52 Books, 1 Year Challenge

The Challenge: Read One Book For Each Week of the Year

The Rules: The reading materials must be books. Poems, essays and the like do not count unless it is a book of poems or essays. Any book counts, no matter what the reading age is. All books must be read from start to finish.

The Iffy Stuff: Each book does not have to be read within a one week span, just so long as 52 books in total are read by the end of the year.

The Exceptions: None.


The Background: I love reading. It’s one of the highest hobbies on my favourite things to do list. I have been an avid reader since I was a child and that shows absolutely no sign of fading away. Even when I don’t like a book, I still have to finish it to see what happens. I can’t just walk away. Just like I can’t walk away from a challenge. For this one, I wanted to take something I loved and push it beyond “enjoyable hobby.”

The Journey: At times this was very difficult. Even though it wasn’t in the rules, I initially started off trying to read one book a week. However, one of my first books was an absolute behemoth (which I did manage to slay in under a week) and after that I realized I wouldn’t like the ebb and flow of being constricted by the weeks. I’m a bit of a power reader and can crush some books in a day or two, whereas others might take a week or more. Throughout the challenge, I sometimes had up to 3 books on the go so that I could read whichever one I was in the mood for. As for reporting, I recorded the date that I finished each book. Sometimes I would finish a couple on the same day, or, like for the month of September, I had nothing to show.

Overall, this took some serious dedication. I read the whole spectrum of books: adolescent, classic, pop culture, fiction, non-fiction, etc. With a very active social life, full-time job and other projects and commitments, it was hard to be able to dedicate so much time to reading. Luckily for me, I love reading so it never became a distasteful chore and because I’m a fast reader I was able to make those hours really count. At the end of the year, I have to say I felt very proud.

The Outcome: Success!


The Challenge started March 4, 2012 and ended February 25, 2013. Here’s a list of books I read and the dates that I finished reading them:

  1. March 8, 2012: Tami Hoag – Secrets to the Grave
  2. March 18, 2012: Tad Williams – Otherland, Volume 1
  3. March 29, 2012: Samantha Nutt – Damned Nations: Greed, Guns, Armies & Aid
  4. April 5, 2012: Carmela Ciuraru – Nom De Plume: a (Secret) History of Pseudonyms
  5. April 12, 2012: Slavomir Rawicz – The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom
  6. April 19, 2012: Chuck Palahniuk – Fight Club
  7. April 22, 2012: Jenna Jameson – How to Make Love Like a Porn Star: A Cautionary Tale
  8. April 28, 2012: Ray Bradbury – Fahrenheit 451
  9. May 2, 2012: John Greene – The Fault in Our Stars
  10. May 3, 2012: Cormac McCarthy – The Road
  11. May 15, 2012: Tad Williams – Otherland, Volume 3
  12. May 27, 2012: Patricia Highsmith – The Talented Mr. Ripley
  13. May 29, 2012: Louise Rennison – Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging
  14. June 3, 2012: Louise Rennison – On the Brightside, I’m Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God
  15. June 4, 2012: Louise Rennison – Knocked Out By My Nunga-Nungas
  16. June 5, 2012: Louise Rennison – Dancing in My Nuddy-Pants
  17. June 8, 2012: Michael Crichton – State of Fear
  18. June 10, 2012: Becca Fitzpatrick – Hush, Hush
  19. July 5, 2012: George Orwell – Nineteen Eighty-Four
  20. July 9, 2012: Patricia Highsmith – The Price of Salt
  21. July 16, 2012: Aldous Huxley – Brave New World
  22. August 2, 2012: E.L James – 50 Shades of Grey
  23. August 9, 2012: E.L James – 50 Shades Darker
  24. August 23, 2012: Clive Barker – Cabal
  25. October 7, 2012: Jose Saramago – Death at Intervals
  26. October 14, 2012: Carolyn Kenne – The Nancy Drew Files: Natural Enemies
  27. October 14, 2012: E.L James – 50 Shades Freed
  28. October 21, 2012: Max Brooks – World War Z
  29. October 29, 2012: James Redfield – The Celestine Prophesy
  30. November 4, 2012: Douglas Coupland – Microserfs
  31. November 6, 2012: Ellen Degeneres – Seriously… I’m Kidding
  32. November 8, 2012: Don Piper – 90 Minutes in Heaven
  33. November 9, 2012: F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby
  34. November 13, 2012: Elizabeth Berg – The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted: And Other Small Acts of Liberation
  35. November 14, 2012: Douglas Coupland – Hey Nostradamus!
  36. November 15, 2012: Douglas Coupland – Eleanor Rigby
  37. November 30, 2012: Alice Sebold – Lucky
  38. December 4, 2012: Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus – Citizen Girl
  39. December 27, 2012: Jason F. Wright – The Wednesday Letters
  40. December 29, 2012: Jodi Picoult – Vanishing Acts
  41. January 3, 2013: Jodi Picoult – Handle With Care
  42. January 6, 2013: Jodi Picoult – Songs of the Humpback Whale
  43. January 14, 2013: Yann Martel – Life of Pi
  44. January 16, 2013: Mitch Albom – Tuesdays With Morrie
  45. January 17, 2013: Kurt Vonnegut – Breakfast of Champions
  46. January 23, 2013: James Redfield – The Tenth Insight
  47. January 29, 2013: Magnus Flyte – City of Dark Magic
  48. January 29, 2013: Sherman Alexie – The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
  49. February 4, 2013: Chuck Klosterman – Sex, Drugs, And Cocoa Puffs
  50. February 7, 2013: Tami Hoag – Down the Darkest Road
  51. February 21, 2013: Emily Bronte – Wuthering Heights
  52. February 25, 2013: Elizabeth Hay – Late Nights On Air
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2 thoughts on “52 Books, 1 Year Challenge

  1. Pingback: The Dictionary Challenge Finale Part 2: A Swan Song | Exit Sideways

  2. Pingback: Dictionary Challenge Week Two: Sometimes I’m Not As Good As I Think I Am | Exit Sideways

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