See those little icons (actually called “buttons” in the book blogging world) on the right-hand column of my blog? These refer to different reading challenges I’ll be participating in throughout the course of this year. Some of you might ask, “what is a challenge?” A challenge is a bit like an online reading club in which book bloggers read specific books in pursuit of a common goal. After posting reviews of these particular books, bloggers will frequently post links to their reviews on a central website so other bloggers can access those reviews. Experience has shown me it’s a convenient and intellectually stimulating way to discover both books and book bloggers.
Here is a brief run-down on my reading challenges for 2015.
Around the World Reading Challenge. One of several global reading challenges I hope to take part in over the course of the year. Hosted by All About Books, this one is unique among challenges because there’s a number of mini-challenges to go along with it. It also encourages participants to use Google Maps for tracking progress.
New to You Reading Challenge. A very simple, open-ended up potentially enjoyable reading challenge. Hosted by Herding Cats and Burning Soup, the goal is to reading something “new” to you. This could be a debut novel, an unfamiliar genre or just about anything that in your opinion makes it new. I’m going for Level 3. That means 24 books that are new to me in some way or another.
British History Reading Challenge. I signed up for this challenge last year and I failed bit time! Time I redeemed myself! Once again it’s hosted by Annette of Impressions In Ink. The goal is to read three British history books before the end of the year. Piece of cake. But then again, I said that last year.
Show Your shelves Some Love Reading Challenge. The goal is simply to refrain from buying any books but instead read what’s on your self, in addition to stuff borrowed from the library. Hosted by the good people at Chapter Break. I’ve signed up for the “Black Belt” level of 51 plus books.
Full House Reading Challenge. This one is like an extended game of black-out bingo. Hosted by The Book Date, the goal is to read 25 different books with each one corresponding to a different category like “You Love the Cover”, “Book Set in the Northern Hemisphere” and “Author Outside Your Own Country.” A very creative concept indeed!
War Through the Generations Reading Challenge. I’ve been wanting to join this challenge for years and this year I’ve finally done it. Co-hosted by Anna and Serena, the goal is to read books about ANY war. Sound good to me!
TBR Pile Reading Challenge. Hosted by the team at Bookish, as one would expect from any TBR challenge the goal is to read books from your home bookshelf. I’ve signed up for the “Friendly Hug” level of 11-20 books.
Snagged @ The Library Reading Challenge. I simply cannot resist a library book reading challenge! Of course I signed up for this one! Hosted by Alicia at The Geeky Bloggers Book Blog, I’m going to read 36 library books. Piece of cake!
Where Are You Reading Challenge. Hosted by Sheila of Book Journey, this is another geographically focused challenge. Sign me up!
7 Continents, 7 Billion People, 7 books – Reading Challenge. From Dorothee of the blog Life is a Journey here’s yet another geographically focused challenge. The goal is to read a book from:
– the 7 countries with the most population
– the 7 highest countries in the world
– the 7 oldest countries of the world
– one of the 7 megacities of the world
– the 7 countries with the most immigrants
– a continent not visited yet
– and a book with a journey from one continent to another
Around the World in 12 Books Challenge. Hosted by Shannon of Giraffe Days, the goal of this challenge is to read books set in other countries. Hopefully, these books should be “important, interesting, enlightening, educational etc.” Since I’ve never had a problem with that, I’m going all in with this challenge and selecting the “Seasoned Traveler” level of 12 books representing 12 different countries.
Africa Reading Challenge. Last year, after a one year hiatus, one of my favorite challenges returned. For at least two out of the last three years, Kinna’s Africa Reading Challenge encouraged book bloggers to read books about, or set in Africa. Last year when I signed up I had high hopes of reading a ton of Africa-related books. By year’s end however, I had read just one. Pathetic! Not this year! Just like in past years, the goal of her challenge to read at least five books. She asks that at least one be fiction, with at least three by African authors. Participants should also select books that represent at least two different regions of the continent, as well as include fiction translated from French, Arabic or Portuguese. Come on, I gotta do better than last year!
Lucky Number 15 Reading Challenge. This will be a new challenge for me. Hosted by the anonymous Indonesian author of the blog Books to Share, the goal is to read 15 books (or more) from 15 different categories. With categories like “Something Borrowed”, “Cover Lust” “Dream Destination” this promising challenge reminds me a lot of Book Date’s Full House Reading Challenge. While you can combine the books you read with other challenges, you can’t use the same book for different categories in this challenge. One is encouraged to read books one already owns, but buying new books is still allowed. (Just as you might expect, I plan on featuring no small number of library books in my quest to complete this challenge!)
Nonfiction Reading Challenge. Hosted by the “Introverted Jen” at The Introverted Reader, this yet another challenge to make people read more nonfiction. I’ve selected the “Master” level which means I’ll be reading 16-20 nonfiction books before the end of the year. Heck, for me that’s nothing.
Books in Translation Reading Challenge. In addition to her Nonfiction Reading Challenge Jenn the Introverted Reader is also hosting theBooks in Translation Reading Challenge. Just like it sounds, the goal is to read translated books. Even though I know enough Spanish to order dinner in a Mexican restaurant, when it comes to my reading tastes I’m restricted just to stuff in English. But that shouldn’t stop me from reading books translated from other languages. A few years ago when I first did this challenge I made to the “Linguist” level of 10-12 books. Hopefully, I’ll do the same this year.
Mt. TBR Reading Challenge. Bev from My Reader’s Block is hosting a challenge called the 2014 Mt. TBR Reading Challenge. Last year I signed up for the “Mt. Vancouver” level of 36 books – and failed miserably! This year I’m going try again and maybe with a lot of hard work and perseverance I’ll finally climb that elusive Mt. Vancouver!
I love Library Books Reading Challenge. Hosted by Gina fromBook Dragon’s Lair, as you might have guessed the purpose of this challenge is to inspire people to read more library books. There are eight levels to this challenge. I’ve opted for the “Just Insert IV” level with hopes of reading at least 50 library books before year’s end.
Global Reading Challenge. Hosted by Kerrie on the blog Mysteries in Paradise, this one of good because it encourages me to read fiction. The goal is to read as many works of fiction from as many countries as possible. Once again I’ve selected the “medium challenge”, which means I hope to read at least two works of fiction from each continent.
European Reading Challenge. When I first read about this challenge, I thought it applied solely to fiction. However, I soon learned it included everything from memoirs to travel and even cooking. That’s why I signed up for the European Reading Challenge, hosted by Gillion on her blog Rose City Reader. I’m throwing caution to the wind and opting for the “deluxe entourage” level, which means I must read at least five qualifying books. By the way, the other reason that I’m taking part in this challenge is Gillion who hosts it lives in my hometown of Portland, Oregon!
Old Books Reading Project. This is my own private challenge and solely a creation of my own. I have a huge personal library and many of these books are over 30, 40 and 50 years old. Year after year they just sit there just waiting to be read. And what do I do about it-nothing. I keep going to the public library to get new ones or worse, buy more. This must change. Therefore, I’m hoping this challenge that I created last year will somehow force me keep reading some of the books I already own. It’s also an effective way for me to spotlight a few old and forgotten books that have still have considerable merit, despite not being a New York Times notable book or talked about on NPR.
Reading Through Time Historical Fiction Challenge. Over the last year or two, I’ve found myself reading more historical fiction. So you could imagine how happy I was when I discovered Bookish Girl’s Reading Through Time Historical Fiction Challenge. The goal is to read as many historical novels as possible. Unlike a lot of reading challenges, this one also includes short stories. (Five short stories count as one novel. And all novels must be at least 100 pages to be eligible.) If I can make it to 35 novels I’ll reach the “Ken Follett” level. But that sounds like a lot. I’ll probably just make it to the “Kate Morton” of just 10 books.
TBR Pile Challenge. Hosted by Roof Beam Reader, the purpose of this challenge is to inspire folks to read 12 books in one year. These books must have been purchased before the start of this year. In order to keep everyone honest and on task, the host has requested that participants list in advance the books to be read. Last year I totally failed this challenge. This year I wanna redeem myself. Here’s my list of 14 which includes two alternates:
- Over the Edge of the World: Magellan’s Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe
- The Evolution of God by Robert Wright
- The Case for God by Karen Armstrong
- 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann
- 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created by Charles C. Mann
- Sacred Trash: The Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniza by Adina Hoffman and Peter Cole
- Reading Lolita In Tehran: A Memoir In Books by Azar Nafisi
- God’s Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe, 570-1215 by David Levering Lewis
- Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder
- A World Without Islam by Graham E. Fuller
- Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East by Scott Anderson
- The Story of Judaism by Bernard J. Bamberger
- King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa by Adam Hochschild (Alternate)
- The Disappearance of God: A Divine Mystery by Richard Elliott Friedman (Alternate)