Last year, a small group of friends and I did a Reading Challenge of 25 books, The 2019 PolyWogg Reading Challenge, based on a five-by-five grid like a reading bingo game. It was open season for the year, you could pick any square at any time. While people enjoyed it, they had views for the new year:
- More choice (almost like they could read anything they wanted, but not necessarily in order to get to a goal of a specific number of books per year);
- A few specific ideas about themes (we added Indigenous, locations, etc.); and,
- They want badges (I kept wanting to say, “We don’t need no stinkin’ badges”, but as moderator of the small but mighty band of intrepid readers, that seemed discouraging).
So, with those changes in mind, here is the grid for 2020! (Pssst, don’t ask about the blue bands, that is a FB viewing thing).
Here’s how it’s going to work
In advance, you know from the grid above that for January you can read a “mystery, thriller or adventure” book or “any book of the reader’s choice”. Which sounds like read anything you want, right? Nope, there are two catches. The badges. You have to earn them.
Each month, I’m going to name four options of specific titles (Group A) that fit the first category — two adult titles and two young adult titles (that way, Jacob and Paige can play along too!). You can also read a different title of your own choosing (Group B) or a title from the second category (Group C). But which ones you read will determine what badge you can get for the month.
- A copper badge will be awarded if you read one book from Group A (named), B (open), or C (open);
- A bronze badge will be awarded if you read one book from Group A (the named list);
- A silver badge will be awarded if you read two books from Group B (open) and C (open);
- A gold badge will be awarded if you read two books from Group A (named) and C (open); and,
- A platinum badge will be awarded if you read three books, one from Group A (named), one from Group B (open), and one from Group C (open).
I’ll post each month with the named books for that month, both here and in the FB group.
Some resources to help you choose other books
A. Master Lists
There is a website called The Greatest Books which is a compilation of lists of great books — 2073 titles in total. Should keep you going to start.
B. Award winners
- Governor General’s awards (Canadian)
- National Book Awards (American)
- Pulitzer prizes (American)
- Man Booker awards (English-speaking)
- Agatha awards (mystery)
- Shamus awards (mystery)
- Macavity awards (mystery)
- Edgar awards (mystery)
- Hammett awards (mystery)
C. Curated lists
- Abe Books’ list of Top 100 Fiction Books to Read in a Lifetime
- Radcliffe Publishing’s 100 Greatest Novels
- Modern Library’s Fiction or Non-fiction lists
- BBC’s 100 Greatest British Novels
- Guardian’s 100 Best Non-Fiction Books of All-time or 100 Best Novels Written in English
- Time Magazine’s All-Time 100 Novels
- NY Times Best-Seller list
D. Sources other than Amazon or your library
A non-fiction self-help (or business) book.
Feel free to ask me to suggest a title or share with me other resources you think should be here too!