It’s the New Year. That means it’s time for resolutions. You know what I’m talking about. We all have them, lots of them. There are the ones that seem universal, like healthy eating or exercise goals. (Those are on my list.) Or personal achievement goals, like spending more time with friends and family. (Also on my list.) However, I’m an author and an avid reader so, obviously, my New Years resolutions center on tweeting unsubstantiated claims and eroding the fabric of democracy. Wait. That’s someone else. Right, my goals are much more peaceful. I want to read more, write more and do more good.

Let’s start with the reading resolutions (because reading leads to open minds and doing more good!) Recently, like many readers, I’ve perused the plentiful bounty of reading challenge lists for 2017. Some of the lists have great ideas such as read a book with an LGBT YA novel or a book outside you’re normal genre. Others seem a little less, let’s say, substantial, like read a book starting with the letter X or with a blue cover.

(Side note: I must admit, I’m a bit partial to the Rory Gilmore reading challenge. One of the reasons I loved the Gilmore Girls so much was because of all the great book references. Although, it’s more of a lifetime reading goal than something one could accomplish in one year, unless you have some sort of reading superpower. And, if you do, how do I get it?)

It’s safe to say I haven’t found the “Goldilocks” list for me for 2017. I want something that pushes me out of my reading comfort zone, but doesn’t push me right into not wanting to read. For example, if the list consisted of a bunch of Melville books I’d probably stop reading for the rest of my life because Melville and zombies are pretty much on par for me. The best Melville novel is the one where he uses a period at least once every page. Oh wait. That doesn’t exist. (Most verbose, over-user of the semicolon writer. Ever.)

So, I’ve decided to make my own 2017 reading challenge list as part of my New Years Reading Resolution. (Note: Books can’t overlap categories.)

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Here’s how I’ll rate myself.

  • Read 10 books on this list: Bare minumum. I’ll be disappointed in myself if this is all I do.
  • Read 12 books: Better, but still really a C at best and getting a C is like getting an F for someone like me. (It might send me into a shame spiral.)
  • Read 14 books on this list: Feeling OK about that, but could do better.
  • Read 16 books on this list: Now we’re talking, feeling much better about my reading achievements.
  • Read: 18+ books: Yay me! (But with the caveat that if I was a real overachiever I would read all 20 categories and then invent new ones. Have I mentioned I tend to overdo things?)

If you’re looking to make a good reading challenge of your own, here are some sites that compile several:

And, in addition to this reading challenge, I am challenging myself to complete and publish book 2 in The Travelers series. Let’s see if I can do it!

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