Guest post by Lady Smith, owner of The Snail on the Wall
Reading is on a lot of New Year’s resolution lists, right alongside exercising and getting more sleep. But for most of us, a reading resolution isn’t just about increasing the number of books we get through. It’s about adding more interesting and enriching stories to our lives. At The Snail on the Wall, Huntsville’s independent bookstore without a store, we decided to encourage readers to expand their literary horizons this year with the “Read with The Snail” Reading Challenge. We give you a theme for each month, and you get to choose your own book to enjoy.
For January, we’re starting off with “something inspiring,” an ideal theme to help us all usher in a brand-new year. What does “inspiring” mean to you? Maybe it’s a memoir by someone who has overcome obstacles or undergone a transformation. Perhaps it’s a book about spiritual renewal or a motivational read about setting goals and making a fresh start. Or you might opt for a novel with an uplifting story.
If you’re not sure where to start, The Snail has plenty of inspiring reads to recommend. The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life, by Janice Kaplan, will demonstrate the real effects of adopting a more positive outlook. In the memoir category, Smile is Sarah Ruhl’s story of learning how to be content even when Bell’s palsy took away her ability to show it, while The Sun Does Shine shows how Anthony Ray Hinton, an Alabama man who spent 30 years on Death Row for a crime he didn’t commit, still maintained his capacity to forgive. Bestselling author/blogger Rachel Held Evans died unexpectedly while writing her next book, but now we have her powerful message of faith in the new essay collection called Wholehearted Faith. For something a little lighter, pick up Todd Doughty’s Little Pieces of Hope, which has page after page of feel-good lists, illustrations, and quotes. If a novel is more your style, an exciting new release this month is Her Hidden Genius, by Marie Benedict, about real-life scientist Rosalind Franklin who discovered the double-helix structure of DNA and then had to sacrifice everything to make sure her discovery came to light.
We’ve gathered those books and more on our website for you to browse and shop. And you’ll see other inspiring ideas featured on our social media throughout the month: @snailbooks on Instagram and Snail on the Wall on Facebook.
To participate in the challenge, just a snap a photo of your selected book for the month and share it on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #ReadwithTheSnail. We’d love for you to add a sentence or two telling what you think about your book — because the goal is to share books, authors, and stories with other readers out there.
For anyone that completes all 12 months of the challenge, The Snail will be giving away a $150 gift card to help you continue to read more and read better.
Below are the themes for the year, so start brainstorming about books that fit each month so you can play along. Even better, support The Snail on the Wall by purchasing your books from us; we deliver to Huntsville and Madison doorsteps every day. The Snail is a full-service independent bookstore without a store, with the mission of delivering specially selected books that readers will love and creating a community of readers in Huntsville and beyond. We offer books and book recommendations for people of all ages, we bring authors to our area for book signings, and we partner with groups and organizations to encourage literacy, lifelong learning, and a love of reading. We love being Huntsville’s local bookstore!
“Read with The Snail” Reading Challenge
January: Something inspiring
February: By a person of color
April: History you didn’t know about
May: By a debut author
June: Summer vibes
July: Short story collection
August: By an author local to you
September: Considered a classic
October: Gives you chills and thrills
November: Meant for kids
December: Has a cozy feel
Find all the details of the Reading Challenge on our website here.
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