24 Book Challenge

Christmas is over and this year is coming to a close. For 2016, I have set a goal of reading 24 books from various authors and genres. I feel like it is so easy to get in the rut of just reading best sellers because they are easy to find, but this year I want to introduce myself to books beyond the norm. I want to dig a little further into the world of literature and so I’ve decided to create a book challenge.

Below is my 24 book challenge that I’ve developed for 2016. If you wish to join me in the journey I’d love to hear from you. Write about books you’ve read in the comments section of my posts or copy links to your own book reviews this year. I look forward to reading through 2016 with you!

Book Challenge 2016

The Rules:

  1. You don’t have to read the books in order, but I will be trying to do so. I know that sometimes you come across a book you want to read right then and there so as long as you read all 24 at some point in 2016 then it still counts.
  2. Unless stated on the challenge page try to stay away from current best-sellers in order to enrich your exposure to literature.
  3. Each time you read a book from the challenge either review the book in a comment, send me an email with a review, or if you are also a blogger post your book review on your blog and send me a link.
  4. The 24 Book Challenge ends December 31, 2016.

Happy Reading!

The Ameri Brit Mom



46 thoughts on “24 Book Challenge

    1. I’ve never read them, but my students enjoy the Eragon series. They are a bit long so it depends if you want to commit to a 500 page book about dragons or not 🙂 I’ll keep my eyes out for other dragon books.


  1. My first book of the challenge was “Jesus, my father, the cia, and me.” This book was a memoir by Ian Morgan Cron. I have previously read his book titled “Chasing Francis” so I was excited to get into this one. It is a spiritual memoir of Ian who grew up with an alcoholic father who sporadically worked for the CIA. I really enjoyed hearing about Ian’s first communion and how it followed him throughout his life. The ups and downs of his irreverent life lead to him becoming an episcopal priest where he finds joy serving people communion. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys spiritual journeys and stories or triumph.

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  2. The second book I finished is “The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency” by Alexander McCall Smith. I enjoyed this book as the main character Mma Ramotswe solves many mysteries in her native country of Botswana. Some of the chapters felt almost like short stories as the case was introduced and solved in the same chapter. I also enjoyed the setting in Africa and the main character breaking social stereotypes of her country.


  3. The third book I read is A Man Called Ove. This book is about an elderly and seemingly miserable man named Ove (as the title suggests lol). In the book you find out the reasons for why he is the way he is. One of the main themes is about the basic decency of people. He begrudgingly helps his neighbors while also complaining about how incompetent people are in today’s generation. I loved this book and it reminded me of the fact that everyone is made in the image of God and that we all have a longing for connection.

    The fourth book I read was called Basketball Gods by Lance Allred. This chronicles the life of the first ever legally deaf basketball player to play in the nba. The author struggles with being let down by the powers in professional basketball. The book then goes on to show his realization that it is relationships with other people that really matter. I read this book on the kindle app.

    The fifth book I read is Sex God by Rob Bell. The subtitle is “exploring the endless connections between sexuality and spirituality.” i enjoyed this book and the connections that it made. I would also say by “sexuality” Bell basically means connection and relationships with God and with people that God has called you to love. Bell dives into bible verses and personal stories that range from “God Wears Lipstick” to “worth dying for.”


  4. The fifth book I read was Jesus Freak by Sara Miles. This book tells the story of Sara. She is a late convert to christianity after taking communion at an anglican church. She helped start a food pantry that gives free food to people who need it in San Francisco. The book tells about her many adventures and lessons as Sara and others find healing in serving food. I liked how Miles doesn’t pretend to know everything or have all the answers but found that acting and serving can be a way to help heal people, especially yourself.


  5. *correction – jesus freak was the 6th book I have read this year.
    Book 7 of the challenge that I have read is The Death Cure by James Dashner. This is the 3rd book in the mazerunner series. The book tells about a group of teenagers that were put through a series of trials to help find brain patterns that will stop the human race from becoming extinct. I liked this book the most out of all the mazerunner books because the main conflict is between the main characters and other humans or what they call “cranks” in the book. It was filled with action and moved quickly.

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  6. Book 8 of the challenge that I read was “Where Are The Children?” by Mary Higgins Clark. I liked how this book was fast moving and had a lot of action. As the reader you were able to connect different parts of the story pretty easily. The author does a good job of revealing things along the way without having to say how they are connected. This strategy keeps you interested throughout. This thriller/mystery genre is not my favorite but overall I did enjoy this book when I reminded myself it was fiction.


  7. Book 8 that I read was Where Are The Children by Mary Higgins Clark. This was a story about a kidnapping of two children. This is not my genre of choice but I did like how the action was pretty much non stop so it kept me interested throughout the book.

    Book 9 was The Destroyer series Return Engagement book. I have read other books in this series as my dad collects the series and is trying to get a full set. I love the characters and like how I don’t have to spend time in my mind getting to know the characters. These books for me are just an easy read that I don’t have to pay close attention to. The story follows two assassins that work for a top secret American organization that fights crime without the limits of the constitution.

    Book 10 was What Good is God by Phllip Yancey. This book follows Yancey to ten different speaking engagements from the India to Virginia Tech after shootings to the underground church in China. Each place is split into two chapters – the background of the place and who invited him to speak and then his actual speech. I enjoyed his search for a faith that matters.


  8. Book 11 was How To Be Here by Rob Bell. This book is about how to be creative and find your work in the world. One key theme is that it isn’t interesting thinking about what others have done and what you can’t do. You hasnt been done before, your work in the world hasn’t been done by anyone else, ever. This book is about being fully present to your life here and now. The end quote summarized the book well, “…as you find your path and throw yourself into it, surrendering the outcomes as you risk and learn and grow and work your craft, in the push and pull and stress and pain and sorrow and responsibility and slog of this sacred gift that is your life.”


  9. Book 12 was Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo. This book is a read aloud book that I will be reaching to my 4th grade language arts class. This book tells the story of Rob Horton, a 6th grade boy, who recently lost his mother. While making sure he doesn’t feel any of his true feelings Rob comes across a caged Tiger. The tiger helps him realize that things should not be tied down, whether that is the tiger or his feelings or memories. I know this book will touch my students and will help us study characters deeply.


  10. Book 13 was “In a handful of dust” by Mindy McGinnis. This book is the sequel to her first book “Not A Drop To Drink.” The setting plays a big part of the story. It is set in a world where there is a shortage of water and conflict to get water is rampant. In this second book, Lynn and her adopted daughter Lucy are working their way from Ohio to California. A waterborne disease is killing people in their Ohio home so they set off to California, where there is said to be cities that have plenty of water and a more civilized lifestyle. The book tells of their struggles as they travel. I liked how their distinct personalities show over their journey and they both realize who they truly are as they are traveling.

    Book 14 was “Because of Winn Dixie” by Kate DiCamillo. I read this book as a group of my 4th grade students are reading it in class. This book tells the story of Opal, a young girl who has just moved to a new town with her single father she calls, “the preacher.” Opal finds a dog she decides to name Winn Dixie. The dog leads Opal in finding a wide variety of new friends including an elderly woman and an ex convict that runs a pet shop. A theme of this book is not judging people because you don’t know what they are struggling with. I like how the stories come together at the end and you see why certain characters act the way they do.


  11. Book 15 was Archbishop by Michelle Guinness. This story is about Vicky Barnam-Woods, the first (fictional) female archbishop of Canterbury in the anglican church of England. I liked this book because I have become increasingly interested in the church of my homeland. I liked learning about the hierarchy of the church structure. Vicky does through many trials ranging from her major marriage to government to corruption within the church. Vicky continued to stick to her convictions throughout the book even though it may have been easier not to.

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  12. Book 16 was Greater by Steven Furtick. This book is about embracing everything that God has for your life. This book is best summarized by a quote at the end of the book, “For everybody who is sick of playing it safe, for they dreamer who has been devastated and disillusioned, for every undiscovered Elisha determined to show a watching world the greater things our God is capable of…your moment is now. The mantle is yours. Nothing is impossible.
    Dream bigger. Start smaller. Ignite God’s vision for your life. Strike.”

    The book uses the story of Elisha along with every day people that are walking in what Furtick calls the Greater life.


  13. Book 17 was “A Madness So Discreet” by Mindy McGuiness. This book is about Grace who has recently been put into an insane asylum by no fault of her own. She meets a hosts of different characters that help her find justice. I liked this book as you really want to know what happens to Grace and hope that the wrongs against her are righted.

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  14. Book 18 was The Sanctuary by Ted Dekker. This book tells the story of Danny, an ex priest, who killed people as a way of bringing justice. He is transferred to Basal correctional institution where he is tested by the warden. On the outside, his wife is given her own tasks that are supposed to save Danny. As their stories come together there are some great themes about redemption, justice and grace. I plan on reading some of his other books.


  15. Book 19 was The Martyr’s Song by Ted Dekker. It is a christian fiction book set in the ending of World War 2 in Bosnia. A group of soldiers stumble upon a peaceful village. The small village has a choice to make, will they follow their convictions and stay true to their faith or will they fold and give in to the demands of the soldiers? I liked the way this book shows how their faith is lived out despite the hardships they are facing. This book is one of Dekker’s more outright religious books.


  16. Book 20 was Save Me A Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan. This book is about Ravi, a recent immigrant to the USA. In India, he was a model student and cricket player. The story tells about his adjustment to a new school and the unlikely friendships that develop. I liked how once Ravi got to know people he realized his first impressions were misguided.

    Book 21 was Unbound by Anne Burg. This story is a fictional take of a family that runs away from life in slavery. The family settles deep in the swamp, away from civilization. The setting for the story is real and runaway slaves made their own settlements. I liked how people helped the family on their way out from slavery.


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