The Reading Challenge 2022

The Reading Challenge 2022


Last Christmas my daughter encouraged me to download and start to use the Good Reads app on my phone.   In recent years I had started to lose track of the different books that I had read (and what I had not read) so I had been using a wee app to keep a log of things.  However, she tried to get me to join her on GoodReads so that I might manage my reading a bit more.    I decided to sign up and thought I would try and set myself an ambitious target for my yearly reading challenge of 20 books for the year but quickly found that I was reading through things a lot quicker than I thought I might.


Being challenged to read a set amount is a really good way to encourage reading.   The rules of my challenge were that I had to read every page in the book for this to count (I could have easily added in a lot of other books that I have dipped into and out of through the year for research and school).   So far, I have completed 35 (now 38!) books which is a fantastic feat and I am hoping to get at least one more book completed before the end of the year.    One of the reasons why I wanted to take on this challenge is that I love reading, and love spending time reading but I have felt that over the last few years I have not read as much as I maybe should have.  It is far to easy to flick on Netflix rather than pull out a book (or in many cases – pull up the Kindle app).

For many years I have told young pupils that reading is the key to developing your knowledge and getting smarter . . . and it really is!    I have a very wide taste in reading – from Geography to History to education to Icelandic noir crime novels to war history and fiction.    I like to read different types of books – usually if I have read a novel one week – I like to move to a more fact-based book next.   This tends to keep things interesting and my interest up.  But, finding the time to read when you have a pretty busy work and family life can be difficult.   To help with this, I have found that I read a lot more than usual through the Kindle app on my phone and ipad.  This means that the book is always available when I am sitting waiting in the car or find an unexpected couple of minutes sometime that the book is already ready to go!  The fact is that I usually much prefer having a physical copy of the book in my hand but sometimes you just need to be able to grab a few moments of reading when you can get them.

Next year I am aiming to increase my target but I am worried that I just won’t have the same amount of time to be able to get through as much as this year  . . . . but it is always good to dream  . . . and read.

If you have any good recommendations – let me know!

 Books completed in 2022

Exclusion zone by John Nicholl Island Reich by Jack Grimwood The Odin Mission by James Holland Surrender:  40 songs One Story by Bono
Outbreak by Frank Gardner Sweller’s Cognitive Load Theory in Action by Oliver Lovell How to Teach anything by Peter Hollins Fear no evil by James Patterson
Triple Cross by Tom Bradby The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer Beyond Band of Brothers by Dick Winters Deadly Cross by James Patterson
Major & Mrs Holt’s Definitive Guide to the DDay Normandy Landing Beaches by Tonie Holt Lonely Planet Normandy & DDay Beaches Road trips by Lonely Planet Death in Dalvik by Michael Ridpath Hidden Belfast by Raymond O’Regan
DK Eyewitness The Netherlands Black Sun by Owen Matthews Tom Clancy Zero Hour by Don Bentley Why we sleep by Matthew Walker
Silence of the grave by Arnaldu Indridason Secret Belfast by Lorenzo Bacino The Listening Party by Tim Burgess The 6 needs of every child by Amy Elizabeth Olrick
Ghost Force by Patrick Robinson Poweful Teaching by Pooja K Agarwal The Power of Geography by Tim Marshall Retrieval Practice:  Research & Resources for every classroom by Kate Jones
Helgoland by Carlo Rovelli Conclave by Robert Harris World War I Battlefields by John Ruler Shorelines:  The Coastal Atlas of Ireland by Robert Devoy
Around the World in 80 days by Jules Verne Space 2069:  After Apollo by David Woodhouse Tom Clancy Chain of Command by Marc Cameron

My Top 5 books of the year  . . . .

5:  Beyond Band of Brothers by Dick Winters

4:  Silence of the grave by Arnaldu Indridason

3:  Power of Geography by Tim Marshall

2: Why we sleep by Matthew Walker

1:  Surrender:  40 songs One Story by Bono


Update:  30/12/2022 – 3 more books added to the list over the Christmas break – bringing the end of year total to 38!

  • Tom Clancy – Red Winter by Marc Cameron (Great book)
  • Ireland’s forgotten past by Turtle Bunbury
  • The Lost Lights of St Kilda by Elisabeth Gifford (really enjoyed this – I have a fascination with islands and how people used to live on islands and this book really delved into this)


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