February Checkpoint #TBR2018RBR

Greetings, Challengers!

Congratulations! We have reached the second checkpoint and I am pleased to announce that we have 30+ book reviews linked up in our Mr. Linky widget (below). Nice work! Can we get another 30 this month?

I’m also thrilled to announce the winner of the first Mini-Challenge: Fanda from Fanda Classiclit! Fanda won a book of her choice ($20USD) from The Book Depository. She chose a copy of Charles Dickens’s Hard Times, in honor of Dickens’s birthday. Enjoy, Fanda! 

Question of the Month

What are your strategies for staying on top of your reading goals? Do you keep a bullet journal or other kind of planner? Do you aim for a certain number of books per week, per month? Do you just “wing it” and let whatever happens, happen? Tell us your secrets!

My Progress: 3 of 12 Completed / 2 of 12 Reviewed

So far, I’ve read 3 of my 12 required books. At the moment, I’m feeling pretty confident that I will be able to read and review all 14 books on my TBR Pile Challenge list this year! I’m pretty excited about that, although, to be honest, my two year-long projects have been suffering a bit since the semester started in mid-January. I need to stick to my commitment of pacing myself this year so that I can keep up with both of those projects (reading and writing) while also keeping up with my challenge list and other pleasure reading. It’s always a balancing act, isn’t it!?

Books Read So Far:

How are you doing?


Below, you’re going to find the infamous Mr. Linky widget. If you read and review any challenge books this month, please link-up on the widget below. This Mr. Linky will be re-posted every month so that we can compile a large list of all that we’re reading and reviewing together this year.

Each review that is linked-up on this widget throughout the year may also earn you entries into future related giveaways, so don’t forget to keep this updated!


24 Comments on “February Checkpoint #TBR2018RBR

  1. I am pleased to report that I have completed three of my books for this challenge and reviewed all of them! Here are the ones I’ve completed:

    ‘Invisible Man’ by Ralph Ellison


    ‘Carrie’ by Stephen King


    ‘If on a winter’s night a traveler’ by Italo Calvino


    I’m feeling really good about my progress so far as I hope to maybe knock one more review off the list before the month is over. This has been a really fun challenge! In answer to the topic of the month, I try to get myself ahead early in the year so that way I can see progress.My main goal is to read and review 50 books in total, but I am participating in two other challenges besides this one, so I’ve given a lot of thought to developing a better system. Plus I’m trying to do more fiction writing and hold down a full-time job so you can imagine time is sometimes an enemy. I’m excited to read some more comments to steal some valuable tips.

    Congrats Fanda on winning the prize for last month!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I completed four this month plus one last month, so I am nearly halfway done (yay!). I’m overlapping this challenge with my Back to the Classics challenge a bit – about half of my list is classics. Last year I read the longest one first, thinking it would feel good to get it out of the way. It did once I was done, but in the meantime I felt like I was stuck at one book on my list and not getting to the others. So this time I decided to read a few of the shorter ones first, and that has helped immensely to feel like I am getting my lists taken care of. I have a couple that will probably keep me occupied for more than a month for each of them, so chipping away at my lists will slow down then.


    • Amazing progress! Way to go! I’ve been on both sides of that exact same scenario, rationalizing it either way. Ultimately, I think your approach this year is what works for me, too. Start with some shorter works at the beginning of the year to get rolling and then I feel like I can spend more time with chunksters later, without stressing. (Not that any of this should be stressful — but we serial readers know it’s like!)


      • I also like knocking off the shorter books at the beginning — it makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something and I can take more time to read longer books later without feeling rushed.


  3. I just realized I had forgotten to add my review to the Linky. One book down: Countdown City by Ben H. Winters. I enjoyed it!

    I plan to read one book a month for this challenge, but I haven’t gotten to my February book yet. I use spreadsheets to keep track of my TBR lists and what I should be reading for different challenges. Unfortunately(?), library books keep getting in my way.


    • I need to use my library… when I moved last August (for the eighth time in 10 years?) I finally got rid of 90% of my books (so, thousands of them) because I couldn’t handle moving them again, both physically and financially. It was painful but it has made me much more cautious about buying books, now.


  4. I read Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier this month, so I am two down and 10 to go on this challenge. Right on schedule!

    As to my process, oh boy, it is totally derailed already! I had such plans for many challenges this year, but after reading a Margery Sharp book for Margery Sharp Day (January 25th), I want to read more of her as well as more du Maurier after reading Rebecca. My lovely planned-out year, spreadsheet and all, is now phsssst into dust.

    I am regrouping as we speak (so early in the year!), to concentrate mostly on 19th and early 20th century classics, which is what I really like anyway. I also have several biographies I want to read this year on Edith Wharton, Louisa May Alcott and Thoreau. This week I didn’t get a post up, because I am sick, but my plan is to post classic reviews each Tuesday and nonfiction on some Fridays. I have identified many of the books I want to read this year and the spreadsheet helps me achieve that, unless some other author derails me again….which is entirely possible!

    Also, while I put my books on a spreadsheet file, I do bullet journal (which is the greatest invention EVER), everything else day to day.

    Url to Rebecca: https://relevantobscurity.com/2018/02/06/rebecca/


    • I loved Rebecca when I FINALLY read it last year; I couldn’t believe it took me so long to read it, when it had been on my TBR for years and years. Your biography plan sounds amazing. There’s a great-looking bio on Thoreau that I want to read soon. I love the Tuesday/Friday genre plan you have for yourself, too. I also have some days reserved for specific kinds of posts. I find it works pretty well, or at least it has so far. 🙂


    • Goodness, Rebecca is an AMAZING novel. I had flip-flopped before on whether or not it really sounded like a good read — and I was blown away by the story. I’m hoping to read another du Maurier novel this year.


  5. At this point, I’ve finished 1 title for challenge (Pat of Silver Bush). Working on book 2 on my list right now.
    Pat of Silver Bush review: http://inthebookcase.blogspot.com/2018/01/book-review-pat-of-silver-bush.html

    I basically plan to read 1 of my 12 TBR titles every month. If possible, I might try to wedge another title in a little more frequently, if possible, just so I could finish slightly early. I do keep track of my book-reading progress in my spiral-notebook weekly planner. I try to keep track of when I should finish a book, to make sure I’m not getting behind, etc.


    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve read one of my challenge books so far, Dark Money by Jane Mayer, and started two others. I totally missed last month’s checkpoint, haha! Review: https://mylittleheartmelodies.com/2018/02/06/dark-money/

    I just wing it, mostly. I put all the challenge books in a row on the shelf. I keep a spreadsheet in my Google drive. I have a total quantity goal set for the year on Goodreads, so I try to aim for however many books per month that equals out to, but I don’t sweat it much.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m in the middle of my first book, not doing too well, but taking time to read books that really interest me as well.
    Strategies: Before the month, I make a list of 8-10 books I plan to read, trying to combine books for tours (less and less of these), books for challenges, and leaving space for books that catch my fancy and beg to be read NOW!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve finished three books for this challenge, one in January, two in February, and I’ve linked reviews for both! I’m basically only doing two challenges this year and trying to read books from my own shelves for both, so it’s a win-win! I do find that reading shorter books first makes the reading faster and I feel like I have a more time for the longer books — ideally, I’d like to read two books per month but even if I don’t manage that I’ll still have more than half done by the summer.

    And congratulations to Fanda for her prize!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Yay! I finished another one off my list – The Man in the High Castle! Unfortunately, this may be it from me until near the end of the year. My reading commitments for the Morris Award are starting to gear up, and I’m not sure if I’ll have any time for reading outside of that. I will say that I’m usually not a reading planner – I’m a mood reader for sure, but this Award Committee thing has me writing spreadsheets and such. I’m curious to see how it will work for me. I did start using a bullet journal to track reading progress last year, and I really enjoyed it! I’ve expanded on it this year, especially as I will not be able to use GoodReads or my blog at all (unless completely unrelated to the award) and it is working out really well. I have a page dedicated to this challenge, for example!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Question of The Month Answer:
    I keep a bullet journal but I’m really loose with it. I make a checklist but I don’t stay really strict to it. I try to go in order of the way I have them written but if I decide to read something else, I allow myself to. I also tend to read a physical book and an ebook at the same time.

    Read This Month:
    Eragon by Christopher Paolini (DNF)
    Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight (currently reading)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston – Lost in Literature

  12. I’ve switched from a bullet journal to a Passion Planner, which is a slightly different format and I’m still getting used to it, so I haven’t been using it for reading at all. But now I’m doing monthly wrap-up blog posts and that’s where I’m really assessing reading progress. This is the only challenge I’m doing this year, which makes it easier, but I do still want to be sure that I’m reading nonfiction every month, plus my book group book. Otherwise, I just read what I want.

    I’m on my 4th challenge book right now (I’ll be posting a review of book #3 soon) but I always do better earlier in the year. I’m on my library’s Community Read committee so I spend the summer and early fall reading our list of nominated titles. At least I know it happens every year so I can plan ahead!


  13. I’ve read 2 and posted 2, so that’s ok; but this post has come just at the right time as I was feeling so bogged down and was thinking that I might need some sort of strategy – so thank you for all these comments and ideas, all are very useful! I’m afraid though that I’ve posted the same thing twice and don’t know how to delete it. Sorry. I am learning, and I think I’ve got it for next time – many thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’ve finally completed one! lol. My review will go up next month, but I really have to figure out a better system to reading these books. I’m such a mood reader so I’ll make a TBR that includes a book from my list, and then I don’t get to it. I just need to pick one up in an evening where I can read it for 2-3 hours straight and maybe then I’ll finish it quicker. Hopefully by the next check in I can get a couple more read!


    • There’s definitely a psychological element to this for many of us! What I’ve found helpful is to remind myself that there’s a reason I chose this book and that, almost without fail, when I pick it up and get started, I end up enjoying it. That’s what happened to me with Rebecca a couple of years ago…. I had that book on my shelf for SO long. Put it on my TBR Challenge list…stalled…stalled… and then finally read it and wondered what had taken me so long!!


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