Reading Plans for 2018

I have enjoyed reading ever since I first learned how, and the past few years I’ve benefited from being more intentional in my reading rather than just picking up the next thing on the shelf. I’ve wanted to incorporate classics, non-fiction, and new books as well as getting to more of my beloved fiction and some of the older books I have on hand. A few reading challenges have both helped me in those ways and made it fun to do with others. So one of my favorite things to do is map out my reading plans for the year. Many of the challenges overlap, so that helps – otherwise I’d probably only be able to do one. I’ve been tweaking it year by year to be more purposeful and yet have some flexibility in case I come across something during the year that I want to read that isn’t on any list. Last year was one of the best in all those ways, so I am hoping this year will be as well.

So these are the challenges I will participate in. For the first few I’ll just list the challenge and will share what books I’ll read when the time comes. Then I’ll list the challenges where I have already chosen what to read.

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Reading Challenge is hosted right here during the month of February! More information is here as well as an extended book list. On Feb. 1 I’ll post a sign-up post and share then what I’ll be reading.


Tarissa at In the Bookcase hosts the Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge in June, so I will share at that time what I will read for that challenge.

aliterarychristmas-buttonTarissa also hosts the Literary Christmas Challenge for the last six weeks of the year. The main rule: read Christmas book!

Karen at Books and Chocolate hosts the Back to the Classics Challenge. She comes up with categories and we come up with a classic at least 50 years old to fit each category. She also gives away a prize – a $30 gift card to or The Book Depository. You get one entry for the prize drawing for six categories completed, two entries for nine categories completed, and three entries if you complete all twelve. We don’t have to name the books, but it helps me to do so, and we are allowed to change during the course of the year. As with each of these challenges, more information is provided at the links above. So the classics I am going to aim for this year include:

1.  A 19th century classic. Villette by Charlotte Bronte (1853)(Finished 6/30/18)

2.  A 20th century classic (published before 1968). The Story of My Life by Helen Keller (1903)(Finished 3/31/18)

3.  A classic by a woman author. Adam Bede by George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans)(1859)(Finished 5/19/18)

4.  A classic in translation (Any book originally written published in a language other than your native language.) 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne (1870)(Finished 1/26/18)

5. A children’s classic. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1911)(Finished 2/3/18)

6.  A classic crime story, fiction or non-fiction, which she goes on to say can be a detective or spy novel. The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton. (1908)(Finished 1/18/18)

7. A classic travel or journey narrative, fiction or non-fiction. Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne (Finished 2/17/18)

8. A classic with a single-word title (no articles). Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (Finished 3/12/18)

9. A classic with a color in the title. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls (1961)(Finished 3/17/18)

10. A classic by an author that’s new to you. He Fell in Love With His Wife by Edward Payson Roe (1866)(Finished 4/8/18)

11. A classic that scares you (due to its length or it intimidates you in some way). The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo. (1831)(Finished 8/4/18). I have come close to reading it many times and then backed away, but Tarissa’s review encouraged me toward trying it.

12. Re-read a favorite classic. Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace, (1880)(Finished 4/17/18)

Adam at Roof Beam Reader hosts the TBR Pile Challenge to encourage us to get to those books on our shelves, Kindles, or TBR lists. For this one we have to name the books we are going to read, along with two alternates (in case we can’t get through a couple on our list), and we have to have owned them for at least a year, so any book on our To Be Read pile published 2016 and earlier qualifies. And! Adam offers a prize: a drawing for a $50 gift card from or The Book Depository! Tempting for any book lover! So here is what I plan to read for this challenge:

  1. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (Finished 2/3/18)
  2. The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton (Finished 1/18/18)
  3. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (Finished 3/12/18)
  4. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls (Finished 3/17/18)
  5. Adam Bede by George Eliot (1859)(Finished 5/19/18)
  6. He Fell in Love With His Wife by Edward Payson Roe (1866, Finished 4/8/18)
  7. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne (1870, Finished 1/26/18)
  8. Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne (Finished 2/17/18)
  9. Ghost Boy: The Miraculous Escape of a Misdiagnosed Boy Trapped Inside His own Body by Martin Pistorious (2013, Finished 1/8/18)
  10. Going Like Sixty by Richard Armour
  11. Sins of the Past by Dee Henderson, Dani Pettrey, and Lynette Easton (2016, Finished 3/28/18)
  12. Another Way Home by Deborah Raney (2015, Finished 4/16/18)

Alternates: Anchor in the Storm by Sarah Sundin (2016, Finished 5/7/18) and Mozart’s Sister by Nancy Moser (2006)(Finished 1/28/18)

As I finish them, I’ll come back and link the title to my review.

mount-tbr-2017Bev hosts the Mount TBR Challenge to also encourage us to read the books we already own, but with a few differences. Every 12 books read is another level or “mountain” climbed. We don’t have to list the books yet (although some books for the above TBR challenge will count for this one as well), but we do have to commit to a level. I am tempted to try for Mt. Vancouver (36 books) since I passed that last year, but I think I’ll keep my options open and commit to Mount Blanc (24 books). The one main rule here is that the books have to have been owned by us before January 1, 2018. But that means every book in my house and Kindle app on Jan. 1, even the ones I just got for Christmas, count! I appreciate that because too often I push my newer books back behind the ones that have been sitting there for a while.

So I think that will keep me busy for a while. 🙂 People often ask me how I get to so much reading, so once I wrote Finding Time to Read. On the other hand, last year I read 76 books, but some blog friends read twice that! So I’m not at all in the “big leagues” when it comes to reading, but I do love it for various reasons.

Do you make any reading plans for the year? What do you look forward to reading this year?

(Sharing with Semicolon‘s Saturday Review of Book)


13 thoughts on “Reading Plans for 2018

  1. I love seeing your reading plans, Barbara. Looks like another great year ahead. I decided to sit out one more year from challenges (except Modern Mrs Darcy’s 12-book challenge) and just read again at my leisure. But I look being kept abreast of what’s out there so I can jump back in next year, hopefully.

  2. I’m doing the TBR Challenge and the Back to Classics Challenge. I like to just be vague and say that I’m going to read a certain number of books, my own books, translated books, etc. but I also like to have certain lists now and then to get myself out of my box of reading. Good luck with your challenges!

  3. Barb, I love all your challenges! I read 51 books (goal was 50) in 2017. My goal for this year is 55. I try to do the Modern Mrs Darcy Challenge, but didn’t get them all in. But that’s okay with me. The one thing I’d like to do this year is read more classics. I had a 17-page (typed) TBR List last Spring when I went in to talk to my daughter’s 4th graders (she’s a teacher) about books. Now it’s lots longer. I put books on the list that are in at the library that I want to read, and hubby and I were Johnny-on-the-spot with the Kindle, so I’ve been collecting Kindle books for over 10 years now. We have 2000, but I’ve paid full price for only a handful. I keep meaning to post my favorite reads of 2017 over on your other post. I LOVE your new blog header, by the way!

  4. Yay! I’m excited to see that the LIW challenge is coming again next month. Exciting! I will certainly be joining.

    Thanks for already sharing about my 2 challenges. I’m already making plans for those reads myself. 🙂

    We may both be reading “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” for the Back to the Classics challenge. I don’t quite have the rest of list filled out, like you do. But it looks like you’ll in for some awesome reads this year.


  5. Gatsby is a quick easy read. Personally, I’m one of the few…not huge fans, but it is THE Great American novel….one of these days, ya gotta. The Man Who was Thursday…great choice. Enjoy.

  6. Pingback: Book Review: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea | Stray Thoughts

  7. Pingback: What’s On Your Nightstand: January 2018 | Stray Thoughts

  8. Pingback: End-of-January Musings | Stray Thoughts

  9. Pingback: Book Review: He Fell In Love With His Wife | Stray Thoughts

  10. Pingback: Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge | Stray Thoughts

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