Happy New Year! The Reading Challenge specs

So, reading challenges.  This is the third year I have been using them to shape my quest to be well read.  And it has done that.

Now that the 2018 lists are out, my motivation to make plans on what to procure and read to meet these has started.

And I am realizing that there will be overlap now that I have done a few of them.   I have already read celebrity memoirs and tackled books I hated/abandoned in school (there were not many, that is how uncool I am when it really comes down to brass tacks), but they are rearing their ugly heads again on the new wave of challenges.

Which is just as well, because I am considering BookRiot’s 2018 list, but what I need to be doing is focusing more on getting writing done.  Not even getting it out there, just getting it done.  Reading more specifically for writing:  reading journals I might want to submit to, reading the best examples of the genre, reading books on writing, reading books that will help me inform me into writing.

But I got the whole freaking 2017 challenge done.  This is amazing not because of the amount of reading, only 24 books of the 85+ I made it through this year, but the amount of reading what I didn’t want to read.  I like books without pictures.  I like books about white people problems.  I can only do so many books that break my heart.  And these challenges want pictures and want me to think outside my world.  What!

BookRiot’s 2017 Read Harder Challenge:

A Book About Sports:  Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube:  Chasing Fear and Finding Home in the Great White North,  Blair Braverman

A Debut Novel:  The Book of Speculation, Erika Swyler

A Book About Books:  The Book Thief (finally!), Markus Zusak

A Book Set in Central/South America:  The House of the Spirits, Isabel Allende

Read a Book by an Immigrant or a Central Immigration Narrative: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (also finally), Junot Diaz

Read An All Ages Comic:  Angry Birds Transformers

Read a Book Published Between 1900 and 1950:  The Green Mouse, Robert W. Chambers

Read a Travel Memoir:  Eat, Pray, Love (I can’t believe I still had not read it yet either), Elizabeth Gilbert

Read a Book You’ve Read Before: The Hundred Dresses, Eleanor Estes

Read a book that is set within 100 miles of your location:  Death in Saratoga Springs, Charles O’Brien

Read a book that is set more than 5000 miles from your location: Soy Sauce for Beginners (Also a personal Read Down): Kirsten Chen

Read a fantasy novel: The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss

Read a nonfiction book about technology: Forensics, Val MacDermid

Read a book about war: A God in Ruins (Also a Read Down), Kate Atkinson

Read a YA or middle grade novel by an author who identifies as LGBTQ+: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe,  Benjamin Alire Saenz

Read a book that has been banned or frequently challenged in your country: The Complete Persepolis (Also a personal Read Down), Marjane Satrapi

Read a classic by an author of color: Their Eyes Were Watching God, Nora Neale Hurston

Read a superhero comic with a female lead: Storm, Vol 1:  Make it Rain, Greg Pak, Victor Ibanez and Matteo Buffagni

Read a book in which a character of color goes on a spiritual journey (From Daniel José Older, author of Salsa Nocturna, the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series, and YA novel Shadowshaper): A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. LeGuin

Read an LGBTQ+ romance novel (From Sarah MacLean, author of ten bestselling historical romance novels): Drawn Together, Z.A. Maxfield

Read a book published by a micropress. (From Roxane Gay, bestselling author of AyitiAn Untamed StateBad Feminist, Marvel’s World of Wakanda, and the forthcoming Hunger and Difficult Women): A Tender Industrial Fabric, Tony Altman

Read a collection of stories by a woman. (From Celeste Ng, author Everything I Never Told You and the forthcoming Little Fires Everywhere): Interpreter of Maladies (Yeah for real I had not made it to this one either); Jhumpa Lahiri

Read a collection of poetry in translation on a theme other than love. (From Ausma Zehanat Khan, author of the Esa Khattak/Rachel Getty mystery series, including The Unquiet DeadThe Language of Secrets, and the forthcoming Among the Ruins): King of a Hundred Horsemen, Marie Etienne

Read a book wherein all point-of-view characters are people of color. (From Jacqueline Koyanagi, author of sci-fi novel Ascension): The Sellout, Paul Beatty

With it all listed out before me like this, I am realizing how many modern classics I was able to knock out this year, like Oscar, like Eat Pray Love, like The Book Thief.  I feel particularly good about that. I think I made it to discussing most, if not all of these on the blog as we got through the year.

They all brought me something new, like reading challenge books are meant to do, but I have not thought up any awards, any specific ways in which some books stood out this year and apart from the others.

Your reading challenges from 2017?

I have to think over what my 2018 is going to look like before I craft that post.  This year I also did a half marathon, two sprint triathlons, wrote 12 short stories, did a ten day writing challenge and knitted many of the things.  My craft projects need a good craft down.

Comments/shares/likes are always appreciated!

Happy New Year!

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