Read Your Bookshelves Challenge 2019
Feel good about accomplishing an achievable goal, while enjoying the reading of books that are already on your shelves! This challenge includes 12 books, one for each month of the year. I will read more than 12 books during the year, but this challenge list helps keep me on track with a goal of reading the books I already own, while giving me freedom to divert my reading interests periodically. I am a dyed in the wool book lover, ever since I was a young girl I have loved getting lost in a good story. My favorite genres include Sci Fi and Fantasy, History/Historical Fiction, Non-fiction Science books, Gothics and Ghost Stories, tomes written by Hugh Nibley, and just about anything Fiction or Non-Fiction featuring Italy.
I have been part of different types of reading challenges but have always found them a bit restrictive because I love being a free spirit to choose a book, right on the spot, if it interests me and with some reading challenges certain books or only one genre are dictated. If I am not interested in a particular book or genre at that time, it is torture to keep up with the challenge and easy to feel like a failure because I did not follow through with, or finish, a particular challenge. Because of this, I have devised a challenge to help me wade through the books I already have adorning the shelves in my house, yet if a certain book catches my eye I still have the freedom to read it outside of the challenge, while steadily working away at the goal of reading the books I already have. This type of arrangement worked well last year when I tried this type of challenge for the first time. I hope it works well for you too!
I used a slight variation of the method I used last year to choose the books this year. Last year I grabbed one book from each successive book shelf until I had 12 chosen, one for each month. My books are arranged alphabetically by author so I started from shelf number 1, containing author's last names beginning with "A" and by the time I chose one book from each successive shelf, I had my 12 books. This year I went back near the "J" author shelf where I ended last year and started collecting the books for the 2019 challenge, but gave myself a bit more freedom to randomly skip a shelf here or there so I could get farther through the alphabetically arranged author names.
So... now the 2019 "Read Your Bookshelves Challenge" books have been chosen, and I am excited to start reading them in a few weeks! I will read them in any order I choose. I keep the stack of challenge books all together and throughout the year as I read them I enjoy seeing the stack shrink. After each book is read, they go back into their- alphabetically allotted by author- places on the shelves. Last year as part of that challenge, I chose some continuation-of-series books and some first-of-a-series books to include in the challenge, (to see if the series were worth investing more time in). Some series I decided to continue reading and will eventually acquire or borrow books to continue on with the reading. I dropped some other series I had been accumulating books for and donated them after reading the first one or two books and realizing that I did not enjoy them or want to continue with the series, so it actually made a bit of room on my shelves to do the challenge.
Here is my 2019 challenge list of books, along with some quips, generally compiled from the back covers.
- Riptide by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. (Adventure/Thriller) "Nonstop action involving suspense, adventure, and a search for treasure. " As an Agent Pendergast series fan (written by these authors) I try to collect everything I can find by them in thrift stores and buy the new releases as they come out. Not necessarily profound thinking type books, but always a good adventure. Also a nice palate cleanser after more serious heavily themed kind of books.
- Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor. (Fantasy) #2 in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy. "A breath catching fantasy about destiny, hope, and the search for one's true self."
- The Best Alternate History Stories of the 20th Century. (Science Fiction) Edited by Harry Turtledove and Martin H. Greenberg.This one has mixed reviews on Amazon, I already had it on my shelf. I expect to love a few of the stories and have others be so-so in a collection of stories kind of book. Story collection books are generally a mixed bag most of the time.
- Women of the Shadows by Ann Cornelisen. (Cultural Studies/Travel) "Brings to life all the harsh beauty, humor, and sadness of life in the south of Italy." (From my Italy book collection.)
- Brunelleschi's Dome by Ross King. (Non-Fiction) "How a Renaissance genius reinvented architecture".
- Great Irish Tales of Fantasy and Myth Edited by Peter Haining. (Folklore/Mythology) "A haunting collection of 24 stories giving meaning to timeless legends". Part I- Gods and Heroes, Part II- Romantic Sagas, Part III- Wonder Quests.
- Uprooted by Naomi Novik. (Fantasy)"As familiar as a Grimm's Fairy Tale yet fresh, original, and irresistible."
- Rabid by Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy. (Non-fiction Science)"A cultural history of the world's most diabolical virus."
- The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. (Victorian/Detective/Mystery) Written in 1868, "The first, and the best of English Detective novels." "...Not everyone is as they first appear...."
- Collected Ghost Stories of M.R. James. (Fiction) "A collection of 30 Ghost Stories by one of the finest of the genre that England has ever produced."
- The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay. (Fantasy) I have been wanting to read some of this author's work and picked a few books up by him from a thrift shop. "Evocative of medieval Spain, an adventure and a story of love, divided loyalties and clinging to beliefs that can remake or destroy your world."
- A Fisherman of the Inland Sea by Ursula K. Le Guin. (Sci Fi) A collection of stories by acclaimed Science Fiction writer Ursula K. Le Guin. I read her "Wizard of Earthsea" series years ago.