2019 Reading Challenge

Here is the Whitty Books 2019 reading challenge!  We've compiled a list of book prompts-- challenge yourself to read a book from each category, and fill in the title when you do. If a book fulfills multiple prompts, feel free to use it for all that it applies to.  if you're feeling really ambitious, read a different title for all entries-- that's 52 books in 52 weeks!  At the end of the year, turn in your card to be entered into a drawing for some goodies from Whitty Books.  Don't worry if you don't complete them all-- you can still enter to win!  Each participant will get 1 entry drawing per title read.  We're relying on the honor system here, so plz be honest.  Click here to access the PDF, or come grab one from the shop!  Below are some title suggestions for the different categories.


A book published in 2019:

1 The Farm by Joanne Ramos

2 Camelot’s End: Kennedy vs. Carter and the Fight that Broke the Democratic Party by Jon Ward

3 The Shadow by Maurice Carlos Ruffin

4 Pumpkin Heads by Rainbow Powell

5 The Testaments by Margaret Attwood

6 Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi  

7 Black Is the Body by Emily Bernard

8 Magical Negro by Morgan Parker

9 Era of Ignition by Amber Tamblyn

10 On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong


A book with a strong female lead:

1 My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

2 Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor

3 Uprooted by Naomi Novik

4 Circe by Madeline Miller

5 Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward

6 Coraline by Neil Gaiman

7 Insurrecto by Gina Apostol

8 Kindred by Octavia Butler

9 Educated by Tara Westover

10 Red Clocks by Leni Zumas


A memoir or bio of someone you admire

1 It’s Always Something by Gilda Radner

2 Becoming by Michelle Obama

3 Calypso by David Sedaris

4 The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick by Mallory O’Meara

5 Suicidal: Why We Kill Ourselves by Jesse Bering

6 On Writing: the Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

7 The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

8 Not My Father's Son by Alan Cumming

9 The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke by Jeffrey C. Stewart

10 Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo" by Zora Neale Hurston


A graphic novel:

1 My Favorite Thing Is Monsters #1 by Emil Ferris

2 Sheets By Brenna Thummler

3 Through the Woods By Emily Carroll

4 Tomie by Junji Ito

5 Girl Town by Carolyn Nowak

6 Middlewest by Skottie Young, Jorge Corona, Mike Huddleston

7 To Kill a Mockingbird: A Graphic Novel by Fred Fordham, Harper Lee

8 Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home by Nora Krug

9 From Hell By Alan Moore, Eddie Campbell, Pete Mullins

10 Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth By Chris Ware


A book involving the supernatural

1 Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

2 The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures by Aaron Mahnke

3 Vicious by V.E. Schwab

4 The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

5 Weiser Book of Horror and the Occult: Hidden Magic, Occult Truths, and the Stories That Started It All By Lon Milo DuQuette

6 White is for Witching By Helen Oyeyemi

7 A Season with the Witch: The Magic and Mayhem of Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts

By J.W. Ocker
8 Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife By Mary Roach
9 The Best of Richard Matheson By Richard Matheson, Victor LaValle
10 The Silent Companions By Laura Purcell


A book about time travel
1 In Search of the Edge of Time: Black Holes, White Holes, Wormholes By John Gribbin
2 Man in the Empty Suit By Sean Ferrell
3 The Shining Girls By Lauren Beukes
4 Hazards of Time Travel By Joyce Carol Oates
5 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by John Tiffany, Jack Thorne, J.K. Rowling
6 The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle By Stuart Turton
7 The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August By Claire North
8 The Psychology of Time Travel By Kate Mascarenhas
9 11/22/63 by Stephen King
10 The House on the Strand By Daphne du Maurier


A book with a number in the title
1 The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives By Dashka Slater
2 The Third Hotel By Laura van den Berg
3 Six Months, Three Days, Five Others By Charlie Jane Anders, Yuko Shimizu
4 Station Eleven By Emily St. John Mandel
5 14 by Peter Clines
6 One Person, No Vote by Carol Anderson
7 The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert
8 100 Essays I Don’t Have Time to Write by Sarah Ruhl
9 Projekt 1065 by Alan Gratz
10 The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley

A work of gothic fiction
1 Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
2 Jane Eyre By Charlotte Brontë
3 We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
4 My Cousin Rachel By Daphne du Maurier
5 The Phantom of the Opera By Gaston Leroux, Alexander Teixeira de Mattos
6 The Silent Companions By Laura Purcell
7 The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
8 The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
9 The Beguiled by Thomas Cullinan
10 Little By Edward Carey


A book with a one word title
1 Severance by Ling Ma
2 Melmoth by Sarah Perry
3 Ticker by Mimi Swartz
4 Inappropriation: A Novel By Lexi Freiman
5 Insurrecto By Gina Apostol
6 Homegoing By Yaa Gyasi
7 Freshwater By Akwaeke Emezi
8 Binti By Nnedi Okorafor
9 Scythe By Neal Shusterman
10 Idaho By Emily Ruskovich

A book that was nominated for an award in 2018
1 Where the Dead Sit Talking by Brandon Hobson
2 Milkman by Anna Burns
3 The Overstory by Richard Powers
4 Sabrina By Nick Drnaso
5 American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic by Victoria Johnson
6 Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth by Sarah Smarsh
7 Heads of the Colored People Nafissa Thompson-Spires
8 The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai
9 Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
10 The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner


A book with a main character that is an immigrant
1 (The Best We Could Do By Thi Bui
2 Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
3 Americanah By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
4 The Tortilla Curtain By T. Coraghessan Boyle
5 Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood By Marjane Satrapi
6 We Need New Names By NoViolet Bulawayo
7 Brother, I'm Dying By Edwidge Danticat
8 The Devil's Highway: A True Story by Luis Alberto Urrea
9 Open City By Teju Cole
10 The Master Butchers Singing Club By Louise Erdrich


A post-apocalyptic book
1 Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
2 Tar By Taylor Hohulin
3 Moon of the Crusted Snow By Waubgeshig Rice
4 Severance By Ling Ma
5 The Road By Cormac McCarthy
6 Oryx and Crake By Margaret Atwood
7 Bird Box By Josh Malerman
8 The Fireman By Joe Hill
9 The Girl With All the Gifts By M.R. Carey
10 The Children of Men By P.D. James


A mystery/thriller written by a woman of color
1 Out By Natsuo Kirino, Stephen Snyder
2 The Cutting Season By Attica Locke
3 Southland By Nina Revoyr
4 The Good House By Tananarive Due
5 My Sister, the Serial Killer By Oyinkan Braithwaite
6 The Widows of Malabar Hill By Sujata Massey
7 Murder on the Red River By Marcie Rendon
8 Murder in G Major By Alexia Gordon
9 The Unquiet Dead by Ausma Zehanat Khan
10 Fra Keeler By Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi


A book about a protagonist who suffers from mental illness
1 The Bell Jar By Sylvia Plath
2 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest By Ken Kesey
3 Girl, Interrupted By Susanna Kaysen
4 The Yellow Wall-Paper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman
5 All the Things We Never Knew: Chasing the Chaos of Mental Illness By Sheila Hamilton
6 The Evil Hours: A Biography of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder By David J. Morris
7 Loud in the House of Myself: Memoir of a Strange Girl by Stacy Pershall
8 White Oleander By Janet Fitch
9 Swallow Me Whole By Nate Powell
10 The Marriage Plotby Jeffrey Eugenides


A re-telling of a myth, fairytale or folktale
1 The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror by Mallory Ortberg
2 House of Names By Colm Tóibín
3 Circe By Madeline Miller
4 The Bear and the Nightingale By Katherine Arden
5 Pride By Ibi Zoboi
6 Home Fire By Kamila Shamsie
7 The Silence of the Girls By Pat Barker
8 Norse Mythology By Neil Gaiman
9 Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker By Gregory Maguire
10 The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood

A Lambda Literary Award Winner
1 Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic By Alison Bechdel
2 Slow River By Nicola Griffith
3 Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? By Jeanette Winterson
4 Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation By Kate Bornstein, S. Bear Bergman
5 Under the Udala Trees By Chinelo Okparanta
6 After the Blue Hour By John Rechy
7 While Standing in Line for Death By C.A. Conrad
8 Her Body and Other Parties By Carmen Maria Machado
9 Stonewall by Martin Duberman
10 Punishing Disease: HIV and the Criminalization of Sickness By Trevor Hoppe


A book about a woman in STEM (real or fictional)

1 Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race By Margot Lee Shetterly

2 Lab Girl By Hope Jahren

3 Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong—and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story By Angela Saini

4 The Calculating Stars By Mary Robinette Kowal

5 Life in Code: A Personal History of Technology By Ellen Ullman

6 The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage By Sydney Padua

7 This Splintered Silence By Kayla Olson

8 The Freeze-Frame Revolution By Peter Watts

9 The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks By Rebecca Skloot

10 Marie Curie and Her Daughters: The Private Lives of Science's First Family By Shelley Emling


An historical fiction book

1 The Underground Railroad By Colson Whitehead

2 Once Upon a River By Diane Setterfield

3 Where the Crawdads Sing By Delia Owens

4 Warlight By Michael Ondaatje

5 The Girls By Emma Cline

6 Homegoing By Yaa Gyasi

7 The Heart's Invisible Furies By John Boyne

8 In the House in the Dark of the Woods By Laird Hunt

9 See What I Have Done By Sarah Schmidt

10 The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane By Katherine Howe

A translated book

1 The Three-Body Problem By Liu Cixin

2 The Vegetarian By Han Kang, Deborah Smith

3 My Brilliant Friend By Elena Ferrante, Ann Goldstein

4 Killing Commendatore By Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel

5 Love By Hanne Ørstavik, Martin Aitken

6 Fever Dream By Samanta Schweblin, Megan McDowell

7 Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood By Marjane Satrapi

8 Comemadre By Roque Larraquy, Heather Cleary

9 The Beekeeper: Rescuing the Stolen Women of Iraq By Dunya Mikhail, Max Weiss

10 One Part Woman By Perumal Murugan, Aniruddhan Vasudevan


A scifi book written by a person of color

1 Octavia's Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements By Adrienne Maree Brown (Editor/Contributor), Walidah Imarisha

2 A Killing in the Sun By Dilman Dila

3 Midnight Robber By Nalo Hopkinson

4 Tear Tracks by Malka Ann Older

5 Future Home of the Living God By Louise Erdrich

6 The Lifecycle of Software Objects By Ted Chiang

7 Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening (Monstress, #1) By Marjorie M. Liu

8 The Best of All Possible Worlds By Karen Lord

9 The Fifth Season By N.K. Jemisin

10 Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler


A book about nature

1 Plight of the Living Dead: What Real-Life Zombies Reveal about Our World--And Ourselves By Matt Simon

2 How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals By Sy Montgomery, Rebecca Green

3 The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World By Peter Wohlleben

4 Our Endless Numbered Days By Claire Fuller

5 Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness By Peter Godfrey-Smith

6 The Death and Life of the Great Lakes By Dan Egan

7 On Trails: An Exploration by Robert Moor

8 The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World By Andrea Wulf

9 Birding Without Borders: An Obsession, a Quest, and the Biggest Year in the World By Noah Strycker

10 Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart: An Adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail By Carrot Quinn


A book written by an LGBTQ+ author

1 A Home at the End of the World By Michael Cunningham

2 The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For By Alison Bechdel

3 The Waves By Virginia Woolf

4 Two Boys Kissing By David Levithan

5 All the Birds in the Sky By Charlie Jane Anders

6 Intersex By Aaron Apps

7 The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter By Carson McCullers

8 Refuse By Elliott DeLine

9 Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body By Roxane Gay

10 The Clothesline Swing by Ahmad Danny Ramadan


A book under 300 pages long

1 Love By Hanne Ørstavik, Martin Aitken

2 The End We Start From by Megan Hunter

3 The Stars Change by Mary Anne Mohanraj

4 Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee

5 The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid

6 Bosom Buddies by Violet Zhang

7 The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson

8 Agents of Dreamland by Caitlin R. Kiernan

9 Wobble by Rae Armantrout

10 The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae


A book that you think will spook you

1 The Terror by Dan Simmons

2 House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

3 The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

4 Don’t Look Now by Daphne Du Maurier

5 Into the Drowning Deep By Mira Grant

6 We Eat Our Own by Kea Wilson

7 The Atrocities by Jeremy C. Shipp

8 Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson

9 Baby Teeth By Zoje Stage

10 A Head Full of Ghosts By Paul Tremblay


A book that has been adapted into a movie/TV show

1 American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

2 No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy

3 The Innocent Man by John Grisham

4 Room by Emma Donoghue

5 Life of Pi by Yann Martel

6 What Dreams May Come by Richard Matheson

7 The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

8 We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

9 Girl with a Pearl Earring By Tracy Chevalier

 10 Howl's Moving Castle By Diana Wynne Jones


A book about an artist (real or fictional)

1 The Goldfinch By Donna Tartt

2 Cat's Eye By Margaret Atwood

3 The Body Artist by Don Delillo

4 Frida By Bárbara Mujica

5 Diary By Chuck Palahniuk

6 Still Lives By Maria Hummel

7 Fire in the Belly: The Life and Times of David Wojnarowicz by Cynthia Carr

8 Kirby: King of Comics By Mark Evanier

9 Just Kids By Patti Smith

10 The Bone People By Keri Hulme


A book by an indigenous author

1 Where The Dead Sit Talking by Brandon Hobson

2 There, There by Tommy Orange

3 Islands of Decolonial Love by Leanne Simpson

4 Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer

5 The Marrow Thieves By Cherie Dimaline

6 Mapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones

7 Deer Woman: An Anthology edited Elizabeth Lapensée and Weshoyot Alvitre

8 Heart Berries by Terese Mailhot

9 Two Old Women by Velma Wallis

10 House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday


A book with an LGBTQ+ main character

1 More Than This By Patrick Ness

2 The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

3 Ammonite By Nicola Griffith

4 Middlesex By Jeffrey Eugenides

5 Maurice By E.M. Forster

6 Brokeback MountainBy Annie Proulx

7 Fingersmith By Sarah Waters

8 Giovanni's Room By James Baldwin

9 Every Heart a Doorway By Seanan McGuire

10 Caroline's Heart By Austin Chant


A collection of short stories or essays

1 We Are Where the Nightmares Go and Other Stories By C. Robert Cargill

2 Nine Stories By J.D. Salinger

3 There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor's Baby: Scary Fairy Tales By Ludmilla Petrushevskaya

4 My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales by Kate Bernheimer (Editor), Carmen Gimenez Smith

5 Tales of the Unexpected By Roald Dahl

6 When You Are Engulfed in Flames By David Sedaris

7 The Partly Cloudy Patriot By Sarah Vowell

8 Possible Side Effects By Augusten Burroughs

9 Dark Water By Kōji Suzuki

10 100 Essays I Don't Have Time to Write: On Umbrellas and Sword Fights, Parades and Dogs, Fire Alarms, Children, and Theater By Sarah Ruhl


A book written by a #ownvoices author

1 Dear Martin By Nic Stone

2 Children of Blood and Bone By Tomi Adeyemi

3 A Thousand Splendid Suns By Khaled Hosseini

4 The Leavers By Lisa Ko

5 A Place for Us By Fatima Farheen Mirza

6 I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter By Erika L. Sánchez

7 Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements By Charlene Carruthers

8 Heart Berries: A Memoir By Terese Marie Mailhot

9 A Very Large Expanse of Sea By Tahereh Mafi

10 When We Speak of Nothing By Olumide Popoola


A fantasy novel

1 American Gods By Neil Gaiman

2 The Black Tides of Heaven by J.Y. Yang

3 The Devil You Know By K.J. Parker

4 The Ballad of Black Tom By Victor LaValle

5 Vita Nostra by Marina Dyachenko, Sergey Dyachenko

6 What Should Be Wild By Julia Fine

7 Tess of the Road By Rachel Hartman

8 How Long 'til Black Future Month? By N.K. Jemisin

9 King of Scars By Leigh Bardugo

10 The Half-Drowned King By Linnea Hartsuyker


A book by a a Latin American author

1 Fruit of the Drunken Tree By Ingrid Rojas Contreras

2 Chronicle of a Death Foretold By Gabriel García Márquez

3 The Alchemist By Paulo Coelho

4 Labyrinths: Selected Stories and Other Writings By Jorge Luis Borges

5 Signs Preceding the End of the World By Yuri Herrera

6 At Night We Walk in Circles By Daniel Alarcón

7 Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions By Valeria Luiselli

8 Fever Dream By Samanta Schweblin

9 United States of Banana By Giannina Braschi

10 2666 By Roberto Bolaño


A work of nonfiction written by a person of color

1 Men We Reaped By Jesmyn Ward

2 High Price: A Neuroscientist's Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society By Carl Hart

3 Let It Bang: A Young Black Man’s Reluctant Odyssey into Guns By R.J. Young

4 Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty By Dorothy Roberts

5 Mongrel: Essays, Diatribes, Pranks By Justin Chin

6 When Breath Becomes Air By Paul Kalanithi

7 Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

8 Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up By Marie Kondō

9 GuRu By RuPaul

10 Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen By Jose Antonio Vargas


A book set in the future

1 Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

2 Seed to Harvest by Octavia E. Butler

3 Galápagos by Kurt Vonnegut

4 I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream by Harlan Ellison

5 The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin

6 Ready Player One By Ernest Cline

7 Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits by David Wong

8 Waste Tide By Chen Qiufan

9 The Glass Bead Game By Hermann Hesse

10 Oryx and Crake By Margaret Atwood


A young adult book

1 To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

2 The Hazel Wood By Melissa Albert

3 Let's Talk About Love By Claire Kann

4 The Astonishing Color of After By Emily X.R. Pan

5 The Disasters By M.K. England

6 Grim Lovelies By Megan Shepherd

7 Undead Girl Gang By Lily Anderson

8 Not Even Bones By Rebecca Schaeffer

9 Heretics Anonymous By Katie Henry

10 Sanctuary By Caryn Lix