Thursday, December 26, 2019

2020 Reading Challenges!

I liked my challenges last year. Plus... it's really hard for me to do many other challenges. I could, and I could really challenge myself with something like reading books in translation and have them still be books for work, but I find that boxing myself into a corner like that doesn't work well for me. To keep the number of books I read up where it is (120), I need to give myself a lot of leeway. So here are the same challenges as last year!

January 1, 2020 to January 31, 2021

Participants choose their own level of commitment and tour Europe through books. And there is a prize for the person who visits the most countries between the covers. 

THE GIST: The idea is to read books by European authors or books set in European countries (no matter where the author comes from). The books can be anything – novels, short stories, memoirs, travel guides, cookbooks, biography, poetry, or any other genre. You can participate at different levels, but each book must be by a different author and set in a different country – it's supposed to be a tour. 

WHAT COUNTS AS "EUROPE"?: We stick with the standard list of 50 sovereign states that fall (at least partially) within the geographic territory of the continent of Europe and/or enjoy membership in international European organizations such as the Council of Europe. This list includes the obvious (the UK, France, Germany, and Italy), the really huge Russia, the tiny Vatican City, and the mixed bag of Baltic, Balkan, and former Soviet states.
Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Vatican City.
NOTE: Even with Brexit, the United Kingdom is still one country, in Europe, that includes England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. So one book from any one of these four counts as your one book for the United Kingdom. 

FIVE STAR (DELUXE ENTOURAGE): Read at least five books by different European authors or books set in different European countries.

Carin says: this is the level I'm signing up for! I struggled a little with this last year, but I made it. It's not that I only read American books, but I read books set in Australia and on the moon and Antarctica, and then there will be a half-dozen in England which I can only count once. But I ought to read more internationally.

2020 New Release Challenge Sign-up

New Release Challenge 2020 - (un)Conventional Bookworms
The 2020 New Release Challenge is a year-long challenge in which we aim to read books released in 2020.  
The rules for the 2020 New Release Challenge are simple:
  • Books have to be released and reviewed in 2020.
  • Other challenges can be used as well.
  • The minimum length for a book to qualify is 100 pages, it can be in any format though, physical, e-book, ARC or audiobook.
  • The New Release Challenge is open from January 1st through December 31st 2020, and sign-ups are open until September 1st 2020.

There are five levels  in the 2020 New Release Challenge:

2. 31-60 books per year – New Release Pro
Carin says: It's always weird for me when signing up for this one to only sign up for level 2 when I read SO MANY books and they're pretty much all books coming out not just right now but in the future. That's what screws me. I did manage to read 57 last year which is really close to hitting Level 3, but I also read 41 books publishing in 2020, which I feel like I ought to be able to count, but I can't. If I could count those, then I'd be at 98, which is only level 3, so it's not like it bumps me up a lot anyway. Who ARE these people reading 200+ new releases per year!?!? Especially considering the page count requirement. If it included picture books, then I'd be a couple of levels up.

2020 Audiobook Challenge Sign-Up

Grab your earbuds and join hosts Hot Listens and Caffeinated Reviewer for the 2020 Audiobook Challenge! Choose your level and rock your ears off!

Challenge Details

  • Runs January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020. You can join at any time.
  • The goal is to find a new love for audios or to outdo yourself by listening to more audios in 2020 than you did in 2018.
  • Books must be in audio format (CD, MP3, etc.)
  • ANY genres count.
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.

Achievement Levels

  • 5. My Precious (I had my earbuds surgically implanted) 30-50
Carin says: I made it this year, but just barely. Still. I listen to a lot of audiobooks, especially given my work, and I don't see that slowing at all. I will make this my aim again.

I found a slightly different but basically the same Diversity Challenge for 2020:


This challenge is focused on intentionally reading more diverse books, whether it be diverse characters or diverse authors. There’s the basic challenge of reading as many diverse books as you can, with the added monthly theme mini-challenge, where you can get bonus points for reading towards a theme each month (and by bonus points, we really just mean bragging rights).  It’s a way to challenge yourself, but still reward yourself for just reading diversely altogether.

How do we classify a book as diverse?

The author or the main character – or one of the leads, who preferably has a POV – has to belong to a diverse group. According to the definition of We Need Diverse Books:
“We recognize all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, Native, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities*, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.

*We subscribe to a broad definition of disability, which includes but is not limited to physical, sensory, cognitive, intellectual, or developmental disabilities, chronic conditions, and mental illnesses (this may also include addiction). Furthermore, we subscribe to a social model of disability, which presents disability as created by barriers in the social environment, due to lack of equal access, stereotyping, and other forms of marginalization.”


While we’re pretty lax about how you wish to set up this challenge for yourself, we do have a few guidelines to follow.
  • The challenge will run from January 1st, 2020 to December 31st, 2020.  Books must be read during this time frame to count.  Sign up is open from now until December 1st, 2020, so you may join even just for the last month of the year.
  • Any format and length of book counts – print, ebook, audio, ARC, etc.
  • Crossovers from other challenges are totally acceptable!
  • Reviews are not required, but highly encouraged.
Carin says:
Oddly, the way this is set up it kind of sounds like all the books need to be narrative, if they all need to have a main character or a lead, which I doubt is what they actually mean, as it would eliminate a lot of nonfiction that is specifically on these subjects, so I'm going to ignore that. I'm not doing any mini-challenges. I'm a tad annoyed there aren't any levels, so I guess like last year my goal will be 40. 

So those are my 2020 challenges, which will hang out in the sidebar as usual. Wish me luck!

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