#MustReadin2017: An Experiment in Crowdsourcing My Reading Life


Much as I love #MustRead lists and much as I love the #MustRead community, I told myself I was going to sit 2017 out. After all, I have a dismal record when it comes to actually reading the books on my annual #MustRead lists. I think it has something to do with my resistance to all assigned reading–including reading I assign myself. This is a serious and inconvenient character flaw in an English professor (though I have a workaround in the two literature courses I teach most frequently: reading workshop! Everyone chooses his or her own reading material, and believe me, we are all much happier and read exponentially more as a result.)

But then I started reading other people’s lists, and there were so many books that I, too, want to read in 2017. And I realized something about my reading life: it’s all about community. So many of the wonderful books I read each year are first blogged about by my favorite teacher bloggers. And so I hatched another workaround: what about a #MustReadin2017 list made up entirely of books on other people’s lists? Would it be possible to find at least one book on each list that I could (theoretically) commit to reading in 2017? Yes! And in some cases, I wanted to copy entire #MustRead lists: literally every book on the list is on my TBR list too. But I limited myself to just one book from each list, keeping in mind my larger reading goals of diversity of format, genre, and point of view.

My crowdsourced #MustReadin2017 list of 20 titles, with many thanks to the #MustRead community and to Carrie Gelson, for hosting and organizing:





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10 responses to “#MustReadin2017: An Experiment in Crowdsourcing My Reading Life”

  1. carriegelson Avatar

    I really do love this whole idea! Because yes – community! Sharing the OMG you need to read this book with a bunch of others who know the joy reading can bring! Can’t wait for your reaction to As Brave as You. I adored it. Some amazing kid/grandparent connections which I am always a sucker for . . .

  2. […] Elisabeth Ellington made her list by adding titles from all of ours: #MustReadin2017: An Experiment in Crowd Sourcing my Reading Life […]

  3. Melissa Rosfeld Avatar

    “The Girl Who Drank the Moon” has been a big hit with my students. I haven’t read it yet because it’s in constant rotation. So are the few Jacqueline Woodson books I have.

  4. […] caved and made a #MustReadin2017 list after all–crowdsourced from everyone else’s […]

  5. cweichel Avatar

    I’ve only read three on this list! I’ll have to discover what you think of the rest of them to see if I need them on mine for next year. Or i’ll have to do what Linda B does and start a B list.

  6. Ramona Avatar

    Some wonderful titles that I’ve read on your list: Glory Be, The Gift from the Sea (I love rereading this one), Stella by Starlight, and The Inquisitor’s Tale. And lots of other titles that I want to read. It should be a great reading year.

  7. […] would have picked up Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s Gift from the Sea if it hadn’t been on my #MustReadin2017 list, which I compiled entirely from books on other people’s lists. If you haven’t read it […]

  8. […] was surprised to note that two of my Top 10 were #MustReadin2017 titles, and my list was entirely crowdsourced from other lists. So even though I didn’t finish all […]

  9. […] I could borrow a title from each participant’s list to create my own. I didn’t finish all the books on the list, but it was still a very successful reading experiment.  In fact, two of my top 10 books of the […]

  10. […] January, I joined Carrie Gelson and many other bloggers in creating #MustReadin2018 reading lists. To add a twist to the challenge, I crowdsource my list, selecting one […]

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