75 Book Challenge

I’ll see your 50 books and raise you twenty-five. Seventy-five books, folks. I’ll be reading 75. Who’s with me?

[UPDATE: Tayari Jones has some very good guidelines about what to read, although I would add the following ideals: a mystery book, a science fiction book, a “chick lit” book, a book written for popular audiences (We don’t have to be literary snobs all the time, do we? Besides it helps to know what everyday people are reading from time to time.), a book that is at least 800 pages, a book that is less than 100 pages, a children’s book, a substantial percentage of books written by women and minorities, a memoir written by or about a truly whacked out individual, a lengthy nonfiction book about a subject I know absolutely nothing about, a microhistory, et al.]


  1. Right there with you Sam. Officially per the blog/website last year I finished off at 65 – but I’ve got a few more under my belt that were not reviewed (LBC nominees and those I’m waiting for interview responses from) so I’ll actually start 2006 off with a few quick ones!


  2. I’m in too, if only because I think it will force me to keep better count. (Even if, perhaps, this may somewhat sabotage my goal to read more short stories from magazines.)

  3. Will Don Quixote count as two? How about Bleak House? That should count as three. Let’s say I read every single William T. Vollmann novel in one month, will I get an automatic pass?

  4. Actually, I read 119 books in 2005. So this shouldn’t be a problem at all. I just wanted to float a number for the hard-core literary. πŸ™‚

    Of course, unlike Kevin, I’m also a single man. Likely the number would be severely chopped had I spawned. So kudos to Kevin for reading 73 while parenting. That’s a lot more than Neal Pollack, also a father, who couldn’t even meet the 52 book challenge.

    Funny you mention it. I do plan on catching up with some Vollmann titles, if only to revive the Vollmann Club. So that should compromise the 75 figure. I now have everything he’s written, save the seven-book set and “Afghanistan Picture Show.”

    And 37 books in December, Sarah? 23 books in December, Lauren? Jesus, where does the time come from?

  5. I’m insane, Ed, that’s the excuse I always give. And I do it while raising a kid and writing a few books a year. Funny, people should mention Vollmann: I was considering making him my ’06 challenge.

  6. Okay, I’m in too. I have this terrible habit of reading almost an entire book, and stopping 20 or even 10 pages from the end – it’s this thing where I just don’t want it to end. Weird, I know. But at the rate I’m tearing through books this month, I think 75 shouldn’t be a problem – just have to do a little better keeping track of them this year than I did last, but thanks for the inspiration.

  7. I don’t know if you have a list of 75 books already designed, but it not, I have an excellent book to recommend.

    The book is titled “The Fall of Lucifer”, written by Wendy Alec.

    The book opens with the three Angelic brothers, Lucifer, Michael and Gabriel, in heaven before the fall. Over the course of the book, the essence of the angels is developed. The controversy arises when God created man to be higher than the angels, in that we are created in the image of God. Lucifer was embittered to the point of rebellion.

    Various historical events are incorporated, and the plot offers the perspective of an angel into the events. The novel develops the beauty of heaven and the grotesque quality of hell, the depths of evil, and the beauty of grace. It communicates these themes through beautiful imagery and an intriguing plot. The beautiful imagery would make for amazing scenery!

    This is a fast read, 300-page novel that is consuming to the imagination and penetrating to the heart. I hope they make this book into a movie. It would be amazing. If you have time, I hope you enjoy it!

  8. Sounds like a great idea!

    I read about 116 books this year, but a large majority of them were mystery/thriller/suspense novels. I’d like to broaden my reading horizons a little bit.

  9. I’m in – I read 177 last year although I was hit by the flu in December and don’t remember reading much of anything that month (I mostly remember lying in bed and moaning.) I like the idea of mixing it up a lot subject wise – the only way I survived reading “The Seven Pillars of Wisdom” last year was to intermix it with a lot of lighter stuff. Even then – it was easily the hardest book I have ever finished.

  10. I am 26 books in, on initial target of 100 by end next year if not before. I live in Supported Housing so books and academia are a cherished rescourced.

  11. I am aiming to read 2000 books with exclusion periods if i should re-enter Higher Education. I have about 50 books in possession and am on 27 out of First Hundred. I need to read a ‘saving’ Academics Rate if future plans are to succeed.
    The best of luck and blessings on your reading. It is so good to see other like-minded online.

  12. 300 is my goal for this year…I do not intend to repeat the performance, I just want to be able to say….’I read 300 books in 2008′. It’s a little sad…BUT, it’s also kind of great.

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