My 2017 Multi-Genre Reading Challenge

I’ve hatched a reading plan for 2017. Now, normally I ready almost exclusively fantasy. As a matter of fact, the last book I (tried to) read that wasn’t fantasy was Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park , and I couldn’t finish it.

So I got to thinking the other day (a rare occurrence), and I realized I need a bit of variety in my life. So I proposed the following to myself: what if I read one book each month in a genre that I normally don’t read? I liked the idea, so I drew up a plan and here we are.

My self-imposed rules:

  1. Once I start a book, I have to finish it.
  2. I’m not allowed to pick a book I’ve previously read.
  3. Each book must be read within the month.

If all goes according to plan, I’ll be following this chart:

January – Historical Fiction

February – Young Adult

March – Crime/Mystery

April – Play/Script

May – Thriller

June – Science Fiction

July – Graphic Novel

August – Biographical

September – Dystopian

October – Non-Fiction

November – Romance

December – Young Adult

Now, you may notice there are some popular genres I haven’t listed, such as horror, paranormal, etc. While I want to try a variety of genres, I also have to draw a line somewhere, and there are certain genres or elements that I simply will not sample for personal reasons. (Genres aside, I won’t read anything with explicit content, or strong language.)

You may have also noticed that I included Young Adult fiction twice (February and December). I figured it was a broad enough genre, and includes enough subgenres, that I should pick from it twice. Also, I had an extra month and had to fill it with something.

I have some ideas for a few of the months, but I’ll definitely need suggestions for most of them, so feel free to drop a comment or hit me up on Twitter! And if you’d like to do this challenge, or something similar, then join the fun!

In the meantime, have a great day.

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21 thoughts on “My 2017 Multi-Genre Reading Challenge

  1. That’s a cool challenge you have. I wish you the best of luck on it, if you believe in that sort of thing. 🙂

    I might have some suggestions for you (though, I do apologize if I list some you’ve already read)…

    Thriller – Almost anything by Ted Dekker. There may be a tiny bit of bad language in some (but only a small amount, though there are a few times where it seems God’s name is misused), and some are too graphic Mom hasn’t let me read them yet, but most of his books are AWESOME! The Circle series and the Lost Books are slightly fantasy, but also fall into the thriller genre. Other great thrillers are Blink, Three, Skin, The Outlaw Chronicles, Heaven’s Wager, and Blessed Child (also by Ted Dekker).

    Mystery – I really enjoyed No Place Like Holmes, and The Cooper Kids Adventure Series is also great (I’m pretty sure the latter counts as mystery).

    Non-Fiction – I highly recommend Between Heaven and Hollywood by David A.R. White. It’s about chasing one’s God-given dreams, and shares some of David A.R. White’s life. It also happens to be my favorite non-fiction book that isn’t the Bible or a book about writing.

    I hope those suggestions help! 🙂

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    1. Gotta agree with Jessi here! If you’ve never read a Ted Dekker, you’re missing out!

      I have read every book he’s published to date and while some are bizarre and creepy, all of Jessi’s recommendations were fantastic! Stick with those and you should be good.

      How brave you are! I don’t touch romance. 🙂

      I love that you’re trying new things… It’s something I keep telling myself I must do… And then end up rereading favorites all year. Oops. Definitely must explore more!

      So anyway. I’ve been following for a little while, but too lazy to comment so far. Your posts are always hilarious, by the way. 🙂

      If I had to leave it at JUST ONE (what is this madness?) then I’d say the Sing of Seare trilogy by C. E. Laureano. It’s young adult Christian fantasy. The best I’ve ever read. You’re welcome.

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      1. Yeah, romance is one of the months I’m looking forward to the least, but I figured I’d include it since it’s such a prominent genre (though I may struggle to find a book in that genre that’s clean *and* engaging).

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    2. Thanks for the suggestions! Yeah, I’ve read quite a few Dekker books (Saint is probably my favorite of those). I have to say, in general I’m not a huge fan of his storytelling. I find that most of his books start really strong with gripping premises, but towards the end they tend to spiral into a bit of a mess (just my opinion, though!).

      And I grew up on the Cooper Kids books! Or just Peretti in general.

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  2. Hello! I saw you have “Graphic Novel” on your list. Do you read comics? if so which kind do you like because I may be able to give you a few good suggestions. I’ve read quite a few comics from both Dc & Marvel.

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      1. Cool, so before I give you any suggestions I have three questions to ask.
        1) On violence what do you find as too violent?
        2) On language, is the typical Marvel Movie amount of swearing okay? (the amount of language depends on the author/company
        3) Do you only want suggestions for Marvel comics only or are Dc comics fine as well?

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      2. I don’t mind violence if it’s not pointless or excessively graphic. Language to some degree is unavoidable in most cases, but I’ll also shy away from excessive language. As for Marvel or DC…well, for films I always go Marvel, but since I’m new to graphic novels or comics, then whatever, I guess ^^

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      3. Okay cool. So I would suggest
        from Marvel:
        1) The Amazing Spider-man: Renew your vows by Dan Slott
        2) Planet Hulk by Greg Pak
        3) Marvel Civil War by Mark Miller
        4) Wolverine: Origin by Bill Jemas, Paul Jenkins, Joe Quesada
        from Dc
        1) Justice League New 52 Vol.1 by Geoff Johns
        2) Superman: Earth One Vol. 1 by J. Michael Straczynski
        3) Superman Unchained New 52 by Scott Snyder
        and since we can’t leave Batman out
        4) Batman Vol 1: Court of Owls (new 52) by Scott Snyder

        Now most, if not all, are light on language (just in cause your and my version of light are different).
        There may be an inappropriate comic cover/reference in some of them, but the covers usually have nothing to do with the story except to attract attention.

        Well that’s my list. I hope you find at least one of them to your liking 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Have you ever read Enemy Brothers? It’s historical fiction. The only romance books I’ve ever read are by P.G. Wodehouse and I think they would be more comedy than romance, would that count?

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  4. You should totally read “The Bronze Bow” by Elizabeth George Speare for historical fiction! It is set in the Israel at the time of Jesus, and it’s the story of a young man learning how to let go of his anger and vengeance. Very engaging, beautifully written, and cleverly authentic!

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  5. Good luck with your challenge!!

    This is my first time on your blog, so know my suggestions are based on my own preferences and not out of a sense of knowing but…

    Young Adult – All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven(depression trigger)

    Science Fiction – The Martian by Andy Weir (I’m not a SciFi person, but the sarcastic humor sold me. You’ll know from first page if you’ll like it or not)

    Biographical – It is autobiographical, but Troublemaker by Leah Remini

    Non-Fiction – (In no specific order) Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everday Lives by Gretchen Rubin; Spoiler Alert: You’re Gonna Die by Korttany Finn (a Q&A with a coroner, essentially); A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

    Wish you the best and can’t wait to see what books you end up reading.

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  6. Aside from being in the genre’s you are looking for, books are listed in no particular order.

    **********************
    – Historical Fiction: “Raiders from the Sea” by Lois Walfrid Johnson (kids book, but good from what I remember).

    “Child of the Mist” by Kathleen Morgan (or any in the rest of the series, you do not need to read in order to understand, although characters do return. Also classified as romance. Celtic).

    “Healer” by Linda Windsor (Celtic, also romance [as most historicals are]. Female lead is predominate if I remember correctly).

    “Than” by L. A. Kelly (I think this one is actually classified as fantasy… but reads more like Historical medieval Fiction. I think my favorite in the series is the second one though).

    “The Heavens Before” by Kacy Barnett-Gramckow (Biblical Historical Fiction. Starts just before flood, and the after affects).

    “Circle of Honor” by Carol Umberger (I can’t remember which ones I read and which ones I have yet to read… so I don’t remember how good this one is, but it is the first in the series)

    ****************
    – Young Adult: “If We Survive” by Andrew Klavan (also classified as action/adventure/survival stories/suspense.)
    *********************
    – Crime/Mystery: “The Last Thing I Remember” by Andrew Klavan (it is technically classified as action/adventure… but reads like it could also be thriller/mystery/crime. Is also YA).

    “The Negotiator” by Dee Henderson (or any book in the O’Mally series. Each book follows a different member of the “family” so you can just pick one you like and read that one. Also clarified as romances, but usually not prominent).

    “Ture Devotion” by Dee Henderson (or any in the Uncommon Heroes series. I think one was kinda boring… but I cannot remember which one it was…).
    ****************
    – Play/Script: your on your own here… sorry.
    *****************
    – Thriller: I have not read many good thrillers… but a few of Dee Henderson’s books could qualify. And since you already read the Cooper Kids Adventure series (and I assume Hangman’s Curse and Nightmare Academy… I don’t have much for you in this department… Sorry). Of course, I often forget what I read, so if I remember anything good I will be sure to come back and let you know ;).
    ***********************
    – Science Fiction: I don’t read much in this genre… and most of what I have read is not that entertaining… “Firebird” by Kathy Tyers (she has also written Star Wars books. If you like that kind of thing, then you might like her writing. I have only read the 3ed book in the series… so I can’t tell you how good Firebird is, but I thought I would just through it out there too).

    “Replication: The Jason Experiment” by Jill Williamson (I have not read this one yet, but it is on my TBR list, and I heard that out of her books, this one is one of the better ones. Also YA).

    “Into the Vast: The Chronotrace Sequence Book 1” by DJ Edwardson (I have not read this one yet, so cannot say whether it is good or bad yet, but it is on my TBR List. Can be under YA as well).

    “Invasion (A C. H. A. O. S. Novel)” by Jon S. Lewis (not my favorite, but not that bad either; it has its moments. Also YA).

    “The Personifid Project” by R. E. Bartlett

    “The Word Reclaimed” by Steve Rzasa (have not read, but sounds interesting).

    “Space Drifters” by Paul Regnier (have not read yet, but I have heard it is a little like Guardians of the Galaxy. So if you like that movie, maybe you will like it).

    “The Enclave” by Karen Hancock. (classified under Mystery/suspense… but I think it fits better here).

    “Arena” by Karen Hancock (also classified as fantasy).

    **********************

    – Graphic Novel: “Planet Hulk” (Marvel comic).

    “The New 52: Aqwaman Vol 1” (DC Comic).

    “X-Men: Childhoods End” Vol 1-4 (Marvel comics. Do not read 5th volume).

    All of these have some blood. I don’t remember about cussing (its been a while), but if there is, it would not be too bad/too much. Modesty wise… these are graphic Novels… some of the girls could be covered more, but not as bad as some other comics either. However, if you want totally clean reads for a Graphic Novel, I would suggest most Marvel Adventures series (I like “Power Pack.” They usually team up with other favorite superheroes, so you can just pick one you like. The reason I like them –despite the fact that they can be a little dorky/cheesy sometimes- is because they are siblings, and where some of the first comics I read).

    It all depends on what you are looking for. I have a lot of other favorites, but I thought you might like these more.

    *******************
    – Biographical: I heard “Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy” by Eric Metaxas was good, but I have not read it yet (and it is Very thick).
    ****************
    – Dystopian: “Outriders: the Birthright Project” by Kathryn Mackel (not your typical dystopian. Kinda reads more like fantasy [which it may be classified under]).

    “Thunder” by Bonnie S. Calhoun (is another option, but I have not finished reading it yet to tell you if its good or bad yet. However, from what I have read… it may get a little more romance down the road… it is also YA. Also, I think there are superpowers involved, but I don’t know for sure yet :/ ).

    “A Time to Die” by Nadine Brandes is another book that many people have been raving about in this genre (it’s just not my favorite. But the writing itself is good. Particularly in the first book).

    ************************
    – Non-Fiction: “How to write (and sell a) Christian Novel” by Gilbert Morris (some parts of the book are out dated –like the selling part- but this book is really good for outlining).

    “On Writing Well” by William Zinsser.

    “Knowing God” by J. I. Packer
    *******************
    – Romance: “A Daring Sacrifice” by Jody Hedlund (written very well with two first person POV’s –handled the best I have ever seen it- no explicit scenes. It is also YA… so can go in that category. Male lead is about half the book).

    “Unblemished” by Sara Ella (YA, also kinda fantasy)

    *************************
    – Young Adult: A lot of the ones I listed above are YA. “The Last thing I remember” by Andrew Kalven.

    *************************
    Sorry, I know this is a lot, but hopefully you might find one you like =D

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