2016 reading challenge.

I’m an avid reader. There, I said it.

I read at the gym (when I’m not making magic happen at Zumba), and I listen to audiobooks when I’m folding laundry or in the car. I likely would have met my reading goal (of 104 books) for the year had I not binge watched this show the last week and a half of December:


My Inner Latina is alive and kicking (and there’s a reason Gina Rodriguez won a Golden Globe for her performance: check it out, y’all).

But, reading.

It’s easy for me to get caught up in reading what’s right in front of me: the hottest new release, upcoming releases from publishers and friends, the library book I’ve waitlisted that finally arrived. So last year, Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Reading Challenge was a brilliant way for me to knock twelve books off my list that I really, actually did want to read – but hadn’t ever made happen.

And I’m going to do the same. Care to join me?


My selections probably won’t be yours, although you’re welcome to join in my reading fun. Here’s what I’ll be reading:

A book published this year: Addie Zierman’s new book that will release in March, Night Driving. 

A book you can finish in a day: I’m blaming this one on blogger and author Sarah Bessey: The Blue Castle.

A book you’ve been meaning to read: Understanding Your Grief. This one has been on my shelf since I first left (paid, full-time) ministry. It’s time to read it.

A book recommended by your local bookseller: Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me. This is also the March Red Couch Book Club selection, so join us!

A book you should have read in school. Scratch that. A book you should have read in school because you were the TEACHER who TAUGHT it without ever READING IT to her students: Much better. The book? Hamlet by Shakespeare.

A book chosen for you by your …mom: The Black Rose. It’s her favorite. I’m in.

A book published before you were born: Anna Karenina . It’s been on the list forever and a day. It’s time.

A book that was banned at some point: Madame Bovary. (Two classics in a row: I can do it, I can do it, I can do it…)

A book you previously abandoned: The Beginning of Desire. Such rich theology!

A book you own but have never read: Wearing God. Lauren Winner also happens to be one of my favorite authors, so this feels like an easy A.

A book that intimidates you: The World’s Religions . Sometimes I fear all I’ll come to learn about life, about religion, about the world at large.

A book you’ve already read at least once: Bird by Bird by (my) Saint Anne.

There you have it: that’s my list. Have you read – and loved, and hated – any of the above books? Do tell!

Happy reading!

xo, c.

So, let’s have it: what would be on your reading challenge list, in any of these categories? Does a reading challenge like this help or hinder you …or does it just make you want to watch more Jane the Virgin (which I wholeheartedly support). 

*Contains Amazon Affiliate links, yo. Don’t be a hater!


7 thoughts on “2016 reading challenge.

  1. hold the phone…you taught Hamlet without having read it?!? haha…oh my.

    Anna Karenina…I tackled that in 2006 and found it brutal. I have friends who love it but mostly I just felt dumb, like profound stuff was going over my head. I want to make this the year I tackle Dostoyevsky.

    And I’m delighted to realize The Blue Castle is out for Kindle! A couple of years ago when I put it on my list, it was only available as a PDF through iBooks.

    1. The phone is held. To my credit (which is no justification at all), it was assigned summer reading – assigned before I became a teacher – so I only needed to “teach” one day of it. I tried to put it in their hands and let the really smart kids teach everyone else, but I think they saw right through the facade. 🙂

      It’ll be interesting what happens upon tackling Anna Karenina. I felt how you did about Tale of Two Cities …I was like, PEOPLE, this really can’t be your favorite book ever. It was so dreary and boring and apparently over my head.

      I think (??) I downloaded Blue Castle for free a year or two ago and already have it on Kindle. If that’s the case, then I’m set. Otherwise, library, here I come!

      Cara Meredith

      writer, speaker, musician. carameredith.com


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