Friday, December 16, 2011

The Big Challenge Wrap Up + Small News

So how did I do?

2011 was my first year for participating in reading challenges. Always a subscriber to the "more is more" philosophy, I signed up for a whopping 11 challenges! But signing up for challenges is easy. It's the actual reading books and finishing the challenges that's the hard part. So how did I do?

Gothic Reading Challenge
8/10 books

Goal: Level 3, read 10 books
Did I finish? No, sadly I did not.
How did I do if I squint a little? Pretty good! I read 8 books and by the end of December I will mostly likely finish one more. So 9 out of 10 isn't too shabby. I can totally squint and call this one a win.

Click to see the books I read for this challenge.

Off the Shelf Challenge
5/15 books

Goal: Level 2, read 15 books
Did I finish? Hahahahaha, no.
How did I do if I squint a little? I can't even squint and get away with this one. BUT! I did read 33 books I acquired during 2011, so that's 33 books that could have gone unread on my shelves but didn't! I count that as a personal win, even if it doesn't really count for the challenge.

Click to see the books I read for this challenge.

350 Page Books Challenge
10/10 +24 books

Goal: Read 10 books
Did I finish? Heck yes! I DOMINATED this challenge! I am a 350 page reading champion. I laugh in the face of my fear of large books. And by the end of December, I should even have a few more chunksters to add to the list. 

Click to see the books I read for this challenge.

YA Historical Fiction Challenge
15/15 +12 books

Goal: Level 3, read 15 books
Did I finish? Yep, I am a YA historical fic reading machine! The Historical Fantasy Jubilee helped me cross off a bunch of books for this challenge.

Click to see the books I read for this challenge.

Most Awaited YA Releases Challenge
12/12 +33 books

Goal: Read 12 books
Did I finish? Oh yeah, I OWNED this one. Then again, Me + My penchant for instant gratification + 2011 being a year of awesome releases = Easy challenge to finish.

Click to see the books I read for this challenge.

2nds Challenge
12/12 +11 books

Goal: Read 12 books
Did I finish? Yay, another win! I'm surprised because I wasn't expecting to do very well with this one. I'm also happily surprised that ten of them aren't even sequels.

Click to see the books I read for this challenge.

Into the Old World Reading Challenge
10/10 +11 books

Goal: Read 10 books
Did I finish? I totally rocked it! I'm very pleased with this challenge. I was able to cross a lot of books off my TBR that have been sitting there for, obviously, YEARS. I'm really happy I knocked out the Percy Jackson series, plus two of the books I ended up reading were even on my goal list for this challenge (though most of them were not!)

Click to see the books I read for this challenge.

Wish I'd Read That Challenge
20/20 +5 books

Goal: Level 4, read 20 books
Did I finish? Score! This was another challenge that got me to cross off a lot of books from my TBR. This was an easy challenge, too, because most of the books were crossovers with the Into the Old World Reading Challenge.

Click to see the books I read for this challenge.

2011 Debut Author Challenge
12/12 +15 books

Goal: Read 12 books
Did I finish? Yes I did! With books to spare! 2011 was a great year for debuts.

Click to see the books I read for this challenge.

Library Reading Challenge
40 books

Goal: There didn't seem to be a goal.
Did I finish? I guess? Since there wasn't a goal I can't technically "finish" but I did read 40 books from the library and I'm working on a few more that I should be finished with this month. I think that's pretty good.

Click to see the books I read for this challenge.

YA Series Challenge
20/30 books

Goal: Level 6, read 23-30 books
Did I finish? Nope, fail! Looks like I bit off more than I could chew with this one.
How did I do if I squint a little? If I look at the low end of 23 books, then I was only three off. I guess that's not so bad! I'm really happy I can finally mark the Percy Jackson series as read in full.

Click to see the books I read for this challenge.

All said and done?

I'd say I did pretty good! I entered 11 challenges and completed 8 of them, most with way more books read than I needed. I am proud of myself. I think the trick is to sign up for challenges that allow crossovers. I got a lot of mileage out of some of the books I read.

Now I'm looking forward to 2012's challenges! If you thought 11 challenges were a lot, I went even more overboard for 2012! From tomorrow until the end of December I will have a new challenge sign-up post each day (and sometimes two per day!) Yeah, that's a lot of challenges.

Small News:

I will also be on a slight hiatus from tomorrow until the end of the month. By "slight" I mean I am going to try to ignore my computer and actually get some work done (like, preparing for January's Busting the Newbie Blues and its sister event Busting the Big Blogger Blues!), but you know me and self-control...

What to expect in January:
  • Busting the Newbie Blues and Busting the Big Blogger Blues! 
  • Reviews, WoWs, IMM, No More Waiting!, discussions, and recaps--so if you're not a blogger, there should still be enough "business as usual" going on for you throughout the month. 
  • Submissions open for the next Review Comparison
  • No Spotlight Lists in January (they'll be back in February)
  • Two additional Tips & Tricks posts 
  • The debut of a new book-related feature. 

What to expect in February:
  • Business as usual, mostly.
  • I'll be trying out a new schedule in February, but don't worry, I'm mostly just shuffling things around to better accommodate my busier schedule.

How about you? Did any of you participate in any 2011 challenges? Did you participate in any of the same challenges I did? How did you do? What strategies worked for you? Are you planning on tackling any challenges in 2012?


  1. Wow, you did an amazing job on all the challenges you tackled! Congratulations. :) I only participated in the Aussie YA reading challenge, and I stopped counting how many I exceeded long ago, hah!

    Onto another great reading year in 2012. :)

  2. I failed one challenge, I think. I'm not even entirely sure. But my Resolution for next year is do much better. I didn't even know that there were THIS many challenges available! You've got a keen eye, Small.

    Looking forward to what's in store for next year! =D

    - Asher (from Paranormal Indulgence)

  3. OMG, Small! 11 challenges?! And here I thought my 6 were big. I'm almost finished with two. I left the month of December to read all the ones on my shelves. So far, I'm chugging along. Thank goodness Winter Break is here so I whip through those much more quickly.

  4. OMG! And I thought I had gone overboard with the challenges this year! You blew me away!

    I actually finished all my challenges, even the movie one, which was cool! though I don't think I'll be doing them next year.

    Save for the movie one and maybe keep track on good reads :P I'm aiming for 200 books next year as I don't think I'll get there by the end of this month.

    Anyways, you did so well! YAY!

    Can't wait for you to be back! I miss you when yer gone.

  5. I COMPLETELY bombed my reading challenges this year. I blame college. Poor's always my scapegoat...

  6. Aside from getting to my goal of reading 50 books and completing the Debut Author Challenge, I pretty much failed in all of the others, including the YA Series and Wish I'd Read That Challenges.

    I'm looking forward to Busting the Newbie Blues. I met a lot of the bloggers I've become friends with through that and found it such a great feature. I'd be happy to help if you need anything.

  7. I need to read 2 more to finish the Off the Shelf challenge.

  8. Oh I'm really looking forward to 2012 and reading your blog. I love your blog. Its fun. You make me smile.

    Anyways, as challenges go, I can't seem to NOT finish whatever I enter. I'm just too a/r. I think I only entered about 4-5, but I completed each and every one of them. I'm carefully selecting what ones I want to do for 2012.

    My favorite challenge was the YA Debut Author Challenge. Like you said, lots of great books!

  9. Wendy, Thank you! Good for you for far exceeding your own challenge! Here's to 2012 :)

    Asher, There are SO many challenges! I've signed up for even more in 2012, so keep your eyes peeled if you're looking for new ones. A Novel Challenge is a great place to find challenges.

    Rummanah, Hehe, well, I am more is more! :P Good luck with reading the books on your shelves. I ALWAYS fail at that!

    Alex, Congrats on finishing all your challenges! You were a reading machine this year. I am in awe at your 200 boos goal. I love hearing I'll be missed :P Thank you! I will miss you too!

    Natalie, College is crazy. Everyone always talked about how stressful things would be in "the real world" but I think school is one of the worst times ever. At least now when I work, when I come home my time is my own and not devoted to homework and studying. Which is to say, you can totally use college as your scapegoat :P

    A Canadian Girl, Congrats on finishing the Debut Author Challenge and meeting your 50 books goal! (we can just forget about the others :) ) I'm so glad you're looking forward to Busting the Newbie Blues! I will definitely ask for help, thank you :)

    Gina, Thank you so much! You just made ME smile! :D You are a challenge finishing extraordinaire! Congrats! I think you're right on about carefully selecting the challenges. I'm sure it's sort of defeating the purpose of a challenge, but I won't sign up for the ones that I don't think I'm likely to finish. Except for the read the books I already own, but that is always wishful thinking.

  10. You did great. You signed up for so many challenges. I feel like a slacker. Lol. I'm going to sign up for more next year.

  11. I love how far over the goal you were on some of your challenges! I'm also looking forward to copying your 2012 challenges - makes it so much easier than going hunting for them myself. ;)

    I have been waiting ALL YEAR for Busting the Newbie Blues to come back. SO EXCITED!!!

  12. Alexis, Thanks! You're not a slacker! You probably just have more self control than I do :P I couldn't say no!

    Logan, Me too! Some I really kicked butt on. :D Although I didn't sign up for as many as you did. :) Copy away! I'm so excited you're excited!!! Really!

  13. You did amazing, Smalls! Urgh, I haven't done a total tally for my challenges but I'm kinda avoiding it coz I know I failed so hard. Like, I didn't complete any. Whoops! I only signed up for them in May though (after creating the blog in March) so I'm using that as a (flimsy) excuse haha. It didn't stop be from signing up for a bajillion 2012 challenges though! Well, 10, anyway. I'm hoping I do better next year!

  14. Great job!! Challenges that allow for crossovers are key to completing many of them, I agree.


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