2013 Challenges: Wrap Up

sundaysalonAs we’re fast approaching the end of 2013 and many bloggers are already looking ahead to 2014 challenges, it seems like a good time to reflect on the challenges I set for myself a year or so ago.

I set four goals for the year. How did I do? I suppose if this was my school report card the teacher’s comment would be along the lines of ‘a good effort but really must try harder.’

1. Discover more about the origins and development of the novel genre

I started with great enthusiasm on this and did in fact write 4 posts under the theme of ‘Life and Times of the Novel’ . They took longer to research and write than I first imagined so the enthusiasm waned a bit. I haven’t given up on it yet though – so look out for some occasional pieces in the coming year.

2. Stretch my reading horizons by discovering new-to-me authors from different countries of the world. 

I think I did quite well on this one. My World Literature challenge is to read 50 books from different countries in the world by end of 2018 – I’ve read 10 so far from Japan, Pakistan and a number of the African nations. All the authors have been people I had never heard of previously and some I will definitely want to read more of in the future like Kenya’s Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o. Finding books  in English at a reasonable price from all the countries along the Equator or the Prime Meridian is a challenge in itself but I’m gradually acquiring them though Sao Tome could be the one country that eludes me.

3. Get more connected with other bloggers

I got more involved with BEA this year and met some new bloggers as a result. Just keeping up with everyone is almost a full time job but it’s great fun. Through the series A View From Here, in which I invite bloggers from different parts of the world to talk about literature from their country, I’ve ‘met’ some new friends like MarieChen at Whispers of a Barefoot Medical Student and also keep in touch with ‘old’ friends like Miranda at Book Rhapsody, Emma at Words and Peace and Tanya of 52 books or bust. If you have any interest in world literature, you’ll want check out their recommendations.

4. Try not to get distracted by too many new challenges 

Oh dear, this goal didn’t quite work out. Despite my best intentions I did get easily led off the straight and narrow.  Not only did I enrol for an on-line historical fiction course offered by Coursera (which involved rather more reading than anticipated) but I also got sucked in by the Booker titles longlisted for this year’s prize instead of reading the actual prize winners.  Consequently I read nine books from my Classics Club challenge (less than I would have liked) but only four Booker winners. Seems like I really do need to pull my socks up on these challenges next year.

That’s 2013 done – what about 2014 challenges? I’m at that stage when my head tells me I don’t the energy or capacity for anything new but my heart beats that little bit faster when I see some of the new challenges being set up on other blogs. Oh decisions, decisions……..Anyone else having the same problem??

26 thoughts on “2013 Challenges: Wrap Up

  1. I’ve only got one real challenge to do, and that’s set by myself – to read at least 75 books next year, at least half of which are to be paper based. I’ve read 104 books this year (so the first bit shouldnt be a problem) but most were ebooks so I’m trying to balance them out next year. If in doing that I get back on track for the Classics Club challenge (50 classics in 5 years) that might help too!

  2. I’ve got two challenges for next year – and I am finishing my Hardy reading Challenge too (they were mainly re-reads actually) which I am some friends have been doing for about 2 years. I too will be carrying on with the Classic Club too. Fitting it all in can seem overwhelming – I am always behind with blog reading. I am always being inspired by others though – and that seems to lead to more books/challenges to undertake myself.

    • I think one of your challenges is the World War 1 isn’t it? I bought the book for January but am having second thoughts on whether I can cope with the whole challenge. so I may just dip in and out

      • I’m sure lots of people will just dip in and out. At least with that one there is only 1 book every 2 months. Though I may read more of them than that.

  3. My only goal this year was to read 75 books and I just surpassed that this past week. Other than that, I’ve been staying away from challenges and plan to do the same in the upcoming year. I don’t even think I’ll set a goal of number of books I’ll read. I think I might let the chips fall where they may. :)

  4. Except for my own New Year’s Resolution Reading Challenge, I haven’t signed up for any yet. But I keep making notes of things to consider. So many fun ones to choose from!

    • we do seem to be spoiled for choice at the moment Joy. each day I seem to get a new alert about a challenge and have to give myself a good talking to otherwise I would be signing up

  5. Sounds crazy since blogging and reading are both hobbies, but intend to be more disciplined in both. I have signed up for two challenges (Read Around the World hosted by Giraffe Days and TBR pile hosted by Roof Beam Reader) but they fit into already established goals of mine. And I’m going to slow down and enjoy books more, instead of whipping off review after review.

    • I have a feeling you changed jobs and moved apartments which in my book is ample cause for distraction from reading. I don’t know why but though I have an alert set up for your blog, it never tells me when you’ve posted something – so if you’ve been wondering why I haven’t left you any messages recently, that’s the reason. I’ll try and fix it..

  6. I’m trying to be careful with my 2014 goals too. To first set my own goals and then sign up for challenges that will support these goals. My main goal is to try to read 52 books again. With all the amazing books out there, I have to read 52 books a year to feel I actually get around to reading just some of the ones I want to…

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