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Chapter 1 - 2022 Reading Challenge - Part 1


Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday filled with lots of books and reading! I have to admit I am a list maker, goal creator, and reading challenge person. I think it is because all these things help me put control around a busy life and very crazy world. I like ticking things off a list - whether it is just a small to-do or a major achievement. As I get older I find that I can't remember everything so I write things down a lot.


I usually read 2 - 3 books a week, sometimes more and sometimes less depending on the size of the book and what else is going on in my life. I have challenged myself to some non-reading goals this year as well so I may need to actually schedule my reading time but as I am not really a TV person, that does give me much more time for reading. I have seen more than a few Reading Challenge lists for 2022. Some are too big or rigid even for a list lover.


If you enjoy a challenge, here is my Reading Challenge list for the first 6 months of the year. I have also included some books which fit the monthly challenge.


January


Book to Film

This is always a good way to start a Reading Challenge as you can read the book and then see the movie. My suggestions for this Challenge include Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Emma by Jane Austen, The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak, Ashes in the Snow by Ruth Sepetys or We Have Always Lived in a Castle by Shirley Jackson.


February


Historical Fiction

There is so much great historical fiction out there and if you've shied away from it because you were never interested in it in school, this will be be a delightful challenge for you. My recommendations are any Fiona Davis book (The Chelsea Girls, The Address, The Lions of New Year, or even her latest The Magnolia Palace), Indigo Girls by Natasha Boyd, The American Duchess by Karen Harper or One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus.


March


Fiction Set in Ireland

Celebrating all things Irish this month with some great books which take place in the Emerald Isles. Consider reading The Rebels of Ireland by Edward Rutherfurd, Brooklyn by Colm Toibin, In the Woods by Tana French, P.S. I Love You by Cecilia Ahearn or almost anything by Maeve Binchy.


April


Listen to an Audio Book

Since you'll probably be at the beach for Spring Break, break into audio books. I suggest All About Me! by Mel Brooks (and narrated by Mel Brooks), The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell, Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney, The Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson or Beach Read by Emily Henry. Here is the link to Libro.fm.


May


Read a Book Set in a Bookstore

It should come as no surprise that some of our favorite books at Bookends are set in bookstores. Here are some I've really liked - The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin, The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan, Bookends by Jane Green, 84 Charing Cross Road by Helen Hanff, and The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald


June


Read Southern Fiction

Lots of good fiction falls into this category, so much that I am just going to give you author names I particularly like. Consider reading Diane Chamberlain, Mary Kay Andrews, Patti Callahan Henry, T.I. Lowe, Donna Everhart or if you want to go classic - William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, or Pat Conroy.


In April I'll give you some suggestions for a Reading Challenge for the rest of the year. Whether you decide to take up a Reading Challenge or not, I hope your year is filled with happy reading!