2024 Reading Challenge Book List

Image by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.

This is my 4th year 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.
  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 tend to function better that way. Below is my plan at this point. (The asterisks indicate books from previous years’ lists that I haven’t yet either gotten to or finished.)

The 2024 Reading Challenge List

  • About a major historical event: Running from Giants: The Holocaust Through the Eyes of a Child by Maya Ackerman.
  • By an Indigenous author: Geronimo’s Story of His Life.*
  • By a BIPOC or LGBTQ+ author: Afeni Shakur: Evolution of a Revolutionary by Jasmine Guy.
  • That has been banned: A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.
  • Chosen because of the cover: Time Trap by Micah Caida.
  • Published in 2023/2024: Let This Radicalize You by Kelly Hayes and Mariame Kaba.
  • By a Middle Eastern author: Being Authentic: A Memoir by Morhaf Al Achkar.
  • In a genre you don’t usually read: A People’s Guide to Capitalism: An Introduction to Marxist Economics by Hadas Thier.*
  • Poetry: The Book of American Negro Poetry by James Weldon Johnson.
  • Under 200 pages: I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown.
  • Over 500 pages: American Gods by Neil Gaiman.
  • Will expand your worldview: An American Princess: The Many Lives of Allene Tew by Annejet van der Zijl.*
  • Won an award: Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi.*
  • A graphic novel or Manga: Black Panther: Soul Of A Machine by Fabian Nicieza.
  • Just for fun: The Golden Age of Piracy by Benerson Little.
  • Received as a gift: [TBD].
  • A debut novel: [TBD].
  • You own but have not read: The Forging of the American Empire by Sidney Lens.*
  • Of short stories or essays: Once Upon Another Time: Fresh Tales from the Far Side of Fantasy by J. Moody, et al.*
  • That you read and loved a long time ago: Dave Barry’s Book of Bad Songs.
  • With a ‘W’ in the title: How Will Capitalism End? By Woolfgang Streeck.
  • Has been translated: About the Night by Anat Talshir.*
  • By a famous author you have not yet read: Romeo’s Rules by James Scott Bell.
  • That is an audio book: Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.
  • That is considered to be one of the best from your country or ancestry: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. [I didn’t mean to pick two from the same author. I chose this first, then came across the TI audiobook and wanted to hear it. Of course, this could always change.🤷🏻]
  • That is an Epic: Flight of the Gazebo: An Epic Fantasy SciFi Adventure by Kent Silverhill.

Bonus Books

You may recognize these bonus books as the ones I keep not getting to. (Nothing against the books or the authors! It’s going to happen, I promise!)

  • 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

For anyone following along and who has an excellent memory (or cared enough to go back and check), you may have noticed I snuck The Forging of the American Empire and Stamped from the Beginning into my challenge list. I’ve been “meaning to finish” these for far too long, and am determined to do so this year.

I started reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X last year, then got distracted by other things, so hopefully I can finish that one, too.

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 yet another year of me going off-script.

Where I Got My Books

This year, I am broker than ever, so I did my best with what I already have. I came across the Classic Tales Podcast, which is where I listened to Treasure Island. Other places to look for free or inexpensive books:

  • I search Amazon for what I need, then sort by lowest to highest price.
  • 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.