MY READING “CHALLENGES”
I have been an avid reader for a very long time. It is how (besides the travel I’ve been blessed to experience) I’ve been able to see the world, learn about people so different from me and to connect with others through stories.
These are the books that have helped me experience different people, cultures and places in the world. Books that spoke to my soul, changed or challenged my thinking and/or caused me to grow have an (*) after them and are emboldened. This means I really, really, really want everyone to read them and for us to have a worldwide book club discussion about them.
Though I’ve participated in other book challenges, fairly competitive ones (read the most books the fastest for the right to choose a future book challenge category type of competition), 2017 was the first time I decided to personalize my own reading challenge. Each challenge is now recorded here.
For book reviews, photos and videos of bookstores, libraries, meeting the authors and the books I’m currently reading, follow me on Instagram @readwithregina
Note that my various challenges are in reverse order – the current reading “challenge” is at the top.
3 | ZERO DOLLAR BOOKS
From 01 November 2018 through 31 October 2019 I will read books that are BORROWED, LOANED, GIFTED + RECOMMENDED and JODI PICOULT‘S FULL BODY OF WORK.
My first annual reading challenge was based on the number of books read, this one will be focused on the amount of money spent. Which needs to be zero dollars. Zip, Zilch.
If you’ve not heard of it, Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University’s second step is the Debt Snowball. I am on that step. There are debts that are still outstanding and as much as I enjoy reveling in my book loot, having them sit on my shelf, owning them – this year no new books will be purchased and collected by me. God’s gonna get His and then my debtors theirs.
This means that books must be loaned to me by willing friends (I promise to return them in great condition), borrowed from the public library or a loan from friend’s personal library (thank you A, you’ve covered me!) gifted and recommended. And that I will be reading all 25 of Jodi Picoult’s books in the coming year – but in reverse – starting with Spark of Light which I picked up when she came to speak in Dallas in early October 2018.
I don’t know what this list is going to look like, but I hope to be reading a few books every month. Books of variety, exposing me to new and very different books than what I’ve been drawn to and a more relaxed reading rate since the only number that matters this go ’round is the number ZERO.
NOVEMBER | 2018
Life After, Katie Ganshert | loan from a fellow bookworm
No One Ever Asked, Katie Ganshert | loan from the same fellow bookworm
A Spark of Light, Jodi Picoult (Book 25 of 25) | purchased before the challenge began
DECEMBER | 2018
Off the Page, Jodi Picoult & Samantha Van Leer | library loan, Jodi Picoult (Book 23 of 25)
Crazy Rich Asians, Kevin Kwan | library loan
JANUARY | 2019
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, Charles Duhigg | library loan
Taming the Dragon Within: How to Balance Women’s Hormones with Essential Oils, LeAnne Deardeuff, DC & David Deardeuff, DC | loan from a friend concerned with my natural hormone replacement journey
China Rich Girlfriend, Kevin Kwan | library loan
2 | THE CLASSICS
After attempting to create a virtual book club around this book and being so disappointed in reading it, I knew I wanted to continue dabbling in The Classics, but that I could only really stomach one a year. So each summer, I will choose ONE to read and take all three months to do it.
O N E A S U M M E R
2018 | Pride + Prejudice, Jane Austen
1 | 65 BOOKS IN 365 DAYS
From 01 November 2017 through 31 October 2018 I planned to READ 65 BOOKS IN 365 DAYS. There were no parameters for the specific books I chose because the quantity was important to get me back into reading regularly.
I chose the books – a variety from other bookworms I’d been following online or ones that were loaned to me. Very few were purchased.
It helped that I joined the public library’s very laid back monthly book club. The selections were ones I would not have chosen and conversation amongst other book lovers always brought about recommendations for other goodies.
NOVEMBER | 2017
01|65 Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, Ben Fountain
02|65 Present Over Perfect, Shauna Niequist
03|65 Unashamed: Candid Conversations about Dating, Love, Nakedness & Faith, Tracy Levinson + Friends
04|65 How to Parisian Wherever You Are: Love, Style & Bad Habits, 4 Friends
DECEMBER | 2017
05|65 The Little Paris Bookshop, Nina George
06|65 What Husbands Need: Reaching His Heart + Reclaiming His Passion, Judy Carden
07|65 When Breath Becomes Air, Paul Kalanithi
08|65 Detours: The Unpredictable Path to Your Destiny, Tony Evans
09|65 The Guardian, Nicholas Sparks
10|65 Who Am I?, Jeff Little
11|65 Truly Madly Guilty, Liane Moriarty
12|65 According to a Source, Abby Stern
JANUARY | 2018
13|65 S is for Silence, Sue Grafton
14|65 Bridge to Haven, Francine Rivers
15|65 Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate*, Jerry Bridges
16|65 The Book Thief, Markus Zusak
17|65 Fashioned to Reign: Empowering Women to Fulfill their Divine Destiny*, Kris Valloton
MARCH | 2018
18|65 Chemistry, Weilke Wang
19|65 A Wrinkle in Time, Madeline L’Engle
20|65 Allegedly, Tiffany D. Jackson
21|65 Bad Feminist*, Roxane Gay
22|65 Hallelujah! The Welcome Table, Maya Angelou
23|65 Follow the Cloud: Hearing God’s Voice One Next Step at a Time*, John Stickl
24|65 How to be a Grown-Up, Emma McLaughlin + Nicola Kraus
APRIL | 2018
25|65 This Is Just My Face, Gabourey Sidibe
26|65 Harvesting the Heart, Jodi Picoult
27|65 Paris: Eyewitness Travel 2018*
28|65 Balancing in Heels, Kristin Cavallari
29|65 Everything That Remains: A Memoir by the Minimalists*, Milbourn + Nicodemus
30|65 Little Fires Everywhere*, Celeste Ng
31|65 The Wife Between Us, Greer Hendricks + Sarah Pekkenan
32|65 The William Hoy Story: How a Deaf Baseball Player Changed The Game, Nancy Churnin
33|65 A Good Cry, Nikki Giovanni
MAY | 2018
34|65 Strange Practice: A Dr. Greta Helsing Novel, Vivian Shaw
35|65 Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life, Jenna Bush Hager + Barbara Pierce Bush
36|65 Today will Be Different, Maria Semple
37|65 Small Great Things*, Jodi Picoult
38|65 Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America’s Favorite Guilty Pleasure, Amy Kaufman
JUNE | 2018
39|65 Love & Gelato, Jenna Evans Welch
40|65 Why Not Me?, Mindy Kaling
41|65 Sing for Your Life: A Story of Race, Music, and Family, Daniel Bergner
42|65 Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less*, Alex Soojung-Kim Pang
43|65 So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed*, Jon Ronson
JULY | 2018
44|65 Stones*, Jennifer Fliss (unpublished, beta-reader)
45|65 Butler: A Witness to History, Wil Haygood
46|65 Black Girls Rock: Owning Our Magic, Rocking Our Truth, Edited by Beverly Bond
47|65 The Novelist, Angela Hunt
48|65 Hillary Rodham Clinton: A Woman Living History, Karen Blumenthal
AUGUST | 2018
49|65 Crushing It! How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence – And How You Can, Too, Gary Vaynerchuk
50|65 The Gunners: A Novel, Rebecca Kauffman
51|65 The Power of the Other: The Startling Affect People Have on You, from the Boardroom and Beyond – and What to Do About It, Henry Cloud
52|65 I’m Happy for You, Sort Of…Not Really: Finding Contentment in a Culture of Comparison*, Kay Wills Wyma
53|65 Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
54|65 I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness*, Austin Channing Brown
55|65 My Lady’s Choosing: An Interactive Romance Novel, Kitty Curran & Larissa Zageris
56|65 Quiet Girl in a Noisy World: An Introvert’s Story*, Debbie Tung
57|65 You are Free: Be Who You Already Are, Rebekah Lyons
SEPTEMBER | 2018
58|65 The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood
59|65 by invitation only, Dorothea Benton Frank
60|65 Vox*, Christina Dalcher
61|65 100 Ways to Love Your Husband, Lisa Jacobson
62|65 Ghosted, Rosie Walsh
63|65 The Chalk Man, C.J. Tudor
OCTOBER | 2018
64|65 Girl, Wash Your Face, Rachel Hollis
65|65 The Wise Man’s Fear, Patrick Rothfuss
66|65 Laura & Emma, Kate Greathead