I’ve shared that two summers ago my predominant emotion was resentment.

Resentment, no surprise, is a terrible bedfellow. Last summer I set out to make some changes and because I associate “Summer” and “Reading” so strongly, I wanted a way to help “I’m busy” not be a reason to me me (and you) from the joys of summer reading.

I love my local library, but I fail at their summer reading program. You need to have a user name, password, and then daily (or weekly) log your reading. Turns out it is a few too many steps for me. When I googled “summer reading challenges” most results were suggestions for libraries to host a reading program. Exit Plan B.

Last spring as I was gardening I decided, why not hold the reading challenge I was looking for?! Thus was born the hit Summer 2016 Reading Challenge!

Like a kid pouring over the toy catalog in days gone by, I’ve chatted with family members, dreamed about books, and looked for ways to expand the reading challenge. Today, I  am excited today to reveal this summer’s reading challenge!

It will start now, June 1, and run through August 17, 2017. To enter, read seven books from the twenty categories. Along the way I’ll have encouraging posts (for example, you may not know any teenagers to get a recommendation from, so I’ll interview a few and get recommendations for you).

What’s different? Five categories have been added! And instead of five winners, ten of you can win.

What’s in it for you? All who leave a comment on August 17th telling us the names of the books they read will be entered to win one of ten $10 Amazon gift cards.

Sound like fun?!

Here is the challenge and I’ll link to a document where you can print it out and keep track of your reading:

  1. A book related to professional development (can be loosely interpreted).
  1. A book that helps you understand part of history better.
  1. A book placed in a country you’re not familiar with OR about a country you’re not familiar with.
  1. A Young Adult (YA) book. Here are 37 YA Books You Need To Add To Your Reading List.
  1. A book recommended by a friend.
  1. A graphic novel.
  1. A book you’ve been meaning to read.
  1. A book published more than 100 years ago.
  1. A book recommended by a teenager. Several years ago my teenage teammate Gabe handed me Ender’s Game and said, “Amy, read this.” I never would have chosen it, but I love Gabe so I read it and LOVED it.
  1. A biography.
  1. A play.
  1. A memoir.
  1. A book by someone you might not spiritually agree with.
  1. A book that won an award.
  1. A book you read years ago and have meant to reread.
  1. A book that has been translated into English. 
  1. A book related to a skill (like cooking, writing, photography, or web-design).
  1. A book by an author you know. 
  1. A mystery. 
  1. A book that is more than 700 pages (counts for two books!)

Download the challenge and print it off to track your progress. I’ll be posting on Instagram the books I read. Post pictures of yourself reading or the books you read and use #Summer2017Reading Challenge. I can’t wait to get ideas from you!


In short: Seven books from June 1 to August 17.

Are you in? Pick a couple of categories and share a recommendation or a book you plan to read for that category.

Feel free to share this reading challenge with fellow readers. Anyone over ten is welcome. Why should the kids have all the fun!



Leave A Comment

  1. Mabel May 24, 2017 at 9:51 am - Reply

    Hi Amy,
    Thanks for doing this I am looking forward to participating again. Once again the list looks like a great way to get me out of reading the same genre that I tend to gravitate to.

    • Amy Young May 25, 2017 at 7:32 am - Reply

      I gravitate to the same categories again and again myself. The only way I’m going to read a graphic novel? This challenge moves me from good intentions to action :-)

  2. Amy Livin' Large May 24, 2017 at 10:34 am - Reply

    Love, Amy, thanks! I have some already in our (“my”) H.S. LMC, but am adding more!

  3. Sarah Hilkemann May 24, 2017 at 9:42 pm - Reply

    This sounds fun, Amy! I love your category ideas and it will be fun and stretching to choose 7 books. :) One that I might read is called “About the Night” by Anat Talshir, which is set is Israel. I have never read any modern fiction set in Israel and it was translated into English so it is a possibility for a couple of different categories. :)

    • Amy Young May 25, 2017 at 7:34 am - Reply

      Oooh that sounds good! I haven’t read any modern Israeli fiction… you’re tempting me :)!

  4. Mike May 25, 2017 at 1:16 pm - Reply

    Second time around, maybe I’ll actually read the books that I intend to read! :-)

    I just finished reading a memoir entitled “The Faraway Horses.” It’s about the life of a man named Buck Brannaman. The book and movie “The Horse Whisperer” are based on his life story. It was excellent!

    The biography that I plan to read is entitled “Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta: A Witness To Love.”

    The book recommended by a friend is entitled “Your Money Or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship With Money.”

    This book will count for two categories – a YA book and a book that I read years ago: “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”

    The book on professional development will be “Put the Cat In the Oven Before You Describe the Kitchen: A Concise, No-Bull Guide to Writing Fiction.”

    The book on history will be “Voices From the Past: Historical Reflections on Christian Missions in China.”

    This book also covers two categories – a book I’ve been meaning to read, and a book by an author that I know: “Facing Islam Without Fear: A Christian’s Guide to Engaging the Muslim World.”

    Yeah, that’ll do it for now. :-)

  5. Kathryn B May 25, 2017 at 8:23 pm - Reply

    I’m in! I feel *mostly confident that I have books in the categories on my reading list for 2017 anyway, so I’ll just rearrange the order of reading for summer! Yay, thanks for doing something fun and nerdy for those of us bookworms out there who wish more people would talk about books with us!

  6. sarah May 30, 2017 at 8:26 am - Reply

    I had a similar experience with Ender’s Game. A teenager I enjoyed recommended it. I read it, and now for the past several years it’s been one of my most favorite books.

  7. Brittaney June 3, 2017 at 12:29 am - Reply

    I’m so excited about this challenge, I used to love reading for pleasure… until I had college text books to read. After college, I don’t know, it just seemed like a not so “productive” use of my time. However, I know I do really enjoy reading (and feeding the soul is productive. So, this Summer I will probably (hopefully) read more than I have in the last few years! Thanks Amy!

    Oh and my parents’ local library (in a small town in California) does offer a Summer reading challenge for Adults- they know it’s not just the kids who should have all the fun (or sometimes need an extra motivator to read)!

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