Seven Summer Reading Challenges That Are More Fun Than Getting in Swimsuit Shape
Summer is almost upon us, which means it’s time to choose a summer reading challenge (and time for me to write about it again). It already feels like summer where I’m at, which is what reminded me that I need to pick one for myself as well as offering a few options to all of you. And it doesn’t matter if you’re heading to the beach, enjoying a cheap staycation, or working every day between June and September, there is always time to read.
You will find challenges here that are comfortable beach reads as well as some that are more challenging (pun intended). Just always remember that the “challenge” part of a reading challenge isn’t to get through as many books as possible; the real challenge is getting outside your comfort zone and trying something new.
Any of these are easily adaptable to your own reading goals or preferences, so feel free to take what you like and ignore the rest. There’s no prize for finishing any of them either, unless you value knowledge, wisdom, joy, and guaranteed entrance into Paradise; as Borges said, Heaven will be a kind of library.
1. Around the World in 80 Books. I’ve written about this one before and will continue to do so until I shuffle off this mortal coil, because it’s not only a lot of fun, it’s the one most likely to truly impact your view of the world. The title sums it up pretty well: compile a list of 80 books from 80 different countries and start reading. I can suggest titles like The Shadow of the Wind (from Spain), The Master and Margarita (from Russia), Suspended Sentences (from France), and The Moor’s Account (from Morocco) but half the fun in the exercise is looking up books on your own and finding ones that speak to you rather than having something assigned to you. Any Google search of “books in translation” or “books from Malaysia” or “best foreign authors” will give you a good place to start.
Make yourself a list with the title, the author, and the country and travel that list in whatever order you like. You can even pin a world map to your wall and mark off countries as you visit them. The best thing about this challenge is that you can travel without a passport or plane…