Goodreads Challenge Update – September 2021


Hello everyone,

We are just past two thirds of the way through the year, so it is time to check in on my progress in the 2021 Goodreads Challenge. For anyone new to reading or book blogs, this is where we set ourselves a target for the number of books we aim to read in the calendar year.

To recap, this is the fourth year in which I have taken part and each time I have gradually increased my target. In 2021 my target is 54 books, and while I have exceeded that total in each of the previous three years, this has definitely been the most challenging yet for a number of reasons.

The long process of moving house; all the adjustments that have come with living by myself for the first time, and an increased number of days out during the summer have all combined to give me less reading time. As such I have often struggled to read more up to five books in a month this year, where normally I have found that very manageable.

That said, I am still on course to reach my target! It is definitely slightly more of a close-run thing in 2021, but as I type I have read a total of 41 books so far, which works out at almost exactly five books per month. According to Goodreads that is four books ahead of schedule, so I have got to be happy about that!

In terms of ratings, it feels like this year has contained the widest numerical distribution, so I will be fascinated to see what the statistics show when I collate them in December. There have been a few disappointing reads including my first DNF for three years, but leaving those aside I have been lucky to pick up some fantastic books and discover a hoard of new authors who I am excited to read more from.

I have rated lots of books four stars, but heading into August I had only one five-star read. That probably shows how critical I can be haha! Then, I picked up Daisy Jones And The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid, which was extraordinarily good, and two more five-star ratings have quickly followed to take the total to a much more respectable four.

Here are my five-star reads so far:

The mix of genres I have read has been diverse as ever, with one notable addition being memoirs on audio. This year has represented my first foray into audiobooks and the experience so far has been positive, especially for non-fiction.

In my last update I noted the disappointing lack of BIPOC authors I had read in the first four months of the year, and I quickly set about addressing that. In the time since I have read several, and am currently reading another in the form of Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. There will always be room for improvement, however.

The variety of my reading this year is best shown by the difference in length between the shortest and longest books I have picked up – 124 as opposed to 819. Normally I have rarely strayed beyond a page count of 350-450, but that is slowly becoming more flexible. In any case, if a book interests me, then there is a fairly good chance I will end up reading it if my TBR allows!

Anyway, as far as the target of 54 goes, I am doing well and am very confident of reaching it before the end of the year. It has been a different and perhaps slightly more chaotic year in terms of reading, but I am happy with how it is going and with several exciting books still to come I hope that in the final few months of 2021 I can discover some more new favourites.


Let’s Chat

Are you taking part in the 2021 Goodreads Challenge? How are getting on? Let me know in the comments!

Happy reading 🙂

14 thoughts on “Goodreads Challenge Update – September 2021

  1. It’s always nice to be ahead of schedule with your Goodreads challenge. I set my goal for 100 books this year and I’ve currently read 101 so mine is complete. I finished pretty early this year so I think this will be my best reading year yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats on all your reading, Stephen! Living by yourself for the first time is definitely an adjustment. I hope you’re enjoying Mexican Gothic, I loved it when I read it last year. As for my GR challenge, I’m ahead of schedule, which feels impossible given how busy this year has been. A long commute and lots of audiobooks are likely the reason!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s great to hear you’re ahead of schedule with your Goodreads Challenge, Stephen! My goal is to read 30 books this year and I am currently 1 book ahead of schedule. I hope you enjoy Mexican Gothic and look forward to reading your thoughts on it! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m ahead of schedule but I think I’ve decided not to adjust my challenge anymore – I’m just putting the challenge at my age (and since I turned 64 this year, that’s my number), and let the pages fall open as they may!

    Liked by 1 person

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