One of my favorite bloggers is Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy. She creates a new reading challenge every year, and I’ve decided to follow her lead for 2018.
I’ve never been part of a reading challenge before (outside of trying to hit a certain number) but I love this year’s categories, which I think will help shake up my habits and force me out of my comfort zone. All good things.
I plan to read 60 books in 2018, the same number I chose for 2017, with Modern Mrs. Darcy’s challenge as my base. Last year I noticed (and felt convicted about) a lack of diversity in the authors and books I chose. It’s something I’d like to be more mindful of as I plan my books this year.
Here’s what I plan to read based on her criteria. There’s a little overlap here — some qualify for more than one category. Most are first-time reads; however, I’ve added a few that I’ve technically read before but it has been so long a re-read is necessary for me to have a meaningful conversation about the book.
A classic you’ve been meaning to read
A book recommended by someone with great taste
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra — Recommended by my friend Jacob, who gifted me a copy for my birthday
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys — Recommended by one of my students (and no worries: this is NOT a Fifty Shades book 😂)
Anything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout — Recommended by Anne Bogel herself
Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin — Recommended by my aunt on a recent visit
A book in translation
Beartown by Fredrik Backman, translated by Neil Smith
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, translated by Constance Garnett
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, translated by Gregory Rabassa
A book nominated for an award in 2018
I’ll update this once the award lists start rolling in.
A book of poetry, a play, or an essay collection
A book you can read in a day
A book that’s more than 500 pages
A book by a favorite author
A book recommended by a librarian or indie bookseller
All three of these were recommended by my good friend and coworker (also our campus librarian)
A banned book
A memoir, biography, or book of creative nonfiction
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore
Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan
A book by an author of a different race, ethnicity, or religion than your own
Other books I plan to read (or experience) in 2018
There are a few more books I plan to read this year and don’t quite fit into the challenge categories. I’m especially excited to re-read A Wrinkle in Time for the movie release this spring. I loved this book as a kid!
What is your reading goal for the new year? Let me know in the comments!