Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Goals for 2018

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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.

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My Week in Books – 31st December ’17

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New arrivals

Someone has been tempted by Amazon’s 12 Days of Kindle sale….

The Heart's Invisible FuriesThe Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne (ebook)

Cyril Avery is not a real Avery or at least that’s what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn’t a real Avery, then who is he?

Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the infinitely more glamorous and dangerous Julian Woodbead. At the mercy of fortune and coincidence, he will spend a lifetime coming to know himself and where he came from – and over his three score years and ten, will struggle to discover an identity, a home, a country and much more.

Any Human HeartAny Human Heart by William Boyd (ebook)

ANY HUMAN HEART is an ambitious, all-encompassing novel. Through the intimate journals of Logan Mounstuart we travel from Uruguay to Oxford, on to Paris, the Bahamas, New York and West Africa, and meet his three wives, his family, his friends and colleagues, his rivals, enemies and lovers, including notables such as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Ernest Hemingway and Virginia Wool

Dangerous CrossingDangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys (ebook)

England, September 1939. Lily Shepherd boards a cruise liner for a new life in Australia and is plunged into a world of cocktails, jazz and glamorous friends. But as the sun beats down, poisonous secrets begin to surface. Suddenly Lily finds herself trapped with nowhere to go…

Australia, six-weeks later. The world is at war, the cruise liner docks, and a beautiful young woman is escorted onto dry land in handcuffs. What has she done?

Rules of CivilityRules of Civility by Amor Towles (ebook)

In a jazz bar on the last night of 1937, watching a quartet because she couldn’t afford to see the whole ensemble, there were certain things Katey Kontent knew.

By the end of the year she’d learned – how to launch a paper airplane high over Park Avenue, how to live like a redhead, and how to insist upon the very best.


On What Cathy Read Next last week

Blog posts

Tuesday – I shared my Top Ten Books I’m Looking Forward To In 2018 which includes many new books from authors whose books I loved in 2017.

WednesdayWWW Wednesday is the opportunity to share what I’ve just finished reading, what I’m reading now and what I’ll be reading next.

Thursday –I shared my review of The Twelve-Mile Straight by Eleanor Henderson, a powerful drama about secrets, prejudice and the abuse of power. I also published my selections for the When Are You Reading? Challenge 2018.  Still time to sign-up if you fancy joining me…

Friday – Another day, another challenge sign-up for 2018! This time it was the What’s In A Name Reading Challenge with six books chosen to fit some interesting categories.

Saturday – I shared my review of The Biographies of Ordinary People, Vol. 1 by Nicole Dieker, a fascinating book following the everyday life of the fictional Gruber family. I’m really looking forward to the second volume, due to be published in 2018. I also put together my annual round-up post – My Year in Books. It included bookish statistics from my reading year as well as some hidden gems and books I read that were outside my normal genres.

Sunday – I published my review of The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck, the book from my much-neglected Classics Club list that was drawn for me for the Classics Club spin.

Challenge updates

  • Goodreads 2017 Reading Challenge – 160 out of 156 books read, 4 more than last week.  Achieved!
  • Classics Club Challenge – 6 out of 50 books reviewed, 1 more than last week.  Hmm, some way to go in 2018.
  • NetGalley/Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2017 (Gold) – 46 ARCs reviewed out of 50, 1 more than last week.  I originally targeted Silver level (25 books) which I achieved.
  • From Page to Screen– 9 book/film comparisons out of 15, same as last week.  More work needed on this one as well.

On What Cathy Read Next this week

Currently reading

Planned posts

  • My Five Favourite December Reads
  • Extract: 355 – The Women of Washington’s Spy Ring by Kit Sergeant
  • Top Ten Tuesday: New-To-Me Authors I Read in 2017
  • Review: Death Comes For The Archbishop by Willa Cather
  • Throwback Thursday/Review: 1066 – What Fates Impose by G. K. Holloway
  • Review: Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon
  • Buchan of the Month: Introducing The Power House