My 18 Reading Challenges For 2018

Left to my own devices, I tend to read too many comics and too little of everything else. In my defence, comics are fun, quick to read and easy to pack into one’s daily schedule. Some of them are also informative and inspiring. However, with my recent addiction to Webtoons, I’ve not been reading much novels and nonfiction. This year’s goodreads statistics came to me like an intervention, urging me to control my comics obsession (I actually have an “ongoing-obsessions” shelf on goodreads). As a remedial measure, I’ve decided to take up a few reading challenges. I read around 270 books in 2017, so surely I can breeze through 18 challenges, right? (Note the sarcasm here)

Here is how I chose what challenges to partake in. First, I set my goals as follows:

  1. Read more nonfiction
  2. Focus on classics, because 2 years of my classics club challenge is already gone and I still haven’t written a single review
  3. Read more short stories
  4. Clear out some books from Mt.TBR (that’s “To Be Read” for the uninitiated)
  5. Write reviews for most of the books I read
  6. Do not neglect my love for comics, manga, manhwa and graphic novels
  7. Read and review most of my ARCs to bring up my Netgalley feedback ratio and also generally be a good human being

After figuring out what I wanted to read, I googled a bit and then went through girlxoxo’s masterlist and feedyourfictionaddiction’s list of reading challenges. The good thing about most reading challenges is that they let your books count towards more than one challenge. In fact, they encourage you to plan that way. This means I can sign up for everything that fits my goals and mark the same book for different challenges. And more reading challenges equals bookish discussions with more people.

These are the challenges I’m taking up in 2018, in no specific order:

(1) Creativity Reading Challenge

This challenge is about reading books on creativity, art, crafts, writing, filmmaking, photography, cosmetology, DIY, cooking, music and any other topic that helps you live a more creative life. The books I will be reading are:

  1. Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  2. Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative – Austin Kleon
  3. The Artist’s Way – Julia Cameron
  4. Process: The Writing Lives of Great Authors – Sarah Stodola
  5. How to Read Literature Like a Professor – Thomas C. Foster

Link –

(2) 2018 Book Blog Discussion Challenge

This is by far my favourite challenge! There’s something about discussing books that lifts up the spirits of a bibliophile. For this challenge, I will do the “Creative Conversationalist” level, which is posting 11-20 bookish discussions. There won’t be any update for this challenge on this page, so please follow my blog to get notified of my book discussions.

Link –

(3) Memoir Reading Challenge 2018

I’ve bought a handful of memoirs and haven’t read even a single one, so I’m taking up this challenge to nudge me into reading them. Some of the books I’m likely to pick up are:

  1. Born a crime – Trevor Noah
  2. Girl in the Dark – Anna Lyndsey
  3. Reading Lolita in Tehran – Azar Nafisi
  4. The Glass Castle – Jeannette Walls
  5. Wild – Cheryl Strayed

Link –

(4) 2018 New Release Challenge

2018 New Release Challenge logo

As much as I’m interested in new releases and keeping up with the times, I’d like to concentrate more on classics this year. I will be taking part in this challenge at the “New Release Newbie” level, which is to read 1-30 books released in 2018. Note that this challenge requires the books to be a minimum of 100 pages. I shall add books for this challenge as the year goes.


(5) 2018 Platypire Diversity Challenge


I’m quite pumped up for this one because it has a diversity theme for each month and you get to read whatever book you want from that theme. You don’t necessarily have to read a book a month, you can pick whatever challenge level you want. I’ve decided to go with the Beginner status, which is 6-10 books. A tentative list of books for this challenge are as below:

  • JAN – Biracial AwarenessBorn a Crime – Trevor Noah
  • FEB – Black History Month: The Color Purple – Alice Walker
  • MAR – Woman History Month: A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Woolf
  • APR –  Arab Heritage Month: Reading Lolita in Tehran – Azar Nafisi
  • MAY – Asian/Pacific Islander History Month: The Book of Tea – Kakuzō Okakura
  • JUN – LGBT Pride Summer: Blue Is the Warmest Color – Julie Maroh
  • JUL – LGBT Pride Summer: Tipping the Velvet – Sarah Waters
  • AUG – Mental Health Awareness: The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
  • SEP – Hispanic History Month: One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel García Márquez
  • OCT – Physical Disability Awareness Month: Wonder – R.J. Palacio
  • NOV – Native American History Month: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian – Sherman Alexie
  • DEC – Religious Minorities: Teachings of Zoroaster and the Philosophy of the Parsi Religion – S.A. Kapadia

Link –

(6) 2018 Nonfiction Reading Challenge

Considering that I have to read at least 5 memoirs for my memoir challenge and I’ve added 5 nonfiction for my creativity challenge, I’m going to set the goal for this one as 15 books for now. I might increase this if I’m more interested in nonfiction this year.

  1. The Daily Stoic – Ryan Holiday
  2. Daring Greatly – Brené Brown
  3. A Short History of Nearly Everything – Bill Bryson
  4. Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space – Carl Sagan
  5. Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain – Oliver Sacks
  6. Born a crime – Trevor Noah
  7. Girl in the Dark – Anna Lyndsey
  8. Reading Lolita in Tehran – Azar Nafisi
  9. The Glass Castle – Jeannette Walls
  10. Wild – Cheryl Strayed
  11. Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  12. Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative – Austin Kleon
  13. The Artist’s Way – Julia Cameron
  14. Process: The Writing Lives of Great Authors – Sarah Stodola
  15. How to Read Literature Like a Professor – Thomas C. Foster


(7) Reading Naturally Challenge 2018

This one is interesting because you can read anything from nonfiction about nature and environment to fiction set in the outdoors. The categories are varied and it seems like everyone would find something that piques their interest. The books I shall read for this challenge, by category, are as follows:

  • Classic: Silent Spring – Rachel Carson
  • Extreme Element: Into the Wild – Jon Krakauer
  • New: Climate Change and the Health of Nations – Anthony J. McMichael

Link –

(8) Writing Reviews Challenge 2018


I pledge to write 100 book reviews on goodreads this year and at least 25 of them on my website. Why only 25 here? Well, I have this rule that I won’t write negative reviews on my website and I’ll spread only the books I loved. There won’t be any update for this challenge on this page, so follow my blog to get notified of new book reviews written here.

Link –

(9) Tsundoku Bingo

To help read some of the books I’ve hoarded (curse you Kindle), I’m entering this fun challenge that requires me to pick books off my physical bookshelf and those that already exist on my kindle.


(10) Literary Voyage Around The World Reading Challenge 2018

I find this one to be one of the most challenging because the minimum number of books you would have to read is 25! Reading challenges typically require a minimum of 1-3 books under a given set of conditions, but in this one, the minimum level is to read 25-40 books. Needless to say, I will be taking the simplest level called “Literary Hitchhiker”.

Link –

(11) Back to the Classics 2018

This should knock out some of the books from my classics club challenge that runs from 2015 to 2020. I will be reading all 12 categories mentioned in this challenge, as follows:

  • A 19th-century classic: Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë
  • A 20th-century classic: Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
  • A classic by a woman author: A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Woolf
  • A classic in translation: The Iliad – Homer
  • A children’s classic: The Jungle Book – Rudyard Kipling
  • A classic crime story, fiction or non-fiction: Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • A classic travel or journey narrative, fiction or non-fiction: The Divine Comedy – Dante Alighieri
  • A classic with a single word title: Emma – Jane Austen
  • A classic with a colour in the title: The Color Purple – Alice Walker
  • A classic by an author that’s new to you: Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe
  • A classic that scares you: War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
  • Re-read a favourite classic: To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

Link –

(12) Graphic Novel & Manga Challenge

Although graphic novels and manga form the staple of my reading diet, I’m not going to cut them down completely, lest I get withdrawal symptoms. I intend to read comics as treats for completing my mission of reading classics and nonfiction, so I’ll compete in the bronze age, i.e., 24 books.

Link –

(13) Deal Me In Challenge


This is another fun challenge that requires you to map a short story against each card on the deck. Once a week, you need to draw a card and then read whatever story is associated with that card. How cool is that? In my deck, Spades and Clovers will have classic short stories. These are from American Literature. Diamonds will be contemporary short stories that are available online. The list was curated by HuffingtonPost. Hearts will be Tamil and Hindi short stories.

♠ Spades

A♠ The Gift of The Magi
2♠ The Little Match Girl
3♠ To Build a Fire
4♠ An Occurrence at Owl Creek
5♠ A Dark Brown Dog
6♠ The Cask of Amontillado
7♠ Eve’s Diary
8♠ The Luck of Roaring Camp
9♠ Regret
10♠ The Luck of Roaring Camp
J♠ A Horseman in the Sky
Q♠ The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
K♠ My Kinsman, Major Molineux

♣ Clovers

A♣ The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County
2♣ Scarlet Stockings
3♣ An Angel in Disguise
4♣ Bartleby, the Scrivener
5♣ The Purloined Letter
6♣ A Jury of Her Peers
7♣ On the Gull’s Road
8♣ The Lottery
9♣ Thank You, M’am
10♣ The Split Cherry Tree
J♣ The Cat
Q♣ The Lady, or the Tiger?
K♣ The Night Came Slowly

♦ Diamonds

A♦ Why I can no longer look at a picnic blanket without laughing – Yukiko Motoya
2♦ The Swin Team – Miranda July
3♦ Weddings and Beheadings – Hanif Kureishi
4♦ Stress management – Glenn L Diaz
5♦ Wildcard
6♦ Muzaffarnagar Diwali – Tanuj Solanki
7♦ The Girl I Hate – Mona Awad
8♦ Mrs Rashid’s Winter of Discontent – Tishani Doshi
9♦ Human Phonograph – Jonathan Tel
10♦ Wildcard
J♦ Saffron – Mirza Waheed
Q♦ Circus – Anushka Jasraj
K♦ Chechnya – Anthony Marra

♥ Hearts

A♥ Aatrangarai Pillaiyaar – Pudhumaipithan (Tamil)
2♥ Bade Bhai Sahab – Munshi Premchand (Hindi)
3♥ Idhu machine yugam – Pudhumaipithan (Tamil)
4♥ Kafan – Munshi Premchand (Hindi)
5♥ Manakugai oviyangal – Pudhumaipithan (Tamil)
6♥ Pithukuli – Pudhumaipithan (Tamil)
7♥ Idgah – Munshi Premchand (Hindi)
8♥ Thirandha jannal – Pudhumaipithan (Tamil)
9♥ Vaada malligai – Pudhumaipithan (Tamil)
10♥ Namak Ka Daroga – Munshi Premchand (Hindi)
J♥ Gopalapuram – Pudhumaipithan (Tamil)
Q♥ Brammarakshas – Pudhumaipithan (Tamil)
K♥ Nasha – Munshi Premchand (Hindi)

Link –

(14) Author Love Challenge 2018


As much as I’d love to take up the “Read all the books” challenge and choose Sir Terry Pratchett, I’m not going to do that because it would take me way more than a year to read all of his books. Instead, I’m going to take up the “Author Love Challenge”. These are the books I shall read for this challenge:

  1. Equal Rites
  2. Mort
  3. Sourcery
  4. Wyrd Sisters
  5. Pyramids

Link –

(15) 2018 Netgalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge

This one requires you to read a certain amount of books you received through Netgalley and Edelweiss. I pledge to read 50 books from these sites, i.e., the Gold level.


(16) 2018 Reading Challenge – 52 Books in 52 Weeks

I like this one because of the sheer variety of categories. It was so much fun to find the titles for all the topics. Note that this is a tentative list. I may modify my choices based on the availability of the book and my schedule.

  • By a Canadian Author: Blink – Malcolm Gladwell (or) The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
  • Childhood Favorite: Asterix the Gaul – René Goscinny
  • Novel Considered a “Classic”: Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë
  • Mystery Novel: Fear Nothing – Dean Koontz
  • Book You’ve Been Meaning to Read But Haven’t Got To: Vicious – V.E.Schwab
  • Science Fiction Novel: Artemis – Andy Weir
  • Adventure/Espionage Novel: Into The Wild – Jon Krakauer
  • Biography: Steve Jobs – Walter Isaacson
  • Book That Challenges Your Viewpoint: The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined – Steven Pinker
  • 1st Book in a Trilogy: Oryx and Crake – Margaret Atwood
  • Over 600 Pages: Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • Book You Can Read in a Day: Ghachar Ghochar – Vivek Shanbhag
  • Has Won a  Pulitzer Prize (Any Year): The Road – Cormac McCarthy
  • Any Book From the 2017 Good Reads Choice Awards: The Sun and Her Flowers – Rupi Kaur
  • Made into a Movie: Sharp Object – Gillian Flynn
  • Chosen Solely By Its Cover: Caraval – Stephanie Garber
  • Book on Theology: Theory of Karma – Hirabhai Thakkar
  • Celebrity Memoir: Bossypants – Tina Fey
  • Six-Word Title: The Power of Your Subconscious Mind – Joseph Murphy
  • Set in a Country You Want to Visit: Kafka on the Shore – Haruki Murakami
  • Book That Makes You Laugh Out Loud: Me Talk Pretty One Day – David Sedaris
  • Book You Read in School: Julius Caesar – William Shakespeare
  • Book With a Green Spine: The Palace of Illusions – Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
  • Book With a Character Who Shares Your Name: The Epic of Gilgamesh
  • Published in 2018: The Tattooist of Auschwitz – Heather Morris
  • Book Recommended by a Friend: A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
  • Book Recommended by a Librarian: Swami and Friends – R.K.Narayan
  • Written by an Author Under 30: The Luminaries – Eleanor Catton
  • Written Before 1920: Emma – Jane Austen
  • Makes You Cry: The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison
  • E-Book: The Iliad – Homer
  • Book With Bad Reviews: The 3 Mistakes of My Life – Chetan Bhagat
  • YA Bestseller: Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell
  • Set in Africa: Born a Crime – Trevor Noah
  • Book by Agatha Christie: And Then There Were None – Agatha Christie
  • Historical Nonfiction Book: Guns, Germs and Steel – Jared Diamond
  • Book That Inspires You: The Last Lecture – Randy Pausch (or) At Home in the World –  Thich Nhat Hanh
  • A Short Story: The Gift of the Magi – O.Henry
  • Been on the NY Times Bestseller for More Than 10 Weeks: When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi
  • Political Book (Fiction or Nonfiction): The Edge of Desire – Tuhin A. Sinha
  • Scandinavian Author: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo –  Stieg Larsson
  • Non-Human Characters: Fowl Language: The Struggle is Real – Brian Gordon
  • About a Topic You’re Passionate About: Code – Charles Petzold (or) Tamil: A Biography – David Dean Shulman
  • Set in the Middle East: Reading Lolita in Tehran – Azar Nafisi
  • Already on Your Bookshelf: Late Bite – John Matsui
  • Book That Was Once Banned: Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
  • Originally Published the Year You Were Born: Good Omens – Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman (or) V for Vendetta – Alan Moore
  • Book About Travel: Wild – Cheryl Strayed
  • Translated Into English: Ms Ice Sandwich – Mieko Kawakami
  • Letter “Y” Somewhere in the Title: Yayati: A Classic Tale of Lust – V S Khandekar
  • Food on the Cover: Noodle Soup – Ken Albala
  • About a Current World Issue: Climate Change and the Health of Nations – Anthony J. McMichael


(17) 2018 Fanfiction Reading Challenge

2018 Fanfiction Reading Challenge

For those of us who are part of a fandom or two (or many), this one is a helpful challenge to read as many fanfiction chapters as we choose. Yes, you read that right. Chapters, not books. I’m going for the Sphynx challenge which is 50 – 99 chapters.

Link –

(18) Goodreads Challenge

While all the above challenges are about the kinds of books, this one is about the number of books. I know what you’re thinking. It does emphasize quantity over quality. However, it’s still fun. This year, I’ll aim for a lesser number of books than last year because I’m planning to pack in some big books. I’m going with 150 books.

Link –

Are you taking part in any challenge? What do you think of my reading challenges? Would you like to recommend any books? Suggestions welcome! Comment below.


25 thoughts on “My 18 Reading Challenges For 2018

  1. Jay says:

    Thanks for linking to the Deal Me In challenge. The 2018 announcement post is scheduled fto be published tomorrow, 12/21. Good luck with ALL your 2018 challenges!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jay says:

    Great list! I’ve read a number of your spades and clubs/clovers, but your red cards are all new to me. This may be the first time stories have been read for Deal Me In in Tamil or Hindi as well.

    I was wondering if you’ve read any stories by Premendra Mitra? His short story “The Discovery of Telenapota” is one of my all-time favorites…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anusha Narasimhan says:

      I’m super excited about the literary voyage! Been looking up books for hours every day since I signed up and my list is still not made. I added lots of great books to my Mt.TBR that I wouldn’t have found without this challenge. Thanks for hosting it. This challenge is awesome 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Carol says:

    That’s an impressive list of Challenges! I found your blog when I was looking at the Deal Me In Challenge – something I’ve wanted to do for a couple of years but have never got to it. I’ve done the Back to the Classics for about 3 years & loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anusha Narasimhan says:

      Thank you! I’ve wanted to take the Back to the Classics challenge for a while but never got to it. This is my first time. Just peeked at your blog and you have a great list of books. Hope to discuss books with you in the future.


  4. Carrie @ Cat on the Bookshelf says:

    Thanks for linking to the Fanfiction Reading Challenge. I’m participating the Platypire Diversity Challenge and the Book Blogger Discussion Challenge too. You’ve signed up for a lot of challenges, so I wish you luck on completing them.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Vidya Tiru says:

    Found your blog via the Deal Me In challenge.. and totally impressed with your reading challenge list.. good luck with all your challenges.. and i might end up adding some of the short stories in hindi (and tamil-if i find the translated versions) to my deal me in list.. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anusha Narasimhan says:

      Thank you Vidya! It’s been almost a decade since I read Hindi. So I’m taking baby steps with short stories. Please do recommend me any works in Hindi. Good luck with your challenges. Looking forward to reading your reviews.


  6. Kristilyn says:

    I’m doing the Back to Classics challenge, too! I’ve already read one off my list so I think I’m off to a good start. lol. I was going to choose The Color Purple but I think it was published too late to count? I still want to read it though – it’s been on my reading list forever! Have fun with all of your challenges!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. joyweesemoll says:

    Good luck with you’re challenges. I’m signed up for the nonfiction challenge. I didn’t know about the Creativity one — that sounds great. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. mitadaur says:

    This is an awesome post. This is such a big list of things to do 🙂 All the very best for taking up this such a varied challenge. I’m taking part in a challenge which is to write at least 100 words a day throughout the year, maybe it’s time to put up some reading goals too, looking at your inspiring list.

    Liked by 1 person

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