2016 Reading Challenge

A Short Blonde Modern Mrs Darcey 2016 Reading Challenge

I was aware of the literary blogger, Modern Mrs. Darcy, but had yet to really dive into her space until hearing Anne’s interview on one of my favorite podcasts, Around the Table. Every year she has a reading challenge and I thought it would be a fun venture for 2016. I will probably read more than 12 books, but the challenge is to read 12 books in 12 different categories. I tend to read contemporary fiction or memoirs so making myself branch out a bit and pick up books I’ve been meaning to read will be a good thing!

Here is my list:

#1: A book published this yearLilac Girls: A Novel by Martha Hall Kelly
After reading The Nighingale and The Girl You Left Behind I can’t get enough of historical fiction set during The Great Wars. Lilac Girls sounds right up my alley!

#2: A book you can finish in a day | Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Anne of Green Gables was one of my favorite movies as a child and also as an adult. I listed to the abridged versions on cassette tape (narrated by Megan Follows) when I was younger but I’ve never read the stories in physical form.

#3: A book you’ve been meaning to read | A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table by Molly Wizenberg
Molly is a successful food blogger and restaurant owner. I absolutely loved her second book, Delancey, which is the story of opening her husband’s pizzeria of the same name. I’ve been meaning to read her first memoir for far too long!

#4: A book recommended by your local librarian or bookseller | Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott
My sister-in-law, who drove a bookmobile (why do I find bookmobiles romantic?) and then an editor, gave me several books for this category. It was hard to pick one (and actually I put several on my Goodreads to-read list) but I landed on Traveling Mercies as I’ve been meaning to read Anne Lamott for some time now. After I finish Traveling Mercies I plan on reading Bird by Bird, which is a book about writing.

#5: A book you should have read in school | Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
I searched “books I should have read in high school English” and picked a title that sounded appealing. Their Eyes Were Watching God was at times a banned book and out of print for 30 years. Ms. Hurston’s life story is almost as intriguing as this book. She was the preeminent African-American author in the 1930s and yet died in a welfare home in the 1960s.

#6: A book chosen by your spouse | The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday
Jordan started asking me to read this book as soon as he was in chapter one! His dream is coming true.

#7: A book published before you were born | Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
Catcher in the Rye was a favorite book of mine in high school but I didn’t have the thought to deep dive and read other Salinger works.

#8: A book that was banned at some point | For Whom the Bells Toll by Ernest Hemingway
Similarly to Catcher in the Rye, Hemingway’s, A Farewell to Arms was another favorite book of mine in high school. I was aware of Hemingway’s works but didn’t pick up any other books.

#9: A book you previously abandoned | All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Jordan and I purchased this book in the fall with the intention to read it together at night. We started out great and then the holidays happened and we got out of rhythm. Now is the time!

#10: A book you own but have never readSense & Sensibility by Jane Austen
It’s embarrassing how much I love Jane Austen’s storytelling but haven’t been able to finish any of them! I blame this partially on my book copies having too small of a print. My eyes aren’t great. Haha!

#11: A book that intimidates you | Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
The subject matter doesn’t intimidate me but I tend to get lost with foreign names and places so this might need to be an audiobook!

#12: A book you’ve already read at least onceI Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman by Nora Ephron
Nora Ephron was a smart and funny story-teller and not just in her fictional screenplays. She wrote two memoirs and they are excellent. I suggest listening to the audio versions as Nora is the narrater.

Are you joining a reading challenge this year?

24 thoughts on “2016 Reading Challenge”

  1. I’m not doing one this year, but I have done several reading challenges in the past and they are a great way to help you find new things to read. You have a great list for this year!

  2. Good choices! All The Light We Cannot See is really good. I’m also intimidated by Anna Karenina. I think I’ve started and put it down 2 or 3 times.

  3. You’ve got some great books on there! I’m in a book club, so I read at least one book a month. We just read The Art of Racing in the Rain, which was really good. So, if you need to add any, I highly suggest that one.

  4. This is a great challenge. I completing an A-Z challenge this year where I have to read a book by an author whose surname starts with every letter of the alphabet. Good luck on your challenge

  5. Great list! I love all of the classics you have on there and a couple of the newer ones are on my list too. I’ve never done a reading challenge but usually they have such a large number on them I know I won’t get through them. 12 was my own goal for the year, so maybe I ought to join this one! (I just read my 1st book, a gift from my sis for Christmas, and I’m so happy I actually read it within a couple weeks.) I have The Light Between Oceans, Trans-Atlantic, I Capture the Castle, and a bunch of others set aside for the year…I’ll have to see if any match the categories! 🙂

  6. I’ve never done a challenge like this, but I love the idea behind it! I have so many things on my TBR list that I don’t know if I could ever fit something like this into my future reads. 12 isn’t so bad, though. I love the idea of letting your partner/spouse pick one out for you! I’m curious what my husband would pick for me.

  7. I LOVE this idea! I wish I could bold and highlight the word love there. Haha. I used to be a huge reader but these days I just haven’t made it a priority because the thought of having to go out and actually choose a book really puts me off. Such a lame excuse, but there it is. This year, I’ve made a goal to read one nonfiction and one fiction each month, so I think this challenge will have to wait til 2017. But I’m excited to hear what you think about some of these and I’ll get some inspiration for myself!
    Just some thoughts: #2- I read them all when I was in elementary/middle school and I would love to go back and reread. #4- Also on my list! #5- Read this in school and have positive memory association, although I would have to reread to really recall the details of the plot. #8- I’ve never read any Hemingway and that is so bad. I need to add some of his stuff to my list. #10- Persuasion was my favorite of hers!

  8. I love this idea! I read 50+ books a year, but the branching out into different categories would be good for me – and I love how much fun some of these prompts are. I just might have to do it. If my husband were going to pick one for me it would have to be something by Malcolm Gladwell or Michael Lewis… his man crushes. And you’ve got such good picks! Anne of Green Gables would be a really fun re-read, Anne Lamott is fabulous, and I hope you do get back into All The Light. I absolutely loved it and thought it even better WWII fiction than The Girl You Left Behind and The Nightingale.

  9. I saw this reading challenge and it looked like fun!! I’m all about you reading Anne of Green Gables! I was like you – seen it a million times but didn’t read it until a few years ago (can we have a movie marathon now?). And then I blitzed through the entire series in a few weeks. Such a great read! You’ll love it 🙂 Have a great weekend!!

  10. First off, I love the new look of your site! It still looks like “you” but has such a nice, sleek update. 🙂 Also, your list is fantastic. I love Jane Austen but also have never read Sense and Sensibility. I’ve also never seen the movie, even though I own it! I think I’ll need to read the book and then watch it — I’m more intrigued now since I’ve heard so many good things about Alan Rickman’s performance since he died. I hope you enjoy these reads this year!!

  11. This reading challenge is such a great idea. I’m always in search of new reads to delve into. Since becoming a mother I have equal parts more time now that I’m not working and less time now that I’m caring for a baby. It’s amazing what we make time for though. Happy reading. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on each as you read.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *