Welcome to 12 Months of Reading! Each month in 2024, I will host a different reading challenge category. These categories are broad, and, chances are, whatever you’re reading may fit in them.

May’s book category is a short story, poetry or essay collection.

I love categories that range as widely as this one! My guess is these options cover something everyone will enjoy.

Which of these choices do you prefer: short stories, poetry or essays? I enjoy all three immensely and had fun coming up with four recommendations for you.

The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays gives us a deeper look at the academic mind of my favorite author, J.R.R. Tolkien. We get to read lectures he gave at some of the great schools and to some of the greatest minds. Plus, we glimpse the opening considerations that led to his incredible literary works and witness his passion for the amazing literature that preceded his.

The Crux Anthology, edited and compiled by Rachael Ritchey, gathers sixteen phenomenal SciFi and Fantasy writers between two book covers. If you love adventure stories, incredible settings and the thrill of discovering new favorite authors, this book is for you. Plus, all proceeds benefit Compassion International! My short story “Ealiverel Awakened” will give you a taste of what’s to come in the fantasy series I’ve been worldbuilding since 2016. Get more details about the book and its authors here.

My dear friend and critique partner wrote Grief Like a River. This book addresses grief from the perspective of one who’s been through it more than once and offers a hand to others wading the same river. Told through lingering lyrical words and gripping visual representations drawn by the author, this collection of poems grips readers’ hearts. Visit Mea’s website for more about the book. You can also read my Goodreads review here.

Every Good Thing compiles twelve stories that take us deeper into the lives of characters in my four-part Carolina’s Legacy CollectionEvery person leaves a legacy; so does every character.

Lonely outcasts. Found wanderers. Recovering addicts. War-weary heroes. Homeless families. Grieving loved ones. Good men—gone too soon.

Each one’s story stands alone, yet all unite along a common thread of dreams pursued and legacy left in this collection of short stories. One life flows into another as each character connects to the next.

Revisit beloved characters from Carolina’s Legacy Collection and descry their legacies of faith, heroism, healing, tenacity and sacrifice. These twelve realistic, hope-filled tales celebrate humans and the connections they share and gifts they leave.

Intrigued? Message me to order an autographed copy, request it at your local bookstore or library or order through bookshop.org.

Whether you read one of my recommendations or come up with your own, I’d love to hear about it! Drop a comment below to let me know what you’re reading. Mark your calendar for June 6 and plan to join my virtual LAM Book Club to share your favorite bits with fellow readers.

(If you use the link above to order from bookshop.org, I receive a small affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting me and independent bookstores by using them for your online bookstore purchases!)

What will you read? Comment below with your choice. Return once you’ve finished to share your review and thoughts. Remember to #ShareTheRead! Tap the graphic below to download each month’s graphic to share on your social media. How many reader friends can you bring to the party?

Calendar showcasing all the reading categories for the 2024 12 Days of Reading

Tap the image above to download each month’s graphic. Share on your social media with #ShareTheRead and #12MonthsOfReading and tag @joyerancatore!

Multi-Genre Indie Author Joy E. Rancatore hosts a monthly virtual, interactive Book Club Chat. Join now!

Tap the graphic above to join LAM Book Club for an extra way to #ShareTheRead with fellow readers! No set book. Meet virtually once a month. Share what you’re reading or ask for recommendations.