Join My 2017 Book Reading Challenge!


“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
~ C.S. Lewis


A funny thing happened on my Facebook page the other day.

We posted a rather lovely graphic, and suddenly there was a swarm of responses. Why? I just happened to ask what book people were reading right now.

Which got me to thinking about books, and how wonderful they are, and how easily we can forget the wonderful worlds that await us between their pages. Books can teach us, inspire us, entertain us, guide us, heal us.

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”
~ Stephen King




So, I’d like to invite you to join the Cauldrons and Cupcakes Reading Challenge for 2017.

It involves four simple steps:

  1. Read or otherwise consume a book each month. You might borrow a book from the library, or buy one. It might be gifted to you, or it might have been waiting for you in some pile beside the bed since who knows when… Or it could be an e-book, or an audio book. It can be any kind of book at all. A novel, a romance, crime, children’s or young adult’s, a non-fiction book like a memoir or a cookbook or a travel book. It could be a graphic novel. Or even a textbook.
  2. Post the name of the book you are currently reading here on the blog or over on our Cauldrons and Cupcakes Facebook or Instagram page. Feel free to suggest another book that you have already read and enjoyed. That way you’ll be adding to a list of books that we can all dip into and choose from. I love finding new reading recommendations!
  3. Download the Reading Challenge Bingo Sheet. Each month write the name of the book you have read in the corresponding square. If you read two books in one month it’s fine to allocate one to another month. Or add the extra book to your existing month. Then add a small amount of money to a jar for each book you read. It could be as little as ten cents per book. Here’s the Bingo Sheet for you to download – just click on this link: Book Reading Challenge Bingo Sheet Then start filling it in when you’ve read your first
  4. In December I am going to ask you to use the money you have saved to buy and donate a book to a charity for a Christmas gift OR donate the money to a literacy project or similar. (Even if you only saved ten cents each month $1 will buy you a decent second-hand book just about anywhere.) It will feel great to help someone else to experience the pleasure and comfort that reading brings. The world needs more readers. If you want to team up for this challenge that’s a great idea too!


Image from
Image from

“One must always be careful of books,” said Tessa, “and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.”
~ Cassandra Clare


I do hope you’ll join me for this challenge. And I’d love you to get your friends involved too, so please feel free to share this post far and wide.

On the first Saturday of every month I’ll post an update here on the blog, and ask you what you are reading and if you have any recommendations to share.

All year we will practice kindness to ourselves by reading.

At year’s end we will pass some of that kindness on to someone else.

Do you want to join me?

Go ahead and write your name below, or pop over to Facebook and join me there.

Happy Reading!

Lots of love, Nicole <3  xx

Hi! I'm Nicole Cody. I am a writer, psychic, metaphysical teacher and organic farmer. I love to read, cook, walk on the beach, dance in the rain and grow things. Sometimes, to entertain my cows, I dance in my gumboots. Gumboot dancing is very under-rated.
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92 thoughts on “Join My 2017 Book Reading Challenge!

  1. The list of books I have read so far this year.
    It Starts with Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways by Dallas Hartwig
    My rating: 5 of 5 stars

    NYPD Red 4 by James Patterson
    My rating: 5 of 5 stars

    Winter of the World (The Century Trilogy #2) by Ken Follett My rating 5 of 5 stars.

    Daisy McDare Cozy Mystery Eight Book Set(Daisy McDare #2-3,5-10) by K.M. Morgan (Goodreads Author)

    Private India (Private #8) by James Patterson, Ashwin Sanghi

    Private Rio (Private #11) by James Patterson, Mark Sullivan

    Willow Brook Road (Chesapeake Shores #13) by Sherryl Woods(Goodreads Author)

    Beneath A Skarlet Sky by Mark T. Sullivan

    A Slice of Heaven (Sweet Magnolias #2) by Sherryl Woods

    Honeysuckle Summer (Sweet Magnolias #7) by Sherryl Woods

    Sweet Tea at Sunrise (Sweet Magnolias #6 ) by Sherryl Woods

    Catching Fireflies (Sweet Magnolias #9) by Sherryl Woods

    Where Azaleas Bloom (Sweet Magnolias #10) by Sherryl Woods

    Midnight Promises (Sweet Magnolias #8) by Sherryl Woods

    Cross the Line (Alex Cross #24) by James Patterson

  2. Loving this challenge. Ive decided to buy a second hand kids book each month instead of putting aside money, then at years end ill send the books to a remote indigenous primary school. This month i am loving reding ” like a queen ” by legendary aussie mum blogger writer queen constance hall. Its one of the most honest and heartfelt reads ive had in many moons. Highly recommended.

  3. I read far more than one book a month, so for this I think I’ll just list the first book I finish each month. Currently for January it’s A Whole New World (A Twisted Tale) by Liz Braswell.

  4. To begin with i was never a good company for books rather to say they are not my cup of tea. I developed the habit of reading out of compulsion when my uncle got me the whole series of “Twilight”. Though i liked the story I loved the time i spent with them more. Gradually i started reading more books out of passion and for the good time i get when they are with me. I would really love to join your challenge and i didn’t know such thing existed until my friend suggested. Thanks to my friend and to you Nicole for bringing up such a good motivation to all of us. And ya my recent favorite “The mortal instruments” by Cassandra Clare, whole series. Currently I am on “Gone girl” by Gillian Flynn. Way to go Nicole!!

  5. Such an amazing way to start the year! Of all the resolutions one can make, this is the one I would love to actually keep up!! And the bingo sheet is gonna make me feel more proud and inspired to read more. After all, nothing like a cup of a tea and a good book in your arms, the smell of paper and melody of the rustle of pages to transport you into another world, an escape we all need now and then 🙂 I guess many of them would have read this, but having only recently read it, I found The Perks of Being a Wallflower incredible. Such a deep insight into the blossoming soul- a refreshing read. To quote one inspiring line. “Try to be a filter, not a sponge”. And that applies to what we read too 🙂 Happy reading! 🙂

  6. I don’t dare read all the recommendations here. My stack is only growing larger and the tablet is full. I’m having to delete as I read. I’m a slow reader but I just got the one you recommended ‘The Point of Vanishing’ by Howard Axelrod on audible. It seems to work best for me these days. I finished 4 of Sue Grafton’s while sewing a quilt. Easy to listen to while concentrating on the sewing. I read several books at once so I’ll have to concentrate on finishing one and moving on to the next for awhile. Love this idea. I read everyday.

  7. I am partial to series and am currently waiting for Book 1 of The Merry Hall Trilogy by Beverly Nichols. I believe the books are out of print, though. The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness was a great series… I will definitely read those books again!

    1. I forgot to mention that I love this idea and will put some thought into where I will send/share the money I put aside at the end of the year!

  8. Reading for fun (especially after last semester’s genre reading and analysis for studies) is back on my list for 2017. Have created a “shelf” on GoodReads (cauldrons-2017-challenge) to keep a running list.

    So wish audio books could be a thing but not for me *sigh* and I’m stubborn and will continue with hard copy versions 😀

    January books – The Memory Code by Lynne Kelly and Saga vol. 6 by Brian Vaughan & Fiona Staples.

  9. Yep Nicole, Im going to have a go at this one. I need to read, so this will make me! I’ve read a couple of books in the last month. But I loved “A little life” by Hanya Yanagihara. This is NOT going to be everyone’s cup of tea, as the content is hard to read at times. But gosh, I loved it soooo much. I will never forget this book. Thanks for the idea, love the donation concept at the end of the year especially. Lorro xxxx

    1. I’m so looking forward to the donation bit! I think I’ve found my charity too. A small convent and hostel for tribal girls in Maram in north-east India. The girls come from very poor rural families where women and girls do not get opportunities for education, leading to very poor outcomes for them. The sisters at the convent believe that ‘by providing young women with access to a good education it is hoped they will gain the knowledge and skills to overcome gender inequality and become community leaders with higher status within their community’. In 2014 I contributed to a fund to help the convent build toilet and bathroom facilities for the 120 girls they give residence to. I’m sure they’ll find a good use for any funds I raise. 🙂

  10. Hello Nicole,
    Since I am in grad school, most of my reading comes from history books, however, I do a bit of reading in bed each night and am working on My Notorious Life by Kate Manning.
    This is the story of Axie Muldoon ( I love the name) in the 1800s in New York City. She starts out as an impoverished child and ends up a midwife (women’s health practicioner, really), extraordinarily wealthy, and quite the controversial figure. A great read!

  11. I’m a little biased here but I can’t help but to recommend Chicken Soup for the Soul: Curvy & Confident. With the start of the new year and resolutions swirling about, this book has perfect timing in sharing inspirational stories of loving yourself as is. I’m biased because my story “Picture Perfect” is included in it. 😉

  12. This is so great, I’m so happy to be a part of this reading community. One of my promises and commitments to myself in 2017 is to read more, I always read a lot but in the last couple of years I don’t know what happened, before I knew it the year was over and I didn’t read that many books. I did read a lot of newsletter, material for courses I was taking and blogs and quickie things. So this is fun. I love reading in my Kindle, easy to hold, and I can make the font bigger.

  13. I read all the time. I used to write down how many books I’d been reading and I had to stop. The idea of what was a book was driving me nuts. Some ebooks are too short for me to call a ‘book’. I was so confused! This is a fun idea!

    1. Thanks for joining us, Kris. I was such a mad reader when I was a kid I’d read ANYTHING. Labels, pamphlets, the backs of cereal cartons. I think some recent e-books probably fit better in one of those categories. Still, a short read can be a good read! 😀

  14. How lovely, I have a pile on my bedside, gathering dust.
    I have a copy of Allan Pease latest, The Answer, will give it a nudge. 🤗

  15. Wow Nicole, thanks for inspiring a refreshed immersion in books. I am taking Lesley’s suggestion of ‘Inspiration Deficit Disorder’ for my book this month and beyond hopefully. This challenge is just what I need. I love reading but am notorious for accumulating books and reading bits and pieces without making it a mission to read from start to finish. So for 2017 it is my mission to read at least one book in its entirety each month and to invest whatever the book cost me into my Book Challenge Jar. Seriously, how cool will December be to go on a book buying spree. I read the following quote recently which for me sums up the potential of books –The Spirits Hands — They can be a great help – words. They can become the spirit’s hands and lift and caress you. MEISTER ECKHART. Thanks again for the invitation. Namaste & Nameh.

  16. Books have always been the love of my life , and yet for some reason I am really struggling at the moment . I have a book for weeks in fact I havev two or three and never get round to finishing them . Maybe this is a good idea to get me back into the world of reading . I have two book I am going to finish this weekend ( I am really ) then I will post you my new book of the challenge
    Great idea you have got everyone talking again

    1. Cherry, have you tried audio books? I really thought I’d hate them. But when my vision was affected and I couldn’t see I finally succumbed, and it was the best thing! I started with a book called ‘The Girl You Left Behind’ by Jojo Moyes, which I loved. It’s set in WW2 France and the present day, and it’s a wonderful tale of love and art and struggle and resilience.
      Hugs and love to you xx

    2. Yes you are right Nicole I have listened to audio but not for a while must start again . I have heard that book and it was a particularly good one . Thank you for the reminder. Hugs and love back xx

  17. Thanks for this idea Nicole, I’ve been making notes of some of the suggestions here. I haven’t been reading much lately due to health but I must recommend a favourite author Diane Chamberlain. She has a background in social work and has a deep understanding of people, what makes us tick and her novels are always written with heart.

  18. In January I will finish reading “Raising Children who Soar” by S Davis and N Eppler Wolff. Its about healthy risk taking in an uncertain world.

  19. There’s something wonderfully empowering about doing something inspiring collectively! So Yes I would love to join your 2017 Reading Challenge Nicole! This month I’m planning to finish reading ‘Inspiration Deficit Disorder’ by Jonathan Ellerby. Its central premise suggests that we create so much pain in our lives by living from our Wounded and Defended selves and neglecting our Essential selves… and a life of greater joy and purpose begins when we change this dynamic. Good stuff! xoxo 🙂

    1. Thank You so much for sharing Lesley, I too love the sound of this one. It is now on my ereader and is my choice of book for this month.

  20. Yes … excellent idea!
    I am currently reading Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich… it is part of a series and they are hilarious books…. Janet is an awesome writer… the first book in the series is called One for the Money…. xxx

  21. I’m signing up for this one Nicole. I’m always reading but I tend to leave it until I get into bed and then can only manage about two pages before I fall asleep. This may give me incentive to switch off the TV and get stuck into my books!
    I am currently reading ‘Burial Rites’ by Australian author Hannah Kent. It’s based on the true story of the last woman to be executed in Iceland in 1830. Beautifully written, heartbreaking story, I’m not quite finished but can thoroughly recommend.

    1. This is the first time reading it. I have had it on my bookshelf for years! I’ve finally decided it was time to read this book that I have heard such wonderful things about!

    2. I loved this one Megan, however became jealous that Liz had a year off and was able to afford to do all those wonderful things

  22. Hi, Count me in. Lovely challenge. Currently reading Mr Mac and Me by Esther Freud. Excellent. Story About Charles Rennie MacIntosh’s & his wife’s stay in Suffolk during the First World War.

  23. Ah books – what would life be without them!! What a wonderful idea for sharing book lists, Nicole, thank you.

    My January book is The Strays by Emily Brito – it’s about emerging from childhood innocence into the harsh reality of adulthood in 1930’s Melbourne, beautifully written – I loved it and am watching for further work from this author.

  24. The book I am reading is “Down The Dirt Roads” By Rachael Treasure A Memoir of Rachael’s life of Love, Loss and the Land which Rachael is so passionate about <3 <3 <3

    1. That’s one of the reasons I love audio books. Even when I’m too tired to read or too busy during the day I can listen to ten minutes of a story before I go to sleep! I hope you’re enjoying your holidays, Joanne. Big hugs to you xx

  25. Okay, one a month should be doable!!! (You know how I’m not so good with your daily challenges). So sign me up too, Nicole. I’ve just read ML Stedman’s, “The Light Between Ocean’s” which is set in the southern part of Western Australia. (I think the movie has just been released also). Can thoroughly recommend. This book was meant to be one of my upcoming holiday “reads” but a week of illness combined with a sneak peek at the first few pages, proved too great a temptation, so it will now be a re-read.

  26. I have just finished Mothering Sunday by Graham Swift which is a very sensual and deeply moving book set after WW1, and now just started The Light between Oceans by M L Stedman

  27. Hi Nicole, what a great idea – I promised myself I’d find more ways to give back this year so I’m in! I have just started Middlemarch by George Eliot 🙂

  28. The book I’m reading for January is ‘A Man called Ove’ by Fredrik Backman, on the recommendation of my dear friend Cate Richards. A book I highly recommend if you’re looking for one is ‘The Point of Vanishing’ by Howard Axelrod – it’s a beautifully written memoir about seeing, sight, loss and what defines us. It was such a wonderful book that I read it slowly, to savour each word.

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