You ask why am I congratulating you?
Maybe you only read a couple of books on the reading list, then abandoned the challenge way back in February as too time consuming.
Maybe you read the categories that appealed to you but wouldn’t be caught dead reading:
- A time travel novel
- A young adult novel
- A travelogue
And maybe you just wore out a few categories away from the finish line.
Why? Because no matter what you did or didn’t do with our reading challenge, I just bet you read lots of books in 2018, even if you didn’t want to choose from a list–no matter how much latitude this one offered.
I had fun with the challenge, and judging from responses I’ve received, so did others. And guess what?
I’ll confess this was touch and go for me. But since I’m, ahem, the convener of the challenge, it only seemed right that I would see it all the way through.
So what did I read? (Because at the end here, I’m going to ask you the very same question!)
- A book set on the water: The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey
- A novel featuring a character with a disability: Every Fifteen Minutes by Lisa Scottoline
- A classic you always promised yourself to read: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- A novel with a person’s name in the title: The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
- A travelogue: A House in Fez by Suzanna CLark
- A novel featuring a woman over sixty: The Widows of Wichita County by Jodi Thomas
- A novel set in a different century and county: Beauty Like the Night by Joanna Bourne
- A family saga: The Hearts of Men by Nikolas Butler
- A novel from genre you rarely or never read: Indelible by Adelia Saunders (magical realism)
- A novel by Emilie Richards: Lady of the Night (which I edited this year)
- A non-fiction “how-to” book: Disappear Without A Trace by David Author
- A young adult book: The Dream by Zoe Daniels
- A book you choose just because: Origins by Dan Brown
- A time travel novel: The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain
- A novel made into a movie: Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin
- A book that’s been in your TBR pile more than a year: Spider Woman’s Daughter by Anne Hillerman
- A memoir: Wonderful Tonight by Patti Boyd
- A book by a local author: End of Watch by Stephen King.
And there you have it.
I’ll confess that I chose books to suit my crazy life. Some of those listed above were books I had to read as I judged a writing award. Some were inexpensive BookBub buys that I either bought for the challenge or because I had never read the authors. Do you remember the Eric Clapton song, Wonderful Tonight? Did you, like me, wonder what happened to the lovely blonde in his song? Were they still together? That blonde was Patti Boyd, married to both George Harrison and Eric Clapton, and what a memoir that was. (And no, both men were unfaithful to her and she divorced them.)
The Dream by Zoe Daniels (Kylie Logan and Casey Daniels) was one I’d discovered in a box of books and set aside to read and enjoy. Zoe/Kylie/Casey gave it to me decades ago for my youngest son and somehow, I’d never read it–but he had.
To Kill A Mockingbird was my daughter’s middle school copy, and trust me, that was awhile ago since her daughter will be entering middle school soon. I’d seen the movie. I’d read the Go Set a Watchman, the so-called sequel but the first to be written. I’d just never sat down to read To Kill A Mockingbird. And I have to say, it was a struggle. The first third dragged on and I wondered if I would finish. Then it took off, and of course, I did. But the racial stereotyping nearly brought me to my knees. Sad, but true.
I read A House in Fez because we were traveling to Morocco, and while we went to Marrakesh and Tetouan, and not Fez, the book still gave me interesting insights into Moroccan culture. I read Origins because a large portion takes place in Barcelona, another place I knew we would be.
And back when I was formulating categories for this challenge with my Krewe of Review, I talked up time travel, because I knew Diane Chamberlain’s one and only time travel novel, The Dream Daughter was due out in 2018, and I would be reading it anyway. Loved it, of course.
So what’s the point of reading from a list?
If you haven’t guessed from my selections? It’s unlikely I would have read half these books if I hadn’t been prompted by the reading challenge. Reading out of our comfort zone is a great exercise. What could happen? You might solidify your conviction that you don’t like a certain kind of book. You might learn that you actually do and have more to look forward to. You might try a new author and find a new favorite. You might try a subject you would steer away from normally and learn something new. You might learn something about the world you never considered before.
All that and more can happen. I’m so glad we came up with this and followed through with the reading challenge this year.
So whether you finished or not, what did you take away from it? What books did you love the most? What category surprised you? Did you find a new favorite genre or author?
Please comment and let us know.
In 2019 we will also be doing a reading challenge but quite differently. The challenge will happen on my Read Along With Emilie Richards Facebook Page. You will need to join the group which is as simple as following that link and asking. There are no requirements other than loving to read. We won’t overwhelm you with posts. It’s informal. It’s casual. You can join any time. We pop on and tell people what we’re reading. We love recommending books, but nobody’s keeping track of whether you read them or not. It’s just laid back fun.
We’ve been talking about interesting categories for books for this year’s challenge, and we’ve decided to make a list of possibilities. Right now we have about 30. Each month we will let random.org choose the category for that month’s challenge from our list and I’ll announce it. And then each of us will choose a book that fits the category, and read it, posting our choice whenever we decide to. So it will be month to month. We can discuss the book or not, explain why we chose it or not, say whether we liked it or not.
Want a hint on some possible categories? A book with a number in the title. The first book in a series. A book with a yellow cover. No promises those will make it. It’s all up to random.org.
Remember, informal, casual, fun.
While we won’t be discussing the challenge on my blog, I will let you know here, at the beginning of each month, what the category is. You can read along with us without being in the Facebook group just by choosing a book that fits and reading it. If you feel so moved you can comment here and tell everyone what you’re reading. But if you’re on Facebook anyway, come join us so you can be a larger part of the fun.
Thanks for being part of the 2018 Reading Challenge, and even if you weren’t, thanks for reading, not matter how or why you chose books this year.
Now, if you dare, tell us what you read!