Reading Challenges

I love a reading challenge. I’m not just talking about the yearly Goodreads challenge but the many other challenges online. I started doing them to widdle down my to be read list in the past, it feels like you accomplish something when you join a challenge and meet your target.

I took part in the Summer Reading Challenge last year and the year before, reading books from my tbr mainly. I’d often read books set in different countries or continue reading a series e.g. Poldark.

I had a plan to read 30 books from my tbr this year, honestly I’m not sure what’s going to happen with my challenges this year, the 20 books of summer challenge starts in June. I continued reading the Outlander books again. Their huge and I can’t stop reading them, I’ll happily sit and read them for hours! But it doesn’t matter, as long as I’m enjoying reading I’m not concerned.

I’ve been doing a 40 book challenge on a forum, again it’s a way to widdle down my tbr but I thought it might be fun to have an idea or suggestion of what to read next. Looks like I’ve read 8 so far. I had trouble copying and pasting with the right format on here, so I hope it’s readable. Not getting on with the new wordpress 😦 This list is what I’m planning to read/already read but it’s not set in stone. I might move a book to a different category or read something else. I’ve tried to add books from my tbr mostly.

. 1. America the Beautiful (a book set in USA)
The Shambling Guide To New York City by Mur Lafferty
2. That’s a Wrap! (a book that became a film)
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
3. Food, Glorious Food! (a book with food – or drink – in the title)
Wild Strawberrries by Angela Thirkell
4. Flower of Scotland (a book set in Scotland)
The Bookshop On The Shore by Jenny Colgan
5. Alien! (a book with a non-human character – could be an animal as well as an alien)
Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke
6. In a word… (one-word title)
Acceptance by Jeff VanderMeer
7. Go East, Young Man! (book set in the Far East)
8. Green Book (not the film – a book with a green cover)
9. Water, water everywhere (a book with river, lake, sea etc in the title, or with one of these as its main setting)
Once Upon A River by Diane Setterfield
10. Ticket to Ride (a book about a journey)
Clanlands by Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish (read)
11. Lost in Translation (hopefully not! A book translated into English)
Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke (read)
12. A book first published before you were born
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
13. A kernel of truth (a story based on real events or people)
14. A book set in the 1800s
The Alienist by Caleb Carr
15. War and Peace (A book set between the two world wars)
16. It’s new to me (1)… (a book by an author you’ve not read before)
Love after Love by Ingrid Persaud
17. It’s new to me (2) (a book in a genre you wouldn’t usually read)
The Duke and I by Julia Quinn(read)
18. In the Beginning (a debut novel)
Rivals of The Republic by Annelise Freisenbruch
19. She (a book with a woman’s name in the title)
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab(read)
20. Fly Me to the Moon (a book about flying or space travel)
The Wild Air by Rebecca Marcell
21. Dear diary (a biography, autobiography or memoir)
(to be decided possibly The Fry Chronicles)
22. A non-fiction book
Warriors and Kings by Martin Wall
23. The sound of music (a book with music/song etc in the title, or about music in some way)
Drums Of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon (read)
24. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (a book set at Christmas!)
Mystery In White by Joseph Jefferson Farjeon
25. It’s a Mystery (a crime or mystery novel or non-fiction)
Mindhunter by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker(read)
26. Here and Now (a book published in 2021)
This Much Huxley Knows by Gail Aldwin(currently reading)
27. Short and sweet (a book with 250 pages or fewer)
The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
28. It’s a Kind of Magic (a book with a magical element)
Fallible Justice by Laura Laakso(read)
29. You’re Gonna Find Me Out In the Country (a book set in the countryside)
Escape To The Country by Patsy Collins (to buy)
30. In Isolation (a book set somewhere very remote – eg the Arctic, up a mountain, in the desert etc)
Dark Matter by Michelle Paver
31. Brand spanking new (a book you bought new)
The Betrayals by Bridget Collins
32. All the Fun of the Fair (a book about a fair, carnival, freak show etc)
33. Working 9 to 5 (a book with a profession in the title, or about a specific job)
Call The Midwife by Jennifer Worth
34. Dial M for Murder (a book about a murder….!)
The Widow by Fiona Barton(read)
35. Frozen (a book set in winter or somewhere very very cold!)
36. It’s Raining Men (a book with a man in the title)
The Ferryman’s Daughter by Juliet Greenwood
37. Eyes of a Child (a book written from a child’s point of view)
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
38. What a gem! (a book with a gemstone in the title)

39. A hardback book
Supernatural by Richard MacLean Smith
40. Books on books! (a book about books or about reading)

I know my friend is doing a read around the world challenge, sounds amazing. Are you doing any challenges?


Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit by John. E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker

Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit
FBI Special Agent and expert in criminal profiling and behavioural science, John Douglas, is a man who has looked evil in the eye and made a vocation of understanding it. Now retired, Douglas can let us inside the FBI elite serial crime unit and into the disturbed minds of some of the most savage serial killers in the world.

The man who was the inspiration for Special Agent Jack Crawford in The Silence of the Lambs and who lent the film’s makers his expertise explains how he invented and established the practice of criminal profiling; what it was like to submerge himself mentally in the world of serial killers to the point of ‘becoming’ both perpetrator and victim; and individual case histories including those of Jeffrey Dahmer, Charles Manson, Ted Bundy and the Atlanta child murders.

With the fierce page-turning power of a bestselling novel, yet terrifyingly true, Mindhunter is a true crime classic.- GoodReads

My Review

After watching the Netflix series I wanted to read the book it was based on, I bought the book before I started the series as I was intrigued after recently starting to read true crime books. The series is a complete dramatisation of the book, the FBI agents in the series are fictitious so the book was completely different to the show. I really enjoyed the show and I’m hoping that they do another series.

Mindhunter, the book, is compelling and interesting. It starts with John Douglas detailing how he became a profiling for the FBI and how the Behavioural Science Unit came to be. It was very autobiographical to begin with and he continued to reinforce this idea that he’d always been a profiler of sorts since he was young, but I found his way of thinking a little strange.

The book got more interesting when he started to detail the history behind the FBI’s Behavioural Science Unit, reporting the investigations into various serial killers and how interviewing convicted serial killers helped them to examine their behaviours and develop a profile for this type of criminal. While reading the cases is disturbing it was interesting to read how they developed their methods of profiling and why. How their methods helped to change the way law enforcement could investigate crimes, understanding the killers’ behaviours which could then help build a profile and lead to an arrest.

In the most part this book was very informative and the style wasn’t dull like some non-fiction books can be. Once I started reading I’d quickly get intrigued and read a few chapters at a time.

However there were some aspects of the books that did affect my overall enjoyment. The book doesn’t seem to be written in a linear timeline, the cases are not discussed year by year, similar cases are grouped together, (correct me if I’m wrong). For the most part I think it followed a timeline but it wasn’t easy for me to follow or absorb the information. This is just the style of the book, it was still interesting but having a fixed timeline would help me to remember the historical facts. (Or it could just me). After reading a few cases the story did become repetitive, case introduced, how they investigated and then how it ended, but after taking a short break I came back to it with renewed enthusiasm.

I think if there was a little less autobiography and the cases written more historically I would’ve enjoyed this book a lot more. But I did like it and recommend it as an interesting book to read if you want to know more about serial killers and how their crimes were and have been investigated.