Reading Challenges

Hey There,

I like books. And since you clicked on a button titled ‘Reading Challenges,’ I’m betting so do you.

There are all kinds of reading challenges out there – for whatever it is you’re looking to do with your reading goals. Here are the two I’ve enjoyed doing.

A Year of Reading and #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks

51j4xd2ntcl-_sx355_bo1204203200_A Year of Reading: A Month-by-Month Guide to Classics and Crowd Pleasers for You or Your Book Club is a book by Elisabeth Ellington and Jane Freimiller. It is organized by themes for each month with six book suggestions for each one. What I love about this guide is the diversity in both authors and genre.

One of my goals was to read books by more authors of color this year, and I’m always interested in trying different genres. I’m pretty eclectic anyway, but this guide includes fiction and nonfiction, graphic novels, poetry collections, and short story anthologies too.

I completed this challenge in 2017. Read about my experience here

readmyowndamnbooksbuttonWith #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks, the goal is obviously to READ MY OWN DAMN BOOKS! If you’re a fellow bibliophile, your rooms (yes, plural) are full of books you intend to one day read but don’t always get to. This challenge allows you to focus on the books you already have an interest in reading, but haven’t got around to yet, and it saves you money because you’re reading books you already own instead of buying a bunch of new ones!

Last year I read 38 books of 131 titles. Here’s what’s left on my shelf to get to:


  1. Flawed by Cecelia Ahern
  2. Bastard out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison
  3. My Sweet Audrina by V.C. Andrews
  4. Eeny Meeny by M.J. Arlidge
  5. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard


  1. Her Life is Showing by Alice Benson
  2. Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife by Linda Berdoll
  3. Circle of Nine: Beltany by Valerie Biel
  4. Paris Love Match by Nigel Blackwell
  5. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
  6. Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
  7. Origin by Dan Brown
  8. The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
  9. Descension by B.C. Burgess
  10. Beneath the Bonfire by Nickolas Butler


  1. Last Words of the Holy Ghost by Matt Cashion
  2. Weepers by Nick Chiarkas
  3. The Other Side of Paradise by Staceyann Chin
  4. So, Anyway by John Cleese
  5. Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst
  6. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton


  1. Sea Creatures by Susanna Daniel
  2. Stalk Me by Jillian Dodd
  3. Forever Fae by L.P. Dover


  1. Here & Now by Gayle C. Edlin
  2. Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
  3. The Stones of Kaldaar by Tameri Etherton


  1. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
  2. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg


  1. An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon
  2. Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon
  3. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith
  4. On Maggie’s Watch by Ann Wertz Garvin
  5. Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress by Susan Jane Gilman
  6. The Uncommitted by Margaret Goss
  7. Tin God by Stacy Green
  8. The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin


  1. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows
  2. A Hard and Heavy Thing by Matthew Hefti
  3. The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman
  4. November 9 by Colleen Hoover
  5. Get Me Out by Randi Hutter Epstein
  6. The Ugly Truth by Cheryel Hutton




  1. The Hunger by Alma Katsu
  2. A Killing in the Hills by Julia Keller
  3. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
  4. On Writing by Stephen King
  5. Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
  6. I Don’t Care About Your Band by Julie Klausner
  7. Dark Perceptions by Debra Kristi
  8. The Good Girl by Mary Kubica


  1. Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little
  2. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  3. First Impressions by Charlie Lovett


  1. To Be Sung Underwater by Tom McNeal
  2. Remembrance by Michelle Madow
  3. Embraceable edited by August McLaughlin
  4. GirlBoner by August McLaughlin
  5. Promise Not to Tell by Jennifer McMahon
  6. Soundless by Richelle Mead
  7. The Talk-Funny Girl by Roland Merullo
  8. Heartless by Marissa Meyer
  9. Anne’s House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery
  10. Anne of Windy Poplars by L.M. Montgomery
  11. Ethereal by Addison Moore


  1. Devil’s Eye by Kait Nolan
  2. Once Upon an Heirloom by Kait Nolan


  1. The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell
  2. Mudwoman by Joyce Carol Oates
  3. Forged by Greed by Angela Orlowski-Peart
  4. Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi
  5. White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi
  6. A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki


  1. Dolly by Dolly Parton
  2. Visiting Tom by Michael Perry
  3. No Time for Kings by Mark Petruska
  4. Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter



  1. Forever Road by Catie Rhodes
  2. Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
  3. We’re Just Like You, Only Prettier by Celia Rivenbark
  4. Spook by Mary Roach
  5. Dark Witch by Nora Roberts
  6. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne
  7. Travels With David by Fran Rybarik


  1. The Cherry Harvest by Lucy Sanna
  2. Revolution’s End by Brad Schreiber
  3. Shrilugh by Myndi Shafer
  4. Don’t Lick the Minivan by Leanne Shirtliffe
  5. The Medium by Noelle Sickels
  6. Everland by Wendy Spinale
  7. My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem
  8. Heartless by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
  9. The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennett by Bernie Su


  1. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  2. Child Star by Shirley Temple Black
  3. Angelopolis by Danielle Trussoni



  1. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne Valente
  2. Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell


  1. P.S. I Like You by Kasie West
  2. The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson
  3. Almost a Mother by Christy Wopat




  1. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
  2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
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