Goodreads 2017 Reading Challenge

 

Mencken QuoteI read a lot. A lot a lot. I hit my 2017 Goodreads Reading Challenge goal the third week of October. My goal this year was to read more diverse authors and more nonfiction. Looking at my reading list, so far this year let’s see how I did.

I have read 72 books. Of those 72 books:

Nonfiction

  1. The Nature Fix by Florence Williams
  2. Tales of Wonder by Huston Smith
  3. Lost Cleveland: Seven Wonders of the Sixth City by Michael DeAolia

Waterfall of books

Diverse Authors

  1. Flowers for the Living by Sandra E. Johnson
  2. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
  3. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
  4. Things That Happened Before the Earthquake by Chiara Barzini
  5. Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
  6. The Private Life of Mrs. Sharma by Ratika Kapur
  7. The Turner House by Angela Flournoy
  8. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
  9. The Hope Factory by Lavanya Sankaran
  10. Evening is the Whole Day by Preeta Samarasan

I am currently reading The Mothers by Brit Bennett, which I love! And next on my to read list is Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. Hopefully before New Year’s Eve I will be able to add to this list.

friendshipWhy Read More Diverse Authors

Reading is proven to help people to be nicer and more empathetic. Especially after the divisive year our country has faced, I wanted to better understand the perspectives of people who were different from me. Fiction is a great way to explore questions and challenges to understand the universal themes of our humanity as well as the unique challenges we face because of our race, gender, language, sexual preferences, age and so much more. I believe the more we can see our commonalities, we are better able to enter into dialogue about our challenges.

My Top Picks So Far

The year isn’t over but these are my Must Read books

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I could not put this book down. It is in the conversational style that Reid is known for but it felt so different from her other books. I appreciated how she explored the complicated themes of sexuality in Hollywood but also how we all approach love and career and family in our own lives.

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin. A fresh sci-fi/fantasy post-apocalyptic story. Jemisin is materful at pulling together a story that had me turning pages when I should have been cooking dinner.

The Turner House by Angela Flournoy. A fabulous look at family, race and the dying industrial cities in the Midwest looking for rebirth. There are a lot of characters but the author knows how to write each one with a distinct voice and story purpose so they aren’t cluttering the page demanding attention. The story is universal but the experience unique.

The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff. There are so many World War II books out there but I appreciated how the author talked about the same themes from the war from a new perspective. It never occurred to me that normal activities like circuses would have still been available in Europe during those desolate years. This book made me think, cry and hope we as a society have learned from our mistakes.

Please Do Not Disturb by Robert Glancy. This book explores authoritarianism and the problems African countries faced after colonialism. Told in different voices it built to a nail biting ending.

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward. A coming of age story told through prejudice, family secrets and family guilt. Heartbreaking and beautiful writing.

What Are Your Top Picks?

What books couldn’t you put down? Which novels challenged you to think in a different way? Share your reading experience in the comments, so we can all add to our never-ending TBR pile!

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