Friday, January 1, 2010

2010 Reading challenges

These could be difficult for me, except the ones that I just happen to do by accident. Normally, aside from book club, I have absolutely no idea what the next book I will read will be until I am standing in front of my bookcase with nothing to read. I’ve surprised myself quite often! I think I’ll have to be a whole lot more organized this year to get all this accomplished. Luckily, all these challenges are allowed to overlap as that’s the only way this will happen. I hope some of my new books this year will happen to fall into some of these categories!

The Memorable Memoir Challenge
Participants are to read at least 4 memoirs/diaries/letters/autobiography books in 2010.
Cake. I wish this challenge had a “supersize” option. Total for 2009: 19. By far my largest single category.

The Art History Reading Challenge
Read at least 3 books about art in 2010. These books can be either fiction or nonfiction, and they can span every genre. Young adult and children's books count too. January 1 - December 31, 2010.
Luckily I already have an Art category on my list of books and it’s something I’m very attracted to. Unluckily, I just gave my copy of Sunflowers to my sister.

Rainbow Connection Reading Challenge
Single Rainbow (reading 7 books) by either Author (first or last name) or Title starting with R, O, Y, G, B, I and V (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet) books. This challenge is from January 1- June 30, 2010.
At first I thought, well that looks easy! I can do the Double Rainbow (14 books)! Then I thought I’d check it against 2009. Hm. Surprisingly B was by far the most common letter for both titles and authors (I didn’t go through all the first names. I know that’s allowed but it seems like cheating.) Then I got skeptical. But in the end I did end up with at least 2 books/authors listed for each letter. Except nothing for Y. And I thought yikes, will that make it too hard? But I sorted my To Read list alphabetically by title and then author, and I have a lot of choices. I don’t like the 6 month limit, but since I did read at least 2 of each of them last year, reading 1 of each in 6 months should be workable. I worry I’ll forget though and have to cram in June. I’m only aiming for a Single.

Read’n'Review
Review each book you read between January 1 - December 31, 2010.
This should be easy enough. I’ve been doing this for a couple of years now, since I joined www.goodreads.com.

Raved Reads
Create – and read! – a list of books that you’ve always heard others rave about, and thought you should read yourself… but always put off reading “until later”. Your list has to have at least 3 books on it. There are no limitations on genre. And no time limit.
Sadly, this is a pretty common refrain in my reading life. Everyone has been raving to me about The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo for a couple of years now (even my mother read it!) but I just can’t bring myself to read it. It just doesn’t appeal to me. But, I do have a lot of books on my To Read list that certainly qualify. Luckily, my January book club selection qualifies: The Help by Kathryn Stockett. My other 2 list books will be: The Great Fire by Shirley Hazzard and Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky.

TBR *Lite*
January 1st - December 31st
TBR= books that have been on your “To Be Read” list for 6 months or longer, but you haven’t gotten around to.
OPTION A: read 6 books in 12 months ~ your list of books CANNOT be changed, but you are allowed to have an “Alternates” list to choose from (like in the Original TBR Challenge.)
OPTION B: read 6 books in 12 months ~ you CAN change your reading list throughout the year
I’ve got 250 books in my house that I haven’t read yet, so this seems more than reasonable. However, when I went through my 2009 read list, I only found about 9 that I read that I owned prior to 2009 (not counting rereads). But that can (and probably should!) be improved upon. Or else I should do a good culling. I shudder to think how many of these books moved here from New York with me 6 years ago, and are still on my shelves, unread. I think I should stick to Option B as it’s more forgiving.
The List: The Women by T.C. Boyle; People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks; The Great Fire by Shirley Hazzard; Slam by Nick Hornby; The Help by Kathryn Stockett; and Pobby and Dingan by Ben Rice.

Chunkster Reading Challenge
A chunkster is 450 pages or more of ADULT literature (fiction or nonfiction) ... A chunkster should be a challenge. No Audio books in the chunkster. You don't need to list. February 1, 2010 - January 31, 2011
*The Chubby Chunkster - this option is for the reader who has a couple of large tomes on their TBR list, but really doesn't want to commit to much more than that. 3 books is all you need to finish this challenge.
*Do These Books Make my Butt Look Big? - this option is for the slightly heavier reader who wants to commit to 4 Chunksters over the next twelve months.
*Mor-book-ly Obese - This is for the truly out of control chunkster. For this level of challenge you must commit to 6 or more chunksters OR three tomes of 750 pages or more. You know you want to.....go on and give in to your cravings.
I read 7 books with more than 500 pages in 2009 (and I probably could add a couple more books if I went to the 450 level.) But I’m not going to commit to that for 2010! I’ve not done challenges before (aside from my personal annual count) and I don’t want to set a bar too high. Who knows if I’ll have as many West Coast flights in 2010 (that’s when I usually knock out my chunksters.) I assume so, but as soon as I make that assumption, work will declare only teleconferences and no more business travel or something. But right now I’m aiming for level 2. Too bad my old boss still isn’t at my company as I so enjoyed the appalled look on his face when I’d report having read Roots or Pillars of the Earth in two days. I really, really like the word “chunksters” too.

The 2010 Young Adult Reading Challenge
The Mini YA Reading Challenge – Read 12 Young Adult novels.
No need to list your books in advance, January 1 – December 31, 2010
Most of December I’ve read YA novels. Actually, reread, but this doesn’t specify they have to be new. I only have 5 YA books on my to-read list, but I love YA and those aren’t hard to come up with. Especially as I haven’t reread all of my favorite YAs from long ago that are on my shelves.

AUSSIE AUTHOR CHALLENGE
1 January - 31 December 2010
TOURIST - Read and review 3 books by 3 different Australian authors
FAIR DINKUM - Read and review 8 books by Australian authors (a minimum of 5 different Australian authors)
I have 9 Australian books on my To Read list currently. I spent a few months there when I was 12 and my brother was born there. I’ve always had quite an affinity for the country, and The True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey is one of the most powerful books I’ve ever read. I hope I can be Fair Dinkum though Tourist is much more likely. No worries.

Jane Austen Challenge
**Newbie 2 books by J. Austen, 2 re-writes, prequels, sequels, or spoofs (by other authors)
**Lover 4 books by J. Austen, 4 re-writes, prequels, sequels, or spoofs
**Fanatic 6+ books by J. Austen, 5+ re-writes, prequels, sequels, or spoofs
January 1st—December 31 2010.
Okay, while this challenge is AWESOME, I’m not going to participate. Basically, because I’ve already read all Austen’s books. Yep. There are only six and it was my seminar in college (I haven’t read the juvenilia and Lady Susan, which she was writing when she died). Sure, I could reread, and yes, I own a bunch of re-writes, prequels, sequels, and spoofs. But mostly I just collect those, I don’t read them. I’ve been disappointed by a few. So I’m just listing this challenge, but not participating in it.

Wish me luck. I’m now going to create a spreadsheet as that’s the only way I know to keep track of all this! Happy New Year's!

4 comments:

Booklover Book Reviews said...

Thanks for joining me in the Aussie Author Challenge! Look forward to sharing reviews :)

Jennifer G said...

Carin, how do you keep up with what you have read? Logistically, I mean. Do you keep a database or a calendar or what? I just went on my local library page and started my very own "TBR" list. See, you are already influencing me! (-:

Carin said...

I keep up on www.goodreads.com. From 1998-2007 I kept a paper list in the front of my organizer. It's pretty anal but I have a terrible memory, and knowing what I've read has been really, really helpful for my job at times. Now I'm really glad I've been doing this. Goodreads is a bit daunting at first, but if you add just a few at a time, you'll have them all in no time.

J. Kaye said...

Welcome to the Young Adult Reading Challenge. I dearly love YA novels and can't wait to see what titles you read this year!