Monday, January 9, 2023

Joining the Bookish Books Reading Challenge


Susan at Bloggin' About Books is hosting a new challenge that appeals to me. The focus is on books about books, and I have plenty of those around. Plus I enjoy reading them. The nonfiction ones can usually be read in bits and pieces throughout the year.


  • This is a laidback challenge and you can read only one book if you want, so there is little chance of failure. (I was already reading one when I heard about this challenge). The lowest level is Toe in the Door (1-10 books read), which is perfect for me.
  • Reviews aren't required, but they're always welcome. There will be a monthly linky so participants can share books that they have read for the challenge. 
  • The challenge will run from January 1, 2023 to December 31, 2023. You can sign up any time during the year. See the sign-up post for full details and suggestions for books.

Susan has created a Goodreads list of Bookish Books if you need inspiration. 

These are books I may read:

  • The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
  • Ex Libris by Michiko Kakutani 
  • Books for Living by Will Schwalbe
  • Revenge of the Librarians by Tom Gauld (literary cartoons)
  • 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff and Frank Doel
  • Jane Austen Cover to Cover by Margaret Sullivan

Books I recommend:

  • Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman (essays)
  • The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe
  • What Makes This Book So Great by Jo Walton 
  • When Books Went to War: The Stories that Helped Us Win World War II by Molly Guptill Manning
  • I'd Rather by Reading by Anne Bogel
  • The Dusty Bookcase by Brian Busby
  • Book Lust by Nancy Pearl (plus the sequels)

Books my husband has read:

  • The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop by Lewis Buzbee
  • Slightly Chipped: Footnotes in Booklore by Lawrence Goldstone
  • Used and Rare: Travels in the Book World by Lawrence Goldstone and Nancy Goldstone
  • Sixpence House: Lost in a Town of Books by Paul Collins


Cath said...

So pleased you decided to do this one too... bit of a no-brainer for folk like us. LOL! Jane Austen Cover to Cover sounds intriguing, I will look that up. And I've been meaning to grab a copy of The Yellow Lighted Bookshop for years so thanks for the nudge via your husband. Like you, Tracy, I tend to read the non-fiction books about books in bits and pieces through the year. I started a book of essays about Jane Austen last year, for instance, and am still reading it. Have fun and I can't wait to see what we all read.

TracyK said...

Cath, I am glad you have heard of The Yellow Lighted Bookshop. Glen read it over a decade ago, and I had completely forgotten about it.

I bought Jane Austen Cover to Cover on a whim from an online seller (Daedalus Books) and it looks like fun reading.

The only problem with this challenge is wanting to buy lots of books that other people are reading.

CLM said...

Oh, this does sound fun (and achievable - I didn't do so well with Book Bingo!) and I like your suggestions.

I may have told you this story but Will Schwalbe's mother was the admissions officer who interviewed me for Harvard. She gave me a really hard time because I had dropped math after my junior year of HS and told me the world needed women who weren't mathphobes and that I would regret it, etc. I went home and told my parents I was not going to get in so was quite surprised when I did! Many, many years later I found myself at the same publishing company (but in different divisions) as Will who is exactly my age. I asked if they were related and he said yes, and I told him the story. He looked at me and said, "Why do you think I went to Yale?"

Margot Kinberg said...

This is a good challenge, Tracy. I like the 'meta' approach to thinking, writing, and reading about books, and there's a lot out there! I'll be interested in what you think of the books you chose.

Lark said...

Yay! I'm glad you're going to do this challenge, too. It looks like you've got some great books on your list. I loved The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop and Sixpence House. And The GUernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is another favorite of mine. Happy reading! :D

TracyK said...

Constance, I agree this is achievable, I keep finding books I have already that will fit the challenge.

You have told me that story, but I love it and I am glad you shared it here. That last sentence is so funny and easy to sympathize with. And his mother's comment on women taking math, too. I took lots of math in high school and majored in math in college and I remember so little of it now.

TracyK said...

Margot, I do plan to share my thoughts on the books I read for this challenge, good or bad. Even books about books appeal to some people more than others.

TracyK said...

Lark, I am expecting to hear from other bloggers about good bookish books that I am not familiar with. I read Sixpence House after my husband read it, but I don't even remember when he read The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop. It is still on his shelves, I will have to check it out.

Harvee said...

You have a lot of books lined up for this challenge. I found several I've already read that fit the bill. Have a good week.

TracyK said...

Harvee, thanks for the comment. I am reading at least one bookish book this month, and have another planned for the summer. I saw your post for the challenge today, I will be over to comment.