Skip to content

2016 Reading Challenge Theme!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

2016 Reading Goals

I didn’t do a very good job at all last year of fulfilling all of the categories in my self-set reading challenge. So this year, I decided to try something a little different—something which would also work with the idea of trying to read a variety of genres and a variety of new-to-me authors in both fiction and nonfiction.

I actually have two challenges this year, but they mesh well together so it all becomes one big challenge: An Alphabet Challenge!

My first challenge includes seven books for my “book club”—the group of alumni from my grad school program. Because our creative writing program focuses on Popular Fiction, and because each semester, each student participates in a Readings in Genre seminar, as alumni, we’ve decided to try a Readings in Genres program, spanning the first six months of the year with a book in each of the genres represented in the program. After reading, we’re to post a response of at least 500 words, so I know I’ll be posting reviews of at least those six (with a possible bonus 7th book) this year.

Then I decided that for my bigger challenge this year, I’d do an A to Z reading challenge. I enjoy reading reviews on the book blogs I follow (mostly romance) as well as looking through the updates on the main page of Goodreads to see what everyone I’m connected with there is reading or recommending or putting in their virtual TBR piles. And I enjoy curating my own TBR list there, which is currently sitting at 280 titles.

To make my list, I downloaded my database from Goodreads, sorted to get my “sounds interesting” list, and then sorted that list alphabetically by author name. Then I started culling, using the books from my school challenge for those letters.

Because this is a challenge that allows more flexibility, I’ve already changed one of the books on the list to something else—and I know there will be duplicates on several letters—I already have a duplicate for the letters B, F, and M, and we’re only in the second week of the year!

But because it’s easier to stick to a challenge if I have a list to go by, here’s my “suggested” title list for my 2016 Reading Challenge:

  1. Adamek, Dorothy — Carry Me Home (Blue Wren Shallows, #1)
    Genre: Historical Inspirational Romance
  2. Butcher, Jim* — The Aeronaut’s Windlass (The Cinder Spires, #1)
    Genre: Science Fiction
    *Alumni Readings in Genres (ARIG), May 2016

    CURRENTLY READING: Banks, Maya — In Bed with a Highlander (McCabe Trilogy, #1)
    Genre: Historical Romance (12th Century Scotland)

  3. Carr, Patrick W. — The Shock of Night (The Darkwater Saga, #1)
    Genre: Historical Fantasy/Mystery
  4. Doerr, Anthony* — All the Light We Cannot See
    Genre: Historical Fiction (WWII)
    *ARIG “bonus” book, July 2016
  5. Ellis, Joseph J. — The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789
    Genre: Nonfiction, American History, Biography
  6. Frantz, Sarah S. G. — New Approaches to Popular Romance Fiction
    Genre: Nonfiction, Literary Criticism, Career Development

    COMPLETED: Foster, Alan Dean — Star Wars: The Force Awakens
    Genre: SciFi/Fantasy, Media Tie-In

  7. Givens, Kathleen — Rivals for the Crown (Highland, #2)
    Genre: Historical Romance (13th Century Scotland)
  8. Huber, Anna Lee* — The Anatomist’s Wife (Lady Darby, #1)
    Genre: Historical Mystery (1830s)
    *ARIG, June 2016
  9. Ibbotson, Eva — The Morning Gift
    Genre: Historical Romance (WWII)
  10. Johnson, Liz — The Red Door Inn (Prince Edward Island Dreams, #1)
    Genre: Contemporary Inspirational Romance
  11. Kelly, Carla — Doing No Harm
    Genre: Historical Romance (Regency/Napoleonic War)
  12. Loch, Kathryn — Mist Warrior (Legacy of the Mist Clans #1)
    Genre: Historical Romance (15th Century Scotland)
  13. Marlowe, Mia — The Madness of Lord Westfall (The Order of the MUSE, #2)
    Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance (Regency)

    COMPLETED: McMillan, Rachel — A Singular and Whimsical Problem (Herringford and Watts Mysteries #0.5)
    Genre: Historical Mystery (Early 20th Century)

  14. Novik, Naomi* — Uprooted
    Genre: Fantasy
    *ARIG, March 2016
  15. Ostler, Rosemarie — Founding Grammars: How Early America’s War over Words Shaped Today’s Language
    Genre: Nonfiction, Linguistics, Career Development
  16. Phillips, Susan Elizabeth* — Nobody’s Baby But Mine (Chicago Stars, #3)
    Genre: Contemporary Romance
    *ARIG, February 2016
  17. Quinn, Julia — The Sum of All Kisses (Smythe-Smith Quartet, #3)
    Genre: Historical Romance (Regency)
  18. Regis, Pamela — A Natural History of the Romance Novel
    Genre: Nonfiction, Literary Criticism, Career Development
  19. COMPLETED: Stiefvater, Maggie* — The Scorpio Races <–Click for my response/review
    Genre: Young Adult
    *ARIG, January 2016
  20. Tremblay, Paul* — A Head Full of Ghosts
    Genre: Horror
    *ARIG, April 2016
  21. Utley, Robert M. — High Noon in Lincoln: Violence on the Western Frontier
    Genre: Nonfiction, New Mexico History (Late 19th Century/Billy the Kid/Lincoln County Cattle War)
  22. Viguié, Debbie — Kiss of Night (Kiss Trilogy, #1)
    Genre: Paranormal Inspirational Fiction
  23. Wendell, Sarah — Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches’ Guide to Romance Novels
    Genre: Nonfiction, Literary Criticism, Career Development
  24. Xiaolong, Qiu — Death of a Red Heroine (Inspector Chen Cao #1)
    Genre: Contemporary Mystery/Suspense
  25. Young, Felicity — The Anatomy of Death (Dr Dody McCleland, #1)
    Genre: Historical Mystery (Early 20th Century)
  26. Zelazny, Roger — Nine Princes in Amber
    Genre: Fantasy

In addition to those specific goals, my overall challenge is to read a total of 60 “books” this year (this includes novellas and longer short stories, too, as I counted “Young Goodman Brown,” a short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne, as one of my “books” last year).

What’s your reading challenge for 2016?

  1. Dora Wagner permalink
    Sunday, January 10, 2016 4:48 pm

    Still working on a theme/s for my reading this year, but have a goal of at least 100 books. To date, I have finished 2, which were both re-reads. I am currently reading a Tamera Alexander book, called To Win Her Favor. Once, I decide, I will, of course, let you know, so you can help me be more diligent in tracking and reading my books.


    • Sunday, January 10, 2016 4:59 pm

      I’m going to have to stay on top of mine this year, too, since I need to read 5+ books per month in order to reach my goal, which I haven’t done in years! And if I’m going to do more critical reading in order to write reviews of 75% of them, that means I need to read a little more slowly and thoughtfully than I have been doing recently—when I can barely remember the characters’ names, much less the details of the stories, once I finish reading them.



  1. Books Read in 2016: THE SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater |
  2. Books Read in 2016: A Recap of My Reading Challenge #amreading #bookreport |

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: