Sunday, July 14, 2019

Reading Challenge: Can You Take It?

There is no shortage of reading "challenges" that encourage readers to expand their horizons with deliciously random criteria that forcibly inject variety into their book choices. 

While some readers may take this lawlessness as a command to find new books for their shelves, I instead see this as an opportunity to more deeply peruse my TBR shelves, Kindle, and Audible selections. (If I told you I had a thousand books on my Kindle Fire, I'd be lying. I have 1,554.)

Take the Goodreads Challenge for Beginners, a reader favorite, where the challenge includes:

  1. a Goodreads community-voted favorite
  2. a Goodreads community popular read
  3. a book that has been on your Goodreads Want to Read list for a year or more
  4. a book being adapted for film or TV this year

Do I have any books on my to-read list that would fit those criteria? Why, yes I do:

  1. Children of Blood and Bone
  2. Where the Crawdads Sing or Daisy Jones and the Six
  3. Behind the Scenes at the Museum
  4. Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

Two of the books above fit selections in the Modern Mrs. Darcy 2019 Reading Challenge

  • A book I've been meaning to read: Where the Crawdads Sing
  • A book from a favorite author's backlist: Behind the Scenes at the Museum


Then there's the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge, which has dozens of options, including books with the words "pop," "sugar," or "challenge" in the title. Three books I have chosen above can meet a few POPSUGAR criteria:

  • Celebrity recommendation? Where the Crawdads Sing
  • Debut novel? Behind the Scenes at the Museum 
  • A book with a question mark in its title? Where'd You Go, Bernadette?
  • A book told from multiple POVs? Daisy Jones and the Six


Okay, that's kind of cheating, so I'll branch out wider on my summer reading list with POPSUGAR suggestions:

  • A book I meant to read in 2018: The Bear and the Nightingale
  • A book published in 2019: Gingerbread
  • A book about someone with a super power: The Power
  • A book with a two-word title: Wolf Hall


Challenges can be fun, as long as the end result is an ample, fun, and rich reading list. While it's fun to flex your reading muscle and try something new, never lose sight of the real reason for a challenge: to make reading more fun. As the summer progresses, I'll try a challenge or two, but it looks like I can always come back my own shelves for my selection. As Dorothy said, there's no place like home.

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