My Monthly Reading Challenge

I don’t know what it says about me, but I keep getting off course when it comes to this challenge. I made progress. It is middle of March and I have four books read from the list, but I have a bunch of others that weren’t on the list.

Here’s my current status on the book challenge:

Completed books:

A debut novel – According to Plan: Novel – Kimberly Kessler

A book outside your (genre) comfort zone – Redcap (Folklore Series Book 1) – Larry Yoakum III

A book by a local author – The Secrets We Keep – Lara Prescott

A book published in the decade I was born – Mrs. Frisby and the rats of NIMH – Robert C. O’brien

In progress books:

A classic I didn’t read in school: To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee

Three books by the same author: The Blind Assassin – Margaret Atwood (first of the three books)

The details:

I finished the book by a local author. The Secrets We Kept. As I mentioned last month, it isn’t my genre of choice. Actually, it was a slog for me, but I kept at it and finished. This was a case where I probably wouldn’t have finished it had I not committed to this challenge. The writing style worked for me, but it was the topic that I didn’t enjoy. So, lesson learned.

I realized about a third of the way into the book I’d read it before, but I enjoyed it anyway! Mrs. Frisby is quite the hero and her journey is one that any mom would take for their children. And she’s a mouse, so there’s that too. I also realized that while the theme of the book is simple, Rats don’t have to steal, it made for some interesting complications. It was also the palate cleanser I’d hoped it would be – I think I’m ready for some more complicated stuff (hence to Kill a Mockingbird and The Blind Assassin).


Non challenge books:

I thought I would share what else I have been reading and a little bit about why I chose the books.

Atomic Habits – James Clear – Who couldn’t use better habits? I’ve been wanting to read this for a while. I picked it up after having three different people recommend it to me in a week. It is a detailed examination of why we do the things we do, but Clear simplifies things and makes them easy to understand. I’ve picked up several good ideas from the book I have already put into use.

The Threshing – Tim Grahl – Tim wrote this book in public over the last four years on the StoryGrid podcast. He worked with his editor Shawn Coyne from beginning to end and I think I listened to most if not all of the episodes. I wanted to read it after hearing how he went about writing it. Despite the fact that it is not my genre of choice, it was a quick read for me and I enjoyed it. The YA dystopian adventure novel is entertaining for kids (12ish and up) and adults alike.

Magical Midlife Madness: A Paranormal Women’s Fiction – K. F. Breene – This one was for research purposes. I kept seeing the term Paranormal Women’s Fiction come up with I was looking through the top 50 books in Women’s Fiction. I decided I needed to read one to see what all the fuss was about. Basically, it is a Women’s Fiction book where the main character gets magical powers. The magical powers don’t generally include fading stretch marks and disappearing cellulite, but it was entertaining nonetheless.

Fast Draft Your Memoir – Rachael Herron – I met Rachael at a recent writers’ conference I attended and really enjoyed her talk on editing. While I don’t write memoirs, I learned quite a few tricks that I will be using in my stories going forward. If you are interested in writing a memoir, this is an excellent book. It will get you headed in the right direction.

If you are reading along, let me know how the challenge is going for you! You can send me at or comment below!

Until next time…

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash