2019 Reading Challenges

In January, I posted my list of planned reads for RoofbeamReader’s 2019 “TBR Challenge.” But I always set myself more than one reading challenge per year. Some carry over from year to year, and some are new. Some are broad and some are themed. And in many cases, books read will help me meet more than one challenge.



Every year, I challenge myself to read one short story per day. Some years I keep the pace pretty well, and some years I fall behind and then scramble to catch up (and some years, I catch up and fall behind again). I used to post thoughts on each individual story over on my now-largely-defunct Livejournal; this year I plan to review a story or two in-depth each Sunday and then do a monthly “round-up” of all stories read that month. I’m defining “short story” as anything from flash fiction to novella-length. If a story/novella is published as a stand-alone book (ebook or otherwise), that story will also count towards my annual Goodreads “Books Read” Challenge.



Goodreads allows members to set a challenge. In 2018 I set a 125-book challenge. I blew past that in mid-fall and decided to increase it to 150 and managed more than that. For 2019, I’m going to start out planning on 125 books again and see where we go. Goodreads also counts magazines and individually-published short stories as “books,” so I count them for this challenge as well. Of course, any book read for the TBR Challenge, or the challenges mentioned in this post count towards this one.



I own far more graphic novels and trade paperback collections of classic comics than I’ve read. In 2017 I started trying to turn that around, and I’m again setting a goal in 2019 of reading one graphic novel per week. I may start a separate post tracking these, or I may just continue to include them in the monthly Reading Round-Up Posts.


As with graphic novels, I tend to get intrigued by and purchase far more non-fiction books than I actually end up reading. In an effort to clear some shelf-space, justify the money spent, and increase my knowledge a bit, I’m setting myself a new challenge this year to read two (2) non-fiction books per month, or 24 for the year. I may start a separate post tracking these as well, but it’s more likely I’ll just continue to include them in the monthly Reading Round-Up Posts.



I have so many books in my collection that are the basis for classic (and sometimes not-so-classic) movies that I thought it might be time to read some of them and then see how the movies compare. I actually unofficially started this last year, when I read Grace Zaring Stone’s The Bitter Tea of General Yen and then watched the movie adaptation directed by Frank Capra and starring Barbary Stanwyck. So this year, I’m committing myself to at least reading/watching the rest of the Vantage Movie Classics (listed below) and possibly more.



In previous years I’ve challenged myself to come “up to date” on series I’d started but fallen behind on. Last year, I challenged myself to also read one series that I own but have not read. Titles that I have read in each series are indicated with (read). Last year, I blew this almost completely, so I’m setting fewer “complete the series” challenges for 2019.  I plan to come back to this post and add “date completed” for each book individually and for each series as a whole. I’ll give links to reviews where appropriate.



1.       Velveteen Vs. The Junior Super-Patriots

2.       Velveteen Vs. The Multiverse

3.       Velveteen Vs. The Seasons



VANTAGE BOOKS MOVIE CLASSICS (Themed Set by PenguinRandomHouse, 2014-2015)

1.       Showboat by Edna Ferber (read in 2017)

2.       Cimarron by Edna Ferber

3.       Back Street by Fannie Hurst

4.       Alice Adams by Booth Tarkington

5.       The Ghost and Mrs. Muir by R.A. Dick

6.       The Bad Seed by William March

7.       Drums Along the Mohawk by Walter D. Edmonds

8.       The Bitter Tea of General Yen by Grace Zaring Stone (read in 2018)

9.       Logan’s Run by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson

10.   The Night of the Hunter by David Grubb



1.       Things Fall Apart (read in 2018)

2.       Arrow of God

3. No Longer At Ease