Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Goals for 2018


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

The rules are simple:

  • Each Tuesday, Jana assigns a new topic. Create your own Top Ten list that fits that topic – putting your unique spin on it if you want.
  • Everyone is welcome to join but please link back to The Artsy Reader Girl in your own Top Ten Tuesday post.
  • Add your name to the Linky widget on that day’s post so that everyone can check out other bloggers’ lists.
  • Or if you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment.

This week’s topic is Top Ten Bookish Goals for 2018.  This is an easy one for me because I love signing up for reading challenges and I find reading other blogs gives me lots of inspiration for what I’d like to achieve with my own.

The Classics ClubOne – Complete my Classics Club list

I signed up to The Classics Club soon after I started blogging in November 2016 and confidently set a target to read my 50 chosen books by the end of December 2018.  It seemed a long way away back then.  As it stands, I’ve only read seven from my list so this is going to have to be a real focus this year.

TBR Challenge 2018Two – Read more of the books I already own

To help with this, I’ve signed up for the 2018 TBR Pile Challenge (hosted by RoofBeamReader) and the focus seems to be helping because I’ve already read two of my twelve and I’m all part way through a third.  Who knows, I may even get to my two ‘reserve’ books as well…

Buchan of the MonthThree – Promote the books of John Buchan

I’ve been reading and collecting books by John Buchan for many years and I’ve always thought he was underrated as an author.  To try to dispel the idea that his books are dated or that he only wrote The Thirty-Nine Steps, I’ve embarked on my Buchan of the Month reading project.  To read my introduction to the first book on the list, The Power-House, click here.  Why not join me and read along?

NetGalley Challenge 2018Four – Achieve my 100 reviews badge on NetGalley

I need to read and review around 25 more titles to achieve this so to help keep my focus on this target I’ve signed up for the NetGalley & Edelweiss Challenge 2018 (hosted by Bookish Things & More).  I’m going for Silver level which should get me to my goal.  A side goal is to maintain my 80% plus feedback ratio and (a dream more than a goal) to get auto approved by a publisher.

Goodreads ChallengeFive – Read at least 156 books in 2018

I’ve set my Goodreads reading challenge target at 156, the same as last year although I actually managed 160 in 2017.  However, I think three books a week is about my limit.  Any more than this and I think I’d start to feel pressurised and risk losing the enjoyment of reading.

BookPileSix – Reduce my stack of review copies from authors

I always feel slightly guilty about the length of time it takes me to get around to reading books sent to me by lovely authors, although they are unfailingly patient and appreciative when I finally do get around to publishing my review.  This is despite the fact that I am very selective about the review requests I accept.  I made a real effort to read more from my stack of author review copies in December and I’m going to try to do the same in February (see goal nine below).  I’d really like to reduce my turnaround time for reviews to below the three to four months it is currently. (By the way, for any authors reading this, my review stack is not quite as big as in the picture.)

2018 HF Reading Challenge_GraphicSeven – Read 50 historical fiction books in 2018

This is rather a cheat because historical fiction is my favourite genre.  However, I’ve signed up for the Historical Fiction Challenge hosted by Passages to the Past because it’s always great to swap recommendations with other bloggers.  I’m aiming for Prehistoric level which means reading 50+ books.  In a similar vein, I’m also participating in the When Are You Reading Challenge 2018 (hosted by Taking on a World of Words)  It involves reading 12 books, one from each of 12 specified time periods.  I also hope to read the books longlisted for The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction. (You can read my wishlist of books to appear on the list here.)

WWWWednesdaysEight – Take part in bookish events

I already participate in a number of memes such as this one.  Other favourites are WWW Wednesdays and Throwback Thursday and I always mean to join in with the monthly Six Degrees of Separation but never seem to get around to it.  Last year, I took part in ARC August and really enjoyed it, although I wasn’t organised enough to get through all the books I’d targeted.   I’ll be looking out for events like that again this year.

Nine – Take blog tour breaks

I love participating in blog tours as it’s introduced me to some great authors, books and publishers and some amazingly professional tour organisers.   However, it is easy to sign up for more than you intend and find yourself overwhelmed by deadlines.  I know because I’ve done it.  As a newbie blogger, I was so keen to get involved, I got carried away (although, I’m proud to say I’ve never missed a tour deadline).  I took a blog tour break in December and it really allowed me to catch up with other reading in what is a busy time of the year as it is.  I shall be away for part of February so I’ve decided to take another break from blog tours then as well.

10BookBlogsILoveTen – Support other book bloggers

The book blogging community is terrific and one of the things I particularly enjoy is interaction with other bloggers.  So I want to continue making time to visit other blogs, read and comment on reviews and share their posts on Twitter and other social media.


Blogging & Reading Goals 2018

Set Goals

As the old year comes to a close, it’s time to focus on the New Year and, in particular, to set those important reading and blogging goals for 2018. Well, at least it is for me, as I like the discipline of having some targets to aim for.

Reading Goals

Reading challenges:

  • 2018 TBR Pile Challenge (hosted by RoofBeamReader) – Read all twelve books on my list
  • 2018 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge (hosted by Passages to the Past) – I’m aiming for Prehistoric level which means reading 50+ books (but most of the books I read are historical fiction)
  • Buchan of the Month – Read the twelve books I’ve identified and, I hope, participate in some discussion with other bloggers about our reviews
  • Classics Club (hosted by RoofBeamReader) – I want/need to make more progress on this in order to complete my list by the end of December 2018
  • NetGalley & Edelweiss Challenge 2018 (hosted by Bookish Things & More) – I’m going for Silver level once again which means reading and reviewing 25 books on NetGalley
  • Goodreads – I plan to set a target of 156 books (same as 2017)

Review requests:

  • Reduce my review turnaround time to two months or under (currently three or four)


  • Maintain my 80% feedback ratio
  • Attain my 100 Reviews badge
  • Get an auto approval

Blogging Goals

  • Continue to take part in Top Ten Tuesday, WWW Wednesdays and Throwback Thursday
  • Start my own meme
  • Update my blog’s theme and graphics
  • Create a blog page(s) devoted to John Buchan
  • Create a blog page to index author Q&As I’ve carried out
  • Take blog tour breaks in February and December

Personal Goals

  • Start a proofreading course

What are your blogging and reading goals for 2018?

Christmas 4

Blogiversary: The People Who Made the Difference

BlogiversaryI can’t quite believe that it’s a year since What Cathy Read Next was launched into the blogosphere but it is and today is my first blogiversary!

I could talk about how many followers my blog has gained or how many views it’s received. But, if I’ve learned anything over the past twelve months, it’s that it’s the people who make the book blogging community what it is. So, this is my tribute to just some of the people who’ve made the past year such a positive experience.

Authors: Thank you for your creativity and for crafting the books that make us go “Aah”, “Eek”, “Ouch”, “Eh?” or – my favourite – “I wasn’t expecting that!”. Thank you to the authors who’ve entrusted me with their books and waited patiently for my reviews – and for those still waiting! Thank you to the authors who’ve shared my reviews or commented on them with generosity and appreciation.

Publishers: Thank you to the many publishers who’ve supported my blog by generously providing me with review copies or inviting me to participate in blog tours – especially those who took a chance on me when my blog was just a toddler such as Bonnier Zaffre, Head of Zeus and Impress Books.

Book bloggers: Thank you to the book bloggers who’ve provided me with inspiration, acted as role models for the book blogging community and who continue to overwhelm me with their energy, inventiveness, camaraderie and passion for books. You can find some of my favourites in the blog roll on my blog.

Followers: Thank you to each and every one of the people who have followed What Cathy Read Next by email, on WordPress, Bloglovin, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. I value your support.

Commenters: Thanks to all those who’ve taken the time to comment on my blog posts. I’ve really enjoyed our conversations and it’s been fantastic to receive feedback on my reviews, learn about other great books to add to my wishlist and chat about those great book blogging preoccupations: TBR piles, NetGalley feedback ratios and reading/blogging slumps! A special shout out to my top commenters: Nicki at The Secret Library Blog, Eva at Novel Delights, Cleo at Cleopatra Loves Books and Lynne at Fictionophile.

Sharers: A big thank you to everyone who’s shared my blog posts on Twitter or Facebook or retweeted my tweets. Oh, and everyone who’s ‘liked’ them as well!

Tour organisers: Participating in blog tours has introduced me to some fantastic books, some of which I would probably never have read or even known about otherwise. I’m always blown away by the organisational skill and professionalism of blog tour organisers.   So thank you to the following for letting me be part of your tour host teams: Amy at Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Jenny at Neverland Blog Tours, Giselle at Xpresso Tours, Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources, Sage at Sage’s Blog Tours, Laura at iRead Book Tours and Anne at Random Things Through My Letter Box.

And since I’m in a good mood, I’ll even thank WordPress for randomly inserting extra line breaks at random in my posts (including this one)!



Here’s to many more years of happy book blogging for us all!

What Cathy Read Next

Liebster Award Nomination


Thank you to the lovely Laura at Snazzy Books for this nomination – do check out her wonderful blog. I have to confess I’ve been tagged before for this award but never got around to taking part so this is to redress that oversight.

The Rules

  • Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog
  • Answer the 11 questions the person asked you
  • Nominate 11 people (comment on their blog to let them know)
  • Ask the people you have nominated 11 questions

Laura’s Questions:

If you had to pick a literary character to marry/enter into a civil partnership with, who would it be?
Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre
What instantly puts you off a book?
Haha – punctuation, spelling and grammar errors in the first few pages
If you had to pick – favourite 3 authors?
Margaret Atwood (for imagination), C J Sansom (for mystery) and John Buchan (for adventure) – but my answer would change tomorrow…
Most-read series?
A toss-up between Alexander McCall Smith’s Mma Ramotswe and C J Samson’s Shardlake
Tea or coffee whilst reading – or neither?
Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon
If you could only eat one food ‘cuisine’ for the rest of your life, what would it be?
British fish and chips – with mushy peas of course!
Ebooks or paper books?
Both – ebooks for convenience, paper books for the look and feel
What do you do with books you don’t want to keep? Give them to friends, charity shops, sell them….etc?
All of the above (except sell)
Favourite book/s of 2017 so far?
Days Without End by Sebastian Barry
Favourite genre?
Historical fiction
Favourite book to movie/TV adaptation?
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro – wonderful book, wonderful film especially the sublime partnership of Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson

My Nominations

I’m going to cheat and invite anyone reading this to take part as I know some of you have been tagged loads of times before or don’t take part in tags.  Or just pick a question or questions you like from the list below and leave your answer in a comment.

My Questions

  1. What book would you most like to unwrap on Christmas Day?
  2. Which living author would you most like to meet face-to-face?
  3. What’s your favourite opening line of a book?
  4. What’s your favourite closing line of a book?
  5. Have you ever lied about reading a book you haven’t actually read and, if so, what was it?
  6. What is the most popular book you’ve never read?
  7. If you were marooned for life on a desert island and could only take one book what would it be?
  8. What’s your favourite book cover published in 2017?
  9. If you could be a character in an author’s next book which author would you choose and what type of character?
  10. Have you ever been fined for taking a library book back late?
  11. Have you ever cheated to find out how a book ends?

Blog Talk: Temptations of a Book Blogger


A few weeks ago, I wrote about some of the temptations I’ve encountered as a novice book blogger. You can read my original post here.   Confession time: I’ve been better at warning others of temptations than I have at resisting them.

In particular, the temptation I referred to as The Author’s Best Friend Temptation – that seemingly irresistible urge (for me, anyway) to say ‘Yes’ to review requests from authors when you really should glance at your TBR pile and say ‘No’.  As a consequence, I’ve amassed quite a stack of books from indie authors needing review, some going back several months.

In an effort to make amends, I’ve decided to devote July to reading and reviewing as many of these books as I possibly can.  In order to do that, I’ve made a deliberate effort to limit my other commitments next month and read ahead as much as possible for blog tours or publication dates in July.

And what about some of the other temptations I identified, like The NetGalley Frenzy Temptation? Ah well, best draw a veil over that one for the time being. One confession is enough for now.