In an attempt to force myself to get back into the habit of writing, I have decided to combine this passion with my love of reading and will blog my way through a book challenge a few friends and I have decided to undertake.
The idea of blogging book reviews was something I have been wanting to do for a while. While trying to determine which books to review for this project to transition me back into regular writing, I came across the School Library Journal’s list of the “The Top 100 Children’s Novels.” After going through the list, the pleasant memories that frequented my childhood as a result of these books came flooding back. The thought came to me, why not reread these books and determine how they relate to children in today’s society? How are the lessons learned in a book written 100 years ago still applicable in the lives of children in the modern world?
Well, as great of an idea as that was, it crashed and burned. I had a few too many things going on to warrant reading books on top of what we were reading for a book club I had recently started. In an attempt to figure out what selection we would be reading for December, a friend came across a book challenge in which you read 14 books over a set time frame. You select a book based on a number of categories and get points for each book read. The challenge was titles “The Semi-Charmed Winter 2012 Book Challenge” and we instantly wanted to give it a shot. Unfortunately for me, this challenge hit during the most stressful few months I have ever experienced. My fiancé and I just bought our first home and the process of packing, moving, cleaning, and unpacking has proven to be far more time-consuming that I had initially thought. “Oh yeah!!! I can EASILY read a book a week while moving.” Yeah, right. Well, we had a great group of girls for this challenge and it was such a hit, that we decided to formulate our own lists for a spring challenge which will take place over the next three months, starting April 1st.
I’ll be the first to admit that I may go into this reading and writing project with certain biases, such as personal genre preference, which may affect my experience. In going through the list, I tried to broaden my selection of books to read and tried to find a collection of books that had variety in a number of areas from genre to the era they were written. I think I have come up with a nice bundle of books and cannot wait to start reading them!! The rules, challenge, and my selections are as follows:
- No re-reads
- Each book must be at least 200 pages long. Audiobooks are fine, as long as the print versions meet the page requirements.
- A book can only be used for one category.
- We are starting at the beginning of April and plan to have this challenge last three months, meeting regularly to discuss our selections.
Read a book that everyone in the group will read – Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani
Read a book that is set in the Middle East – Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson
Read a Classic – The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Read a book whose author is from Oregon – Torch by Cheryl Strayed
Read a book written before 1900 – Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Read a collection of short stories – Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed
Read a book from a genre you normally do not read from – Adulting by Kelly Williams Brown (Advice)
Read one of the top 100 Children’s Novels you’ve not read before – Percy Jackson and the Olympians – The Lightening Thief by Rick Riodan
Read a book from the “1001 Books to Read Before You Die” list – Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Read a book published the year you graduated from high school/college – Cabin Fever by William Sullivan
April (National Poetry Month), May (National Pet Month), and June (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month) are all awareness months. Read one book that represents an April, May, or June awareness – Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenedies
Read a young adult fiction – The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud
I am looking forward to this book challenge that will throw me back into a regular writing project! In coupling these books with other books I typically have going (ranging in style, genre, and publication dates), this endeavor will provide for me not only a means of revisiting a more broad genre of literature, but a personal goal to meet that will force me to become a more regular writer. Happy reading!