It’s time for another yearly reading challenge from the Authors Water Cooler! The past three years were disappointing for me, as I hadn’t been able to finish any of them despite my high intentions. 2022 was actually better, because I did make it 3/4 of the way, squeaking through with two books finished the week after Christmas (a deliberate choice on my part) so 8 out of 12 ain’t bad. All of them I enjoyed, except for the terrible Locke & Key and The Dragon Quintet, which was not so much hateable as disappointing (2022 choices here.)
This year brings more categories and the opportunity to shake things up a little. As in previous years, I lean towards fantasy, history, and science.
1. 23rd Year, 23rd Letter: A book whose title begins with the letter W. OPEN
14. Article free in ’23: Read a book whose title doesn’t contain “a” “an” or “the.”
1959, Fred Kaplan
An argument for the year that shaped the modern world as we know it.
15. East meets West: A book taking place in Asia (Turkey to Japan, Siberia to Vietnam).
The Granta Book of India
Anthology of stories, memoirs, poems, articles, about India originally published in the Granta literary journal.
18. Local hero: A book by a local author.
Violin Down, John Weller
I met him at work one day – he’s the assistant conductor of the Seattle Symphony — and he gave me a copy!
19. Wisdom of the ancients: Read any work more than 1000 years old.
Saga of the Volsungs
I had this one for last year’s challenge but didn’t get to it, so I am going to try again.
27. Bits and pieces: An anthology (poetry, short stories, whatever).
Ties That Bind, David Isay
Stories of love and gratitude from the first ten years of Storycorps.
30. Doorstoppers: A book more than 600 pages.
The Ruin of Kings, Jenn Lyons
31. No hablo: A book originally written in another language (either a translation or in the original if you’d like!). OPEN
33. Keep up with the Joneses: A book everyone else seems to have read but you have not.
For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway
I have not read anything, ever, by “Papa.”
38. Animal house: A book about animals in any way.
The Panda’s Thumb, Stephen Jay Gould or Kraken, China Mieville
A toss-up here.
39. Vast Critical Acclaim: A book that has won a prestigious award.
The Sparrow, Mary Doria Russell
Philosophical science fiction about encounter with aliens.
41. After the fall: A post-apocalyptic or dystopic book.
The Fall of Numenor, J.R.R. Tolkien, ed. By Patrick Silbey
Tolkien’s reworking of the Atlantic myth.