100 Book Challenge


In 2010 I took part in the 100 book challenge (pic) I found somewhere online and I’ve decided to continue it every year. This is a great idea to encourage reading, and after doing it for a year I figured it was a good one to do every year. Plus I like posting the little mini-reviews so I can easily go back and recommend a few books to friends who also love sci-fi, or fantasy, business, etc. I also chart the ratio of fun to serious books here.

2020 – 193 Books – Click here for the list/reviews.
2019 – 149 Books – Click here for the list/reviews.
2018 – 170 Books – Click here for the list/reviews.
2017 – 157 Books – Click here for the list/reviews.
2016 – 112 Books – Click here for the list/reviews.
2015 – 141 Books – Click here for the list/reviews.
2014 – 101 Books – Click here for the list/reviews.
2013 – 137 Books – Click here for the list/reviews.
2012 – 146 Books – Click here for the list/reviews.
2011 – 131 Books – Click here for the list/reviews.
2010 – 111 Books – Click here for mini reviews and a list.

For 2020 my goal is to read only the books I’ve already bought and sequels to books I’ve already read. And, I am only aiming to do 50 books. I will probably go over, but the focus this year is on building some new projects/businesses.

January 2021

1. Fatherland – I don’t know where I heard about this but what a great book (it just had its 25th Anniversary). The author took all the plans Hitler and the Nazi’s had made imaging their victory and future world and inserted a detective story set in 1964 into it. Weird to read at times, and very entertaining.

2. Book 6 of Tiger’s Imperium in one of my fav series about the Roman Military and a fun character but in a fantasy universe. Good sequel, but felt a little short. I am looking forward to seeing it move forward.

3. 4. 5. Books 1, 2, and 3 of the Fallen Blade series – Broken Blade, Bared Blade, and Crossed Blades. Great books, my only complaint is the main character just seems a bit stuck at times. Fun stories and I really enjoyed them!

6. The Girl and the Bombardier: A True Story of Resistance and Rescue in Nazi-Occupied France – A fantastic non-fiction about a B17 bomber navigating Nazi occupation to get out. Amazing read and written by her daughter. Really really cool to read and see what it was like.

February 2021

7. 8. 9. Books 1, 2, and 3 of the Empires of Bronze series by Gordon Doherty. It is a fantastic series and such an amazing point in time I don’t know much about (bronze age Hittite empire + Egyptians).

March 2021

10. Eagle in the Snow – The book that inspired the movie Gladiator supposedly. Good read.

11. The Book Of Eating – Fun reada bout the life of a famous food critic. I didn’t realize how much they had to eat and it was kinda gross. Funny guy.

12. Actung Baby – Fantastic book by an American mom raising her kids in Germany. Really resonated with a lot of things I would like for Calico to have as attributes, and some of my frustrations with American parenting culture and helicopter parenting. One of my fav books so far this year.

13. A Man at Arms – Decent read but I got a little frustrated with the characters as they felt a little flat, esp compared to some of his other amazing books. Very cool to visualize the history of this period though.

14. In the Shadow of the Wall – Great read about Roman Britain from the POV of a young Pictish warrior. Historically very interesting period. Solid B+.

15. The Alpha Protocol – I enjoyed this one, but like a lot of science fiction I felt like it didn’t have enough to it. It felt like half a book and just started getting interested. I don’t like this new movement where authors ship half a book every month. That said, clear writing, and an interesting storyline.

16. The Age of Ra – The first book in a series that imagines the Gods playing an active role through us. Very interesting take and I enjoyed it. Not enough to pick up the sequel right now though.


17. Remove The Shourd: King’s Ranger Book 3 – This book is a good example of why authors MUST put in a catch-up starter so you remember the story and where it is going. It just came out and I struggled to figure out what was going on as it had been a while since I read the first two books. AC is a good author, but the novels feel a bit serial where not much happens, and yet they still call it a full book. I think I am done with this series as there isn’t enough character development, and it ends before anything substantial happens. Not enough meat.

18. 19. 20. 21. Books one through four of the Amaranthe series are big space opera (16 books). I really like the story, the scope, and the characters. And, the fact that by book 4 I still don’t know where it is going. I am going to try book 5 and see where we go now :).  I really hope the two main characters develop a bit more now that we are five books in.


22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. The Brune Chief of Police series (13 books – 2 are short stories), one of my all-time favorites and some of the best this year. I blew through the entire series and I eagerly await the upcoming book :). Love them and so much fun. About a small-town French police officer in rural France.

35. I was hoping for some hard sci-fi space opera with Wings of Earth: 1 – Echoes of Starlight, but it just didn’t resonate for me. It was a good story but ended too soon without anything happening, and it had some really weird plot things going on. Just not for me I guess.


36. The Blessing Way – I was really bummed, as this book sounded great and had amazing reviews, but it just fell flat for me. It didn’t seem like much of a procedural.

37. Sentenced To War – Fun space combat book, well written and so far enough meat. Reading book 2 now.

38. 39. 40. Clash of Eagles Trilogy – I LOVED this series, such a cool concept, historical fiction but reimagined as if Rome survived into the 1200s and lands in Native America to face off against the Native Americans. Only they are not the only ones, their nemesis the Mongols have also arrived. Fantastic reads and some of the best so far this year.

41. Children of Angels book 2 – Solid sequel in the style of old man’s war or starship troopers. Fun read.

42. Empire of the Undead – Super fun read, the Roman Empire is hit by zombies, just really really fun read :).


43. The Passion Economy – One of my first audiobooks, I’ve been listening to them during workouts. I’ve never loved audiobooks as they are so slow compared to me reading… but it was kinda fun, kinda like a long podcast. I enjoy them more in the car as a family listen.

44. Fallen Empire: A Military Science Fiction Epic Adventure – Great read and very nice to see him take his skills to a new genre. I can’t wait for the next one. My only frustration is that this is basically half a book in some ways… and a lot of authors are starting to do this. They try to release 3 books a year that are all half a book almost like releasing chapters. I guess it is how they make more money but it annoys me. It is almost like reading a short story.

45. Into the Chaos (book 4) – I really want to love this book, but I can’t. It is huge in scope, the plot is pretty good, but my frustration is none of the characters are developed, they are all just flat and uninteresting. And, so much is going on you never really care because you don’t care about the characters and it jumps around so much.

46. Artifact Space – Solid read from one of my favorite authors, I really liked the main character and the story. Solid B- and I’ll buy the sequel.

47. Lucia – This is about a Roman slave girl and her story. It is only on audio book and I listened to it over workouts for the last few months. WOW! This was a cool story but super hard to listen to at times. I actually cried a little at the end. It got so dark around her soul at the end and I was so happy that it didn’t go the way I thought it would. Good story but also hallowed me out a bit at times.



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10 Comments to

“100 Book Challenge”

  1. Avatar February 24th, 2010 at 5:38 am bwb’s blog » Blog Archive » Japan Rocks! Says:

    […] has given me a lot of time to read, I’ve read 9 books in the last 3 to 4 days, reviews here! Just fun reads which is nice, almost like I’m at the […]

  2. Avatar March 13th, 2010 at 2:31 pm bwb’s blog » Blog Archive » Updated My Book List Says:

    […] now up to 26 books on my 100 books in 2010 challenge! Short reviews next to them, not sure how helpful but it should be pretty easy to see which are […]

  3. Avatar March 17th, 2010 at 7:46 am Jeremy Says:

    I commend you Ben. One book a month is a stretch for me. I have read a few of those. The Bill Bryson book “A Brief History…” is one of my all time favorites.

  4. Avatar March 18th, 2010 at 7:10 pm bwb Says:

    We will see how far I get! I read fast luckily but its still really hard, its a lot of books.

    Ya I was so impressed, I wish we had read that in high school.

  5. Avatar February 27th, 2011 at 10:50 pm bwb’s blog » Blog Archive » Miami Says:

    […] read 4 books and I highly recommend this book that talks about factory girls in China and was just an amazing […]

  6. Avatar October 30th, 2011 at 4:21 pm bwb’s blog » Blog Archive » Good Vacation! Says:

    […] I went snorkeling every day, swam for hours, and just read under a nice awning right on the most beautiful beach I’ve ever seen (mostly because I think the water is an amazing color). Plus enjoyed some rum, got a zillion new freckles, rented a jeep for a few days and drove all around the island to try other beaches, sampled a lot of french bakeries, ate a lot of fish, etc. And I read 21 books while on break, so I’ve hit my goal for this year with having read 124 books so far! […]

  7. Avatar November 8th, 2011 at 8:58 am April Johnson Says:

    ben, you should add the travel books Chuck Thompson wrote to you list to read, i think you’d like them. the only 2 i’ve read are: “to hellholes and back”, and “smile while you’re lying”.

  8. Avatar November 8th, 2011 at 11:00 am bwb Says:

    Added to my amazon wish list! what are those two about and where does he visit?

  9. Avatar October 4th, 2015 at 12:17 pm bwb's blog » Blog Archive Reading – Fun Versus Serious… - bwb's blog (digital nomad) Says:

    […] I read a lot, and I was curious if the ratio of fun versus serious books changed per year or remained roughly the same. I classified fun as anything I read that is fantasy, sci fi, travel, thrillers, ie, beach books. I classified serious as anything that was business, history, biography, etc. […]

  10. Avatar January 1st, 2016 at 8:27 am bwb's blog » Blog Archive » 2015 Book Summary Says:

    […] 2010 I’ve taken part in a yearly challenge to read 100 books, and I met my goal for 2015 with 141 books. I almost broke my all time record of 146 books from […]

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This is bwb’s personal blog so he can share his thoughts with the world, however scary or silly they might be. Plus family and friends can track what I am up too, and where I am in the world.

I am pretty simple. I love Mangos. I love the ocean, although mostly at sunset as I’m a ginger. I love to travel, eat exotic food, read, and use my imagination. I love creating and developing ideas into businesses, understanding how all businesses work, and building cool stuff. I am a globalist and see the entire world as my responsibility and playground. And, I am married to an amazing woman who makes life even more fun :)! And, we are now the proud parents of Calico Jack :).