To diversify my reading for 2020, I started a reading challenge. And, at the end of the year… I realized I probably should’ve been paying more attention along the way.
1 – Read a book made into a movie/TV show
I read a few that fit into this category, but I’m going with To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before as the official book that ticks this box.
2 – Read a book by a Nebraska author
I read My Antonia both for a charity book club and for myself. Unsurprisingly, I loved it and Cather’s descriptions of prairie life.
3 – Read a fantasy, myth, or fairy tale
I did not manage to do this. I have a few that MAY apply, if you stretch… but let’s just consider this one sadly unfinished.
4 – Read a book in translation
I finally finished 100 Years of Solitude this year. I’ve often said that Gabriel Garcia Marquez is the author who makes me want to learn Spanish. Because if his works are so beautiful in English, how much better would they be in the original.
5 – Read a book by a nonbinary or LGBTQ+ author
I don’t think I managed this one. While I read a book featuring LGBTQ+ themes (#9), and while I am fairly certain #2 is by a LGBTQ+ author, and while #10 is a big LGBTQ+ advocate… I don’t think I can count any.
6 – Read a classic
Our book club typically reads a bunch of classics, so this was cheating. But, I did it. I’ll count Don Quixote for this.
7 – Read a nonfiction book
Our work group read Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard. I think it’s the closest I got to nonfiction (outside of memoirs and self-help, which I consider slightly different).
8 – Read a book that won an award in the 2010s
Shoot. I don’t think I managed this one either. Evvie Drake Starts Over was nominated for the Goodreads Choice Awards Best Debut Novel… Does that count? No? OK.
9 – Read a book recommended by a close friend
This is one of the few books where the recommended read from my original post was the same as the book I ended up reading. I finally read, and thoroughly enjoyed, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.
10 – Read a biography/memoir
While I read a couple, Dessa’s My Own Devices: Essays from the Road on Music, Science, and Senseless Love was the one I’ll publicly claim. Dessa’s writing is poetic and beautiful always.
11 – Read a book on finance
Ah shit. I didn’t do this either! This was a terrible challenge!
12 – Read one of the oldest books in your TBR pile
I actually got confused about this one. I thought I’d achieved it, but it turns out I was thinking of it as “Books you think about a lot and mean to read” but the actual task is “Books that have been on your shelf forever.” So, in that sense… I did not do this.
All in all, even with my failures, I thought the challenge was a good way to expand my reading choices. I will be trying again next year… with some of these same categories!