I’ve always been the person who just flies by the seat of my pants when it comes to picking what I am going to read next. Maybe I grab whatever has a nice, pretty cover. Maybe I grab that one book that my book people tell me I absolutely, totally need to read right this minute. Maybe I just grab whatever is physically closest to me at the time.
But then I discovered reading challenges.
Reading challenges are an amazing way to be more thoughtful and intentional about what you are reading and they are a tool to help you get more out of your readerly experience, even if you aren’t reading the weighty hard-hitters.
So I thought, what the heck, I’ll give that a try!
So now that the year is half over (yes, yes, I know it is more than half over), I want to take a look at my progress on one of the challenges that I have used to curate my reading experience: the Modern Mrs. Darcy 2017 Reading Challenge.
The modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge has two parts which you can choose from: reading for fun, and reading for growth.
I chose to do both.
Because I am ambitious.
And probably a little delusional.
On the Reading for Fun list:
1. Book chosen for the cover:
Spaceman of Bohemia by Jaroslav Kalfar
The cover is a cup of coffee an an astronaut… in space! I have a hardback copy, which is unusual for me, and the cover art is absolutely just the coolest.
Plus it is about a Czech astronaut on a solo mission and the possibly imaginary giant alien spider that he confides in.
2. A book with a reputation for being un-put-down-able
The Dry by Jane Harper
I discovered this book thanks to a couple different podcasters that could not stop raving about how great it is! The pacing is good, if a little slow, but it works for the story in the farming town of Kiewarra, Australia. For me, this was a better version of Paula Hawkins’ books. Just saying.
3. A book in a genre you normally avoid
Reboot by Amy Tintera
I do not like young adult fiction. Of all genres, this is THE genre I typically stay away from if I have a choice. Most YA books that I have come across tend to be way WAY over-dramatic, overwrought, and pretentious and the story suffers because of it. That being said, I have read some YA that I do like, both as a teen and more recently as an ‘adult’.
Reboot has an interesting premise, with an interesting take on how ‘zombies’ exist (though they never once use the word zombie). It did have a lot of the elements of a YA that I don’t find appealing, but I enjoyed this one. Maybe listening to the audio book helped. Who knows.
On the Reading for Growth list:
1. A book that is more than 600 pages
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Is it cheating if I listened to the audio version? I sure hope not because the Bill Homewood narrated version is absolutely sublime.
2. A book published before you were born
Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
Based on what I know about In Cold Blood, I was incredibly surprised to learn that this one was written by the same author. Breakfast at Tiffany’s stars the flighty, neurotic, 1940’s New York socialite/call girl and the people in her life that were obsessed with her. It has the same feel as many novels written in that time, which I do enjoy.
3. Three books written by the same author
Louise Penny/ Agatha Christie/ Fredrik Backman
I struggled a little when choosing the author for this one. I have read two books each by Fredrik Backman, Agatha Christie, and Louise Penny. I have the first few Chief Inspector Armand Gamache as ebooks and my e-reader just broke 😦 so I may have to put my dear Ms. Penny on hold, but I know my local library has tons of Christie I haven’t read and at least one Backman I haven’t read, so I may just read one of them to finish out this category.
What about you guys? Do you like using reading challenges? How do you feel about using the same book for more than one category?
Let me know what you all are reading, for a reading challenge or not!
And may your shelves never get dusty!