It’s a new year and time to set a new reading challenge. I attempted to read 100 books in 2016, but only made it through 55. There were a few extras I forgot to add to my Goodreads list, but I’m not taking the time to go back through the stacks I have read to add them to a list. Instead, I’m starting fresh here to announce my 2017 Reading Challenge.
2017 Reading Challenge
I read everyday. We subscribe to four newspapers, countless magazines, and I spend a lot of time haunting the bookstore shelves. Yet, I feel like I didn’t read enough in the last year. I know I didn’t read enough. And, quite frankly, it bugs me more than it should. So, I’ve set another lofty goal and am going to try and hit the number 100 this year. That’s a little less than two books per week, and I’m hoping that my love of all things Harlequin help me to boost that number over the finish line.
For many of y’all, that’s a staggering number and I don’t want anyone to feel pressure to attempt that number. But, I used to read one book a day and I’m a freakishly fast reader. Except for when I read whoppers like Moby Dick and War and Peace — those took a few days. Even the last few Harry Potter books were devoured in about 6 hours — and those books were beastly in length.
It’s not as easy to read like I want to while working, writing, and keeping some semblance of a normal family life. But read I shall. Won’t you join me?
Favorite Books of 2016
Some of my favorite books of 2016 ran the gamut from teen lit to nonfiction to heavy literary fiction. They made me laugh. They made me cry. Many made me question my life choices. They all made me happy knowing I had read them, even if some of them were very difficult to get through.
What were some of my favorite books of 2016?
Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy was in my top 5. It’s a teen read, but I connected with the lead, Dumplin’ so much. It was like reading about a teen-age Lisa, except with smarter friends, cute boys and much more confidence than I ever possessed. Did I mention her love of Dolly Parton? I wish I had had this book when I was a teenager.
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. I’ve been a fan of hers for many years, and she’s one of those people who’s an attendee at my fantasy dinner party. It is a stunning book of electric honesty and passion. She explores the experience of grieving and gives us a portrait of her marriage, and life, in good times and bad. Didion took my breath away.
The sophomore offering from Anton DiSclafani The After Party and another book in my top 5. It’s the story of 1950’s socialites in Houston and so well done from a historical perspective, I could smell the filterless cigarettes and taste the cocktails. The only problem is I wish there had been more, especially with the ending, but you’ll have to read it to find out why I feel that way.
The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller is fresh on my mind. I wanted to lick the pages of the book as she described the desserts baked inside its pages. Livvy is living and working in Boston until she accidentally torches the posh club where she works with an errant baked Alaska. One thing leads to another, and she soon finds herself making desserts at the quaint Sugar Maple B&B, whose crotchety owner, Margaret, is set on reclaiming the blue ribbon at the annual apple pie contest.
Do you have a reading challenge for 2017? Leave a comment below and let me know what your goals are!
Find my challenge on Goodreads here: https://www.goodreads.com/user_challenges/6835243. If you want to connect there, send me a friend request as I’m always seeking new bookshelves to explore.
Disclosure: This blog post contains affiliate links.