I love to call myself an avid reader, but I’m not sure that I actually am one. I read obsessively as a teen, but then college killed my love of reading in short order. Have you ever drifted away from something that was a big part of your identity, like music, reading or the church? It’s hard to go back because it’s tough to face the reality that it once defined you, but now you’re out of the loop.
My love of books never went away, though. I still loved Amazon, bookstores (especially used ones), and libraries. I still collect books of every topic imaginable that are free, or almost, in the interest of having an eclectic library. Really though, the charm is in the way each book is different. Each one has a unique set of characteristics, just like a person. Beyond the content and cover art there is the size, weight, the age and wear of the pages, the way it smells, where it turned up and when. I guess it would be more accurate to say that for the last twenty years I’ve had a love of books rather than I’ve been an avid reader.
I’ve been coming back slowly. Over the last several years I find my younger self peeking through more and more and one of the things that has returned is the desire to read something more than cookbooks and Christian non-fiction.
It will soon be a new year, so it’s time to be thinking about resolutions. Then, on my Facebook, up popped the 2017 Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge with it’s upbeat graphics and very reasonable expectations!
I used Goodreads to plan my reading list. Two books a month; can I do it?Keep in touch! Sign up for updates and they’ll be sent to your inbox.
A book that I chose for the cover is Shiver (Shop Amazon US | CAN) by Maggie Stiefvater. It’s supposed to be similar to Twilight and both my husband and I really enjoyed Twilight. Plus, isn’t the cover pretty?
The book with a reputation for being un-put-down-able is going to be Water for Elephants (Shop Amazon US | CAN) by Sara Gruen. I have it on my shelf and I’ve started it, but never finished. This is the year I’ll read it.
Picking a book set somewhere you’ve never been, but would like to visit was so much fun! I considered London, England and Alaska, but I settled on New Orleans. The Cajun culture, with it’s connections to Acadian culture, is really interesting to me because we live near where the Acadians lived. I’ll be reading The House on First Street (Amazon US | CAN) by Julia Reed, set in New Orleans.
I’ve already read Anne of Green Gables (Amazon US | CAN) by Lucy Maud Montgomery when I was in my preteens. It was formative for me. I wish, deep down, that communities still looked like that. I had to leave my set behind in a move, but repurchased them when we got settled because I had to have them for my daughter. It’s high time I reread it.
It was hard to find a juicy memoir. How will I know if it’s juicy beforehand? I picked By Myself and Then Some (Amazon US | CAN) by Lauren Bacall. My curiosity about Lauren Bacall started when I picked her portrait from Pinterest to bring to my hairdresser for a new look.
I would never have been able to find a book about books or reading, except I just joined a Facebook community named after The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Amazon US | CAN) by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows and my curiosity was peaked.
The genre I usually avoid is science fiction. I don’t find it immersive. I loved the movie version of Ender’s Game (Amazon US | CAN) by Orson Scott Card and I promised my husband I would read it sometime.
I loved the first few seasons of True Blood and I’ve got a soft spot for things set in the Southern US. I don’t want to admit that I’m dying to read Dead Until Dark (Amazon US | CAN) by Charlaine Harris.
For a moment I wasn’t sure how to find a book in the blacklist of a new favourite author. Do authors really “blacklist” other authors? Where would I find that information? As I’ve said, I’m out of the loop so I don’t have any favourite authors, particularly not new ones. Then I remembered my new Facebook friend Lea Ann Garfias who is an author. So, I picked Happy Wives Club (Amazon US | CAN) by Fawn Weaver because Lea Ann gave it a low rating on Goodreads.
Then, I headed over to Tauna’s (of the Proverbial Homemaker) Goodreads profile, searching for a book recommended by someone with great taste. I totally agree with her taste in kids’ books. For grownups, she gave Peace Like a River (Amazon US | CAN) by Leif Enger a high rating, so I added that to my list.
A book that I was excited to buy from the library discards pile, but haven’t read yet is On A Personal Note by Rita MacNeil. Rita MacNeil was a Cape Breton folk singer. I’ve been to her tearoom in Cape Breton at every opportunity and I even saw her there in person once.
I already love reading Christian classics and one that I really should get to reading soon is Mere Christianity (Amazon US | CAN) by C.S. Lewis.
From the Newbery Award winners or Honor books I chose The Graveyard Book (Amazon US | CAN) by Neil Gaiman. I actually read it a few years ago during the new Mommy haze and I wanted to give it another look. I didn’t really think of it as a children’s book either, so I want to give it a second look to see it it’s a choice for June in the future.
The book in translation that I chose is Heidi (Amazon US | CAN) by Johanna Spyri. I was about twelve the last time I read it and June will be reading it for school so I’m going to brush up.
I’m finally reading A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin (Amazon US | CAN) this year, it’s more than 600 pages!
Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices (Amazon US | CAN) is a book of poetry by Paul Fleischman. I’ll probably read it with my daughter.
For a book of any genre that addresses current events I picked Girl in Translation (Amazon US | CAN) by Jean Kwok, a fictional romance about a Chinese family that immigrated to Brooklyn.
I’ve been curious about The Kite Runner (Amazon US | CAN) by Khaled Hosseini, so I picked it for an immigrant story.
We just bought a collection of Roald Dahl books for my daughter for Christmas. I’m most looking forward to rereading James and the Giant Peach (Amazon US | CAN), which was written before I was born.
There are so many series that I want to read it was hard to choose which three books by the same author I wanted to put on this list. It’s going to be the first three books in the Harry Potter (Amazon US | CAN) series by J.K. Rowling.
In a reader that I used in junior high I was struck by an excerpt from The Color Purple (Amazon US | CAN) by Alice Walker and resolved to read it one day, but never did. I’m picking it for the book by a #diversebooks author.
I had to consult Listopia to find a book with an unreliable narrator or ambiguous ending and settled on American Psycho (Amazon US | CAN) by Bret Ellis because it’s one of my favourite movies.
I picked All the Light We Cannot See (Amazon US | CAN) by Anthony Doerr for the Pulitzer Prize or National Book Award winner on my list. I’m cheating and choosing The Daughter (Amazon US | CAN) by Jane Shemilt, which was nominated for an Edgar Award in 2016, not 2017, because I abhor waiting and loose ends.
Do you have a reading list or plans for any reading challenges this year?