Reading Challenge – 2019


An Awkward Intro

Hope you had a Merry Christmas. Christmas is over and it only means that the new year is peeking around the corner. This is that time of the year when most people – YouTubers, bloggers, life coaches, motivational speakers, mentors –  reflect on their accomplishments this year and think about the new resolutions to kick start the coming year. This is the time when people decide, based on their respective caliber, how much money to burn for the gym membership. Brace yourselves for the tsunami of 2020 resolutions and goals related posts.

The Build-Up

It’s awkward to write the rest of this post after that intro. Anyways, coming straight to the point – I set myself a reading challenge every year. This initially started as a brute force technique to help me pick up the reading habit so that I can inculcate this habit in my daughter.  And I must admit this worked. If not on the quality of the content I read at least on the quantity.  Every year, I set myself a goal of reading one book a month or 12 books a year. I don’t know about you but for me, this is a high bar.  But I have improved over the years.

Below is a snapshot of my reading challenges and how I fared in them for the past few years.


As you can see, I have been very regular in setting up the challenge and even more so in purchasing the books. Unfortunately, I spend much faster that I read.


This year I set up the usual challenge but I started picking up the regular reading habit. I forgot about the challenge. When I checked a few days ago to see how I’m doing, I was genuinely surprised that I have read quite a bit more than what I anticipated. If your mind is already pondering a number influenced by YouTube videos like “how to read a book a day” or “how to read a book a week”, stop. Hold your horses. This is nowhere close. Below is the number


28 books. That’s impressive by my standards. Obviously, not all of them are the size of The Lord of the Rings. In fact, most of them are around 150-200 pages. But hey, it was 233% of what I had planned originally.

Devil is in the details

So, what are the books that I read this year?

Title Author Number of Pages My Rating Average Rating
Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered Austin Kleon 224 4 4.09
The One Hour Content Plan: The Solopreneur’s Guide to a Yea’s Worth of Blog Post Ideas in 60 Minutes and Creating Content That Hooks and Sells Meera Kothand 108 3 4.14
The Rudest Book Ever Shwetabh Gangwar 224 4 4.38
All You Need To Know About Bruce Lee: The Remarkable Life Of The Legendary Martial Artist And Actor Bruce Lee Scott Adams 3 3
Bruce Lee: be like water! Inspirational quotes and fascinating insights of a legend. (bruce lee, biographies & memoirs, quotations, biographies, entertainer, … photography, sports & outdoors, reference) Andrea Dillon 25 3 4.56
Ninaithaal Nimmathi (Tamil) Thenkatchi K.Swaminathan 214 3 4.42
3: Jokes in Tamil Volume 3 Ganesh Kumar 54 2 4
Notes for Healthy Kids Rujuta Diwekar 248 5 4.34
Minimalism: 50 Tricks & Tips to Live Better with Less (Minimalist) Robert Norman 53 3 3.37
A-Z of Minimalism: A practical guide to Freedom Upasna Sethi 95 3 3.67
Less is More | Art of living a meaningful life | Minimalism : A guide to live an uncluttered life with less stuff. Sherman Rickky 12 2 2.71
The Art Of Sarcasm Aaron Smith 73 1 1
Smart Work, Hard Work: (Penguin Petit) Atul Magoon 17 3 4
Parthiban Kanavu (Tamil) 3 Kalki 407 5 4.57
Parthiban Kanavu (Tamil) 2 Kalki 239 5 4.44
Parthiban Kanavu (Tamil) 1 Kalki 104 5 4.45
Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World Cal Newport 305 5 4.2
OFF. Your Digital Detox for a Better Life Tanya Goodin 112 4 3.46
Technology Addiction: The 14-Day Detox (Phone Addiction, Social Media, Disconnect, Digital Detox) Lauren Moray 24 2 2.67
Today I Am Offline: The Digital Detox Guide To A Better Life Liam Belfort 58 3 3
The Happy Mind: A Simple Guide to Living a Happier Life Starting Today Kevin Horsley 127 3 4.02
Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking (Mindfulness Books Series Book 1) S.J. Scott 157 3 3.68
10-Minute Digital Declutter: The Simple Habit to Eliminate Overwhelm from Technology, Social Media, and Online Distractions S.J. Scott 145 2 3.41
To-Do List Formula: A Stress-Free Guide To Creating To-Do Lists That Work! Damon Zahariades 109 3 3.92
THINK STRAIGHT: Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life Darius Foroux 82 3 3.83
The Politics of Ram: (Penguin Petit) Devdutt Pattanaik 18 2 3.67
Life’s Amazing Secrets: How to Find Balance and Purpose in Your Life Gaur Gopal Das 169 3 4.26
Do It Today: Overcome Procrastination, Improve Productivity, and Achieve More Meaningful Things Darius Foroux 118 3 4.19


Some of these books had a deep impact and some not so much. A couple of them were rubbish. The books that did make an impact are

  • Deep Work
  • Notes for Healthy Kids
  • The Rudest Book Ever
  • Show your work

The books that I enjoyed reading in addition to all of the above

  • Parthiban Kanavu – 1, 2, 3 [Absolute pleasure reading this series]
  • Ninaithaal Nimmathi
  • All You Need To Know About Bruce Lee: The Remarkable Life Of The Legendary Martial Artist And Actor Bruce Lee

So, how many books have you read and what were your favourites this year?

7 thoughts on “Reading Challenge – 2019

  1. I just hit 26/30 according to my Goodreads count. I’ve had many, many distractions this year, so though I won’t hit my magic number, I’m pleased to have logged at least 26 escapes from reality.

  2. I read 10 books. Novels and dramas. Had planned to read more but with the beginning of my professional time, I’ve not been able to get a lot of time. I’ve enrolled myself for MA english.. So I’m hoping to read much more next year.

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