The lovely ladies on The Literary Life Podcast are hosting a reading challenge this year, and, of course, I had to join in! Yes, I joined partly because I love them (and work with them and got the list early), but mostly it was because the categories on this list are simply amazing! One of my other book goals this year is to read more from my shelves here at home. In light of that, I tried to plug in as many titles that I own as I could. But every category has one or more runners up that I might end up reading instead/also. All titles with an asterisk are books I own either in print or on Kindle.
- Shakespeare Play: A Winter’s Tale* by William Shakespeare
- Classic Detective Novel: The Circular Staircase* by Mary Roberts Rinehart
- Classic Children’s Book: Johnny Tremain* by Esther Forbes
- Contemporary Novel: A Light in the Window* by Jan Karon
- Historical Fiction: The Cross by Sigrid Undset
- Ancient Greek Play: Agamemnon* by Aeschylus
- Collection of Short Stories: Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories* by Agatha Christie
- Biography or Memoire: An American Princess* by Annette van der Zijl
- Devotional Work: In the Name of Jesus* by Henri Nouwen
- Book About Books: How to Read Lit. Like a Professor* by Thomas C. Foster
- Foreign (Non-Western) Book: The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Matsuo Basho
- Guilty Pleasure: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling
- Intimidating Book: The Aeneid* by Virgil
- Satire: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer* by Mark Twain
- Poetry: Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson*
- Book by Minor Author: Two Years Before the Mast* by Richard H. Dana
- Essays: Essays of Bacon, Milton, and Browne (Harvard Classics)
- Classic by a Female Author: Silas Marner* by Georg Eliot
- Out of My Comfort Zone: Here’s Looking at Euclid by Alex Bellos
- Reread from High School: Beowulf* trans. by Burton Raffel
Aren’t these categories great? I mean, this list could go in so many different directions. It has been fun to look at other people’s lists on Instagram and Facebook, at least in the rare moments I have allowed myself to scroll social media. Some of these areas will be more out of my usual reading pattern than others, especially poetry and essays. I decided the best way to tackle these two categories was to add a page of poetry and an essay a day to my afternoon reading time. Enjoying a cup of hot tea with Emily Dickinson and Sir Frances Bacon is, admittedly, a pretty great way to spend a few minutes each afternoon!
What, if any, reading challenges are you participating in this coming year? I’d love to hear all about it!