I love reading but I don’t always have/make the time. Reading is a big part of self-care. There’s not much better than grabbing a cuppa or a glass of something and curling up with a good book. So at the beginning of this year, I set myself the challenge of reading 24 books; 12 novels and 12 self-development books, on average one of each a month.

Admittedly I haven’t quite reached the target of 24, but I have read more than I have for the last couple of years, thanks to setting myself this goal. I kept track of the reading challenge on Goodreads, which can automatically sync from my Kindle. On the Goodreads website or app, you can track the books you’re reading, have read, and want to read. You can also check out your personalised book recommendations, based on what you’ve read.

It was so interesting to review my progress throughout the year, to see how others reviewed the books and how many more I’d need to read to reach my target. Without a doubt, it got me reading more; I read a total of 6,044 across 20 books. Here’s a few more statistics.

Most Popular

The Girl on the Train-Paula Hawkins

Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar. Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train…

I have read this book before, but it is such a good page turner and it didn’t take any of the joy of reading it again. As it was the most popular book on Goodreads, I’d say a number of you agree.

My First Review of the Year

The Million Dollar Blog-by Natasha Courtenay-Smith

In a world where everyone wants to blog and blog posts are ubiquitous, how do you stand out? How do you blog your way from nobody to somebody?

How do you make money blogging, how do you start your own blogging business, and how do you, as a business owner, use content to build your brand and drive your success?

What do the world’s most successful bloggers know that you don’t know (yet)?

This book covers everything you need to get started with blogging. It is really useful and inspiring to read the case studies and every time I finished a chapter, I was looking forward to working on my blog.

One of my Favourites

Shine-Andy Cope and Gavin Oattes

Redefining the genre of ‘self-help comedy,’ Shine is a book about the brevity of life. It contains adult themes of mortality, change, exhaustion and unrelenting pressure. Thankfully, the bleakness is done with humour and the solutions are entertaining, do-able and uplifting.

Shine is the literary equivalent of ‘ctrl/alt/delete.’ All you have to do is read the book, keep an open mind, and apply the learning. You will experience a personal re-boot with new mental software installed, upgrading you to ‘best possible self.’ It’s a very simple process that also happens to be ‘not very easy.’ Because, of course, if being your best self was easy, everybody would be doing it.

The average lifespan is 4000 weeks. Look around and you’ll see too many people having a ‘near life experience.’ They’re alive, but not living. Truth time: life’s a short and precious gift that’s hurtling by in a blur. If you want to make a dent in the universe, it’s time to wake up. We figure that if you’re going to rise, you may as well shine.


You can read the rest of the details on my Goodreads profile. I’ve really enjoyed this challenge and being able to see my progress. It has kept me motivated along with helping me read some fabulous books. The only thing missing was the support and fun of going through the challenge with others. So that prompted me to start my own reading challenge!

The Simply Shine Reading Challenge has 24 prompts on a handy printable page. Decide which books you want to read. Share your progress and recommendations in the Facebook group Shine in Self-Care and elsewhere on social media, using #simplyshinereadingchallenge

So if this sounds like something you’d like to take part in, then download the printable here and make sure you’re in Shine in Self-Care.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase via these links I receive a small commission. Thanks for your support.

About Tina Russell

Tina Russell is a Mindset and Wellbeing Blogger and Coach who helps busy women to calm the chaos in their mind and life, prioritise themselves and shine in all they choose to do. After years of not valuing herself and being a perfectionist, Tina suffered from anxiety and exhaustion and knew something had to change. She set about retraining her brain and getting her shine back, making self-care and self-development her passions. Now happier in her life, Tina uses her coaching and influencing skills from her corporate HR career, and years of experience in making positive changes to her life, to inspire and motivate other women to do the same.

1 Comment

  1. […] the goal to read 24 books: 12 novels and 12 non-fiction. I talked about this in more detail in this post. I didn’t quite meet my goal last year, although I was pretty close. This got me wondering if […]

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