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 objective. After posting reviews of these particular books, bloggers will frequently post links to their reviews on a the host’s blog so other bloggers can access those reviews. Experience has shown me it’s a convenient and intellectually stimulating way to discover both interesting books and book bloggers.
Here is a brief run-down on my reading challenges for 2022.
Mt. TBR Reading Challenge. Bev from My Reader’s Block is hosting this challenge to encourage us to read those books you own yet haven’t read. Last year I signed up for the “Mount Vancouver” level of 36 books – and for the five year in a row 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!
The Virtual Mount TBR Reading Challenge. Also hosted by Bev, the goal of this challenge is to read all those books that have been on your list but as library books. I’m opting for the “Mount Crumpit” level of 24 books.
Clean Out Your E-Reader Challenge (COYER). I thought about joining this challenge last year only to decline at the last moment. This year however, I’m going to give it a shot. In the past, the purpose was to read the free or low-cost e-books squirreled away on your e-reader of choice. This time around that’s still the case, but hosts Berls and Michelle at Because Reading is Better than Real Life have modified things a bit. As the seasons progress participants are granted more flexibility, thus allowing physical books, as well as more expensive e-books to count.
Books in Translation Reading Challenge. Years ago, when I first started blogging I took part in a books in translation reading challenge and loved it. Once again, Jennifer at Introverted Reader is hosting this challenge and I’m excited to join. Feeling ambitious, I’ve set my sights on the “Linguist” level and hope to read at least 10 translated books.
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. Just like in past years I’ll be going for the “deluxe entourage” level, meaning I’ll read at least five qualifying books. By the way, the other reason that I’m taking part in this challenge is Gillion the hosts lives in my former hometown of Portland, Oregon!
TBR 22 in ’22 Challenge. Also hosted by Rose City Reader, the challenge encourages us to read 22 books before the end of the year that have been on your shelf prior to January 1, 2022. Shelf includes your ebook reader and audiobooks you own, but it doesn’t include library books.” Even though my blog focuses on library books, I have a pretty big personal library and I’m looking for any excuse to get me reading more of my own books.
What’s in a Name Reading Challenge. Even though it’s in its 15th year, nevertheless I discovered it only last year. Hosted by Andrea at Carolina Book Nook, the goal is to read six books that have titles that contain the following:
Compound word (ex. Fangirl or Penpal)
Speed (ex. Talking as Fast as I Can or A Swiftly Tilting Planet)
Person & their description (ex. The Silent Patient or The Lost Man)
Mythical being (ex. Interview with the Vampire or The Lady and the Unicorn)
Season (ex. Winter Garden or A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
Color: (ex. Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine or Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning)
Library Love Challenge. As you probably all know, a huge percentage of the books featured on my blog are borrowed from the public library or downloaded from Overdrive. Therefore, I’ve always been a fan of library challenges. Hosted by Angel’s Guilty Pleasures the mission is to read as many library books as possible. Once again I’m hoping to read a minimum of 48 books which would put me at the “library addict” level.
Backlist Reader Challenge. I love a challenge that rewards me for reading older books. Heck, I’ve been doing that for years! For the Backlist Reader Challenge hosted by the Bookwyrn’s Hoard readers must read books published before 2022 and be on one’s to be read list (TBR).
Historical Fiction Reading Challenge. Formerly hosted by Passages to the Past, and now The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader is a great reading challenge for me because I don’t read a lot of fiction, but when I do it’s usually historical fiction. One again I’m aiming for the “Renaissance Reader” level of 10 books.
Nonfiction Reader Challenge. Since I’m a huge nonfiction fan I’d be a fool not to participate in this one hosted by Book’d Out. I’ve selected the “Nonfiction Nibbler” level and will be reading six books from any of the 12 nonfiction categories.
Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge. Over the last several years along with reading more historical fiction I’ve found myself reading more international crime, spy thrillers and the like. Carol’s Notebook is hosting a reading challenge devoted solely to mystery/suspense/thriller/crime genres. Put me down for the “Amateur Sleuth” level of 5 to 15 books.
TBR Pile Challenge List. After taking a few years off from this challenge I’m back to give it another try. Hosted by Adam at Roof Beam Reader, the purpose it to make it through a stack of 12 TBR books over the course of the year. All 12 (plus two alternates) must have been on your bookshelf or “To Be Read” list for at least one full year.
Per Adam’s instructions I’ve selected 12 books plus two alternates:
- Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon by Daniel C. Dennett (2006)
- Growing Up Jewish: An Anthology ed. by Jay David (1969)
- The Promised City: New York’s Jews, 1870–1914 by Moses Rischin (1977)
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (2008)
- Frozen in Time: An Epic Story of Survival and a Modern Quest for Lost Heroes of World War II by Mitchell Zuckoff (2013)
- The Knowledge Web: From Electronic Agents to Stonehenge and Back — And Other Journeys Through Knowledge by James Burke (1999)
- The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor by David S. Landes (1999)
- The Evolution of God by Robert Wright (2009)
- The Coming of the French Revolution by Georges Lefebvre (1967)
- Becket by Jean Anouilh (1960)
- The Third Horseman: Climate Change and the Great Famine of the 14th Century by Willam Rosen (2014)
- Forgotten Ally: China’s World War II, 1937–1945 by Rana Mitter (2013) – Kindle
- Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning by Timothy Snyder (2015) – Kindle, not shown
Italia Reading Challenge. Hosted by Diana from Thoughts on Papyrus the goal is to read books by Italian authors. Even though I’ve never visited Italy, I seem to have a soft spot for the place. (As some of you might have guessed by reading my “Ask the Expert” post from a few years back.) I’m hoping to incorporate this one into a few other challenges I’m participating in, as well as feature some obscure/overlooked/forgotten translated works.
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.