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In case you couldn’t tell by the name of this blog, or my goals for the year, or the topic of many of my posts, I love to read. As a kid, it was “my thing,” and I was about as low-maintenance as possible as long as I had something to read.
However, at some point (probably the high school years), I ran out of time to “pleasure read” and saved anything not assigned in class for holidays and summer break. This trend carried on into college (hello, English major reading lists), and now I feel like I have to convince myself that I really do have time to read. Because I really do! When I deprive myself of Fixer Upper and organize my writing time accordingly.
I know I’ve said it before, but I’m super jealous of Sarah and the amount of reading that she squeezes into her already-busy life. So this year I’m taking a leaf out of her book and setting a reading challenge for myself: 36 books in 2016!
As part of this goal, I’m going to complete Anne‘s 2016 Reading Challenge. I’ve always meant to do one of her annual challenges, and this is my year! I love how the categories offer a lot of freedom but also help weed through all the books on my “to read” list.
A book published this year
To be determined
Author: To be determined
I feel like less than a month into the year is a little too early to pick a book for this category. I’ll update this one when I find a good book from 2016 to stick here!
A book you can finish in a day
Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
Spencer sat next to me as I thought about these books, inputting his two cents every so often, and he reminded me that I had never read this classic kids novel. He also said I could read it in about two hours, so this seemed like the perfect category for it. I’m sure I’ve seen a film version of it somewhere, and I know I saw that Disney reimagining, Treasure Planet, but I honestly don’t have clear memories about it at all. It seems like one of those that stuck with Spencer at a young age, so it should probably be on my 2016 list for that reason alone. ———————————————————————————————————————————————
A book you’ve been meaning to read
Author: Anthony Doerr
This one traveled around my department at work for a bit, and then I stole it because it sounded interesting and definitely like something I would enjoy reading. It’s since been on a shelf in my cubicle for half a year. Therefore, it deserves this “been meaning to read” spot on my list… even though it hasn’t been in print for two years yet.
A book recommended by your local librarian or bookseller
Author: Rick Yancey
Guys, I may have cheated a bit with this one. You see, I don’t quite have any librarian or bookseller friends in Cincinnati, especially since I check out mostly ebooks through the public library’s website. However, I did sift through said website until I found the recommended books from January, and while the book chosen for adults sounded interesting, the one designated for teens was much more appealing. I also have this thing about seeing movies before I read the books, and I can’t go too long without seeing whatever new thing Chloe Grace Moretz is in. She’s just too good.
A book you should have read in school
Author: Harper Lee
How embarrassing is it that I’ve never read To Kill a Mockingbird? Even just typing that makes me feel inferior. This summer, when everyone else was going crazy about Go Set a Watchman, I was trying desperately to avoid spoilers. As such, I think it’s about time that I read this classic and then immediately read the crazy delayed sequel (prequel?).
A book chosen for you by your spouse, partner, sibling, child, or BFF
Author: Victor Huge
I knew I should’ve asked Sarah for a recommendation for this category. I knew it. Instead, I said, “Hey, Spencer. What’s a book you think I should read this year?” and his evil smile said it all. You see, Spencer wasn’t a big fan of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. In fact, I’m not even sure he finished reading it. I told him it couldn’t really be as bad as he was making it out to be, and now it’s on my list for the year. I suppose we shall see.
A book published before you were born
Author: Anthony Burgess
I’m a big fan of the classics (I mean, last year’s book club was made up entirely of classic novels), so the majority of the books I read were published before I was born. I don’t quite know what made me need to read this book in place of any others, but it immediately jumped out at me from my huge “to read” list. Plus you can’t get past that cover art.
A book that was banned at some point
Author: George Orwell
It turns out that a lot of classic books were also banned at one point or another, so there were plenty to choose from for this category. I’m pretty sure I own this one and have just never read it, and I was a huge fan of Animal Farm when we read it in senior English class.
A book you previously abandoned
Author: Leo Tolstoy
I originally started reading this book in the middle of my junior year of college because I thought I had plenty of time to read during the summer and the movie with Keira Knightley had just come out. Unfortunately I ended up abandoning it when work and internships and other busy summer things took up my time. I’m excited to dust it off and start fresh!
A book you own but have never read
Author: Ken Follett
My mom bought this book for me years and years ago, and it’s been on my bookshelf ever since. I had never put a high priority on reading it until it became yet another “book to read” with my office group. Since I already own it, all of my coworkers are reading it, and I recently discovered that the miniseries has an A-plus cast, I figured it was time.
A book that intimidates you
Author: George Eliot
This is yet another “summer read” that I never got around to, but it belongs in this category because it is so darn long and supposedly complex. I’ve been told that I’ll love it by multiple people, but the size and my experience with Eliot’s contemporaries has always made me shy away from it. Well not anymore!
A book you’ve already read at least once
Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m cheating a bit with this pick, too. Technically I’m not reading The Lord of the Rings in one volume; I’m reading the beautiful leather bound trilogy of books that my parents gave me for Christmas. (Also, I’m already through The Fellowship of the Ring, but who’s counting?) I was obsessed with these years ago when I read them as the movies came out, and I’m way overdue for a rereading.
I’ve also decided to join the lovely Emma Watson for her feminist book club. (Go check out Our Shared Shelf on Goodreads!)
Author: Gloria Steinem
I know very little about Steinem, but I’m learning a ton while listening to the audio version of her autobiography. You can expect a blog post with my thoughts on the book during the last week of January, and I’m also planning to follow along with the other eleven books once Emma and company choose them.
What’s on your list of books to read this year? If you, too, are joining in for the feminist fun, should we get together and link up our posts? Let me know what you think!