Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2015 Reading Challenges

In the past, I've talked about cutting back on challenges, but who am I kidding? I like challenges! I am so rules-following that these really help me to not fall into ruts, to keep expanding my horizons, and to fill any gaps I may have (See the translation challenge below). In 2014, because of a work assignment, I really wasn't sure I was going to finish, but I just had to and I pulled it out in the last week. I will have my work cut out this year!

Chunkster Reading Challenge 

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

Here’s the rules for this year’s challenge:
Audio books and e-books are 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.
Anyone can join. You don’t need a blog. Feel free to leave your progress on the monthly link-up posts.  You don’t have to list your books ahead of time. Graphic novels don’t count. Reading a chunkster graphic novel isn’t the same as reading a non-graphic chunkster.

Carin says:
I've decided to do the Chunkster every year. The one year I didn't, I really missed it. Plus, when all my other challenges are focusing on quantity, the Chunkster helps me to not just read short books. I'm going for 5 books this year, as you just set your own goal.

The Southern Literature Reading Challenge

Read a book(s)--non-fiction or fiction of any genre, for any age group--written by an author from the South and set mostly in the South. Definitions of the South are flexible, so I've decided to define it the way I want. That's the fun of hosting your own challenge, right? :-)
The states:
South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, Texas, Arkansas, Florida

Please keep in mind that this is a Southern literature challenge. It's possible to find books set in each of these states that are not Southern in nature or feeling. Use your best judgment when choosing your books.

Carin says:
I'm signing up for Level 3--Have a glass of sweet iced tea, honey. Read 5-6 books. I am missing 5 southern states for the State by State Challenge (below): Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas. And I am Southern, and I find that while I like Southern Lit, I don't read it often. Although I do have some issues with Southern Lit, particularly how broad a category that is and how a lot of the books within it don't lump together well. I discussed that here.

2015 Books in Translation Reading Challenge

The goal is obviously to read translations of books, from any language into the language(s) you're comfortable reading in; they don't have to be in English.

Carin says:
For the last two years in a row, I've read no books in translation. That's just not right. I don't know why I haven't read any translated books recently as I have really liked the ones I've read in the past. I need to rectify this. I'm going to make a list on Goodreads right now, so I know which translated books I have already on my TBR list. I don't want to go crazy so I'm just signing up for Beginner: Read 1-3 books in translation. 

My Friend Sarah's Reading Challenge
This is a long list of wide variety! My friend Sarah is trying to read more books in 2015 so she found this challenge and has created a closed FB group for discussion. I am thrilled to help her try to read more, and I like these random-type of challenges as I read very randomly and the one I did last year was fun and easy. This one is very long, so it won't be as easy, particularly with categories like a book with antonyms in the title, and a book that takes place in your hometown. Sarah found the challenge here.

A funny book: 
A book by a female author: 
A mystery or thriller: 
A book with a one-word title: 
A book of short stories: 
A book set in a different country: 
A nonfiction book: 
A popular author's first book: 
A book from an author you love that you haven't read yet: 
A book a friend recommended: 
A Pulitzer-Prize winning book: 
A book based on a true story: 
A book at the bottom of your to-read list: 
A book your mom loves: 
A book that scares you: 
A book more than 100 years old: 
A book based entirely on its cover: 
A book you were supposed to read in school but didn't: 
A memoir:
A book you can finish in a day: 
A book with antonyms in the title: 
A book set somewhere you've always wanted to visit: 
A book that came out the year you were born: 
A book with bad reviews: 
A trilogy: 
A book from your childhood: 
A book with a love triangle: 
A book set in the future: 
A book set in high school: 
A book with a color in the title: 
A book that made you cry: 
A book with magic: 
A graphic novel: 
A book by an author you've never read before: 
A book you own but have never read: 
A book that takes place in your hometown: 
A book that was originally written in a different language: 
A book set during Christmas: 
A book written by an author with your same initials:
A play:
A banned book: 
A book based on or turned into a TV show: 
A book you started but never finished: 

State by State in 2014-2016

Ever thought you would like to read your way across America?
The USA Fiction Challenge asks you to do just that.
Read just one book 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:
I am extending 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 had hoped to have 35 books done by the end of my first year but I only had 22. I am not confidant I can finish this next year, but I'm going to try. Finishing 2016 is the plan. 2015 is the middle year. I am marking in blue the books read in 2014.

Alabama: Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
California: The Longest Date: Life as a Wife by Cindy Chupack
Columbine by Dave Cullen 
Connecticut: The Heathen School: A Story of Hope and Betrayal in the Age of the Early Republic by John Putnam Demos
Florida: The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani 
Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind: A Bestseller's Odyssey from Atlanta to Hollywood by Ellen F. Brown and John Wiley Jr.
Illinois: Pioneer Girl by Bich Minh Nguyen
Iowa: Big Brother by Lionel Shriver
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn 
Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink
Maine: The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout
Massachusetts: Defending Jacob by William Landay
Michigan: You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know by Heather Sellers
Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer's Life by Pamela Smith Hill
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York: The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York by Robert A. Caro
North Carolina: 
My Accidental Jihad by Krista Bremer
North Dakota
The Memory Palace by Mira Bartok
Pennsylvania: The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II by Denise Kiernan
The House Girl by Tara Conklin
West Virginia: 
Close to Famous by Joan Bauer

22/51 in 2014


Shaina said...

These challenges sound fantastic! I especially like the Southern and Sarah's challenges. I struggled a bit with my challenges/reading goals this year, so I'm starting off 2025 relatively loosely. I'm a rules/planning girl, too, though, so I'm not sure it will last long. ;) Best of luck!

Vasilly said...

I joined the Pop Sugar challenge too. It's going to be a challenge but fun! Good luck!