Friday, January 6, 2017

2017 Reading Challenge

Compared to most people my age, I'd say I read a lot. Which, considering that I intend to work in publishing, is a good thing.

Compared to most people my age, I'd say I read a lot of middle grade and YA literature. Which, considering that I would particularly like to work in middle grade and YA publishing, is a good thing.

As I reviewed my reading habits from 2016, I had several realizations. First, I surpassed my quantitative goal for the year (yay!). Second, I had not set any qualitative goals for my reading. Third, I didn't venture very far outside of my safe, comfortable reading niche. And fourth, I was bothered the lack of variety in my reading. It's important to be well-read as an editor, both within and without your specific area of focus.

So armed with my bullet journal (one of these days I'll write an ode to my bullet journal, because it's one of the key factors in my ability to retain most of my sanity), I scoured reading challenges various readers and publishers and bloggers and companies have published on the interwebs and compiled a challenge that is designed to both stretch me as a reader and encourage me to be reading the very best of middle grade and YA fiction. My goal isn't to read more books than  I did in 2016, but to read better, read smarter, and read wider.

THE CHALLENGE: Read 100 books in 2017. At least 25 of these books must be nonfiction, and the following categories must be fulfilled. 

Protagonist with a Disability
Written by Australian Author
Written by Asian Author
Written by African Author
Written by Central/South American Author
Written by European Author

Published before 1900
Published between 1900 and 1950
Published in 1992
Published in 2017

Winner of Newbery Award (5)
Winner of Pulitzer Prize
2016 Bestseller
2017 ALA Award Winners for Children's/YA Literature
     Michael L. Printz Award
     Schneider Family Book Award
     Alex Award
     Margaret Edwards Award
     Stonewall Book Award
     William C. Morris Award
     Coretta Scott King Award
     Pura Belpre Award
     Odyssey Award
     Batchelder Award
     Newbery Medal
     Caldecott Medal
     Robert F. Sibert Informational Medal
     Laura Ingalls Wilder Award*

*The Laura Ingalls Wilder Award is given to an author whose body of work has been a significant contribution to children's literature. Therefore, for this category, I will read the author's most recently published book.


Sci Fi
Cozy Mystery
Classics (2)
Historical Fiction (set before 1900)

Memoir/Autobiography/Biography (5)
Non-Christian Religion
True Adventure

A Collection (poems, short stories, essays, etc.)
Debut Novel
A Book That Is Physically on My Bookshelf That I Haven't Read
Good Mormon Literature 
On My Goodreads To Be Read List (5)

So that's what I've got. It's fairly ambitious, but it's doable, and it'll be good for my growth and expansion as a reader. 

Now's the part where you come in: I need recommendations. Yes, I want to be able to fulfill my requirements, but I also want to be reading good books. So if you have suggestions for must reads (whether they fit my categories or not), please send them my way. I especially am in need of suggestions for nonfiction. It's not my go to genre (by my count, I read 5 nonfiction books last year. FIVE. Out of 100+ books. Not good), and I want to branch into that territory in my reading adventures this year. 

So here's to good books and a good year. 

*Updates on my progress will be available all year round in the 2017 Reading Challenge tab*


  1. I'd recommend a non-fiction book called "Ghost Soldiers: The epic account of World War II's greatest rescue mission" by Hampton Sides. It won the PEN Center USA Literary Award in 2002 if that means anything to you. Excellent book on WWII in the South Pacific. Bataan Death March, Japanese POW camp, final rescue raid at Cabanatuan. It's very moving.