Sunday, December 4, 2011

Reading Challenges 2012

These are the 2012 challenges I'm signing up for. After reading 100 books in 2011, I'm not going to do that again, but I don't expect my number to drop too much below that. I'm only signing up for two challenges next year because on both of them I'm signing up for the top level. This year with four challenges, it was very hard to finish all of them even though they weren't at the top level.

From the website:
Non-Fiction Non-Memoir Reading Challenge
January 1, 2012 – December 31, 2012

I've decided to host a challenge to motivate myself and others to read more nonfiction. To make it more of a challenge, the Non-Fiction Non-Memoir Reading Challenge will exclude memoirs, which seem to be the most read type of nonfiction among the book blogs I follow. Instead, we'll focus on learning about a variety of different topics and discovering new facts. The challenge will run from January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012.

What Counts:
- Books can be any format (bound, ebook, audio) but must be written for adults or young adults.
- Books can cover many different topics, including science, technology, religion, sociology, business, biography, politics, economics, history, food, art/design, etc.
- How-to, self-help and travel books are permitted, as long as you actual read them cover to cover, and don't just use them as a reference.
- Crossovers with other challenges are permitted.

What Does Not Count:
- Reference books, cookbooks and instruction manuals that are not meant to be read cover to cover
- Essays and articles
- How-to, self-help or travel books that are not read cover to cover
- Memoirs, journals and autobiographies
- Books written for children
- Re-reads don't count since the point is to learn something new

Elementary - 5 nonfiction books
Diploma - 10 nonfiction books
Bachelor's Degree - 15 nonfiction books
Master's Degree - 25 nonfiction books

Carin's comments: well the non-memoirs was intriguing to me since that's definitely my favorite genre, but I do think of myself as a more general non-fiction reader. I checked my stats so far for 2011 and I've read 13 books I'd consider general nonfiction (although a couple are tricky as to whether they are really memoirs or not.) But I do like general nonfiction and I have a couple of big ones on my must-read list for 2012 already, so I am going to try to tackle this. And I'll go for the Bachelor's Degree level! I'm very glad audio books count because most of my audio listening is nonfiction.

A few possibilities on my bookshelves:
The Fatal Shore: The Epic of Australia's Founding by Robert Hughes
Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond
The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home by Dan Ariely
Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation by Jonathan Kozol
A Brave Vessel: The True Tale of the Castaways Who Rescued Jamestown and Inspired Shakespeare's The Tempest by Hobson Woodward
Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc
Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization by Lars Brownworth
Looking for a Ship by John McPhee
The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements by Sam Kean
Bloody Crimes: The Chase for Jefferson Davis and the Death Pageant for Lincoln's Corpse by James L. Swanson
The Murder Room: The Heirs of Sherlock Holmes Gather to Solve the World's Most Perplexing Cold Cases by Michael Capuzzo
In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Erik Larson
For All the Tea in China by Sarah Rose
The Killer of Little Shepherds: A True Crime Story and the Birth of Forensic Science by Douglas Starr
Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder
Outcasts United: An American Town, a Refugee Team, and One Woman's Quest to Make a Difference by Warren St. John
The Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Medicine, Madness, and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard
The Crofter and the Laird by John McPhee
Death in the City of Light: The Serial Killer of Nazi-Occupied Paris by David King

2012 Aussie Author Challenge
Whether you are a patriotic Australian, an aspiring or armchair tourist or simply an international reader wanting to discover some talented new authors with like-minded readers, the 2012 Aussie Author Challenge could be for you!

Challenge Period: 1 January 2012 – 31 December 2012
OBJECTIVE Read and review books written by Australian Authors – physical books, ebooks and audiobooks, fiction and non-fiction!

Challenge Levels:
TOURIST – Read and review 3 books by at least 2 different Australian Authors
DINKY-DI – Read and review 12 books by at least 6 different Australian authors
‘Dinky-Di’ is Australian slang meaning ‘true or genuine’.

Carin: I did this challenge 2 years ago at the Tourist level. I am going to Australia in the summer of 2012 (woo hoo!) so this is a natural as I'll be reading up, and I'm going to sign up for the Dinky-Di level. It might be a little hard for me to achieve here in the states but I expect I'll purchase a few books while in Australia. After all, if I (still no ereader for me) try to bring all the books for the horribly long flights and two weeks, I'll be over my weight limit in no time. If I only bring books for the flight there, I should be able to finish this challenge without too much trouble.
On my list currently:
Tommo and Hawk (The Potato Factory, #2) by Bryce Courtenay (yes, I have already read Book 1)
Solomon's Song (The Potato Factory, #3) by Bryce Courtenay
The Fatal Shore: The Epic of Australia's Founding by Robert Hughes
I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
True North: A Memoir by Jill Ker Conway (yes, I have already read her first memoir)
Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden
Pobby and Dingan by Ben Rice
Eucalyptus by Murray Bail (this one I need to buy)
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
March by Geraldine Brooks
Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James

Hm, I had no idea I already owned so many books by Australian authors! I guess I could complete this without any special orders or travelling, but that will still make it more fun, if I pick up a few books there that I can't get here.


Caroline Starr Rose said...

The Fatal Shore has been on my shelf for years! I've always meant to get to it. I loved Conway's The Road to Coorain; I never realized she'd written another.

Jo @ Booklover Book Reviews said...

A very warm welcome to the Aussie Author Challenge! Some excellent titles/authors on your list already. Hope the long flight isn't too painful and you have a fun stay.

Julie said...

Thanks for joining the Non-Fiction Non-Memoir challenge! I also love memoirs so I thought this would be a real challenge to read other types of nonfiction!

Laurie said...

Just read an excellent novel of Australia, an award-winner too: Kate Grenville's The Secret River. If you didn't hit it on your first Australia challenge, I highly recommend it this time. Much as I adore Geraldine Brooks, I'd prefer The Secret River to Caleb's Crossing, esp. since CC has nothing to do with Australia.
Always enjoy your blog.

Carin Siegfried said...

@ Laurie, I know Caleb's Crossing is actually really American - it's just I was already planning to read Brooks' other books this year. But I found she has a nonfiction book that's much more about Australia called Foreign Correspondence that I'm going to order. And The Secret River looks like an awesome book! Thanks for the recommendation! I also will of course pick up a few books while there so that will add to my really Australian books. I will try to have all my books for this challenge be very Australian but we'll just see come next December if I have a struggle with the last few.

Caroline Starr Rose said...

You should add a few Aussie kid classics to your list, like Snugglepot and Cuddlepie or Blinky Bill. ;)

Christy said...

Random Family by Adrian LeBlanc was an amazing read. I highly recommend it for your challenge!

Unknown said...

It's an interesting challenge, but I can't read so many books in one year or perhaps I'll give a try, because I have many eBooks downloaded from All you can books. I need some big holidays for this, because I'm busy with my work unfortunately. On my way to work I'll read a little...I walk almost one our with it and it would be great to have this occupation. Thank you for this challenge and good luck!