After New Year I started looking for inspiration to take my 2016 reading in a new and fun direction. I stumbled across the wonderful Modern Mrs Darcy blog and she had exactly what I was looking for.
This challenge is a great motivation for me to finally read some books I’ve had on my TBR for a long time across different genres and time periods.
A book published this year
Star Trek: Voyager – A Pocket Full of Lies by Kirsten Beyer: In case you didn’t know this already, I’m a massive Star Trek fan and my favourite series is Voyager. The post-series novels are fantastic and Beyer, a huge fan herself, knows the characters inside out and is doing an amazing job of continuing their adventures. I can’t wait to read this when it comes out in a few weeks.
A book you can finish in a day
The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes: I borrowed this from a friend and it’s short enough to read in one day (150 pages). I’ve never read a Man Booker Prize winner before so that’s also a plus point.
A book you’ve been meaning to read
My Antonia by Willa Cather: There were lots of books I could have chosen for this one, but I’m going with My Antonia because it’s been on my TBR for over 10 years and I actually already have it in an anthology of American Literature. One of my favourite quotes comes from this book and I’m really looking forward to understanding it in context.
A book recommended by your local librarian or bookseller
The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton: This one was easy. I bought it almost a year ago from my local bookshop after the owner raved about it and said it was one of the best books she had read all year. I’ve heard good things about it from other people too so I’m looking forward to getting into it.
A book you should have read in school
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: In honour of Modern Mrs. Darcy who created this challenge, I’m going to go with one of the only books I have ever given up on. That was over 10 years ago and it bothers me that I’ve never finished it, so it’s time to give it another shot!
A book chosen for you by your spouse, partner, sibling, child, or BFF
The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner: My friend Stefani (blogging at Caught Read Handed) reads more than anyone I know and I trust her judgement. When I asked for a recommendation this is what she came up with, which works for me as I saw her raving about it on social media so I was already intrigued!
A book published before you were born
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway: Another one I’ve been meaning to read for a long time, this book was published over 60 years before I was born. I’ve never read any Hemingway, which I feel is a serious omission on my part, so this challenge is the perfect motivation to read one of his novels.
A book that was banned at some point
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou: This book has been banned countless times, particularly in schools and colleges in the US, because of its depictions of rape and race relations. It’s one that I’ve crossed paths with before but never read, so this is my chance.
A book you previously abandoned
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens: l can count on one hand the number of books I’ve abandoned in the past and this is one of them. As I explained in an earlier post, I didn’t give up on it because I wasn’t enjoying it, but because of the headspace I was in at the time. I’m looking forward to picking it up again and finishing it this time.
A book you own but have never read
Interned with Their Bones by Jennifer Lee Carrell: This book was given to me by one of my friends in August last year and I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. From what she told me I think I’ll really enjoy it.
A book that intimidates you
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius: I wouldn’t necessarily say this book intimidates me, but it’s going to need more of my focus and concentration than normal as it’s heavy philosophical non-fiction from 180 AD. I thought about choosing Don Quixote by Cervantes, but it’s HUGE and since I’m not the fastest reader in the world it would probably take up a lot of time I could be using to read other books, so I’ll leave it for another year!
A book you’ve already read at least once
Born With Teeth by Kate Mulgrew: This one’s a no-brainer. One of my posts from last year explains why this book means so much to me, but needless to say I really want to read it again. I’m actually already doing so by listening to the audiobook on my commute. It’s read by Kate herself and it’s absolutely wonderful.
Are any of you doing reading challenges this year? What books are you looking forward to reading the most?