2016 Reading Challenge

For the first time in over 3 years, I have time and energy to read novels like I used to. Inspired by Modern Mrs. Darcy’s reading challenge, I’ve assembled my list. Here’s to being (overly) ambitious! And hopefully, reading some good literature this year. Now, I have to decide which one to do first. What’s on your reading list this year?

  • A book published this year: What is Not Yours is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi


  • A book you can finish in a day: See Now Then by Jamaica Kincaid


  • A book you’ve been meaning to read: Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff


  • A book recommended by local book seller: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates


  • A book you should have read in school: A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf


  • A book chosen by a sibling: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel


  • A book published before I was born: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood


  • A book that was banned at some point: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou


  • A book you previously abandoned: Dead Souls by Gogol


  • A book you own but never read: The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka


  • A book that intimidates you: The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • A book you’ve read at least once: My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier



Where good books go to die: the eternal currently reading shelf

There are two books on my “currently reading” shelf that have been sitting there for over a year. I really love one and desperately want to finish it. The other I began almost 3 years ago and is probably the only book I’ve never been able to finish. 

I’m part of the most amazing book club in the entire universe. (Did you hear that fellow book club members?) Three years ago, we set out to read some Russian literature. I say “set out” like it was an adventure to embark upon, because Russian literature is not for the faint of heart. It’s long and intricate and culturally different enough from Western literature that it’s definitely an investment of energy and effort. 

We began to read, wait for it, Dead Souls by Gogol. Our intentions were good. It was November and we thought Russian literature makes sense for a cold, winter in Michigan. We were wrong. So incredibly wrong. Not a single member finished the novel and no one has since attempted since January 2013. It’s become the longest running joke that, “while we all appreciate the writing and want to finish the book, the timing has never worked out.” 

Dead Souls sits on my shelf doomed to be eternally partially finished. 

On the bright side, I’ve been able to read the other book, East of Eden by John Steinbeck, these past few weeks and it’s looking like I may finish it before my next book club read! It’s a glorious read so far and I plan to share some thoughts on it once done. 

What books are on your “never to finish” shelf? What’s on your “wish I could finish” shelf?