2018(ish) Reading Challenge


In my 30 before 30 post last week I mentioned that I would go into greater depth about my reading challenge that I’m setting for myself. Every September when school starts up again it just feels like I should be going back to school myself. I had the idea back in September that I could set up a “curriculum” for myself as a way to satisfy that urge— no papers obviously— just reading. I missed the boat on starting this back when the school year did, but nonetheless I am into the loose academic theme of this challenge and I invite you to do something similar and join in if you have the same back-to-school issues I do.

My plan is to read 40 books: at least two from each subject and at least two books that I don’t think I will agree with going in.

Here are my “subjects” and how I’m defining them:

  • Art & Design: Theories and techniques in art or design.
  • Business: Business practices and trends, marketing.
  • English: Really just catch-all category for the fiction reading I want to do this year, mostly.
  • Environment: Sustainable living, minimalism.
  • History: Well, history. But I’m also specifically interested in diverse retellings, too.
  • History of Art: Art in context, the lives of artists.
  • International Studies: non-American, non-Western perspectives.
  • Political Science: Anything related to politics or government.
  • Psychology: Mental health/self-help.
  • Religion: Diverse or challenging perspectives.
  • Sociology: Systemic and structural issues, nonwhite perspectives in culture.
  • Women’s Studies: Books by women, feminism.

I’m giving myself a pass on math— that alone should make this an achievable challenge over the next year. I’m also allowing myself to count the two books I’m currently reading and giving myself permission to abandon this entirely in favor of just reading 40 books total. And I definitely couldn't make this post without throwing in some old photos from U-M's campus so if you were wondering, yep-- that's U-M!

Emma Bumstead