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 2023.
Mt. TBR Reading Challenge. Bev from My Reader’s Block is hosting this challenge to encourage you to read those books you own yet haven’t read. Last year I signed up for the “Mount 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!
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). In honor of the Netflix TV series Stranger Things hosts Berls and Michelle at Because Reading is Better than Real Life have recast this years challenge with an “upside down world” theme.
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 23 in ’23 Challenge. Also hosted by Rose City Reader, the challenge encourages us to read 23 books before the end of the year that have been on your shelf prior to January 1, 2023. 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 16th 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:
Punctuation (for example God’s Philosophers or Why Did Rome Fall?)
Seven Deadly Sins (for example Pride and Prejudice or King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa )
You or Me (for example You or Same Kind of Different as Me)
Chess Piece (for example Sex with Kings: 500 Hundred Years of Adultery, Power, Rivalry, and Revenge or The Queen: The Forgotten Life Behind an American Myth)
Celebration (for example Street Without Joy: The French Debacle in Indochina or A Movable Feast)
Q, X, Z (for example Quicksilver, Oryx and Crake or Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny)
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.
The 2023 TBR Pile Reading Challenge. Every year Adam, from Roof Beam Reader hosts a challenge in hopes of getting us to select 12 books and two alternates to read over the course of the year while marking our progress. Each year I participate I fail miserably. I’m hoping this is year I finally read most, if not all of my intended books. I’ve set up a separate blog page dedicated to the challenge where I hope to post my amazing progress.
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.