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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
2010: 128
2011: 140
2012: 112
2013: 95
2014: 109
2015: 95
2016: 78
2017: 95
2018: 120

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.


Did you write a book I should read?

You can contact me at

Review copies may be sent to:

Dr. Jonathan Ball
PO Box 70043 Kenaston PO
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Canada R3P 0X6

I cannot guarantee reviews, but I thank you for your interest.

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    Author of stranger fiction. Advocate of writing the wrong way. Poet laureate of Hell.

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