Books to read in 2016

I’ve seen a couple of 2016 reading challenges posted on Facebook. This one looks pretty interesting.

I had been planning already on reading a book translated to English (no particular one, it just sounded like a good way to broaden my reading). I had planned on a biography rather than an autobiography, but I could probably manage both.

A book set in my state – well, that should be easy. Though at first I was thinking Iowa, where I live now, then I realized it says “home state” which would be Connecticut where I grew up. Well, still shouldn’t be too hard. I’m less sure about finding a romance set in the future.

I’m not generally keen on reading books from Oprah’s Book Club (though I see from this list that there are some I read before they were ever on the list), but there seems to be enough variety there that I can pick out something, while still expanding the range of my reading to something I might not have picked up otherwise.

A protagonist with my occupation – now that might be difficult to figure out. If I say “computer programmer” there are probably lots of them, but programming has never been the bulk of my job. I’ve always done a mix of IT work (though I like programming best – I just don’t want to do it eight hours a day), and my current job includes troubleshooting, training, user access control, documentation, release testing, implementation of new features in the software, and writing queries to run ad hoc reports.

I’m glad that, unlike the other challenge and the one I did last year, it doesn’t ask me to read a book I should have read in high school, only one that I haven’t read since high school. I think I can manage that. A Tale of Two Cities, maybe? I liked that one and have sometimes thought of rereading it.

One category that could be very difficult is “first book you see in a bookstore.” At Barnes & Noble, the first books I see are generally the ones on clearance in the entryway, and are often things like cookbooks, craft kits, and children’s books. I like cooking a little but I’m not going to read a whole cookbook; I like crafts but generally not the kind that require a book to make them; and the children’s books on clearance are generally not the greatest – otherwise what would they be doing on clearance?

I don’t generally care for satire, but reading one would no doubt expand my reading horizons, which is of course the idea. And I have no idea what kind of book would be guaranteed to bring me joy.

One category not in this list, that is in the other one, is a book that was banned at some point. I’m sure I’ve already read some of those, but it would be interesting to find another one.

Others that I had planned on that aren’t in either list are

  • a book written as a sequel to a book by another writer
  • a book where an animal is a main character
  • a book published the year I was born
  • a book about books
  • a book of short stories

I’m already in the middle of a murder mystery (Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None) and a book at least 100 years older than me (Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice). So I guess I’m off to a good start.

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