In the spring of 2015, I stumbled across a random Pin about an “ultimate reading challenge” from one of my favourite lifestyle sites, Popsugar. It was totally different from any other book list I’d completed in the past, because I had to choose which books I read.
I know, that really doesn’t sound like a reading a list at all. I mean, most book challenges contain an actual list of titles for you to work your way through. Basically what PopSugar’s Ultimate Reading Challenge does is provide you with reading prompts to help you create a totally personalized reading list. Which is what drew me to the challenge, because that’s not really something I’ve seen anywhere else.
I quickly came to love the opportunity for creativity involved with this, and I’m SO excited that they’ve been continuing it!
If you’re curious about the challenge you can check it out here 🙂
The prompts list is pretty extensive since it’s meant to cover an entire year of reading. Once I choose my books I like to break my selections down by season to help simplify the challenge within the challenge…which book to read first.
I’ve never actually read and chosen a novel for every prompt, from every list… mainly because I just don’t think I’m organized enough to spend that much of my free time reading, LOL. If you include the “Advanced” section of the list, it works out to about a book a week…that’s a lot of reading hours guys!
Instead I stick to about 5 – 10 per season. The range of 5 to 10 is because I live in Canada, and despite the insanely hot summers we’ve been getting…we still get long ass winters. So some seasons run a lot longer than others. Spring to me is only about 2 months ( I don’t include March because she’s really indecisive and annoying with the weather, she hasn’t earned the right to be a part of Spring as far as I’m concerned). As such, I chose to keep my Spring Reading List to 5 novels.
Please let me know if you guys have read any of them and your thoughts! Or if you plan to read any of the same books, I’d love to hear what you think!
Dee’s Spring Reading List: 2017
Trading Up – Candace Bushnell ⇒ Prompt: A Book About An Interesting Woman
So I must confess, I’ve read this book before…but I LOVE re-reading novels like this. It’s over a decade old, written by the woman behind Sex and the City and has quite possibly the most unlikable main character of any book I’ve ever read. Janey Wilcox is, to me, completely unrelatable. She lives a pretty obscure socialite-style life in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. She’s spoiled, entitled, ruthless, and just plain mean. Yet, I get this girl. This book was chosen because of the reading prompt A book about an interesting woman, and I’m sure there are tons of books about more interesting women out there. But, Janey Wilcox got to me the way she does the supporting characters in this novel. She’s a complete disaster and I kind of hate her, but I couldn’t stop reading…and if think that suits the prompt beautifully.
A Visit From The Goon Squad – Jennifer Egan ⇒ Prompt: A Book You Got From A Used Book Sale
This isn’t so much from a used book sale as it is from a ripped cardboard box on someones driveway that said “Free”. Not being one to turn down free books, this one made it home with me. I haven’t read it yet so naturally I wanted to incorporate it into my list somehow. A Visit From The Goon Squad is a Pulitzer Prize winning novel that has been described as a tale of human self-destruction and the road to redemption. From what I’ve skimmed thus far, there’s a definite punk rock music industry vibe so I’m definitely curious to see how the story develops.
One Hundred Years Of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez ⇒ Prompt: A Book You Bought On A Trip
Another book that’s been on my shelf but I’ve yet to read! I bought One Hundred Years of Solitude from a shop in Whistler Village a couple years back. I was drawn to the sci-fi theme…as well as the fact that this is a noble prize winning book. A Noble Prize winner has been on my TBR (to be read) list for a long time, so it’s a win-win for me! This book recounts the rise and fall of the a mythical town of Macondo, all through the eyes of one family.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Truman Capote ⇒ Prompt: A Book With An Eccentric Character
It’s one of my favourite movies, but oddly enough I’ve never read the book. I’ve been told it’s a darker perspective on the life and loves of Holly Gollightly, who is just one of the eccentric characters in this novel by Truman Capote. What I do know is Truman Capote did not want Audrey Hepburn playing the role, I’ve heard because he felt she lacked a certain grit. From character’s like Mr. Yunioshi to Meg Wildwood, this book is sure to be full of eccentric moments from all. I’m really looking forward to seeing if the book differs from the movie as much as I’ve been told. This will definitely be an interesting read for me!
Chanel Bonfire – Wendy Lawless ⇒ Prompt: A Book About A Difficult Topic
This wonderful novel comes without a photo because I lost the slip-on cover for it and a photo of a plain black book with no title seemed a bit silly :). This is a memoir written by Wendy Lawless recounting the years she and her sister spent growing up with a very….unique….mother. From the summary I’ve read their relationship sounds tumultuous and challenging, to put it mildly. Like any memoir I have a feeling this will be a heavier read, but I’m also a sucker for the memoir style of writing so I’m pretty excited for this one!
The Forty Rules of Love – Elif Shafak ⇒ Prompt: A Book Set In Two Different Time Periods
Not to be confused as an actual rule book, this is probably the most beautiful novel I have ever read in my life. I’m a huge lover of the works of Rumi, and even more fascinated by his love for Shams of Tabriz. So when this book came into my life, it was a match made in literary heaven. Yes, I’ve read it before. But, there is another prompt on the list called A book you’ve read before but always makes you smile and so I feel it applies. This book is two stories, one modern day story of a woman who suddenly feels trapped in domestic “bliss” and one of many years ago that tells the tale of Rumi and Shams. The stories of course find a way to connect, and in the most sublime way possible. I highly recommend this book for anyone and everyone. Seriously, if you read one book this year…make it this.
Paint It Black – Janet Fitch ⇒ Prompt: A Story Within A Story
In a lot of ways this book was a natural choice for me because I really liked White Oleander by Janet Fitch. Unless an author completely changes their writing style, if I like one book by someone I tend to like them all. This book was prompted by the fact that it’s a story within a story. Josie’s boyfriend is found dead, so not only is it the story of the mystery surrounding his death, but also of how Josie came to be in the position she was. This one looks kind of gritty, but I think it balances my group out well!
So that’s it for my Spring Reading List, if you have any other reading suggestions please send ’em my way!
P.s. If you want more info on any of the books listed here, feel free to click the image or title name 🙂