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My Reading Challenge Made Me Do It

by Sara Voigt (@meaningfulmadness)

I am so excited to talk about some of my favorite reads from my Beyond the Bookends Reading Challenge, the challenge I picked in addition to our Unabridged Reading Challenge. The thing I love about reading challenges is that they challenge (imagine that!) me to read outside of my comfort zone. My 2021 reading has gone SO much better than my 2020 reading. Here are some of my favorites from my reading challenge so far.

Holly Whitaker's Quit Like a Woman: The Radical Choice to Not Drink in a Culture Obsessed with Alcohol (Amazon |

Whitaker's book gave me so much to think about. I thought her presentation of the information was very direct which I really appreciated. I found her journey with alcohol, raw and uncensored, and I so appreciated it. I think this book is one that will continue to stick with me. I read it at the beginning of the year, and I think about it often.

Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (Amazon |

You know that classics are NOT my favorite, and this book is definitely not my favorite book I have read, BUT I did enjoy reading this classic on audio. The audiobook I read was narrated by the incomparable Rosamund Pike. I think if I would have had to plod through the text on my own, it wouldn't have been as enjoyable. But, Rosamund Pike's narration was spot on, and I was so happy to have this classic text under my belt since so many contemporary novels allude to it.

Elissa R. Sloan's The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes (Amazon |

This one I read especially for my Beyond the Bookends Challenge. I had gotten this book awhile back and hadn't read it. When I figured out one of the Beyond the Bookends categories was a book about a faux celebrity, I knew this was the book I needed to dive into. I appreciated the story, and was hooked until the end. I am glad I read it, and this is one I feel like had I not been involved in a reading challenge, it might not have ever been read.

Kelly Yang's Parachutes (Amazon |

Okay. I LOVED Front Desk, a middle grade book by Kelly Yang. So, when I saw Parachutes on sale on AND realized that the book would fit into my reading challenge, this purchase was a no brainer. I thought this YA read was fantastic. I learned so much, and the author's note at the end is incredibly powerful. I am so glad I read this book and hope that many more YA readers will dive into this one too.

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Interested in what else we're reading? Check out our Featured Books page.

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