My top 3 favorite reads:
Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth. A wonderful retelling of the Rapunzel fairy tale.
All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. A completely unexpected favorite this year. I chose it to fulfill the category need, but wound up becoming completely immersed in it.
Iceland by Betsy Tobin. I loved this combination of Norse mythology with historical fiction. I was inspired enough by this book to design a shawl for my Heroines Club for 2016!
My 3 least favorite reads:
The Hours by Michael Cunningham. Meh - I don't think this lived up to the hype AT.ALL.
Magic America by C.E. Medford. Depressing and not in an enlightening way. More violence and cancer than I really needed to read about.
Beloved by Toni Morrison. Is this book on all the should-read lists simply because it was banned? I found it confusing and depressing.
I've decided to forge on and do the challenge again for 2016. The upcoming topics are listed below, with some of my tentative choices included in italics. My plan, however, is to try to get as many of these on loan from my library and/or as Kindle loaners. I do have a few of them on the bookshelves already, and I may wind up slotting a few others in as I go, depending on what my dad sends me in his book gift boxes every other month or so. I'm looking forward to finding some gems in 2016 too!
2016 Reading Challenge List
Reader's Choice (freebie):
A book about mental illness (i.e. substance abuse, alzheimer's, autism, bipolar, etc.): Mark Haddon – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
A book that's title begins with the first letter of your name – Wallace Stegner – Angle of Repose
A book with a great opening line: Paula Hawkins – The Girl on the Train
A book by an author you feel you should have read by now: Ian McEwan – Atonement.
A book with a beautiful title (in your own opinion): Philip Margulies – Belle Cora.
A work of young adult fiction: Tiffany Trent – The Unnaturals.
A book set in a different continent: John Shors – Temple of a Thousand Faces.
A book with a first name in the title: Marisa Silver – Mary Coin.
A book whose main character is in a profession that interests you: Vanessa Diffenbaugh – The Language of Flowers
A book everyone is talking about
A book related to a hobby or passion you have: Whitney Otto – How to Make an American Quilt
A book with a type of food/drink in the title: Ray Bradbury – Dandelion Wine.
A book by an author who writes under more than one name
The next book in a series you are reading: Stephanie Barron - Jane and the Stillroom Maid
A book from your "to read" list: Anthony Horowitz – The House of Silk
A book you're embarrassed to read in public
A book about books: Jasper Fforde – The Eyre Affair.
A crime story: Gerri Brightwell – The Dark Lantern
A book with one of the five Ws -or H in the title (Who/What/Where/When/Why/How) Hazel Gaynor – The Girl Who Came Home
A book about a thing that goes bump in the night (i.e. vampires, monsters, etc.): Brian Ruckley – The Edinburgh Dead (print copy)
The first book in a new to you series: Jules Watson – The White Mare
A book from the Rory Gilmore challenge: Isabel Allende – Eva Luna.
The 16th book on your to-read list: Theodora Goss – The Thorn and the Blossom.
A book that was mentioned in another book
An award winning book (Pulitzer, Newbery, Caldecott, Man Booker, Printz, National Book Award, etc.)
A historical fiction book: Katherine Howe – The House of Velvet and Glass.
A book set in the past (more than 100 years ago): Pauline Gedge – The Eagle and the Raven.
A book from the Goodreads Recommendations page: DJ Taylor – Kept.
A top 100 fantasy novel (The hobbit/LOTR, Game of Thrones, The Chronicles of Prydain, etc.): T.H. White – The Once and Future King
A book from the top 100 mystery novels: Marcia Muller – Edwin of the Iron Shoes
A childhood classic (i.e. Anne of Green Gables, Black Beauty, The Secret Garden, etc.) Elizabeth George Speare – The Witch of Blackbird Pond.
A non-fiction book: Fiona Carnarvon – Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey.
The highest-rated book on your to-read list: Betsy Tobin – The Clockmaster.
A biography, autobiography, or memoir
A book published in 2016
A book with a beautiful cover
A book about a major world event (fiction or non-fiction)
A book from the Goodreads Choice Awards 2015 (winner or nominated)
A book you meant to read in 2015, but didn't
An identity book - a book about a different culture, religion, or sexual orientation than your own
A book about an anti hero
A suggestion that did not make it into the final list
A classic book with less than 200 pages
A novella from your favorite genre
A "between the numbers" book of a series (0.5, 1,5, 2.5, etc.): Kate Daniels – Gunmetal Magic.
A fairytale from a culture other than your own:
A short story from a well-known author – Neil Gaiman – Cinnamon
A book by an author you discovered in 2015 and want to read more of
A book on a summer/beach reading list
A book originally written in a language other than English