2017 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’m 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 is 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.

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. This year, there are 120 books on my shelves (and floors) as of January 2017. Here’s what’s left on my shelf to get to:


  1. Flawed by Cecelia Ahern
  2. The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie
  3. Bastard out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison
  4. My Sweet Audrina by V.C. Andrews
  5. Eeny Meeny by M.J. Arlidge
  6. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
  7. The Great Green Okayness by Rachel Awes


  1. The Hiding Place by David Bell
  2. Her Life is Showing by Alice Benson
  3. Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife by Linda Berdoll
  4. The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes
  5. Circle of Nine: Beltany by Valerie Biel
  6. Paris Love Match by Nigel Blackwell
  7. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
  8. If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits? by Erma Bombeck
  9. Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
  10. Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube by Blair Braverman
  11. The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
  12. Descension by B.C. Burgess
  13. Beneath the Bonfire by Nickolas Butler
  14. The Hearts of Men by Nickolas Butler


  1. Into the Free by Julie Cantrell
  2. Last Words of the Holy Ghost by Matt Cashion
  3. Weepers by Nick Chiarkas
  4. The Other Side of Paradise by Staceyann Chin
  5. So, Anyway by John Cleese
  6. Worlds of Ink and Shadow by Lena Coakley
  7. Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst
  8. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton


  1. Sea Creatures by Susanna Daniel
  2. Fragrant Rice by Janet DeNeefe
  3. Stalk Me by Jillian Dodd
  4. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  5. Frog Music by Emma Donohue
  6. 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. A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon
  2. An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon
  3. The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon
  4. Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon
  5. Stardust by Neil Gaiman
  6. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith
  7. On Maggie’s Watch by Ann Wertz Garvin
  8. Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress by Susan Jane Gilman
  9. The Uncommitted by Margaret Goss
  10. Ross Poldark by Winston Graham
  11. Tin God by Stacy Green
  12. The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin


  1. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon
  2. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows
  3. Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler
  4. A Hard and Heavy Thing by Matthew Hefti
  5. The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry
  6. The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman
  7. November 9 by Colleen Hoover
  8. Black River by S.M. Hulse
  9. Get Me Out by Randi Hutter Epstein
  10. The Ugly Truth by Cheryel Hutton




  1. A Killing in the Hills by Julia Keller
  2. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
  3. On Writing by Stephen King
  4. Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
  5. I Don’t Care About Your Band by Julie Klausner
  6. Dark Perceptions by Debra Kristi
  7. 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
  4. Listen to the Squawking Chicken by Elaine Lui


  1. To Be Sung Underwater by Tom McNeal
  2. Remembrance by Michelle Madow
  3. Embraceable edited by August McLaughlin
  4. Promise Not to Tell by Jennifer McMahon
  5. Soundless by Richelle Mead
  6. The Talk-Funny Girl by Roland Merullo
  7. Heartless by Marissa Meyer
  8. Anne’s House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery
  9. Anne of Windy Poplars by L.M. Montgomery
  10. 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. The Bourbon Thief by Tiffany Reisz
  2. The Vault by Ruth Rendell
  3. Forever Road by Catie Rhodes
  4. Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
  5. We’re Just Like You, Only Prettier by Celia Rivenbark
  6. Spook by Mary Roach
  7. Dark Witch by Nora Roberts
  8. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne
  9. Travels With David by Fran Rybarik


  1. The Cherry Harvest by Lucy Sanna
  2. Revolution’s End by Brad Schreiber
  3. This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
  4. Shrilugh by Myndi Shafer
  5. Don’t Lick the Minivan by Leanne Shirtliffe
  6. The Medium by Noelle Sickels
  7. Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld
  8. Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
  9. Everland by Wendy Spinale
  10. My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem
  11. Heartless by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
  12. 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


  1. Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner
  2. P.S. I Like You by Kasie West
  3. If You Ask Me by Betty White
  4. The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson




  1. The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
  2. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
  3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak


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