Top 10 Tuesdays: 2023 Reading & Reading Challenge Goals

I always feel like it’s a bit late in the game by the time I get to posting my goals. I purposely waited this year because I saw that it was a Top 10 Tuesday topic coming up on the list, but I also wished I had gone ahead and set up my goals right at the start of the year too. It did give me a little extra time to really solidify what my goals would be and to figure out some structure and changes I’d like to try this year. Last year, I did not do a very good job overall at sticking to my goals and I want to get back on track with that. One of the reasons I wanted my goals to be a little more set in place is also because I keep shuffling things around a bit, but once I have books attached to specific goals for specific challenges, I tend not to move them. Like last year, I’m definitely intending this year’s challenges to be a 2-year process since I have an absolutely enormous number of books on my list. I’ve taken on a total of 9 challenges but with the caveat that I have a slightly different approach to how I will be tackling them. Essentially, what I was trying to do was maximize my the number of options for books I have to choose from for this year so I could mostly mood read while still working toward goals.

Another thing that I wanted to try as a bit of an experiment this year is to add an extra layer to several of my goals. This might backfire completely, but I have a theory that one of the reasons I had trouble sticking to some of my goals is because there was a lack of structure and/or a lack of any real urgency toward accomplishing many of them. I don’t want to have any rules about how many books to read per month or too strict of a TBR, but I want to try an experiment and add a “stretch goal” to some of my challenges, to see if that motivates me to push myself a little harder. What that means is that I will set myself a specific goal to work toward, with a “bonus round” goal that I can also work toward either at the same time or once I’ve finished the original goal. Because I like crossing things off lists, I suspect this might give me a bit of a push to prioritize my goals properly. I will still count the goal as accomplished if I finish the main part of it without even touching the extra component. Speaking of which, the one goal that I dropped this year was “prioritize my reading better” because it’s been consistently unsuccessful and also seemed a bit redundant with other goals. I’m hoping this year will end up being a bit of a refresh for me, and that I’ll find a ton of amazing books!

1) Finish my challenges (to a specified amount)

Normally I set myself a goal to finish off the ATY and PopSugar challenges by the end of the year, but I have been struggling to complete that for several years running now. Instead, I wanted to set myself some different goals around completing challenges:

  • Have less than 30 books remaining on each of ATY and PopSugar by the end of the year – The ultimate stretch goal for this year would be to finish both of these challenges completely, but I’ve gotten into a bad habit of having around 30 books remaining on each by the start of December, and I really want to break that pattern. I will count this part of the goal as a success if I have less than 30 books remaining on each of these challenges, and obviously a huge bonus if I’ve finished eitehr (or both) of these challenges completely!)
  • Reach the 50% mark on each of my other shorter challenges: BookList Queen, 52 Book Club, and Flourish & Blotts: Quidditch World Cup – Since I’m designing my challenges as a two- year process, it seems only reasonable to expect that I reach the halfway point on each of them by the end of the year. This kind of works hand-in-hand with the previous goal. Each of these challenges has around 52 books on them, so I think half is fair for one year.
  • Finish at least half of each section of my Rejects, Leftovers & BookishFirst Bingo Challenge – This is another main reason why I have so many books overall on my list this year. At one point, I was planning to do a BookishFirst Bingo challenge using the prompts that I chose for myself from their Bingo cards, but I ultimately ended up mixing it in with my Rejects Challenge (the prompts that I voted for on ATY that didn’t make the final list), and leftover books/prompts from last year that I still wanted. Even though they are all on one list, they are chunked based on which sub-challenge they are for, and I’d like to finish at least half of each chunk.
  • Finish at least 30% of each of the Pick Your Poison challenges – The main reason I have so many challenges that I’m taking on this year in general is because of Pick Your Poison! I couldn’t decide which year’s list I wanted to to do, so I ended up putting together lists for their 2020, 2022 and 2023 challenges. These challenges tend to be quite flexible in terms of accommodating shorter books and audiobooks, so I think it’s realistic to try to read about a third of the books on each.

2) Read 175 books, but ideally 200!

I kept going back and forth on whether to make my goal 175 or 200. I think 175 is probably more realistic given that I seem to be on a bit of downward trend with the overall number of books I’ve read the past few years, but 200 is ultimately the number I would like to reach. I got to 198 a few years back, and ever since then, I’ve really wanted to make it all the way to 200! As of right now, I have set my goal on Goodreads to 200, but I might change it to 175 and then up it again if I get there, or I might just leave it alone and see how close I can get. 200 might be challenging since I do have quite a few longer books on my list, but I have a fair number of audiobooks, graphic novels and even picture books on my list so it might be possible.

3) Read some more series and duologies

I fell apart completely on this goal last year, which was disappointing since the duologies were the main reason I had set the goal in the first place! Like last year, I decided to separate my list into a few different categoreies:

The first list is of series that are currently fully published, most of which were series I had intended to read last year. To be fair, a couple of them were not fully published at the time, but now that they are, I’m a lot more likely to pick them up:

  • The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White (3 books)
  • A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson (3 books)
  • The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (rereads, 3 books)
  • You by Caroline Kepnes (4 books, 2 of which are rereads)
  • The Lady Janies by Cynthia Hand, Brody Ashton and Jodi Meadows (3 books)
  • The Scholomance series by Naomi Novik (3 books)
  • Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco (3 books)

The second list of series that were not on my list previously, but I would like to prioritize this year:

  • The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi (3 books)
  • The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco (3 books)
  • The Dreamer trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater (3 books, one of which is a reread)
  • The Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith (6 books, 2 of which are rereads)
  • The Last Hours by Cassandra Clare (3 books)
  • Beartown by Fredrik Backman (3 books, 2 of which are rereads)
  • The Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness (3 books)
  • The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams (4 books that I have not yet read)

The third list is of duologies that I want to prioritize, most of which were also on my list last year but also including a few new additions (in no particular order):

  • Monsters of Verity by VE Schwab
  • Gilded by Marissa Meyer
  • Sands of Arawiya by Hafsah Faizal
  • The Blood of Stars by Elizabeth Lim
  • Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
  • This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron
  • Blood Like Magic by Liselle Sambury
  • Wings of Ebony by J. Elle
  • Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim
  • Fable by Adrienne Young
  • Enchantee by Gita Trelease
  • All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace
  • Sea Witch by Sarah Henning
  • Skyhunter by Marie Lu
  • The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
  • The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
  • Daughter of the moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan
  • Wicked Fox by Kat Cho
  • Skyhunter by Marie Lu
  • Belladonna by Adalyn Grace
  • All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody
  • Defend the Dawn by Brigid Kemmerer

The last small list is of series that are still not fully published yet, but that I would like to catch up on:

  • The Infinity Cycle by Adam Silvera (2 books currently published)
  • Legacy of Orisha by Tomi Adeyemi (2 books currently published, third rumoured to be out this year)
  • The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh (3 books currently published, fourth due in December)
  • The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna (2 books currently published, no date known for third)
  • Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber (2 books currently published, third due in September)

In terms of my goals, I think I will break it down this way:

  • All 7 leftover series finished by the end of the year
  • At least 4 of the completed series by the end of the year
  • At least half (11) of the duologies by the end of the year
  • At least 2 of the series that are still in progress by the end of the year

4) Read at least one book by each of my Top 23 Authors to Read in 2023 list

This has consistently been one of my favourite goals over the past few years, and it has become one of the best ways that I find new favourite authors! As usual, my goal will be to read a minimum of 1 book by each of these authors, but I’d love to push myself and aim for a least 2 books each. A few of these authors only have 2 books published so far, but several of them have a lot more! Like usual, I have split my list into YA and Non-YA authors for a total of 23 authors overall, although this time I’m a little heavier on the non-YA authors overall. Also, some of the authors on my list have written a mix of YA and non-YA books, but I classified them to whichever category the majority of their books fit into.

YA Authors to Read in 2023

Kate Alice Marshall
Emily Lloyd-Jones
Diana Urban
Katie Zhao
Erin A. Craig
Traci Chee
Julie Buxbaum
Erin Hahn
Julian Winters

Non-YA Authors to Read in 2023

Claire Douglas
Karen Hamilton
Darby Kane
Kimberley Belle
Kaira Rouda
Adrian McKinty
Stacy Willingham
Adele Parks
Hannah Mary McKinnon
Sarah Gailey
Tessa Bailey
Rachel Howzell Hall
Darcey Bell
Ashley Winstead

As a bit of a bonus goal, I also had several authors that I really wanted to catch up on this year, so I would also love to read at least 1 book each (ideally more) by each of:

  • Karen M. McManus
  • Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegmund-Broka (especially their YA titles)
  • Liv Constantine
  • Peter Swanson
  • Dorothy Koomson
  • Louise Candlish
  • DJ Palmer
  • Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • Gilly Macmillan
  • Shari Lapena
  • Megan Miranda

5) Learn to use Storygraph

I’m going to say upfront that I am not looking to replace Goodreads, but I’m interested in testing out Storygraph and seeing if it’s worth using in addition. I started playing around with it at the end last year and it seemed fun, although I don’t love having to go back and correct a bunch of info that didn’t sync somehow from Goodreads (ie. missing books from previous years’ challenges). The three things I’d like to do with Storygraph this year are:

  • Track my progress consistently – I want to have the stats and graphs at the end of the year, and the only way to make sure they are accurate is to make sure I keep up-to-date with tracking my progress there as well as on Goodreads
  • Use the journal feature to keep notes – This is my favourite feature so far. I like that the notes are private so I can note down my impressions as I go without worrying about spoilers for anyone else.
  • Figure out how exactly the stats work – I love the graphs that the app makes, but I also get a little confused about how it classifies some of the books/if they are being double-counted to different genres. With a little more time this year, I want to try to look into where exactly the stats are pulled from

6) Read more thrillers

This has been a consistent goal over the past few years, but I want to step up the number a bit more! I’ve been reading somewhere around 30 or so thrillers each year despite having a lot more than that on my list each year, and I want to push myself to prioritize them a bit more often. For this year, I would like to set a minimum goal to read at least 40 thrillers, which shouldn’t be too hard when so many of my priority authors are thriller authors anyway! Ideally I would like the majority of these to be adult thrillers, but I’m not opposed to including YA thrillers as well. I think where I usually get a little stuck is that I don’t like reading too many thrillers in a row since it can make them all blend together, but I have so many on my list this year that I’m sure I have enough variety to make it work.

7) Specific genre goals

Last year, I had these as separate goals, but it also seemed to make sense to group them together because they are all genres that I want to read more of. I guess technically thrillers could have fit in here too, but that goal is calling for a much higher number so it also makes some sense to leave it separate. I’m going to break this one down into three main genres:

Historical Fiction

I really wanted to prioritize historical fiction last year, but kept putting it off anyway. I was pleasantly surprised to realize that I had somehow read 7 out of my goal of 10! This year, I want to step up the expectation a bit and aim for a minimum of 15 historical fiction books (which averages out to just over 1 per month, although I won’t necessarily stick to that structure). I feel like this was a goal that fell apart since there was no specific push to read the books. 10 didn’t seem like very much over the span of a year, so it didn’t seem like a big deal to put them off until it was too late to catch back up. I have a theory that upping the number even a little will help give a bit of an incentive to make sure I prioritize them.

Adult Contemporary Romance

I’m slightly upping the expectations on this one as well, from 15 books to a minimum of 20! Added to that, I would like to add a subgoal of finishing at least 2 new-to-me adult contemporary romance series aside from Bromance Book Club since that is already on my priority series list. I have several full romance series on my list for the year and the great thing about these is that I don’t necessarily have to read all of the books in a row so I can space them out and pick them back up when I feel like it. If I were to target specific authors to try, they would be: Abby Jimenez, Mia Sosa, Farah Rochon, Alisha Rai, and Sarah Hogle. I didn’t necessarily have room for them on my priority authors list (although several of them were strongly considered), but it would be great if I could read at least one book by each of them.


I am likely never going to be the kind of reader who reads mostly non-fiction, but I wanted to still include a goal to make sure I read at least some. To be honest, it’s a bit of a self-serving goal since it often ends up being my easiest one to accomplish since I mostly read non-fiction either as audiobooks or graphic memoirs. Last year I set myself a goal to read at least 15 non-fiction, and this year I am going to raise it slightly to a total of 20, just based on the challenge prompts that I have. I expect this goal will be relatively easy to accomplish through audiobooks, but I wanted to include it since it’s the only way I can guarantee that I motivate myself to actually pick up some non-fiction.

8) Make more time for reading!

This is a kind of vague goal that I can already predict will be hard to assess at the end of the year, but I’ve been noticing that I’ve gotten into a very bad habit of only starting to read around 10 pm, which leaves me only an hour or two to read before going to bed. This even includes weekends when I literally have nothing else to do during the day, and easily could have picked up my book earlier! I am not saying that I want to prioritize reading at the expense of doing other things, but I want to try to be a little more conscious about what I am doing during my free time and stop wasting time and then getting upset that I didn’t have as much time to spend on my book as I wanted. It is totally fine to do other things, but then I can’t be mad that I didn’t get to read. I may try to switch my pattern a bit so instead of reading being the last thing I do, I’ll pick up my book first and then take a break to watch a video or two before bed. A lot of that depends on how much I am able to focus though, and for some reason, my focus seems to mostly kick in very late in the evening. It’s not such a bad thing on days where I can stay up late and sleep in the next day, but those are pretty rare now!

9) Read my Top 23 to Read in 2023

This list is one of the main reasons I always end up holding back posting my goals, because I need to coordinate it with my 5-Star Prediction lists (coming soon!). I have yet to ever complete this goal, but I really want to make this the year that it finally happens! One thing I want to change in order to make that happen is to stop worrying about trying to space out the books to read them throughout the year, and just pick them up when I feel like it! I sometimes get hung up on trying to make sure I don’t rush through all of the books I’m most excited for a once, but then I end up putting them off for too long and not reading them at all! I failed miserably on this goal last year, and I really want to redeem myself. My stretch goal for this one will be to complete all of the 23 books on my Top 23 list and all of my 5 Star Predictions. I also loosely have another stretch goal in mind of making sure to prioritize and finish off some of the books that have been on my reading challenge lists for a ridiculously long time, but I don’t quite have that list ready yet. These books are my Top 23 to read in 2023:

  • The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill
  • The Last Tale of the Flower Bride by Roshani Chokshi
  • How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix
  • Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney
  • What Have We Done by Alex Finlay
  • Dark Corners by Megan Goldin
  • The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling
  • Spells for Forgetting by Adrienne Young
  • Begin Again by Emma Lord
  • Foul Lady Fortune by Chloe Gong
  • Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood
  • Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
  • The Pallbearer’s Club by Paul Tremblay
  • The Kind Worth Saving by Peter Swanson
  • Thicker Than Water by Megan Collins
  • I’m The Girl by Courtney Summers
  • The Writing Retreat by Julia Bartz
  • Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake
  • The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • The Soulmate by Sally Hepworth
  • What Remains by Wendy Walker
  • Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers by Jesse Q. Sutanto

10) Enjoy what I’m reading!

This is just permanently my last goal of every year! It is very important to me that I’m enjoying the books that I’m reading overall, and I think I’ve become very good at finding books that I’m pretty confident that I will like. Even if I don’t end up accomplishing specific goals, I typically count a reading year as a success anyway if I had fun reading and genuinely enjoyed the majority of my books. I stack my lists with lots of books that I’m very excited to pick up, both from authors that I’ve read and loved before and new-to-me authors that I think I’ll love too. Although I’m hoping to have a more successful year overall in terms of reaching many of my goals, the part that I’m looking forward to the most is discovering more amazing books and new favourites!


One thought on “Top 10 Tuesdays: 2023 Reading & Reading Challenge Goals

  1. Pingback: First Quarter Challenge Check-In (2023) | Abyssal Librarian

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