Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Reading Challenges 2014!

2014 Chunkster Reading Challenge

Wondering what’s a chunkster? A chunkster is an adult book, non-fiction or fiction, that’s 450 pages or more.

Rules for this challenge:
Audio books and e-books are now allowed. You want to listen to a chunkster on audio? Be my guest.
Essay, short story, and poetry collections are allowed but they have to be read in their entirety to count.
Books may crossover with other challenges.
Graphic novels don’t count. Sorry guys but reading a chunkster graphic novel isn’t the same as reading a non-graphic chunkster.

I’ve been thinking long and hard about the levels of participation that have always been a part of this challenge. This year we’re going to try something new: there won’t be any levels. Don’t get me wrong. This is still a reading challenge. Challenge yourself without being locked in to a certain number. If you didn’t read any chunksters in 2013 and want to change that in 2014, come up with a number and try to read that amount.

Carin says:
I really missed the Chunkster Challenge this year so I will certainly be signing up for that one again. Plus, I read 8 books in 2013 that qualify so it's not like when I didn't do the challenge I stopped reading chunksters. For 2014 since I have a lot of challenges and don't want to overextend myself, I'm going to aim for 6. I plan to start either Les Miserables or The Power Broker before the end of the year, but I won't finish them until 2014, to start the year off right!

2014 What's In A Name Reading Challenge

The challenge runs from January to December. During this time you choose a book to read from each of the following categories (examples of books you could choose are in brackets):

A reference to time (Eleven Minutes, Before Ever After)
A position of royalty (The People’s Queen, The Last Empress, The Curse Of The Pharaoh)
A number written in letters (The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, A Tale Of Two Cities)
A forename or names (Rebecca, Eleanor & Park, The Unfinished Work Of Elizabeth D.)
A type or element of weather (Gone With The Wind, Red Earth Pouring Rain)
Remember the titles I’ve given here are only examples, you can by all means use them if you want to – some are classics after all – but it’s not necessary. There are plenty of other books that will fit the categories and you may have some in mind already or even some on your shelves you can read.

Extra information:
Books can be any format (print, audio, ebook).
It’s preferred that the books don’t overlap with other challenges, but not a requirement at all.
Books cannot overlap categories (for instance my first example, Eleven Minutes, could be used for category 1 or 3 but not both).
Creativity for matching the categories is not only allowed, it’s encouraged!
You don’t have to make your list of books beforehand, you can choose them as you go.
You don’t have to read your chosen books in any particular order.

Carin says:
This challenges has always intrigued and scared me. So I checked the list of categories this year, and against my books from 2013 and 2012 I would have succeeded without trying, so I think I will give it a shot this year. I like the randomness of it.

Full House Reading Challenge 2014

Challenge will run from Jan 1st to December 31st 2014
Books may cross over from other challenges that you are doing.
If someone completes a full house and would like to complete another, that is fine too, and would mean two entries at the end of the year.

The Challenge:
Complete the card below. You can do it in any order you wish. You are allowed "one free exchange", if there is something on the square you really dislike you may change it to something of your choice. Once you have played this free card that is it. Mention the exchange in the final summary post.

Carin says:
I like the diversity here. Some are almost too easy, but that's a nice counterbalance to some other challenges that are more... challenging. I anticipate the "paranormal or SF or dystopian" category as giving me the most trouble although. thankfully, my book club does try to read one SF/fantasy book each year, so I except that's how I'll squeak that category out. Also the "book with an animal in it" isn't something that I seek out, but I think this category can be covered by a minor character, like if I read The Thin Man, I would count Asta the dog. I don't think I need to read an actual dog book to cover this category.

Mental Illness Advocacy Reading Challenge 2014

About the Challenge:
I started the Mental Illness Advocacy (MIA) Reading Challenge in December 2010 in an effort to raise awareness, knowledge, and acceptance of mental illness. Reading, both fiction and nonfiction, is an excellent way to broaden one’s horizons and expose one to new ideas and ways of thinking and being. I hope reading and reviewing books featuring characters struggling to deal with mental illness, whether their own or another person’s, will help remove the stigma faced on a daily basis by those with a mental illness. They already have to struggle with an illness; they shouldn't have to face a stigma too.

What Books Count?
Any book, fiction or nonfiction, that is either about mental illness or features characters or real people with a mental illness counts for the challenge. However, the book must not demonize people with mental illnesses.
So, for example, the movie Fatal Attraction, which features a character with Borderline Personality Disorder, would not count since she is demonized in the movie. However, Girl Interrupted, which also features a character with Borderline Personality Disorder, would count since that character is presented as a three-dimensional person with good and bad traits.

Challenge Levels:
Acquainted–4 books
Aware–8 books
Advocate–12 books

Carin says:
I read a lot of these types of books already and have a ton on my shelves, particularly regarding addiction. And with Jordan hopefully starting a MSW program next fall, I expect mental health issues will be even more of a conversation topic, so I need to keep up! I read at least 13 books last year that would have qualified, although I don't know how books about sociopaths and psychopaths can't demonize them. But I will sign up for Advocate-12, the top level. I might have bitten off more than I can chew here, but we'll see.

State by State in 2014

Ever thought you would like to read your way across America?
The USA Fiction Challenge asks you to do just that.
Read just one novel from each state - you choose whether the link is the setting or the author.
You choose whether you confine yourself to a particular genre or not.

Carin says:
What I plan to do is extend this challenge over multiple years. I am picking setting (I think often where an author's from is wildly irrelevant to a book) and I am not confining myself to a genre. I would be hard-pressed to read 50 books all set in different states during one year, but also some books (nonfiction in particular) just aren't set in any state at all, some states are way over-represented (NY!) so are hard to avoid repeats, and it would decrease the number of international books so much, that it would feel like a hardship. Not to mention that some of the upper Midwest and west states are going to be very hard. I am kicking myself for having already read Bad Land. So I am going to aim to finish this over the next three years. I will start off strong but late in 2017 I expect to be struggling to find states like Idaho. If I get more than 35 done in 2014, then I will aim to finish in two years.


Vasilly said...

You've signed up for some great challenges! Thanks for signing up for the Chunkster challenge. Good luck and happy reading!

Ellie said...

I've got two of these on my 'challenges to sign up for' list too - the mental health one (very much my pet subject, and well represented on my TBR shelves!) and the Full House challenge. I'm a sucker for being able to tick things off a list, and like the occasional prompt to veer off and read something totally different for a change every now and again, so it sounds right up my street!

Here's to a great year of reading in 2014!

Kathryn T said...

Thanks for joining up for the Full House Challenge. Yes you are quite right about the animal, just has to make a small appearance! Hope you enjoy all the challenges you take part in 2014.

Amanda said...

Thanks for signing up for the MIA Challenge! I'm excited to have you.

Sociopathy and Psychopathy are definitely two of the mental illnesses that are more difficult to feel any empathy for the person suffering from the illness. When I say not demonize them, for these types of illnesses, I generally mean still present them as a three-dimensional human being. Not as simply a monster. Hope that helps!

Carin Siegfried said...

That helps a lot Amanda! Thanks!

Charlie (The Worm Hole) said...

That is something I liked about What's In A Name when I opted for it. It is challenging but not too much and there's room to be creative. Glad to have you joining us :)

Joy Weese Moll (@joyweesemoll) said...

Looks like fun! I'm also participating in What's In A Name and the Chunkster Challenge. Good luck!