The 2015 Reading Challenge.

The 2015 Reading Challenge.

Readers, get ready. It’s the first-ever Modern Mrs Darcy Reading Challenge, and it’s gonna be great.

Here’s the deal: read 12 books in 12 different categories in 12 months. It’s simple and doable. But it provides the structure you need to approach your reading list with intention in 2015.

The 2015 Reading Challenge. I'm starting now!

The 12 categories are practical and flexible. They’ll bend to fit your TBR list, but they’ll also challenge you to explore new territory, revisit old favorites, and finally read those books you’ve been putting off for years.

(I did include the rather fluffy “a book you chose because of the cover,” because—let’s face it—we all do it.)

Track the books you’re reading: I’m actually using a paper reading journal for the first time in years, but I’ll still update Goodreads.

I’ve also created a group Pinterest board for the reading challenge for inspiration and motivation. To join the board, follow me on Pinterest (or Pinterest won’t let me invite you). Then leave a comment below with your Pinterest email address. (If you’d rather not leave your email address in comments, email me at modern mrs darcy (at) gmail (dot) com.)

Let’s get started! Pin the challenge graphic for inspiration and share it with your fellow book-lovers. We’ll revisit the challenge periodically to share what we’re reading.

Are you in? What are you most looking forward to reading in 2015?

UPDATE: Download the printable here.

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612 comments

  1. Emily says:

    Now this is wonderful. This will help to expand my reading! My mom has about 100 “The Best Book I Ever Read” books, so she will enjoy picking one for me. 🙂
    A few I’m looking forward to reading: Peace Like A River, The hardest peace : expecting grace in the midst of life’s hard and The Light Between Oceans.

  2. Alison says:

    This is fantastic Anne!! I’ve set a few goals via the Cover to Cover group on Goodreads, and will add these to the list. Apart from aiming for a specific number of books, I’ve never thought to aim for reading goals, so am loving this new approach to ‘what will I read next?’.

  3. Rachel says:

    Is there a printable for the checklist? I’d love to keep track and check them off as I go. This is a great idea, thanks for the fun suggestion.

  4. Sarah M says:

    This sounds wonderful! I have a general number of books I shoot for within a year, but it’s always lovely to have structure. Thanks for doing this! I’m already following your board, and now have to make my first choice!

  5. Kate says:

    I’m going to try the Popsugar Reading Challenge this year…but i like your idea of one book a month. It leaves lots of room for reading as the mood takes you. I have a question: how do you use a paper reading journal? I am an avid goodreads user, but I’m intrigued by the idea of a reading journal.

    • Anne says:

      I thought the Popsugar one looked fun (if a bit crazy specific in places). I haven’t used a paper reading journal in YEARS, but I just ordered one. We’ll talk about reading journals and tracking books on the blog next week. 🙂

      • Kate says:

        I’ve never done a challenge like that before so we’ll see how it goes! I’m looking forward to the post on reading journals 🙂

    • Ariel says:

      I’m doing the Popsugar Reading Challenge, too! I got my sister and my mom to do it with me, and I’ve already read the book I can finish in a day. 😀

  6. kristen says:

    oh Anne, sorry quick question. Do I have to read the categories in the month they are listed, or hypothetically could I read all 12 in one month?
    Also what would one do if their mother does not like to read.. sad but true.

    • Anne says:

      You can read one a month or twelve in one month. 🙂 And if your mom doesn’t like to read, or you don’t have a mother figure in your life, borrow a favorite from somebody else’s mother.

      • Linee says:

        I just finished the “Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” series, in addition to the “Tattooed Girl” unauthorized guide, in 3 1/2 days. Another series, I recommend from my mom’s suggestion was the “Outlander” series by Diana Gabaldon. But just a hint…while you may want to binge, you will be unable to do so…as there are 8 books in the series…plus a sub-series…plus several novellas (although I have to admit, I have not read the novellas), oh and did I mention, the “Outlandish Companion”. Also, I have read the Sir A.C.Doyle’s Sherlocks…and yet another push for your perusal is any book by Ellis Peters.

  7. Vernell says:

    This is great! I am doing the Goodreads challenge again this year so this will fit right in and help me to pick at least 12 of the books for my good reads challenge. I already follow you on Pinterest as Vernell Clouden and email is clouden99 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  8. Sounds fun! I am going to participate and share. My reading goal this year is to read more books that don’t sound like books I’d like. I’ve been too safe the past couple of years. Your challenge should help!

  9. Janet says:

    I’m in, I’ve copied the list and will keep track. Will have trouble with the one of reading a book your mother liked, my mother died many years ago and though she liked to read I can’t remember what she read.

    • Anne says:

      In that case borrow another mother’s book list. You could go real life or fictional. (What did Tami Taylor like to read, or Claire Huxtable, or Marmie?)

      • Mindy says:

        What a great idea! I was going to have trouble with this one too because my mom’s not a reader. But what a great idea for substitution. Add me to the Pinterest group too, please! mindyconde (at) gmail (dot) com. Thanks!

      • Janet says:

        Thank you for the suggestion! I just may do that.

        I’m following you on Pinterest, but not sure if you’ve added me yet. my email is jannybananny1203@gmail Thanks.

  10. Katie says:

    I’d love to try and join in! Since I am also in a book club IRL, we’ll see if I manage. 🙂 I’m katie o fox at gmail dot com. Thanks, Anne!

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  12. emily says:

    One of the best things about being part of a book club is reading (and loving!) books that wouldn’t normally be in my nightstand TBR stack. When I moved 2 years ago, I never would have thought that my reading would suffer, but the sad truth is, as much as I try to be diverse, I somehow seem to pick the same types of books over and over again. I love the categories that you chose, and I can’t wait to dive in!
    Thanks!
    @idahoemily on Pinterest

  13. Victoria says:

    I love this and I will definitely be joining the pinterest group! 🙂 It reminds me of the Reading Bingo thing that I did last fall (and plan to do more often). We’ll have so much fun!

  14. Jeannie says:

    This is a GREAT idea and I’m already trying to think of books to fill out some of the categories. My mom was a big fan of Jan Karon’s Mitford books and I’ve never read any of them, so I think I’ll put one of those on my list for sure!

  15. Jennifer says:

    I’d love to join in! Please add me to the Pinterest board at your convenience. My email address is andseveraldraftslater AT gmail DOT com & my username on Pinterest is severaldrafts. Thanks!

  16. Grace says:

    I love this! What a fantastic idea. I had just recently seen one by PopSugar floating around on Pinterest, but it was as lot longer and a little more bizarre (such as read a book by an author with your same initials, haha). Thanks for putting this together, I can’t wait to get started!

    • Missy G. says:

      I may need some kind of Pinterest tutorial. I have no idea how to add pins to the group board! The group board is not showing as an option in my drop-down list of “Boards” after I pin something. I’m stumped as to what I’m doing wrong!

      • Anne says:

        Missy, you need to join the group board before you can pin to it. I invited you—you should have an invite showing at the top of your pinterest notifications (top righthand corner on desktop). Click “accept” and you should be good to go.

  17. Dawn says:

    I’m in! My Pinterest handle is dawn_o_mite and my email is dawn_o_mite at yahoo dot com

    I just finished a book originally written in a different language and I’m thinking, Darn! Just missed it! (The Dinner, Herman Koch)

  18. Ellie says:

    Your book suggestions have made this last year of reading so much more enriching because of leading me out of my predictable choices. Thank you!

  19. Amanda says:

    I’m in. I don’t know anyone with good taste though. Only 1 of my friends reads and I hate the books she loves lol

  20. Alison says:

    My e-mail is stitchingmum@gmail.com, thanks Anne!! And to everyone participating, if you’ve on Goodreads I’d love to add you as a friend, I really enjoy seeing what other people read and have discovered some absolute gems that way!! I’m Alison (in Australia), with the same e-mail as above.

  21. maureen fahey says:

    Great idea! Really looking forward to this! I already follow you on pinterest as Maureen Fahey and my email is maureen815 (at) gmail (dot) com.

  22. Heather says:

    Oooh! I want in on the Pinterest board! My Pinterest name is Heather K and my email is heavenkeele (at) msn (dot) com.

    This is such a fun idea! Can’t wait to see what everyone is reading!

  23. Joy says:

    A friend just shared this with me! I’m in! My email address is jumpforjoy at gmail dot com. My Pinterest name is joyellis. Let me know if you need anything else!

  24. Best idea EVER! I read 50 books in 2014 and would love to read 60 this year. But I would be happy to trade quantity for “quality” (or diversity) instead. And it’s going to be so much fun doing with the MMD community! My email is whitneyconard at gmail dot com!

  25. Natalie says:

    So excited for this! I’m on Pinterest as iamnatalie and just started following you. Love connecting with other book nerds, especially those who appreciate Jane. 🙂

  26. B says:

    I’d love to join in! I’m Belinda Furby on Pinterest and my email I use there is upsidedownbee(at)hotmail(dot)com! Thanks! B.

  27. Melinda says:

    Great idea! I would love to try! My email address used on pinterest is: melinda (dot) oneill (at) gmail (dot) com

    Pinterest username: melinda_o

    Thank you!

  28. Tammy says:

    This sounds like a very doable reading challenge! I’m excited to try. My email on pinterest is ourhomeschoollife(at)gmail(dot)com. I am mom2one on pinterest.

  29. Vicki says:

    Love this, and I’ve already shared it with so many people! I don’t really “do” pinterest (I use Diigo primarily), but my username there is V Pallo. Email is vpallo@gmail.com. I like the idea of sharing finds/reads there, so I’ll try and keep up with it!

  30. Kelli Bullock says:

    I might need a few suggestions for something “everyone” else has read. A clean adult book might be a good place to start as I tend to read a lot of YA because I have difficulty finding clean adult fiction.

  31. Lee Ann says:

    I don’t do Pinterest (one of those “so many websites, so little time” things for me), but I’ve joined the challenge.

    In the “books you’ve been meaning to read” category, I’ve been going through my Kindle and starting books I got for free more than a year ago, but never read. So far I’ve made through the first chapter of 10 books before deleting them – poorly written, too many typos and grammar errors, etc. No wonder they were free. 🙂

    I’ve found one so far which is good enough to keep reading; it’s called Invisible, a mystery about an elderly woman who stumbles into solving a mystery.

  32. Heather says:

    I’m IN. This looks fun. Not on Pinterest, so I will watch for the printable thingy.
    I already know what a few of my books will be, and can’t wait to discover how I fill the list.

  33. I’m so into this reading challenge. Im a voracious reader who could use a little shaking up. This is giving me the nudge I need to read certain books and permission to read others. Awesome!

  34. Nina Miller says:

    This is a great way to get started on my only New Year’s resolution which is to read more!
    I am ninaemme on Pinterest.

  35. Julie says:

    I would like to be part of the pinterest board, please. My email is jjvimiller at comcast dot net. Thank you!

    I have picked most of the books I hope to read, but cannot figure out one that was originally written in a language other than English. I’m so excited about this!

  36. Leighann says:

    Check out Showing Heart: The True Story of How One Boy Defied the Odds – it’s the story of a little boy (and his family) who survived being born with his heart outside his chest. It’s told from the mom’s point of view. Will have you laughing, crying, and staying up all night just to finish it. You can find it on Amazon.

  37. Janet Eller says:

    I’m In! What a great way to shake up my reading this year. I’ve expanded my tastes recently to read biographies and found they are ok, This will help push me into new territories…thank you for the inspiration! Looking forward to being part of the 2015 Reading Challenge!.

  38. Leslie Fleck says:

    This sounds great-sign me up for the pinterest board please. I already have a few “reading rules” for this year: read one non-fiction book, one classic, etc., but this is much more detailed and challenging. Thanks!

  39. Loraena says:

    I’d love to join. loraena at gmail dot com. This is a great way to prioritize and organize reading habits (something I’m always trying to do better)!

  40. Liesl says:

    OK, do you have a list somewhere of good books that were originally written in a different language?! Struggling to find some examples of this… unless Harry Potter counts because it was written in British? (British is totally a different language, trust me 😉

    • Anne says:

      I’ll do a blog post on it. My top-of-mind suggestion is The Time In Between, which was originally written in Spanish and was a summer reading guide pick. There are lots of great suggestions on the pinterest board: The Elegance of the Hedgehog (my own pick), anything by the Russians, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, many spiritual greats like Bonhoeffer, Luther, Augustine; Isabel Allende, Murakami, and more…

  41. Melodee says:

    Already follow you and my Pinterest email is skiles [dot] melodee [at] gmail.com.

    I hope this question hasn’t already been asked, but is the goal to follow this checklist in order?

    • Anne says:

      Not necessarily in order, but I will be blogging the categories in order, one per month. If that helps you with accountability, then by all means, read them in order! Otherwise, no.

  42. Lisa says:

    I love this Anne! I have already made this a goal: a minimum of one book each month in 2015, and I love your categories! I would love to be a part of the Pinterest board community and I already follow you there. Gonna find you on Goodreads now!

  43. Abbey Lile-Taylor says:

    Can’t wait! 🙂 Already started putting together a list for the first couple books!

    Would love to join on Pinterest… abbey dot taylor at gmail dot com

    • Anne says:

      Do you have a pinterest account? Start by creating one at Pinterest.com. (Although you can view the board without having a pinterest account. You only need the account if you want to post to it.)

  44. Donna says:

    Hi Anne!

    This is such an amazing idea! This year, I vowed to read a lot more and I am already off to a great start. I would love to join your challenge. I just followed you on Pinterest. Please add me to the group board. My email is donz.webb@gmail.com and my Pinterest address: http://www.pinterest.com/donzwebb/

    I posted my winter reading list on the blog two weeks ago.
    Feel free to check it out: https://donzwebb.wordpress.com/2014/12/24/winter-reads-1/

    I finished ‘A House in the Sky’ last night and about to crack open ‘Cutting for Stone’.

    Donna

  45. Heather says:

    Thank you! I love getting your emails! I’m really excited to do this challenge. I’m cmomof3 on Pinterest. Happy New Year!

  46. Bethany says:

    I”m bethanyrossb on pinterest and bethanybrown dot brown at gmail dot com

    I’m so excited about this challenge! I already read a lot, but it’s terrific direction and helps me not over indulge in only comfort reading. 🙂

  47. Olivia Butz says:

    Please add me to the Pinterest board for the 2015 challenge! I’m excited to see what everyone is choosing to read!

  48. reyhaan says:

    I think some of them like: a book that you choose beacause of its cover, is just a safe way to spend your time foolishly!!:)) our life is too short to read such as this!
    but, thanks alot! 😉

    • Anne says:

      If it makes you feel better, the book I chose because of its cover for this category is Little Women. I’ve been meaning to read it for YEARS, but it was the gorgeous Puffin in Bloom edition that finally compelled me to buy it and put it on my nightstand, awaiting its turn. 🙂

  49. Marcy says:

    Hmm… I haven’t really gotten into Pinterest yet, but I guess for this one I want to go down that rabbit hole! I’m marcy dot ratcliff at gmail dot com.

  50. Kiana says:

    I am excited about this! I am not sure what to do about the “Book in a genre you don’t usually read” I read pretty much acrossed the board…except maybe westerns and really scary. My email is nafzikg at gmail dot com.

  51. Jannette Thrane says:

    I’m in for the 2015 reading challenge! I’m an elementary school librarian and am looking for an “adult” reading group to join to encourage me to read out of my comfort zone (children’s literature). Although, to be honest, I love that one of the categories is “a book from your childhood.” I am excited to have an “excuse” to reread, “Little House in the Big Woods,” 35 years after I first got lost in that book!

  52. I’d love to join your Pinterest group. My Pinterest name is KnittyBitties. I just finished Firefly Lane last week and I’m about half way through Bright Side right now. I love to read, but had lost making it a priority in the midst of motherhood. Last year started my ‘come back’ but I’m really hoping that this is the year of many, many, many books. I was inspired by a challenge with 26 prompts (and even made a bookmark printable to go with it) … http://knittybittiessews.com/2015/01/26-books-challenge-reading-in-2015.html that got this year kicked off, but I’d love to add yours into the mix too. Thank you for all your recommendations and your inspiration to KEEP reading!! XOXO

  53. Paula Nix says:

    Is it too late to join?! My email is paulanix77 @ gmail.com and first up on my list (book I’ve been meaning to read) is So Brave, Young and Handsome. It’s been waiting on my night stand for far too long!

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  55. Margaret LaFaive says:

    This looks like a reading challenge that I can actually accomplish. Please invite me to your Pinterest page–mlafaive at gmail dot com. I’m already making my list!

  56. Cori says:

    This may sound silly, but is this just meant to inspire us to do it as a personal challenge, or is there a place where we will be having conversations about what we are reading? And, are you suggesting them in the order they are listed or again is it free flow with your time and interest? It’s a great idea and I am hoping to do it!

    • Anne says:

      It doesn’t sound silly! I’m trying to figure out if there’s a relatively easy way for us to discuss what we’re reading. I CAN say that each month I’ll be blogging about one category from the challenge, in order. Although you can read them in whatever order you want to. 🙂

      • Marcy says:

        I’m not sure if this is a good idea for a way to discuss or not, but throwing it out there: Would it be okay for everyone who blogs about the challenge to go ahead and pin their posts on the board?

  57. Carly says:

    Ho I’m Carly,
    I’m so glad I came across this challenge of yours!I’m definitely in. I’m gollowing your board on pinterest and your page on FB. I judt need to find you on Goodreads. 🙂
    My email for pintetest is carly4peace@gmail.com
    Happy reading!

  58. Dasa says:

    I would like to be added to the Pinterest board of your reading challenge. I have some book ideas in my pocket I haven’t seen there yet. I am @dasadrapakova on Pinterest. Thank you for adding me in advance and also thank you for great mean how to share book ideas. I’ve already found some 🙂

  59. Marcy says:

    I don’t know if any of you are on or use HabitRPG (habitrpg.com), but I mentioned this challenge in one of Habit’s guilds, The Legendary Book Club of Habitica, and it was turned into a Habit challenge there (linking back here in the description). With discussion of books we’re reading encouraged in the guild chat. I can’t seem to link to it directly behind the login, but if anyone is interested and has trouble finding it, I can point you in the right direction or get you the group ID for the guild.

  60. Amanda Sue says:

    Hey! Totally already following you on Pinterest, and I’m excited about this challenge! 😀 I thiiiiiiiiiink my Pinterest email is socialmedia (at) amandasuehowell (dot) com

    My Pinterest username is AmandaSueHowell

  61. Terri says:

    I’m late to the party, but I finally made it. This sounds like so much fun. Count me in. I would love to be added to the Pinterest board. I’m thecoolmom.

  62. Meghan says:

    Fun! How did I miss this post when you originally published it?! Please add me to the pinterest board. meghanlee11 [at] yahoo [dot] com

  63. Paula Nix says:

    Hey! I just wanted to check, I never received an email about joining the group but I left my email earlier this month. It’s paulanix 77 @ gmail.com

  64. Heather says:

    Joining a little late, but I’m in! 🙂 heatherfledd@yahoo.com on Pinterest. I am so busy with school and working that I think this will help me feel like I am actually making progress on my To Be Read mountain. Yes, it is a mountain at this point. 😉

  65. donna says:

    Chiming in a bit late. Would love to participate. Followed on Pinterest as directed…an invite is appreciated <3.
    "Discovered" your place via Tsh Oxenreider over at The Art of Simple. Love your words and outlook. Enjoy the day…

  66. Ane Kristine says:

    Would love to be a part of the challenge, please add me to the board. anekk on Pinterest, email akkure(at)gmail.com

  67. Andrea says:

    I’d love to be a part of the pinterest board – I am hughand on pinterest. I’m also challenging myself to make a dent in Amazon’s “100 books to read in a lifetime” this year

  68. Karen says:

    I’m a bit late in joining, but would love to all the same. Have just finished a book recommended to me by someone who knows a lot about books and also read a childhood fave last month! My Pinterest name is @karendgoss.

  69. Christina says:

    Super late here, but would love an invite to the Pinterest group! Such a great idea — as a grad student, this encouragement to read for fun could either save my sanity or be my downfall! 🙂 My Pinterest name is ctremill.

  70. Beth Hughes says:

    I love this version: Finally, a doable chart for the rest of us. With 1 husband, 2 kids, and 125 high school students, the book-a-week challenges won’t work. I’ve shared this feasible with my high school students and will be sharing this with my own website readers as well (giving you full credit and linking to your site with both shares, of course) .

    Thank you for inspiring us!

  71. Kelli Bullock says:

    Two more categories and then I’m done! Book I should have read in highschool (Inherit the Wind) and Book by My Favorite Author (Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett). My goal is to complete it by the end of April.

  72. Jacqueline says:

    hi, I’m a book;addict that just discovered your blog. I’m following you on Pinterest and would like to join the challenge!

  73. Wendy says:

    I just discovered your blog today. I’m smitten, although your banner keeps creeping down and covering up what I’m trying to read. I am going to jump into the challenge now and get caught up (or search my Goodreads account to see if I’ve read books that fit for some of the categories already this year). My email is vendija723@yahoo.com, and I would love to join in!

  74. Hillery Efkeman says:

    I’m late to the party too but would love to be added to the Pinterest group board. Thanks! Really enjoying your posts and the Summer Reading Guide.

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  76. Stefanie says:

    Love this – I started the challenge but missed getting the pins on the board. Invite me to the board please! stefnord at yahoo dot com
    Thanks!

  77. Judy says:

    Found this late in the year, but I would love to be added to your pinterest board. I am already following (user name is HeyJude). I really like the challenge and have hit a few of these with my current book club. Thanks!

  78. Pam says:

    I know I found this Pinterest group late, but I would like to join. I have read 42 books so far this year and I am sure I could apply many of them to your 12 book challenge. Thank you.

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