2016 Reading Challenge  



This past year I participated in Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Reading challenge.  It’s 12 book categories for 12 months. I’m not sure what the theme was or if it had a theme. Basically it’s a sure way to get books read if you’re motived by pressure or deadlines.

At first I thought it was going to be too difficult but I was surprised at all the books I could squeeze in between the ones already reading for the challenge. Altogether I averaged two books per month. Sometimes more. Sometimes less. Once you start reading it’s amazing how much more you want to read and can.

I’m in the time of my life where I’m a stay at home mom and I’m literally by myself at home with kids a lot. Reading is the most nerdy option I’ve latched onto with my time. I don’t want to be a mom loafing around on the couch watching Netflix. There’s something about watching movies that feels like dumbing down the brain. And I’m not a fan of too much screen time for me… or my kids.

I used to do crafts. But that is a far cry from a sanity saver to me with my toddlers at toe. The little I do do can be cause for constant alarm and stress.

When I was younger I used to love reading and mom would often walk in on me sprawled across my bed or huddled in a corner (hiding) when I was supposed to be cleaning. When our class took a field trip to the library in Lancaster city, I was the little girl they couldn’t find when it was time to go because I was hunkered down on the floor lost in a book. I even remember the book… just not the title.

In my 20’s the amount of literature consumed waned but now that I’m in my 30s I feel like I picked up my passion for books once again and couldn’t be happier. I would say I’m probably a medium speed reader I’m not fast and I’m not slow. So that probably puts me somewhere in the middle right? Haha!

I did the challenge this past year to broaden the variety of books I read. A challenge seemed like the perfect way to do that and I was a little disappointed that the list didn’t include different genres because that’s one thing I wish to do more of. OK maybe not so much but at least I want to read more memoirs – that’s the biggest thing I wish I’d read more of. Also, I read several JV books for my list last year and I was surprised how much I enjoyed them. I might read more unashamedly now.

So without further ado here’s the list and my selections.


1. A book published this year: Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

I adored this book. The first half spoke to me deeply. As Lysa says, everyone goes through rejection at some point in their life. You will defiantly identify with this book. A must read.

2. A book you can finish in a day: I read a lot of books in a day… can’t think to name one. Let’s go with The Adventures of Doctor Dolittle (kid version)

This book makes me want to read the novel.


3. A book you’ve been meaning to read: The Gifts of Imperfection by Bréne Brown

I wish I would give myself more permission to be imperfect since reading this book. It’s our imperfections that make us more lovable, approachable and willing to be more accepting of others. We are all imperfect. Lets frame it in gold.


4. Book recommended by a librarian or bookseller: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

This book was a bit of a disappointment for me. I read Eat, Pray, Love and was captivated by her writing style. This book I felt just didn’t deliver as crafty as it preceder. Regardless, it was good for allowing space for the creative passion in each of us to do that sacred thing we love to do. Her forthright tone was perfectly assertive for allowing that passion to thrive in-spite of ourselves and our unending excuses.



5. A book you should have read in school: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Yup, I should have read it in school. I was intrigued by it for sure. The plot wasn’t super amazing to me (kinda slow) but I did enjoy the perspective written by Scout, the main character. I really, really loved her brain having grown up sorta a tomboy myself. Of course I read Go Set A Watchmen afterwards and that one was a major disappoint for me. How about you? See I wonder if I would have read Mockingbird in school if I’d feel differently about it. Did you read it in school and what did you think?



6. A book chosen for you by a spouse, sibling, child or BFF: Creating Spiritual Whitespace by Bonnie White

A small group of us read this book together. If you pick this one up I’d recommend it for a small group study of close friends. It’s one I need to revisit now and again. She helps unpack how rest is not just napping or solitude but doing the things you love and what makes you come alive. The list at the end is very insightful.



7. A book published before you were born: Island of Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell

You can’t go wrong reading a Newbery Medal Award book. I’m not so much a fan of stranded on island books or TV show plots but this book was interesting and easy to read. It tells how she moved from hoping the ship would come back to pure, plain survival.


8. A book that was banned at some point: I skipped this one


9. A book previously abandon: Walking on Water: Reflections on Art and Faith by Madeleine L’Engle

This book was gifted to me and I started it a while ago. I didn’t get into it until this past year when I gave it another try. After I learned more about the author it gave the book more credence then I was giving it and spoke volumes to me. If you are a writer or a creator, it’s 100x better than Big Magic, (in my opinion). Madeleine is a beautiful writer.


10. A book you own but never read: Preemptive Love by Jeremy Courtney

My husband had this book in his collection. He has so many books and I’m determined to read ALL OF THEM. (which will probably take until I’m 80, which is kinda perfect actually) I feel like I understand more about Iraq and Iran and Turkey now and the effects of the war therein. It also gave me a different  view of the USA in a sad way. Every little life matters. Every little heart.


11. A book that intimidates you: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

You guys! This book wasn’t even hard to read! I was expecting old english, long sentences and difficult words. Not so much! I so loved it and would like to read it again to get more out of it a second time. It is WAY better than the movie, y’all! I started Romeo and Juliet and COULD NOT read it. Something about the script style made it hard to follow for me and kinda exhausting. I also didn’t get into The Scarlet Letter. Chapters and chapters of one conversation. I can’t even…

I was basing my option of those two books on this one and was pleasantly surprised! I’d like to read more of her books as well! Have you read this?


12. A book you already read at least once: Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink

I read this book in 4th grade and remember being so absorbed in it. Now in my 30’s I thought I’d give another go around. And, I LOVED it just like I did back then. (all the heart eyes!) I ran with the boys (hey, I had no sisters. what can you expect….) growing up and this book has so much me in every page. A good Frontier, pioneer days read of a free spirited, determined girl.

Ok! I love a book discussion! What do you think about the books I read on my list? Do you love any of my picks? Not into one or some of them? Surprised by a book yourself? I’d love to hear your comments!

And, here’s her 2017 book lists. This year she has two challenges to choose from.

Are you up for a fun reading challenge for 2017? I can’t decide which list I’d choose at this point. So it’s up for grabs if I’ll even participate again.


Also, coming soon, by top books of 2016! 🙂




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If you’d like to contact me personally with thoughts, suggestions or ideas, email me at thenwedancedblog@gmail.com


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