K. M. Weiland, author of Storming and helpful connector of dots for fellow writers and readers, has issued a challenge and offered a reward for those who can meet it. Read a hundred books this year and get stuff for free.
She’s offering an electronic copy of one of her books for completing the challenge. Everyone who completes the challenge will also be entered into a drawing to win a signed paperback of one of her books.
I’m taking her up on the challenge. My fiction list so far includes her latest, Storming, Neil Gaiman’s Trigger Warning, and The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova. For non-fiction, I’m starting the year off with Robert Lee Brewer’s 2015 Guide to Self-Publishing, Build Your Author Platform by Carole Jelen and Michael McCallister, The Art of Language Invention by David J. Peterson, and Robin Houghton’s Blogging for Writers.
I’m also adding a little something of my own to the prize list, which Weiland says will include a lot of extras.
She’s not telling what all of them are yet, but if you head over to her site to read about the challenge and complete the task by year’s end, you’ll also get an e-copy of Tangible Angels or The American Book of Changes (your choice), and the prizes for the drawing will include a signed paperback of one of my books, too.
Need some ideas to get you thinking about what to read in 2016?
Here’s my list. Adopt it, adapt it, do what you will with it, but join us and furnish your mind with some extraordinary stories, ideas, and imaginative journeys this year.
Choose a book with your favorite color in the title.
Judge a book by its cover.
Read a book by an author whose name is familiar to you but whose work you’ve never read.
Read a book recommended by a friend.
Find a book at a used book store.
Re-read a book you love.
Call a favorite teacher from high school (or middle school, or college, or . . . y’know, use the challenge as an excuse to reconnect with someone influential from your past) and ask for a book recommendation.
Read a book that’s been languishing, unread, on your bookshelf for more than a year.
Investigate a fictional genre that’s new to you.
Read a book written before you were born.
Go ahead! Get a bestseller!
Read the book that inspired a movie you love.
Try a translation.
Pick up a book of poems.
Read a how-to book for something you never intend to do.
Read a book about an animal you have never seen in person.
Read a novel set in a country you’d like to visit.
Read a novel set in a country that no longer exists.
Read a book by an author from each continent (work out your own understanding of what it means to be “from” Antarctica).
How about a biography?
Read a book by a local author (where you live now).
Ask a friend or family member to choose a book for you.
Borrow a book from someone else (not a library).
Listen to an audio book.
Read a graphic novel.
Read a novel based on a true story.
Read a self-published book.
Re-ead a favorite book you had to read for school.
Re-read a favorite book you couldn’t read in school.
Read a book about a profession that interests you.
Google your name + “book” and see what comes up.
Read a book with an animal as the main character.
Read a non-fiction book about the future that was written long ago.
Read a book listed in the bibliography of another book you’ve read.
Read a book recommended by an author you follow.
Read a non-fiction book written by an author better known for fiction.
Read a novel or a collection of short-stories written by a writer better known for non-fiction.
Read a book you hope will make you laugh.
Read a book you hope will make you cry.
Read a book you hope will change your life.
Take a chance on an author you’ve never heard of.
Try this book-selection tool: Whichbook.
Pick a winner from this list: Nobel Prizes for Literature.
Or this one: Pulitzer Winners
But wait, there’s more: Booker Prize Winners and Shortlisted Authors
Visit your favorite author’s website. If there’s a contact page, ask what book he or she read last.
Read a book by an author from your home town or nearest city (where you grew up).
Ask my neighbor to recommend a book.
Bring a blindfold to your local public library. Ask a librarian to blindfold you and turn you around and around. Put your hands out in front of you and walk slowly in the direction that seems most promising. Check out the first book you touch, go home, and read it. (Hint: Take the blindfold off first.) Alternatively, blindfold the librarian and have him or her select a book for you to check out. Be sure to say thank you. Librarians are professionals who deserve your courteous respect.
Make your own damn list. And share it with me. I need 50 more. Also, can you recommend something with “blue” in the title? I prefer a deep gray-blue like the underbelly of a thunderstorm, but cornflower works, too.