My picks for the 2016 Reading Challenge.

My picks for the 2016 Reading Challenge.

I usually approach my reading with equal amounts of planning and pantsing (as in “fly by the seat of my”).

I believe in reading at whim, but I also know the value of a good reading deadline. For the past five Januarys or so, I’ve made a short list of books I’ve been meaning to read for ages that I want to finally cross off my TBR list in the year to come, but that’s about it for my structured reading goals.

This year is different. I still believe in bookish serendipity, but I’ve already chosen my books for the 2016 MMD Reading Challenge, because ePantry is giving away two complete sets of my personal picks to two lucky readers. 

I find choosing current and future reads to be equal parts fun and torture, but I persevered. These are MY picks for the 2016 Reading Challenge. I’d love to hear your thoughts on them, and I can’t wait to hear what YOU are reading for the challenge.

(Head here to join the challenge, download your free printable, and get connected to other readers. )

Here’s the lowdown on the giveaway:

• ePantry is giving away two complete sets of twelve books each. Streamline your cleaning life with ePantry so you can spend more time on the important things, like reading!
• One winner will be chosen from the comments below. To enter, leave a comment telling me a few books on your 2016 reading list.
• One lucky ePantry customer will also receive their own set. If you’re a new or existing ePantry customer, you’re already entered.
• The giveaway is good through Friday, January 8 at 9:00 p.m. EST. Must be 18 or older; 48 contiguous states only.

Leave a comment below to enter.  UPDATE: The giveaway has ended. Thanks for playing!

My picks for the 2016 MMD Reading Challenge:

MMD 2016 Reading Challenge

a book published this year
Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up

Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up

I thought Kondo's previous book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up was wacky and wonderful and fantastically motivating. I'm definitely afraid that this will be a rehashing of her first book, but I can't miss the opportunity to see for myself. This book just came out on January 5, 2016. (Don't worry about finding your own pick for this category: I'll share a list of more new books I can't wait to read in 2016 in the next few days.) More info →
a book you can finish in a day
We Have Always Lived in the Castle

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

I didn't hear of this short 1962 novel until a few years ago, and since readers with great and diverse tastes keep recommending it. I'm a little leery because it's decidedly creepy, and I don't like scary stories, but I'm trying it anyway because Shirley Jackson knows how to tell a story. At 146 pages, I can finish this in a day—but I've been warned to read it during daylight hours and not right before bedtime. More info →
a book you've been meaning to read
The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency

Friends have been recommending this series to me for years, but as of right now the only book I've read by Alexander McCall Smith is Emma: A Modern Retelling. I heard the author speak at my local library last year: he was well-spoken, warm, and extremely funny (plus he wore a kilt, which certainly didn't hurt). I was intrigued by the numerous audience questions about his much-loved detective series and am eager to finally cross this one off the list in 2016. More info →
a book recommended by your local librarian or bookseller
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena: A Novel

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena: A Novel

Two local bookstore employees gushed about this 2013 debut when I hovered in front of it on the shelves. Marra's story is set in Chechnya during the Chechen Wars, in the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union. My booksellers warned me this New York Times notable book of the year is much too grim to be called an easy read, but it's worth it. Marra's interweaving stories reveal the interconnectedness of us all, and his unlikely resolution is surprisingly hopeful. Or so they say. We'll see. More info →
Mastering the Art of French Eating: Lessons in Food and Love from a Year in Paris

Mastering the Art of French Eating: Lessons in Food and Love from a Year in Paris


As a foodie memoir devotee, I thoroughly enjoyed this. Journalist Ann Mah moves to Paris when her diplomat husband is given a three-year assignment there. She's overjoyed at the opportunity until he's reassigned to Iraq for a year-long solo stint and must figure out life in Paris on her own. And so she does, one pain au chocolat and boeuf Bourguignon at a time.

More info →
a book you should have read in school
Lonesome Dove

Lonesome Dove

This Pulitzer Prize winner has been on my radar for years, and not just because it's assigned reading for many. But it never occurred to me that I might actually want to read it for myself: I dismissed it as a book my western-loving grandfather would have loved, but would bore me to tears. But this past year this book has kept coming up in conversation, and now I'm genuinely looking forward to giving it a try. More info →
a book chosen for you by your spouse, partner, sibling, child, or BFF
Wind, Sand and Stars

Wind, Sand and Stars

I asked my husband to choose a book for this category. I expected him to recommend a book about technology or business or maybe mountaineering, but he surprised me with this lesser-known classic by the author of The Little Prince. After some quick googling I couldn't be happier with his choice: National Geographic ranked this third on its list of the 100 Greatest Adventure Books of All Time, saying "this remarkable classic attains its high ranking here by soaring both as a piece of writing and as a tale of adventure." More info →
a book published before you were born
The House of Mirth

The House of Mirth

I've heard wonderful things about this classic, but I've never read it nor anything else by Edith Wharton. Readers often recommend Wharton in terms of Jane Austen because they both write about women's everyday life: she's been called the new Austen, the anti-Austen, a more sophisticated Austen, a more depressing Austen. It's time to finally read it and decide for myself. More info →
a book that was banned at some point
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

I've never read Angelou's memoir of her childhood in the American South in the 1930s in its entirety. This is a book I've been meaning to read for ages: the excerpts I've heard have been haunting and achingly beautiful. I'm considering doing this one on audio: Angelou narrates her own work, and she does it wonderfully. More info →
a book you previously abandoned
The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

Several of you read this for last year's challenge as your book in translation, as it was originally published in Sweden. I started it at the beach last summer, and read just enough to see why it's often called "clever," "quirky," and "un-put-down-able." But our vacation ended before I finished the book, it was due back to the library, and I got distracted by the demands of post-travel laundry and back-to-school prep. Looking forward to actually finishing this one this year. More info →
a book you own but have never read
Before Green Gables

Before Green Gables

This was my easiest pick: a friend gave me this book a couple of years ago and I have no excuse for why I haven't read it yet. I'm a huge Anne fan, and the reviews all say this prequel about Anne's life before she came to Green Gables is actually pretty good. I'm happy to have an excuse to bump it to the top of the list in 2016. More info →
a book that intimidates you
Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas

There aren't many books that intimidate me anymore, but this 2004 novel is an exception: it's been called "as mysterious as a Zen koan" and that makes me nervous! It's also been called "unique," "interesting," and often, "indescribable." Several reviews on Goodreads simply say, "huh?" But the numerous rave reviews and a nudge from my local bookseller persuaded me to give this one a try. More info →
a book you've already read at least once
Hannah Coulter

Hannah Coulter

I adore Berry, who writes gorgeous, thoughtful, piercing novels. This is among his finest. I've been saying for years that I'm overdue for a re-read. I'm anticipating wanting to read all his Port William novels again after finishing this one. More info →

What are you thinking about choosing for the different challenge categories? What’s on YOUR 2016 reading list? 

more posts you might enjoy

1,328 comments | Comment


  1. Dinah says:

    These are on my pile as I start the new year: Peace Like a River by Leif Enger, Mudhouse Sabbath by Lauren Winner, The Introvert Entrepreneur by Beth Buelow and Starting Something New by Beth Booram. However, I do have 180 books on my TBR list…. Hope I live long enough to read them all.

    • Bekki says:

      Both my 13 yo daughter and I LOVE the #1 Detective Agency and Before Green Gables. I currently am reading a recommendation from an aunt, Miss Julia Stirs Up Trouble (strong Steel Magnolias vibe) and pulling back out “A Woman of Substance”, one of my favorite books from my 20’s.

        • Ledys says:

          Anne, it’s too hard to narrow down all of those awesome books into one short list! 🙂 but, if I must, I think some of my picks that would make the list would be Neil Gaiman’s Make Good Art speech, Gretchen Rubin’s better than before, Aristotle’s Erhics, which I abandoned a couple of years ago, Don Quixote which I should have read in high school! (Grew up in a Spanish-speaking country), The Anne of Green Gables books (which I am ashamed to say I have never read… I know, I know…) Picking my re-read is even harder. Probably The Lord of the Rings, or something by Laura Frantz, or Marylu Tindall’s. So much inspiration, thanks for the challenge and the push to read more!

    • dana says:

      first, I benefitted from the main thrust of Tidying UP but don’t feel I’ve done enough yet to “spark joy”. that will have to wait.
      second, I LOVE Juniper books, so clever, so interesting to look at, and of course wonderful to read. third, I’m currently reading The Only Street in Paris, Rue des Martyrs, by Sciolino, The Truth According to Us by anie Barrows (one of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society writers) and All the Stars in Heaven, the latest from Adriana Trigiana. I adhere to the “have an open book wherever you might be” school of reading. thanks for all these great recommendations.

      • Anne says:

        I love your philosophy of reading. 🙂 I strongly considered All the Stars in the Heavens as my “book you own but have never read” but I’ve never read anything by her and wasn’t feeling too confident … but your comment makes me think I should give her a try after all.

    • Amy says:

      I am a librarian at a small rural school in New York. Just wanted to drop you a note to say, thank you sooo much for your list. The categories are so applicable to my students and we’re in love with your design sense. So, we have decided to accept your challenge. The kids are stoked. We made a bulletin board and the sheets are being passed around like they are treasure maps (they are). The prize for completing the challenge, (using your journals) is a sleepover party in the high school library. Want to come?

      • Polly says:

        I wish I could! That sounds like a wonderful idea! I work at a high school in Iowa and I’m going to suggest this to our librarian. Thank you for the inspiration!

      • Brooksie Kramer says:

        This is my first year as the librarian at my high school in Virginia. I also wanted to thank you for your list and site in general. One of the first things I did when I started my new job was to institute a reading challenge for the school, and the kids have been so excited about it! I love your 12-book model and will be putting that into practice with my students in the future. I have also really been enjoying your reading journal and have shared the idea with several of my English teachers. Thanks again for your amazing site!

    • Kerry says:

      I have never had a reading list before. I just tend to pick books that come across my recommended reading list on Amazon. This is the first time I have thought about having a reading list. Because this is new to me, I have decided to start with MMD’s reading list this year. All of these books are outside of my normal reading style. I tend to read spooky, paranormal, historical, Austen-type, zombies, vampires, steam-punk, self-help books. I feel the need for books which are more down-to-earth.

    • Peggy Pratt says:

      I have Peice Like a River on my list too along with The List, Rising Strong, Childhood Disrupted, Lost Lake, Written In My Own Heart’s Blood, and Boys in the Boat. And, so many more!!

  2. Rosemary Meiners says:

    I love Hannah Coulter! As always, after reading your “bookish” posts, I’m checking with my library to see if they have any of the books! The top three books I’d like to read are probably: The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro, After Alice by Gregory Maguire, and The Lake House by Kate Morton . I’ve really enjoyed her other books, so I’m looking forward to her latest one! I’d love a chance at winning this set, too! Yay!

  3. Melanie says:

    I’ve only read two from you list, and one is Cloud Atlas. I loved it! When I was finished, I felt the need to discuss it with someone but couldn’t find anyone else who had read it.

  4. Sara says:

    Interesting picks! I will revisit A Prayer for Owen Meany. Just couldn’t get into it and everyone loves John Irving, right? Just bought Pride & Prejudice, so that will be the book published before I was born. Can you believe I’ve never read it??? I’ve been meaning to read In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad Series). And my husband is reading and loving The Martian, So that’ll likely be his recommendation. The read in one day category should be a perfect way to catch up with my daughter’s reading, starting with Homecoming. Fun challenge!

    • Anne says:

      I love Tana French’s murder squad series! (Or rather, I loved 2, hated 2, and was so-so on 1. But she sure can write.) And I love that you’re reading P&P!

      • Wendy says:

        Now I’m dying to know which ones you loved and which you hated! The Likeness was my favorite, but I really liked the others as well.

        I really enjoyed Cloud Atlas. We read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings when I was a freshman in high school, and it was tough, but had such an impact.

        I’m hoping to read David Copperfield soon; I really like Dickens but have some holes in my reading. I’m currently balancing three YA novels that I’ve been eager to get to: Jackaby, Lockdown, and How It Went Down. One alternate history fantasy and two gritty contemporary reads.

        • Ali says:

          REALLY liked “How it Went Down” – did the first little bit as a read aloud with my students to start the year (editing some of the language) and a number of my reluctant readers have picked it up.

  5. Angela says:

    Great list! I’m putting a couple of them on my to-read list as well. 🙂

    Here are a few of mine:
    A book I’ve been meaning to read: Warriors of God by James Reston, Jr.
    A book I’ve previously abandoned: Prague Winter by Madeleine Albright
    A book that intimidates me: War and Peace by Tolstoy–it’s so long!
    A book I’ve read at least once: The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

    Good luck to us all on finishing our lists!

  6. JenBundy says:

    Swoon! The House of Mirth is one of my favorite books!
    I am going to check out some of your other choices as well.

  7. Olivia says:

    I want to read more Wendell Berry this year. I also read my first Jane Austen and can’t wait to read more! The category I am most apprehensive about is a book I can read in a day. Not sure I will be able to accomplish that one.

    • Sarah says:

      Haha, depends on what the book in a day is. I read Pinkalicious to my 5 year old yesterday so I guess that counts! Although I’ll probably add The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and see if I can knock that out in a day. My 8 year old is reading it now and I like to read some of the things he’s reading.

    • Anne says:

      I’ll find a few kindle singles when it’s time to make recommendations for that category. Although I will say the phrasing is “a book you CAN finish in a day,” not “a book you DID finish in a day.” 🙂

  8. zo says:

    You will love the detective agency series but the first one is the only one not a keeper to me, I had the latest two for Christmas and am very excited!
    I’m not sure about the challenge but I may do it, I certainly love reading, at the moment just finished childhood classics of Nancy drew and hardy boys, ten out of ten, now started the latest Miranda Dickinson book and its great so far. I think I would pick a, thriller on kindle as my not read yet one or a vampire series one, and for this year choice Sarah Morgan’s Manhattan series comes out around spring, yes to that.. Love your blog, I recently discovered it.

      • Zo says:

        Your welcome, the first detective book is what leads you to the second, it had a more relaxed feel even with the drama from book two onwards, more in ethos of what vibe I love from them if that makes sense. They get better.

  9. Becky says:

    I’d love to read the new spark joy book, Rising Strong, and finish Living well, Spending Less. I just finished Where’d you go, Bernadette. What a cute book that was!

  10. Bridget G says:

    I adding a bunch of these to my TBR list. I also want to read Kondo’s new book. For a book you have already read I want to reread The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. For the book I own, but have not read it is The Fault in Our Starts. I always dread reading sad books but usually am happy I’ve read them once they are done. For a book you’ve been meaning to read or could also count for the one written before I was born The Count of Monte Cristo by Dumas.

    • Anne says:

      “I always dread reading sad books but usually am happy I’ve read them once they are done.”

      I completely relate to this. And you’re in good company with The Count of Monte Cristo: I’m surprised at how many readers have it on their reading challenge lists!

  11. Kayris says:

    I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings is one of my all time favorite books.

    I’ll probably reread the Pern series this year, by Anne McCaffrey.

    And it’s almost my turn for X by Sue Grafton. I’m soooooo excited for it!

  12. Krystal Pound says:

    I read my first Agatha Christie novel over Christmas break (why did I wait so long?) Now I’d like to read a few more of hers that have been highly recommended. I’m primarily a fiction reader, but this year I set a goal that 25% of my reading be non-fiction (last year it was probably around 10%). So I’ve got Living Well, Spending Less by Ruth Soukup and One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp on my radar already.

    • LadyWoman says:

      I don’t generally read a lot of non fiction but two of my favorite books out of all my reading last year were Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy by Karen Abbott and Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty.

  13. Lisa Spence says:

    I’m definitely one who chooses her reading as the whim strikes! Your list inspires though, so perhaps I will change my ways. Right now I’m reading Just Mercy so that will definitely make my 2016 list ? Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  14. Katie says:

    Thanks for sharing your selections . My daughter picked Going Bovine for me to read. I’m looking forward to rereading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn in the category of books I’ve read at least once.

    • Anne says:

      I’m not familiar with Going Bovine but I certainly hope you enjoy it since your daughter picked it! I just read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn for last year’s reading challenge and my only regret was that I waited so long to read it.

    • Summer says:

      I promised myself years ago that I would read Redeeming Love again and again, so I guess it’s time to do so. A book I own but haven’t read would be Jane Eyre. Over the holidays, I soared through the first three Louise Penny books, but ran out of time before I could finish the fourth. The book that intimidates me is The Gifts of Imperfection. I’ve started it, but keep putting it down, knowing how much work is involved.

  15. Anna Chan says:

    I have a whole stack of books to read. I keep getting “Americanah” from the library and have to return it before I’ve even started it.

  16. Addie says:

    As cliché as it sounds, I still want to read All the Light We Cannot See because its been out at the library every time Ive gone in there last year so maybe I can finally find it this year… and also, The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss because Ive read the other books in the trilogy and this is the last one and Im hoping its good as the other two!

    also, reading through your list is making me add a few more… 🙂

    • Debbie says:

      To clarify, The Slow Regard is his latest, but not the third in the trilogy. It’s a side story about Auri (short- could be read in a day). Still waiting for the release of the final book in the trilogy.

      • Addie says:

        Ahhhh, you are so right! I totally forgot that – I read the Baz story not too long ago, so I had “getting back to the trilogy” on my mind when I wrote that… thanks for the reminder!

  17. Kim says:

    the magic of tidying, to kill a mockingbird, & pride & prejudice are all on my list this year. thanks for the blog & the chance to win!

  18. Ashlea says:

    Currently reading Phantastes by George MacDonald for book club. I plan on reading Carry on, Mr Bowditch (Hubby’s pick), The Wulver’s Rose (free eBook for nook and kindle), and The Giver.

      • Ashlea says:

        This book club does mostly classics. Jane Austen, William Shakespeare, C.S. Lewis, and G. K. Chesterton show up somewhat frequently. I just joined back in March, and it feels so good to have a place to talk about grown up books. (My son is just learning to talk, and my husband works a lot.)

  19. Emily Webb says:

    Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline – been meaning to read
    The Storm Makers by Jennifer E Smith – finish in a day
    The Book of Three by Llyod Alexander – husband picked
    Walkable City by Jeff Speck – recommend
    The Pretender’s Lady by Alan Gold – own never read
    The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin – started never finished
    Lonesome Dove – should have read in school
    Persuasion – Jane Austen – I’ve read before

    I’ve got 4 more to pick!

  20. Jennifer says:

    And my TBR list just exploded ? So many great suggestions! I’m looking forward to choosing my own books for the year.

  21. Kim says:

    I will re-read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up which I find inspiring (and then finally conquer that last category of stuff (papers, etc.) Also could easily re-read Spark, the evolutionary new science exercise and the brain by John Ratey

  22. Sarah says:

    A few of mine:
    A book I’ve been meaning to read: The Hobbit
    A book I’ve abandoned: Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
    A book recommended by my husband: Jesus, My Father, the CIA and Me by Ian Morgan Cron
    Also, 1984 (Orwell) and The Secret History (Tartt)

    • B J says:

      Love the Hobbit! I often say it’s the only book ever recommended to me by an English teacher that I truly loved. The whole class was having a hard time, not loving “The Old Man and the Sea.” Ms. Ellis recommended we read “The Hobbit” on our own time and most of us loved it. I’ve read it many times over the many years since eighth grade. In fact just finished reading it again as I have not watched the 3 Hobbit movies yet and wanted to re-read the book again before. Enjoy!

      • Sarah says:

        Thanks! I think I will love it. The only problem is it the kind of thing I can totally see myself binge reading. I will probably have to save it for summer.

  23. Cathy Juliano says:

    Stumbled upon your Reading Challenge and immediately liked your FB page. Simple but realistic goals! After reading your choices, I finally must try a Jane Austen! Thanks for the inspiration!

  24. Sarah w says:

    I discovered your website after hearing you on the Read Aloud Revival. I’m so inspired! On my list this year: Shepherding A Child’s Heart by Ted Tripp, Great Expectations by Dickens, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and Mary Poppins. Thanks!

  25. Marie says:

    I almost always pick books at whim. But I try to have good books on my shelf to make the picking easier, and I appreciate your suggestions. Hannah Coulter is on my list!

  26. Sara K. says:

    I’m doing Pop Sugar’s reading challenge again this year as well as MMD 🙂

    So far this year I have read Persuasion by Jane Austen, and I am working on Jurassic Park and Rebecca.

    Some of the books I plan to read this year are:
    A book published this year – Heartless by Marissa Meyer
    A book I’ve been meaning to read – Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
    A book recommended by my niece – The Maze Runner by James Dashner
    A book published before you were born – Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
    A book that intimidates you – Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset

    • Dana says:

      I want to read Kristin Lavransdatter as well, but I have been a bit intimidated. I have read and heard good things about it.

      • MelissaJoy says:

        Kristin Lavransdatter is the strongest female character I’ve ever read and I think that’s one of the reasons these books feel so intimidating. She makes decisions based on her priorities and passions, never once trying to please her parents, community or priest. I started the trilogy at the start of 2015 and finished in late December. Be encouraged to take your time. It was worth it for me.

  27. Michelle Wells says:

    I have so many books on my TBR list it is positively intimidating. I too have a book on tidying on my list, though admittedly it’s pretty far down. I am currently reading The Truth About Money by Ric Edelman. It was a Christmas gift and I am determined to finish before picking up another book. Talk about motivation! I REALLY want to get to All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and Night by Elie Wiesel. The former set at the beginning of WWII and the latter is set in the aftermath. Both positively scare me because I am used to reading books that “feel good” and are not emotionally challenging. But that is also the reason they are so high up on my list. I see so many wonderful suggestions on this list. I have always wanted to read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, but it has officially made my list since she narrates her own story!

    • Anne says:

      I admire your picks and that you’re stretching yourself. I hope they end up being wonderfully impactful, because you’re right, those are tough reads. But tough reads can sure pay off big for the reader.

  28. Florence says:

    May I suggest that you listen to the audio of The Ladies’ Number 1 Detective Agency? Lisette LeCarr does the narration in this series and it is one of those times that the reader just brings the characters to life.

    • Patty Mayer says:

      I agree! I read this book on audio and she does marvelous job of making the characters so real.

    • Sarah says:

      Thanks for the suggestion. I wasn’t even thinking about reading that book but I love to add some audio books to listen to while walking my dog and I love it when they have great narration.

      Unbroken and Argo are also great in audio if you enjoy nonfiction.

  29. Jill Koly says:

    I just finished 10% Happier, which was my book I’ve been meaning to read. I’m looking forward to reading the new Strike book, which I have been on the library holds list for since the dawn of time.

  30. Malinda says:

    I love your blog and your reading challenges! Some of the books on my list this year are: Boys in a boat, East of Eden, Tom Jones, Neverending story, night, Beowulf, and the Emily of New Moon trilogy!

  31. Sophie says:

    My husband chose Frankenstein for me and I think it’s time to finally read A Wrinkle in Time, it fits several of the categories.

  32. Interesting pics! I enjoyed The Age of Innocence more than The House of Mirth, so I’ll be curious to hear what you thought. This month I will be reading Malala, The Happiness Project, Two Part Invention, and Let Us Attend among others. Would love to win this set!

      • Renee says:

        What a wonderful list! I’m about 2/3 done with Cloud Atlas, but I haven’t read any others on your list…though more than a few are on my tbr list!

  33. Kim D says:

    Great picks. I’m still working on my picks for the list. Not easy to come up with some of them on the list but am super excited to be doing the challenge with everyone! Happy reading!

  34. Peggy says:

    I am a goal setter so I am so excited about this challenge! Hannah Coulter is also my pick for a book I have already read. I am reading Wild Swans which was a Christmas gift from my daughter so that goes under the category of a book recommended by a relative. I am picking back up Winston Churchill ‘s biography to try to finish and I want to read the last book of the Narnia series, The Last Battle for the book to read in a day. I haven’t figured out the rest yet. But I am looking forward to building my library this year!

  35. Kristin says:

    Inspired by you, I am going to finally get thru Middlemarch! And also Spark Joy (I’m number 15 at the library!) I usually have no method in my book selection, but this year I’m inspired to at least select the 12 books for the reading challenge.

  36. Laura says:

    What a fun giveaway! I’m currently reading a very eclectic mix: Simply Tuesday, All the Light We Cannot See, Dad is Fat, and The New Jim Crow. All are great!

  37. Heather B says:

    Great book list! Count of Monte Cristo is my intimidating book, Farenheit 451 my should have read in school. After that it is a toss up 🙂

  38. Allison says:

    I can’t commit to a full challenge since I’m in school full time and am in a book club. Between those two things, extra reading time is pretty limited for the time being. But I do have a few books on my reading list for 2016, including Hannah Coulter, Shauna Niequist’s new book, and the Flavia de Luce series by Alan Bradley. I’m sure I’ll add more along the way! I’m also super intrigued by A Constellation of Vital Phenomena. I haven’t heard of that one, but I think it’s going to go on the list as well.

    • Anne says:

      I’m looking forward to reading Shauna Niequist’s new one, too. And Flavia! I’ve only read book 1 and it’s time to fix that.

  39. Andee says:

    I want to read Emily of New Moon. I don’t know what I’ve been waiting for, except that my library doesn’t have it. Thanks for the great list!

  40. Caroline says:

    I plan to read Spark Joy, some books about the history behind Downton Abbey (inspiration and such) and maybe some classics! 100 books is my goal.

  41. Christine says:

    Ooh! You have inspired me to sit down and make my list ahead of time too!! In fact I might use a few of your choices. I also plan to do (try?) Book Riot’s Read Harder challenge so I think I’ll make my list for that challenge too. And speaking of that, the first book on their list is “a horror book”. Yikes. I don’t read horror. Do you have a suggestion? Would the Shirley Jackson book you have on your list qualify?

    • Anne says:

      I’m really hoping the Shirley Jackson book WOULDN’T qualify, because I don’t want to read horror! Of course Stephen King comes to mind…

    • Sara K. says:

      I don’t know if this would help, but last year’s Pop Sugar reading challenge had “a book that scares you”. I immediately thought of horror books, Stephen King, etc. Not a big fan. I stretched the category a bit and read Trafficked by Sophie Hayes. It’s a true story of a girl who was trafficked from the UK. Certainly scary for me, but not quite as bad as some of the horror books. Good luck!

      • Ellie Colver says:

        The third in the Justin Cronin trilogy – The City of Mirrors is coming out in May! Great trilogy. Somewhat scary.

  42. Jodie Hughes says:

    In addition to this challenge, I added a mini challenge to read books by minorities and women authors. So far, books the I’ve chosen to read are: The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave (The book I should have read in school); The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini (Book Banned at Some point); The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins (Book I’ve Been Meaning to Read).

  43. Claire says:

    There are so many books on my list I’m struggling to fit them into a category! I like the sound of Hot Milk being published this year but will wait and see if there’s anything else grabs me and I’m thinking of rereading To Kill a mockingbird or Of Mice and Men as they are on my daughter’s book list.

  44. Emily says:

    I want to read another book by Wendell Berry this year. Also, I finally want to read Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew Crawford.

  45. Brandy says:

    So many books! I want to read them all! You’ve given me some really good ideas to add to my list but i’m already thinking of “Interrupted” as one I need to finish, “Pride and Prejudice” as my reread. Now you have me really thinking about Lonesome Dove too! My grandfather loved that book so it would be a great tribute to him. Thanks for all the reading inspiration!

  46. Meg says:

    I’m intrigued by several of your picks! I started Wives & Daughters last year, but got distracted and didn’t finish it. So that’s definitely on my list. I’m not sure what else will be, just yet.

  47. Sarah Polleys says:

    I really have been meaning to read All the Light We cannot See, a commentary on James by John Calvin, and the first Harry Potter again. I still need to pick out more.

  48. Sarah V. says:

    I am so excited for this years reading adventure! I have already put on hold a couple books, and borrowed from a friend Jane Eyre, my book I should have read in school.
    Thank you for this!

  49. Valerie W. says:

    I just checked out Breakfast at Tiffany’s for my book you can read in a day. I will pick books for the other categories as I go along.

  50. Laura Carney says:

    Thank you so much for another great list! On my nightstand right now are: H is for Hawk, Girl Waits with Gun, Tinkers and All the Light We Cannot See.

  51. Kimberly Locke says:

    Jane Eyre (after listening to your podcast with Tsh)
    To Kill a Mockingbird
    I use most of my holds allotment for homeschooling books, so I’m happy to read what I can find on the library shelves. 🙂

  52. Shar says:

    I am going to try:
    Book recommended by a spouse: Old Man’s War by John Scalzi
    Book previously put down: Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (I am hoping this category goes better than it did in 2015, after I finished the book, I hated it even more than I did when I put it down the first time. Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris)
    Book I already own but never read: Harry Potter series (I know!)
    Book I have already read: Other Women by Lisa Alther

    • Anne says:

      Laughing at the “I hated it even more” part. Well, at least you could quit it with no regrets. Or at least, no regrets except the time you spent reading it. 🙂

  53. Teresa says:

    I love your blog! I’m reading Mindfulness right now and looking forward to reading through my Jane Austin Novels. A Christmas gift idea I found per your recommendation. Thank you!

  54. Jamie Woodbury says:

    Spark Joy is on my list right now too! Also just discovered Kate Morton, so I plan on devouring more of hers. I so want to win!

  55. Brittni says:

    I love your list! I would like to read Anne of Green Gables, Peace Like A River, and Gone With The Wind.

  56. Janet Summey says:

    Book published this year: Morning Star, the 3rd in the Red Rising series. Out 2/9 and I can’t wait!

  57. What a super giveaway! I’m already an ePantry customer, so I hope I’m lucky! 🙂
    I’m starting backwards on the list and re-reading “Pat of Silver Bush,” by L. M. Montgomery.

  58. Ashley says:

    A few that I hope to read this year are Emma, The Count of Monte Cristo, Emily of New Moon, Anna Karenina (a book I previously abandoned), and Sally Clarkson’s new book The Lifegiving Home. I’m sure my TBR list will grow every week from reading your posts, as well.

    • Anne says:

      Great list! Have you noticed you’re in great company? There are quite a few readers who previously abandoned Anna Karenina. 🙂

  59. Great list! I have only read one from your compilation, and am intrigued with your selections. For the 2016 challenge, I plan to read Shantaram by Gregory Roberts (a book chosen for me), something by Ayn Rand (all of her work intimidates me), The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver (a book previously abandoned), Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier (a book I own but have never read)…

  60. Heather says:

    I don’t usually plan ahead when I read. After I am done with one book, I look for another. I just loaded Anne of Green Gables on to my Kindle. I have always been an Anne fan but never read the books. I love the Megan Follows movies!! Thanks for all your suggestions!

  61. Meg S says:

    We Have Always Lived in the Castle is on my to-read list for this year as well! I keep seeing it mentioned lately, and it’s time to finally read it. This week!

  62. Adrienne says:

    Yours is an interesting list! I have not heard of many of these, and ‘Wind, Sand, and Stars’ sounds really intriguing. Here are a few items from my 2016 list…
    A book published before you were born: Sense and Sensibility – loved the movie (Ang Lee version) but have never read the book.
    A book you’ve already read: East of Eden – I’ve read this a few times, although not in the last ~10 years, and it is my favorite Steinbeck. I love the miniseries that starred Jane Seymour, but think the movie with James Dean missed so much by starting in the middle of the book.
    A book you’ve been meaning to read: The Life-Changing magic of tidying up.

    • Anne says:

      Great picks!

      I saw East of Eden in my teens, but I didn’t read the book until last year. I didn’t even realize the movie started in the middle of the book!

  63. Shannon says:

    I’m not sure what I’ll be reading this year. I’ve been having a lot of health issues and haven’t really been reading a lot lately.

  64. Ashley T. says:

    great list! so far, mine includes Brene Brown Daring Greatly, Elizabeth Gilbert Big Magic, The Orphan Train, Cinder, Station Eleven, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

  65. Julie says:

    Finally going to read Eleanor and Park as well as an Agatha Christie novel. I am also excited to read Balanced and Barefoot by Angela Hanscom which comes out in April. I have read so many articles by her on the importance of movement and play for children and as an early childhood educator and a mom of littles it has really resonated with me.

  66. Christine says:

    Great picks! Some of my own for 2016 include Gratitude by Oliver Sacks, The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee, and Presence by Amy Cuddy. 🙂

  67. Sandy R says:

    I’m a little behind the eight ball in picking my books, still getting over the holiday rush. Looking forward to starting a new challenge, and one that I think I can complete, thank you for the suggestions:)

  68. Meg says:

    I love discovering new books through your blog! Here’s what I’m reading this year:
    Winter by Marissa Meyer
    The Heiress of Winterwood by Sarah E. Ladd
    Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
    Steadfast Love: The Response of God to the Cries of Our Heart by Lauren Chandler
    Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest by Bonnie Gray & Jon Acuff.

  69. Kristi Brokaw says:

    What a great list! I haven’t actually sat down to list my choices for the challenge yet but I have a few in mind: Something Wicked This Way Comes (chosen by my husband), Daring Greatly (previously abandoned), A Farewell To Arms (should have read in school or a book published before I was born). I’m super interested in the St. Exupery book! I didn’t know it existed until this post and I love The Little Prince.

  70. Holly Willman says:

    Oh, there are a ton of books I am planning to read this year. My goal is 100. Currently reading ‘Dad is Fat’ (Jim Gaffigan), ‘You Learn by Living’ (Eleanor Roosevelt), and ‘The Wounded Healer’ (Henri Nouwen). So…not much of a theme at this point. Just random awesomeness. Wait. Is random awesomeness a theme? Nailed it.

  71. Sarah says:

    This year on my reading list so far I have Lost Moon by Jim Lovell, The Count of Monte Cristo, and Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll.

  72. Heather says:

    Love planning out my reading challenges book. My very favorite is displaying the ones I own. A few on my 2016 list are:
    “The Nightengale” by Kristin Hannah
    “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondô
    “After the Crash” by Michael Bussi

  73. Jackie Mc. says:

    I hope you love The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series as much as I do. Mma Ramotswe always makes me smile. Make sure you have plenty of tea on hand — you’ll find yourself wanting to drink some while you read. 🙂

  74. Angie says:

    One of my 2016 goals is to read a book a week. Some of my TBR books piling up are All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling, Copper and Stone by Bethany Snyder, Rising Strong by Brene Brown, and Out of Sorts by Sarah Bessey.

  75. Lisa Kilinc says:

    Wow! All the books on this list are great. Have read a few. At the top of my 2016 list are: Rising Strong by Brene Brown, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, Spark Joy by Marie Kondo, The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins and the YA Novel Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.

  76. Nina Reed says:

    I’ve been meaning to read The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Murial Barberry for some time now. I also plan to re-read the A Wrinkle in Time series by Madeline L’Engel.

    • Anne says:

      Oh golly, ME TOO on the Barberry novel. I *almost* read it last year for my book in translation, but did not. A Wrinkle in Time sounds like a delightful re-read. 🙂

  77. Joy says:

    I’ve read two of the books on your list: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (I’ve actually read several from this series and enjoyed them all). I haven’t picked any of my own for the reading challenge. I’m just going to go in order, so for January I’ll do a book published this year. I have Amazon Prime, so I get a Kindle first book for free, so it will likely be one of those. I’ve never done a reading challenge, so I’m excited for this one!

  78. Tabitha says:

    I second the reader who said the first book in The Number One Ladies Detective Agency wasn’t the best. Be sure to read the others! I can’t pick a favorite, but I do remember the second one is especially good!

  79. Amanda Shea says:

    The books on my list so far are: The Grownup by Gillian Flynn (book I can read in a day), Luckiest Girl Alive: A Novel by Jessica Knoll (book I’ve been meaning to read), To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (book I should have read in school), Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote (book published before I was born), and Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn (book I previously abandoned).

    • Anne says:

      Sounds like a great list. I’ve been toying with whether or not to include the Gillian Flynn book in MY list. That’s smart to choose it for the category you did.

  80. Katie Toffey says:

    This is such a fun chhallenge! I love seeing what other folks are reading for the various categories. Here is my list so far…
    Haatchi and Little B – book you can finish in a day
    Their Eyes Were Watching God – published before I was born
    The End of the Affair (on audio – Colin Firth as narrator) – a book previously abandoned
    The Handmaid’s Tale – banned book
    My Name is Lucy – published in 2016
    Gilead – meaning to read

  81. Amanda says:

    I am *determined* to make this the year that I finally finish Anna Karenina. I made it half through once, but then got distracted. I LOVED it, but I keep putting off starting it again because the size is so daunting. I dragged it out the other night, though, and started it again. I WILL finish that sucker!

  82. Jaime says:

    The surest one on my list is to reread Robert McCammon’s Boy’s Life. I read it in college and thought it was one of the best things I had read, but now can’t remember much of it. My book I’ve been meaning to read is A Circle of Quiet. I’ve already started and am trying to go slowly– so much wisdom here! I want to choose either a poetry collection or play for the one that intimidates me. Enjoy seeing everyone’s picks!

    • Anne says:

      I adored A Circle of Quiet. (It’s the rest of that series I’ve been meaning to read myself, for too long.) I’ve never read Boy’s Life but now I’m so curious!

  83. Aimee L. says:

    I’m finally getting ready to read SEABISCUIT and THE BOYS IN THE BOAT (both became available at the library within a couple days of each other). Both have been recommended by many, and the length of SEABISCUIT is a little intimidating. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series. It’s one of my favorites! McCall Smith is a masterful writer.

  84. Jessica says:

    A few books on my list this year:
    Currently reading All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doess, others: Rising Strong by Brene Brown, Quiet by Susan Crain, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, Me before You by Jojo Moyes, and many more!!

  85. Rachel Mims says:

    My BFF Recommended Station Eleven, I want to re-read The Long Run, and I have several books that fit the previously abandoned, owned but never read, and intimidates you categories!

  86. Patty Mayer says:

    I started with a book my grandson suggested, The 39 Clues by and I truly enjoyed it! I am started the year with the book in my library that intimidates me, Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. Beyond that I have ideas of what I want to read but like to pick up a book that I feel at the moment. So once I am done with Les Mis, I will let you know what I pick up next!

    I am leaving for China with the Peace Corps in June and I know reading will be a large part of my entertainment! I may even incorporate a list similar to this for my students! Good luck to us all ? and Happy 2016!


  87. Ally says:

    I’ve been working on “All the Light We Cannot See” to kick off my 2016 challenge… Looks like you’ve put together a great list!

  88. Brittany Bailey says:

    A dear friend and I are taking the challenge together and we are both beginning with a book called “Love Does” by Bob Goff for me it’s a book I’ve already read, for her a recommendation by a BFF. We decided to start with those so we could talk about the book and share ways that it touches us. I can’t wait to see what she thinks of it. I’m also finally going to be reading To Kill A Mockingbird as my book I should have read in school. I purchased it a few years ago intending to read it and then my book pile got out of control and it was lost in the shuffle. I am thankful for this challenge as it is helping me set specific goals and make more time for reading.

  89. Lisa says:

    Inspiring picks! I also hope to read I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. Middlesex is a book I abandoned and want to finally finish; Behind the Beautiful Forevers has been sitting on my shelf unread for too long; and I may finally give in to reading Outlander after so many friends have raved about it.

  90. Melanie says:

    I’m going to read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle this year as a book I previously abandoned. I’m continuing the Outlander series and all of them intimidate me not necessarily because of their size, but because I know I will be consumed by them.

  91. s says:

    I haven’t fully flushed out my 2016 list plus I tend to be more seat of pants vs planner…once I get our book club’s list for this year, I will have a better plan, but right know 84 Charring Cross Road is a possibility of a book I could finish in a day or maybe an Agatha Christie. I have had Unbroken on my tbr list forever. Love seeing your suggestions.

  92. liz n says:

    Ooooh, yes, please, I would like to have more books!

    I haven’t yet chosen all the books for the challenge, and I’m not reading them in list order. I just finished The Book I’ve Been Meaning to Read and am now reading A Book I Previously Abandoned. I’m also going to play fair to the books I already own and expand the category of A Book I Own But Have Never Read to: For Every New Book I Read, I Must Also Read One From My Own Bookshelves.

  93. Ashley Dickerson says:

    There are so many books on my TBR pile and I love that your reading challenge helps me narrow things down. A few books on my list this year are The Poisonwood Bible, The #1 Ladies Detective, The Nightengale, All 6 Jane Austen books, and Middlemarch.

  94. Gretchen Jacob says:

    These are some great recommendations. On my list for this year are some older classics. Some ice read and would like to revisit, some I’ve not read yet. Scarlet Letter, Moby Dick, To Kill A Mockingbird, Anna of Green Gables along with whatever other titles I can find or can make time for. Life leaves me little time to read so my goal is one book a month.

  95. Kirsten says:

    These are such interesting (and challenging!) categories this year! Thank you! I love your choices, too. I would never have thought to listen to Caged Bird, but I may have to revisit it on audio now that you say Angelou narrates it. My goal for this year is to delve into some more classics, both a rereads and for the first time (I really want to see how my high school favorites of Dickens and Steinbeck hold up). A few other choices for the MMD challenge:
    A book I own but have never read: Gilead
    A book I should have read in school: Les Miserables
    A book that intimidates me: Middlemarch
    And for a bonus, the book recommended by my husband is The Buried Giant. I read it just before the New Year, so technically not part of the 2016 challenge, but it was astounding.

  96. Kim Hartlove says:

    My picks for the challenge are…
    Book published this year: The Life Giving Home by Sally Clarkson
    Book I can finish in a day: The Old Man and the Sea
    Book I’ve been meaning to read: Chesapeake by James Michener
    Book recommended by local librarian: All the Light We Cannot See
    Book I should have read in school: Animal Farm
    Book chosen by my BFF: The Art of Neil Gaiman
    Book published before I was born: Brideshead Revisited
    Book that was banned: Of Mice and Men
    Book I previously abandoned: The Brothers Karamazov
    Book I own but have never read: (too many!) Mansfield Park
    Book that intimidates me: Kristin Lavrandsdatter
    Book I’ve already read: Frankenstein

    • B J says:

      I read Chesapeake many years ago. I grew up in the Hampton Roads area, so all the places and history of that area were very familiar to me. It was a very detailed by engrossing read for me. I may have to consider going back and re-reading it. Hope you enjoy it.

      • Kim Hartlove says:

        I grew up in Southern Maryland and I live in the Hampton Roads area now, and we sail all over the Chesapeake. I can’t tell you how many people have told me I need to read it. I’m sure I’ll enjoy it.

  97. Ris says:

    I’ve read Lonesome Dove and House of Mirth. I’ll be interested to hear what you think of Lonesome Dove. I adored House of Mirth. In my eyes, Edith Wharton could do no wrong.

  98. Shirley Madsen says:

    A book that was banned and intimidates most people is Ulysses by James Joyce. I loved that book. I used notes to ‘interpret’ the most challenging passages and to learn the history behind the names of the people mentioned thought the ‘day’. Well worth rereading this year! I am also tackling the classic The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoyevsky.

  99. Erin says:

    I’m looking forward to new releases from two of my favorites, Heather Gudenkauf and Chris Bohjalian. I’m currently working through the Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh with my one-year-old. I also pre-ordered Scarlett Johansson! Happy 2016!

    • Erin says:

      Haha, I totally lost my train of thought looking up the spelling of Johansson! I pre-ordered her Audible version of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland!

  100. Jade Reuwer says:

    I have a really bad habit of sticking to authors I know, or have read before. Therefore not being able to experience new Authors. This year is the year I try to read from Authors I’ve never heard of before, like your list. I look forward to this challenge this year! My biggest challenge is to pick a book ever step of the way, that I have never heard of and never knew the author….well except for when I’m supposed to read the book I’ve already read before. =)

  101. Amber says:

    I just started Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie, and am going to be following that with Seven for a Secret by Lyndsey Faye. Before Season 2 of Outlander comes out I plan on re-reading Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon.

  102. Katie Schroeder says:

    What a great list! I am planning to read All the Light we Cannot See and Anna Karenina this year. Otherwise I will read what my book club picks, or as my fancy strikes!

  103. Jennifer says:

    I may have to rethink my list after seeing yours but a few of mine are:
    A book I should have read in school – The Hobbit
    A book chosen for me by my sister – The Orphan Train
    A book I own but have never read – Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood
    A book that intimidates me – Middlemarch
    I am in the middle of listening to The Cider House Rules and I have Career of Evil waiting for a listen after that. I would also like to finish (or at least put a big dent) in the Outlander series. I’ve finish the first two and love them.

  104. Melissa says:

    Looking forward to reading The Brothers Karamazov, Murder on the Orient Express, Kitchens of the Great Midwest, and Anne of Green Gables in 2016!

  105. Amber B. says:

    One book I’m going to read for sure is The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater and I’ll probably read a few Stephen King novels.

  106. Lindsey H. says:

    I am looking forward to reading “Before Green Gables”! Thanks for this awesome giveaway opportunity!!!

  107. Kristen says:

    Ooh! I love a good book list. Here are some of mine:

    Meaning to read: The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis
    Should have read in high school: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
    Own but never read: Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner
    Previously abandoned: Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry
    Already read: Emily of Deep Valley by Maud Hart Lovelace

    Several of these overlap, and some are for my book club.

  108. Dev says:

    Thinking Fast & Slow – I’ve bought it 5 times, in 5 different countries, and never passed chapter 2!

  109. Connie says:

    Excellent picks! I loved Lonesome Dove–it’s been a long time and would like to read it again. I need to sort through my TBR pile and get organized. Your site makes my TBR pile grow! 🙂

  110. Dawn says:

    I need to get busy with my list but first I need to finish my Louise Penny book! I love Alexander McCall Smith’s Courderoy Mansions series. Would love to read the Ladies Detective series someday. Thank you for the opportunity to win this great set of books!

  111. Julie P says:

    A few of my books for reading this year are A Week in Winter (Maeve Binchy), Lady Maybe (Julie Klassen), and because my daughter gave me the cute Puffin in Bloom copy of Anne of Green Gables, I will re-read that! You have given me more to-read ideas!

  112. Min says:

    Jayber Crow, Lunar Chronicles, #1 Ladies Detective Agency, more Madeline L’Engle, 84 Charing Cross….. too many to choose from.

  113. Beth says:

    More books to add to my list! Yay!
    A book I’ve owned but never read: Peace Like A River
    A book I’ve been meaning to read: Quiet
    A book published before I was born: Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

  114. Abby says:

    First up on my 2016 list is A Clash of Kings. After reading the first Game of Thrones book last January (and enjoying it, just being exhausted by the end- not my usual genre), I decided to wait until the following January for book 2… and the January after that for book 3, etc. So far, I’m loving it; the intimidatingly long book is easier to read when I’ve freed myself from feeling obligated to immediately pick up an equally long sequel.

  115. Seawillow says:

    I’m excited to see your list. I did last years challenge except for one category–a book your mom loved. I have read her favorites many times and just didn’t get around to it. I love to have your list and others ideas when I get stuck in a category. Spark Joy and The House of Mirth will definitely make my list. I need to be more intentional in my reading. Usually it’s whatever a friend recommends or is available at the library.

  116. Kristina says:

    I’m currently reading Pride & Prejudice as either a book published before I was born or a book I should have read in school – so far I’m having a tough time with it. I’m also beginning Game of Thrones as one I previously gave up on. I’m really hoping to get into it this year!

  117. Lindsey says:

    My list starts with The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, The Color Purple by Alice Walker, Peacock Emporium by Jojo Moyes, The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim DeFede, and In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. I started In Cold Blood before but struggled knowing it was a true story.

  118. Rene says:

    Like others here my TBR list is huge but here are some of the books at the top of my list this year – Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (I’m probably the last person on the planet to read this series), A God in Ruins by Atkinson, and Seveneves by Stephenson. Although…some of the books on your list above sound great too so I might be adding to the top of my list!

    • B J says:

      No, you’re not the only one who hasn’t read Outlander. I finally bought it for my Kindle a few months ago when it was on sale for $1.99. Still haven’t started it though. There is just something about time travel books that I just can’t seem to get past.

  119. Christine B says:

    I am doing your challenge this year! I tend these days to read old favorites too often! I too am considering something more challenging such as Atlas Shrugged. A book I have had but not read is The Book Thief. I have already been re-reading the whole Harry Potter Series so I will do the last book as my choice for a re-read as that is next. I will read the Runaway King as my book recommended by a friend/librarian – she is both..;). Not sure on rest yet. Thanks for the challenge!

  120. Joy Bailey says:

    I had started Before Green Gable and then it disappeared in the move. If I can find it ~ I just picked my book for ‘A book I’ve started and abandoned’. Thanks!!

  121. Ashley says:

    I’m reading Hannah Coulter for the first time right now. It was a Christmas present. I read Jayber Crow last year and loved it. I have so much non-fiction on my list; Searching for Sunday, What the Mystics Know, Found, The Quotidian Mysteries. What I need is some good, light, fiction to read! Baby #2 is due in March and I know I won’t be delving into much nonfiction after that. Why is good fiction so difficult to find?!

  122. Lisa H. says:

    Well, I haven’t made a complete list, but so far I plan on reading: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Outlander, Kitchens of the Great Midwest, Wildflower, and Ender’s Game (recommended by my son).

  123. Empy says:

    I love your challenge. It’s so much more inviting and less overwhelming than the ones that are 52 categories long. I am all for pushing yourself to read as much as you possibly can but sometimes I think avid readers get caught up in the whole “I READ THIS MANY BOOKS WOOO” rather than the “I devoured yet savored these few books and let me tell you how they affected me.”

    Thank you for all you do for your readers. You are truly an amazing woman <3

  124. Callie says:

    I’m working through a few classics this year. Emma, Moby Dick, and Possession to name a few. I’ll also be reading a few series, including The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency. I already have that one checked out and ready to begin. I love a new year and a new book list!

  125. Agnes says:

    I’m so glad you’re reading Wind, Sand and Stars! I love that book. And I look forward to your review of Before Green Gables.

    Some books on my 2016 reading list are Night Flight by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth, Storyteller: The Life of Roald Dahl by Donald Sturrock, One Hundred Names for Love: A Memoir by Diane Ackerman, and Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman. I also hope to finish The Strange Story of the Quantum by Banesh Hoffman (started last year) and Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (started in 2012).

  126. Mary says:

    I have a lot of classics on my list for this year, but for the book that intimidates me (or that I started and never finished), I’d like to read Anathem by Neal Stephenson. It’s been on my shelf for years. He’s one of my favorite authors, but for some reason, I’ve started it about five times and never been able to get very far into it- and it’s a long book! I’m hoping this is the year I can conquer it 🙂 And I signed up for epantry and can’t wait for my first order!

  127. Jennifer C says:

    So difficult to choose already! My abandoned book (which might also count as “intimidating”, if only for the length) is Emperor of all Maladies. Cloud Atlas is definitely one I’ve been meaning to read. And I think I’ll get my 11 y/o daughter to recommend for me, because she’s shaping up to be a wonderful reader!

  128. Karina says:

    We are blessed to have an absolutely wonderful FREE event locally every April where YA and children’s lit authors gather for the most incredible and informal chats. My daughter and I love going every year, and so I typically start the year by catching up with the authors who are coming. This year that list includes Neal Shusterman, Erica Perl, Nancy Cavanaugh, and more. I’ve got some catching up to do!

  129. Deanna says:

    I’m impressed that you’ve chosen all of your books already! Some of mine will be:
    Book I’ve Previously Abandoned – The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
    Book that intimidates me – Dr. Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
    Published this year – The Moonlit Garden by Corinna Bomann
    Haven’t chosen any others but am definitely looking forward to this challenge…my three adult children are joining me!

  130. Amanda says:

    I have an incomplete list, but here’s what I’ve got so far.

    My picks for the challenge are…
    Book published this year: The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel
    Book I can finish in a day: The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
    Book I’ve been meaning to read: The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa
    Book recommended by local librarian: Kafka on the Shore By Haruki Murakami
    Book I should have read in school: Beloved by Toni Morrison
    Book chosen by my BFF: American Gods by Neil Gaiman
    Book published before I was born: Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
    Book that was banned: Kaffir Boy, by Mark Mathabane
    Book I previously abandoned: We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach
    Book I own but have never read: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
    Book that intimidates me: Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
    Book I’ve already read: 1984 by George Orwell

  131. Stephanie says:

    My TBR list is long so, here are some I plan to read in 2016: Daring Greatly, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Go Set a Watchman, The Book of the Dun Cow, Intorverts in the Church, and The Warden and the Wolf King. Hannah Coulter is one of my favorites!

  132. Patricia says:

    I’m new to your website and am fascinated by all of it! Printed out the reading journal yesterday and am excited to get started. I’ve read many of the books onyour list, but will be adding my own to the challenge categories. Thanks and here’sto a year of happy reading!

  133. Sarah says:

    A few on my list for the year are: At Home In Mitford, Summer, Some Luck, Shadow & Bone, I Forgot to Remember, The Little Prince, Wind, Sands, & Stars, Any Day a Beautiful Change, Teaching from Rest, You Learn by Living, Chocolate: The Consuming Passion, How Do You Tuck in a Superhero.

    And lots more…

  134. emily says:

    Some books from ym list:

    To Kill a Mockingbird, The Book Thiefe, JK Rowling’s Magical beasts and where to find them, Animal Farm… Would love to win some more books!

  135. Linda U Kulisky says:

    Your list is great. I’m a bit of a book list “junkie”. For 2016 – Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester (we’re discussing it this month in my library book club). Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger (a book I should have read in school). Nerd Camp (book chosen for me by my granddaughter, Mimi). I Believe in You (a book I can finish in a day). A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (a book published before I was born). Hide by Lisa Gardner (a book I own but have never read)…

  136. Kate says:

    I want to read some Chesterton, Catch 22, and A History of the Paper Pattern Industry. Plus I have set goals to reread the Chronicles of Narnia and a long list of other children’s books.

  137. Lisa says:

    I have pre-ordered Spark Joy, as well as Elizabeth Esther’s Spiritual Sobriety for a book (or two) published this year. I just finished Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny. I read five or six books over Christmas break (mostly from your daily Kindle deals email), but we are back to homeschooling now, and my reading is going to need to be a bit more mindful. I just printed the Challenge List, and will start choosing the rest of my books. By the way, my engineer husband loves Wind, Sand and Stars.

  138. Bridget says:

    I adore Alexander McCall Smith. No. 1 Ladies is my favorite of all his series. I hope that you really love it.
    Book published before I was born = Alice in wonderland
    Book recommended by my niece = The Giver
    Book I’ve read at least once = The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
    Book I should have read in school = Rebecca
    Book I can finish in a day = Dept. of Speculation
    Book published in 2016 = (kind of a cop-out on this one) Brotherhood in Death
    Book recommended by a Librarian = Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour bookstore

    I have four more slots to fill, but I’m still thinking.

  139. Noelle says:

    Gosh! What a great list! I’ll be stealing a few of your picks! I read Lonesome Dove a couple of years ago and loved it. This year my biggest challenge is likely going to be War and Peace. It’s always intimidated me but I think it’s worth it. Last year I read For Whom the Bell Tolls–it was incredible so I’ll also add a Hemingway or two! Thanks for the prompts, even my girls are doing the challenge!

  140. Allison says:

    Princess Bride, Taming of the Shrew, Foundation, Mere Christianity, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Anna Karenina, The Princess and the Goblin, The Once and Future King, and A Wrinkle in Time. I still have a few categories left to fill.

  141. Karen G says:

    A few on my list: A Tale of Two Cities, Knowing God, Knowing Christ, Frankenstein, and Quiet. Thanks for entering me in the drawing!

  142. Shelly says:

    A book that has intimidated me as well as one I’ve anandoned is War and Peace. A book published last year that I keep coming back to (yet scared to death to open) is The Ice Twins. And one my sister has recommended over and over is The Chaperone. 2016 will be a year of books!

  143. Justine says:

    Thank you for the ideas of what to read next! I’m currently devouring Winter (after being number 324 on the library waiting list…), and I have Sarah Vowell’s new book, Lafayette in the Somewhat United States, and Taking Charge of Your Fertility in my TBR pile.

  144. Susan Buice says:

    My last day of work is next Friday, Jan. 18, 2016. After that date, I will officially be retired. I can’t wait to read books, books, and more books. . . books of every kind. I recently found your blog and your Facebook page. I love the challenge idea, and I especially love the idea of winning the books on your list. Some of the books on your list are books that I have wanted to read; some are brand new to me, and I especially need a book to get me organized now that I will have time. Thank you for this opportunity. I am excited to begin reading again.

  145. Pauline Trummel says:

    This is a great idea. I have never planned my year’s reading from a challenge list like this before. I am intrigued by the challenge and am choosing my books today. Thanks for the great idea.

  146. Karen says:

    I loved My Brilliant Friend, and I have bought the other 3 books in the Neopolitan series, so I plan to read all 3 this year. I also want to read more of Louise Penney’s mysteries. I read the first book and the sixth book, so I want to read the four in between.

    • Anne says:

      I still need to read the rest of the Neapolitan novels, too. And I hope you enjoy the Penny! I love those. (Although I didn’t LOVE #2 and #3.)

  147. Shannon Peer says:

    So far my list contains All the Light We Cannot See, Anne of Green Gables (I’ve watched the movie a thousand times, but I’ve never read the book), A tree grows in Brooklyn, and Simply Tuesday.

  148. Tiffanie says:

    First of all, I’m so happy I discovered your blog this year–what a treasure! I have one book that fits several categories for me: Middlemarch (should have read in college but didn’t, written before I was born, and intimidating!). Book I abandoned: Quiet by Susan Cain (had to return to the library and never got it back on my hold list). Book I’ve been meaning to read: The Path Between the Seas by David McCullough. I’ve been fascinated by the Panama Canal since I read a book by Janet Lambert as a girl that was set in Panama. Book to re-read: I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. My 13-year-old daughter and I are planning to read it together.
    Thanks for all your wonderful posts and suggestions!

  149. Kathryn M says:

    A few books I’ve been eyeing for a while have been the Outlander series, and If Nuns Ruled the World. And then thanks to your recommendations, pretty much most of what you feature has been added to my list, including: Big Magic, The Ballad of the Whiskey Robber, Four Seasons in Rome, Love Walked In, and Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore.

  150. A few on my list this year are :
    The Journal of Beatrix Potter (1881-1897) (she wrote her journals in her own special code!)
    The Bastables: E. Nesbit
    Table Life, Joanne Thompson

  151. Corby says:

    Book I should have read in school: 1984
    Book I’ve read once: Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee
    Book that intimidates me: Moby Dick
    Book published before I was born: For Whom the Bell Tolls
    Book recommended by Husband: Memory Man
    Book recommended by librarian: Cutting for Stone
    Book I have abandoned: All Creatures Great and Small
    Working on the rest of the list

  152. Judy says:

    I love these categories for choosing books! The next book on my list is Boys on the Boat, which my husband recommends. As for re-reads, I read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings years ago (such a great title!) and I liked it. I think I’d get a lot more out of it now, so I’ll read that one again. I can only think of a few books I’ve abandoned, but one is The Lord of the Rings. My son has read all three of them several times, but I’ve never even read the first one.

  153. Rebecca Y. says:

    Wow- these are great categories and great picks. I’ve been meaning to read The Bell Jar and Canterbury Tales.

  154. Bridget says:

    On my list for the immediate future are A Prayer for Owen Meany and All the Light We Cannot See. I also just bought a copy of Les Miserables, so I’m working up the gumption to tackle that one.

    • Bridget says:

      My husband read Les Mis this summer. It intimidated him big time. He finished it, but the first 1/3 of the book really challenged him to not give up.

  155. Bethany says:

    I’ve read 2 of the books on your List: House of Mirth and The Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency. Enjoyed both. Still working on my list for this year, but it includes: “Girl Meets Change”, “The Grapes of Wrath”, “The Girl Who Could Fly”, “Circling the Sun”, “Elizabeth is Missing”, and “Water from My Heart” by Charles Martin.

  156. Anna Meyer says:

    So many great recommendations I will be adding to my TBR list! Little Women will be my book I should of read in high school ( I can’t believe I’ve never read it.), War and Peace intimidates me but now stares me in the face when I open my Kindle so it will be read this year, and I am wanting to revisit The Poisonwood Bible because I’ve heard such great things about it but it just didn’t grab me like I hoped. Happy reading everyone.

  157. Megan Mattinson says:

    I plan to read a Dickens novel this year, the Cinder series and since you reminded me, Angelou’s memoir.

  158. Stephanie says:

    I am currently reading Cinder and Everything, Everything. On my list are The History of Love, White Teeth, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, and The Language of Flowers.

  159. Erin Lehman says:

    I’ve got a list this year, too! We’ll see how well I stick with it. Books include: Great Expectations, The Alchemist, and Rising Strong.

  160. Janice says:

    Currently reading Twelve Years a Slave. Next is Outlander. On my list are sequels to Inkheart, Hannah Coulter, Before Green Gables, both Kondo books. Always looking for recommendations; thank you!

  161. Tasha says:

    On my list this year:
    Book I Can Finish in a Day: Lizzy & Jane by Katherine Reay
    Book I’ve Been Meaning to Read: All the Light We Cannot See
    Book Chosen by my BFF: Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult
    Book Published Before I Was Born: The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
    Book That Intimidates Me: Cloud Atlas (I was excited to see this one on your list, too! Can’t wait to hear your thoughts.)
    Book I’ve Already Read at Least Once: A Wrinkle in Time (I haven’t read this since I was a tween. Looking forward to it again!)

  162. Sally blaser says:

    I would like to read Rebecca, which I’ve heard about for years, and own, but have never read. Also, I want to reread all of Brene Brown’s books, finish Glittering Images, which I abandoned, and read Kristin Lavransdatter, which was published before I was born.

  163. Tracey Hodges says:

    Great choices! I added some of these to my wish list on Amazon. I have a stack of YA debuts from last year to read, but I’m also looking forward to finally reading Mansfield Park (to complete my Jane Austen reading) as well as Moby Dick (which will be my book I should have read in school).

  164. Susan says:

    Generally I like to pick out a book as I’m ready to read it and don’t keep a ton of books around. As I read through the comments though, I realized I have a bigger TBR shelf than I thought right now:
    All the Light We Cannot See, Girl on the Train, the most recent Outlander, the 2nd and 3rd books in Archer’s The Clifton Chronicles, The Casual Vacancy, The Goldfinch and my book club is reading Me Before You which I already read so I’m going to read After You instead. I’ll have to see how I can fit some of these into the reading challenge!

  165. malissa says:

    Ack, I’m dying to read “Spark Joy”!! Huge fan of Marie Kondo’s. “Before Green Gables” looks interesting, as well. “The 100-year-old-man” was so good! My husband and I read it together last year for my book in translation. The end loses steam a bit, but it’s still 5-stars. I was planning on reading “IKnow Why The Caged Bird Sings” for my abandoned book, as well. Would love to have a copy of it! For a book that intimidates me, I’m planning “Les Miserables.” Just saying that makes me shudder… Wish me luck! For a book I own but haven’t read, probably “The Picture of Dorian Gray” (one of my dad’s favorites). A book I wanted to read last year will be either “As I Lay Dying” or “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” both per your recommendation. Thanks for this opportunity and for your great suggestions!

  166. Heather says:

    Fun challenge and I like your book choices. I’m going to add a couple to my list. The books that are highest on my never-ending TBR list are: Fates and Furies, The Fox and the Star, The Four Things that Matter Most, and Anna Karenina. Happy reading!

  167. Heather says:

    Fun challenge and I like your book choices. I’m going to add a couple to my list. The books that are highest on my never-ending TBR list are: Fates and Furies, The Fox and the Star, The Four Things that Matter Most, and Anna Karenina. Happy reading!

  168. MrsD says:

    I’ve always loved the PBS Anne of Green Gables series but had never read the books. So, I’ve just started the first book and hope to read at least the first two in the series this year. I’m also looking forward to reading: Boundaries, The Greatest Generation, Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria, Simple Abundance (I read this every year), Middlemarch, Pride and Prejudice, possibly Gone With the Wind, a few Catholic books, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Proof of Heaven, and I’m reading the Laura Ingall’s Wilder series with my littles over breakfast each morning 🙂 Life is too short with so many books out there waiting for me.

  169. Susan Garvey says:

    Your posts always motivate me and lead me to wonderful finds — StitchFix, for example — as well as delightful books, but I find I get bogged down and don’t post my thoughts in my Journal. My goal this year is to be better organized so I don’t just waste time. Just finished Nathaniel Philbrick’s wonderful In the Heart of the Sea, and now reading Judy Blume’s In the Unlikely Event. Still to go: Jane Smiley’s Some Luck, Early Warning, and Golden Age trilogy; Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal and Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio.

  170. Kelli Wick says:

    As always, love the ideas for new books to read!

    A few on my 2016 list are: A Man Called Ove, An Open Window and the rest of Tana French’s books (I’ve got three left to read and hope she’s working on another one now… just for my sake – ha!).

  171. Kelsey Jacobs says:

    I’m so excited for your picks. Thanks to this blog, my TBR list is a mile long. I have an unhealthy penchant for celebrity memoirs, so Wildflower by Drew Barrymore is on my list. I’m also really interested in Coming Clean by Seth Haines and a few books by Ruth Reichl.

  172. Mary says:

    Interesting list of books; I’ve actually read a couple. I loved the NO. 1 LADIES DETECTIVE SOCIETY books that i first started reading because it was a book club choice. I like the challenge idea and plan to do it. I’ve been stuck lately reading just free downloads, so it’s time to get back on track with some meatier books.

  173. Rachel says:

    I love Edith Wharton, but I have yet to read the other 11 books, although almost all of them have been on my TBR list for ages (and my mother’s – we share books constantly!)!

  174. Rachel says:

    I love Edith Wharton, but I have yet to read the other 11 books, although almost all of them have been on my TBR list for ages (and my mother’s – we share books constantly!)!

  175. Heather says:

    These are the titles I have picked so far:
    A book published this year: Out of the House of Bread by Preston Yancey
    A book you’ve been meaning to read: The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown
    A book published before you were born: The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
    A book that was banned at some point: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
    A book previously abandoned: Peace Like a River by Leif Anger
    A book that you own but have never read: The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard

  176. Ashley says:

    I’m sure that I am far too deep in the shuffle among your many followers to win the ePantry set, but after reading your booklist, I know we must be kindred spirits. I just began following your blog last weekend. I joined the reading challenge to get me motivated; I will be laid up for several weeks after major surgery to remove a cancerous tumor (after enduring intensive chemo through the summer and radiation in the fall). I’m a librarian eager to get back to work but have been surprisingly lax at reading during my illness (though I did re-read the Harry Potter series ?). You will adore The House of Mirth, and you’ve sparked my interest with the Green Gables book. Some of my selections are Middlemarch (should have read during my classes for one of my English degrees), Secret Garden (own but never read), Outlander (started but didn’t get past the halfway point), East of Eden (movie forthcoming), and one of Thomas Hardy’s novels (written before I was born and highly recommended by a dear friend). Happy reading!

  177. Rachael says:

    I would love to add that new Anne book to my reading list this year! I absolutely love her and had no idea that there was a prequel.

  178. Cindy H. says:

    I am definitely working on my shelf list this year. As part of another challenge, I’m doing a TBR Jar Challenge, which is putting names of books you have on your shelf that you haven’t read yet, sticking them in a jar (colorful sticky notes are great), and them picking one as often as you want (my goal is one a month) to read.

    That means I plan to read off my shelf: Divergent by Veronica Roth and Night Film by Marisha Pessl. I started 2016 reading The Selection series by Kiera Cass, so I will most likely finish that series. I’m on The Elite #2.

    I would love to re-read A Song of Ice and Fire but man, that would be a commitment, wouldn’t it? If I knew when The Winds of Winter was coming, I could time it to read before the book came out and be re-caught up.

    While that feat would fall in the intimidating category, World Without End, or Fall of Giants, both by Ken Follett, would be intimidating for me to read…but I _want_ to read those badly.

    • Tami Dale says:

      Cindy H–I do the same thing sometimes when I can’t decide what to read next! And you should go ahead and read Ken Follet’s novels–they are so entertaining that they won’t seem long.

  179. Kacy says:

    I will definitely be adding a few of these picks to my “to-read” list! I haven’t thought very far ahead for my reading challenge, but I know I want to read the Welcome to Nightvale novel (I’ve been meaning to read) and the Silmarillion (could fit several categories). This is going to be such a great year of reading!

  180. Tami Dale says:

    A few of the books on my 2016 reading challenge are: All Creatures Great and Small, The House of the Spirits, Looking for Alaska, Wuthering Heights and The Magic of Frankie Presto, which I am currently reading and enjoying every minute of it. I’m looking forward to all these and more for the 2016 challenge!

  181. Casey says:

    oooh, Cloud Atlas is definitely an intimidating one! I’ve looked at it many times in the bookstore but always put it down. I really enjoyed the movie, though I don’t remember much now.

    I’m reading Revolutionary Road, one I’ve been meaning to for a long time. The only other book I know I’ll be reading is Mindy Kaling’s first book, it’s one I’ve read before.

  182. Beth Anne Ake says:

    I like to pick books as I go, but I will definitely be finishing the Cormoran Strike series this year. I also can’t wait for Morning Star, the third Red Rising book, to come out in February. I will read it as soon as it comes out!

  183. Bailey A says:

    I would love to read your list! Mine includes Spark Joy also, a cookbook I just ordered from Amazon, All the Light We Cannot See, and Their Eyes Were Watching God

  184. Molly says:

    a book i’ve previously abandoned: Seating Arrangements. just finished Astonish Me and loved it, so I’m giving seating arrangements another try

    a book that intimidates me: the life-changing magic of tidying up. it’s been on my holds list at the library for awhile, but I’m nervous about finally reading it…

    a book chosen for you by your spouse & children: the secret history of wonder woman. received this for christmas in 2014 and haven’t read it yet

  185. Kerri Ciulla says:

    Thanks for sharing your list! I’d like to read: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Spark Joy and The Great Gatsby

  186. Alanna Oster says:

    Oh my goodness. So many great ideas for my library “wishlist”! My picks for this year are books that you featured last year 😉 — Still Life by Louise Penny, Better than Before, by Gretchen Rubin, and a not as well-known Alcott story (for children?), Jack and Jill, that my mom recommended. Oh, and I still haven’t read Mindy Kaling’s book! I need to get on that…

  187. Laurie says:

    My goal is to read 50 books this year. I hope I have time because I’m getting married this year and things have been a little crazy. Anne of Green gables is one of my favorite book series and TV miniseries (watch it if you haven’t!!) and Diana is on my shortlist of favorite names for my future daughter so I’m super interested in that Before Anne. I’m probably going to buy it for myself to read (adding it to my goodreads want to read right now). I just signed up for Lit Cube subscription box so I’ll be reading their monthly books. I mostly signed up because their next month theme is Classic Romance is mentioned Jane Austen. I have BUNCH of books I’m in the middle of: Bridget Jones Diary, House of Leaves, The Princess Bride, Dragonfly in Amber (outlander bk 2), some indie self published books, and, as if I don’t already have enough on my plate, I’m rereading Harry Potter with my fiance because he has never read it. I just get so excited about a new book I start it before I can stop myself which is what leaves me in the middle of so many books.

  188. Amy says:

    I’m planning to read Anna Karenina this year. It’s been on my to-read list forever, and as a Lit major in college I should have read it in school. A book I own and have never read will be The Hawk and the Dove trilogy. A book published before I was born will be something by P.G. Wodehouse

  189. Krissy says:

    My list will include A Confederacy of Dunces (I own it but haven’t read it), Slaughterhouse-Five, Man’s Search for Meaning, and The Male Brain (I just had twin boys, which makes me quite outnumbered by little males so I may as well try to understand them, right?). I also want to discover Louise Penny based on your recommendation.

  190. Julie F says:

    Great list and motivation to read! I’m reading (almost finished) “The Queen’s Lover” by Vanora Bennett. On the list are Jennifer L Scott’s books “At Home With Madame Chic” and “Polish Your Poise With Madame Chic.” Would also like to read Marie Kondo’s first book.

  191. Sarah Chafin says:

    I have a never ending tbr mountain… but I really want to read Winter by Marissa Meyers, Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad and some of Wendall Berry’s poetry.

  192. Dana says:

    Would love to win the set of books! How fun! I read Lonesome Dove when it won the Pulitzer Prize years ago. I was working in a bookstore at the time to put myself through grad school and was reading all of the books that won major prizes. ( I was allowed to check books out from the store as long as I kept them in salable condition). It is such a wonderful, wonderful book, beautiful language. It is a bit violent in places but it fits the subject matter. I told myself a couple of years ago I wanted to re-read it. The mini-series based on it from the 80’s was really good as well. The 100 Year old Man was one I read for last year’s challenge. It was a fun, madcap read.

    This year I want to read :
    Walking on Water by Madeleine L’Engle
    Big Magic ( New book)
    Some Shakespeare Plays I have not read: Misdummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, Hamlet
    Some Dickens I have not read: Bleak House, The Old Curiosity Shop
    Series I have not read: Emily of New Moon
    All the Light We Cannot See ( recommended by everyone)
    Book my husband picked: George Washington’s Secret Six ( historical fiction spy novel!)

    Plus many more!

    • Dana says:


      Did you see the article on Bookriot about the Myers-Briggs literary personalities ? Great post for you!

      Also a great article in NY Times from 2 Sundays ago about a woman who read and re-read Emma to help her cope with being a care-giver for her mom. Great article. I have not read Emma, but now that I am in the same boat as the woman in the article, it is also on my list.

  193. Kareen says:

    What a great list of books! I’ve just finished Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, and now need to read Winter. Too many books, so little time!

  194. Cheri says:

    Thanks for the list. I filled up my library holds shelf!
    A few of my picks for the year are Dante’s Divine Comedy (this is a book that intimidates me, to say the least). I had to read a portion with my kids during our classical homeschooling days and I always planned to return to it. I set a goal to read 2 pages a day – this one may take all year.

    For my friend rec’d pick I’m reading The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw. This is the selection for a book club I’m in with a few friends. I was totally dragging my feet on this book. We were supposed to read an Agatha Christie this month and I just plain pouted when the hostess changed the title. Reluctantly I sat down one afternoon to get started – pleasantly surprised! What a great book! I end up crying every time I read it.

  195. Alexis says:

    This year for Christmas we received that same puffin children’s classics set you have pictured and they’ll be bedtime stories all year. My 6yo has even chosen in what order she’d like to hear them.

    As for me I haven’t chosen my books for the year yet. We’ll see what happens when I finish what I reading now: 5 days at Memorial.

  196. Stacie says:

    Too many books to list. As soon as I finish Introvert Power, I have The Ocean at the End of the Lane in my book bag.

    • Jesse says:

      Ocean was so great. It was like a fairy tale for grown-ups. I’m not sure Neil Gaiman is capable of writing something I don’t enjoy.

  197. Jesse says:

    I’m doing a slightly different challenge on my own blog but some of what I want to read definitely falls into some of these categories. I’m currently reading Jewel’s memoir Never Broken and it’s pretty great. She’s a very emotionally wise woman.
    Published before I was born: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
    Already Read At Least Once: The Rook by Daniel O’Malley (So amazing!)
    Previously Abandoned: Walking Among Us by David Jacobs (I start it for a laugh but got busy. I want to go back and finish it.)
    Own But Never Read: Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
    Been meaning to read: Confessions of a Sociopath by M. E. Thomas (I got this from the library so I definitely need to read it soon)

  198. Therese O'Brien says:

    Here are some of the books on my list this year…
    – Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery by Eric Metaxas
    – All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
    – Anne of Green Gables (and hopefully the whole series!)
    – Rising Strong by Brene Brown
    – Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

  199. Andrea says:

    What a fun list! I’m especially interested in the book your husband picked for you. I’ve never even heard of it, but it sounds like something I’d really enjoy. Right now I’m reading Big Magic and re-reading Persuasion. A few others I plan to read this year are Rising Strong by Brene Brown, On Little Wings by Regina Sirois, and The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. I’d like to finally cross Rebecca off my TBR list as well, and I plan to revisit both Harry Potter and Anne of Green Gables at some point this year. Those re-reads are long overdue!

    Thanks for giving me some more great titles to add to my list. Happy reading!

  200. What a lovely list of books! And I’ve not read a single one of them, so it would be a great win for me :). My January has been full of deadlines so I haven’t built my list yet, but I’m currently reading All the Light We Cannot See which is wonderful! Jayber Crow may be my book I abandoned – I’ve always intended to give it another try when my life was less hectic. I think Crime and Punishment will be the book I should have read in school. Can you believe I’ve never read Anne of Green Gables???? My mother has been begging me to read it and I picked it up last month, so that will be my book recommended by a family member. Marie Kondo’s book is an absolute must, and I want to read Big Magic this year for sure. Maybe I’ll win that amazing giveaway and have those yummy books to read as well!!!

  201. Amy Joliet says:

    I am trying to keep better track of my TBR list (as well as the ones I read to recommend to others). Right now I am reading Love Does by Bob Goff and The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. Next on my list is While We Were Watching Downton Abbey (in honor of the start of the new season), The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and The Baker’s Daughter (all recommendations from you I think!). I also have Everything, Everything on the list. So many books, so little time. I am interested to read that Spark Joy book and several of your other choices sound interesting and challenging. It would be fun to see them all stacked up on my nightstand! Thanks for all the great recommendations.

  202. Karen Yetman says:

    Love this list! Most of these books I haven’t heard of, so it is nice to see fresh ideas. I am intimidated by Odyssey, Homer and have only made it through two chapters of my translated version. I will keep chugging at it. Also, Catcher in the Rye is one I should reread. The first time through I was annoyed by the Protagonist and had a hard time feeling the meaning of the story. Slaughterhouse Five is one I should have read by now that is definitely on my short list to read this year.

  203. Kristen says:

    I need to sit down and plan my books for this list, but I should definitely add I know why the caged bird sings because I own it and have never read it.

  204. Keely Knopp says:

    Some great choices! Ashamed to say I’ve not read any of those on your list, so perhaps I’ll incorporate them into mine! For sure I want to read Animal Farm for the book I should have read in school and never did.

  205. Amy Boone says:

    I’m planning to read some classics this year: Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion, Jane Eyre, and Anna Karenina to name a few.

  206. Jestine says:

    I’m currently working on reading through the MANY books at my house, while cleaning off my Kindle app from all of the free books I download. I don’t know how many around I have in your categories, but I would like to work on your challenge. I have challenged my students to set a reading goal, and so I post my goals, currently reading books, and completed books in my classroom.
    Abandoned book – The Silmarillion by Tolkien
    Already Read – The Elfstones of Shannara (Terry Brooks) and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
    Book I Own – I’ll close my eyes and point to one on my closet shelf
    Book Picked By Spouse – He will probably do the same as above
    Should Have Read in School – For Whom the Bell Tolls or To Kill A Mockingbird
    Intimidates – A Clash of Kings (George R.R. Martin) note: I love these books, but when I read infrequently, I get lost as to what is going on in them!
    Meaning to Read – When Gifted Kids Don’t Have All the Answers (Jim Delisle)

  207. Laurel says:

    I just started Something Other Than God, and then I have a nice stack to grab on the library holds shelf: Just Mercy, Four Seasons in Rome, How Children Fail, and The Artful Year. I haven’t chosen for my categories just yet, but I tend to fill in as I go. 😉

  208. Jenny says:

    Great list! So far,I’m planning on reading: Simply Tuesday, The Last Telegram and Four Seasons in Rome.

  209. Terri says:

    I already signed up for ePantry and their package is on its way! I’m excited because I love their lemon liquid hand soap; it smells so good! My daughter and daughter-in-law decided last summer to do a book club. We all live in different states, so it will be online. We decided to use your Reading Challenge as our books this year. We chose Cinder for our first book in the “book you’ve been meaning to read.” Last year I wanted to do the Challenge but I didn’t think I could read each book in a month. I had a self-challenge to read 45 books in one year and I read 49. I think I can read a book in a month!

  210. Melodee says:

    You are inspiring me! I’ve just been working on my TBR list for 2016. I’m looking forward to the reading challenge, as I enjoyed it and it stretched me last year! Some of the books on my list: A Farewell to Arms, Endeavor, Chronicles of Wasted Time, Jane of Lantern Hill, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. But of course I’d love to read your choices too… 😉

  211. alice says:

    I want to read A Walk in the Woods, Home is Where My People Are and For the Love. I bought all 3 in 2015 and haven’t had time to read them yet. My littles and I are going to read through the Little House on the Prairie series (we’ve already read Little House in the Big Woods) and we want to finish The Chronicles of Narnia.

  212. Jen D says:

    My husband and I are doing this challenge together (although reading our own choices)! First up for me is All the Light We Cannot See, which I bought months ago and have been trying to get to.

  213. Marsi says:

    I have a beach vacation coming up in six weeks, and here are the books I’ve squirreled away for it: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Austenland, Brooklyn, The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (!), and The Fortune Cookie Chronicles.

    Currently reading My Stylish French Girlfriends and Better Than Ever. Next up: Tell The Wolves I’m Home.

  214. Amy N. says:

    I’m enjoying reading the comments about what everyone is reading- and adding to my already bloated “to read” list. I’m definitely going to read Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry, as well as Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis. I think that my tattered copy of A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L’Engle is due for a reread. (And yes, I would love to try out the books on your 2016 challenge, as well.)

  215. Katie says:

    I already accidentally completed “a book you can read in a day” when I happened to read the eighth book in the Walt Longmire mystery series from start to finish yesterday. Oops?

    I think the book that I’ve never finished is going to be Anna Karenina; I set it aside to read the Twilight books because they were due back at the library (during the height of their popularity) (I should probably be ashamed of this but I’m not) and never picked it back up. It is time!

    I’m still thinking about my other picks. I’m thinking of rereading some Robin McKinley, or maybe Orson Scott Card’s Enchanted–they both keep popping up. And I’m interested to see what my husband recommends! I’ve now also added several from your list to my TBRs as well. Yay books!

    • Anne says:

      Ha! Love that you knocked out your book in a day, and it says good things about the book that it happened “accidentally.” 🙂

  216. angie m says:

    am currently readign Americanah and really like it. To be read library pile contains: A Brene Brown book, cant remember the title. Infinite home, a book I have picked up several times, but can’t seem to get past 15 pages. Vetan before 6 by Mark Bitman. Am listening to the newest Cormeron Strike book and love it.

  217. Caitlin says:

    I love your list! My TBR list for this year includes Better Than Before, Life of Pi, Hannah Coulter, Modern Romance, Big Magic, Brainstorm, and Middlemarch!

  218. Beth says:

    I loved Hannah Coulter! I am currently reading Extravagant Grace by Barbara Duguid and Letters to Pastor’s Wives by Catherine Stewart. I also want to read Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson and I really need to round out my reading with some good fiction – I may even borrow from your list. I enjoy Tasha Alexander’s Lady Emily series for fun, super easy, historical fiction. I would love to win the books on your list!

  219. Christie Hilton says:

    Love your picks–I will likely add some of those to my list. This year I would like to catch up on all of the Louise Penny mysteries (I am on Bury Your Dead), and finally read Daring Greatly and the Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy. I’ll have to think some more on your specific challenge categories.

  220. Adrienne says:

    There are some great books on that stack. I’m doing this challenge and the Book Riot challenge this year. I also have a list of books from my shelves I want to read this year. There are too many to list here, but it’s all on my blog. I set my Goodreads challenge low (for me) so I wouldn’t shy away from large books because I might not reach my challenge goal. Cheating? Maybe, but I’m not focusing on numbers so much this year.

  221. Alicia Abney says:

    I love your selections, especially We Have Always Lived in the Castle. Shirley Jackson is incredible! I want to know more about A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra. I generally select historical fiction novels, so your description jumped out at me.

    Right now, I’m thinking All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr for a book I have been meaning to read. I have wanted to read this one for quite some time and I finally received it as a gift for Christmas. I was recommended by my library friend to read Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon. I recently abandoned The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood for the umpteenth time…. I have owned The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society for quite some time and I have yet to read it. I really want to tackle a Virginia Woolf novel for the book published before I was born and Anna Karenina intimidates the crap out of me!

  222. Valerie says:

    A few of the books on my 2016 reading list include checking out Tessa Hadley – looks like an author up my alley that I’ve never read, 10% Happier, Just a Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, and My Name is Lucy by Elizabeth Strout. A short list to get me started, along with the plethora of books on my pal’s Nook that I have access to!

  223. Emily C. says:

    I’ve had Lonesome Dove on my TBR list for a few years. I’ll be interested to hear your review. Thanks for the challenge and giveaway.

  224. Meredith says:

    I’m looking forward to reading The Book Thief, All the Light We Cannot See, a few memoirs about mental health, and a few Newbery Medal winners!

  225. Karyl says:

    What an awesome giveaway idea! My current stack of TBR is Gash’s Divine Collision (published this year — although Amazon released it a few days early at the very end of 2015), Sanford’s Saturn Run (recommended by Dad), Goff’s Love Does (own but never read), and Schwartz’s Paradox of Choice (meaning to read — one of your recommendations). Speaking of your recommendations, thanks so much for the heads up on Tieks. I got myself a pair for Christmas and they are marvelous!

  226. Samantha Lurie says:

    That ladies’ detective agency series is one I tried years ago and just couldn’t get a hold on it, I am inspired to try again! I am definitely going to my local library and finding some of these that I have never heard of like, Before Green Gables (what!!!!?!!!)

  227. Natasha Malouf says:

    I’m planning on ‘My Antonia’ for a book that intimidates me, an Agatha Christie (haven’t picked the title) for a book published before I was born and ‘The Dante Club’ as a book I’ve previously abandoned. I’m so excited to have found your website and discovered a whole community of people who feel the way I do about books! Thank you for the challenge 🙂

  228. Stacey says:

    We are doing this as a family this year. I printed a copy for each person and we are having fun picking books for each section. Thanks for sharing!

  229. Katy says:

    Some of my 2016 picks:
    An instance of the fingerpost
    Say goodbye to survival mode
    The Great Gatsby
    Just some starters…the rest will come to me!

  230. Dawn Linneman says:

    My son in law introduced me to Wendell Berry and shortly thereafter my son and daughter in law moved to Louisville. My favorite novel of his is Hannah Coulter. Finding a strong female character reflecting back over her life helped with my own perspective regarding moving through my fifties and empty nesting.

      • Dawn Linneman says:

        Yes, I believe you and my daughter in law have met, she introduced me to your site. Jessie Linneman, married to my son Jeremy who is Pastor of Community Life at Sojourn Communiy Church. I think I probably have the world’s best daughter in law, she makes me so welcome in their home. While I wish they were closer to KC, I love everything they’ve experienced in Louisville and all that my grandsons are enjoying in the church and city. I look forward to your posts to keep my library request list full!

        • Anne says:

          Oh yes, we have met! Small world. 🙂 And that is such a complement to her to call her the “world’s best daughter in law.” 🙂

  231. Hannah Beth Reid says:

    Thank you for sharing your picks! I especially enjoyed the Alexander McCall Smith in a kilt tidbit! I have enjoyed the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books because they are so funny and quotable!
    I haven’t completely filled in my goals for the challenge, but for a book that intimidates me I hope to read “The Two Towers.” My husband is a big LOTR fan and gave me my own set before we were married, but I have never read them all. But it apparently wasn’t a deal breaker because we’ve been married nearly 8 years…haha!
    My previously abandoned book is “Rebecca” by du Maurier and I’m hoping the third time’s the charm!
    Still struggling with the banned book and one I should have read in school.

  232. Helen says:

    Some great recommendations here, thank you everyone. I’m planning to read – The girl who saved the King of Sweden, The Minaturist and H is for hawk.

  233. Liz Morris says:

    I just found your blog via your RAR podcast. Unknowingly, I have read many of your individual posts over the years as friends have shared them. I am excited to get to know you and your books.

  234. Aoife says:

    For my “book I should have read in HS”, I’m going with To Kill A Mockingbird. I know, I can’t believe I haven’t read it through either.
    A book I own but have never read is a more difficult choice – there are so many I could choose from for that prompt!