books and journal

Non Fiction Bingo 2018

Reading Challenges

Last year, I read 36 books to complete the #diversitybingo2017 reading challenge, and I can say without a doubt that it changed me profoundly. The range of experiences and viewpoints to which I was exposed both broadened the spectrum of my empathy and deepened it.

At the end of 2017, as I planned my GoodReads 2018 book challenge, it came to my awareness how regularly I choose fiction over non-fiction. While I don’t in any way consider reading fiction a BAD thing (for many reasons I may enumerate in a future post), I do feel like I’m missing out on potential life hacks, insights, and knowledge that could be obtained by taking (at least a slightly expanded) foray into the world of non-fiction.

And so, still freshly aware of the marvelous results #diversitybingo2017 had on my reading experience last year, the idea of #nonficbingo2018 was born. (Thank you to whoever initially adopted the term “bingo” for reading challenges!)  It started as a personal challenge, but then, as I put more and more work into designing the list and coming up with potential reads, I realized that other people might benefit from all the effort I was putting in, as I benefited from the diversity bingo challenge. I figure there must be other Hermiones like me out there, who miss the way that the structure of school forced us to make time for learning (even in subject areas that weren’t our favorites). Moreover, this dovetailed nicely with a long-term “to do” list item — start a book review blog!

So, here we are. I’m starting this blog (rather late in February for a calendar-year bingo… apologies!) with a reading challenge for 2018. Below, I have listed 36 categories (from which you can choose any non-fiction book), as well as short explanations for some categories, and examples of books I may be reading or I would suggest. I compiled this list to improve my knowledge of subjects I enjoy (success, language, communication, finances) and better my skills in areas that are crucial to living one’s best life (fitness/nutrition, social skills, love/sex, and again – finances), as well as to expand my familiarity with subjects beyond my comfort zone (science, technology, history).

Because I am a huge public library nerd, the first twelve categories of this challenge are based on selections from the Dewey Decimal (DD) system. The idea here is to encourage the joy of browsing the library shelves, like you would in a real, brick-and-mortar bookstore! You can walk in, head over to the non-fiction shelf numbered 330 (for example), explore until you find a book that piques your interest, and check it out!  I took my list to my local library, and was wowed by the books I never would have found therwise. Of course, you don’t HAVE to use the library… but I’d quickly go broke if I bought every book I read!! 😛 You could just choose any book that fits under the category, if perusing your local library is not your thing.  Then, after the broad DD categories, the next twelve categories in the bingo challenge hone in more specifically on the idea of life hacking/improvement. The last six categories are based on the type of author, which allows for a wide variety of topics.

Throughout the year, I will post about each of the 36 books I read for the challenge. If I find the time, I’d like to add additional reviews for fiction books I read this year, or perhaps go back and discuss my thoughts one of the diversity-focused books that touched me so profoundly last year. Through the sharing of my thoughts on this blog, I hope to deepen my experience with the books I read, connect with other readers of similar tastes, and spread the reading love in general. 🙂

Are you ready??

The Non Fiction Bingo 2018 Reading Challenge

Non Fiction Bingo 2018 - Written Word Nerd

Categories

Click the link to jump to description (if applicable), books I may read, and suggested books to read (if I have any to offer for that category).

Each category has a number for ease of reference, but feel free to read in any order!

  1. Philosophy (DD 100-109)
  2. Psychology (DD150-159)
  3. Logic (DD 160-169)
  4. Ethics (DD 170-179)
  5. Religious mythology & social theology (DD 201)
  6. Culture & Institutions (DD 306)
  7. Financial Economics (DD 332)
  8. Science (DD 500-599)
  9. Technology (DD 600-699)
  10. Arts & Recreation (DD 700-799)
  11. Poetry (American 811, English 821, German 831, French 841, Italian 851, Spanish 861, Latin 871-874, Greek 881, 883, 884)
  12. History & Geography (DD 900-999)
  13. Communication
  14. Cooking
  15. Fitness
  16. FREE CHOICE
  17. Hobby of Interest
  18. Interpersonal Skills
  19. Language
  20. Leadership
  21. Love
  22. Marketing
  23. Minimalism
  24. Nutrition
  25. Personal Finance / Investing
  26. Self Discipline
  27. Sex
  28. Social Issues
  29. Stoicism
  30. Success
  31. Written by an alt life expert
  32. Written by a blogger
  33. Written by a champion
  34. Written by a comedian
  35. Written by a historical figure
  36. Written by a survivor (of anything)

1. Philosophy (DD 100-109)

I may read:


2. Psychology (DD 150-159)

I may read:

Suggested reads:


3. Logic (DD 160-169)

I may read:

Suggested reads:

  • A Concise Introduction to Logic, by Patrick J. Hurley (I read an old edition of this for a college class ages ago, and loved learning about the different logical fallacies and how to create proper arguments.)

4. Ethics (DD 170-179)

I may read:


5. Religious mythology & social theology (DD 201)

I may read:


6. Culture & Institutions (DD 306)

I may read:


7. Financial Economics (DD 332)

I may read:

Suggested reads:


8. Science (DD 500-599)

I may read:


9. Technology (DD 600-699)

I may read:

Suggested reads:


10. Arts & Recreation (DD 700-799)

I may read:


11. Poetry (DD 800s*)

* American 811, English 821, German 831, French 841, Italian 851, Spanish 861, Latin 871-874, Greek 881, 883, 884

I may read:


12. History & Geography (DD 900-999)

I may read:


13. Communication

When I was forced to take an “Interpersonal Communication” class for GenEd credits in college, I discovered how being conscious about our communication can have a profound effect on the ease and outcome of our everyday interactions. We could ALL be better communicators.

I may read:

Suggested reads:


14. Cooking

While you certainly could pick any cookbook for this category, my intent in including it was to go more into the theory and the “how to” of cooking itself, rather than learn new recipes.

I may read:

Suggested reads:


15. Fitness

I may read:

Suggested reads:


16. FREE CHOICE

I may read:


17. Hobby of Interest

This can be about an existing hobby of yours, or one you are curious about trying.

I may read:


18. Interpersonal Skills

I may read:


19. Language

This category encompasses all aspects of language. You could choose to read a book on the etymology (origin and history) of language; a practical book about the use of language (grammar, vocabulary, etc); or even a world-language learning book.

I may read:

Suggested reads:

  • Read & Think Spanish (This book is great if you have studied Spanish and need more practice with the language.)

20. Leadership

I may read:


21. Love

I may read:

Suggested reads:


22. Marketing

I may read:


23. Minimalism

I may read:

Suggested reads:


24. Nutrition

I may read:

Suggested reads:


25. Personal Finance / Investing

I may read:

Suggested reads:


26. Self Discipline

I may read:

Suggested reads:


27. Sex

Why is it that, for such a huge part of the human experience as sex is, we have so many taboos about discussing it?

I may read:


28. Social Issues

This category includes (but is not limited to) social issues such as race, gender, and class.  During and after #diversitybingo2017, I realized how important it is to expose ourselves to these issues from the perspectives and voices of those experiencing them. As a white person, I understand that I don’t understand just how different my experience is because of my privilege, and I want to expose myself to other viewpoints, especially coming from “own voices”, to increase my awareness and empathy.

I may read:

Suggested reads:


29. Stoicism

Why is this particular brand of philosophical thought so important that it gets its own category? Because it is a massively misunderstood (“Stoics are just emotionless”) tool for dealing with the rough times in life and finding incredible satisfaction in everything. (Or, as one of my idols said, “What is Stoicism and How Can It Turn Your Life to Solid?“) ‘Nuff said. Read on. 😛

I may read:

Suggested reads:


30. Success

I may read:

Suggested reads:


31. Written by an alt lifestyle expert

This category is intended to get you thinking outside your norms. “Alternative Lifestyle”, then, can be taken literally – those individuals who carve out a path that is alternative to the broad-sweeping social norms…. OR you can take this category in a more personal way, and read a book written by someone whose opinion is opposed to YOUR norms (if, for example, you are religious, read a book on atheism written by an atheist – or vice versa!). In all honesty, I am very curious to see what others who use the hashtag #nonficbingo2018 select for this category, because I’m not sure I know many “alt experts” myself.  But this category idea was suggested to me, and I was intrigued!

I may read:

Other Potential Reads

For this one category, I reached out to an awesome friend whose taste in books I trust completely, because I feel like this could be a tough category to find options for. She is one of the co-hosts of the hilarious and witty podcast, Historical Hotties, and here are her recommendations:


32. Written by a blogger

I may read:

Suggested reads:


33. Written by a champion

This category can be taken literally, in which case, you might read a book written by an Olympic medalist or a famous sports figure, or you can take it more figuratively… selecting an author such as a CEO or entrepreneur who has had great success in business, a leader (political or spiritual) who has demonstrated great wisdom, or a person who has triumphed over incredible odds to achieve their status/success.

I may read:

Suggested reads:


34. Written by a comedian

I may read:

Suggested reads:


35. Written by a historical figure

I may read:

  • The Art Of War, by Sun Tzu (Chinese general, military strategist, and philosopher)
  • The Prince, by Niccolò Machiavelli (Italian diplomat, politician, historian, philosopher, humanist, and writer)

Suggested reads:

  • Meditations by Marcus Aurelius (Roman emperor from 161 to 180)

36. Written by a survivor

The answer to the built in question (“Survivor of what?”) is “Anything.”

I may read:

Suggested reads:


If you decide to join me in this challenge, please use the hashtag #nonficbingo2018 on social media, so I can see what you’re reading! And if you will be participating and have a #nonficbingo2018 post on your blog with your selections and/or recommendations, send me the link and I will post it here! When I did the diversity challenge last year, it was SO helpful to see everyone’s “I’m reading…” and “suggested reading” lists for the various categories.

Here’s to a year full of learning! 😀

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