Reading Challenge 2019

For last year’s words belong to last year’s language/And next year’s words await another voice/And to make an end is to make a beginning.

T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

Leaving it to T.S Eliot to lay it down, literary style-that turning of the page that only the beginning of a new year can bring. 2018’s reading co-challenge with The Redolent Mermaid was so fun we’ve brought it back. Last year’s was a success in various ways, the satisfaction of completing it for one thing, but irrelevant in the way that no one really cares how many books another person reads, it’s just a number. More of a triumph is that my reading went deeper, my engagement with books was more heartfelt due to the reading challenge, that’s a measure of success I hope to duplicate in 2019. Here we have it:

2019 Reading Challenge:

1. A book set in your home state, or province for our Canadian buddies. The Eulogist / Terry Gamble ★☆☆☆☆

2. You saw the movie but didn’t read the book….now read the book.

Shoeless Joe- W.P. Kinsella ★★★☆☆

3. Carpe read ‘em- a title on your TBR for 1+ years. The Name of the Wind- Patrick Rothfuss ★★★★★

4. Flora: flower on the cover.

Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud and the Last Trial of Harper Lee- Casey Cep ★★★☆☆

5. Fauna: beastly book.

The Dream Thieves- Maggie Stiefvater ★★★☆☆

6. Scandinavian setting- create your own Jolabokaflod, or Yule Book Flood.

A Man Called Ove- Frederick Backman ★★★★★ 

7. Flavor- a book built around food. DIDN’T COMPLETE

8. Passport required…set in a country you have never been to.

We Are Displaced- Malala Yousafzai ★★★☆☆

9. Yellow/Gold is the color of novelty, so read a yellow novel. The Girl with All the Gifts- M.R. Carey (Yellow/Gold novel) ★★★★☆

10. Something witchy this way comes. Witches, man, read a witch-centered tome.

The Girl in the Tower- Katherine Arden ★★☆☆☆

11. A novel that is now a Netflix series or adaptation. DIDN’T COMPLETE

12. Shallowness: pick a book based on its spine appearance alone. Wanderers – Chuck Wendig ★★☆☆☆

13. Nature Lover: non-fiction about the environment. Anywhere that is Wild: John Muir’s First Walk to Yosemite- Edited by Peter and Donna Thomas ★★★☆☆

14. How old are you now? Read a book from your birth decade.

All the President’s Men- Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein ★★★★☆ 

15. A book written by an author with your same initials.

16. Gothic read.

17. A retelling.

18. A guide.

19. BINGO Free Space- pick your own.

Thunderhead- Neal Shusterman ★★★★☆ 

20. A book discovered by scrolling #bookstagram.

The Gown: a novel of the Royal Wedding- Jennifer Robson ★★☆☆☆

21. Bildungsroman: a coming of age tale.

22. Turn and face the strange- an out of your comfort zone read.

The Darkwater Bride- Marty Ross (Audible original) ★★★☆☆

23. A last book written by your favorite author.

24. Hygge: a book for comfort.

The Awakening of Miss Prim- Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera ★★★☆☆

25. A happy little accident…or a book that has a title Bob Ross would appreciate.

Blood, Water, Paint- Joy McCullough ★★★★☆ 

26. A numeric title.

The Two Towers- J.R.R. Tolkien ★★★★☆ 

27. Crossover- a book written by a beloved artist, musician or figure.

28. A tale where the main character loves to read.

29. 1890’s- a great Victorian vintage.

30. Celestial object on the cover or in the title.

I hope this challenge is more fun than formidable (and that we don’t lose anyone on #29; I’m steering towards Wilde, Hardy or Conan Doyle). Remember, there’s no pressure to complete the whole list, cross off as many or few as you’d like. Choose the most challenging or rigorous, choose the prompts that intrigue, entertain or make you chuckle (like that Bob Ross approved title). If you’re stumped on any of the prompts, from author’s initials to cover vegetation, I’ve got ya’: comment with a recommendation request right here, on my 2019 Reading Challenge menu page, or, at The Scented Library on Instagram. While you’re there, tag your book posts with #bookishjayandreadingmermaid so that we may follow along for inspiration.

To assist in tracking my reading progress throughout the year, I got this handy book organizer from Little Inklings Design. Perhaps I’ll post about it as I fill it in with my reads, reviews and book hauls.

Julie and I are doubly excited for this year’s challenge and hope you will be too. Looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with in 2019.

Have fun, friends, and happy reading.

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