I was aware of the literary blogger, Modern Mrs. Darcy, but had yet to really dive into her space until hearing Anne's interview on one of my favorite podcasts, Around the Table. Every year she has a reading challenge and I thought it would be a fun venture for 2016. I will probably read more than 12 books, but the challenge is to read 12 books in 12 different categories. I tend to read contemporary fiction or memoirs so making myself branch out a bit and pick up books I've been meaning to read will be a good thing!
Here is my list:
#1: A book published this year | Lilac Girls: A Novel by Martha Hall Kelly After reading The Nighingale and The Girl You Left Behind I can't get enough of historical fiction set during The Great Wars. Lilac Girls sounds right up my alley!
#2: A book you can finish in a day | Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery Anne of Green Gables was one of my favorite movies as a child and also as an adult. I listed to the abridged versions on cassette tape (narrated by Megan Follows) when I was younger but I've never read the stories in physical form.
#3: A book you've been meaning to read | A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table by Molly Wizenberg Molly is a successful food blogger and restaurant owner. I absolutely loved her second book, Delancey, which is the story of opening her husband's pizzeria of the same name. I've been meaning to read her first memoir for far too long!
#4: A book recommended by your local librarian or bookseller | Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott My sister-in-law, who drove a bookmobile (why do I find bookmobiles romantic?) and then an editor, gave me several books for this category. It was hard to pick one (and actually I put several on my Goodreads to-read list) but I landed on Traveling Mercies as I've been meaning to read Anne Lamott for some time now. After I finish Traveling Mercies I plan on reading Bird by Bird, which is a book about writing.
#5: A book you should have read in school | Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston I searched "books I should have read in high school English" and picked a title that sounded appealing. Their Eyes Were Watching God was at times a banned book and out of print for 30 years. Ms. Hurston's life story is almost as intriguing as this book. She was the preeminent African-American author in the 1930s and yet died in a welfare home in the 1960s.
#6: A book chosen by your spouse | The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday Jordan started asking me to read this book as soon as he was in chapter one! His dream is coming true.
#7: A book published before you were born | Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger Catcher in the Rye was a favorite book of mine in high school but I didn't have the thought to deep dive and read other Salinger works.
#8: A book that was banned at some point | For Whom the Bells Toll by Ernest Hemingway Similarly to Catcher in the Rye, Hemingway's, A Farewell to Arms was another favorite book of mine in high school. I was aware of Hemingway's works but didn't pick up any other books.
#9: A book you previously abandoned | All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr Jordan and I purchased this book in the fall with the intention to read it together at night. We started out great and then the holidays happened and we got out of rhythm. Now is the time!
#10: A book you own but have never read | Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen It's embarrassing how much I love Jane Austen's storytelling but haven't been able to finish any of them! I blame this partially on my book copies having too small of a print. My eyes aren't great. Haha!
#11: A book that intimidates you | Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy The subject matter doesn't intimidate me but I tend to get lost with foreign names and places so this might need to be an audiobook!
#12: A book you've already read at least once | I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman by Nora Ephron Nora Ephron was a smart and funny story-teller and not just in her fictional screenplays. She wrote two memoirs and they are excellent. I suggest listening to the audio versions as Nora is the narrater.
Are you joining a reading challenge this year?