The 20 Books of Summer Reading Challenge is hosted by Cathy from 746 Books, and at the beginning of the summer I took on the full challenge of reading 20 books from June 3rd to September 3rd. The following is my final update on my progress.
(the 2019 challenge has ended)
Summer reading has always felt like a special event to me. It definitely has a lot to do with getting out of school and having much more time to read what I wanted to – even if I happened to enjoy the books I read during the school year. The beginning of summer meant the start of my local library’s summer reading program, which was exceptional. Every year, young readers (it was geared towards school-aged kids) would write their name on a special paper “placard”, and during a library visit stickers symbolizing books read would be awarded by the librarians then placed on the placard by the reader. It was thrilling – both the feeling of accomplishment when looking at my stickers, and seeing how many books other kids had read (we were allowed to tape up our placard almost anywhere in the library).
*Scroll to the bottom of this page if you would like to read the conclusion of my 2017 Reading Challenge. Thank you for dropping by, and see how I’ll be challenging myself in 2018 here.
Now that I’ve officially ended my December Reading Challenge and have had time to think about my reading and general goals for 2017, I’m excited to share my ideas for this year’s Reading Challenge.
I’ve been trying to come up with ways to make this part of my blog more exciting for myself and for those of you who visit since talking about books is the purpose of this blog, and because of various failed monthly goals, I’ve wanted to move away from the Reading Challenge format I’ve always used. I also read books that are not part of my Reading Challenge each month, which
sometimes usually end up taking time away from my “designated” monthly reading. Now that that’s been said, on to the fun part!
For 2017, I’ll be reading with no month-to-month restrictions like I’ve done previously. Before I tell you what the list consists of, I need to give full credit of this idea to Hannah Braime, a writer, speaker, and blogger who published her Reading Challenge at the end of November. Before you continue reading below, check out her post here.
Back? Great! Here are the 23 bullets I’ve chosen for my Reading Challenge this year (with just some minor modifications):
A chapter book from your childhood:
A book published over 100 years ago:
A book published this year:
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
A non-fiction book:
- The Liars’ Club by Mary Karr
A book that became or is becoming a film:
A book published in the 20th Century:
A book set in your hometown, region, or state:
- Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
A book with a number in the title:
- 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
A book with a protagonist who shares your first name:
- Kelsey and the Quest of the Porcelain Doll by Rosanne Hawke
A trilogy or series (will update title information as I go):
A book recommended to you:
- The Tsar of Love and Techno: Stories by Anthony Marra
(thank you FictionFan for the rec!)
- The Tsar of Love and Techno: Stories by Anthony Marra
A book with over 500 pages:
- The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
A previously banned book:
- Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
A book with a one-word title:
- Honeymoon by Patrick Modiano
A book translated from another language:
A personal growth or self-help book:
- Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley
A science fiction novel:
- Dune by Frank Herbert
A horror or scary novel:
A book you own but haven’t yet read:
- The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
A modern retelling of a classic novel:
- Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid
A used book:
- Vanity Fair by William Thackeray
Along with linking the posts up to this page, I’ll be updating my Goodreads Reading Challenge Shelf as I complete each book. You can receive my posts in an email by subscribing on the right side of this page or stay up to date with me on Twitter. These will not be the only books I read throughout the year, so if you would like to see what I’m reading outside of this list, click the Follow tab on the bottom of this page (thank you to those who already follow and have subscribed) and/or find me on Bookstagram (@theressomethingabout_ ).
If you didn’t before, visit Hannah Braime’s blog, and share your 2017 reading goals below in the comments or via the contact form. If you will be joining this particular Reading Challenge, tell me which kinds of books you’ll be reading! Thank you for visiting, and I wish you all the luck in your goals, challenges, and aspirations in this new year.
See you soon!
I read 12 out of the 26 books I designated for this challenge, and I did not finish two of the books: The Liars’ Club and The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*CK. The former I just couldn’t get into. I’m going to try reading it again, maybe when I’m in a different mood or during a different time of year. The latter I didn’t want to continue because my experience with the book it parodies was so rich and fulfilling that I felt the parody was just a downer, and I didn’t think it was a good use of time to read it. I went another year without reading The Lord of the Rings, but since I own the series, I will be reading it in 2018. The other titles will remain on my TBR list, but I may not get some of them in 2018. We shall see.
I hope you accomplished whatever reading goals (or other goals) you set for 2017, and I wish you luck on your 2018 resolutions and to-dos. Thank you for reading not just these posts, but all of my others. It was a great blogging year, and I’m excited to see what 2018 brings. Click over to my 2018 Reading Challenge if you’d like, and stay tuned for new and continuing projects. Happy New Year!
Is summer my favorite season for reading? No. But it is one of four of my favorite seasons for reading; like the fall is for school, summer is for books. It calls for cleaning out To Be Read (TBR) lists, looking for what’s new on the shelves of bookstores (and in publishers’ calendars), and seeking out new and old favorite spots to spend time [reading]. There’s just something about the summer that makes me want to do all of these things, more so than in other seasons.
Last year, I tried tackling the Penguin 80 Years of Bestsellers Reading Challenge, and came up quite short, even though I had already read some of the titles. There are still a handful of books from that list that I want to read, so Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, Dubliners by James Joyce, and the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness are the first to go on my Summer Reading List (SRL).
For contemporary reads – more specifically, those published this year – I’m choosing The Fireman by Joe Hill (which I heard about via a recent episode of the NYPublic Library Podcast), a collection of short stories by Mark Haddon: The Pier Falls, Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman, and Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld.
I will also continue to follow along with Our Shared Shelf, also known as Emma Watson’s book club. For June, Emma has chosen Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. I cannot tell you what the reads for July and August will be, as the titles will not be disclosed until the end of June and July, respectively. I have already read Persepolis, but it has been a couple of years so I may revisit it, if not re-read it this month.
What a surprise, hardly any/no non-fiction on my SRL. I’ll add M Train by Patti Smith, The Lost Landscape by Joyce Carol Oates, and It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too) by Nora McInerny Purmort.
Okay, so fifteen books sounds wonderful to me. I’ll be honest, my reading pace has severely declined in the past year or so because I had little time for books outside “reality.” But my May accomplishments showed me that I still have it in me to read more than two books a month – thank goodness. And, like I said before, there’s just something about summer that exponentially increases my reading desires.
What are you reading this summer? Do you make a list, choose books at random, or select a few definite reads and choose others along the way? Share your plans in the comments, or let me know if you have a list elsewhere I can check out! It’s going to be a great summer.