This year is the year that I will finish my State-by-State challenge! Therefore, I am keeping other challenges to a minimum. Naturally, after two years, only the difficult states are left. I am struggling looking for books set in Delaware or Nevada, (and I'd rather not read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas). Anyone have other suggestions?
Reading the Books That I Want Challenge
Last year I got frustrated with my reading challenges and my book clubs and other reading obligations. And while looking at my end of year post from last year, I was annoyed that I didn't get to read a couple of books from the rather short list of books I was really looking forward to. And then I had an idea. This year I am creating my own reading challenge, just for me. And it is to list the top 20 books on my TBR list and be sure I actually read them. I am very much looking forward to this! The list does not include any books currently assigned for my book clubs or that I plan to read for my State by State challenge.
I've spent time tweaking my list and I am pretty happy with it. I really want to read these twenty books this year and I hope that this challenge will get me to do it:
1. Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell
2. Drinking in America: Our Secret History by Susan Cheever
3. Margaret Fuller: A New American Life by Megan Marshall
4. Louisa May Alcott by Susan Cheever
5. Terrible Virtue: A Novel by Ellen Feldman
6. The Work: My Search for a Life That Matters by Wes Moore
7. Chocolate Wars: The 150-Year Rivalry Between the World's Greatest Chocolate Makers by Deborah Cadbury
8. The Last September by Nina de Gramont
9. The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League by Jeff Hobbs
10. On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes by Alexandra Horowitz
11. Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon
12. The Arrangement by Ashley Warlick
13. My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
14. The Summer of Beer and Whiskey: How Brewers, Barkeeps, Rowdies, Immigrants, and a Wild Pennant Fight Made Baseball America's Game by Edward Achorn
15. Pedestrianism: When Watching People Walk Was America's Favorite Spectator Sport by Matthew Algeo
16. Strong Inside: Perry Wallace and the Collision of Race and Sports in the South by Andrew Maraniss
17. Good Night, Mr. Wodehouse: A Novel by Faith Sullivan
18. The Road to Little Dribbling: More Notes From a Small Island by Bill Bryson
19. The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson
20. Call the Midwife: A True Story of the East End in the 1950s by Jennifer Worth
Chunkster Reading Challenge
Wondering what’s a chunkster? A chunkster is an adult or YA book, non-fiction or fiction, that’s 450 pages or more.
Here’s the rules for this year’s challenge (from 2015):
Audio books and e-books are allowed. You want to listen to a chunkster on audio? Be my guest. Essay, short story, and poetry collections are allowed but they have to be read in their entirety to count. Books may crossover with other challenges.
Anyone can join. You don’t need a blog. Feel free to leave your progress on the monthly link-up posts. You don’t have to list your books ahead of time. Graphic novels don’t count. Reading a chunkster graphic novel isn’t the same as reading a non-graphic chunkster.
I always love my chunkster challenge. It's never been a challenge I've struggled to solve, luckily. I'm a little worried since the 2016 post isn't up yet. Nevertheless, I'll pick 6 for this year.
State by State in 2014-2016
Ever thought you would like to read your way across America?
The USA Fiction Challenge asks you to do just that.
Read just one book from each state - you choose whether the link is the setting or the author.
You choose whether you confine yourself to a particular genre or not.
I am extending this challenge over multiple years. I am picking setting (I think often where an author's from is wildly irrelevant to a book) and I am not confining myself to a genre. I had hoped to have 35 books done by the end of my first year but I only had 22. Now I have 37 done, leaving 14 (I included Washington D.C.) I am confidant I can finish this year, and I'm going to try pretty hard. I own 6 of them, and two of those I know are on my book club's list for this year, so those are easy guarantees. Books marked in blue were read in 2014, black in 2015, with red for 2016.
Alabama: Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
California: The Longest Date: Life as a Wife by Cindy Chupack
Colorado: Columbine by Dave Cullen
Connecticut: The Heathen School: A Story of Hope and Betrayal in the Age of the Early Republic by John Putnam Demos
DC: All the Truth Is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid by Matt Bai
Florida: The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani
Georgia: Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind: A Bestseller's Odyssey from Atlanta to Hollywood by Ellen F. Brown and John Wiley Jr.
Hawaii: Hawaii by James A. Michener
Illinois: Pioneer Girl by Bich Minh Nguyen
Indiana: She Got Up Off the Couch: And Other Heroic Acts from Mooreland, Indiana by Haven Kimmel
Iowa: Big Brother by Lionel Shriver
Kansas: Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Louisiana: Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink
Maine: The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout
Maryland: Wondrous Beauty: The Life and Adventures of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte by Carol Berkin
Massachusetts: Defending Jacob by William Landay
Michigan: You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know by Heather Sellers
Minnesota: Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
Missouri: Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer's Life by Pamela Smith Hill
Montana: Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer
New Jersey: Let Me Explain You by Annie Liontas
New York: The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York by Robert A. Caro
North Carolina: My Accidental Jihad by Krista Bremer
North Dakota: Nothing to Do But Stay by Carrie Young
Ohio: The Memory Palace by Mira Bartok
Oregon: Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire: A Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival by Peter Stark
Pennsylvania: The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan
Rhode Island: In a Dark Wood: What Dante Taught Me about Grief, Healing, and the Mysteries of Love by Joseph Luzzi
Tennessee: The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II by Denise Kiernan
Texas: Love Me Back by Merritt Tierce
Utah: The World's Strongest Librarian: A Memoir of Tourette's, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family by Josh Hanagarne
Vermont: Good Grief: Life in a Tiny Vermont Village by Ellen Stimson
Virginia: The House Girl by Tara Conklin
Washington: The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown
West Virginia: Close to Famous by Joan Bauer
Wisconsin: Keeping the House by Ellen Baker
Wyoming: Letters from Yellowstone by Diane Smith
22/51 in 2014
15/29 in 2015
0/14 so far in 2016