I confess: I am a perpetual reading challenge loser.
I have started no less than a dozen (probably way more) reading challenges and I can only think of one I’ve successfully completed. One. Yet I keep signing up for them. Why? Well, I love books. I love checklists. It makes sense that having a list of books I need to read should be something I enjoy and rock at. Unfortunately, this does not seem to be the case.
So recently I’ve been wondering why I can’t seem to ever complete the reading challenges I sign up for.
Then it struck me: I’m fickle.
I never thought I would say that about myself. In general, I am one of the most loyal people you’ll ever meet. Seriously, when people are asked to describe me, “loyal” is nearly always on the list.
It turns out there is an exception to my loyalty, and that exception is books.
What?! I know. But hear me out. My loyalty to books in general has never wavered. My loyalty to what I’ve said I’m going to read next … weeeellll.
Unless someone is counting on me to write a review in a specific amount of time, what I read is entirely dependent on the mood I’m in. That’s just the truth of it.
Right now, today, I might think reading that particular historical romantic suspense novel next week sounds like a fantastic plan and I am sincerely looking forward to next week so I can read that book. Then next week arrives and it turns out to be just a little more stressful than I expected, or I get my fill of suspense through the television series I watched Monday night and you know what? Now I’m not really in the mood for a historical romantic suspense novel. Now I’m in the mood for a contemporary romantic comedy. So I read that instead, telling myself I’ll read the historical romantic suspense novel next week. And so on and so on until next thing I know, months have gone by and that book I was supposed to read as part of that reading challenge is still sitting on my TBR list loooong past the deadline for the reading challenge. *sigh*
I know this about myself. This always happens. So can somebody please tell me why I just spent the last twenty minutes picking out which books I want to read as part of the Author of the Month 2018 Challenge hosted by the Christian Fiction Devourers group on Goodreads?
Well, whatever the reason, here I am again, making a list of the books I want to read and giving myself rough deadlines for when I want to have finished reading them.
To further complicate matters (and make my chances of success that much less likely) I already have a very long list of books from my TBR pile that I plan to read this year. I’m hoping that by assigning each book a month, I’ll actually follow through on reading it and clear out some of these books from my backlog. (That makes it sound very negative, but let’s be clear: these are books I’ve been dying to read and just haven’t found the time to get to them.)
Below is what I have so far on my list of books to read this year. Everything is listed by author name first, then title.
Christian Fiction Novels To Be Read in 2018
Misty M. Beller – This Treacherous Journey (Releases February 6, 2018) (CL)(1/15/18) REVIEW 2/5/18 Christina Choryell – Written in the Dust(1/22/18) Lynette Eason – Always Watching (NTM) *(1/24/18) Anne Mateer – No Small Storm (NTM) (CL)(1/8/18) REVIEW 2/15/18 Brooke St James – So Happy Together (NTM)DNF 🙁
Angela K Couch – Mail Order Revenge(1/28/18)
- Misty M Beller – A Sweetwater River Romance (CL)
- Melissa Jagears – A Heart Most Certain
- Sondra Kraak – Three Words and a Kiss (Releases February 2018)
- Carrie Turansky – Shine Like the Dawn (NTM) *
- Amanda Cabot – A Stolen Heart
- Michelle Griep – The Innkeeper’s Daughter (Releases 2018) (CL)
- Melissa Jagears – A Love So True
- Melissa Jagears – A Chance at Forever (Releases March 6, 2018)
- Kim Vogel Sawyer – Grace and the Preacher *
- Karen Witemeyer, Jody Hedlund, and Elizabeth Camden – All My Tomorrows (Three Historical Romance Novellas of Everlasting Love) (Releases March 6, 2018)
- Amanda Cabot – A Borrowed Dream (Releases March 20, 2018)
- Pepper D. Basham – Charming the Troublemaker
- Regina Jennings – Holding the Fort
- Roseanna M. White – A Song Unheard
- Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, and Melissa Jagears – Hearts Entwined (Historical Romance Novella Collection)
- Elizabeth Camden – From This Moment (Audible)
- Rebekah Crane – The Upside of Falling Down (NTM) (Releases January 30, 2018)
- Melanie Dobson – Beneath a Gold Veil (Audible)
- Tracie Peterson – A Promise to Believe In
- Beth K. Vogt – Crazy Little Thing Called Love (NTM) *
- Mary Connealy – The Accidental Guardian (Releases April 3, 2018)
- Jody Hedlund – An Awakened Heart
- Jody Hedlund – With You Always
- Jody Hedlund – Together Forever (Releases May 1, 2018)
- Karen Witemeyer – More Than Meets the Eye *
- Joanne Bischof – Sons of Blackbird Mountain (Releases July 3, 2018)
- Kelly Eileen Hake – The Bride Bargain
- Mary Connealy – Fired Up
- Susan Anne Mason – Irish Meadows (NTM)
- Ann H. Gabhart – Words Spoken True (NTM) *
- Cathy Marie Hake – Bittersweet
- Karen Witemeyer – A Cowboy Unmatched (Novella)
- Kristy Cambron – The Illusionist’s Apprentice (NTM)
- Elizabeth Camden – Into the Whirlwind *
- Lucy McConnell – Undercover Engagement (Novella)
- Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Carol Cox, & Regina Jennings – A Match Made in Texas (Novella Collection)
- Rachel Hauck – The Writing Desk
- Cara C. Putman – Rainbow’s End (4 in 1 collection) (NTM) *
- Lucy McConnell – The Reclusive Billionaire
- Deeanne Gist – It Happened at the Fair
- Evelynn Hill – His Forgotten Fiance (NTM)
- Melody Carlson – Once Upon a Summertime (NTM) *
- Karen Witemeyer – To Win Her Heart
- Sherri Shackelford – Mail-Order Christmas Baby (NTM)
Release date unknown: Pepper D. Basham – Next Door and Forevermore
So as I was typing this and mentally mocking my undying optimism, I figured:
“Why fail quietly and alone in the privacy of my own home when I can fail publicly and, hopefully, drag some of you along to fail with me?”
What do you think? Anyone interested in joining me? You don’t have to read the same books or even aim for as many books. Just share your progress with me.
I’ve set up a special page here on my website just for this purpose.
By the way, that list up there? Yeah, that’ll change. I know I’m forgetting books I’ve been meaning to read and I’m always learning about new books I want to read so this list will
probably grow. I’m going to try really hard to limit myself to only listing 5 per month, though, because these are only the Christian fiction books I am planning to read. (You can see I’ve already failed in March – just too many exciting new releases!) I also read general market and nonfiction books, but since that is not the intended audience for this blog, I won’t list those here (although I am listing some of those on my TBR page). I will keep my TBR page updated with changes so you can follow along with me to see which months I hit my goals and which I fail at miserably.
Please, leave me a comment!
Speaking of growing the list: If there are any books you think I should add to my list, please let me know! Also, since there is just no way I can review all of these books and continue working on my own writing, I’d love to know which of these books you would be most interested in reading reviews about.