2017 Reading Challenge: A word nerd’s resolutions for a new year

“What are your resolutions for the New Year?”

I’ve always been of the “strive-to-be-better-every-day-rather-than-one-magical-day-a-year” school of thought; but hey, I’m a writer. I get the sentimentality of the thing, the inherent wish that a new year can magically bring about great change, ushering in a new chapter of our story.

So to answer the question, I usually do not make any resolutions, save for a few half-hearted attempts at becoming some kind of yogic goddess until I strain my back downward-dogging and the extra cheese pizza starts calling my name again.

This year, one resolution and one only: Read more books.

16ReadListIn 2016, I read a total of 82 books to completion; an additional 21 books were started and never finished (for various reasons, namely a loss of interest in the subject, author, or language). And though I do not have a total goal in mind for 2017, I have resolved to diversify my reading interests in the year ahead. And what better way to achieve this than with a good old fashioned Reading Challenge?

Thus follows my 2017 Reading Challenge:

  1. An entire collection of short stories
  2. A book with a color in the title
  3. A book more than 100 years old
  4. A book by a person of color
  5. A book of poetry
  6. A book based on a fairy tale and/or mythology
  7. A book set in a place I’d like to visit
  8. A book selected based solely on its cover (gasp!)
  9. A food memoir
  10. A book that has been on my TBR shelf for entirely too long
  11. A bestseller from a genre I don’t usually read
  12. A travel memoir
  13. A book with a red spine
  14. A novel set during wartime
  15. A book set in the wilderness
  16. A book I loved as a child
  17. A book recommended by a librarian
  18. A book recommended by a friend or family member
  19. A book with multiple authors
  20. A book of letters

Now the real question – can something really be a challenge if you know it’s going to be a hell of fun? Let’s say yes. So join me for my 2017 Reading Challenge – recommend books I should try, discuss the ones you’ve read that fit into the parameters, tell me about ones on your own To Read list.

The year ahead will have its ups and downs, its inevitable bumps and bruises and joys and discoveries. A lot is uncertain for us all, but one thing is for sure. One way or another, 2017 will be a year for the books.


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And, for a sample of my fiction writing, go to https://hawaiipacificreview.org/2015/12/10/lost-and-found/, and to https://joyofthepen.topshamlibrary.org/.


Shannon Bowring

About Shannon Bowring

I am 26 years old. I was raised up in the County, in the tiny town of Ashland. I attended the University of Maine in Orono and graduated in 2012 with a BA in English, with a concentration in Creative Writing. Reading and writing have always been the greatest loves of my life. I am most at home in the dusty corners of used bookstores, surrounded by forgotten books. One day, inspiration struck when I decided I wanted to combine all my loves – writing, reading, traveling, exploring these beloved shops – to create an outlet in which I can share my bookish adventures with an audience of like-minded readers who could appreciate my love of words and stories.