July TBR + goal update + a reading challenge

Disclaimer : I received free copies of The Masterpiece (Dutton Books), Dear Mrs. Bird (Scribner), and The Myth of Perpetual Summer (Gallery Books) in exchange for an honest review which I hope to provide by the end of the month.

I might be *summer* crazy. I’m overdue for a vacation from the day to day life of adulting. Right now that doesn’t seem feasible so my escape—yes you guessed it! I’m going to settle in with this stack of books, multiple mugs of tea, and my Kindle Oasis for some extensive travel time and some (planned) serious reading. As I’ve been reminded, the year is halfway over and this is a good time to assess my progress on my reading goals, which I’ll share in this post. I will also tell you about a reading challenge I’d like to try, explaining my plans for reading the books pictured.

2018 Reading Goals – Update

Note: I’ve read 40 books as of this post, the percentages below are based on the number of books read to date

Read one classic book a month

  • Status: I’m SLAYING this goal. After reading Middlemarch, I wanted to abandoned all non classic books and read exclusively from my classics shelf.
  • Total to date: 14 (of 40 books read) or 35%

Read one Non-fiction book a month

  • Status: needs improvement. I picked up Extraordinary, Ordinary People by Condoleezza Rice last month. I’m glad I read it especially since it’s been on my shelf for years. So a pat on the back for that at least.
  • Total to date: 4 or 10%

Shop Your Shelf

  • Status: something some book buddies and I started last year as a way to read books we already own and buy less.
  • Total to date : 27 or 67% — I will NOT say when books were acquired & added to my shelf

Pulitzer Prize Reads (or other book award winners)

  • Status: not bad but hope to read a few more before the year ends
  • Total to date: 3 or 0.07%

Read poetry & short stories

  • Status : needs improvement. I’ve started a few short story books but haven’t finished them
  • Total to date: 0

Complete Off the Shelf 2018 Reading Resolution

  • Status: Doing well, halfway there!
  • Total to date : 9 (of 18 categories on the list) or 50%

A reading challenge – 15 books in 31 days (aka #15in31)

Some of the bloggers I know are people I met on Instagram (bookstagram to be clear) and many have inspired and introduced me to authors/ books I’d never heard of or would have picked up on my own. One voracious reader named Resh, (@The Book Satchel) discussed her reading challenge to read 30 books in 30 days. After following her progress, it really got me thinking, 30 books in 30 days? No can do for me unless I could check out for a couple weeks on vacation. But maybe a variation of some sort, so I thought 15 books in 31 days.So here’s the plan/breakdown:

Buddy Reads

  • A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar (non-fiction)
  • Excellent Women by Barbara Pym (classics)
  • Villette by Charlotte Brontë (classics)

Review Copies

  • The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis (Dutton Books)
  • Dear Mrs. Bird by AJ Pearce (Scribner)
  • The Myth of Perpetual Summer by Susan Crandall (Gallery Books)

Books for specific reading goals

  • Quiet by Susan Cainnon-fiction for introverts
  • Fences by August Wilson – a popular play (short story goal I’m coming for you)!
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (classics because I can’t get enough)
  • Deafening – historical fiction from my shelf


  • Read at least 5 books for a total of 15 books.

Yes, I’m going to try my BEST. I might be setting myself up for who knows what but I’m excited about this month of reading. I chose the books with my reading goals in mind.Do you see any books you’ve read or plan to read? How are you doing with your reading goals this year?Please share your thoughts and feedback in the comments.

Published by booksbythecup

Lover of good books and tea

13 thoughts on “July TBR + goal update + a reading challenge

  1. 15 books in 31 days? I’m lucky to read 5 books in a month! I’ve been reading lots of classics. Btw, just a suggestion, you could read Beloved by Toni Morrison for the Pulitzer category!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I saw your review and was about to read it but will circle back to it after I can finish savoring my re-read of Their Eyes Were Watching God. I loved it especially with Ruby Dee as narrator for the audiobook. I need to gather my thoughts so I can write a review since it’s one for my CC list.

      I’m hoping to pick up Excellent Women this weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good luck with the 15 – you can do it!! I average about ten or eleven a month so I know it’s quite a tough challenge, especially with non-fiction and classics in there. But it will also be fun, and we’ll all be cheering you on from the sidelines! You’re doing well on your other challenges too, though I don’t understand the percentages? Haven’t you gone over 100% in your classics? I know what you mean about wanting to just read classics – that happens to me too every time I read a great one. Challenges or not, have a great summer of reading. 😀


    1. Thanks! I’ve finished 2 books already so hopefully it will be steady progress as the month continues. All the cheering is encouraging and very much appreciated.

      Thanks for pointing out the fuzzy part about the percentages, I just revised the post to clear that up (🙈) it’s based on the number of books I’ve read with the exception of one (also updated). I like numbers and percentages but it makes no sense if I didn’t say how I came up with that.

      Happy summer reading to you as well! I thought I was behind on reviews, 🤷🏽‍♀️ I might need to take micro review approach for some of these when I finish. 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, I get the percentages now – thank you! I’m miles behind with review writing too at the moment – partly why I’m taking a blogging break! I keep trying to get into the habit of writing my review before starting the next book, but the best laid plans… *sighs*

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I applaud your goals. June was a really good month for me. I’ve gotten in the habit lately of reading one book and listening to another. Lately I’ve been able to get through 2 books a week doing this. However, I don’t expect to listen to Villette that quickly. As you know we have a lot of the same books in our summer TBR stack. I look forward to comparing notes with you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a stretch but I’m going to try it. I thought it would be fun to try to push myself a bit especially getting to some books that will help me reach my reading goals for the year.

      I’m glad you’ve been able to read more with audiobooks. I usually do the same but sometimes I find myself in the middle of too many books.

      Looking forward to chatting about some of the books we have in common.


  4. I’ve read and loved both Their Eyes Were Watching God and Excellent Women. In fact, I’d love to reread Excellent Women, it’s been a while and I adore Barbara Pym. Good luck with your goals – good for you for pushing yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! We will see how it goes, so far 3 books finished.

      Their Eyes Were Watching God I finished last week, I couldn’t remember the details so it was wonderful to read it again, it has been a really long time since I had read it.

      I just started Excellent Women and I’ve heard so many wonderful things about it.

      Liked by 1 person

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