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Thursday, December 31, 2020

Reading Challenges 2020 Wrap-Up

To start with, I did make my overall reading challenge which was to read 120 books! I might even finish one more today. I completed 3 of my 4 challenges with room to spare.

 The 2020 European Reading Challenge



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. 
LEVELS OF PARTICIPATION

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

1. One of Us: The Story of a Massacre in Norway -- and Its Aftermath by Åsne Seierstad (Norway)
2. A Royal Affair: A Sparks Bainbridge Mystery by Allison Montclair (UK)
3. Tsarina by Ellen Alpsten (Russia)
4. Greek to Me: Adventures of the Comma Queen by Mary Norris (Greece)
5. The Lost Manuscript: A Novel by Cathy Bonidan (France)
6. The Mountains Wild by Sarah Stewart Taylor (Ireland)
7. Ivory Vikings: The Mystery of the Most Famous Chessmen in the World and the Woman Who Made Them by Nancy Marie Brown (Iceland)

7/5 as of 12/31/2020 DONE! I've occasionally struggled to finish this one but this year I came out with a couple of extras, yay!

2020 New Release Challenge Sign-up


POSTED 17 NOVEMBER, 2019 BY LINDA @ (UN)CONVENTIONAL BOOKWORMS IN CHALLENGES / 27 COMMENTS
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
1. Austen Years: A Memoir in Five Novels by Rachel Cohen
2. Stealing Mt. Rushmore by Daphne Kalmar
3. Once Upon a Time I Lived on Mars: Space, Exploration, and Life on Earth by Kate Greene
4. This Is All Your Fault by Aminah Mae Safi
5. Inferno: A Memoir of Motherhood and Madness by Catherine Cho
6. The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly by Jamie Pacton
7. The Switch by Beth O'Leary
8. A Royal Affair: A Sparks Bainbridge Mystery by Allison Montclair
9. Modern Family: The Untold Oral History of One of Television's Groundbreaking Sitcoms by Marc Freeman
10. Fly on the Wall by Remy Lai
11. History Comics: The Roanoke Colony: America's First Mystery by Chris Schweizer
12. Braver: A Wombat's Tale by Suzanne Selfors and Walker Ranson
13. To Hold Up the Sky by Liu Cixin 
14. Dancing with the Octopus: A Memoir of a Crime by Debora Harding
15. Imperfect Union: How Jessie and John Frémont Mapped the West, Invented Celebrity, and Helped Cause the Civil War by Steve Inskeep
16. Good Morning, Monster: Five Heroic Journeys to Emotional Recovery by Catherine Gildiner
17. The Other Mother by Matthew Dicks
18. Historically Inaccurate by Shay Bravo
19. The Book Collectors: A Band of Syrian Rebels and the Stories That Carried Them Through a War by Delphine Minoui
20. You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington by Alexis Coe
21. Mill Town: Reckoning with What Remains by Kerri Arsenault
22. Flamer by Mike Curato
23. Murder by Milk Bottle by Lynne Truss
24. Smacked: A Story of White-Collar Ambition, Addiction, and Tragedy by Eilene B. Zimmerman 
25. Humble Pi: When Math Goes Wrong in the Real World by Matt Parker
26. InvestiGators: Take the Plunge by John Patrick Green
27. American Sherlock: Murder, Forensics, and the Birth of American CSI by Kate Winkler Dawson
28. Tsarina by Ellen Alpsten (Russia)
29. Strange Bedfellows: Adventures in the Science, History, and Surprising Secrets of STDs by Ina Park
30. Spin with Me by Ami Polonsky
31. The Better Half: On the Genetic Superiority of Women by Sharon Moalem
32. Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family by Robert Kolker
33. Loved and Wanted: An American Woman's Education on Choice by Christa Parravani 
34. The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s: An Oral History by Andy Greene
35. The Nutcracker and the Mouse King: The Graphic Novel by E.T.A. Hoffmann, Natalie Andrewson
36. Why Fish Don't Exist: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life by Lulu Miller
37. Race Against Time by Jerry Mitchell
38. Network Effect by Martha Wells
39. The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune
40. Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh
41. Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century: Unabridged Selections by Alice Wong
42. Notes on a Silencing by Lacy Crawford
43. Money: The True Story of a Made-Up Thing by Jacob Goldstein
44. The Mountains Wild by Sarah Stewart Taylor
45. The New One: Painfully True Stories from a Reluctant Dad by Mike Birbiglia

45/31 as of 7/8/2020 DONE! Last year I did 57 so I was way down this year. Probably because I read more backlist than I had the last couple of years. Still way beat the level. 

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

1. Torpedoed: The True Story of the World War II Sinking of "The Children's Ship" by Deborah Heiligman 
2. In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado
3. American Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century by Maureen Callahan, read by Amy Landon
4. A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage, read by Sean Runnette
5. One Wild Bird at a Time: Portraits of Individual Lives by Bernd Heinrich
6. Never Caught by Erica Armstrong Dunbar, read by Robin Miles
7. Imperfect Union: How Jessie and John Frémont Mapped the West, Invented Celebrity, and Helped Cause the Civil War by Steve Inskeep
8. You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington by Alexis Coe
9. Smacked: A Story of White-Collar Ambition, Addiction, and Tragedy by Eilene B. Zimmerman
10. Humble Pi: When Math Goes Wrong in the Real World by Matt Parker
11. American Sherlock: Murder, Forensics, and the Birth of American CSI by Kate Winkler Dawson
12. The Better Half: On the Genetic Superiority of Women by Sharon Moalem
13. Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family by Robert Kolker
14. March Sisters: On Life, Death, and Little Women by Kate Bolick, read by Cassandra Campbell
15. This Is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Medical Resident by Adam Kay
16. Becoming by Michelle Obama
17. The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein
18. Race Against Time by Jerry Mitchell
19. Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century: Unabridged Selections by Alice Wong
20. Notes on a Silencing by Lacy Crawford
21. Money: The True Story of a Made-Up Thing by Jacob Goldstein
22. The Great Pretender: The Undercover Mission That Changed Our Understanding of Madness by Susannah Cahalan
23. Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?: Big Questions from Tiny Mortals About Death by Caitlin Doughty
24. The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11 by Garrett M. Graff

24/30 as of 12/31/2020 DID NOT FINISH
Well, I haven't been in my car very much this year. At all. No commuting. No travel. Also I had a lot of DNFs in audio this year. I just wasn't into several audiobooks I started. I still listened to a lot! 

2020 DIVERSITY READING CHALLENGE


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.”

Guidelines:

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.

1. This Is All Your Fault by Aminah Mae Safi (two of the main characters are African American and Muslim)
2. One of Us: The Story of a Massacre in Norway -- and Its Aftermath by Åsne Seierstad (mental illness)
3. Inferno: A Memoir of Motherhood and Madness by Catherine Cho (mental illness)
4. Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss by Rajeev Balasubramanyam (main character is Indian)
5. The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly by Jamie Pacton (minor characters are very diverse)
6. In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado (LGBTQ)
7. American Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century by Maureen Callahan (mental illness)
8. Modern Family: The Untold Oral History of One of Television's Groundbreaking Sitcoms by Marc Freeman (LGBTQ)
9. Fly on the Wall by Remy Lai (main characters are Chinese/Singaporean)
10. History Comics: The Roanoke Colony: America's First Mystery by Chris Schweizer (narrators are Native American)
11. Never Caught by Erica Armstrong Dunbar (main character is African-American)
12. To Hold Up the Sky by Liu Cixin (all the characters are Chinese)
13. Dancing with the Octopus: A Memoir of a Crime by Debora Harding (mental illness)
14. Good Morning, Monster: Five Heroic Journeys to Emotional Recovery by Catherine Gildiner (mental illness)
15. The Other Mother by Matthew Dicks (mental illness)
16. Historically Inaccurate by Shay Bravo (main character is Mexican-American)
17. The Book Collectors: A Band of Syrian Rebels and the Stories That Carried Them Through a War by Delphine Minoui (takes place in Syria)
18. Flamer by Mike Curato (LGBTQ)
19. Smacked: A Story of White-Collar Ambition, Addiction, and Tragedy by Eilene B. Zimmerman (addiction)
20. The Dirty Girls Social Club by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez (Latinx characters)
21. One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston (LGBTQ)
22. Spin with Me by Ami Polonsky (LGBTQ)
23. Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family by Robert Kolker  (oh so much mental illness)
24. Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips (indigenous people)
25. Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman Jr. (African-Americans)
26. Broken (In the Best Possible Way) by Jenny Lawson (mental illness)
27. Becoming by Michelle Obama (African-American)
28. Buses Are a Comin': Memoir of a Freedom Rider by Charles Person, Richard Rooker  (African-American)
29. Love Is for Losers by Wibke Brueggemann (a mid-major character has a mental disability)
30. The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein (African-American)
31. My Brilliant Life by Kim Ae-ran (Korean)
32. Stella Díaz Dreams Big by Angela Dominguez (Latinx characters)
33. Girlhood by Melissa Febos (gender)
34. Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York by Elon Green (LGBTQ)
35. Race Against Time by Jerry Mitchell (African-American)
36. Baseball's Leading Lady: Effa Manley and the Rise and Fall of the Negro Leagues by Andrea Williams (African-American)
37. The Comeback: A Figure Skating Novel by E.L. Shen (Chinese-American lead character)
38. All Girls by Emily Layden (gender)
39. Finding Freedom: A Cook's Story; Remaking a Life from Scratch by Erin French (addiction)
40. Robert E. Lee and Me: A Southerner's Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause by Ty Seidule (race)
41. The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune (LGBTQ)
42. Conversations with RBG: Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life, Love, Liberty, and Law by Jeffrey Rosen (gender)
43. Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley (Indigenous people)
44. American Hippo by Sarah Gailey (LGBTQ)
45. In the Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero, Michelle Burford (Latinx)
46. Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh (mental health)
47. Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century: Unabridged Selections by Alice Wong (disability)
48. Pawcasso by Remy Lai  (Asian characters)
49. Everything I Have Is Yours: A Marriage by Eleanor Henderson (addiction)
50. Jukebox by Nidhi Chanani (Indian characters)
51. She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan (Chinese characters)

51/40 as of 12/11/2020 DONE!
It's so nice to hit this one out of the park really without even trying! 

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