If there is one thing I learned from massively failing my 2018 reading challenges, it’s that if I don’t pick out specific books to fill criteria for the categories, I won’t meet them. My whole point in participating in these challenges is to read outside my comfort zone, and if I don’t have a plan, I’ll keep reading what I gravitate toward (thrillers, contemporary fiction).
Happily, I’m doing pretty well on this year’s Modern Mrs Darcy challenge. I’ve already completed a book I’ve been meaning to read (Columbine), a book about a topic that fascinates you (The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding), a book recommended by someone with great taste (Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk), a book you chose for the cover (Looker), a book by an author who is new to you (The Dreamers), and a book in translation (An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good).
Anne did a great job making these categories accessible. I love the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge, but those are…well… HARD. (I’ll be sharing ideas for their categories too- I have some good books earmarked and I’m excited to see how far I’ll get when I’ve got the picks mapped out).
In this post, I’m going to skip sharing recs for A Book You’ve Been Meaning to Read, A Book Published Before You Were Born, and Three Books by the Same Author since those are so personal, but I did want to share ideas for everything else.
A Book About a Topic that Fascinates You
The White House: White Houses (fiction about Eleanor Roosevelt and her alleged lover Lorena Hickok), The Residence (behind the scenes in The White House), From the Corner of the Oval (memoir- a young woman gets a job as a stenographer in the White House)
Music: 27: A History of the 27 Club (non fiction about all of the musicians, i.e. Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse… who all died at age 27), Mercury and Me (biography by Freddie Mercury’s lover, Jim Hutton), Bring It On Home: Peter Grant, Led Zeppelin, and Beyond (a biography from Led Zeppelin’s manager)
Serial Killers: Death in the Air (a serial killer terrorizes London amidst an environmental disaster), The Good Nurse (a nurse murders his patients for years), Whoever Fights Monsters (non fiction about of the FBI profiler who coined the term Serial Killers)
The Royal Wedding: The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding (fiction about the embroiders who worked on Queen Elizabeth’s wedding dress), The Royal We (fiction about an American who falls in love with a price)
A Book in the Backlist of a Favorite Author
Lisa Jewell- The Girls in the Garden, The House We Grew Up In, The Third Wife
Tayari Jones- Silver Sparrow, Leaving Atlanta
Jesmyn Ward- Salvage the Bones, Men We Reaped
John Green- Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines
Jodi Picoult- Nineteen Minutes, My Sister’s Keeper, Leaving Time
A Book Recommended by Someone With Great Taste
Favorites lists from some of my top recommendation sources! (And my own- TBR Etc’s Best Books of 2018).
Sarah’s Book Shelves Best Books of 2018
Johann’s top 10 Horror Books of 2018
Larry H (my favorite recommendation source from Goodreads)
Crime By the Book’s Best Psychological Thrillers of 2018
Book Bejeweled and her Twister Hall of Fame
A Book You Chose for the Cover
You probably don’t need my help for this one, but here are some books that I’m pretty sure initially caught my attention because of their cover.
Queenie, An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good, Looker, We Cast a Shadow, My Sister, the Serial Killer, If You Leave Me, Fruit of the Drunken Tree, The Mothers, Home Fire, Ginger Bread, American Housewife, #fasionvictim
A Book By an Author that is New to You
Some of my favorite books written by authors you may not have read yet: Michael Robotham (Thriller-The Secrets She Keeps), Katherine Center (Contemporary Fiction-How to Walk Away), Natasha Mostert (Supernatural-Season of the Witch), Kekla Magoon (YA- How it Went Down)
A Book in Translation
A Book Outside Your (Genre) Comfort Zone
Here are some picks that I really enjoyed that were outside my genre comfort zone.
Please feel free to share your suggestions in the comments! I think half of the reason I love these challenges is because I like finding books to fit the categories… hmm.
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