The day that we have all been longing for is here :)— The end of the Summer 2018 Reading Challenge. Like runners at the end of a race, maybe you have stumbled across the finish line and are now collapsed and gasping for air.
But once you catch your breath, HIGH FIVE TO YOU! You made it! I made it! We made it! On Tuesday as I checked into the gym, I chatted with the front desk gal about what I had going on this week. I mentioned writing this post about the end of our Summer Reading Challenge and told her the goal was 7 books, but that I had read 13 books. A trainer standing next to her looked at me like I am an alien and asked, “Do you have a job?!”
Ha!!! I do. But these challenges help me live into the person I want to be. So, I repeat. HIGH FIVES all around! We made it.
Well, how did it go? Remember, in The Summer Reading Challenge the goal was to read seven books between June 1 and August 17th. You enter for one of the ten $10 Amazon gift cards by leaving a comment on this post. Even if you didn’t read seven, still share what you read! This isn’t really a contest so much as a chance to share and a chance to see how many books we read collectively.
I’m going to put the categories here if you want to cut and paste them into the comments. Also feel free to just list books, whatever works for you.
- A book related to professional development (can be loosely interpreted)—
- A book related to history—
- A book placed in a country I’m not familiar with OR about a country I’m not familiar with—
- A young adult (YA) book—
- A book recommended by a friend—
- A graphic novel—
- A book you’ve been meaning to read—
- A book published more than 100 years ago—
- A book recommended by a teenager—
- A biography—
- A play—
- A memoir—
- A book by someone you might not spiritually agree with—
- A book that won an award—
- A book you read years ago and have meant to reread—
- A book that has been translated into English—
- A book that is more than 700 pages (counts for two books!)—
- A mystery—
- A book related to a skill (like cooking, writing, photography, or web-design)—
- A book by an author you know—
- Fiction (if you tend to read non-fiction) or Non-fiction (if you tend to read fiction)—
- Penalty: subtract one book from the total. (You potentially could lose two book points if you select a long one)—
1. A book related to professional development (can be loosely interpreted)—
The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization by Peter Drucker. A must read for every organization.
3. A book placed in a country I’m not familiar with OR about a country I’m not familiar with
The Dressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon takes place in Afghanistan and, as the title says, shows women entrepreneurs (actually they started as teens!).
4. A young adult (YA) book—
Hope Was Hereby Joan Bauer is a delightful book that is not your normal angsty YA novel. Add this to your “to read” list
6. A graphic novel—
The Odyssey by Gareth Hinds . . . this is the way to read The Odyssey.
7. A book you’ve been meaning to read—
Can you believe I had never read The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorn? I can see why it’s a classic and I’m all the better for reading it, but I don’t think it should be required reading for high schoolers.
8. A book published more than 100 years ago—
Here is another book I hadn’t heard of: North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. Written in the 1850s, the title refers to the North and South in England. If you like Dickens or books that were originally published in serial fashion, you’ll enjoy reading this. If you like BBC, Mom and I enjoyed watching too. Both are good! I blogged through reading this at Velvet Ashes.
12. A memoir—
I listened to So Close to Being the Sh*t, Y’all Don’t Even Know by Retta. I’m a fan of the TV show Parks and Rec, so I enjoyed hearing more about Retta’s job. But the language, people. I’m not around folks who that use that much profanity and for that reason, I can’t recommend it. Maybe it would be different to read it than to listen to it, I don’t know. She is funny! And I still love Parks and Rec.
15. A book you read years ago and have meant to reread—
Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life by Richard Rohr. I first read this soon after I turned 40 and was living in Beijing, now at age 50 and after many changes, I think I got even more out of it than I did the first time.
16. A book that has been translated into English—
17. A book that is more than 700 pages (counts for two books!)—
The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt and the Golden Age of Journalism by Doris Kearns Goodwin. By far my crowning jewel book of the summer! I will forever associate this book with the summer of 2018 and reading with you. I’m going to write a separate post about this book. I’m so grateful I read it.
18. A mystery—
Not a traditional mystery, but My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman took a while to get into, but so worth it! Brilliant writing and translating into English. I’m blogging through it right now at Velvet Ashes.
19. A book related to a skill (like cooking, writing, photography, or web-design)—Is understanding yourself a skill? Okay, maybe I’m being fast and loose with this one. I read The Sacred Enneagram: Finding Your Unique Path to Spiritual Growth by Christopher L. Heuertz. If you are new to the Enneagram, don’t start with this book, but if you are looking to take the next step in understanding harmony triads and (as the subtitle suggests) ways to grow as a Christian and enhance your prayer life, this is the book for you.
20. A book by an author you know—I was asked to endorse The Seven Deadly Friendships by Mary DeMuth so read an advanced copy. Mark your calendars for October 2nd when this book releases!
22. Penalty: subtract one book from the total. (You potentially could lose two book points if you select a long one)—The Bully Pulpit, thanks to this category, you have moved from my “to read” list to my “read!” Take that and no points lost!
I have no category that fits with Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf, but that’s my fault, not the books! Haruf is a master at powerful storytelling with sparse prose. If you want a quick read that will stay with your long after, this is your book.
You can see I didn’t read in every category and I’m drawn to non-fiction more than fiction.
I come back to this not being a contest, if you read four books and that was your goal, great! I just find that I’m more likely to accomplish my goals if I tell people what they are.
I can’t wait to see what you’ve been reading. I’ll pick winners next Monday so you have time this weekend to leave a comment.
Thank you for joining in!