2016 Reading Challenges

2016 Reading Challenges:

  1. A-Z Challenge
  2. Pulitzer 6s Challenge
  3. Read Harder Challenge
  4. #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks 2016
  5. South Asian Challenge
  6. What’s in a Name? 2016

A-Z Challenge:

A to Z

COMPLETE as of 12/31/16

This isn’t an official challenge, although there are a few official A-Z challenges out there. The A-Z challenge is something I’ve done most years since I started book blogging. I decided to go solo again this year.

The rules: Read a book from every letter of the alphabet, going by either title or author. I’ve chosen author. Titles in grey are tentative.

  • A – No Sex in the City by Randa Abdel-Fattah
  • B – So Sad Today: Personal Essays by Melissa Broder
  • C – 10% Human: How Your Body’s Microbes Hold the Key to Health and Happiness by Alanna Collen
  • D – Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion
  • E – American Housewife: Stories by Helen Ellis
  • F – The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan 
  • G – The Regional Office Is Under Attack! by Manuel Gonzales
  • H – Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal by J. Jack Halberstam
  • I – To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey
  • J – The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
  • K – When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
  • L – In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • M – Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
  • N – The Undertaking of Lily Chen by Danica Novgorodoff
  • O – The Little Red Chairs by Edna O’Brien
  • P – Asking for It by Lilah Pace
  • Q – Diary of a Married Call Girl by Tracy Quan
  • R – Mort(e) by Robert Repino
  • S – Moonstone: The Boy Who Never Was by Sjón
  • T – Killing and Dying by Adrian Tomine
  • U – The Big Green Tent by Ludmila Ulitskaya
  • V – Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking by Anya Von Bremzen
  • W – Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West
  • X – The Gringo Champion by Aura Xilonen
  • Y – Shelter by Jung Yun
  • Z – Excellent Daughters by Katherine Zoepf

Pulitzer 6s Challenge

pulitzer

Challenge Status: 2/9

This is a personal challenge that helps me break down my much larger Pulitzer Project.

The goal: read all of the Pulitzer fiction winners for the years ending in 6. No winner was chosen in 1946.

1926 – Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis
1936 – Honey in the Horn by Harold L. Davis
1946 – N/A
1956 – Andersonville by MacKinlay Kantor
1966 – The Collected Stories by Katherine Anne Porter
1976 – Humboldt’s Gift by Saul Bellow
1986 – Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
1996 – Independence Day by Richard Ford
2006 – March by Geraldine Brooks
2016 – The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen


Book Riot’s Read Harder 2016 Challenge

COMPLETE as of 12/25/16

The rules: There are 24 tasks in the Read Harder Challenge (or roughly two per month). You can tackle them in any order, make any changes, do them all in a month or spread them out over the year. Make the challenge yours! The Goodreads group for the challenge is here.

  1. A horror book: The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
  2. A nonfiction book about science: 10% Human by Alanna Collen
  3. A collection of essays: Get Out of My Crotch ed. by Kim Wyatt and Sari Botton
  4. Read a book out loud to someone else: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
  5. A middle grade novel: The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney
  6. A biography: Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter by Kate Clifford Larson
  7. A dystopian or post-apocalyptic novel: Mort(e) by Robert Repino
  8. A book originally published in the decade you were born: Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
  9. An audiobook that has won an Audie Award: Glorious by Bernice McFadden
  10. A book over 500 pages long: The Big Green Tent by Ludmila Ulitskaya
  11. A book under 100 pages longOvercoming Speechlessness by Alice Walker
  12. A book by a transgender author: Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal by J. Jack Halberstam
  13. A book that is set in the Middle East: Native: Dispatches from an Israeli-Palestinian Life by Sayed Kashua
  14. A book by an author from Southeast Asia: The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
  15. A book of historical fiction set before 1900: Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
  16. The first book in a series by a POC: The Shadow Hero #1: The Green Turtle Chronicles by Gene Luen Yang
  17. A non-superhero comic book that debuted in the last three yearsMonstress, Vol. 1: Awakening by Marjorie M. Liu
  18. A book adapted into movie, then watch movie: Allegiant by Veronica Roth (movie > book…but both were bad)
  19. A nonfiction book about feminism: The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan 
  20. A book about religion: Faithfully Feminist ed. by Gina Messina-Dysert, Jennifer Zobair, and Amy Levin
  21. A book about politics: Thirty Ways of Looking at Hillary: Reflections by Women Writers ed. by Susan Morrison
  22. A food memoir: Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking by Anya Von Bremzen
  23. A play: Wit by Margaret Edson
  24. A book with a main character who has a mental illness: Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

#ReadMyOwnDamnBooks 2016

readmyowndamnbooksbutton

Challenge Status: 15/50

The rules: I make up my own! I’m a chronic book buyer who has three 6′ shelves in my room plus bookshelves built into my bed frame (lengthwise, not the headboard). I always say that I need to read my own books, and I do…but I tend to pay more attention to newer releases. I literally own hundreds of unread books, plus more if you count the accumulation of ARCs sent by publishers. I tried counting the unread books on one of my shelves and stopped at 30 because to get an accurate count, I’d have to unstack my shelves to get to the books behind the books. It’s that bad.

So these are my rules: I tend to read about 100 books a year, and in 2016, I want 50 of those to be books that were in my possession before January 1, 2016. They can be print copies, ARCS, audiobooks, ebooks…whatever. I just need to read my own damn books!

  1. Mort(e) by Robert Repino
  2. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
  3. Asking for It by Lilah Pace
  4. 10% Human by Alanna Collen
  5. The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan 
  6. Get Out of My Crotch ed. by Kim Wyatt and Sari Botton
  7. A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley
  8. When the Moon is Low by Nadia Hashimi
  9. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
  10. Monkfish Moon by Romesh Gunesekera
  11. Excellent Daughters by Katherine Zoepf
  12. The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
  13. Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion
  14. Overcoming Speechlessness by Alice Walker
  15. The Big Green Tent by Lyudmila Ulitskaya

South Asian Challenge 2016

Challenge

Challenge Status: 7/10

The goal: S. Krishna’s Books used to host an annual South Asian reading challenge a few years ago (it has since morphed into a perpetual challenge). I used to participate because I love South Asian lit. Like, a lot. I’m doing this as a personal goal for 2016 because I’m probably going to South Asia this summer (woo!), but it’s not part of an official challenge. Feel free to join me!

I’ll probably be choosing from this list:

  1. In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri
  2. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
  3. A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley
  4. Love, Loss, and What We Ate by Padma Lakshmi
  5. Malgudi Days by R. K. Narayan
  6. Monkfish Moon by Romesh Gunesekera
  7. The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan
  8. A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam
  9. The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai
  10. The Bollywood Bride by Sonali Dev
  11. How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid
  12. The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob
  13. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
  14. Around India in 80 Trains by Monisha Rajesh
  15. In Other Rooms, One Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin
  16. Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie
  17. A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
  18. First Darling of the Morning by Thrity Umrigar

What’s in a Name? 2016

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Challenge Status: 3/6

The rules: Between January 1 and December 31, 2016, read one book in each of the following categories. These are my tentative titles:

  1. A country in the title: Native: Dispatches from an Israeli-Palestinian Life by Sayed Kashua
  2. An item of clothing in the title: The Red Collar by Jean-Christophe Rufin
  3. An item of furniture in the title: The Little Red Chairs by Edna O’Brien
  4. A profession in the title: A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories by Lucia Berlin
  5. A month of the year in the title: Butterflies in November by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir
  6. A title with the word “tree” in it: Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta