Friday, August 18, 2017

What's Next?

It feels so amazing to be done with the 100 Best Novels challenge. As I mentioned on in my posts earlier this week, I have been working on that list for over four years. Because I am a goal-setter, I have thought throughout that time about how I would like to challenge myself next. So, here we are to talk about just that.

Before we do, I do want to acknowledge how very much I am looking forward to reading utterly and completely for pleasure in the next few months. I've read so much heavy material in the past few years because of the list. I really pushed myself through the last twenty or thirty books. So, for a while, I want to read fiction that feels fluffy and good. Books I want to devour, not slog through. I know any new challenge will come with some books I'm not so interested in, so I don't want to jump into anything too quickly.

I also cannot help myself. I love challenges and goals. I'm a dreamer. I'm big on setting and reaching goals. To not be working toward something concrete feels very odd to me. Considering I celebrated my 30th birthday yesterday (Happy Birthday to me!!), it feels timely to be here talking about next steps and new chapters. So, here are some things I am thinking about challenging myself to do:
Those are all things I would like to do eventually, or at least work on. Here's what I'm thinking about each of those ideas at the moment:
  • Another Classics List: More classics? Ugh. Not ready for that quite yet. Although, I am interested in seeing how organizations apart from Modern Library tackled the same challenge. Theoretically, there would be a good deal of overlap.
  • Pulitzer Winners: This also sends me right back into the world of classics. I really enjoyed reading the Pulitzer winner each year, but I'm not sure I'm ready to dive into the back catalog of winners just yet. 
  • Presidential Bios: It would be fun to do these in chronological order, too. However, I think this is a good slow challenge. I imagine some of these would take me months to get through. So, maybe I start this with the intention of going slowly. Make it an informal challenge.
  • Children's Books: Heck yes. I want to do this for sure. I think I could do this one fairly quickly. However, I'm not sure I'm ready to rush into a new 100 Best list just yet.
  • Reading Around the World: I love love love this idea. It ties into my next idea as well. However, there are around 196 countries in the world (depending on how you count places like Taiwan). That's a big challenge. Am I ready to take that on?
  • Diversity: As you know from my post Wednesday, I am so fed up with reading the works of old, white men. I mean, those guys are great, but let's get some other voices in the conversation! Particularly with the way the world is right now, this feels really important. I don't know how to go about compiling the best list for this, or even if such a list should exist. Maybe a challenge focused on diversity would continually be about discovering new voices. This is one of those things, too, that I want to make a reading lifestyle, not just a quick dip in the diversity pool. I want to make diverse voices a standard part of my mental conversation.
  • TBR: Just thinking about tackling the list of books I want to read makes me feel simultaneously overwhelmed and excited. Every book on there is there for a reason. However, the list is 300+ strong at this point. And it grows every month. Still, right now, it feels like a good, easy place to start. Realistically, I know I'll always be working at this. Books are like people. The good ones lead you to more good ones.
So, that's where I'm at right now. Undecided what to tackle next. Just in awe of the amazing books that are out there and how I will never ever be able to read them all. I'm going to give myself a few months to decide what I want to tackle next. 

For now, though, I'd love to get your input. What do you think about the ideas I have so far? Do you have other challenges you think I should consider? Please share your thoughts! Or, you can send some book recommendations my way and make that TBR challenge even more daunting!

1 comment:

  1. I love a good challenge--can't wait to see which you pick! I'm working on reading around the world, but that challenge is kind of on the back burner for now. Since I'm not actively working on it, I don't feel pressured to read almost 200 books *right now*, and I'm enjoying the books I do read a lot more.