Posted in Books, Reading Challenge, Well-being, Winter

Reading Challenge completed!

It’s been a long year and even though my health has been bad for most of this year, at least I found some happiness with the many books I read. 🙂

I spent Christmas mostly eating and reading and I can finally say: yes, the Reading Challenge is complete! Yay! The goal was to read 50 books and match those books to 50 reading challenge prompts made by the Finnish Helsinki Metropolitan Area Libraries. I ended up reading 53 books which is much more than I thought I would end up with.

If I had to choose the top 5 books for this year, these would be the ones:
1. Becoming by Michelle Obama
2. Life on Air: Memoirs of a Broadcaster by David Attenborough
3. Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado-Perez
4. Dear Girls by Ali Wong
5. Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery by Scott Kelly

I’m just really happy to have read so many inspiring books this year. Reading really helped me get through this difficult year, that still affects my wellbeing. So what exactly did I read? There are some stats I can share!

In addition of having the goal of reading 50 books and filling the challenge prompts with one designated book for each prompt, I also wanted to challenge myself to read more books by authors I hadn’t read before. I usually read book series so it’s mostly always the same authors that I read from. Also I wanted to read more in Finnish, which is my native language. Over the recent years, I have mostly read books in English and reading in Finnish actually started to feel clumsy which felt weird. With the help of the Reading Challenge I have read 53 books in 2019 and of those 36 books were from authors I have never read before and 20 books were in Finnish. Mission accomplished!

Here are some graphs from the reading challenge sheet I filled over the year. Got a bit obsessed by the sheet, to be honest. 🙂 It was fun to see the progress!

I was really surprised that in the end I ended up reading so many nonfiction books and that so many of those were memoirs.

Usually I mostly read books by UK authors, so these stats don’t surprise me. However, I’m happy that I managed to read so many books from my own country (Finland) and add some other countries to the list of “author’s home country”.

I think it really helped that I had books in different formats. Listening to audio books really boosted me to reach my reading goals. I really should use the library more and buy less books, even though buying books makes me happy. 🙂

Reading Challenge 2019, each prompt filled:

1. The book cover has a human face on it: Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding by Rhys Bowen
2. Someone is looking for a missing person or an item in the book: Poirot Investigates by Agatha Christie
3. A book from a genre you don’t usually read: Islantilainen voittaa aina by Satu Rämö
4. The only book written by the author: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
5. The book has been a nominee for a book prize in your homeland: Graniittimies by Sirpa Kähkönen
6. A romance novel: The Course of Love by Alain de Botton
7. A book about a place you have visited: Talvikirja by Maija Tiensuu
8. A book whose reading belongs to general knowledge in your opinion: Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari
9. A book recommended by someone under 18 years old: The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman
*10. A book written by a person of colour: Becoming by Michelle Obama
11. A book about women’s role  in society: Victoria by Daisy Goodwin
12. A book connected to Great Britain: The Mitford Murders by Jessica Fellowes
13. A book for children or youth from your homeland: Muumilaakson marraskuu by Tove Jansson
14. The authors last name starts with the same letter as yours: Beren and Luthien by J.R.R. Tolkien
15. A taboo is dealt within the book A book about a taboo: Sad Cypress by Agatha Christie
16. A story that shifts between reality and unreality: What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
17. There are twins in the book: Endurance by Scott Kelly
18. A book written by a European writer: Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
19. You don’t like the title of the book: Pintti by Tommi Kinnunen
20. The book deals with a culture that you are not familiar with: The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
21. A book written by a celebrity: Seriously I’m Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres
22. A book about climate change: Herääminen by Risto Isomäki
23. The book title has a name of a country in it: Englantilainen romanssi by Nina Mero
24. Book chosen from a bookshelf with your eyes closed: Dear Girls by Ali Wong
25. A book from an author you have never read before: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
26. A book that you see someone you don’t know reading: Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
27. The book is some way based on Nordic mythology: Itämeren Auri by Johanna Valkama
28. There is a moon on the book cover: Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie
29. Someone is dreaming in the book: Ysärikirja by Essi Huuhka
30. The book cover has a city landscape on it: Christmas on the Little Cornish Isles by Phillipa Ashley
31. Someone travels by metro in the book: Help Me! by Marianne Power
32. The book title has a profession in it: David Attenborough’s Life on Air: Memoirs of a Broadcaster by David Attenborough
33. You have seen a movie based on the book: Dead Man’s Folly by Agatha Christie
34. The book has writings by several writers in it: Tuplatähti by Tapani Ahola & Ben Furman
35. There is an entrepreneur or company in the book: Invisible Women by Caroline Criado-Perez
36. Someone is alone in the book: Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie
37. A book published by a small publisher: Kalifornia kutsuu by Taina Kinnunen
38. A banned book: Girls of Riyadh by Rajaa Alsanea
39. A book about the relationship between humans and animals: Lucky Dog Lessons by Brandon McMillan
40. A book about mental health problems: Hysteria by Phoebe Bennett
41. A book about a time period you would like to live in: Desperate hours by David Mack
42. You like the name of the author: Ihana Herkkyys by Suvi Rowellan
43. A book that follows the growth of a child to adulthood: Marco Hietala by Timo Kangasluoma
44. A book about Berlin: Stasiland by Anna Funder
45. The book title has a negative in it: Never Grow Up by Jackie Chan
46. The book has a trans or non-binary character in it: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
47. The book has less than 100 pages: Why We should all be feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
48. The book has a hearing-impaired or visually impaired character in it: The Crown: The Official Companion, Volume 2 by Robert Lacey
49. A book published in 2019: Golden Cage by Camilla Läckberg
50. A book recommended by library personnel: Lujasti Lempeä by Maaret Kallio

Unfortunately I did not have time to write a review of all the books I read, but I will keep up with those as much as I can once the reading challenge starts for 2020 . Can’t wait!


I love books, games and the coziness of our house (currently it's the kingdom of me and my husband). My work in a game studio as a Senior HR Specialist keeps me busy and social, but I am an introvert in my core. Navigating life between my very social work and my introvert, less social personality can be tricky and it goes hand in hand with my interest in overall personal well-being.

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