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52.80 Books in 2016

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If you know me and know my family, you know that we are a tribe of addicted readers. My grandma recently stayed with us for three weeks, during which time she read 5 books. She estimates that she reads somewhere around 150 books a year. (Gah, goals!) My aunts, uncles, mom, and cousins are all fanatics. I’ve started working on my older son too. And although I would rather do almost nothing more than sit in a beautiful, cozy spot and read an entire day away, with a full time job, full time kids, and full time husband and house to keep up, my reading passion was often pushed to the back burner. But there was a book light at the end of that sad and desolate tunnel. Since I retired from my full time job back in October, my reading time has skyrocketed. So I decided to challenge myself to read a book a week in 2016 – 52 books in 52 weeks. (Maybe I’ll read 52.80 books just to be consistent!) I did not do well in January. Or April. At all. But I figure if I blow through some awesome YA fiction I can get relatively back on track in a jiffy. Here’s a sampling year to date:

Someone: A Novel, by Alice McDermott

The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah

The Giver Quartet: The Giver, Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son, by Lois Lowry. (This counts as four books, right? I vote yes.)

Primates of Park Avenue, by Wednesday Martin

11/22/63, by Stephen King

Brooklyn, by Colm Toibin

In reviewing my list so far, I realize I’m all over the genre map: literary fiction, YA, chick lit, sci-fi. My usual focus is literary fiction and YA, and particularly where those two categories meet. (Think The Fault In Our Stars.) Around the beginning of the new year I found a fun reading challenge put out by my local library. The goal is to read a book in each of the following categories:

A book originally published in the year you were born

A collection of short stories

A retelling of a myth

A book with a strong female lead

A book that has been translated into English

A book about a family saga

A book you loved as a child

A political biography

A book with an animal narrator

A book written about or by a person with a disability

A romantic comedy

A hard science fiction novel

I love this list because it pushes me outside my comfort zone. I would typically never read a political biography or a hard science fiction novel. I’ve absolutely no idea what was published in my birth year, but it’ll be fun to research. I’m not a short story lover, but I know there are some wonderful compilations out there. (As an aside, I love listening to “Off the Books” on Entertainment Weekly satellite radio. They’ve given me some truly excellent reading suggestions. Recently they highlighted American Housewife: Stories, by Helen Ellis, which I think sounds fantastic.) So I’m incorporating this challenge into my own 52 book challenge to broaden my horizons.

As I finish each book I’ll update you on what I thought of it and what’s coming next. I’d love for you to join me in this goal and share your reading list with me!



1 thought on “52.80 Books in 2016”

  • Short Stories: anything by Alice Munro or William Trevor. The collection Bobcat (can’t recall author). Olive Kittridge (Elizabeth Strout)

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