It’s the new year, and while I’m reflecting on the previous calendar year – I didn’t meet my goal of completing a 20 book challenge, 20! And here I am trying to increase that number for this year. I’ve never been a competitive person, not even with myself. However, this is a challenge that I need to complete. I’ve gotten better with procrastinating and moving on to something new without finishing what I’ve started and this challenge is up there with that 10,000 piece puzzle that’s still in the corner.
When it comes to challenges, whether it’s drinking more water – which my friends and I are currently doing, walking many steps a day, keeping our hair in protective styling for some time or reading different types of books and meeting a goal at the end of the year, it all can be overwhelming but yet, here we are.
How do I select books to read in a book challenge?
How do you choose a book to read? Do you read a physical book or through an electronic device? Do you have a Goodreads account to share your reading log with others? Do you join book clubs and read along with other people with monthly discussions with wine and cheese? Do you receive books through a subscription account based on your preferences? Is there a genre or method for your selection of books? When did reading becoming so difficult? LOL
Research the book genre you THINK you will find interesting and will not use as a sleep aid. For me, I know I can go down the rabbit hole of urban fiction of drugs, drama, and independent editing literature. A few of the authors can create characters that appear in long series and you just need to find out the ending to their storyline.
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The Temple of My Familiar (The Color Purple Collection Book 2) – This is crazy. As much as I enjoy watching The Color Purple, how did I never know there was a second AND third book to this story? If you look at my Goodreads account, you’ll see how long I’ve had this book and need to get my life together and READ!! Oh here’s the synopsis:
“In The Temple of My Familiar, Celie and Shug from The Color Purple subtly shadow the lives of dozens of characters, all dealing in some way with the legacy of the African experience in America. From recent African immigrants to a woman who grew up in the mixed-race rainforest communities of South America, to Celie’s granddaughter living in modern-day San Francisco, all must come to understand the brutal stories of their ancestors to come to terms with their own troubled lives.” Alice Walker
I Want to Read:
Kindred – “Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned to save him. Dana is drawn back repeatedly through time to the slave quarters, and each time the stay grows longer, more arduous, and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not Dana’s life will end, long before it has a chance to begin.” Octavia E. Butler
Maybe You Should Talk To Someone – “From a New York Times best-selling author, psychotherapist, and national advice columnist, a hilarious, thought-provoking, and a surprising new book that takes us behind the scenes of a therapist’s world – where her patients are looking for answers (and so is she). With startling wisdom and humor, Gottlieb invites us into her world as both clinician and patient, examining the truths and fictions we tell ourselves and others as we teeter on the tightrope between love and desire, meaning and mortality, guilt, and redemption, terror and courage, hope and change.” Lori Gottlieb
Queenie – “Queenie Jenkins is a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London, straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither. She works at a national newspaper, where she’s constantly forced to compare herself to her white middle-class peers. After a messy break up from her long-term white boyfriend, Queenie seeks comfort in all the wrong places…including several hazardous men who do a good job of occupying brain space and a bad job of affirming self-worth.” Candice Carty-Williams
The Water Dancer – “Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her—but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he’s ever known. This is the dramatic story of an atrocity inflicted on generations of women, men, and children—the violent and capricious separation of families—and the war they waged to simply make lives with the people they loved.” Ta-Nehisi Coates
Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick – “Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick is an outstanding collection of stories about love and migration, gender and class, racism, and sexism that proudly reflect African American folk culture. Brought together for the first time in one volume, they include eight of Hurston’s “lost” Harlem stories, which were found in forgotten periodicals and archives. These stories challenge conceptions of Hurston as an author of rural fiction and include gems that flash with her biting, satiric humor, as well as more serious tales reflective of the cultural currents of Hurston’s world. All are timeless classics that enrich our understanding and appreciation of this exceptional writer’s voice and her contributions to America’s literary traditions.” Zora Neale Hurston
Long Bright River – “In a Philadelphia neighborhood rocked by the opioid crisis, two once-inseparable sisters find themselves at odds. One, Kacey, lives on the streets in the vise of addiction. The other, Mickey, walk those same blocks on her police beat. They don’t speak anymore, but Mickey never stops worrying about her sibling. Then Kacey disappears, suddenly, at the same time that a mysterious string of murders begins in Mickey’s district, and Mickey becomes dangerously obsessed with finding the culprit–and her sister–before it’s too late.” Liz Moore
My Sister, The Serial Killer – “Korede’s sister Ayoola is many things: the favorite child, the beautiful one, possibly sociopathic. And now Ayoola’s third boyfriend in a row is dead, stabbed through the heart with Ayoola’s knife. Korede’s practicality is the sisters’ saving grace. She knows the best solutions for cleaning blood (bleach, bleach, and more bleach), the best way to move a body (wrap it in sheets like a mummy), and she keeps Ayoola from posting pictures to Instagram when she should be mourning her “missing” boyfriend. Not that she gets any credit. Korede has long been in love with a kind, handsome doctor at the hospital where she works. She dreams of the day when he will realize that she’s exactly what he needs. But when he asks Korede for Ayoola’s phone number, she must reckon with what her sister has become and how far she’s willing to go to protect her.” Oyinkan Braithwaite
By the end of this year, I will attempt to read 24 or more books for this book challenge, a 10,000 piece puzzle, and completing a few pages of my coloring book. If I’m being honest, I may not make it through this preliminary list, but I will try. With a little motivation and a kick in the butt, I will hope to get through these reads and add more to the list as I move along this growing year.