I mentioned on last year’s list of books read that I like to find balance in my reading: some intention, but some flexibility; some classics, but some modern; some already on my shelves, but some new-to-me. It seems that these particular challenges have helped me find that best balance, plus they are fun to do together. They can overlap with each other, thankfully – otherwise I could only choose one or two.
So here are my reading plans for this year.
Carrie hosts an annual Lucy Maud Montgomery Reading Challenge in January. I’m reading Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy. I was wary of it when I first heard of it, but then I read that the LMM estate was wary, too, yet liked it in the end. So I am reading out of curiosity but hoping it’s good.
The Laura Ingalls Wilder Reading Challenge is hosted right here during the month of February! More information is here as well as an extended book list. On Feb. 1 I’ll post a sign-up post and share then what I’ll be reading.
Tarissa also hosts the Literary Christmas Challenge for the last two months of the year. The main rule: read Christmas books!
Karen at Books and Chocolate hosts the Back to the Classics Challenge. She comes up with categories and we come up with a classic at least 50 years old to fit each category. She also gives away a prize – a $30 gift card to Amazon.com or The Book Depository. You get one entry for the prize drawing for six categories completed, two entries for nine categories completed, and three entries if you complete all twelve. We don’t have to name the books, but it helps me to do so, and we are allowed to change during the course of the year. As with each of these challenges, more information is provided at the links above. So the classics I am considering for this year include:
- 19th Century Classic: Probably The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
- 20th Century Classic (published between 1900 to 1969): How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn
- Classic by a Woman Author. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1905)(Finished 2/14/19)
- Classic in Translation (written originally in a language different from your own): Possibly Anna Karenina by Tolstoy after Carol’s review reassured me that it’s not what I had thought it was.
- Classic Comic Novel. The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
- Classic Tragic Novel. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
- Very Long Classic (500 or more pages): I’m considering Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell
- Classic Novella (250 or fewer pages): Possibly Sir Gibbie by George MacDonald. My copy has 192 pages.
- Classic From the Americas (includes the Caribbean). I may finally tackle The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzergerald or maybe The Last of the Mohicans by Janes Fenimore Cooper.
- Classic From Africa, Asia, or Oceania (includes Australia). I don’t know of anything offhand for this category, so I may borrow Karen’s idea of Green Dolphin Street by Elizabeth Goudge.
- Classic From a Place You’ve Lived. Not sure about this one yet, but my choices are TX, SC, GA, and TN. Any suggestions?
- Classic Play. Probably either The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde or Our Town by Thornton Wilder.
Adam at Roof Beam Reader hosts the TBR Pile Challenge to encourage us to get to those books on our shelves, Kindles, or TBR lists. For this one we have to name the books we are going to read, along with two alternates (in case we can’t get through a couple on our list). The books for this challenge have to have been published 2017 and earlier. And! Adam offers a prize: a drawing for a $50 gift card from Amazon.com or The Book Depository! Tempting for any book lover! So here is what I plan to read for this challenge:
- How to Understand and Apply the New Testament by Andrew David Naselli
- There’s a Reason They Call It GRANDparenting by Michele Howe
- The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright.
- 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff. Just received recently, but on my TBR list for a while now.
- Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me by Karen Swallow Prior
- On Writing Well by William Zinsser. On my TBR list for a very long time.
- Katie’s Dream by Leisha Kelly. (2004)(Finished 2/9/19)
- If I Run by Terri Blackstock (2016)(Finished 1/26/19)
- Steal Away Home: Charles Spurgeon and Thomas Johnson, Unlikely Friends on the Passage to Freedom by Matt Carter and Aaron Ivey (2017)(Finished 3/8/19)
- Annabel Lee by Mike Nappa (2016)(Finished 1/13/19)
- How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn
- A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1905)(Finished 2/14/19)
My alternates will be Saving Amelie by Cathy Gohkle (2014, finished 3/17/19) and Close to Home by Deborah Raney
As I finish them, I’ll come back and link the title to my review. I’m including the publication dates as well to make it easier to make sure they qualify for the challnge.
Bev hosts the Mount TBR Challenge to also encourage us to read the books we already own, but with a few differences. Every 12 books read is another level or “mountain” climbed. We don’t have to list the books yet (although some books for the above TBR challenge will count for this one as well), but we do have to commit to a level. I am committing to Mount Blanc (24 books). The one main rule here is that the books have to have been owned by us before January 1, 2019. But that means every book in my house and Kindle app on Jan. 1, even the ones I just got for Christmas, count! I appreciate that because too often I push my newer books back behind the ones that have been sitting there for a while.
Bev is also hosting the Virtual TBR Reading Challenge, like the Mount TBR except that the first one requires you to own the books you’re reading. The virtual one can include borrowed books. I am not sure about this one yet.
A new-to-me challenge that I have heard of but not participated in before is Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Reading Challenge. The categories appealed to me, plus some of them overlap with my other challenges. I couldn’t quite tell if she had a graphic for participants to use for the challenge. My picks for this one:
A book you’ve been meaning to read: I could fill pages with this category. I’ve had The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright on my shelf for a few years. Since it’s supposed to be love letters, I’ll probably plan to read it in February around Valentine’s Day
A book about a topic that fascinates you: I’d Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel (Finished 2/19/19)
A book in the backlist of a favorite author: On Writing Well by William Zinsser is recommended by just about every book on writing that I have read.
A book recommended by someone with great taste: On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Books by Karen Swallow Prior, recommended by Michele. Many on my TBR list are from Michele.
Three books by the same author: I loved two books by Leisha Kelly last year, so I plan to read her next three: Katie’s Dream (finished 2/11/19), Rorie’s Secret, and Rachel’s Prayer.
A book you chose for the cover: This is not something I usually do, so I’ll have to see if any covers catch my eye this year.
A book by an author who is new to you:There’s a Reason They Call It GRANDparenting by Michele Howe, after seeing it on Michele’s review.
A book in translation: Possibly Anna Karenina by Tolstoy
A book outside your (genre) comfort zone: Annabel Lee by Mike Nappa (Finished 1/14/19). It’s described as a “fast-paced thriller” and looks a little scary.
A book published before you were born: How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn
So – I think that will keep me busy for quite a while. I’m excited to get started!
Do you have any reading plans for the year?