Bethany House’s 2017 Reading Challenge

Welcome, readers, to our third annual reading challenge! Starting now, you have one year to read a book in all of the categories below. Bookmark the list, print it out, come back to it and check off each book as you finish them, whatever you want to do to keep track.


Now for the fun part: if you know of a book you’ve loved that fits into one of these categories, feel free to recommend it below. This can range from, “This is my favorite Newbery Medal-winning book” to “If you have blue eyes, check out this title!”

A few that come to mind for me: Cold Shot by Dani Pettrey has a crime scene at Gettysburg National Park. Shadow of the Storm by Connilyn Cossette is in first person. Most of Lynn Austin’s novels have biblical allusions in the title (like Refiner’s Fire or All Things New). Of course, you don’t have to recommend only Bethany House books. Even nonfiction is welcome. Share any five-star titles you’d love others to read.

Have fun! And we here at Bethany House wish you many great books in 2017!

14 thoughts on “Bethany House’s 2017 Reading Challenge

  1. While reading Fatal Frost by Nancy Mehl, I thought instantly of the cop shootings in recent news.

    And for Minnesotans, I’m fairly certain Julie Klassen, Susan May Warren, and Gabrielle Meyer call this state home.

  2. Love this challenge! One book that fits your list that I’m so looking forward to is The Road to Paradise by Karen Barnett, releasing in June. It’s set in Yellowstone, the first of her Vintage National Parks series.

    For first-person, I’m dying to read A Trail of Crumbs by Susie Finkbeiner, which releases in March. It’s set during the Great Depression, and is the sequel to A Cup of Dust, A Novel of the Dust Bowl.

  3. This is fun! I’m currently reading Newbery Medal-winner Sounder to my daughter. I haven’t read it since I was in grade school decades ago. I’ll second Dani Pettrey’s Cold Shot for Gettysburg – one of my favorite places in the world! My own book (Stay With Me) also has a scene set there as a couple in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. For first person, I’m going to go with Amy Matayo’s The Thirteenth Chance, one of my favorite books of 2016. And by an author in my state (Pennsylvania): Don’t You Forget About Me, a murder mystery by Erin McCole Cupp.

  4. How fun! Thanks for the mention, Jocelyn! The Road to Paradise does come out in June, and it’s set at the beautiful Mount Rainier National Park. I’ll be doing the “Vintage National Parks” novels over the next few years with one set at Yosemite coming out in 2018 and Yellowstone in 2019.

  5. Yes, Cold Shot is perfect for the park/landmark one! The Covered Deep by Brandy Vallance also “visits” some landmarks in the Holy Land.

    For first person POV, I’d recommend any novels by Rachelle Rea Cobb or Dawn Crandall.

  6. Guide Me Home by Kim Vogel Sawyer takes place in Mammoth Caves NP. Look forward to reading Karen Barnett’s latest this year too, which takes place in my home state. ๐Ÿ˜Š

  7. Oh boy, I’m looking forward to this reading challenge! I’m sure with new releases over the course of the year I’ll find books that fit the bill! I’ll have to find a MD author, but consider MN as home, so maybe Klassen or May Warren will be my fill-ins! Time to make a list!

  8. A great book that relates to something in the news is jodi picoult’s “small,great, things”. It’s a wonderful, eye-opening story that gets you to take a deeper look at yourself and others around you.

  9. A Portrait of Emily Price is in first person (as are Katherine’s other books if I remember correctly?)… I know there are many more first person books but that’s the first one that came to mind (maybe because I just recently read it! ๐Ÿ˜‰). Joel Rosenberg’s books always seem to be at the cutting edge of current events! Ronie Kendig’s Military War Dogs book series, A Breed Apart, all have dogs on the covers.

  10. Pingback: Reading and Writing Challenges for 2017

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