Reading Challenges – 2012

Reading Challenges – 2012

This post first appeared on my other blog, but it fits in better with thebargellist, so I have reposted it here.

I am becoming quite a fan of Reading Challenges.  Not that I officially sign up for many.  Rather, that they encourage you to extend your reading horizons a bit.  Stop you becoming too much of a lazy reader.  Anyway here are my chosen challenges for the year ahead.

The Mediterranean Reading Challenge 

As a great lover of that part of the world I could not resist this one, which is hosted by Black Sheep Dances.  The challenge comes in various levels and I have signed up for the scholar level, which requires me to read nine books from the region.  I regularly read quite a lot of fiction from both Spain and Italy, so I hope to make up most of the nine by extending my reading to include works from the southern and eastern shores of the Med, which is pretty much unknown territory to me and not just reading wise.  You can sign up here.

This is the fifth series of this particular challenge and is now hosted by Beth Fish Reads.  The challenge here is read six books, each one of which must have a different feature in its title. A bit of a fun challenge this one.  Here are the six challenges.

  1. A book with a topographical feature (land formation) in the title: Black Hills, Purgatory Ridge, Emily of Deep Valley
  2. A book with something you’d see in the sky in the title: Moon Called, Seeing Stars, Cloud Atlas
  3. A book with a creepy crawly in the title: Little Bee, Spider Bones, The Witches of Worm
  4. A book with a type of house in the title: The Glass Castle, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, Ape House
  5. A book with something you’d carry in your pocket, purse, or backpack in the title: Sarah’s Key, The Scarlet Letter, Devlin Diary
  6. A book with a something you’d find on a calendar in the title: Day of the Jackal, Elegy for April, Freaky Friday, Year of Magical Thinking

The above titles are just suggestions and if you fancy this challenge you can sign up here.

These are the only two challenges I have formally signed up for, though the East European Reading challenge from last year is continuing into 2012.  I didn’t manage as many titles as hoped from this part of the world, so I am quite pleased that I now have another year in which to explore this part of the world.  More Boris Akunin will certainly feature in this.  I will also try and find some works by authors from Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary.

There are a few other reading challenges that I will try to follow to some extent.  The first is the Vintage Mystery Challenge, hosted at My Reader’s Block.  Emma did this one last year and enjoyed it greatly, so I thought I would give it a go.  I have become an avid reader of crime fiction and it will be fascinating to discover or rediscover some of the masters from the past.  Too late to sign up, but I can still try and make the challenge.  This year the challenge involves particular themes and you have to choose one and then read eight books which fall into that theme.  You can see the full list here. Not sure which theme to go for, but quite like the look of Colourful Crime –  Books with a colour in the title.  The key requirement is that all books must have been written before 1960 and be from the mystery category – crime fiction, detective fiction, espionage, etc.

Another challenge which I will enjoy will be the Nordic Reading Challenge, hosted by Notes from the North.  This time it is not a year long challenge, but an open and ongoing challenge to read any book by any author from a Nordic country or a book set in a Nordic country.  I read lots of crime novels from Scandinavia and will continue to do so, which makes this a pretty easy challenge for me.  The real challenge would be send in some reviews of the books I read.  If you are tempted by a bit of Nordic lit, then you can find out more here.

My final challenge for the year is something completely different.  I have little experience of the world of Australian literature.  I have read a few books by crime writer Peter Temple – all brilliant and one book by Peter Carey, Theft: A Love Story, also brilliant, and none by a woman writer.  So time for a change.  For details of this challenge go here.  If you are interested in this particular challenge and like me have no idea of where to start then this post from Book’d Out has a list of ten books as your starter for ten.

Whatever your own reading challenges are for the coming year, here’s hoping you succeed with most of them.
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