2017 Reading Challenges: Halfway Update

The end of September must mean time for a challenge update!  I’ve moved forward pretty well in most challenges, with sporadic focus on them…but that’s been enough for most.

PictureNewbery Medal Winners
Goal: 20 Newbery Medal Winners, halving the number remaining
Host: Smiling Shelves

I’m right on track here, with five new ones added–a good amount for a quarter.  I didn’t have great success with the books, though.  I particularly disliked the main character in MC Higgins the Great (he thinks it’s fun to jump girls walking alone–not okay) and particularly disliked the writing style of The Dark Frigate (written in 1923, but reads like 1823 and not in a good way).  The others were better, but cross fingers for some stand-out good ones in the last quarter?

  1. Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata
  2. The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman
  3. Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena
  4. Good Masters, Sweet Ladies by Laura Amy Schlitz
  5. Crispin: The Cross of Lead by AVI
  6. King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry
  7. Joyful Noise by Paul Fleischman
  8. The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron
  9. Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorenson
  10. The Wheel on the School by Meindert De Jong
  11. A Visit to William Blake’s Inn by Nancy Willard
  12. The Cat Who Went to Heaven by Elizabeth Coatsworth
  13. I, Juan de Pareja by Elizabeth Borton de Trevino
  14. MC Higgins the Great by Virginia Hamilton
  15. The Dark Frigate by Charles Boahman Hawes
  16. The Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars

Diverse Reading
Goal: 20 books with non-Caucasian protagonists
Host: ???  Haven’t found an official challenge yet

I did better here, bringing this back up to a more respectable number.  It helped targeting diverse Newbery Medals!  I also picked up a few from my library’s recommended shelf…a trend I don’t think is a coincidence.

  1. The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig (Chinese heroine, Arabian hero)
  2. Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata (Japanese)
  3. Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho (African-English hero, Indian heroine)
  4. Not Your Sidekick by C. B. Lee (Chinese)
  5. The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon (African-American heroine, Korean hero)
  6. King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry (Arabian)
  7. The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig (Chinese heroine, Arabian hero)
  8. Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven (African-American)
  9. Stranger than Fanfiction by Chris Colfer (various)
  10. The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi (Arabian)
  11. The Cat Who Went to Heaven by Elizabeth Coatsworth (Japanese)
  12. I, Juan de Pareja by Elizabeth Borton de Trevino (African)
  13. MC Higgins the Great by Virginia Hamilton (African-American)
  14. The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury (Arabian)
  15. The Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi (Arabian)

peace-doveSpiritual Reading
Goal: 6 books on spiritual topics

I’m way out ahead of my goal number here, and have found some really wonderful books in the process.  I even managed to review a few!  I do notice I’m mostly reading Christian books recently though, and would like to get a little more diverse again.  I find that books lead to each other (one book quotes many others) which is very cool and helpful, but also may trend my reading in a particular direction.  Something to think about!

  1. Rumi: Bridge to the Soul translated by Coleman Barks (Muslim)
  2. Peace Is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh (Buddhist)
  3. The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh (Buddhist)
  4. Falling Upward by Richard Rohr, OFM (Catholic, Franciscan)
  5. I’d Say Yes, God, If I Knew What You Wanted by Nancy Reeves, PhD (Christian)
  6. Sabbath by Wayne Muller (Christian author, heavy Jewish influence)
  7. Resisting Happiness by Matthew Kelly (Catholic)
  8. Dating God: Live and Love in the Way of St. Francis by Daniel Horan, OFM (Catholic, Franciscan)
  9. The Sabbath by Abraham Joshua Heschel (Jewish)
  10. The Family of Jesus by Karen Kingsbury (Christian)
  11. Accidental Saints by Nadia Bolz-Weber (Lutheran)
  12. Between Heaven and Mirth by James Martin, SJ (Catholic, Jesuit)
  13. Pastrix by Nadia Bolz-Weber (Lutheran)
  14. A Voluptuous God by Robert V. Thompson (Christian)

L M MontgomeryL.M. Montgomery Reading
Goal: 12 Montgomery-related books

Less happening here, I’m afraid, with just one addition, a collection of essays.  It wasn’t a favorite collection, but somewhat illuminating–it focused largely on how Montgomery’s books fit into the larger cultural picture, and I’m much less interested in that than I am in her.  So only one “related” book, but I also finished rereading the Anne of Green Gables series, and began the Emily of New Moon trilogy…

1. Remembering Lucy Maud Montgomery by Alexandra Heilbron
The Gift of Wings by Mary Rubio (reread)
2. The Lady of the Lake by Sir Walter Scott
3. Seventeen by Booth Tarkington
4. Beside the Bonnie Brier Bush by Ian McLaren
5. L. M. Montgomery and War edited by Andrea McKenzie and Jane Ledwell

I’m feeling pretty good about my challenges right now.  I don’t think I’ll hit the Montgomery goal, but the others look pretty good.  I’m especially finding good spiritual books, and I’m still heavily engaged with Montgomery and that was the point anyway…

Do you have any reading challenges for the year?  How are they so far?

2 thoughts on “2017 Reading Challenges: Halfway Update

  1. dianem57

    My only reading challenge is to read more political books to figure out “what happened” or, from my political point of view, “what went wrong” in the presidential election of 2016. I’m trying to read books from both perspectives (pro- and anti-Trump), so I’ve read “How Trump Won” by Breitbart correspondent Joel Pollack as well as “What Happened” by Hillary Rodham Clinton, as well as several others. There is no dearth of material here as nearly everybody is writing SOMETHING with their take on that crazy election year.

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