The British Books Challenge 2017


I’ve recently realised that for a while now the overwhelming majority of my reading has been American. It’s not hugely surprising — I am deeply immersed in the American publishing world and have been for years now. I live in DC, studied for my MFA here, and love being a part of the US-based Book Riot. And American books are great — but aside from the fact that there’s a big wide world out there, I’m losing my distinctive idioms and voice and sounding less and less like a Brit. And I have been so out of touch with the British publishing world that I hadn’t heard of this year’s big-sellers, like The Essex Serpent and Five on Brexit Island, until embarrassingly recently. One of my favourite British authors, Nina Stibbe, released her third book this year, and I somehow missed it completely.

It’s high time to remedy this.

Faffing around on Twitter to attempt to plug the enormous gaps in my knowledge, I discovered the hashtag #BritishBooksChallenge2017. For the last few years, bloggers have been pledging to read and review at least twelve British books a year. Becky Scott started the challenge in 2011 and this year Chelly Toy is hosting it.

In 2017, I’m joining in. I made the most of’s Boxing Day sale and ordered a whole pile of books — enough of them to complete the challenge, in fact. Here’s what I plan on reading, though I reserve the right to switch up my choices as the year progresses. I’ll be updating the page with my reviews as the year goes on.

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