Summer reading list 2017

Last year, I had what I thought was a great idea. It was a simple thing, really: read three books between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Now that we’re working our way through 2017, and we’re at that time of the year, let’s give it another shot.

Unlike the summer reading list of school, this one is all in fun. There are no tests, no book reports, and no assigned texts. No, this is something far more informal and (I hope) fun. As before, you can’t have an actual challenge without rules, but I’ve tinkered with them slightly. Here’s what I’ve got for this time around:

  1. You have to read three (3) complete books between May 29 and September 4, 2017. Giving up halfway doesn’t get you partial credit, so make sure you pick something you can stand to finish.

  2. One (1) of these books should be nonfiction. Any kind of nonfiction will work, whether history, biography, self-help, technical manual, or even a collection of witticisms, but it has to be real. (Historical fiction doesn’t count for this, by the way, even if it is set in the real world.)

  3. Graphic novels count, but comic books don’t. The distinction is subtle, I’ll admit. I’d say a comic book is a short periodical, usually in magazine-style binding, while a graphic novel is a longer work presented in the same way as a text-only book. You can be your own judge, as long as you’re honest with yourself.

  4. If, like me, you’re an aspiring fiction writer, then one (1) of the books must not be from your preferred genre. For example, a fantasy writer should read a non-fantasy book, perhaps sci-fi or a modern detective story. The idea is to branch out, to dip your toes into some other pool for a while.

  5. If you’re a writer, then books written by you don’t count at all. It doesn’t matter what they are; if your name’s on the cover (or in the metadata, or whatever), then you can’t use it.

Like last year, this is all in fun. The only prize is the satisfaction of a job well done, and the knowledge that comes with broadening your horizons. Also, it’s not meant to be anything serious. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t pull it off, but there’s no reason to boast about going above and beyond, either. If you want to share what you’re reading on Facebook or anywhere like that, there’s nothing stopping you. I’ll be doing the same here, and probably on my Patreon, too. (By the way, I’ve got quite a few books up over there. Nothing stopping you from using one, you know.)

Most of all, enjoy yourself, enjoy your books, and enjoy the summer. That’s what it’s all about.

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