By popular demand: the 2018 Summer Reading Guide, with categories

Well here’s something I didn’t think I’d be doing today: readers, I’m happy to announce that there is a brand-new complement to the original 2018 Summer Reading Guide ready and waiting for you.

This new guide differs from the original in one significant way: categories.

In the original guide, the books are ordered by publication date. This was originally a stylistic choice (based on a layout we abandoned at the eleventh hour) but I came to love the category-less guide.

(Said with a wink and a smile: It’s probably relevant here that I’m an INFP and an Enneagram 9, yes?)

With no tidy categories, you were freed from any preconceived notions you may have about a book because of its category. You were able to read each description and choose the books that spoke to you, regardless of whether or not you typically read that genre. Without the categories, you were more inclined to try something new, something different—whatever that looks like for you.

My goal here on Modern Mrs Darcy is to help you get more out of your (reading) life. To me, that includes equipping you to choose books for yourself that you will (more often than not) be glad you read.

But many of you told me loud and clear that a guide without categories is like going to the grocery without a list. You could muddle through, but it makes you really nervous—and you’re certain to skip over something important.

And some of you like the categories simply because categories are fun. (Insert appropriate personality commentary right here, readers.)

With that in mind, click here to visit the newly-categorized 2018 Summer Reading Guide.

I’ll tell you more about the newly categorized guide on Instagram stories today at 10:30 a.m. Eastern. (Follow me there @annebogel.)

A few things:

• In the process of categorizing the books, I added one more title to keep things in balance. Can you spot it?

• If you love the categories, the 2018 Reading Challenge has your name all over it, and it’s not too late to sign up. Click here to get started.

• I’m working on a class right now tentatively called 7 Steps to Get More Out of Your Reading Life, and we will spend a lot of time talking about how to cultivate the skill set readers use to find books they love. It’s one of the preorder bonuses for my book I’d Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life, coming September 4. I’ll be able to share more info soon. Stay tuned!

26 books to keep you turning the pages all summer long

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  1. Jacelyn McGowan says:

    Hi Anne, I really appreciated that you listen to your readers, and you adjusted the guide for them. You’re so nice! I actually really like the layout by publication date. I appreciate organization by facts (date) rather than subjective categories. (Now, what does that say about MY personality? )
    Either way, the guide is great!
    I’m one of those that envisions extra reading time and picks up a big book or classic to get through on vacation. I pick up a couple of “summer reads”, but oftentimes I wait until fall or winter for the popular ones so I do not have to buy them or wait in long library hold lists.
    I know summer reading guide prep for you is arduous so I appreciate all the work you put into your guide. I hope you’re reading something that relaxes you this summer!

    Take care.

  2. Meg says:

    Well, this post has made me add your personality book to my summer reading list! I’m an INTP and an Enneagram 5 — but the reason I wanted your categories was purely for fun. I need help figuring out where being fun-loving fits into those personality types.

    Oh, and yes, I found the new book you added and had already planned to read it when I saw it at Target last week.

    Thanks so much for all you do.

    • Stefanie says:

      Ditto Meg – I too am INTP and Enneagram 5… on top of that Input being in my 5 Strengths and so needless to say – categories are my jam. P.S. I create Taxonomies for a living. As your personality twin, I believe you will be glad to read Anne’s book – personality frameworks – talk about your categorization nerd’s heaven! Enjoy!

      Thank you Anne for giving us both the titles sans categories to really expand our reading experience and now with categories! The categories are going to help me organize which I’ll read when so I can really get a diverse reading experience. Thanks so much for making reading even more fun than it already is! Cheers!

  3. Joy says:

    It’s surprising how having the filter of categories changed the way I viewed the books on the list. I didn’t think that I cared about having them in categories. I’ve found it interesting how having them grouped has caused me to view titles that I thought I wrote off as not for me in a new light. I think I’ll be trying more of them because of that, so all your efforts in grouping and categorizing was time well spent. Thank you for the tweak I didn’t know I needed!

  4. Christine says:

    I didn’t think I cared that you hadn’t grouped the books into categories this year (and I still don’t think I’d have minded if you’d left them in one list) but I’m finding, like Joy above, that it’s helped me to think about the books differently and will probably help me to decide if a book is for me or not. I’m not sure how many I’ll be reading this summer as I’m going to be focusing on lighter reads and tackling some of my long-standing TBR list books, but I’ll definitely be putting books on my TBR for later. You knocked it out of the park again! Thanks for all your hard work in putting these wonderful summer reading guides together!

  5. Heather says:

    I never noticed the first list had no categories! I love it that way, and won’t even look at the categorized list. I certainly don’t mind categories when they are there, but I pick and choose from a wide variety of genres and styles for my TBR, and so I view the categories as loose guidance.
    Thanks for all you do for us readers, Anne. I get many, many great recommendations from you (MMD and WSIRN).

  6. Laura says:

    Thank you so much for taking the time to redo the list! Before you added the categories I wouldnt have recommended it to others. The categories really make your reading guide standout from all of the other summer reading guides. ( and there are a lot of them as you know)
    For myself the categories help me to step out of my comfort zone and try a different genre.

    • Shannan says:

      I agree with you, Laura. The categories do help the Reading Guide stand out above other lists. And having them in categories did cause me to rethink what I had selected for my TBR list. I think I really like them both, though.

  7. Gina says:

    I know it was a lot of unexpected work for you to categorize the list after you had originally published it. I had never really thought about categories vs. no categories before, but I think I agree with your original reasoning. I might not look at a particular book if it is in a category I don’t usually prefer, but in not having categories, I made my list on what sounded interesting based on the merits of each book. Sure enough, when I look at the category list, there are at least two or three that I had already chosen for my list that are in a category I would not have picked from (and therefore would not have considered reading). As they are already on my list, I will keep them. It’s so interesting how it is different for different people. Thanks for putting this all together for us, categories or no, can’t wait to get started on my summer reading stack! 🙂

  8. Merissa says:

    Yay! Thank you for bringing the categories back. It makes it so much quicker to find a book according to my reading mood.

  9. Brittany says:

    Love both versions of the list. So many good choices. I just started An American Marriage last night and I am really enjoying it! I love that you encourage people to find what books appeal to them. I am a firm believer that not every book is for every person 🙂

  10. Meghan says:

    I had enjoyed the list in chronological order, but the categories are fun! It made me laugh that almost all the books I chose from the original list ended up in the same category: intense, emotionally resonant stories. Maybe it’s a sign that I need to choose a few less intense summer reads, or maybe it’s a sign that I should look for more along those intense lines that I didn’t know I gravitated towards!

  11. Prachi says:

    It’s interesting to note, how from 4 of the books I selected to be part of my own summer reading list, 3 are from the same category! (Women to root for!) wow..that says something:) Thanks Anne for categorising this!

  12. Rebekah in Redlands says:

    Anne, Modern Mrs. Darcy is my happy place and your categorized book list is a ray a sunshine in a tough time. It is so fun to look over this list and contemplate the delights ahead.

    Happy Reading!

  13. Sarah says:

    I am so glad that you did this, but is there any chance of a printable that isn’t just the minimal picks?
    I wore my paper out last year with notes about what to read next, what was at the library, what I was going to buy, etc.!

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