2019 Annual Reading Challenge

2019 Annual Reading Challenge


BLUFF: In 2019, challenge yourself to reading one new book a month with this list of Reading Challenge prompts. If you’re lost on ideas, I’ve also curated a list of the books that I plan to read. This post contains affiliate links as part of the Amazon affiliates program, which means if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission. See our full disclosure policy here.

I love to read and I love when I find a really good book. Like so good, I stay up until two in the morning swiping as fast as I can to find out what happens next. I’m talking better than a good Netflix binge-watch good. My problem is that not only do I have to make time for myself to read, I also like to make time to research the books I choose to read. I really love finding the perfect book.

Each year I’m envious of the people I see posting about their 52 book Reading Challenge. Even a 24 book Reading Challenge sounds overwhelming to me. These goals sound too big for my life and schedule right now.

See my Reading Challenge List from last year here…

However, I can set a goal that will be Reading Challenging for me. My goal: 12 books in one year. My promise to myself is to read one book a month. To my readers, my promise is to come back here each month and sum up my thoughts on the book for you.

How It Works

I picked 12 book prompts for this Reading Challenge. Then I researched tons of books that have gotten great reviews, interest me, and will help me grow this year. With a little upfront work (finding the books that I want to read) and making a list, I’ll be all set to handle one book per month (and hopefully more). Check out my list of Reading Challenge prompts below and create your own challenge. Or skip the research and use my list!

Reading Challenge Template

My 2019 Reading Challenge List: One Great Book a Month!

I used my book prompts to help get the creative juices flowing. Too often I get side-tracked when trying to choose a book. Or I have a bad habit of reading the same types of books and I get a little burned out. This year, I took some time researching and reading the reviews on the following 12 books.

Pro Tips to avoid spending tons of moolah on books:

  • Use your local library and check-out physical and e-books for free.
  • If you already have Amazon Prime, check it out for free reads.
  • Ask a friend if they have a good book you can borrow

Written by a Milspouse:  

The Longest Night by Andria Williams

Why I chose it: Not only is this novel about a military spouse and military family, but it’s also written by a military spouse author, Andria Williams. Love triangles, and nuclear secrets, and an Army Base, based upon a true event, I’m in.

Amazon Summary: Military Spouse, Andria Williams’s debut novel is about a young military who move to a remote assignment in Idaho Falls in 1959. ” Based on a true story of the only fatal nuclear accident to occur in America, The Longest Night is a deeply moving novel that explores the intricate makeup of a marriage, the shifting nature of trust, and the ways we try to protect the ones we love. “

A book that is a TV Show: 

The Little Drummer Girl by John Le Carré

Why I chose it: A love story with secrets and espionage? I’m in. Plus I wanted to read it first before I watch the series on AMC.

Amazon Summary: ““On holiday in Mykonos, Charlie wants only sunny days and a brief escape from England’s bourgeois dreariness. Then a handsome stranger lures the aspiring actress away from her pals—but his intentions are far from romantic.

A book based in a location you want to visit in 2019:

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

Why I chose it: Although this one will be a time investment since it’s a four book series, I liked the concept of how the story takes place over 60 years. Another one I want to read before I watch the series on HBO.

Click to View

Amazon Summary: Book 1 of a 4 novel series that you can also catch on HBO. Acclaimed Italian author, Elena Ferrante sets the scene in 1950s Naples, Italy. The series spans 60 years about two friends growing up in Naples, becoming women, wives, mothers, and leaders, all the while maintaining a complex friendship. Book one in the series follows Lila and Elena from their first fateful meeting as ten-year-olds through their school years and adolescence.

A book on a subject you know nothing about:

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Why I chose it: One of the things I really love about reading is how it can open you up to a totally new subject, ideas, or even vocabulary, something you just wouldn’t normally stumble across in normal day-to-day life. I’m pretty sure astrophysics is one of those things for me.

Amazon Summary: While you wait for your morning coffee to brew, for the bus, the train, or a plane to arrive, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry will reveal just what you need to be fluent and ready for the next cosmic headlines: from the Big Bang to black holes, from quarks to quantum mechanics, and from the search for planets to the search for life in the universe.

What is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe? How does the universe fit within us? There’s no better guide through these mind-expanding questions than acclaimed astrophysicist and best-selling author Neil deGrasse Tyson.”

A book you meant to read in 2018: 

You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth by Jen Sincero

Why I chose it: Opps! I meant to read this one last year. But you know, life happens. Onward and upward!

Amazon Summary:You Are a Badass at Making Money will launch you past the fears and stumbling blocks that have kept financial success beyond your reach. Drawing on her own transformation—over just a few years—from a woman living in a converted garage with tumbleweeds blowing through her bank account to a woman who travels the world in style, Jen Sincero channels the inimitable sass and practicality that made You Are a Badass an indomitable bestseller. She combines hilarious personal essays with bite-size, aha concepts that unlock earning potential and get real results.”

A book that will be a movie in 2019:

The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook

Why I chose it: Is every book becoming a movie or TV show next year? Anyways, do you see a pattern with my obsession for post-War military thrillers?

Amazon Summary: Keira Knightley stars as Rachel Morgan, the wife of Colonel Lewis Morgan in post-WWI Hamburg, Germany. Colonel Morgan is “awaiting the arrival of his wife, Rachael—still grieving for their eldest son—and their only surviving son, Edmund. But rather than force the owners of the house, a German widower and his rebellious daughter, out onto the streets, Lewis insists that the two families live together. In this charged atmosphere, both parents and children will be forced to confront their true selves as enmity and grief give way to passion and betrayal, to their deepest desires, their fiercest loyalties, and the transforming power of forgiveness.”

A free book on Amazon Prime: 

The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim Defede

Why I chose it: I am Amazon Prime and I was able to download this one for FREE! I had heard a little bit about this true story that happened in Newfoundland on 9/11 and thought it was a pretty interesting and little-known story.

Amazon Summary: “When 38 jetliners bound for the United States were forced to land at Gander International Airport in Canada by the closing of U.S. airspace on September 11, the population of this small town on Newfoundland Island swelled from 10,300 to nearly 17,000. The citizens of Gander met the stranded passengers with an overwhelming display of friendship and goodwill.”

A borrowed book: 

The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months by Brian P. Moran & Michael Lennington

Why I chose it: I’m definitely intrigued by this book gifted to me by the fabulous Kate Horrell at FinCon this year! I love goal planning in genral, but it can get defeating and daunting when you plan for something that you will work on over 12 months. That’s a lot of time, and a lot of time to get lost and not execute your plan.

Amazon Summary: “Most organizations and individuals work in the context of annual goals and plans; a twelve-month execution cycle. Instead, The 12 Week Year avoids the pitfalls and low productivity of annualized thinking. This book redefines your “year” to be 12 weeks long. In 12 weeks, there just isn’t enough time to get complacent, and urgency increases and intensifies. The 12 Week Year creates focus and clarity on what matters most and a sense of urgency to do it now. In the end more of the important stuff gets done and the impact on results is profound. “

A book on personal finance: 

The Financial Diet: A Total Beginner’s Guide to Getting Good with Money by Chelsea Fagan

Why I chose it: I almost chose a different book on personal finance, because I felt like potentially I might have aged out of this one. But I thought why not go back to basics and make sure I’m working on a solid foundation.

Amazon Summary: “The personal finance book for people who don’t care about personal finance. Whether you’re in need of an overspending detox, buried under student debt, or just trying to figure out how to live on an entry-level salary, The Financial Diet gives you tools to make a budget, understand investments, and deal with your credit. It’s about everything—from the clothes you put in your closet, to your financial relationship habits, to the food you put in your kitchen (instead of ordering in again). So The Financial Diet gives you the tools to negotiate a raise and the perfect cocktail recipe to celebrate your new salary. “

A “beach read”:  

When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger

Why I chose it: This looks like the perfect fun read for relaxing at the beach…now I just need a beach and some time to relax.

Amazon Summary: ” Welcome to Greenwich, Connecticut, where the lawns and the women are perfectly manicured, the Tito’s and sodas are extra strong, and everyone has something to say about the infamous new neighbor. “

A book that makes you laugh:

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

Why I chose it: I loved Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without me? and of course The Mindy Project. I find her work laugh out loud funny an I try to avoid reading or watching her work on a plane where people give me the side-eye for laughing too loud.

Amazon Summary: ” In Why Not Me? Kaling shares her ongoing journey to find contentment and excitement in her adult life, whether it’s falling in love at work, seeking new friendships in lonely places, attempting to be the first person in history to lose weight without any behavior modification whatsoever, or most important, believing that you have a place in Hollywood when you’re constantly reminded that no one looks like you. “

A book on self-improvement: 

Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World by Admiral William H. McRaven (U.S. Navy Retired)

Why I chose it: A few years ago, my husband started enforcing a new policy in the morning. We had to make our bed every day. I was less than thrilled but I went along with it. He read something about some retired Admiral saying it was a good habit to form. Wake up and right off the bat every day you can complete one simple task. It will make you feel good. Well, I got in the habit and now I’m hooked. This is the book by the guy that is the reason for my tidy room!

Amazon Summary: In 2014, Admiral McRaven’s University of Texas Graduation speech went viral with over 10 million views. “Building on the core tenets laid out in his speech, McRaven now recounts tales from his own life and from those of people he encountered during his military service who dealt with hardship and made tough decisions with determination, compassion, honor, and courage. Told with great humility and optimism, this timeless book provides simple wisdom, practical advice, and words of encouragement that will inspire readers to achieve more, even in life’s darkest moments.”

If you liked my book recommendations, click the following link to get a free copy of my Reading Challenge filled out for you!

Reading Challenge

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