I’ve been setting reading goals for 4 or 5 years now, and only once have I ever hit one. That was the year that I finally lowered my reading goal to 75 books (from 100), and even then I still didn’t complete my Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge.
It’s probably no surprise that I didn’t hit my goal in 2016 (or that it was my “worst” reading year in a while), but the reality is that I still read a lot of really great books!
I decided to keep my goal at a lofty 100, and I’m once again participating in the Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge. In fact, because I like to go all in, I’m not just choosing books from one path from the challenge, but from both.
So why do I do it?
While it could be discouraging to “fail” year after year, I’ve actually found the striving for a lofty reading goal to be more motivating than hitting a lower goal. And I love the reading challenges that Anne puts together because they force me to search through books and consider them in new ways. I’ve found favorite books through each challenge (like The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared!) that I definitely wouldn’t have read otherwise.
It could be said that it’s not really a goal if I don’t plan to meet it, but I convince myself every year that this will be the year that I finally do read 100 books and every book for the challenge, and 2017 is no different.
I’m also going to do something a little bit differently this year. While I selected books I think fit within each category, I’m going to keep track of the books I actually read to see if I can complete the challenge that way!
With all of those caveats (and caveats to my caveats!), here’s what my 2017 Reading Challenge looks like:
Reading for Fun: Putting the Oomph Back in Your Reading Life
A book you chose for the cover:
- At Home in the World by Tsh Oxenreider
A book with a reputation for being un-put-down-able:
- The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
A book set somewhere you’ve never been but would like to visit:
- Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen
A book you’ve already read:
- Coming Clean by Seth Haines (currently $1.99!)
A juicy memoir:
- Troublemaker by Leah Remini
A book about books or reading:
- The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society by Mary Anne Shaffer & Annie Barrows
A book in a genre you usually avoid:
- Full: Food, Jesus, and the Battle for Satisfaction by Asheritah Ciuciu
A book you don’t want to admit you’re dying to read:
- Distant Shores, Fly Away, Night Road & True Colors by Kristin Hannah (Distant Shores is currently $1.99!)
A book in the backlist of a new favorite author:
- Silver Bay by Jojo Moyes (currently $1.99!)
A book recommended by someone with great taste:
- Chief Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny
A book you were excited to buy or borrow but haven’t read yet:
- No-Drama Discipline by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson
A book about a topic or subject you already love:
- Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
Reading for Growth: Stretch Yourself
A Newbery Award winner or Honor book:
- Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo
A book in translation:
- The Happy Marriage by Tahar Ben Jelloun
A book that’s more than 600 pages:
- Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
- Africa: A Biography of the Continent by John Reader
A book of poetry, a play, or an essay collection:
- Harry Potter & The Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, Jack Tiffany & John Thorne
- Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
A book of any genre that addresses current events:
- The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
- One: Unity in a Divided World by Deidra Riggs
An immigrant story:
- The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
A book published before you were born:
- Watership Down by Richard Adams
Three books by the same author:
A book by an #ownvoices or #diversebooks author:
- Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
A book with an unreliable narrator or ambiguous ending:
- The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
A book nominated for an award in 2017:
A Pulitzer Prize or National Book Award winner:
- The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
In addition to tracking my books on Goodreads, I’m also going to keep track of this cute bookshelf page that I copied off of Pinterest. Most of my layouts are pretty simple, but I couldn’t resist this one (and it’s SO easy to do!).
What are your reading goals?