2018 Reading & Film Challenge Review

So, it’s been a while since my last blog post. 2018 was a very strange year. Lots of good things, but also a lot of changes and lots of shifts. Some for the better and some for the worst, but I guess that’s kind of how life goes sometimes…

But anyway, enough on that. I’m going to really try and crack on with my writing this year. I’ve been waiting too long to actually get round to writing my novel and the stories in my head need to make their way onto paper/screen at long last. This means I’ll be trying to blog more frequently.

For my first post of the year, I’ll be doing a summary of my 2018 reading & film challenges: something that I made so long ago it feels like a lifetime ago…


2018 Reading Challenge

As with last year, I didn’t manage to meet all my reading challenge targets… To be honest I didn’t expect to as I didn’t target my reading based on the challenge. I justifiably managed 8 of the 12 categories, one less than 2017’s challenge. Again, I could have included more than 1 book for some categories but have only included 1 for each target…

1 ~ A book you’ve been meaning to read for a long time


Odd and the Frost Giants – Neil Gaiman
25th July – 29th July

I’ve always been a fan of Neil Gaiman, but had never got round to reading this one.


2 ~ A book you read a long time ago


The Subtle Knife – Philip Pullman
20th April – 29th April

I read this trilogy when I was a teenager, but don’t think I’d read them for close to 10 years!


3 ~ A book that’s over 600 pages


Like last year, I didn’t quite manage this. I think the longest book I read this year was La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman, which was 546 pages. Close, but no cigar unfortunately!


4 ~ A collection of short stories


 Eight Ghosts – various authors
16th January – 25th January

A collection of 8 ghost stories based on English Heritage sites.


5 ~ A historical murder mystery


 And Only To Deceive – Tasha Alexander
1st November – 17th November

A murder mystery/crime novel set in Victorian England.


6 ~ A classic of children’s literature you haven’t already read


Sadly, I don’t think anything I read this year can count as a children’s classic. Possibly, His Dark Materials could be considered a modern classic but I’d already read them.


7 ~ A book originally published in 1968, 1943, 1918, 1868, 1818 or 1768


Sadly, nothing for this one. Out of the books I read last year, the one with the earliest publication date was Northern Lights, which was 1995.


8 ~ Read at least 3 books from a series you haven’t read before

img_1577 The Isle of the Lost Trilogy – Melissa de la Cruz
23rd September – 13th October

I’d not read this trilogy before.


9 ~ A book with a child or teen protagonist


It Only Happens In The Movies – Holly Bourne
1st January – 6th January

The protagonist is a teenager.


10 ~ A book that’s been made into a film


 Northern Lights – Philip Pullman
4th April – 19th April

It was made into the film The Golden Compass in 2007.


11 ~ A book that was originally published in a language other than English


 The Vegetarian – Han Kang
13th October – 22nd October

Originally published in Korean


12 ~ A book that you haven’t read before because you find it intimidating


As with last year, there’s none for this target…


A full list of the books I read last year can be found below:

It Only Happens In The Movies – Holly Bourne

Blue Exorcist Volume 4 – Kazue Kato

All The Bright Places – Jennifer Niven

Eight Ghosts – Various Authors

Copy Cat – Alex Lake

The Girl Who Drank The Moon – Kelly Barnhill

After The Fire – Will Hill

Paddle Your Own Canoe – Nick Offerman

Neverwhere – Neil Gaiman

Northern Lights – Philip Pullman

The Subtle Knife – Philip Pullman

The Amber Spyglass – Philip Pullman

La Belle Sauvage – Philip Pullman

Eat Him If You Like – Jean Teulé

Odd And The Frost Giants – Neil Gaiman

I Was Born For This – Alice Oseman

A History Of Wolves – Emily Fridlund

So Much Life Left Over – Louis de Bernieres

Eleanor and Park – Rainbow Rowell

The Isle Of The Lost – Melissa De La Cruz

Return To The Isle Of The Lost – Melissa De La Cruz

Rise Of The Isle Of The Lost – Melissa De La Cruz

The Vegetarian – Han Kang

The Life Of Hunger – Amelie Nothomb

Neverworld Wake – Marisha Pessl

The Death Of Bees – Lisa O’Donnell

And Only To Deceive – Tasha Alexander

White Rabbit, Red Wolf – Tom Pollock

A Thousand Perfect Notes – C G Drews


Some facts & stats:

~ 19 books were borrowed from the library; the other 10 I own copies of

~ 14 of these books were published between 2016 and 2018 and I read 5 books that were published in 2018

~ Only 3 of these books were published before 2000, and the earliest of these was published in 1995

~ I read 1 nonfiction book: the rest were fiction

~ I read one manga volume and 1 collection of short stories

~ I read novels by 30 different authors – this includes the 8 authors who contributed to the “Eight Ghosts” short story collection. Of these 30, I had previously read works by 9 of them

~ 19 of these authors were women; the other 11 were men

~ Most of these authors are either British or American as far as I can tell. The 5 exceptions are: Kazue Kato (Japanese), Jean Teulé (French), Amélie Nothomb (Belgian), Han Kang (South Korean) and C G Drews (Australian).

~ As far as I am aware, all these authors are still living

~ I re-read 3 books this year (“His Dark Materials” trilogy)

~ I read multiple books by 3 authors: Philip Pullman (4), Melissa de la Cruz (3) and Neil Gaiman (2)

~ As far as I can tell, I read 4 debut novels (A History of Wolves, The Death of Bees, And Only To Deceive and A Thousand Perfect Notes)

~ The longest book I read was La Belle Sauvage at 546 and it also took me the longest time to read at 57 days. The shortest book that I read (I think) was Eat Him If You Like at about 100 pages. However, the quickest book I finished was Blue Exorcist Volume 4, which was read in 1 day.


2018 Film Challenge

My challenge was not a huge success. I had set 5 targets…

1 ~ Watch as many Disney/Pixar films as I can

I managed 12 films in this category, which leaves a lot of them unwatched!

2 ~ Watch at least 3 Studio Ghibli Films

Didn’t watch a single one sadly…

3 ~ Finally watch all the Hunger Games films

Didn’t happen again…

4 ~ Watch at least 3 films in the cinema

I actually watched 7 films in the pictures this year: Coco, Jurassic World 2, A Quiet Place, The Incredibles 2, The Spy Who Dumped Me, Halloween and Fantastic Beasts 2

5 ~ Watch at least 3 musicals

If you count Teen Beach Movie as a musical I managed this… The other 2 were The Greatest Showman and La La Land


Some facts & stats:

~ I watched 38 different films, slightly less than last year. Of these, there were 26 I had never seen before.

~ I watched 1 film twice: Coco.

~ I just about managed to watch 1 film a month. The month that I watched the most films in was March (6) and the fewest films were watched in May and December (1 each).

~ 17 of these films were animated and 21 were live action.


P.S. My music selection for this post is a track from KT Tunstall’s latest album: “Dark Side of Me”. Enjoy 🙂



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s