A Look Ahead to My 2018 Reading Challenges

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It’s that time of year again! Time to start thinking about what reading/blogging challenges I want to participate in during 2018.  I love taking part in challenges, but I like to pick challenges that I think won’t overwhelm me and make reading suddenly feel like a chore.  There are so many great challenges out there for the upcoming year though, that it’s easy to find a few that I think will be perfect for me.  So, please consider this my as my sign-up post for the following challenges:




It’s not even time to sign up for the 2018 Goodreads Challenge yet, but I already know that I’ll be doing this one.  My reading goal for last year was only 60 books, so this year I’m pretty sure I’ll be increasing that, possibly as high as 90.  I love this challenge because aside from marking the books you’ve read, Goodreads keeps track of everything else. All I have to do is read.  The only stress is self-imposed and that’s if I set my goal too high.





I did do a separate sign-up post with all of the rules, etc., for the 2018 Beat the Backlist Challenge here so that I could post my intended TBR. I participated in this one last year and loved it because it helped me to knock 24 backlisted titles off my TBR.  Since I was able to make it through 24 backlisted titles by September last year, I’ve decided to increase my goal to 30 for 2018.  Wish me luck!




The rules for the 2018 New Release Challenge are simple:

  • Books have to be released and reviewed in 2018.
  • Other challenges can be used as well, if you are participating in the Netgalley / Edelweiss challenge or in the COYER challenge, books can count towards more than one challenge, as long as the ones you use for the 2018 New Release Reading Challenge qualify to the other rules.
  • The minimum length for a book to qualify is 100 pages, it can be in any format though, physical, e-book, ARC or audiobook.
  • The New Book Release Challenge is open from January 1st through December 31st 2018, and sign-ups are open until September 1st 2018.
  • You don’t have to be a blogger to participate, you can link to your review on Goodreads or Booklikes instead – so don’t be shy!

There are five levels  in the 2018 New Release Challenge:

  1. 1-30 books per year – New Release Newbie
  2. 31-60 books per year – New Release Pro
  3. 61-100 books per year – New Release Veteran
  4. 101-200 books per year – New Release Enthusiast
  5. 200+ books per year – New Release Obsessed

Since I will also be trying to focus on finally reading backlisted titles this year, I will be aiming to read 20 new releases, which would put me firmly in the New Release Newbie level.





I love to read debut authors so I thought this challenge was a great fit for me, and at a goal of 12, I think it’s going to be quite manageable even with all of the other challenges I’m taking part in .

Challenge Objectives:

  • To introduce readers to this year’s wonderful group of debut authors.
  • To challenge readers to read 12 or more (or less! It’s up to you!) middle grade, young adult, and new adult debuts this year.

Challenge Rules:

  • You must post your thoughts on each debut book you read in order for it to count towards the challenge. You can post anywhere: your blog, Goodreads, Amazon, Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr, etc. If you can link it up, it counts!
  • You can join the challenge whenever you want.
  • The debuts must have a publishing date in 2018 and must have been read between January 1, 2018 and January 31, 2019 (this extra month allows readers adequate time to read December debuts) in order to count.
  • Each review gives you an entry into the bi-annual (two times a year) debut book giveaways (you will get to choose the book you win). Make sure you post the links to my bi-annual link-ups. I will post these link-ups on the first day of January and July.
  • This challenge is open internationally, as are the bi-annual debut book giveaways (provided Book Depository ships to you).
  • I don’t care what language you write your reviews in, I just need to know which book you have reviewed so I can verify your entry. When you post your link in the Linky, please include the book title in English.
  • Use the hashtag #DebutAuthorChallenge so we can all see what everyone’s up to!

Which Books Count:

  • The book must be classified as middle grade, young adult, new adult fiction.
  • The book must be a full-length novel and not a novella.
  • The book must be the author’s MG/YA/NA 2018 debut. (If the author has published adult fiction before, but this is their first MG/YA/NA book EVER it still counts. If the author has published a YA book before and this is their first MG or NA book, it does not count. We are reading the author’s first book for young people, excluding picture books.)
  • Self-published books do not count, so if the author has self-published a MG/YA/NA book before and this is their first book published by a traditional publisher it counts toward the challenge.
  • ARCs are fine, but only if you read them the year they are published. (If you read a 2018 debut in 2017, it does not count. If you read a 2019 debut in 2018, it does not count. This way, participants who do not have access to ARCs are not at a disadvantage.)
  • Since this challenge is international, some books will be debuts in some countries and not in others. This can be tricky and put some books into a gray area, so here’s what we will do. If the book came out this year in your country for the first time, even though it was available elsewhere, then you can count it. I’m going to trust you, so please be honest.
  • Please feel free to tweet, email, etc. me if you do not know if a book counts or not. I am happy to help you.




Writing discussion posts continues to be a fear/weakness of mine, so I’m hoping this challenge will push me to write more of them this year.  So as not to stress myself completely out, I’ll be aiming for one post a month, for a total of 12 discussion posts, which would put me firmly in the Creative Conversationalist level.

Here’s All You Have to Do:

  • The 2018 Book Blog Discussion Challenge runs from January 1st until December 31st, 2018.
  • Sign-ups will remain open until December 31st, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. Central. (So, you can sign up all year long! Come join us!)
  • Create a sign-up post announcing your intention to participate and link up below. There is no need to say what your discussion posts will be about – just tell us that you’re joining and let us know what your goal is. (Please note, you may do this in an update post, or a post of other challenges—you’re not required to make a completely separate post—but you can if you’d like!)
  • Please link back to both challenge hosts and include the challenge button in your sign-up posts.
  • There will be a kick-off post on January 1, 2018 on both Feed Your Fiction Addiction and It Starts at Midnight where you’ll be able to leave your links for any January discussions. At the beginning of every month, a new post will go up on both blogs for that month’s links. Every month, we’ll update this 2018 Book Blog Challenge Page with the links to that month’s Challenge linky—so you’ll always know where to find the latest link-up!
  • Share it! The more people we get to participate in this, the more awesome discussions we can all be a part of and the more fun it will be! So, invite your friends to join us!
  • This challenge is to help get us discussing books and book blogging, so talk about whatever you want as long as it’s relevant to book blogging. Discussions can be book related or book blogging related (or generally blogging related—no discussions about things that are completely off-topic like travel or fashion, etc). Discussions can also be about you personally if it’s a get-to-know-you type post.
  • If you forgot to leave your discussion link in the challenge month in which you posted the discussion or the linky list closed before you had a chance to leave it, you can leave it in a future month. (No duplicates, though.)
  • There will also be monthly giveaways, so make sure you check in each month!
  • Every month, we’ll feature our favorite posts from one randomly chosen participant. There will be extra options in the Rafflecopter for commenting on posts by our featured blogger.
  • Use the hashtag #LetsDiscuss2018 to share your progress and connect with other participants on Twitter.
  • Have questions? Feel free to ask in the comments!

The Levels:

1-10 – Discussion Dabbler
11-20 – Creative Conversationalist
21-30 – Chatty Kathy
31-40 – Terrifically Talkative
41+ – Gift of the Gab

30 replies
  1. Angela
    Angela says:

    These are some really great challenges! I’m not always a big mood reader, but I do like to read whatever I want, whenever I want, so I try to stick to challenges that will include books I was going to read anyway (like backlist titles or new releases). That way I don’t feel so much pressure! I guess it takes a little bit of the “challenge” out of it, but that’s ok! Good luck with your challenges!

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      I’m pretty much the same way. For me there’s a fine line between challenging myself a bit and completely stressing myself out and I try to stay on the right side of that line, lol.

  2. sjhigbee
    sjhigbee says:

    There are some great challenges here. You’ve done really well in reaching your goals for 2017 and I think it’s wise that you have set your targets to be reasonably ambitious, but realistic. Wishing you all the very best in the coming year – and plenty of luck! We could all do with a dollop of that for 2018…

  3. Nina
    Nina says:

    90 is a good goal to have! I’m aiming for 60 books. Fingers crossed I can do it. 🙂 Good luck with your challenges.

  4. Lindsey @ Lindsey Reads
    Lindsey @ Lindsey Reads says:

    These are some really great and fun challenges! Hope you’ll have a lot of fun doing these! I’m a little tempted to join a lot of these as well, even though I promised myself to keep 2018 as relaxed as possible and not to do too many challenges… But these do sound fun and not too stressful, so maybe I’ll still reconsider 🙂

  5. Literary Feline
    Literary Feline says:

    These all sound like great challenges, Suzanne. I wish you well with them! I try to pick ones that I will enjoy as well and won’t hem me in too much. I will be doing the Goodreads challenge again as well, but am not sure how seriously I will take it. I set my goal incredibly low this year on purpose and may do the same again–or not. I have this thing against trying to aim for a numeric goal.

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      Definitely understandable. I try to only choose goals that I think are reasonably doable. It might defeat the “challenge” aspect of it a bit, but I never want to make reading a stressful thing.

  6. Kay @ It's a Book Life
    Kay @ It's a Book Life says:

    These are some great challenges! I hope you rule them all. 🙂 I will do the standard goodreads challenge, but I am not sure if I will do any others this year. I always tend to loose track after the first few months of the year. Also, with grad school and work I won’t have as much reading time.

    Happy New Year!

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      Happy New Year to you as well. Good luck with school and with any of the reading challenges you decide to take part in 🙂

  7. Cam
    Cam says:

    I joined Beat the Backlist as well! I’m a part of the Story Socerer’s 😀 I also joined AvalinahsBooks’ State of the ARC meme to help me tackle my review copies.

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