2018 Reading Challenge Update

We’re over halfway through the year, so I’ve decided to assess my 2018 Reading Challenge progress and review the books I’ve read so far. The challenge has 57 books. So far this year, I’ve read 37 books of which 15 were challenge books. So, 42 left to go! Let’s see how many I can get through in the next five months. Once again, I’ve managed to get distracted by other shiny books! 

To see what else I’ve been reading, have a look at my Goodreads challenge shelf.

Challenge books I have read

Indie authors who made it big and were taken on by traditional publishers:
Switched – Amanda Hocking: Urban Fantasy. I didn’t enjoy this one much. It was probably quite innovative when it came out but it was trope heavy and felt cliche now. Disappointing.

Something that sounded intriguing but that I shall probably regret:
Infinite Jest – David Foster Wallace: (Very) Literary. Yes, I regretted it. A DNF at 22%. Maybe I’d have kept going if I had more time on my hands, but at the moment I need to make the most of the little time I get for reading.

An American writer I’d never heard of before becoming friends with Americans online, and they all go on and on about him:
Slaughterhouse-Five – Kurt Vonnegut: Dystopian. Not bad. But if you want to read a better book in a similar vein, read Catch 22.

Classic fantasy that everyone else seems to have read and I haven’t:
The City of Ember – Jeanne DuPrau: MG Dystopian. This was a fun read although I prefer YA to MG myself. It didn’t quite have the depth I like.

Books rated highly on lists of best fantasy books:
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell – Susannah Clarke: Dickens meets epic fantasy with a touch of magical realism. Slightly hard work but worth persevering with. An interesting read.

The Thief of Always – Clive Barker: MG Fantasy. Well-paced, seamless, and very satisfactory. Excellent writing. Nothing bad to say about this book.

Other fantasy books recommended by friends that sound good:
The Crystal Cave – Mary Stewart: Arthurian Tales. This was so much better than the classic The Sword in the Stone. I would definitely consider reading the sequel.

Keeper of the Lost Cities – Shannon Messenger: MG/YA urban/portal fantasy. Enjoyable, but a bit trope heavy. Cool concept though.

The Temptation of Dragons – Chrys Cymri: Adult urban fantasy. This was a bizarre premise. A female vicar in a portal fantasy who enters a world with Christian dragons. I was quite into it by the end though. Might pick up the sequel.

Ghost Hand – Ripley Patton: YA Urban Fantasy. An intriguing premise and a good story, but not wholly to my personal taste.

Continuations of series I’m currently reading:
Frostbite – Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy #2): Vampire Urban Fantasy. Yeah, not a bad sequel. Not sure I will continue the series though.

Other books I just want to read:
The Thief who Pulled on Trouble’s Braids – Michael McClung: High Fantasy with a similar setting to Locke Lamora. Awesome read. Worthy winner of SPFBO.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs: An odd children’s fantasy. Time travel always makes books weird though. Not bad.

The Songweaver’s Vow – Laura VanArendonk Bough: YA Fantasy. Well written. Heavy focus on Norse mythology – which was not to my personal taste.

The Waterfall Traveller – SJ Lem: YA Fantasy. A fun read with some fresh concepts.

Challenge books left to read

General classics that I want to read but have never got around to:
The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway

An American writer I’d never heard of before becoming friends with Americans online, and they all go on and on about him:
Cat’s Cradle – Kurt Vonnegut

Classic fantasy that everyone else seems to have read and I haven’t:
The Eye of the World – Robert Jordan
The Final Empire – Brandon Sanderson
A Wizard of Earthsea – Ursula K Le Guin
The Book of Three – Lloyd Alexander

Books rated highly on lists of best fantasy books:
The Magicians – Lev Grossman
The Amulet of Samarkand – Jonathan Stroud
The Power – Naomi Alderman
The Book of Dust – Philip Pullman

Other fantasy books recommended by friends that sound good:
Hades Daughter – Sara Douglass
Bloodlines – Richelle Mead
Ella Enchanted – Gail Carson Levine
Peter and the Starcatchers – Dave Barry
Magic Bites – Ilona Andrews
The Fire Rose – Mercedes Lackey
The Library at Mount Char – Scott Hawkins
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – John Tiffany
Colonization – Aubrie Dionne
The Girl who Drank the Moon – Kelly Barnhill
Bitter Greens – Kate Forsyth
Redemption – Tora Moon

Continuations of series I’m currently reading:
Shift – Hugh Howey (Wool #2)
Dust – Hugh Howey (Wool #3)
Words of Radiance – Brandon Sanderson (Stormlight Archive #2)
Oathbringer – Brandon Sanderson (Stormlight Archive #3)
Red Seas under Red Skies – Scott Lynch (Gentleman Bastards #2)
The Republic of Thieves – Scott Lynch (Gentleman Bastards #3)
Hero – Laura Frances (Slave #2)
Skybreaker – Kenneth Oppel (Matt Cruse #2)

Other books I just want to read:
Senlin Ascends – Josiah Bancroft
A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness
Sufficiently Advanced Magic – Andrew Rowe
The Aeonians – JE Klimov

Books with an Arabian Theme:
The Hidden Stairs and the Magic Carpet – Tony Abbott
The Desert of Souls – Howard Andrew Jones
The Wrath and the Dawn – Renee Ahdieh
Rebel of the Sands – Alwyn Hamilton
A Thousand Nights – EK Johnston
Aladdin Relighted – JR Rain

Wish me luck 🙂

4 Comments

  1. Doing good! I swear I’ve got so many partially started books sitting around right now lol. But I’m on track to finish my challenge anyway. I’ll have to reevaluate my classic challenge since I’m leaving rather a large number of them to the last half of the year.

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