Saturday, January 6, 2024

Discussion - 2023 Reading Challenge Wrap-Up

This Week's Topic

2023 Reading Challenge Wrap-Up

With another year in the books, it's time to report on all those challenges I took part in. Let's see how I did. 

Shannon had shared the link to get one of these. Pretty snazzy, right? Get yours here

Goodreads Challenge

I was able to keep up with my five books per week goal, but I still read less than last year.  This seems to be the trend as I have less and less time to listen to audiobooks. That is really where the decrease is coming from. I am still happy with the number and quality of books I have read. 

Literary Escapes

It seems like I struggle with the same states every year. The last state I knocked out was North Dakota, and I had to resort to a children's non-fiction book. I really hope some great fiction for those middle states gets written this year. 

  • AL - The Last Field Party
  • AK - Starry Night
  • AR - The Sweet Gum Tree
  • AZ - Jett
  • CA - Just My Type
  • CO - Make a Wish
  • CT - Life and Other Inconveniences 
  • DE - The Summer I Found Myself
  • FL - You Wouldn't Dare
  • GA - The Only Game in Town
  • HI - Pieces of Blue
  • ID - Familiar Words
  • IL - The Bloom Girls
  • IN - Something Rising
  • IA - Called Up
  • KS - Planes, Trains, and All the Feels
  • KY - The Somerset Girls
  • LA - The Shop on Royal Street
  • ME - Lies & Lullabies
  • MD - The Bluebird Bakery
  • MA - The Rewind
  • MI - Tom Lake
  • MN - Yours Truly
  • MS - Prince Not Quite So Charming
  • MO - Twice in a Lifetime
  • MT - Bear with Me Now
  • NE - Better Than the Prom
  • NV - Well Hung
  • NH - Play for Me
  • NJ - Under the Boardwalk
  • NM - The Roommate Pact
  • NY - Everything After
  • NC - Garden Spells
  • ND - North Dakota
  • OH - Faking Christmas
  • OK - The Renaissance of Gwen Hathaway
  • OR - The Lost and Found Girl
  • PA - Gage
  • RI - Moorewood Family Rules
  • SC - The Match
  • SD - Prairie Winter
  • TN - Friends Don't Fall in Love
  • TX - Miles and Miles of You
  • UT - You with a View
  • VT - Four Weddings and a Puppy
  • VA - Spare Me
  • WA - Goodnight June
  • WV - Double Digit
  • WI - Hope Was Here
  • WY - The Christmas Cafe
  • DC - Mrs. Nash's Ashes

Alphabet Soup

This is one I enjoy, and I was able to complete it. I didn't even have to re-read for my Z book. *Pats self on back*

  • A - Ana Takes Manhattan 
  • B -The Bluebird Bakery 
  • C - Cherish Hard 
  • D - Dotted Lines  
  • E - Everything After
  • F - Flirting with Fifty
  • G - Gage
  • H - He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not
  • I - In the Shadow Garden
  • J - Just My Type
  • K - Kiss Hard
  • L - The Love of My Life
  • M - Miles and Miles of You
  • N - The Nanny
  • O - Off the Map
  • P - The Printed Letter Bookshop
  • Q - A Quiet Life
  • R - The Rewind
  • S - South
  • T - Twice in a Lifetime
  • U - Under the Boardwalk
  • V - Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice for Murderers
  • W - The Wishing Game
  • X - Exes and O's 
  • Y - You Wouldn't Dare
  • Z - Zane

Monthly Motif

I love this this challenge because it's fun and achievable. I had to work for a few, but I was able to complete this challenge via books that were "me" kind of books. 

  • January - South by Vanessa Vale
  • February - The Lost and Found Girl by Maisey Yates
  • March - Pieces of Blue by Holly Goldberg Sloan
  • April - Once More with Feeling by Elissa Sussman
  • May - Play for Me by Libby Hubscher
  • June - Family for Beginners by Sarah Morgan
  • July - Mainsplainer by Avery Flynn
  • August - Please Don't Eat the Daisies by Jean Kerr
  • September - The Measure by Nikki Erlick
  • October - The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman
  • November - A Match Made in Thanksgiving by Jackie Lau
  • December - Mistletoe Bargain with the Millionaire by Cora North

Buzzword and Keyword Challenges

The word challenge is no joke here. I like doing both of these challenges because the approach is different, but they are equally difficult. I am tickled pink that I was able to complete them both. 

  • January - Right Number, Wrong Girl by Emma Hart
  • February - The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay
  • March - Beyond the Break by Heather Butcha
  • April - When We Found Home by Susan Mallery
  • May - Of Spice and Men by Sarah Fox
  • June - You Me Everything by Catherine Isaac 
  • July- Summer of Songbirds by Kristy Woodson Harvey
  • August - The Chase by Victoria Denault
  • September - Give Me a Sign by Anna Sortino
  • October - Sister of the Bride by Lauren Morrill
  • November - The House on Tradd Street by Karen White
  • December - Silver Linings by Debbie Macomber

MonthWord Book Author
January "Life" and "Death" The Love of My Life Rosie Walsh
February Verbs Kissing Tolstoy Penny Reid
March "Secret" The Secret Max Monroe
April Emotions Once More with Feeling Elissa Sussman
May Flavors, spices, seasonings Of Spice and Men Sarah Fox
June "Other" Love and Other Inconveniences Kristin Higgins
July Weather related words With Love, From Cold World Alicia Thompson
August Body parts Face on the Milk Carton Caroline B. Cooney
September Game related words The Takedown Carlie Walker
October "Magic" The Rules of Magic Alice Hoffman
November "Good" Looks Good on Paper Kilby Blades
December Sound related words Anger Bang Avery Flynn

The Discussion Challenge

I was proud that I kept up with my one discussion a month. It's gets harder and harder with each year of blogging to find something new to discuss. I had come inspired post, and some not so inspired posts, but I pushed myself to do that one post per month. I lost some of my posts when I migrated back to Blogger, but you can find all my discussions here.

Now it's your turn!

How did you reading challenges go?
Let us know in the comments!


  1. I tried doing the year in books graph but it didn't correctly gather the information correctly. I was short like 100 books lol Audiobooks is honestly the reason I get to read as much as I do especially since I don't read novellas very often. Looks like you were able to get through your challenges. That is amazing! Hope 2024 brings in some amazing rewards for you!

    1. I don't read novellas often, but I did read several this year. I found some great ones from authors I adore. My good reads is missing 4 books. I don't have the patience to figure out which ones are not being counted. Hope this year is great for you, as well.

  2. It's still mind bogling that you have read 331 books Sam!

    1. According to my spreadsheet, it was 335, but I don't have the energy to figure out why the numbers are different.

  3. I love your wrap up!!! you have inspired to try these reading challenges. They seem so much fun

    1. Thank you! When I pick my challenges, I want them to be fun and challenging without be frustrating. These have worked for me over the past few years while others proved to be all work and no fun.

  4. I unofficially did the Literary Escapes Challenge and you definitely have me beat! I only got 24 states!

    1. I think the only challenges I officially do are Goodreads and the discussion challenge. It's fun to try and get every state. 24 is not bad!

  5. Wow! You did a great job - both completing these challenges and tracking them. That's impressive!

    1. Thank you. I find the tracking easy, so it's not a chore.

  6. I crushed my book a week goal this year, so I'm eager to see if I can get 2 a week this year!

    1. You may have to change the name of the blog. LOL!

  7. You did awesome! I feel the same way about the Discussion Challenge. I've been blogging for 10 years and am completely out of ideas.

    1. I really need to start trolling social media. Annoying or absurd posts have inspired many of my discussion posts.

  8. I read about 35 books last year and that's only because I finally got the hang of audio. Otherwise it would have been like 4 lol

    Happy New Year Sam!

    1. Happy New Year to you! Audiobooks are a great way to get reading done. I wish I had as much time for them as I used to.

  9. I had seen that graphic you shared, but I didn't know where it came from. Thanks for sharing!!

  10. My goodness. Impressive challenges and your mastery of them is also worthy of praise. I would get so stressed out by these types of challenges. Good for you!

    Let's discuss ranking books

    1. I used to do ones that was more difficult because I thought I had to "push" myself. It's a lot more fun with the ones I do now.

  11. I really want to do the states one, but half the books I read take place on "Planet X", or "vague apocalyptic wasteland", or "actual hell", so I know it would be veeeery hard for me. Also I feel you with the discussions! I wrote 3 last year, which was three times as many as 2022 😂 I have a few ideas in mind, but will I actually write them? Time will tell! (Someone remind Future Shannon how badly Past Shannon was kidding herself here!)

    1. Fantasy can be hard to squeeze into a states challenge. They had one where it was places from AtoZ, so fictional lands fit well into that. I hope we both up our discussions. They are challenging for sure, but all the stuff you put out was great.