Reading Challenge 2017: How Did You Do?

Reading ChallengeOkay, it takes me awhile sometimes, but eventually I catch on. This time to Reading Challenges.

In 2017 I learned about the Goodreads Challenge, in which readers set their own goals and see if they can meet them. I also learned about The Better World Books Reading Challenge, which really captured my imagination. Here’s what I said:

So here’s my plan. I’m going to try to integrate these two challenges. I want to read 50 books in 2017, some of them just plain fun, some of them necessary to my writing career, and some of them that will fit the descriptions on the Better World list. I’d like to complete both challenges by the end of December.

Do you want to join me? If you’d like to–no pressure–comment below. Tell us which challenge you plan to attempt or both, if that applies. And then, as you move toward your goal, feel free to list the books you’ve read in subsequent comments on any of my other blogs and if you feel like it, what you thought of your choice. I’ll try to keep a list so by year’s end we can recount our successes together .

And as a reward for at least giving this a try? I’ll keep a list, and in January of next year I’ll choose at random five commenters to receive an autographed copy of one of my recent novels.

Last week I told you about a new reading challenge, and I’m delighted how many of you have decided to read together this coming year. I’ve already read two books that fit that list. So I’m well on my way. And some of you are, as well. I’m inspired.

Please note that the last Wednesday blog of each month will have a section devoted to Read Along With Emilie 2018. I’ve just added a Reading Challenge Category to list relevant blog posts. You’ll probably find “categories” on your right, if you’re reading on your computer. 

This will be your opportunity to tell us what you’ve read, how you’ve liked it, what you plan to read next. You can do it by commenting on that day’s post. It will also a good chance to ask others to recommend books for different categories or give us your choices. We don’t have a chat room, but the blog and our Facebook Group, Read Along With Emilie Richards, will give everyone a chance to say their piece.

However! Today  I want to finish last year’s reading challenges with a flourish.

 In January 2017 I promised that if you accepted either challenge and commented about them on my blog during the year, I would enter you in a giveaway for five copies of one of my (recent) novels. So it’s time now to figure out who participated.

Drum roll!

Here are the people I have on my list so far. If you did participate either here or perhaps mentioned your participation on my Facebook Page, and I don’t have you on this list, it’s time to comment on this post to tell me.

  • Kathryn Trask
  • Jane Dougherty
  • Kay Myhrman-Toso
  • Nancy Seitz
  • Yvonne B53
  • Susan Roberts
  • Merlene
  • Nita Voleski
  • Cathy Norton
  • Randi Shelton
  • Nancy Lepri
  • Kathy Dean
  • Jean Skarda
  • Michelle Walker-Fullerton

If you would like to, please check in and tell us how things went for you this year? Did you like being challenged? Did you find a special book you might never have read?

On Tuesday of next week I’ll let choose five winners from this list and any additions. If you don’t have a U.S. mailing address, we’ll decide together the best way to send you one of my books.

Thanks to everyone who signed up for a challenge, either one of these or somewhere else. You don’t have to finish a list to be considered a winner. You read for fun and enlightenment. You were willing to try new books. What could be better? I’m proud of all of us.


  1. Joni on January 24, 2018 at 4:52 am

    I did the Goodreads challenge- my goal was 100 books for the year & I ended with 87

    • Emilie Richards on January 24, 2018 at 2:39 pm

      Yay, Joni! And I’ve added your name to the list.

  2. Jane Dougherty on January 24, 2018 at 7:43 am

    I did the Better World challenge last year, and completed all the requirements. It was fun to do, and I did read books that I otherwise would not have read. I have already read two books on the challenge list for this year. Being able to comment on what I am reading and have others respond is a great way to make new friends. When I posted pictures of the cookies I had made for a church tea, two ladies wrote for recipes and then sent word of how theirs were received.

  3. Marjorie Roberts on January 24, 2018 at 9:04 am

    I did the Goodreads Challenge – my goal was 52, I think, and I read 86 books, including novellas. I also completed Brenda Novak’s Book Challenge – one type or particular book per month. She also had a guest author at a monthly book group meeting on Facebook (Brenda Novak’s Book Group) and I read all 12 guest author books. I also read 7 for the Better World Challenge. This year my goal for Goodreads challenge is 75 books; 12 books for Brenda Novak’s challenge; 12 books for the guest authors; and of course your challenge. Right now I am reading a book with a name in the title for the challenge you set up – My Dearest Cal by Sherryl Woods which was republished in January 2018 from 1991. (I’m not on the above list but sent an email with a list of all books I read in 2017. I’m not sure if you got it. If you didn’t, let me know what email address to send it to. I sent it to the email address that starts with re…….)

  4. Kathryn Trask on January 24, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    I did complete the Goodreads challenge, I think I set it at 130 but read about 160. I hate them telling me I am so many books behind so I set it where I think I’ll at least keep even par!
    I did the Better World challenge as well and almost got there except for the nature one. The books that surprised me the most were the National Book Award – read The Round House by Louise Erdrich, and the other one I never would have read is the forest setting – read In a Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware. I thought it would be too scary for me but… it wasn’t and a rip along story. I am not a poetry reader but I did enjoy Mary Oliver’s Dream Work and have the book now to return to some of her wonderful poetry in it. So at least three categories I never would have read without the challenge.

    • Emilie Richards on January 24, 2018 at 2:39 pm

      That’s a heck of a lot of books, Kathryn. I also read In a Dark, Dark Wood for my book in a forest setting. Like you I was happily surprised that some of the books I read, to fulfill requirements, turned out to be new favorites.

  5. Kathy Dean on January 24, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    I didn’t do very well sticking to the reading challenge, but something very interesting happened to me this last year. I took a course on the history of New Orleans and the book used was one I had read 30 years ago when I saw the then new authors speak at a reading conference. This sparked my interest and as a result I have taken more courses and can’t stop reading books about New Orleans. My passion for genealogy crossed paths with my in depth knowledge of the city’s history and I have discovered numerous stories about my own family’s history. This has in turn led to my achieving a 30 year goal of becoming a member of the DAR. So, although I failed miserably at sticking to the reading challenge, my readings have provided me with an incredible wealth of knowledge and brought me and my family tremendous joy! What a testimony to the power of books and reading! Thank you for all the joy you provide your readers with the release of every new book and for continually challenging us to push our boundaries!

  6. Tina’s wilson on January 25, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    I participated in the Goodreads challenge last year. I had a goal of 60 books and read 94!

  7. Nancy Lepri on January 25, 2018 at 7:10 pm

    I really don’t have to be challenged to read, because to me reading is as essential as breathing. I know I read more than 100 books in 2017, but I did step outside of my comfort zone of reading women’s fiction and psychological thrillers to reading a memoir. My grandma who was born in Latvia had told me a lot about being raised in Russia, and several years ago I bought the book “Nina’s Journey” by Nina Markovna, who related what it was like growing up when the Soviet Union took over Russia and other countries . Her insightful autobiography tell if the horrors she, as a teenager, and her family fared during World War II! A totally riviting tale.

  8. Cathy Norton on January 25, 2018 at 8:07 pm

    Doing the challenge motivated me to read some books out of my usual wheelhouse. Unfortunately, as the year progressed, I became lax in reporting the books I read. I was able to finish a little over 100. I am looking forward to the 2018 challenge.

  9. Kathleen O on January 28, 2018 at 10:42 am

    I do the Goodreads Challenge and in 2017 I was one book away from my goal of 175.. This year in 2018 my goal is 170. I thought I would give myself a little less than last year and maybe I would attain a book or two over this goa.

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