Dec 31

Reading Goals and Bookish Bingo – An Update

Bookish-Bingo-Reading-Goals-UpdateHey guys!

It’s that time of the year again, when we reflect and review the year gone by. Keeping in line with mood of the season, this is my reflection post, but mostly of my reading life.

Let’s start with my number goal first. My number goal for 2016 was to read 30 books, and as of today I have read 38 books this year (am currently on my 39th one), which means I have crossed this goal by a decent margin. Yay me! πŸ˜€

That was the good news, now is the time for the not-so-great news – the Bookish Bingo. Wait, don’t jump to conclusions, it wasn’t exactly a fail.Β In-fact in many many ways it was a huge success.

For instance – it totally served the purpose it was intended for. Whenever I was unsure about what to read next, the Bingo was my guiding light, that kept me on track with my reading goals, the most important one of which was reading diversely. Having said that, I wasn’t able to complete the Bingo, which was a bummer.

I was able to check off 17 out of the 24 categories, and I am currently reading a book that will check off the 18th category, so I was able to do about 75% of my Bingo Board.Β Β Which isn’t too bad considering the year I had, but I would have loved to call out Bingo! at the end of the year. Anyway, such is life. By the way, I do have plans for the remaining categories of Bingo, but more on that in a different post.

As of now, let’s take a closer look at the hits and misses of Bookish Bingo 2016 (category wise) –

Read a book released in 2016 – This was a big win for me. I read not one, but several books that were released in 2016, which is great, because I have always struggled with keeping up with this in the past. The books that I read for this category are – The Love That Split The World, The Yoga of Max’s Discontent, The Raven King, An Autograph for Anjali, Hearts & Hots,Β Seduced in Spain, Rightfully Wrong, Wrongfully Right, and of course, Harry Potter and The Cursed Child.

Read an American Classic – This category is the sole reason I finally (after what seems like an eternity) picked up To Kill a Mockingbird, and boy am I glad I did. Such a treasure this book was.

Read a Book & its Prequel – Looking back, I realize that this category existed because I fully intended to read Go Set a Watchman once I finished reading To Kill a Mockingbird, but after I read the classic, I realized that I was no longer interested in reading its prequel. I am not ruling it out, possibly some day I will pick it up, but that doesn’t seem to be anytime soon, so for now, it’s a fail.

Read a book that involves/revolves around World War 2 – This category I owe big time. It’s the reason I finally picked up The Book Thief, and this book I loved so much that I am having a hard time doing justice to articulating how much I enjoyed the reading experience. Good problem to have, I say.

Read a book out of my comfort zone – This was a big win for me. This year I read several genres that I have shied away from in the past -Paranormal (The Raven Cycle), Spiritual (The Yoga of Max’s Discontent), Mystery/Thrillers (The Girl on The Train), Political (Clinton Cash), and Science/Medicine (Being Mortal). And what’s more -I have found unexpected new favorites among these genres. For instance, I never imagined I will enjoy paranormal stories and mystery/thrillers as much as I did. So this happy discovery I most definitely owe to Bingo.

Read a mystery/thriller – Success! Like I just mentioned, I read The Girl on The Train for this category, and I not only loved the book, but also found myself a new favorite genre. Double win!

Re-Read a Book/Series – This was a fail. I just did not have the time, or even the inclination really, to re-read a book/series, and I did not push myself, because then that would make this experience a chore, and that is the last thing I wanted. Bingo was primarily meant to be a fun way to track my reading life, and I wanted to keep it that way. Having said that, I must mention here, that while I did not re-read a complete book, I have re-read huge chunks of many books, and I have considered counting it, but that would amount to cheating, wouldn’t it? πŸ˜›

Start & Finish a Book Series – This category was a win. I read Β not one, but three complete series’ this year, starting with The Raven Cycle, then The Right Wrong Trilogy, and more recently, the Twilight Saga.

Read a paranormal romance – Clearly another win, as I just mentioned above, I finally read the Twilight Saga, after almost 10 years. This is one book/series that I am pretty sure I would have procrastinated for another 10 years, had it not been for this category. So mission accomplished.

Read a book over 500 pages – This was another easy win. I read 5 books that were over 500 pages – The Book Thief and all 4 books of the Twilight Saga. Well okay, the first book of the Twilight series was technically 498 pages, but let’s not be so picky here for two measly pages. Especially because at times reading 2 pages worth of Bella felt like 20. Don’t get me wrong, overall I liked the books , but Bella really got on my nerves. A lot.

Give a second chance to an author – This was a fail. And I really don’t have an excuse for this one, except that I just did not feel like reading the book I had picked for this category – Looking for Alaska by John Green. And I couldn’t think of another author I would like to give a second chance to. Sad, I know. Sigh.

Read a book which teaches me a new skill – For this category, I was intending to read a book teaching me some photography skills (which I sorely lack by the way), but I wasn’t able to get to it. And then I happened to read The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. Clearly I did not read this book to check off this, or for that matter, any other category, but I feel that it sorta fits here. It might not fit into many people’s definition of the term ‘skill’, but I feel that handling our finances well is a very important life skill. What do you guys think?

Read a book recommended by a friend –Β Okay, this one had many contenders, but the one I was most interested in reading was The Name of The Wind recommended by Nidhi from More than Curry. But when I looked it up, I realized that the final book of this series was yet to come out. And I typically marathon series’ (even if they work as standalone reads and don’t end on cliffhangers), which is why I want to wait till the series is complete. But this category was still a win, because I did read The Book Thief which came highly recommended from not one, but many of my friends.

Read a historical romance & Read a book that was written over a 100 years back – Two birds, one stone – that’s what I did with these two categories. I read Pride & Prejudice, which Β fits both these categories, so I am counting both of these as wins. I would have continued on about how much I loved the book, but I think I have done more than enough of it here,Β and then again here where I review the many screen adaptations of the book.

Read a book about Writing – This was a fail, and I don’t really have a decent excuse, outside of procrastination, which is a lame defense, I know. Sigh.

Listen to an audio book – Okay this one was one of my biggest wins of Bingo. I read (okay listened to) 4 audio books, and have totally (and irrevocably) fallen in love with the format. I know that it doesn’t work for every kind of book, but for the ones it works, it is such a game changer. This past year I read (listened to) – Bossypants, Furiously Happy, Being Mortal & The Total Money Makeover, and for at-least the first two, I am positive that I wouldn’t have enjoyed the print version as much as I enjoyed listening to these authors narrate their own story.

Read a mental health memoir – Well technically, I listened to one, but since that totally counts, I am checking off this category with Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson.

Read a book, which has its movie adaptation coming in 2016 – Success! Since I read The Girl on The Train this year, and also saw the movie (which I reviewed here), this one is a win.

Read a book based on a mythology new to me & Read a book based on a fairy tale adaptation – I wasn’t expecting either of these two categories to be fails, but I just couldn’t get to them. And I believe part of the reason is also the fact that both the books that I had picked for these two categories are the first books of a series, and like I mentioned earlier, I always marathon series’. So for the fairy tale adaptation I would have had to read not only Cinder, but the entire Lunar Chronicles, and then there are the intimidating number of books that the Percy Jackson world has – my choice for the mythology category. Anyway these were fails, but I hope to get to them soon.

Read a book on American Politics – I read Clinton Cash – a graphic novel, for this category, so this was a success. But I think I am done with this genre for a while now. Too horrifying and depressing – the state of our times.

Read a book by an author new to meΒ – This category was a huge win, since I read many authors for the very first time this year. It’s a long list so I will mention only my favorites from the newly discovered ones – Harper Lee, Jane Austen, Karan Bajaj, Maggie Stiefvater, Tina Fey, Atul Gawande, Paula Hawkins, and Marcus Zusak.

Read a book set in the future – This is the Work-In-Progress I mentioned at the beginning of the post. I am currently reading Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, which clearly fits in this category. So far, this book is quite an experience for me, as I have never read anything like this. Ever. But more on this when I have finished reading the book.

That’s it from my end folks. How has your reading life been in this past year? Have you met all the goals that you set for yourself? Or maybe like me, you have had your hits and misses? Do share. I would love to hear from you guys.




  1. Congrats on reading so many books and achieving your goal this year. And yay, my name came up in ur post !!! Looking forward to many more book reviews from u. And also dont forget to read Doctors from Eric Segal this yr.

  2. Hey, you still managed to read so many books, what if the bookish bingo didn’t go well. Congratulations on the feat. Wishing you a very happy new year as well πŸ™‚
    Maliny Mohan recently posted…Author Talk – Deepti MenonMy Profile

  3. That’s too bad: you didn’t feel like reading Looking For Alaska. It’s one of my fave books!
    In case you wanted to read a book about writing, I’d recommend ‘How to write a damn good novel’ by James N Frey. There are many versions, do check out whichever one appeals to you! It’s really amazing, and gives honest advice for fiction writing.

    I’ll add some of these books for my GoodReads challenge this year!

    Happy New Year 2017 dear πŸ™‚

  4. I say this is a great win. Looking for and trying new books is such a challenge. This year I’ve got my categories in place but I still have to get on with my TBR. Will be adding some from yours – audio books and mythology. So looking forward to more recommendations from you. Have a happy book-filled new year.
    Beat About the Book recently posted…Booked for 2017My Profile

  5. Kudos on your achievement Shatala. A year well spent eh? Which book had the most profound impact on you this year? And what did it change within you?

    I read less than 20 books in 2016 (non-fiction take time to finish). And for 2017, I’m going back to the ones which have impacted me the most. That will help me imbibe the lessons I learned even more.

    Good luck for 2017 πŸ™‚

  6. Glad that you enjoyed many books this year. I too have set a goal of 30 books and read 37 this year. Iam waiting to read the girl on train. Thanks for sharing many good books and introducing new authors

  7. Shantala, you did read a lot of varied genres and that is the biggest win. I am still off on some genres like Paranormal, Fantasy (other than Harry Potter), Science Fiction. The widening of your reading horizons will last for a lifetime. Congratulations!

  8. Well done you. I could never read in such a structured and methodical manner. I would simply not enjoy my reading if I had set goals. But you did awesome.
    Suzy recently posted…Goodbye 2016 and Hello 2017 #FridayReflections #WOTYMy Profile

  9. Wonderful, Shantala. I had promised to read 30 books in 2016 and I ended up reading 34 and had already started the 35th. So this year I have set a goal of 35. Reading wise 2016 was a great year and I hope 2017 turns out to be even better. Here’s to a wonderful year of reading πŸ™‚
    Nabanita Dhar recently posted…#MommyTalks – It Takes A Village To Raise A ChildMy Profile

  10. That my dear was simply awesome! 2016 for me has been pretty bad in the reading front. I read a few highly forgettable books. Only Wuthering Heights, and a new found love for classic short story collections have left a mark. To kill a Mocking bird and The Book Thief remain on my TBR ever since I read your reviews on them. Maybe this will be a better reading year for me. Your Bookish Bingo was a great idea and I think you should plan one this year too. Cheers to more reading and writing through 2017!
    Kala Ravi recently posted…Food for ThoughtMy Profile

    • Thank you so much, Kala. Bingo is something I wanted to do this year too, but with the 2016 one unfinished, I just couldn’t bring myself to even draft a 2017 one. But I have set reading goals for this year, just different ones. Hoping to bring the Bingo back with a bang in 2018.

      Wishing you a great year ahead. πŸ™‚
      Shanaya Tales recently posted…Reading Goals for 2017My Profile

  11. Wow! That is quite a lot of reading, girl! I began really reading like a good girl last year. Every time I go to the book shop I return with at least two books (yes, prefer reading books as against reading on Kindle.) I am trying to pick up books belonging to different genres, written by authors from whom I can learn something and improve my writing. Yesterday I picked up, ‘The girl on the train’ and short stories by Manto…and it being the 1st day of the new year, I congratulated myself and thanked the Almighty for a year well begun!
    WIsh you a happy new year and also a lot of awesome reading! <3

  12. Bookish Bingo is still a sucess I would say. I could never do it. But then again never say never. Right ?
    I read 40 , of the planned 30.
    I try not change genres. But this year I did read a variety. Currently I am reading kids books. ?
    Have a great year ahead. Happy new year! ?
    Ramya Rao recently posted…Today…My Profile

  13. Wow! 38 books is just awesome. I lost track of my reading goal in 2016. Planning to improve it this year. Saving your post for suggestions. Have a wonderful year, Shantala.
    Rekha recently posted…#MythicalMondays – Rahu & KetuMy Profile

  14. Great show shantala. I haven’t made a goal for the year ahead. But have decided to read to as much as possible. Your post has thrown open a whole lot of to be reads. I think I should try drawing up a goal list too…
    Ramya Abhinand recently posted…What exactly do aging parents want from their children?My Profile

  15. You did great on your bingo challenge. Congratulations on completing so many challenges. Are you doing one for 2017 as well? Bingo was a great idea. Hey I emailed you, not sure if you saw it.
    Avada Kedavra recently posted…My favorite reads of 2016My Profile

  16. Wow! you truly experimented with a lot of genres and that I think is what sets your list apart! I shall try and put some such thought into my TBR for this year (tho have largely decided upon it)…. I look forward to your book reviews.
    (BTW I have started a Bookview section on my blog from this year and am seeking guestblogposts – incase you would be interested in doing one, please do let me know) Cheers
    Wish you a very happy new year!!
    SHALINI BAISIWALA recently posted…#TBR : To-Be-ReadMy Profile

  17. Oh wow, that was an interesting read – and I did pick up some reading tips as well for sure:-) might be inspired to make some more specific goals for myself- reading goals- well done my dear:-)
    Eli recently posted…Happy New Year –My Profile

  18. Fabulous, Shantala. I slipped up a bit on reading. You’ve done a marvellous job despite your hectic schedule.

  19. Reading challenges never work for me, sadly. I like to read what I feel like reading and some genres are just not for me. Reading is sacred to me and I do not want it to be forced.

    30 was my challenge for 2016 and I finished 40! I’ve set a target of 50 for 2017. With better planning, I hope I’m able to make it.

    Wishing you a very happy new year Shantala. May you succeed in all challenges you take up this year.

    Lots of love!
    Soumya recently posted…Action Replay: 2016My Profile

  20. I read more than fifty books this past year though I lost count but I didn’t read such a good mixture as you did. Happy New Year to you and your family

  21. Glad to meet a voracious reader, a rare species these days. And it’s a fantastic list.

  22. That’s a really diverse and great selection! Glad to be among such awesome authors! Happy New Year – hopefully filled with lots of books again! πŸ™‚

  23. Congrats and happy reading in 2017

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