2023 Reading Challenge Book List

Image by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.

Welcome to my 3rd year of participating in the Calm Scribe Reading Challenge. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a list of 26 types of books, and participants get to pick which specific books to read.

I love this because:

  1. 26 books is a fairly realistic goal (I actually reached it last year!)
  2. It inspires reaching out of comfort genres to explore new authors and stories.

There’s no rule saying you have to have your books for the year all picked out, but I function better that way. Below is my plan. (The asterisks indicate books from previous years’ lists that I haven’t gotten to yet.)

The 2023 Reading Challenge List

  • About climate change: Addressing the Climate Crisis: Local Action in Theory and Practice edited by Candice Howarth, et al.*
  • By an Indigenous author: Geronimo’s Story of His Life.
  • By a BIPOC or LGBTQ+ author: Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center by bell hooks.*
  • Published or set in the 1800s: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs.
  • For young adults: UnEnchanted by Chanda Hahn.
  • Published in 2022/2023: Once Upon Another Time: Fresh Tales from the Far Side of Fantasy by J. Moody, et al.
  • By an African author: The Greater Freedom: Life as a Middle Eastern Woman Outside the Stereotypes by Alya Mooro.
  • In a genre you don’t usually read: A People’s Guide to Capitalism: An Introduction to Marxist Economics by Hadas Thier.
  • Poetry: freedom. by Destiny S. Harris.
  • Under 200 pages: First Meeting by Cat Hartliebe.
  • Over 500 pages: The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas.*
  • Will “make you more cultured”: An American Princess: The Many Lives of Allene Tew by Annejet van der Zijl.
  • Won an award: All This I Will Give to You by Dolores Redondo.
  • A graphic novel or Manga: Play it Again by Anthony LaFauci, illustrated by Stephen Todd.
  • Just for fun: Never Have Your Dog Stuffed: And Other Things I’ve Learned by Alan Alda.*
  • Received as a gift: The End of Scarcity by Kristen Ragusin.
  • A debut novel: Famished by Meghan O’Flynn.*
  • You own but have not read: Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Eddi Reno Lodge.
  • Of short stories or essays: Look at the Birdie by Kurt Vonnegut.*
  • By an immigrant or about the immigrant experience: The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen.
  • Published posthumously: Autobiography of Malcolm X.
  • Has been translated: This Life or the Next by Demian Vitanza.*
  • “You should have read by now”: Women, Race, and Class by Angela Davis.
  • Sci-fi written by a female author: The Dispossessed by Ursula K. LeGuin.*
  • Relevant to a month’s celebrated event: The Hilarious World of Depression by John Moe (Mental Health Month – May).
  • A gothic, horror, or thriller: All Good Deeds by Stacy Green.*

Bonus Books

You may recognize these bonus books as the ones I obviously didn’t get to last year:

  • Found in an independent or second-hand bookstore: No Disrespect by Sister Souljah*.
  • By an indie/self-published author: A Death at Dawn by Gabrielle Grey*.

Books I Started Previously and Really Mean to Finish

  • The Forging of the American Empire by Sidney Lens.
  • Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi.

And, of course, there are still literally hundreds of books on my Kindle—and probably about a dozen on my bookshelf—that I plan to read, hopefully sooner rather than later. So expect another year of me going off-script.

Where I Got My Books

This year, I bought four from Amazon, one was a gift from my mom, and the rest I already had. When I do go looking for books:

  • I search Amazon for what I need, then sort by lowest to highest price.
  • PDFDrive.com has PDFs, MOBI, and EPUB files for a bunch of books. (I try to only download public domain/creative commons works, or books I’ve purchased but need in a more accessible format. Content creators—especially marginalized content creators—deserve to be paid for their work.)
  • Project Gutenberg has loads of public domain books to choose from.
  • LibriVox.org has free and public domain audiobooks. Fair warning: the navigation leaves something to be desired.

What are your reading goals for the year? @ me on Twitter and let me know! Here’s to another year of good reads.