Dec 302016
 

Remember the Stitching for Literacy Book Club? I miss it. I loved reading books that my friends suggested, especially books that were outside my normal reading zone. I’d never have picked up Ender’s Game if Kat hadn’t chosen it for the Group.

And I loved discussing the books.

This year, I’m embracing the 2017 Popsugar Ultimate Reading Challenge, which is a collection of 40 prompts for which you select books to read. The idea is to expand your reading choices. There’s a Goodreads group—more than one, really—if you want to undertake the challenge with a community, and then there’s the option of joining me or forming your own Group.

I will attempt to meet the challenge by all my methods of reading: solo reading, joint reading with Mike (he’s on board), and audio book listening as I do dishes, work in the garden, pick berries, walk dogs, etc. There is an audio book prompt, but I’m allowing the other prompts to be audio books, too.

Here is my reading list so far. Naturally, I reserve the right to change my mind about any prompt and switch books around at any time to meet the challenge. I’m looking for suggestions for books that meet the prompts, so please see where your favorite books might fit, and let me know.

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Jen’s 2017 Popsugar Reading List


1. A book recommended by a librarian – Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, recommended by Taylor Kenkel
2. A book that’s been on your TBR list for way too long
3. A book of letters
4. An audiobook
5. A book by a person of color – Brown Girl Dreaming, Jacqueline Woodson, recommended by Taylor Kenkel, but it was already on my bookshelf. Credit to Taylor for making it a priority this year.
6. A book with one of the four seasons in the title
7. A book that is a story within a story
8. A book with multiple authors – SOS: The Story Behind the Army Expedition to Borneo’s “Death Valley,” by Lt. Col. Robert Neill and Major Ron Foster, because we know someone involved in the rescue
9. An espionage thriller
10. A book with a cat on the cover
11. A book by an author who uses a pseudonym
12. A bestseller from a genre you don’t normally read –
13. A book by or about a person who has a disability
14. A book involving travel – The Odyssey, Homer, translated by Robert Fagles
15. A book with a subtitle – The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World, Andrea Wulf, recommended by Mike Maier
16. A book that’s published in 2017
17. A book involving a mythical creature
18. A book you’ve read before that never fails to make you smile
19. A book about food – 97 Orchard: An Edible History of 5 Immigrant Families, Jane Ziegelman; or The Food of a Younger Land, Mark Kurlansk, both recommended by Donna.
20. A book with career advice
21. A book from a nonhuman perspective
22. A steampunk novel
23. A book with a red spine
24. A book set in the wilderness – Wilderness Essays, by John Muir
25. A book you loved as a child
26. A book by an author from a country you’ve never visited – Happiness, Like Water, Chinelo Okparanta, born in Nigeria, recommended by Taylor Kenkel
27. A book with a title that’s a character’s name
28. A novel set during wartime – Lilac Girls, Martha Hall Kelly, recommended by Rebecca Downey Thomas
29. A book with an unreliable narrator
30. A book with pictures – graphic novel: Lumberjanes, by Noelle Stevenson, Shannon Watters, Brooke A. Allen, recommended by Taylor Kenkel
31. A book where the main character is a different ethnicity than you
32. A book about an interesting woman – Ladies of the Field: Early Women Archaeologists and Their Search for Adventure, Amanda Adams or maybe Born to Rebel: the Life of Harriet Boyd Hawes, Mary Allsebrook, if I can get my hands on a reasonably priced copy.
33. A book set in two different time periods
34. A book with a month or day of the week in the title
35. A book set in a hotel
36. A book written by someone you admire – The Snow Child, Eowyn Ivey, she’s almost a neighbor
37. A book that’s becoming a movie in 2017
38. A book set around a holiday other than Christmas
39. The first book in a series you haven’t read before – The Marcus Didius Falco Series, The Silver Pigs, by Lindsey Davis, recommended by Barb, in part because it’s set in Rome
40. A book you bought on a trip

So who’s game to give this a go with me?

And what suggestions do you have for the different prompts?

  4 Responses to “2017 Popsugar Ultimate Reading Challenge”

  1. #33 A book set in two different time periods. Now you know I’m going to pick a middle reader (middle grade fiction). Once Was a Time by Leila Sales. I haven’t read it yet, but it was strongly recommended to me by a colleague of mine at the bookstore who knows I LOVE The War That Saved My Life (by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley).

  2. Oh, and #3, Pliny’s letters! Pliny’s letters! (The Letters of the Younger Pliny, edited by Betty Radice.) Seriously, one of my favorite books. I love to reread this again and again. People have changed little in 2,000 years.

    (By the way, for #14, the Fagles translation of the Odyssey would be my second choice of translations after Richmond Lattimore’s.)

    Hmm, now I’m on a roll. You know I love thinking about books.

  3. Okay, here’s a half-dozen more with a half-hour’s more thought. (Again, mostly middle readers, of course.)

    #6 Season in title; Winterfrost by Michelle Houts. Love this magical tale of nisse mischief and Danish folklore in a contemporary setting.

    #9 Espionage thriller; The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy. I really liked this when I read it in the ’80s.

    #10 Cat on cover; Withering By Sea by Judith Rossell. This wonderful story includes cats like you’ve never imagined (and they’re on the cover).

    #12 Not your usual genre; (fantasy) The Map to Everywhere by Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis. Enter a highly original world of magic for this crazy ride (especially if you like maps). Or (horror) Hoodoo by Ronald L. Smith, not usually my thing, but the combination of period piece, the dark arts, and a sweetly innocent narrator hooked me.

    #20 Career advice; Quiet by Susan Cain (have you already read this?).

    #27 Eponymous title; The Categorical Universe of Candice Phee. What a charmingly quirky heroine!

    #31 Character of different ethnicity than you; As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds. An engaging family to take a glass of sweet tea with, with an equally engaging narrator in young Genie. (Or, Hoodoo from above.)

  4. Yessssss! Thanks for all of these, Barb. I’ve got them on my Master List, along with some suggestions I’ve gotten from others in email.

    This is crazy fun already, and I’ve only just started reading ONE of the books. I’m still finishing the last two 2016 books, truth be told.