2020 Mid Year Goals & Reading Challenge Update

basically, a post where I really surprise myself

Good morning, amigos!!! I hope you’ve all been having a great start to your week! Today I’ll be doing an update on all my bookish and not so bookish goals that I made at the start of the year. I’ll also be sharing what I’ve read for the 4 reading challenges that I’m doing.

To be honest, I’m pretty surprised with how well I did in some aspects, and of course, not so surprised that I failed in others. Lol, let’s get started!

Goals: Bookish

  • Read 110 books. ✖ *laughs* I think I aimed a little way too high for this year. I’ve only read 34 books so far, and I’m 18 books behind on my GR challenge. At least I think I’m making some progress by reading really fast in the hopes of catching up.
  • Take part in 2 challenges and stick to it. Well, I signed up for four, and we’ll see down below if I’m doing a good job of sticking to them or not.
  • Read at least 40 books with diverse MCs or topics. Well, I’ve only read 34, so this is also a no. And I don’t think I’ve read more than 15 diverse books so far. Again, we’ll see when I dissect my books for the reading challenge.
  • Try to read more Adult Thrillers and Mysteries. ✖ I think I’ve read only like 2? I’m definitely failing with this, and I might just try to focus on historical fiction this year instead. Because I’ve added like 20 new HF books to my TBR recently and it’ll probably be everything I read next month 😅

Goals: Blogging

  • Get 400 followers. I’m actually almost there!! 47 more to go, and I’m so excited!
  • Finish my 27 backlist reviews and review 50% of the books I read this year. I’m failing miserably with this one. I think I’ve only reviewed 2 or 3 books this year…Going to have to change that soon.
  • Monthly views should be over 1k. Well, I was close for this. February is the only month that wasn’t over, as I only had 989 but it’s close enough. I’m also surprised that May still had over a 1k views since I was on hiatus for most of the month and only did LTBs. And this month is almost over, but I’ve already made it *does a happy dance*
this is…very overwhelming 😅
  • Catch up on blog hopping and stay on track. ❔ I believe I’m doing a semi good job at this? I went through my Reader and brought down the blogs I follow to 95, and I currently have a lot of tabs that I’m reading and commenting on as you can see above…it’s slow going, and I’ll probably leave them open for a few months because I’m awesome like that 🤦🏾‍♀️

Goals: Personal

  • Get through my first year of taking high school + college classes successfully. So far, it’s been great! I’m actually doing college summer semester right now, and it’s going pretty well.
just to make you hungry :p here are some of the things I mostly made in April (the center cake is actually one I made with boxed mixes but everything else is from scratch)
  • Continue making healthier version of my fave desserts. I’ve stopped baking lately. In April, I was baking bagels, bread, donuts, etc from scratch like every other day, and now…I make boxed cake mix every 2 weeks 😐 So, yeah, definitely failed at this!
  • Exercise 5 times a week. Haha. I haven’t done a proper workout since March I think. So yeah. I really want to exercise again, but…it’s too much energy. Which is the point, but I don’t feel like doing it at all.

Reading Challenges: Year of the Asian

So, my goal was to read 11-20 books to get the Indian Cobra badge. Let’s see how I did:

That’s exactly 11 books!! Halfway into the year and I actually reached my goal!! YESSS. This is the first time I’ve reached my goal for a reading challenge!

I don’t feel like writing out mini reviews of each one, so I’ll just group them based on rating.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim | Your House Will Pay by Steph Cha

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali | This Time Will Be Different by Misa Sugiura

Thorn by Intisaar Khanani |Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Our Wayward Fate by Gloria Chao | Blood Heir by Amélie Wen Zhao

If You Leave Me by Crystal Hana Kim

So that’s an average rating of 3.5 which is pretty great. I like how I have more 4 stars than 2 stars, but I’ve definitely been disappointed by some of these.

So yes, this challenge was a success and I’m going to aim for the next level which is the Malayan Tapir (21-30 books).

Reading Challenges: HistFic, Cloak and Dagger, & Unapologetically Muslim

I have only read 3 books that are historical fiction, but hopefully I’ll be reading a lot more of it next month. I have so many historical fiction books on hold right now and I probably added like 20 of them to my TBR a few days ago.

My goal for the HistFic challenge is 10 books.

Related: Why I love history & historical fiction // ft. recommendations

  • You’ve already heard my thoughts on Code Name Hélène a few hundred times, so here’s a sweet summary: I loved it; you need to read it. Now, preferably.
  • A Curious Beginning was just okay as a mystery, but I loved Veronica and Stoker’s banter, so I still gave this a generous 4 stars. They’re just so hilarious together and I can’t wait to see more of them in the next books. The mystery was really eh, and they didn’t really do any sleuthing, so that was disappointing. But really liked it nonetheless.
  • Basically, I don’t think I got the point or message behind If You Leave Me. The characters just end up being so horrible, and I eventually just stopped caring. It just felt like a waste of my time which is really really disappointing. But maybe you might “get” the story and therefore like it better?

As for the Cloak and Dagger reading challenge, I’ve actually read more than I thought I did. It’s nowhere near what I’m trying to achieve, but it is something.

My goal for the C&D challenge is 26-35 books.

  • Dark Matter: Am interesting but really “just okay” book with some plot holes.
  • Deceptive Waters: An ARC read for Reedsy Discovery with a really interesting plot but meh characters.
  • Miracle Creek: An amazing legal thriller with never ending twists and a satisfying end.
  • The Fairy-Tale Detectives: A really cute lighthearted middle grade read with funny characters and a simple but nice plot.
  • Someone We Know: A wonderful web of secrets and betrayal that ensnares the whole neighborhood and leaves you second guessing every minute.
  • The Chain: A super compelling thriller that leaves you at the edge of your seat.
  • Also Known As: Super cheesy, very annoying teenage spy story but still a fun read.
  • The Turn of the Key: Extremely atmospheric and creepy suspense novel that I enjoyed, but the ending was less than satisfactory.

So there you have it-one sentence reviews for all of these. Hopefully I can pick up the pace and read a lot more by the end of the year.

I have only read two books so far for the Unapologetically Muslim Reading Challenge *hides in shame*. But I don’t really have a goal for this, I just want to read more books my Muslim authors or with Muslim MCs.

  • Thorn was a really good book; I just didn’t love it. The characters were great, I liked the swapped-identity trope, but it just didn’t have that 5 star feeling for me.
  • Written in the Stars was so heartbreaking, yet kind of hopeful at the same time. It was such a solemn and heavy contemporary, but I’m still happy with the way it ended.

I really surprised myself. I’ve done pretty well on some of my goals, and with my reading challenges, and I just hope I can catch up for the ones that I fell short on by the end of the year.

  • Goals: Bookish
    • Read: 34/110 books
    • Challenges: 4/2 that I’ve signed up for
    • 40 diverse books: 11/40
    • More thrillers and mysteries: 8/26 (I’m using cloak & dagger to calculate this)
  • Goals: Blogging
    • Followers: 353/400
    • Reviews: 3/27 backlist, and 1/34 from this year
    • Over 1k views: 6/12 months
    • Catch up on blog hopping:…i did in a way
  • Goals: Personal
    • Get through school & college classes:
    • Bake healthily more often:
    • Exercise consistently:
  • YARC: 11/11 books; now that I’m aiming for the Tapir, it’s 11/21 books
  • HistFicRC: 3/10 books
  • Cloak & Dagger RC: 8/26 books
  • Unapologetically Muslim RC: 2 books

So, that’s my goals and reading challenge update. Do you have any book recommendations that can help me out? What have you been reading? Have you read any of the books I mentioned? What did you think? Chat with me in the comments below!!

31 thoughts on “2020 Mid Year Goals & Reading Challenge Update

  1. the picture of your baked desserts made me so hungry omg, they look so good 😭😭 and yay for getting the indian cobra badge! that was my goal this year too, but i’ve already read 19 books by asian authors somehow, so i just need a few to get the malayan tapir one! and aahh seeing all those tabs open made me instantly stressed out, i’m wishing you all the luck to you in regards to getting around to all of them ❤ and ahh 110 is such a big reading goal to reach! i hope you don't feel too bad about being behind, any amount of books read is amazing 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hahaha, I think I was a little evil for putting it there 😂 I may need to stalk your shelves for more books because I don’t think I have anything left that is already published by Asian authors on my TBR. Good luck with the Tapir!! (It’s so cute btw 🥺) Haha, thank you!! If I comment on any of your posts in like 2 months, I apologize in advance 😂🤦🏾‍♀️ I’m such a procrastinator. Yeah, I’ve brought it down to 90 for now, and if I get there, I can always bring it back up again ❤✨
      Thank you for such a lovely comment!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. same!! i just unfollowed a coupled bloggers earlier, and i’m so happy that i’m following less than 100 blogs now 🥺🥺 i might regret unfollowing some of them later, but… that’s a problem for future caitlin
    who gave you the right to make me this hungry??? wtf everything you baked looks sooo good i wanna taste them :((((( i’m so in awe of everyone who’s using quarantine to bake. i really want to, but also… i can’t because i suck at everything kitchen-related
    also, congrats on reaching a couple of your goals already!! you deserve all the blog growth and followers 🥺🤍 and don’t worry about being behind on reading and your reading challenges! i’m sure you’ll catch up eventually, and if you don’t, that’s perfectly all right 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha, you always push things for future Caitlin to deal with 😂❤
      😂😂 As I said, I was just being incredibly mean when I wrote that post 😂 You know I’ve been thinking, I wanted to create a food blog in April when I was on a baking “high” but that idea crashed and I didn’t do it. but what if I posted some recipes here and recommended a book too?? I think that would be kind of cool? And then I could ask you guys what you’d like to see me make?? Idk, would that be something you’d like to see?
      Awwww thank you ✨❤🥺 Yes it’s most perfectly all right. I just have to get my brain to understand that 😒
      BUT THANK YOU ❤✨

      Liked by 1 person

  3. All of those delicious treats look amazing!! Also, I also have an overwhelmingly large amount of tabs open on my laptop right now 😂 You’re doing amazing on all of your goals!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, it’s ok!! I honestly need a mom friend in my life 😂 Yeah, I’ve been thinking that I could try for 90, and if I get there, I’ll push it up as need be. With a 90 goal, I’m only 9 books behind which is so much easier to achieve.
      Thank you!!! 💕✨


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