 6 classics from my classics list but for this checklist I put down to read two classic literature books. If you have any interest in joining me with this challenge to read more widely in 2019, feel free to grab this checklist printable and let me know in the comments that you’re joining me. 🙂



Reading Goals for 2019

I’m a checklist kind of gal. So it is just sort of innate in me to want make a list and check things off that list. And that goes for my reading life too. I think that’s why I like reading challenges. 🙂 Last year, I set some goals for my reading and found that I really liked doing that. It was a list. LOL But more importantly, it helped me achieve things in my reading life that I wanted to achieve. (I talk about last year’s reading goals HERE.) So I want to set goals for my reading in 2019. I was planning to participate in the Modern Mrs. Darcy reading challenge but I don’t think I will this year. I’m considering my 2019 reading goals as my own personal reading challenge. 🙂

reading goals 2019 graphic

Here are my goals for my 2019 reading:

  • Read at least one history book.
  • Read at least one science book.
  • Read one poetry book.
  • Read a book about poetry.
  • Read one essay collection.
  • Read one play.
  • Read at least one memoir or biography.
  • Read at least two books from my own shelves.
  • Continue to read books on my list of classics to read. (Try to read at least 6 titles if possible. I’d really like to aim for 12.)
  • Choose one book I’d like to re-read.

There you have it! And since it’s my own personal reading challenge, I can make the rules. Ha! So books can count for more than one category. 🙂 I have titles for some of these already in mind.


the new world
History Book
I plan to read The New World by Winston Churchill which is the next book in his series The History of the English-Speaking Peoples.


essays by e. b. white

Essay Collection
I plan to read Essays of E. B. White which I already have.




I will most likely read either Our Town by Thornton Wilder or The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. Both of these are on my list of classics I want to read. 🙂


talking as fast as i can

I am definitely planning to read Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham. I just recently bought it and can’t wait to read it!




I do want to be sure to read at least 6 titles on my classics list. However, I am not limiting myself to only reading classics on my list. And my list will likely continue to grow as I find other classics I might want to read. 😉 I do know that there are a couple on my list that I will be reading:

  • The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien – I just started reading The Fellowship of the Rings on January 1st. My husband and I are reading these together.
  • Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes – This is on my list. When Silvia announced that she was going to host a book club discussion for this novel on her blog, I knew I wanted to read along with her. So I am making it fit into my reading right now. 🙂
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy – A book club read
  • I would like to try to cross off another ancient literature selection from my list. But we’ll see. That would mean one of the following:
    • Paradise Lost by John Milton
    • The Aeneid by Virgil
    • The Odyssey by Homer




I will most likely read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society at some point this year because it’s one I have read each year since I first read it. For this category, I will pick something else. Some of the ones I’m thinking about re-reading are:

  • A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
  • A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline
  • At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon
  • The Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry
  • The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim


Have you set any reading goals for 2019? Please share in the comments!

*Update:  I created a printable checklist for my personal reading challenge and talk about that HERE.