I created my own reading challenge, and I stuck to it. Near as I can tell, nobody else did–I publicized it some in the first few months of the year, but I never found anyone using the hashtag. Which is fine! But slightly disappointing.
I set out to read one book a month from four categories: Classics, Nonfiction, Banned Books, and #ownvoices. And I did, so the challenge was a success in that way. But how did making an effort to read outside my comfort zone really go?
- Moby Dick – DNF, 1/5 stars
- A Room of One’s Own, 4 stars
- Frankenstein, 3/5 stars
- The Awakening, 1/5 stars
- The Aeneid, DNF, 1/5 stars
- The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, 4/5 stars
- My Ántonia, 5/5 stars
- The Once and Future King, 3/5 stars
- The Trial, 1/5 stars
- Dracula, 2/5 stars
- 2001: A Space Odyssey, 5/5 stars
- The Maltese Falcon, 5/5 stars
Didn’t finish two, rated 1/4 of them at 5 stars but 1/3 of them at 1 star. Mixed bag, those classics.
- The Art of Language Invention, 5/5 stars
- Your Inner Fish, 3/5 stars
- Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, DNF, 1/5 stars
- Steering the Craft, 5/5 stars
- The Island at the Center of the World, 3/5 stars
- Medieval Lives, 2/5 stars
- The Sixth Extinction, 5/5 stars
- News of a Kidnapping, DNF, unrated
- The Professor and the Madman, 3/5 stars
- The Bookseller of Kabul, 2/5 stars
- Under the Banner of Heaven, 2/5 stars
- The Snow Leopard, 1/5 stars
Didn’t finish two, didn’t rate one because I was clearly not the target audience and couldn’t bring myself to rate it poorly. Only two of them got a single star, while three got the full five, but lots of them didn’t live up to my expectations based on my interest in their subject matter.
- Fahrenheit 451, 1/5 stars
- The Color Purple, 4/5 stars
- The Giver, 5/5 stars
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, DNF, 2/5 stars
- Women in Love, DNF, 2/5 stars
- Big Breasts & Wide Hips, DNF, 1/5 stars
- Speak, 5/5 stars
- The Golden Compass, 3/5 stars
- The Dead Zone, 2/5 stars
- Grendel, 2/5 stars
- The Lightning Thief, 4/5 stars
- One Hundred Years of Solitude, DNF, 1/5 stars
Didn’t finish four, a big jump from the first two categories. Lots of 1’s and 2’s, only two rated at 5 stars. Disappointing overall.
- Three Strong Women, DNF, 1/5 stars
- How Stella Got Her Groove Back, 2/5 stars
- The Hate U Give, 3/5 stars
- The House on Mango Street, 2/5 stars
- Women of the Silk, 3/5 stars
- The Death of Vishnu, 2/5 stars
- Daughter of Fortune, 3/5 stars
- The Gift of Rain, DNF, 2/5 stars
- Saving Fish From Drowning, 2/5 stars
- A Day Late and a Dollar Short, DNF, 1/5 stars
- A Free Life, DNF, 1/5 stars
- The Pearl That Broke Its Shell, 2/5 stars
The theme for these was definitely different cultures–I’ve got a mix of black, Hispanic, and Asian authors, plus one each from India and Afghanistan. What I’m sorely lacking is queer voices, though I did read some queer lit not for this challenge; also books by/about neurodivergent or disabled people. Massive oversight, though every single one of these came from my previously-owned collection (because of Mount TBR) so if I’d been choosing from books I didn’t own, my selections might have been broader. I didn’t rate any of these particularly highly, though my quibbles mostly tended to be with the quality of the writing rather than the story or message presented. Still, I could have done better, and though I don’t intend to do this challenge again formally, I am still going to make an effort to seek out quality #ownvoices works from a wider range of authors.
Overall? I’m glad I pushed myself this way, but it was a hefty challenge and I’m looking forward to a lighter 2019 without this.