2017 Reading Challenge


“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations


There are moments when I watch the gleeful hate and shameless greed swell in my country, and I am both angry and afraid. Angry because of the hypocrisy of a people that scream that we are a Christian nation as they force families onto the streets and deny protection to immigrant children, and afraid for my friends and family that may very well become a target in the coming days because they cannot “pass” for white/straight/Christian/wealthy and this, according to our new president, makes them “losers” and “enemies”.

There’s a lot to be worried about in the coming year, and it can be overwhelming. It seems like there’s not enough time to call all of the politicians, attend all the rallies, research all the places to boycott, and hold space for my brothers and sisters who are most in danger. In the midst of all that, it can be easy to become hardened, to lose hope, and to become worn down. Because of this, I am striving this year to better myself and to allow time to reflect on the person I am and who I want to be. I feel more motivated to do this than I have in the past, perhaps because I’m only days away from reaching my 31st birthday, and it feels like I’m entering a new phase in my life. It feels like I finally have a firm idea of what I want to be and what I want to accomplish in life, and I have only to overcome my personal demons (procrastination, self-doubt, paranoia) in order to succeed.

One of the steps I’m taking is to get serious about my reading again, so I’ve taken a bit of inspiration from the folks over at Book Riot and several other sites. I am setting myself a 2017 Reading Challenge. I’ve decided that as I complete books for each section, I’ll write a review and post a link to it here, in order to make it easier to find. So, here we are, then:


  1. Twelve re-reads
  2. A biography about someone different from me
  3. A historical book
  4. A non-fiction book about animals
  5. A classic
  6. Poetry
  7. A book with more than 500 pages
  8. A romance
  9. A book that became a movie
  10. A book published this year
  11. A book with a number in the title
  12. A book written by someone under 30
  13. A book with nonhuman characters
  14. A funny book
  15. A book written by a local author
  16. A mystery or thriller
  17. A book with a one-word title
  18. A book of short stories
  19. A book set in a different country
  20. A nonfiction book
  21. A popular author’s first book
  22. A book from an author you love that you haven’t read yet
  23. A book a friend recommended
  24. A Pulitzer Prize-winning book
  25. A book based on a true story
  26. A book at the bottom of your to-read list
  27. A book your significant other loves
  28. A book that scares you
  29. A book more than 100 years old
  30. A book based entirely on its cover
  31. A book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t
  32. A memoir
  33. A book you can finish in a day
  34. A book with antonyms in the title
  35. A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit
  36. A book that came out the year you were born
  37. A book with bad reviews
  38. A trilogy
  39. A book with a love triangle
  40. A book set in the future
  41. A book set in high school
  42. A book with a color in the title
  43. A book that made you cry
  44. A book with magic
  45. A graphic novel
  46. A book you own but have never read
  47. A book by an author you’ve never read before
  48. A book that takes place in your state
  49. A book that was originally written in a different language
  50. A book set during your favorite time period
  51. A book written by an author with your same initials
  52. A play
  53. A banned book
  54. A book based on or turned into a TV show
  55. A book you started but never finished
  56. A book written by a Native
  57. A social justice book
  58. A book that teaches a skill or hobby
  59. A self-help book: Unf*ck Your Habitat by Rachel Hoffman
  60. A self-published book

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