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 2016.
Cloak and Dagger Challenge. This is a new one for me. Hosted by Stormi and Kathy at Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My!, the purpose is to read mystery/suspense/thriller/crime fiction. I’m going to sign up for the Amateur Sleuth level of 1-10 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 “Would make a good Movie”, “Debut Novel” and “Author outside your own Country.” A very creative concept indeed!
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
Africa Reading Challenge. Two years ago, 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!
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 the Books 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 Mt. TBR Reading Challenge. Last year I signed up for the “Mt. Vancouver” level of 36 books – and once again 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!
World at War Reading Challenge. A new one for me and it looks like a lot of fun! Hosted by Becky from Becky’s Book Reviews, the goal is to get a “bingo” by reading books corresponding to different World War categories like “A nonfiction book about WWI” or “A fiction book set during World War II.”
I love Libraries Reading Challenge. For the last few years this was hosted by Gina from Book Dragon’s Lair. This year Bea’s Book Nook has taken over as host. 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.
Diversity on the Shelf Reading Challenge. This is another new challenge for me. Hosted by Akilah at the Englishist, the purpose this challenge is to encourage book bloggers to read more books by and/or about people of color. I’ve elected to pursue the “Second Shelf level of 7 -12 books.
The Backlist Books Reading Challenge. And yet another new challenge for me. Hosted by Bekka and Alexia at Pretty Deadly Reviews, a backlist book is anything published a year or more before the day you read it. For example, if it’s January 21st, 2016, then the book you’re reading must have been published on January 21st, 2015 or earlier. Since I like to read a lot of older stuff, this challenge is right up my alley.
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.