I like to read, but I read far too little in 2017. Woefully. Pitifully little. Embarrassingly little. In 2017 I had a reading challenge that I tried to complete, but it didn’t go well.
Well, this year I’m back with a new and improved list that eschews silly things like page count and instead is designed to get me to read things I might not otherwise read. I tend to fall into genre holes for months (or, hell, years) at a time, so hopefully that won’t be the case in 2018.
See the categories below. As I finish books I’ll plug them into the appropriate slots, and I’ll also add a brief review at the bottom of the list. I’m not going to count books I read for a second (or third, or forth, etc) time because of school.
Have you read anything good recently? Want to make a suggestion for my “something recommended by a friend” or “read something you know nothing about” categories? Let me know in the comments.
Read a book that supports a stance you disagree with
Read a book with pictures in it (but isn’t a comic book)
Read a book that contains a famous quotation
Read a book that’s been on your to-read-list for more than a year
Read a book originally published in a language you do not know
Read a book written by a controversial or “bad” person
Read a book that was written over 1000 years ago
Read a book recommended by a friend
Read a book from the Horror genre
Read a from the Romance genre
Read a book in the Science Fiction genre
Read a book in the biography, autobiography, or memoir genre
Read a book in the political or religious genre
- Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
Read a book in the thriller or suspense genre
- Origin by Dan Brown
Read a book in the history genre
Read a collection of poetry
Read a collection of short stories
- Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
Read a graphic novel
Read a book written by a woman (For some reason I didn’t last year)
Read a nonfiction book
Read a book that sheds light on a current even you don’t know enough about
Origin by Dan Brown
At this point, you should already know what you’re going to get when you pick up Dan Brown novel, and the author’s fifth tale professor of symbology Robert Langdon is more of the same. It’s not unfair to call Dan Brown a one trick pony, but, the thing is, I really like that one trick. Origin finds Langdon finds himself in Spain for a mysterious grand reveal from a totally-not-a-young-Steve-Jobs tech genius that promises to shake the foundation of religion, science, and humanity. As things always do, something goes wrong, people die, and it’s up to Langdon and a beautiful female sidekick to unravel the mystery of what’s going on. There’s political intrigue. There are strangely long tangential rants about history. There are shady secret societies and religious offshoots. You’ve seen it all before, but it doesn’t make the ride any less fun, and it’s an easy recommendation for some popcorn-fun.
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
As influential and permeating as mythology is, it’s actually fairly difficult to find good, straightforward collections of most mythologies. Outside of the Greek and Roman stories, most collections that even scratch the surface of being comprehensive read more like dry textbook analyses than narrative stories and rob the lessons of their intended charm. By compiling the stories Gaiman has in this collection, telling them in an easy-to-read, “short story” format, and leaving out footnotes, explanations, etc., it becomes something easy for anyone to pick up and enjoy without coming off as dumbed-down. I sincerely wish he would give some other cultures the same treatment.