I stumbled upon the most fun reading challenge I’ve ever been a part of on Thanksgiving Day, 2021. As any good millennial, I belong to several Facebook groups. I confess to being a part of a couple of home decor shaming groups as well as several teacher groups and activism groups, but largely, I’m into bookish Facebook groups. Who could have guessed, right?
Well, someone in one of my many groups mentioned that they had completed the 52 Book Club challenge. To be clear, I am not affiliated with this challenge. But I fell in love with it. I started matching up books I had already read with the prompts and was surprised to learn that I had not simply finished the challenge by default. I had read over 150 books already for the year, but I still had six prompts left to go. Six books in a month sounded doable, especially if I didn’t choose anything crazy, like Wheel of Time or Game of Thrones.
I had these final challenges to finish off:
- 36 – A Nameless Narrator
- 39 – An Alternate History Novel
- 42 – An Epistolary
- 44 – Includes a Garden
- 49 – A Flavor in the Title
- 50 – A Shoe on the Cover.
Since I had already (accidentally) completed most of the challenge already, this challenge only led me to discover six books that I wouldn’t have normally picked up. They were:
- Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad ⭐⭐⭐
- Dark Matter by Blake Crouch ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky ⭐⭐⭐⭐
- An Elephant in the Garden by Michael Morpurgo ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- My Basmati Bat Mitsvah by Paula J. Freedman ⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Of these six books, three turned out to be five star reads! So this challenge wound up with an excellent track record for me. I’m excited to try it out next year. I picked out my 52 books on Thanksgiving of 2021 and am sticking with them. I used as many classic books as I could think of and tried to stay away from YA as much as I could so that I can branch out further. I read a lot of young adult books because I teach young adults and I like to throw (sometimes literally) books at students that I know they’ll love. This year, I want to read more for myself, so I’m pushing boundaries and discovering new genres. Hopefully I’ll discover more five star reads along the way.
Do you follow any reading challenges or push your reading comfort zone in any way? I’d love to hear about it. If you have any book recommendations that you think would challenge me, send them my way, please!