The #95books reading challenge is simple: commit to reading 95 books over 12 months. I offer a free ebook called You Can Read #95books This Year that you can download through this link, which offers my best tips to help you read more. (Even if you feel like #95books is overkill, you can still use those tips to read more than you’re reading currently.)
You can start anytime (although most people start January 1, as a New Year’s resolution) and you can post about your reading using the hashtag #95books.
How did it begin? On Dec. 26, 2008, Karl Rove published an article titled “Bush is a Book Lover” in The Wall Street Journal. Furious on a good day, I read this and became enraged — at myself. I was sure Bush was out-reading me. What was my excuse? I wasn’t as busy as the president. I was a writer completing a PhD in literature!
As 2009 began, I enlisted my friend Ryan Fitzpatrick in a resolve to read 95 books that year. Like Rove and Bush, we’d make it a competition (that’s where we ended the Rove and Bush emulation, I promise … ). The winner would buy the loser sushi.
Shockingly, I read 119 books that year. Ryan read 110. We continued the competition every year. Here are my reading totals:
2009: 119 books
Even the one time I failed (family emergency, new baby, pregnant wife), I read far more than I might have otherwise read. In 2019, I will to read #95books again. So can you.
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- When We Were Alone by David A. Robertson & Julie Flett
- Stolen City: Racial Capitalism and the Making of Winnipeg by Owen Toews
- City Treaty: A Long Poem by Marvin Francis
- The Blue Clerk by Dionne Brand
- The Nonnets by Aaron Giovannone
- Rouge by Adrian De Leon
- Everyone Rides the Bus in a City of Losers by Jason Freure
- Real Is the Word They Use to Contain Us by Noah Wareness
- This Wound is a World by Billy-Ray Belcourt
- The Break by Katherena Vermette
- In the House in the Dark of the Woods by Laird Hunt
- Yiddish for Pirates by Gary Barwin
- Refuse: CanLit in Ruins edited by Hannah McGregor, Julie Rak, and Erin Wunker
- Holy Wild by Gwen Benaway
- Slash by Jeannette Armstrong
- Grendel Omnibus Volume 1 by Matt Wagner
- Theory by Dionne Brand
- Experimental Film by Gemma Files
- Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
- Taxi! by Helen Potrebenko
- The Ward Uncovered: The Archaeology of Everyday Life edited by Holly Martelle, John Lorinc, Tatum Taylor, Michael McClelland
- The Blue Books by Nicole Brossard
- Sitting Shiva on Minto Avenue, by Toots by Erín Moure
- I Love It Though by Alli Warren
Did you write a book I should read?
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Review copies may be sent to:
Dr. Jonathan Ball
PO Box 70043 Kenaston PO
Canada R3P 0X6
I cannot guarantee reviews, but I thank you for your interest.