2017 was a wonderful year for reading. Not only did I set personal bests for the number of books and pages read, I also stretched myself in terms of what I read. I signed up for and successfully completed two reading challenges: Goodreads and Modern Mrs. Darcy’s reading challenge. I set out to read 50 books, 24 of those books were in genres established by the Modern Mrs. Darcy’s reading challenge.
The Goodreads and Modern Mrs. Darcy’s reading challenge overlapped each other. The Goodreads challenge was about quantity and the Modern Mrs. Darcy’s reading challenge was about quality. At the end of 2017, I read one book a week. In 2018, I am aiming for 60 books.
The Modern Mrs. Darcy’s reading challenge forced me to explore outside of my comfort zone. The challenges encouraged me to have fun and grow. I did both. I enjoyed the opportunity to read material that I would probably never read otherwise. I have started to seek out similar opportunities because of this experience. I read books published in the 1700s and one written in 180 AD.
As a fan of metrics and lists, I would like to share my 2017 reading results.
In 2017, I made reading a priority. I am confident that I can read an additional seven books in 2018.
What really surprised me was the number of pages that I consumed in 2017, 3,500 more pages than 2016.
I really skewed this chart by logging a book written in 180 AD.
Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge
If you remember, the Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge for 2017 had two lists to choose from: one for fun and one for growth. I elected to do both. Here is where I ended on each list:
Reading for Fun
- A book you chose for the cover – In Farleigh Field
- A book with a reputation for being un-put-down-able – Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
- A book set somewhere you’ve never been but would like to visit – My Life in France
- A book you’ve already read – Black ’41: The West Point Class of 1941 and the American Triumph in World War II
- A juicy memoir – Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest
- A book about books or reading – Write, Publish, Promote: How to write a best seller, self-publish, and then keep selling it
- A book in a genre you usually avoid – Death: An Exploration: Learning To Embrace Life’s Most Feared Mystery
- A book you don’t want to admit you’re dying to read – Google Analytics Breakthrough: From Zero to Business Impact
- A book in the backlist of a new favorite author – The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
- A book recommended by someone with great taste – The Big Sleep & Farewell, My Lovely
- A book you were excited to buy or borrow but haven’t read yet – SuperBetter: The Power of Living Gamefully
- A book about a topic or subject you already love – Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t
Reading for Growth
- A Newberry Award winner or Honor book – The Graveyard Book
- A book in translation – Meditations – Marcus Aurelius
- A book that’s more than 600 pages – Tools of Titans-The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-class Performers
- A book of poetry, a play, or an essay collection – An Inspector Calls and Other Plays
- A book of any genre that addresses current events – The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future
- An immigrant story – Immigrant Soldier: The Story of a Ritchie Boy
- A book published before you were born – Outwitting the Devil: The Secret to Freedom and Success
- Three books by the same author – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone; Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets; Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- A book by an #ownvoices or #diversebooks author – Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars
- A book with an unreliable narrator or ambiguous ending – The Girl on the Train
- A book nominated for an award in 2017 – The Underground Railroad
- A Pulitzer Prize or National Book Award winner – Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
In my original challenge, I also said I would read 50 books. I am pleased to report that I was able to consume 53 books. In 2017, I read well outside my normal lane, and it was a rewarding experience. The most challenging book was written in 180 AD. Four other books were published before 1950. I am trying to read some of the classics that I should have earlier in my life.
Here is a list of the other books I had read from start to finish:
- Evernote: Your Second Brain: Evernote User Guide to Organize Your Life Clutter, Double Productivity and Achieve More in Less Time
- Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion
- Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World
- Smartcuts: The Breakthrough Power of Lateral Thinking
- Write Better, Faster: How To Triple Your Writing Speed and Write More Every Day
- Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day
- Book Review: Extreme Innovation
- New Business Networking: How to Effectively Grow Your Business Network Using Online and Offline Methods
- Profit First: A Simple System to Transform Any Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine
- 365 Ideas for Recruiting, Retaining, Motivating and Rewarding Your Volunteers: A Complete Guide for Non-Profit Organizations
- Academic Betrayal: The Bullying of a Graduate Student
- Creating Entrepreneurial Universities
- Aha to All In: Life Lessons From an Unexpected Entrepreneur
- The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles
- Adventures of an American Girl in Victorian London
- Teaching Naked Techniques: A Practical Guide to Designing Better Classes
- Podcast Launch: A complete guide to launching your Podcast with 15 Video Tutorials!
- How to Win Friends & Influence People
- Flipped Learning for Social Studies Instruction
- LinkedIn: 101 Ways To Rock Your Personal Brand: Grow your network and build your business!
I also said I would read six books from the Great Books of Western Civilization collection. I am woefully behind on this part of the challenge. I finished Meditations by Marcus Aurelius and I am still reading The Federalist Papers.
Well, that is 2017 in a reading list. I have a stack of books sitting on the shelf ready to be explored. Hopefully, they will be as rewarding as 2017. Please come join me on Modern Mrs. Darcy’s 2018 reading challenge or come join me on Goodreads. We can cheer each other on. If you have some recommendations you think I will like, please leave a comment.
How did you do with your reading challenge? I would love to hear what you have been reading. Please share in the comments below.
Here are my lists for the past few years:
- 2016 was a Great Year for Reading!
- Taking Stock of My Reading, 20 books in 2015
- 2014 was another great year for reading
- 2013 has been a banner reading year
- Have you been reading more? (2012)