You know the scene in the BBC’s version of Emma where Mrs. Bates is having tea at the Woodhouse mansion to read her latest letter from Jane Fairfax? I have it nearly memorized. Mrs. Bates continues reading aloud “Jane says she’s nearly half way through her reading list of 100 titles. (Looking directly at Emma now) 100!”
So, in response Emma makes a snide remark about whether Jane could learn Chinese. And once Mrs. Bates leaves, she sets herself to start her own list of 101 titles.
I don’t think I have ever set out to make a long list of titles to be read over the course of a year before. Sure, I make lists mentally all the time in an effort to try to remember all the good recommendations out there. But I’m well acquainted with my over-eagerness and fear of failure which cautions me against making high and lofty goals in any category.
But this time it’s different. I’ve been watching Modern Mrs. Darcy’s reading list challenge for a while now, I’ve been reading on my own regularly and with much success, and I’m ready for a challenge outside of homeschooling and homemaking. The difference feels reminiscent to my reading challenge that I created for myself in 2010, which ended up completely changing my life and my parenting. (If you don’t know what I’m referring to – read this.)
Sink or swim, here we go.
My Picks for the 2016 Reading Challenge:
1. A book published in 2016: Give Your Child the World by Jamie Martin
2. A book you can finish in a day: The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
3. A book you’ve been meaning to read: Gifted by Chris Davis
4. A book recommended by your local librarian or bookseller: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
5. A book you should have read in school: Heidi by Johanna Spryri
6. A book chosen for you by your spouce, partner, sibling, child, or BFF Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
7. A book published before you were born: Emma by Jane Austen (currently free for Kindle from this publisher)
8. A book that was banned at some point: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
9. A book you previously abandoned: Desperate by Sally Clarkson and Sarah Mae
10. A book you own but have never read: Money Making Mom by Crystal Paine
11. A book that intimidates you: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
12. A book you’ve already read at least once: One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
There you have it! If you’ve created a list of books to read in 2016, share the link in the comments – I would love to see what you’ve picked. Cheers to a new reading challenge!
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