The 2017 Reading Challenge

The 2017 Reading Challenge

Devoted readers and aspiring readers: want to get more out of your reading life in 2017? We’ve got a challenge just for you, and a free kit to help you see it through.

Here on Modern Mrs Darcy, we love reading, but don’t believe it’s a competitive sport. We care about quality way more than we care about quantity. Reading well doesn’t necessarily mean reading more. We know reading is a very personal thing, and your reading list should reflect that.

So this year, we present our choose-your-own-adventure reading challenge. Here’s what to do:

The Modern Mrs Darcy 2017 Reading Challenge. Get more out of your reading life in 2017 with this choose-your-own-bookish-adventure challenge!

1. Choose your list.

Dear reader, what do you want to be different in your reading life in 2017? What do you want more of?

Do you want your books to bring you more fun, or to challenge you more deeply? Are you reading fluff but craving substance, or does your steady diet of Serious Literature have you yearning to lighten up a bit? Has 2016 left you searching for an enjoyable escape, or has it pushed you to get serious about how you spend your downtime?

Choose the path that helps you get where you want to go, whether that means finding the fun in reading again, or stretching yourself with titles of depth and breadth.

For some of you, that path will look like the deluxe plan of all 24 categories. Maybe that’s the path for you.

The Modern Mrs Darcy 2017 Reading Challenge. Get more out of your reading life in 2017 with this choose-your-own-bookish-adventure challenge!

2. Make a plan.

“Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.” Maybe Eisenhower didn’t have your reading life in mind when he said this, but it absolutely applies. This challenge is simple and doable, but it provides the structure you need to approach your reading list with intention in 2017.

As soon as you sign up, start thinking about what you want to read, and when you’re going to do it. What do you want your reading life to look like next year? What do you want more of? Planning is everything, even though your plan will likely evolve as the year goes on.

3. Track your reading.

This is big: make a way to record what you read and what you thought of it. Make it as simple or complex as you’d like. We’re providing simple printables to track your progress, and I’d recommend taking it a step further and tracking all your reading in the coming year.

If you don’t use a reading journal, now’s the time to start. I use my bullet journal to track my reading these days (and if that interests you, I’m teaching a course on how to do it in January for book club members). I used to use the MMD printable reading journal, free for subscribers. I still update my Goodreads account occasionally because I love to search and sort my titles.

Let’s get started! Click here to join the challenge and get your free kit to see it through in 2017.

Pin your challenge graphic of choice for inspiration and share it with your fellow book-lovers. We’ll revisit the challenge periodically to share what we’re reading. And we’ll be talking all about our titles and encouraging each other in the MMD Book Club.

Browse the book list archives here for reading ideas, and start making your lists. Share this with your fellow book lovers (I’ll be using the hashtags #MMDchallenge and #MMDreading on twitter and instagram @annebogel). But most of all, enjoy the challenge.

I’m looking forward to reading with you all through 2017. This is gonna be fun.

P.S. For ideas on what books to read, check out my picks for the 2017 Reading Challenge. Don’t miss the hundreds of great suggestions in comments!

The Modern Mrs Darcy 2017 Reading Challenge. Get more out of your reading life in 2017 with this choose-your-own-bookish-adventure challenge!

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  1. Colleen says:

    I was at cancer treatments today and picked up a book out of their library. I think this will be for the categories of “selecting a book for the cover” or “unputdownable.” But I think it would also count for diversity and own voices category. It is called “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lack. It is a story of woman with an aggressive form of cervical cancer (which is ironic; I have cervical cancer, but slow growing). Her doctors took some cells from her, and these cells contributed to many advancements in medicine, such as the polio vaccines, gene mapping, cloning, cancer research. In the science world, the cells are called HeLa and still used in research. Sadly, Henrietta died and her family never knew that her cells were taken and used. They were tobacco farmers living in Jim Crow South. It is the story of Henrietta, her family as well as the history of medicine and ethics and racism. I’ve read about 20 pages and can’t put it down. I was so excited about this book that I had to write and tell someone.

    • Jennifer N. says:

      I just read the HBO movie for the book is being released April 22! I just picked up a copy at the thrift store – I’m going to have to move this up a ways on my TBR list.

  2. Carol says:

    This is an ambitious list and it may change as I go along.
    A BOOK YOU CHOOSE FOR THE COVER: Gilded Cage by Vic James
    A BOOK WITH A REPULATION FOR BEGIN UN-PU-DOWN-ABLE; Everything I Never Told You by Celest Ng OR Defending Jacob by William Landay
    A BOOK SET SOMEWHERE YOU’VE NEVER BEEN BUT WOULD LIKE TO VISIT: Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarity (set in Sydney, Australia, the place I most want to go)
    A BOOK YOU’VE ALREADY READ: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
    A JUICY MEMOIR: Lab Girl by Hope Jahren (That’s as juicy as I get.)
    A BOOK ABOUT BOOKS OR READING: The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared by Alice Ozma
    A BOOK IN A GENRE YOU USUALLY AVOID: Sensible Shoes by Sharon Garlough Brown (I usually avoid Christian fiction like the plague :))
    A BOOK IN THE BACKLIST OF A NEW FAVORITE AUTHOR: The Lola Quartet by Emily St. John Mandel
    A BOOK RECOMMENDED BY SOMEONE WITH GREAT TASTE: All the Winters After by Sere Prince Halverson
    A BOOK YOU WERE EXCITED TO BUY OR BORROW BUT HAVEN’T READ YET: Everything I Never Told You by Celest Ng OR Defending Jacob by William Landay
    A BOOK ABOUT A TOPIC OR SUBJECT YOU ALREADY LOVE: Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion by Sara Miles
    A NEWBERRY AWARD WINNER OR HONOR BOOK: The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly OR Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine OR Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
    A BOOK IN TRANSLATION: Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Luiz Zafon
    A BOOK THAT’S MORE THAN 600 PAGES: A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving OR Middlemarch by George Eliot
    A BOOK OF ANY GENRE THAT ADDRESSES CURRENT EVENTS: The Drone Eats Me: A Gaza Diary by Atif Abu Saif
    AN IMMIGRANT STORY: The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez
    A BOOK PUBLISHED BEFORE YOU WERE BORN: Middlemarch by George Eliot OR Animal Farm by George Orwell OR Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison OR The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald OR Wuthering Height by Emily Bronte
    THREE BOOKS BY THE SAME AUHOR: A Rule Against Murder; The Brutal Telling; and Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny
    A BOOK BY AN #OWNVOICES OR #DIVERSEBOOKS AUTHOR: I Am Malala by Malala by Malala Yousafzai
    A BOOK NOMINATED FOR AN AWARD IN 2017: Don’t know yet

    • Jennifer N. says:

      I am reading Louise Penny for my “three books – one author” category, too. I had never read any of the Chief Inspector Gamache series previously. I’ve now read two and I really enjoy them!

      “Life of Pi” is probably one of my favorite books of all time, I really hope you enjoy it (if you haven’t already read it.) I’m thinking “Rebecca” for my unreliable narrator – but I’m hoping I find out a book I’m already reading has an unreliable narrator sometime this year. I feel like it’s more fun to discover that while you’re reading (like I did with Life of Pi.)

  3. Colleen says:

    I am taking on a real challenge. For the category “3 books by the same author,” I am reading “The Raj Quartet” by Paul Scott. It is the story of India from 1942 – 1947. It is really 4 books: The Jewel in the Crown, The Day of the Scorpion, The Towers of Silence, and A Division of the Spoils. The last book turns out to be 600 pages long so that will fill the category of “a book over 600 pages.” Looking forward to this challenge.

  4. Amanda` says:

    Hi, I just signed up for the 2017 book challenge about 30 minutes ago and haven’t received an email containing the materials yet. I was wondering if it actually is suppose to take awhile, or if I am really suppose to get it right away.


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