2018 Thomas Merton Biography and Diary Challenge


In 2018, I shall be reading Merton’s autobiography and his journals.

  • The Seven Story Mountain
  • The Sign of Jonas
  • Run to the Mountain: The Story of a Vocation
  • Entering the Silence: Becoming a Monk and a Writer
  • A Search for Solitude: Pursuing the Monk’s True Life
  • Turning Toward the World: The Pivotal Years
  • Dancing in the Water of Life
  • Learning to Love: Exploring Solitude and Freedom
  • The Other Side of the Mountain: The End of the Journey

The 2018 Christian Reading Challenge



How It Works

The 2018 Christian Reading Challenge is composed of 4 lists of books, which you are meant to move through progressively. You will need to determine a reading goal early in the year and set your pace accordingly.

  • The Light Reader. This plan has 13 books which sets a pace of 1 book every 4 weeks.
  • The Avid Reader. The Avid plan adds another 13 books which increases the pace to 1 book every 2 weeks.
  • The Committed Reader. This plan adds a further 26 books, bringing the total to 52, or 1 book every week.
  • The Obsessed Reader. The Obsessed plan doubles the total to 104 books which sets a demanding pace of 2 books every week.

LIGHT (One book every 4 weeks)

  • a biography
  • a book about Christian living
  • a book published in 2018
  • a book by an author who is no longer alive
  • a novel
  • a book for teens or young adults
  • a book more than 100 years old
  • a book targeted at the opposite gender
  • a book your best friend recommends
  • a book with at least 400 pages
  • a book of your choice
  • a book about theology
  • a book about current events

AVID (1 book every 2 weeks)

  • a book about Christian living
  • a book of 100 pages or less
  • a book about the early church
  • a book with a picture of the author on the cover
  • a book on the current New York Times list of bestsellers
  • a book written by a Puritan
  • a book by or about a pastor
  • a book of your choice
  • a commentary on a book of the Bible
  • a book about Theology
  • a book that won a prize
  • a book you have borrowed
  • a book about Christian history

COMMITTED (1 book every week)

  • a novel by an author you have never read before
  • a book based upon a true story
  • a book by a female author
  • a play
  • a humorous book
  • a self-improvement book
  • a book about prayer
  • a graphic novel
  • a book about Christian living
  • a book from a theological viewpoint you disagree with
  • a book by or about a politican
  • a classic novel
  • a book with a two-word title
  • a book by a male author
  • a book you are pretty sure you will not like
  • a book of your choice
  • a book about theology
  • a memoir or autobiography
  • a book about Christian living
  • a book published by Christian Focus
  • a book of poetry
  • a book targeted at your gender
  • a book of your choice
  • a book about Christian living
  • a book by R.C. Sproul
  • a book of your choice

OBSESSED (2 books every week)

  • a book you read in the past three years
  • a book of your choice
  • a book by your favorite author
  • a book about science
  • a book written in the nineteenth century
  • a book about Christian living
  • a book by or about a martyr
  • a book about history
  • a book by or about a world leader
  • a book on the ECPA bestseller list
  • a book published by P&R Publications
  • a book about a book in the Bible
  • a book about war
  • a book about Heaven
  • a book from a library
  • a book about relationships
  • a novel for young adults
  • a book of your choice
  • a book about Christian living
  • a book about history
  • a book used as a seminary textbook
  • a book of your choice
  • a book about church history
  • a book by a Southern Baptist
  • a book by an author who is still alive
  • a book for children or teens
  • a book about the church
  • a book about business
  • a novel longer than 300 pages
  • a book about leadership
  • a book you have read before
  • a book by Jerry Bridges
  • a book with a great cover
  • a book by a Puritan
  • a book about animals
  • a book about theology
  • a book of comics
  • a book by Albert Mohler
  • a book about the Bible
  • a book about theology
  • a biography of a Christian
  • a Christian novel
  • a photo essay book
  • a book about holiness or sanctificaiton
  • a book about the Bible
  • a book of your choice
  • a book about money or finance
  • a book you have always wanted to read but haven’t
  • a book recommended by a friend
  • a book about church history
  • a book by a speaker from Together for the Gospel
  • a book your pastor recommends

Book Riot’s Read Harder 2018 Challenge


  1. a book published posthumously
  2. a book of true crime
  3. a classic of genre fiction (i.e. mystery, SFF, romance)
  4. a comic written and illustrated by the same person
  5. a book set in or about one of the five BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, or South Africa)
  6. a book about nature
  7. a western
  8. a comic written or illustrated by a person of color
  9. a book of colonial or postcolonial literature
  10. a romance novel by or about a person of color
  11. a children’s classic published before 1980
  12. a celebrity memoir
  13. an Oprah Book Club selection
  14. a book of social science
  15. a one-sitting book
  16. the first book in a new-to-you YA or middle grade series
  17. a scifi novel with a female protagonist by a female author
  18. a comic that isn’t published by Marvel, DC, or Image
  19. a book of genre fiction in translation
  20. a book with a cover you hate
  21. a mystery by a person of color or LGBTQ+ author
  22. an essay anthology
  23. a book with a female protagonist over the age of 60
  24. an assigned book you hated (or never finished)

Modern Mrs. Darcy 2018 Reading Challenge

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  1. a classic you’ve been meaning to read
  2. a book recommended by someone with great taste
  3. a book in translation
  4. a book nominated for an award in 2018
  5. a book of poetry, a play, or an essay collection
  6. a book you can read in a day
  7. a book that’s more than 500 pages
  8. a book by a favorite author
  9. a book recommended by a librarian or an indie bookseller
  10. a banned book
  11. a memoir, biography, or book of creative nonfiction
  12. a book by an author of a different race, ethnicity, or religion other than your own

Victorian October Reading Challenge 2017


Victorian October (#Victober) is a reading challenge which was created by Kate Howe in 2016 in which the participants read Victorian literature during October.  The 2017 reading challenge is being hosted by Kate Howe, Katie from Books and Things, Lucy from lucythereader, and Ange from Beyond the Pages.  I have selected the following books to meet the five reading challenges:

  1. Read a Victorian book by a Scottish, Welsh, or Irish author. The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  2. Read a Victorian book recommended to you.  David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  3. Read a Victorian novel or story with supernatural elements. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  4. Read a lesser known Victorian book (less than 12,000 ratings on GoodReads). Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope
  5. Read a Victorian book by a female author. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

Happy Reading!

War and Peace Read-a-long

During June and July, I have undertaken the Herculean task of reading War and Peace by Count Leo Tolstoy.  Outside of Turgenev, I have never read a piece of Russian literature, but was compelled to read this massive tome when I learned of the War and Peace Read-a-long created and hosted by two BookTubers who I greatly admire: Ange of Beyond the Pages and Yamini of TheSkepticalReader.

To facilitate the reading and discussion of this novel, the hosts have created a group at GoodReads and a Twitter feed which will be the mode of information dissemination, as well as facilitated discussion.

Personally, I will be reading the Penguin Classics edition of War and Peace, written by County Leo Tolstoy and translated by Anthony Briggs; however, the hosts have spoken of several translations that can be read in their introductory videos: Ange, Yamini, and their live stream collaboration.

They have also created a reading schedule and various translation samples using Google docs.

My Briggs’ edition contains 1399 pages, which may be daunting to some readers, but I have been assured that this is a wonderful read and the novel’s size should not be a deterrent to its enjoyment.