Skip to main content

Reading has been one of my favorite ways to cope with the stressors of 2020. Oh and memes. Can't forget about the memes.  

I like to think I read a wide variety of books. But is this true? My thinking was challenged this past summer when my friend Heather invited me to participate in a reading challenge being offered by Books and Mortar, a local bookstore in Grand Rapids, Mich. I've attached the PDF of the challenge below in case you'd like to check it out. 

If completed, the participant could earn a $10 gift card to the bookstore. And that was enough of a carrot for me to check it out. 

I'd read dozens of books already so I figured I'd have a decent start on the challenge. And I was in fact able to quickly fill in some categories.

I wrote Michelle Obama’s Becoming in the space for a biography, memoir, or work of creative nonfiction. And Lisa Wingate’s The Book of Lost Friends worked as a book published in 2019 or 2020.

A book about a social justice issue you care about? I had recently read Bryan Stevenson's Just Mercy and rarely has a book impacted me like this one. 

After a couple of other quick additions, I found myself being challenged. Challenged to pick-up some books I otherwise wouldn’t have. 

The first was Dear Evan Hansen, a book I picked up in the teen section of my local library. The book transported me to the clique-filled and often lonely hallways of high school, a place I had not thought about or visited in a long time. 

The second was The Alchemist, a book I likely would not have picked up. But I found it worked as a book in translation since it was originally written in Portuguese. I ended up loving this exotic tale of a shepherd boy who left his flock in search of a treasure buried near the pyramids of Egypt. 

I have yet to complete the challenge. But already it has opened my eyes and ears to new perspectives and voices. And for that I am thankful!

Attached Media


I didn't sign up for the challenge, but really appreciate the book recommendation of "The Alchemist". I was intrigued and just finished reading it last night. A really inspiring book about pursing your individual dreams! I'll have to check out some of the other suggestions. Thanks Staci!

Let's Discuss

We love your comments! Thank you for helping us uphold the Community Guidelines to make this an encouraging and respectful community for everyone.

Login or Register to Comment

We want to hear from you.

Connect to The Network and add your own question, blog, resource, or job.

Add Your Post