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2020 Booklist queen reading challenge - 52 CATEGORIES

First and foremost, I look at challenges as a gateway to new reading paths, a way to nudge me in a new direction with my reading. It's not a competition and if I don't finish, I don't care; but, I'm going to give it a shot! Are you inspired to join me?


Rachael at The Booklist Queen has just rebranded her blog and is focusing on providing reading list ideas galore. Her reading challenge list is LONG (52 categories for a book a week) and full of ideas.....not sure how many I'll get through, but I'll track it here. As she reminds us, her goal is to inspire people to read more, just one more book - but whether you read 12 books or all 52, the goal is to enjoy reading.

Here's where I'll track my efforts to complete the challenge in 2020. I'll be double dipping some of the books that will also fit categories in other challenges. I started by taking the lists and perusing my own bookshelves to see what I already own that will fit the challenge. Then, as I search the forums for ideas, I watch for books I know are already on my TBR list. Finally, I fill in with books totally new-to-me. Completed books will be in bold with a cover image and links to the reviews.  (AOC, author of color) 

woman in the window

1 - becoming a movie in 2020:

Woman in the Window (The) by A. J. Finn

suspenseful thriller of an agoraphobic psychologist thinks she sees a murder in a neighbor's house but no one believes her because of her circumstances

daisy jones

2 - Goodreads winner in 2019:

Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid 

taking place over a decade, the rise and fall of a 70s rock band told in the format of a long interview, complete with drug use, random sex, addiction, rehab, success and collapse

4 - published in the 1920s:

purple hibiscus

5 - by an AOC (author of color):

Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Adichie  

siblings in a wealthy family in Nigeria live in constant fear of their abusive father and when political unrest comes to their town, the are sent to stay with a poor aunt - their eyes are opened to a different way to live


7 - historical:

Cloud of Sparrows by Takashi Matsuoka 

an epic tale of the Samurai in Japan as they try to deal with incoming Outsiders and the changes that are imminent

end of life bk cl

8 - title with 5 or more words:

End of Your Life Book Club (The) by Will Schwalbe 

memoir by a man whose mom is dying of cancer and how books helped them talk about other difficult topics and strengthened their connection.


10 - book with a clever title:

Never-Open Desert Diner (The) by James Anderson  

a quiet book of an ordinary man living a solitary life as a trucker until he meets a mysterious woman and gets embroiled in her life


11 - a short story collection:

Different Seasons by Stephen King 

a collection of four "short" stories, none of which is horror, just good solid intriguing tales


12 - book with more than 400 pages:

Nightingale (The) by Kristin Hannah (564 pages) 

the story of two French sisters and how they survive WWII; one joins the Resistance, one stays in her small village

eleanor oliphant

13 - book that makes you laugh:

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

a serious story about a lonely, socially awkward young woman, but the dialog sometimes made me laugh out loud!

night tiger

15 - set in Asia:

Night Tiger (The) by Yangsze Choo  (Malaysia)

a little magical realism as a weretiger is thought to be terrorizing an area and an orphan boy, a young woman and her handsome step-brother, and a morally corrupt white doctor try to appease it

notes from a young black chef

17 - a celebrity memoir:

Notes From a Young Black Chef by Kwame Onwuachi

a memoir about a young black man's difficult upbring and how he overcame them to follow his passion


18 - NY Times #1 best seller:

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

a thought provoking look at family, motherhood and an adoption issue that affects the neighborhood as well as indivuals

tattooist of auschwitz

19 - based on a true story:

Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

a based-on-true story of a man who becomes the primary tattooist at Auschwitz and how he and the woman he loves survive the camp


20 - a genre I don't usually read:

Bride Test (The) by Helen Hoang  (romance)

a young Korean single mom comes to the US to meet and marry a man picked for her; he's autistic, she's got secrets; jealousy and sex and affection and drama ensue

fifth season

22 - book from the bottom of my TBR:

Fifth Season (The) #1 by N.K. Jemison

on my list and shelves for years, finally dusted it off and found I loved this fantasy book about people who are held almost as slaves because of their ability to connect with the earth


23 - a beach read:

I'll Be Your Blue Sky by Marisa de los Santos

the storylines of Edith and Clare are very different and yet converge in a surprising way as each struggle to find their path

40914165._SY475_ (1).jpg

24 - book everyone is talking about:

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson  - a story of the horseback librarians of Kentucky and an outside 'blue' woman who joins their ranks


25 - recommended by a family member:

Never-Open Desert Diner (The) by James Alexander 

a quiet story about a quiet man who finds himself in the midst of a mystery when he falls for a beautiful, mysterious woman

just mercy

26 - a book from the 50 states reading list:

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

nonfiction written by a lawyer who's dedicated his life to freeing people wrongly convicted of crimes (mostly black people) and put on death row.

american dirt

27 - about a controversial subject:

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

read my two cents about this controversial book; the story of a Mexican woman and her son as they try to escape the cartel by running to the US.


28 - by an indie author:

Ghostland by Duncan Ralston

an 'amusement park' opens that enables visitors to walk among actual ghosts, but while the "guests are dying to get in, the ghosts will kill to get out"

last shot

29 - about sports:

Last Shot by John Feinstein 

a middle grade story about a couple of teens who discover a plan to 'fix' a Final Four game.


32 - next book in a series:

Binti trilogy by Nnedi Okorafor 

sci fi about a young woman who leaves Earth to go to college and ends up finding her strength and facing her fears


33 - nonfiction about a topic I love:

On Writing by Stephen King

I love reading about reading and writing and this entertaining book is filled with both personal tidbits as well as strong tips for writing a good story

a long walk to water

34 - middle grade fiction:

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

an amazing story of determination and resilience as a young boy is displaced during the Sudan war and survives in refugee camps and grows up with the desire to help his country; based on true

calculating stars

35: recommended by local librarian:

Calculating Stars (The) by Mary Robinette Kowal

the story of a dying Earth and the woman and her husband who strive to help the world rush space travel so humans can leave the dying planet

meeting faith

37 - book that will make me smarter:

Meeting Faith: The Forest Journals of a Black Buddhist Nun by Faith Adiele

intriguing memoir of a young college woman who travels to Thailand to study monks and nuns and decides to become an ordained Buddhist nun

38 - a modern classic:

84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff  (waiting on library copy)

an epistolary collection of correspondence between a New York author and a used bookseller in London 

8th sister

39 - book I haven't read by an author I love:

Eighth Sister (The) by Robert Dugoni  

a 60+ year old ex-spy comes out of retirement and gets involved with Russian espionage, his family is threatened, there's a surprising friendship and a wonderful legal tussle

red queen

40 - book with a color in the title:

Red Queen #1 by Victoria Aveyard 

this YA fantasy is a fairly standard plot of a rebellion of the underprivileged against the upper class who also happen to have special 'super' powers. When one young girl discovers she also has powers, she takes an active role in the underground rebellion.

doomsday book

42 - has a hideous cover:

Doomsday Book by Connie Willis

part sci-fi, part historical fiction as a young woman time travels back to the 1300s England and ends up in the midst of the bubonic plague  (the cover on my book is uglier than this!)

assassins apprentice

44 - about politics:

Assassin's Apprentice (The) by Robin Hobb

Excellent fantasy story about a bastard son raised in the castle; book one focuses on his formative years as he's taught assassin skills and tries to find his place in the royal hierarchy.


45 - by a local author:

Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell (The) by Robert Dugoni 

The coming of age story of a boy, his family, and his community as they deal with devastating losses

last mrs parrish

46 - by two authors:

Last Mrs. Parrish (The) by Liv Constantine (2 sisters writing under 1 name)

a suspenseful, dysfunctional story of a social climbing young woman trying to usurp the position of the wife of a wealthy man

lonesome dove

47 - book I own but haven't read:

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry  - our Buddy Read for Feb'20

the classic, epic western

enders game

48 - re-read a favorite book:

Ender's Game #1 by Orson Scott Card 

loved it 20 years ago, received it as a Christmas gift last year, and loved it again!


49 - a 2020 new release:

Space Between Worlds (The) by Macaiah Johnson (ARC)

a multiverse story where an outlier female who travels between worlds gathering information and she discovers secrets from her life on one of the other worlds 

miracle creek

51 - book I saw someone reading:

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

a fire at a hyperbaric chamber owned by a Korean family causes the death of 2 patients and the ensuing trial exposes lies and secrets galore

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