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Black History Month & My New Fixation with Reading Challenges

At the beginning of the year (just to be a little more social) I decided to take on a reading challenge. Among 99 other goals to meet this challenge was the ticker that requires me to read a book I should have read years ago. Just so happened, and none too surprising, I happened to have one such book stuffed in my bookcase. It's been there for years. Actually, I have many.

Still, I couldn’t have decided to tackle reading Zora Neale Hurston’s novel ‘Their Eyes Were watching God’ at a better time. Just so happen today starts the historic Black History Month celebration, ironically coinciding with my just so happening to read a book written by a celebrated African American writer that I expected to enjoy a lot less than anything I’ve ever read.

The irony here is, realizing like one watches the sun set…or rise, the struggles (alas challenges) our ancestors worked through to ultimately give our passions, our goals, our dreams, our life texture and meaning. Surely after the sacrifices our ancestors have made to enrich our lives, I can double my effort by not only mining for book gems that might inspire reading, but by mining for gems that also meets my reading challenge.

Already, as if there could ever be a shortage of ironies here, all-be-doggonit and come to find out, Zora’s book really had a feel good appeal to it. I loved it. (The rest of my thoughts here).

Below is what my reading challenge this year is (so far) looking like. Are you attempting any reading challenges? If so, please share. Perhaps I might swap out one of the goals of my challenges for something more interesting… or daring.

Reading Challenge 2017

A nonfiction book (Cold Hard Truth On Men, Women, and Money by Kevin O'Leary)
A memoir (Unbreak My Heart by Toni Braxton)
A book recommendation to read a genre not typically read (Choices and Illusions by Eldon Taylor)
A book you own but have never read (Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston)
A book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t
A book you can finish in a day
A book published this year
A book set somewhere you always wanted to visit
A book that came out the year you were born
A book that takes place in your hometown
A book written by an author with your same initials
A book set in a different country
A book that was originally written in a different language
A book more than 100 years-old
A book with more than 500 pages
A book you started but never finished
A book with bad reviews
A funny book
A classic romance
A book that became a movie
A book with magic
A book with a number in the title
A book written by someone under 30
A graphic novel
A book set during Christmas
A mystery or thriller
A popular author’s first book
A Pulitzer Prize-winning book
A play
A banned book.


  1. I love this! I'll definitely try it this way. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yes, please do... and keep me posted:-)

  2. Picked "Their Eyes Were Watching God" off the shelf of a public library 35 years ago because I was struck by the cover, the title, and the author's name.
    To all: A book that will have great impact and you'll never forget.

    How about a book that is a TRUE STORY that you would never ever read but for that somebody whom you respect recommended it? And that might change the way you think about how you think? "The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds" by Michael Lewis (same author who wrote "MoneyBall." I would never have read it and I'm glad I did.

    1. Hi Jane & thanks for leaving a comment. For sure "Their Eyes Were Watching God" is unforgettable, and relevant today to boot.

      And, I think I heard of "The Undoing Project." I think I started to buy it but not sure what persuaded me otherwise... Perhaps I might double back and give it a try. Thanks again!

  3. Oh my. I lost your blog and now and glad I've found it!

    Yes, funny thing, but the two psychologists whom the book is about (and about whose groundbreaking work the book is about) were dealing with just that: How we make decisions!

    (BTW I cannot find your first name anywhere!!)

    1. Interesting... I'd like to know more... about the decision-making findings. My name is Rhonda Y.C. Johnson

  4. Hi Rhonda.
    It was really funny. It's like we think we are being so reasonable but.... Written for professionals and us lay people. It's a vet human story as well so enjoy it.

    1. Well, alrighty Jane. I look forward to reading...and sharing my thoughts on this one.


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