Monday, January 8, 2018

Reading Challenges

A blogger I follow requested recommendations of books to read for her reading challenges.  She has a lot of categories to fill, so I decided to do a post instead of a way-too-long comment.

Note:  I only included books that I've read and gave 4 stars or higher to on Goodreads.

2.  True Crime
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil - John Berendt
Brooklyn Noir 3: Nothing But the Truth - Tim McLoughlin (editor)

5.  Nordic Noir
The Man Who Smiled - Henning Mankell
Faceless Killers - Henning Mankell

6. Novel based on a real person:
On the Road - Jack Kerouac
Junky - William S. Burroughs

8.  Time of Day in the Title
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil - John Berendt
Long Midnight of Barney Thomson - Douglas Lindsay
Blue of Noon - Georges Bataille

9.  Villain or anti-hero:
Darkly Dreaming Dexter - Jeff Lindsay
The Collector - John Fowles
The Talented Mr. Ripley - Patricia Highsmith
My Friend Dahmer - Derf Backderf

13. Play
Six Degrees of Separation - John Guare
Copenhagen - Michael Hayn
Hamlet - William Shakespeare
Macbeth - Shakespeare

14.  By an author of a different ethnicity (the requester is white)
The Man in My Basement - Walter Mosley
Grace Notes - Rita Dove
American Smooth - Rita Dove
There Are More Beautiful Things than Beyonce - Morgan Parker
Scandal - Shusaku Endo
69 - Ryu Murakami

15.  Feminism
Final Girl - Daphne Gottlieb
A Working Girl Can't Win - Deborah Garrison

27.  Set on a different planet:
Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina - Kevin Anderson (editor)
Tales from Jabba's Palace - Kevin Anderson (editor)

3.  Classic of Genre Fiction
The Long Goodbye - Raymond Chandler
A Coffin for Dimitrios - Eric Ambler
The Spy Who Came In from the Cold - John Le Carre

7.  Western
Hombre - Elmore Leonard

12. Celebrity Memoir
A Moveable Feast - Ernest Hemingway

15. A one-sitting book:
Last Chapter and Worse - Gary Larson

18.  Graphic novel not published by DC, Marvel, or Image:
Tamara Drewe - Posy Simmonds
Cairo - - G. Willow Wilson
The Fate of the Artist - Eddie Campbell


  1. Thank you! I’ve read some of these, but I’ll look up the ones I haven’t. I also Tweeted a link to your post because there are a lot of people looking for books to fit the challenge prompts. This might help them.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  2. I'd recommend Ursula K. Le Guin for "set on another planet" as well. Left Hand of Darkness being my favorite, but in a whole group of novels she wrote, the Haimish Cycle.

    1. I recognize Le Guin as a big name, but all I've read from her is a poetry collection.

      The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury, would have been an obvious pick, but I read it a long time ago and don't remember it as 4-star worthy.

      Jonathan Lethem's Girl in Landscape would qualify, but I only gave it 3 stars. I remember it as 3 1/2 though. So if you're feeling bold...

  3. Dropped over from AJ—and I see that Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil made a couple of categories. I read that 20 years ago or so when I had no idea I’d be living on an island SE of Savannah. I need to reread it for people are always talking about “the Book”. For true crime, I’d recommend Erik Larson’s “The Devil in the White City”

    1. Yeah. I tend to give a lot of books 3 1/2. So by restricting this list to 4 stars or better, I bumped a lot of candidates. Midnight fit a couple categories that were kind of sparse.