I started my 2016 Reading Challenge last night.
I know, I know it isn’t 2016 yet so this may look like cheating. But I intend to be done by Christmas 2016 so I’m not really giving myself any extra time by starting now. And with the weirdness of my schedule, I need to take advantage of the stretches of time that aren’t crazy busy.
I have crossed two off my list –
A graphic novel – for this one I read Part I of “Maus – A Survivor Tale” by Art Spiegelman. It’s the real life story of Art’s conversations with his father, Vladek who survived the horrors of Auschwitz. Spiegelman depicts all the characters as animals – the Nazis are cats, the Jews living in Poland (Vladek’s native country) are mice, and those who are neither Jews nor Nazis are portrayed as pigs. When the mice try to disguise their ethnicity, they even put on pig masks. The story is personable and powerful. The author includes the conversations between him and his father and discusses, with an understandably tentative touch, his mother’s suicide. The author doesn’t hide the challenges in his relationship with his father nor the friction between Vladek and his second wife, Mala. Once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down. I’ve read many books about Nazi Germany and World War II but personal stories like this always captivate me. If there is any criticism to be had, it’s that this book is catalogued as Juvenile Non-Fiction. Not Young Adult, Juvenile. It was in the “kid’s” section of the library. There is some language and while the depictions of violence are not extremely graphic, the book seems better suited to a young middle schooler – maybe as young as 5th grade. As for me, I’m glad I included it in my reading list!
“A book you can finish in a day” – Went to a favorite author for this one. Mostly because I have read some of her stuff in a day and was fairly certain I could do it again! “Sizzlin’ Sixteen” by Janet Evanovich. Truth be told, I need to get caught up on this series anyway and this challenge helped me move one step closer! I’ve been a fan of Evanovich’s writing and unforgettable characters for quite some time and this book did not disappoint.
I’m not big on New Year’s Resolutions. I find it a touch difficult to promise that I will consistently do something every single day, 365 times in a row. Wait . . . 2016 is a leap year so make that 366 times in a row. But I do set goals for myself for the year. Sometimes I reach them, sometimes I get close and have to keep working and sometimes I fail completely. No big surprises there.
This year, among some other personal goals that will remain my private info for now, my middle daughter, Margaret, and I have decided to capitalize on our shared love of all things “book” and take on a unique reading challenge – the 2016 Reading Challenge can be found by clicking on the link (see how “2016 Reading Challenge” is underlined? Click on that!). I’ve seen many reading challenges – from the generic “pick the number of books you will read this year” to the slightly insane “read a different book every week in the new year” (who has time for that?!) – but this one is by far the most unique and therefore very appealing! The list includes everything from “A book that was written at least 100 years before you were born” to “A book from Oprah’s Book Club” and even includes “A book you know will bring you joy.” There is no stipulation about not reading books you’ve read before – as a matter of fact, you are SUPPOSED to read “A book you haven’t read since high school” – so you are free to revisit old favorites. But I promise you, it will stretch you into new genres. It includes poetry, political memoirs, an autobiography, a book by a celebrity, a book by a comedian, sci-fi, romance, classics, bestsellers, books others recommend, a book from the library, a book less than 150 pages, a book at least 600 pages long . . . even a book with a blue cover! There are 40 books on this list so it’s still a pretty daunting task. But I’ve started my list and have some fairly short ones on there so I should be okay. I’m excited to get started. Won’t you come be a part of the fun? Click on the link above and print off your list (comes out ready to be cut down into a bookmark!) and see what new favorites you can find!
P.S. The daughter that is participating in the challenge with me is keeping her own blog about her New Year’s “resolutions” – she’s a pretty fantastic writer so you should check her blog out HERE