Have you ever done a year-long romance reading challenge? Have you ever noticed that reading challenges seem like a fun social thing at first, but are actually hard and scary and stressful to think about in light of your already-terrifying TBR pile? We understand your situation. So, we decided to make our own Heaving Bosoms reading challenge that is less like a reading challenge and more like the opposite. What is the opposite of a challenge, you ask? Well, the Thesaurus says it’s an EMBRACE! Guys, we give you the 2019 Heaving Bosoms Reading Embrace! Doesn’t that sound like a warm hug? It is low-key, low pressure, and low reward.

We have a list of 20 classic Heaving Bosoms Podcast phrases or concepts here. We are going to pretend like they are book categories. To participate in this embrace, you read one book from each category during 2019. What do the phrases mean? We don’t know. What books fit into the categories? Beats us! Get creative. You might not realize that you are reading a book that fits into one of the categories until you’re in the middle of it. Then, all of a sudden, a character drinks some tea and . . . BAM! Tea has herbs! It’s your Herbs, Herbs, Herbs book! See how loosely we are defining this? Basically, just take the 20 books you’re already reading this year and match them to the categories. Or read 5 books and match multiple categories to each one. You don’t have do do them in any order. You don’t have to do them at all!

If you want, post what you are reading for each category on social media using #HBReadingEmbrace. We really want to see what you guys read for each category. If we know you HBs like we think we do . . . some of these could get really weird and hilarious.

If you read along with the podcast, we’ll mention when we something we’re reading fits into a category. But you don’t have to agree with us!

At the end of 2019, we’ll have everyone send in the books they read and what categories they went with, and we will announce everyone on the podcast. Isn’t that nice?

Okay, here are the categories (and here’s a printable!):

  • America Times

  • Because Witches

  • Consent Boner

  • Cousin Stuff

  • Does He/She Got Reasons?

  • England Times

  • Herbs, Herbs, Herbs

  • Highlander Times

  • Hufflepuff-Slytherin Love

  • Keep Being a Badass

  • Lady Love

  • Medieval Times

  • Pirate Times

  • Reindeer Mafia

  • Sherlock Holmes Times

  • Sportsball

  • This Duke is a Virgin

  • Werves

  • Western Times

  • Your Faves are Problematic