Make the next 12 months the year you step out of your reading comfort zone! This guide will grow your To Be Read list and challenge you to pick up a book you might otherwise overlook. We all slip into a reading rut occasionally, defaulting to our favorite go-to genres. Unfortunately, that means real gems are often relegated to the bottom of the stack. That, my reading friend, is tragic!
Download this free 12 month reading guide and explore a different genre each month (just right-click an image below to save it). I have also compiled a list of at least 10 suggestions for each genre — that’s over 120 titles to whet your book-loving appetite! That 9 page doozy is waiting for you in the Members’ Only Resource Library and you can get access here. I’ll also add discussion questions and book club ideas for many titles as I read them — they are all yours, all free in the Library.
Historical fiction set in a country other than your own
Oh, so many great books in this genre! Pick any historical fiction from your favorite era. The one catch: it must be set in a country other than your own.
An autobiography, biography, or memoir
The line between an autobiography and a memoir is so often blurred, I decided to lump these choices together. Technically, an autobiography covers most of the lifespan of the author; a memoir focuses on a particular time period, event, or season of the author’s life. We’re not worried about technicalities here, just pick one that appeals to you.
A fiction book that was published within the past year
With the advent of ebooks, self-publishing, and the internet, more books are now published every year than any time in history. Case in point: in 1966, the New York Times had 2 titles reach #1 on its best seller list; in 2016, there were 37! (Source) This month, pluck a recently published (within the past 12 months) book off the shelf and see what’s new.
Inspire me/Teach me – a book that inspires you to be better or learn something new
Maybe it’s a how-to-do-it book (or a how-to-do-it-better) book, a devotional, a self-help book, or any number of helpful options. This month choose a title that will teach you something new or inspire you to reach a little higher.
A book recommended by a close friend or family member
You family and friends know you well, but that doesn’t mean you share the same tastes in books. Be brave and let someone else choose for you this month. You may be very pleasantly surprised! Or, not. 😉
Get over 120 book suggestions here!
Literature Teacher’s Pick – a “classic” you should have read in school
Do a quick Google search for books every high schooler should read and you will find a plethora of titles! Or you could just think back to a particular book for which you skimmed the Cliff Notes instead of actually reading (ssshh!). I have no doubt we will find them much more meaningful with a little bit of real life under our belts!
A book that was made into a movie (bonus points if you see the movie, too!)
This one is going to be easy! There are no date restrictions on this choice so you can go back as far as you like. With all the wonderful books-to-movies available, this may be your favorite month, especially since the book usually beats the movie hands down!
A nonfiction book published in the past decade
I used to equate “nonfiction” to “textbook” based on my personal school experience, but there is so much to enjoy in the nonfiction category. Titles here could easily overlap with selections in Month 4, so explore a little and don’t limit yourself to just history books!Always #reading the same types of #books? Explore new #genres w/this 12 month #challenge! Click To Tweet
A Young Adult book of any genre and publication date
Can I just admit frankly my love of YA literature? As C.S. Lewis said, “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” Some of my all-time favorite fall in this category.
A true story of derring do, action, adventure, or heroism
Nonfiction again, but of a slightly more specific nature. This month go on a white knuckled adventure, push yourself beyond your limits, survive the unsurvivable, all from the comfort of your own sofa!
Science fiction, fantasy, or dystopia
This is my personal “literary stretch.” My very first SciFi read way back in 7th grade was a total bust, and I’ve since avoided this genre. I know, however, I am missing out on some really good books because of my self-imposed boundary, so out I will step!
Reader’s Choice – an easy, feel good, escapism-at-its-best read
Here is your reward for making it through this 12 month challenge! The choice is all yours: pick something that will leave you with a smile. Sweet and romantic or a little edgy, anything you enjoy is the right option for this month.
More Book Love
Don’t forget to get your access to the Members Only Library and the suggestions for each month’s genre. There will be more bookish resources, such as discussion questions and book club suggestions, added regularly.
NEW!!! NEW!!! Join the brand new Prose & Pastime Facebook Group! We will talk books each month, yes, but oh, so much more! We are a group of women intent on making our everyday, ordinary lives just a little bit better. If you like what you what you see here, join us for a huge dose of friendly encouragement as together we put feet on our little “Why Not?” intentions! Click here or on the picture below and let’s get the conversations started.
Pin this reading guide, share it on Facebook, email it to yourself, save it to your computer — whatever you need to do to have it at your fingertips every month! Then join us in the Prose & Pastime Facebook group to talk about all the bookish goodness that’s gonna go down this year!
If you like this post, you don’t want to miss these!