Today is all about the Be Better Reading Challenge! But first? RESOLUTIONS.

I love a good New Year’s Resolution. I’ve made a few! Last year, I endeavored to lose weight and drink more water. I did both! HOORAH! I also ran or walked almost every day the second half of the year. (Save for during the pneumonia from hell.) I learned how to make some new foods, finished a few novels. Finished a book on Dickens, RA’d on several others. Finished a whopper of an article on Dracula–so much.

This year, I want to focus on weight training more than I did this year. Once again, I’m going to work on yoga. I always fall of the wagon here, but always feel better when I am on it. I DO want to cut back sugar, and I think that begins with what recipes I make for this blog.(goal? 3x/week) I want to perfect making seitan in my instant pot. I want to finish more novels and edit them, and I want to go visit my PSM in Portland.

Phshew! That’s a lot.

Now? What do I want to read?

Glad you I asked.

Because I made a 2017 READING CHALLENGE for you little bibliophiles.

This challenge is designed to be a challenge, both at level of reading and it asks you to try new things, read things to improve yourself, and perhaps inspire you. So I birthed the 2017 Be Better Reading Challenge.

2017 Be Better Reading Challenge

I will present the Be Better Reading Challenge and then tell you what I’m going to read for it!

Be Better Book Challenge

The Reader/Eater #BeBetterBookChallenge for #2017 begins NOW! Up for it? #roryhasnothingonme Click To Tweet

Reader/Eater’s Be Better Reading Challenge 2017

1.) A book written by a disabled person! I am reading On The Edge of Gone  by Corinne Duyvis. A new sort of apocalyptic novel! The MC is autistic! WHAT!?

2.) A book written by someone who was imprisoned/translated/written before 190o, but for me ONLY the first, Justine by the Marquis de Sade. Honestly, I have avoided this like the plague. But I’m going to do it. (pun intended.)

3.) A non-traditional romance. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. Murakami is NOT known for his HEAs or traditional ANYTHING. (Save for maybe his running manifesto)

4.) A book written by a refugee. First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung, a refugee who survived the killing fields of Cambodia.

5.) A cookbook you’ve been dying to try. Epic Vegan Instant Pot Recipes for Lazy Fucks by Hannah Janish and Derek Howlett. Because I am making a bunch of vegan instant pot recipes, I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes, AND because I want to eat all the foods. 

6.) A horror novel. Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones. Why is horror on this list? Simple. Sometimes, reading something really terrifying lets the brain work through the scarier things in reality. It’s an escape and a relief.

7.) A translated work. The Meursault Investigation by Kamel Daoud. It’s a retelling of Camus’ The Stranger told by the point of THE ARAB. So much must read.

8.) A book of poetry or short stories. This one was easy. My boss’ prized former student, of whom I’ve now met a few times, has now won every award ever. So I’m reading Ocean Vuong’s Night Sky With Exit Wounds

9.) A self-help book in an area where I need to improve. I feel like I could make a book list of just self-help books. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg is my poison this year.

10.) Memoir!!! My FAVE! I’m reading Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance. I’m PUMPED.

11.) A National Book Award Winner. I’m going to re-read White Noise by Don DeLillo, because, like Handmaid’s Tale, it’s become a bit…relevant again.

12.) A Lambda Award Winner. This was tough. There were so many great choices, and since I’m very much into queer lit, oy. I’m going with a lesbian romance, A Month of Sundays by Yolanda Wallace. There’s a chef involved, so, yeah–winner.

13.) A book written before 1900. I’m going to read Middlemarch by George Eliot because I haven’t ever.

14.) A classic you fake-read. AKA, SHMOOPED! Honestly, I did this only once. I’m a fast reader and a good student, but man, I was pressed for time and just didn’t feel like it. Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold. I swear, I’ll read it this time. *hides from Professor Law* *runs away*

15.) A book that’s always intimidated me. I’m going to do it, guys, I’m going to read War and Peace. Send tea and biscuits.

Let me know what you’re reading! Tweet @CattBowen and use the hashtag #BeBetterReadingChallenge