I’m not usually into reading challenges, because they’re either “read an unrealistic amount of books this year” or “read these exact books.”
Enter The Calm Scribe’s reading challenge. A list of 26 types of books. You pick the titles. I love this kind of list, because I’m normally sitting on dozens of unread books. I don’t want to buy more for a challenge (especially after being out of work for so long).
Check out The Calm Scribe’s Reading Challenge for 2021 here. See the books I’m planning on reading for this challenge below.
I decided on the books I wanted to read upfront, because I’m less likely to follow through if I haven’t planned it out ahead of time. There will always be changes to the plan, but I feel good having a place to start.
- 500 pages or more: Stamped From the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi
- I can finish in a day: Adventures of a Vegan Vamp by Cate Lawley
- Published in 2020/2021: The Silver Current by Kenneth Baldwin
- Won a literary award: The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin
- Written (I went for published) in the year you were born: The Gunslinger by Stephen King
- Sitting on your “to read” list for a long time: Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
- A classic novel: Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
- Written by a Canadian: Born of Aether by A.L. Knorr
- Set in the country of your ancestry: A Concise History of Ireland by P.W. Joyce
- Written in the 1800’s: Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
- Non-fiction about racial and social justice: I’m Still Here by Austin Channing Brown
- An author’s debut novel: Famished by Meghan O’Flynn
- Written by an Indigenous author: An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
- Historical fiction: The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
- Adapted to a movie or series: Shrill by Lindy West
- Poetry: Edgar Allen Poe’s Complete Poetical Works
- Fantasy or science fiction novel: Golden Blood by Melissa Pearl
- Set in a place you have always wanted to visit: Go: A Coming of Age Novel by Kazuki Kaneshiro
- Written by the creator or heavy influencer of a genre: Household Tales of the Brothers Grimm
- An autobiography or biography: The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley
- Short stories: Look at the Birdie by Kurt Vonnegut
- From a book club: Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge (Emma Watson’s book club)
- Written by a BIPOC or LGBTQ+ author: Lead from the Outside by Stacey Abrams
- You were supposed to read in school but never did: The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane (BTW, I read all my assigned books in school. But this one was from another level English class, so it was never assigned to me.)
- Originally written in another language: About the Night by Anat Talshir
- To get you through lockdown: As You Wish by Cary Elwes
- BONUS: Written by an author you know personally: A Skinchanger’s Journey by Gabrielle Grey (online friends count!)
The Calm Scribe also allowed to count additional books you read that don’t necessarily fit into the requirements above. I’m hoping to finish two books I started in 2020: All About Love by bell hooks and So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo.
I’m excited that I only had to make two purchases (The Fifth Season, because I’ve wanted to read it for a while, and it was on sale; and A Skinchanger’s Journey, because I wanted to support an online friend) and I’m only re-reading one book (The Gunslinger). I found The Three Musketeers for free on Gutenberg.org. The rest were already in my Kindle or on my bookshelf, waiting for me to crack them open.
What are your reading goals for the year? @ me on Twitter and let me know! Here’s to a year of good reads.