Happy Holidays + 2018 Reading Challenge

Whatever you celebrate, I hope that you had a wonderful and peaceful holiday, and that you got lots of socks for gifts.

Today I was thinking about structure and how it can be both limiting and, somehow, liberating. A conversation on Facebook about children picking up on rigid gender roles delved into the negative aspects of categorization. But although humans are very often too complicated to fit neatly into categories, classifying things in the world helps us make sense of it. And that is how we ended up with phyla of animals and schools of art and the Dewey Decimal System.

Structure can provide a framework in a random and dangerous world, and in a chaotic brain like mine. We will celebrate the same holiday with these same traditions at the same time every year. I will visit a new museum every week. I will write blog posts around monthly themes. I will eventually write about every Metro station.

With that in mind, I’ve decided to try a reading challenge for 2018. There are numerous reading challenges out there, with a list of 2018 reading challenges compiled here. I settled on the Monthly Key Word Challenge hosted by My Reader’s Block. Each month has nine words, and I am not a fast enough reader to read 108 books in one year, but I will try to read a couple or a few books each month containing one of the keywords in the title. I’m counting related words (like plurals, past tenses, compound words, etc.), and I’m making an exception if only one book in a trilogy has a keyword so that I can read the whole trilogy together.

The words are:

January: white, ice, year, baby, hat, dance, top, road, if

February: pink, snow, heart, arrow, point, right, holiday, walk, and

March: green, luck, great, shout, hope, wrong, rope, carry, into

April: clear, rain, lily, basket, out, gather, valley, all, cross

May: pearl, flower, clasp, pale, mountain, one, never, dog, around

June: bell, bird, town, live, river, none, some, bride, when

July: blue, water, desert, apple, many, wood/s, stay, cabin, between

August: yellow, sun, beach, boat, house, few, help, camera, above

September: always, fall, sleep, school, teach, call, leave, chase, below

October: black, mask, ghost, witch, castle, moon, night, haunt, mystery

November: brown, thanks, food, family, table, dream, laugh, town, over

December: red, present, Christmas, party, give, tree, sing, bell, under

Recommendations containing a key word in the title are welcome!



About Laura

Paralegal with Master of Arts in Teaching in Museum Education, frequent museum visitor, based in Washington, DC. I care about what museums can do, both in terms of public offerings and internal practices, to make the world a better place. I blog about museum education ("informed"), the social work of museums ("humane"), and visitor experience ("citizenry").
This entry was posted in Articles and Books, Museums and Holidays and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Happy Holidays + 2018 Reading Challenge

  1. OK, a fun challenge! I restricted my reply to books that are actually in the house and managed to get 9 months. Here is the list:
    January: The Kingdom of Ice, by Hampton Sides
    February: Climate of Hope, by Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope
    March: America’s Great Debate, by Fergus M. Bordewich
    May: There are Mountains to Climb, by Jean Deeds
    June: Down the River, by Edward Abbey
    July: A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson (also February)
    October: Ghost Soldiers, by Hampton Sides
    November: Arctic Dreams, by Barry Lopez
    Now if I had to pick one of these it would be “Arctic Dreams” (November). If you were looking for a pair that provided completely different takes on the same subject, I would suggest the May and July titles.

    Good luck!

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