Friday, December 20, 2013

2013 Reading Challenges Wrap-Up

This year I tried to reduce the reading challenges I participated in as 2012 had felt too restrictive. But I think I overcorrected. I have signed up for more in 2014. But the first one, the Genre Variety, was tough. I only squeaked it out!

2013 Reading challenges

2013 Genre Variety Reading Challenge

The challenge is to read books from different genres throughout the year. I have found that blogging has opened my eyes to so many genres that I would never have tried before, simply from recommendations, and the idea of this challenge is to keep that going. The challenge is to read a large variety of genres within one year.

Other Important Info:
Runs from January 1st 2013 until December 31st 2013. Sign ups will be open until December 1st 2013.
The genres you choose to read are up to you. As long as every book is different, whichever genre you wish to read you can.
Any book formats are accepted.
Novellas and Novels are all accepted for this challenge.
YA, NA and Adult books all count towards this challenge.
New sub-genres are accepted. (for example, paranormal-romance, or historical-romance)
Level: Champion: 30 different genres, 30 books

Carin:
One thing I have been known to brag about, is how widely I read. I read books on topics as wildly divergent as oranges, tennis, economics, and so this challenge is tailor-made for me. That said, I do want it to be a bit of a challenge and last year I read roughly 22 different categories without trying (although the Nonfiction challenge probably helped a little, but most of the books I read for that were history) so I'm going for the top level and aiming for 30 books. I hope I'm not biting off more than I can chew here!

1. My Own Country: A Doctor's Story by Abraham Verghese MEMOIR
2. The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin LITERARY FICTION
3. Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat by Hal Herzog ANIMALS
4. The Art Forger by Barbara Shapiro CONTEMPORARY FICTION
5. Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard HISTORY

6. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell FANTASY
7. Now That I Know by Norma Klein YOUNG ADULT
8. American Ghost by Janis Owens SOUTHERN LIT

9. Sybil Exposed: The Extraordinary Story Behind the Famous Multiple Personality Case by Debbie Nathan PSYCHOLOGY
10. Judging a Book by Its Lover: A Field Guide to the Hearts and Minds of Readers Everywhere by Lauren Leto ESSAYS
11. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn THRILLER
12. Equal of the Sun by Anita Amirrezvani HISTORICAL FICTION
13. The Flatiron by Alice Sparberg Alexiou ARCHITECTURE
14. Confessions of a Prairie Bitch by Alison Arngrim CELEBRITY MEMOIR
15. Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly LEGAL THRILLER
16. Titanic Thompson by Kevin Cook BIOGRAPHY
17. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline SCIENCE FICTION
18. Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong POP CULTURE
19. Jeneration X by Jen Lancaster HUMOR
20. The Wedding Girl by Madeleine Wickham CHICK LIT
21. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg BUSINESS

22. The Bride by Julie Garwood ROMANCE
23. Boleto by Alyson Hagy WESTERN
24. The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone--Especially Ourselves by Dan Ariely ECONOMICS
25. Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach SCIENCE
26. Girl Land by Caitlin Flanagan FEMINISM
27. Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation by Jonathan Kozol SOCIOLOGY
28. Bryson's Dictionary of Troublesome Words: A Writer's Guide to Getting It Right by Bill Bryson REFERENCE
29. The Murder Room: The Heirs of Sherlock Holmes Gather to Solve the World's Most Perplexing Cold Cases
by Michael Capuzzo TRUE CRIME
30. Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh GRAPHIC NOVEL

30/30 by 12/8/2013 DONE!

Wrap-up: This was a serious challenge, but I'm glad I picked 30 because otherwise it would have been pretty easy, given my usual variety. I certainly did pick a couple of books (the romance, the true crime, the reference) that are not in my usual milieu, solely in order to help with this challenge, but they turned out pretty decent and it was nice to take something I normally do - read widely - and push it further so I was a little outside of my comfort zone.

2013 Mount TBR Reading Challenge

Challenge Level: Mount Blanc: Read 24 books from your TBR piles

The rules:
*Once you choose your challenge level, you are locked in for at least that many books. If you find that you're on a mountain-climbing roll and want to tackle a taller mountain, then you are certainly welcome to upgrade.
*Challenge runs from January 1 to December 31, 2013.
*Books must be owned by you prior to January 1, 2013. No ARCs (none), no library books. No rereads. [The intention is to reduce the stack of books that you have bought for yourself or received as presents. Audiobooks and E-books may count if they are yours and they are one of your primary sources of backlogged books.]
*You may count any "currently reading" book that you begin prior to January 1--provided that you had 50% or more of the book left to finish in 2013.
*Books may be used to count for other challenges as well.

Carin: My TBR shelves are getting pretty full, not to mention that I am supposed to be on a budget and not spending tons of money on new books. I didn't pick a larger target though because I am also doing the...

1. My Own Country: A Doctor's Story by Abraham Verghese
2. Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat by Hal Herzog
3. Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard

4. Sybil Exposed: The Extraordinary Story Behind the Famous Multiple Personality Case by Debbie Nathan 
5. Happens Every Day: An All-Too-True Story by Isabel Gillies
6. Getting In by Karen Stabiner
7. Judging a Book by Its Lover: A Field Guide to the Hearts and Minds of Readers Everywhere by Lauren Leto
8. The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
9. The Flatiron by Alice Sparberg Alexiou
10. My Life as Laura: How I Searched for Laura Ingalls Wilder and Found Myself by Kelly Kathleen Ferguson
11. Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated by Alison Arngrim
12. Passing Strange: A Gilded Age Tale of Love and Deception Across the Color Line by Martha A. Sandweiss
13. Hospital: Man, Woman, Birth, Death, Infinity, Plus Red Tape, Bad Behavior, Money, God, and Diversity on Steroids by Julie Salamon
14. The Group by Mary McCarthy
15. Still Alice by Lisa Genova 
16. Life With Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse
17. The Bride by Julie Garwood
18. Meet You in Hell: Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and the Bitter Partnership That Changed America by Les Standiford
19. The Eight by Katherine Neville
20. Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation by Jonathan Kozol
21. Bryson's Dictionary of Troublesome Words: A Writer's Guide to Getting It Right by Bill Bryson
22. The Murder Room: The Heirs of Sherlock Holmes Gather to Solve the World's Most Perplexing Cold Cases by Michael Capuzzo
23. My Year with Eleanor: A Memoir by Noelle Hancock
24. The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie

24/24 by 12/20/2013 DONE!

Wrap-up: This challenge took me the longest to complete, which shows how necessary it was for me. Doing it in conjunction with the one below was particularly hard, but I really buy a lot of new books (and borrow and check out etc.) when I already have an absolute ton of books in my house (well, a half-ton according to the movers last time I moved.) On the one hand I want to catch up, but on the other hand, too many great new books are coming out! I need to somehow start reading 200+ books a year if I want to ever have a shot at getting to even.

Library Books Reading Challenge 2013

Our love of reading can be expensive! Not only are we purchasing books but we also need space to keep them. I've started using the library (again) but couldn't find a challenge to help me. Here it is. There are a number of levels, for those who don't have a library card yet to those that live there. Enjoy!

Requirements:
*choose a level - you may move up as needed, just not down.
*check books out of the library
*books may overlap with other challenges
*any format allowed (print, ebook, audio)
*reviews are not necessary but a list of books read is.

Level: chapter book - 12

Carin: Speaking of being on a book budget, I've been trying to use the library more. I am there twice a month anyway for volunteering, why not check out books? I have started using the request system more as the books I want aren't always on the shelf, but that doesn't mean I should go buy them or do without.

1. The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin
2. Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan
3. The Art Forger by Barbara Shapiro
4. Blue Asylum by Kathy Hepinstall
5. American Ghost by Janis Owens
6. 38 Nooses: Lincoln, Little Crow, and the Beginning of the Frontier's End by Scott W. Berg
7. Don't Know Much About Mythology by Kenneth C. Davis (audio book)
8. Equal of the Sun by Anita Amirrezvani

9. Wild by Cheryl Strayed (audio book)
10. Boleto by Alyson Hagy
11. When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present by Gail Collins
12. Season of the Witch by Mariah Fredericks
12/12 by 11/22/2013 DONE!

Wrap-up: This is the challenge I am happiest about. I was stupidly going to the library every other week and never, ever checking anything out. And yet there were books, especially for book club, that I was forced to read, didn't like, and resented buying. Why on earth wasn't I checking those out? And why was I always waiting a year for the paperback to come out when I could check out and read a book right away? Hopefully I will continue to use the library regularly.

1 comment:

Alysia A said...

Excellent job on your reading challenges. I did the Genre Variety Reading Challenge too. I did only 15 books but I could have done a lot more. I love that you have such a huge variety.

Good job!

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