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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Books Lists Life Personal Reading Challege

I don't usually do very well at reading challenges. I'm not sure I've actually ever completed one successfully. I get a little jealous of all the fun lists everyone else is making, but I'm realistic and I know I won't complete a challenge anyway. Despite this, I decided that I wanted to do a little personal challenge with a couple of friends. I thought that maybe I would slowly work my way through my reading friends, and maybe stir up a little conversation with them.

The idea is that we'd each make a list of 5 or 6 books and then the other person would read 4 or 5 of them. We are allowed an out, in case the other person picked something horrible, like poetry or a play. There is no time limit on the challenge and no pressure.

The first person I asked my my good friend Shawna. Shawna lives in Rapid City so we don't see each other often, and we don't read all the same books, but we both share a love of books and libraries (like many of you.) Shawna's favorite books are ones that make you cry. They rip your heart out and stomp on them, and make you ache for the characters. She likes serious books and women's fiction, with a big dose of non-fiction and memoirs to round it out. The more drama the better.  We both read and loved The Time Traveler's Wife, Me & Emma, and A Thousand Splendid Suns.

For Shawna, I chose:
  • Heartbreak Hotel by Anne Rivers Siddons. This one is set in a fictional Auburn during integration. I've read it at least 6 times and love it.
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth. I loved this one last year and want to make everyone else read it.
  • The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. It's possible I don't love it as much as I once did, but it made a big impact on me in college, so here it is.
  • Girl Meets God: On the Path to a Spiritual Life by Lauren Winner. For an unreligious person (I prefer to think of myself as spiritual. Hork.), I seem to read a lot of religious memoirs.
  • Moon Called (Mercy Thompson) by Patricia Briggs. This is the first book in what is, hands down, my favorite series.
I did NOT give her any traditional romances. I was tempted, but I did not.

For me, Shawna picked:
The second person I asked was another Lisa, who (used to, ahem) blog at Git Down Kitty. Lisa is a quilt and craft blogger, not a books blogger, but as we've chatted extensively online it's come to light that we both do a good bit of reading. She reads more in the chick lit and mystery genres, with the occasional young adult thrown in for good measure. She's one of the many people encouraging me to read Outlander .

For Lisa, I chose:
  • Heartbreak Hotel by Anne Rivers Siddons.
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth.
  • Moon Called by Patricia Briggs.
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • Me & Emma by Elizabeth Flock. If you haven't read this, please do, so I can ask you a Question!
For me, Lisa chose:
My original list for Lisa was much longer, but I managed to narrow it down. For now.

If you were to pick a list of books for another blogger, would it be the same list for everyone, or would you prefer to match it to the other blogger? I had a hard time with this decision, I think my ultimate list would have ended up differently if I wasn't able to swap up a couple books. I wanted to formalize this as a challenge for myself, because someone when people say "Oh you HAVE to read this!" I don't ever DO it. This is a way to push myself to read books that other people truly loved.

How about you? Do you tend to push those recommendations to the side? Do you read them immediately? Especially for books that aren't new releases? Would you do a challenge of this type with a friend?


  1. I would try to make an individualized list. When a friend recommends a book I always intend to read it right away, but have to admit that I get sidetracked a lot of the time.

  2. This sounds like so much fun! I think it would be nice to have someone give thought to what I might like and choose books based on that. Fun!

  3. Ah, this sounds like a blast! As long as you have a comfortable enough relationship with that person to be totally honest with what you think of the books afterward. Fun, very fun. I would totally stress out trying to choose the list for someone though. Yeah, it would be fun, but hard, and a little scary.

  4. This sounds like a fun idea...I always have people that tell me I need to read this or that but I don't always find the time to read those books. Enjoy these reads!

  5. I make personalized lists when people ask. I usually know what they like well enough to pick, or I try anyway!

  6. I'm liking and understanding The Little Prince SO MUCH MORE than I did when a kid, pre-teen and teen! Thank you

  7. I'm still curious about my list. ;)

    But individualize for sure...

  8. why, oh why no romance novels for Shawna? She needs them.

  9. Kris, two of those have a strong romantic element. Shhhh.


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