Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014 Reading Challenges

OK, I admit it: I'm a reading challenge junkie. Let me just get that out of the way up front. I don't usually do read-a-longs or read-a-thons because I find the short time frames too restricting, hence my near obsession with year long challenges -- they all just sound like so much fun! I had considered skipping this year since I didn't complete very many of my 2013 reading challenges, but I keep seeing new ones pop up that really appeal to me and focus on the kinds of books I'd like to be reading in the coming year. I'd also like to think the fact I read so few books this year has a LOT to do with how busy I've been working on the new house (that's a good excuse right?).

So at the risk of over-extending myself (my overflowing bookshelves being prime evidence that I am often guilty of this), I'm re-trying a few challenges and adding in some new ones for 2014. This time around, I'm not going to list book choices for each one, but will instead use my GoodReads shelves to keep track of books that potentially qualify. (They are not all fully organized yet, be they will be. Eventually.) I've chosen some challenges based on subject and some based on format/length/total number, so there will be a lot of cross-over. This is a good thing otherwise I'd be reading 200+ books, which is so not realistic for me. Whenever a challenge level offers a range (say 1-4 books), I will list the higher number for my progress bar, but will consider it a success to end up anywhere in the range.

Everyone who joins challenges does so for different reasons -- for some, they are a way to motivate themselves to tackle more difficult subjects, longer length books, classics, or some other more intimidating reading goal. I'm the kind of person that likes to join a lot of different themed challenges at lower levels, as a reminder to diversify my reading selections -- to each his own, I say! And if you think I'm nuts, I'm OK with that, too. If you want to join any of these yourself, click on the "Hosted by" link to head over to the host's site for more information and to sign-up. It's always fun to be in the company of like-minded readers :)

P.S. A big thank you to The Book Vixen for the easy tutorial for creating progress bars!

Photo credit: Old Books by Petr Kratochvil
I did really miserably at my own challenge last year, but am determined to give it another go! I'm setting my goal a bit lower to get me started, but am hoping to raise the bar later on. I'm planning to read mostly banned/challenged classics that are on my Classics Club list and will try not to be tempted to re-read Harry Potter :) :)

Hosted by: Me!
Goal: Rebel, 6-9 books
GoodReads shelf: Banned/Challenged Books
Progress: 
9/9 banned or challenged books
COMPLETED!

A Light in the Attic, by Shel Silverstein
Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi
The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan
Maus I, by Art Spiegelman
Maus II, by Art Spiegelman
If I Stay, by Gayle Forman
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, by JK Rowling
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The new house really put a kink in my classics reading plans last year, but I'm determined to do better this year! Just for this challenge, I will list my tentative choices since the categories are quite specific. I will use this challenge to help jump-start my commitment to the Classics Club which also fell by the wayside in the midst of all the chaos!

Hosted by: Books and Chocolate
Goal: 6 required categories
A 20th Century Classic (The Crucible, by Arthur Miller)
A 19th Century Classic (Great Classic Humor, by Mark Twain, et al)
A Classic by a Woman Author (The Secret of the Old Clock, by Carolyn Keene)
A Classic in Translation (Oedipus Rex, by Sophocles)
A Classic About War
A Classic by an Author Who Is New To Me (The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson)

& 5 optional categories
An American Classic
A Classic Mystery, Suspense or Thriller
A Historical Fiction Classic
A Classic That's Been Adapted Into a Movie or TV Series (Beowulf)
A Review of the Movie or TV Series adapted from above

Progress: 
5/6 required categories

1/5 optional categories

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Another challenge I utterly failed at in 2013, but I am really itching to read more of these types of books -- I certainly have plenty to choose from!

Goal: Pastry Chef level, 4-8 books
GoodReads shelves: Foodie Books Cookbooks
Progress: 
5/5 foodie books
COMPLETED!

Blood, Bones, and Butter, by Gabrielle Hamilton
Not Becoming My Mother, by Ruth Reichl
In Defense of Food, by Michael Pollan
The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan
Cooked, by Michael Pollan

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I am such a sucker for all things Scottish, so I definitely can't pass this one up. Books by Scottish authors, set in Scotland, or about Scotland itself count.

Hosted by: Peggy Ann's Post
Goal: Just a Keek level, 1-4 books
GoodReads shelf: Scottish Author or Setting
Progress: 
4/4 Scottish books
COMPLETED!

Under the Wide and Starry Sky, by Nancy Horan
Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson
Dragonfly in Amber, by Diana Gabaldon

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Because I LOVE review books and have gotten a tad behind. My plan is to read & review every ARC I already have (unless I have to DNF, but hopefully not!) and to keep on top of any new ones I might receive. Priority goes to ARCs from publishers, but hopefully I'll get to the other ones I have as well (borrowed, won from contests, GoodReads, etc. -- a few of these are quite old!)

Goal: Master level, 21-30 ARCs
GoodReads shelf: To Review
Progress: 
14/21 books reviewed

Bellman & Black, by Diane Setterfield
How to Be a Good Wife, by Emma Chapman
Under the Wide and Starry Sky, by Nancy Horan
The Winter People, by Jennifer McMahon
The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress, by Ariel Lawhon
While Beauty Slept, by Elizabeth Blackwell
1,000 Feelings for Which There Are No Names, by Mario Giordano
Dark Tide, by Elizabeth Haynes
Goodnight June, by Sarah Jio
Under Shifting Glass, by Nicky Singer
The Riverman, by Aaron Starmer
Bittersweet, by Beverly-Whittemore
The Heiresses, by Sara Shepard
The Major's Daughter, by J.P. Francis

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I've recently realized the vast majority of books I own & ARCs I've received are from authors I've never read previously. I think this challenge will be one of my easier ones to complete and I'm looking forward to seeing which authors are "new" to the other participants.

Hosted by: Literary Escapism
Goal: 50 books by new-to-me-authors
GoodReads shelf: New-to-Me
Progress: 
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Photo Credit: Jeff Golden
I've recently gotten a lot more into audiobooks because I don't always have time to sit still and read a print book. I love squeezing in some reading time while doing more boring things, so a goal of about 1 per month seems reasonable.

Hosted by: Teresa's Reading Corner
Goal: Going Steady level, 12 audiobooks
GoodReads Shelf: Audiobook Candidates
Progress:
34/12 audiobooks
COMPLETED!

Great Classic Humor, edited by Mark Twain
If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won't), by Betty White
Books, by Larry McMurtry
I Am America (and So Can You), by Stephen Colbert
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, by Mindy Kaling
I'd Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I've Ever Had, by Tony Danza
Commitment, by Dan Savage
Blood, Bones, and Butter, by Gabrielle Hamilton
Not Becoming My Mother, by Ruth Reichl
Team Human, by Justine Larbalestier & Sarah Rees Brennan
Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney
Oedipus Rex, by Sophocles
Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn
Panic, by Lauren Oliver
One Man Guy, by Michael Barakiva
The Crucible, by Arthur Miller
Coraline, by Neil Gaiman
The Neil Gaiman Audio Collection
Sharp Objects, by Gillian Flynn
Icons, by Margaret Stohl
Letter to My Daughter, by Maya Angelou
Lost Girls, by Robert Kolker
In Defense of Food, by Michael Pollan
The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan
Cooked, by Michael Pollan
Where'd You Go Bernadette, by Maria Semple
Bad Feminist, by Roxane Gay
Frozen in Time, by Mitchell Zuckoff
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson
Empty Mansions, by Bill Dedman & Paul Clark Newell, Jr.
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, by Barbara Robinson
Holiday Humor, by Jack Benny
The Christmas Doll, by Elvira Woodruff
A Child's Christmas in Wales, by Dylan Thomas

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It's been years since I've read traditional mysteries (Mary Higgins Clark, that kind of thing), but I've recently come to realize how much I enjoy books with mystery elements, even if they are not exactly the traditional sort -- gothic novels, novels about family secrets, historical mysteries, the occasional thriller, and other genre-crossing books are all on my TBR list, so this very flexible challenge is right up my alley!

Hosted by: Riedel Fascination
Goal: Secret Messages level, 5-10 books
GoodReads Shelf: My Kind of Mystery
Progress:
15/10 "mysteries"
COMPLETED!

The Winter People, by Jennifer McMahon
The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress, by Ariel Lawhon
Dark Tide, by Elizabeth Haynes
Goodnight June, by Sarah Jio
Under Shifting Glass, by Nicky Singer
Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn
The Riverman, by Aaron Starmer
Bittersweet, by Beverly-Whittemore
The Heiresses, by Sara Shepard
Sharp Objects, by Gillian Flynn
Where'd You Go Bernadette, by Maria Semple
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Secret of the Old Clock, by Carolyn Keene
The Hidden Staircase, by Carolyn Keene
The Rosie Project, by Graham Simision

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I almost always like the book better than the movie, but I am a firm believer that if the book wasn't good, they wouldn't have bothered to make a movie! I have a few on my shelf I've been meaning to read for a while, so I thought I'd take a stab at this one for 2014, but ease in at the lowest level, and keep upping my levels :)

Hosted by: Doing Dewey
Goal: Movie Aficinado level, 12 books
GoodReads Shelf: Made Into Movie or TV Show
Progress:
19/12 books
COMPLETED!

Divergent, by Veronica Roth
Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi
Persepolis 2, by Marjane Satrapi
Chicken and Plums, by Marjane Satrapi
The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan
Noah, by Darren Aronofsky, Ari Handel, & Niko Henrichon
Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney
Oedipus Rex, by Sophocles
Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn
The Crucible, by Arthur Miller
Coraline, by Neil Gaiman
Sharp Objects, by Gillian Flynn
If I Stay, by Gayle Forman
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, by JK Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by JK Rowling
The Maze Runner, by James Dashner
Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg

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Instead of a TBR challenge this year, I'm joining this rewind challenge because it sounds like so much more fun. Rather than looking at my TBR list as a version of a "to-do" list that needs to get checked off, I like the philosophy of this challenge which is to "slow down, rewind a little bit and get to those books that we wanted to read SO badly before they were released but somehow got lost in the shuffle." In particular, I've been eyeing my old Waiting on Wednesday posts that I never got around to reading once they got published and there are others on my shelves as well. When I went on vacation earlier this past fall, I read two books that would fall into this "category" and it felt so good to finally dive into these much anticipated titles. I'm really looking forward to repeating the experience :)

Hosted by: Coffee Bean Bookshelf
Goal: 10 books
GoodReads Shelf: Been Meaning to Read Forever
Progress:
10/10 books
COMPLETED!

Divergent, by Veronica Roth
Insurgent, by Veronica Roth
Allegiant, by Veronica Roth
If I Stay, by Gayle Forman
Where She Went, by Gayle Forman
Grave Mercy, by Robin LeFevers
Empty Mansions, by Bill Dedman & Paul Clark Newell, Jr.
The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan
Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn
Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein

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I love this version of a series challenge because you do not necessarily *need* to finish each series, but get awarded points for each step of progress you make. Finishing a series gets a lot of bonus points, but I love the idea of slowly chipping away at my stacks of series. Book 1's don't count, so this challenge will be great for continuing series for where I loved the first book and haven't gotten around to the others for one reason or another. (More info about the points system over on the hosts' sites.)

Hosted by: Novel Heartbeat & Writer Grrl Reads
Goal: Amateur level, 25-50 points
{Prequel or sequel novella = 1 point
Full-length sequel = 2 points
Completing & reviewing a full series = 10 points}
GoodReads Shelf: Series to Read
Progress:
28/50 points

Completed Divergent Trilogy (10 pts.)
Divergent, by Veronica Roth
Insurgent, by Veronica Roth (2 pts.)
Allegiant, by Veronica Roth (2 pts.)
The Transfer, by Veronica Roth (1 pt.)
Free Four, by Veronica Roth (1 pt.)

Completed Persepolis Duology
Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi
Persepolis 2, by Marjane Satrapi (2 pts.)

Graceling Realm
Graceling, by Kristin Cashore

The Complete Maus
Maus I, by Art Spiegelman
Maus II, by Art Spiegelman (2 pts.)

If I Stay
If I Stay, by Gayle Forman
Where She Went, by Gayle Forman (2 pts.)

Harry Potter
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, by JK Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by JK Rowling (2 pts.)

The Maze Runner
The Maze Runner, by James Dashner

Grave Mercy
Grave Mercy, by Robin LeFevers

Outlander
Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon
Dragonfly in Amber, by Diana Gabaldon (2 pts.)

The Hunt
The Hunt, by Andrew Fukuda

Don Tillman
The Rosie Project, by Graham Simsion

Nancy Drew
The Secret of the Old Clock, by Carolyn Keene
The Hidden Staircase, by Carolyn Keene (2 pts.)

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I have so many new books I want to read, I sometimes feel I *can't* re-read some of my favorites. I'm joining this challenge to remind myself it's OK to re-read every once in a while. Even if I only re-read one book this year, I would be happy with that.

Hosted by: CaffeinatedLife.net
Goal: Occasional re-reader level, 1-4 books
GoodReads Shelf: Want to Re-read
Progress:
16/4 books
COMPLETED!

The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan
Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney
Oedipus Rex, by Sophocles
The Crucible, by Arthur Miller
Coraline, by Neil Gaiman
Icons, by Margaret Stohl
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, by JK Rowling
Instructions, by Neil Gaiman
Wolves in the Walls, by Neil Gaiman
Fortunately, the Milk, by Neil Gaiman
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by JK Rowling
Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon
The Secret of the Old Clock, by Carolyn Keene
The Hidden Staircase, by Carolyn Keene
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, by Barbara Robinson
Dragonfly in Amber, by Diana Gabaldon

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I'm joining this one again to remind myself to not be intimidated by larger books. Some of my favorite authors write really long books, so I don't want to miss out just because they take more time to read! We get to make our own goal this year, so I'm aiming for at least 5.

Hosted by: Vassily @The Chunkster Reading Challenge blog
Goal: 5 books with 450+ pages
GoodReads Shelf: 450+ pages
Progress:
8/5 chunksters
COMPLETED!

Under the Wide and Starry Sky, by Nancy Horan (496 pages)
Divergent, by Veronica Roth (487 pages)
Insurgent, by Veronica Roth (525 pages)
Allegiant, by Veronica Roth (526 pages)
Graceling, by Kristin Cashore (471 pages)
Grave Mercy, by Robin LeFevers (549 pages)
Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon (849 pages)
Dragonfly in Amber, by Diana Gabaldon (947 pages)

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I was on the fence about this one, but since it actually was my 14th challenge as I was writing up this post, I took that as a sign to go for it. All books I will read for the categories of this challenge also will count elsewhere, so what do I have to lose?

Hosted by: Books to Share
Goal: one book for each of  the following categories (more info about each on the host's sign-up page)

1. Visit the Country: Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon
2. Cover Lust: Under the Wide and Starry Sky, by Nancy Horan
3. Blame it on Bloggers: Divergent, by Veronica Roth
4. Bargain All The Way: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson
5. (Not So) Fresh From the Oven: Dark Tide, by Elizabeth Haynes
6. First Letter’s Rule: Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein
7. Once Upon a Time: Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney
8. Chunky Brick: Insurgent, by Veronica Roth
9. Favorite Author: Panic, by Lauren Oliver
10. It’s Been There Forever: Under Shifting Glass, by Nicky Singer
11. Movies vs. Books: Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi
12. Freebies Time: Oedipus Rex, by Sophocles
13. Not My Cup of Tea: The Exile: An Outlander Graphic Novel
14. Walking Down Memory Lane: Shel Silverstein poetry

Progress: 
14/14 books
COMPLETED!

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A lack of diversity in the book world can be less obvious than it is for movies, TV, and other more visible arenas. But my bookish buddy Alysia who is hosting this challenge has really got me thinking about this important issue. The background of an author or main character doesn't usually cross my mind, but I know there are a lot of great authors and books out there that deserve more recognition. So I'm dipping my toe in this challenge and giving it a try. Most of all, I am looking forward to how much I can learn from other participants and their book/author choices.

Hosted by: My Little Pocketbooks
Goal: 2nd shelf level, 7-12 books
GoodReads Shelf: Diversity on the Shelf Challenge
Progress:
13/12 books
COMPLETED!

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, by Mindy Kaling
Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi
Persepolis 2, by Marjane Satrapi
Embroideries, by Marjane Satrapi
The Sigh, by Marjane Satrapi
Chicken and Plums, by Marjane Satrapi
The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan
Team Human, by Justine Larbalestier & Sarah Rees Brennan
One Man Guy, by Michael Barakiva
Letter to My Daughter, by Maya Angelou
Bad Feminist, by Roxane Gay
The Hunt, by Andrew Fukuda
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie

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When done well, historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. I love diving into another era so different from my own. This challenge will be a reminder to make sure I don't let this genre slip past my radar this year. I hope to up my level later on, but I'll see how things go!

Hosted by: Historical Tapestry
Goal: Victorian Reader level, 5 books
GoodReads Shelf: Historical Fiction
Progress:
8/5 books
COMPLETED!

Under the Wide and Starry Sky, by Nancy Horan
The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress, by Ariel Lawhon
Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein
The Crucible, by Arthur Miller
The Major's Daughter, by J.P. Francis
Grave Mercy, by Robin LeFevers
Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon
Dragonfly in Amber, by Diana Gabaldon

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Sooo, I went to the library over the weekend and came home with a pile of poetry books. I'm not certain I will read them all, but since I seem so drawn to them at the moment, I figured I should sneak this one onto my list of challenges.

Hosted by: Savvy Verse & Wit
Goal: Dive In level, 7+ books of poetry
GoodReads Shelf: Poetry
Progress:
7/7 books
COMPLETED!

BookSpeak!, by Laurie Purdie Salas & illustrated by Josée Bisaillon
Poetry for Young People: Emily Dickinson, edited by Frances Schoonmaker Bolin & illustrated by Chi Chung
Wicked Poems, edited by Roger McGough & illustrated by Neal Layton
A Light in the Attic, by Shel Silverstein
Where the Sidewalk Ends, by Shel Silverstein
Falling Up, by Shel Silverstein
Every Thing On It, by Shel Silverstein

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Image attribution: Sara Aydin Matos
When looking over some of my top picks for The Classics Club and my own Banned Books challenge, I realized quite a few of them are translated, so I thought this would be a fun challenge to join. I'm going to ease in at the lowest level, but if I really get on a roll with a particular author, perhaps I will increase later on. Keep upping my level on this one too!

Hosted by: The Introverted Reader
Goal: Bilingual level, 7-9 books in translation
GoodReads Shelf: Translated
Progress:
8/8 books
COMPLETED!

Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi
Persepolis 2, by Marjane Satrapi
Embroideries, by Marjane Satrapi
The Sigh, by Marjane Satrapi
Chicken and Plums, by Marjane Satrapi
1,000 Feelings for Which There Are No Names, by Mario Giordano
Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney
Oedipus Rex, by Sophocles

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Every year I read at least a few non-fiction books, and at this point what's one more challenge, really? My preferred sub-genres are memoirs, books-about-books, and anything food-related, but I will also read other topics I happen across. Non-fiction is also one of my preferred genres to listen to on audiobook, so this challenge should be a snap and I may up my level later on.

Hosted by: The Introverted Reader
Goal: Explorer level, 6-10 non-fiction books
GoodReads Shelf: Non-fiction
Progress:
17/10 books
COMPLETED!

If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won't), by Betty White
Books, by Larry McMurtry
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me, by Mindy Kaling
I'd Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I've Ever Had, by Tony Danza
The Commitment, by Dan Savage
Blood, Bones, and Butter, by Gabrielle Hamilton
Not Becoming My Mother, by Ruth Reichl
Maus I, by Art Spiegelman
Maus II, by Art Spiegelman
Lost Girls, by Robert Kolker
Letter to My Daughter, by Maya Angelou
In Defense of Food, by Michael Pollan
The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan
Cooked, by Michael Pollan
Bad Feminist, by Roxane Gay
Frozen in Time, by Mitchell Zuckoff
Empty Mansions, by Bill Dedman & Paul Clark Newell, Jr.

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I've been thinking about re-reading school assignment books and when I stopped by my local bookstore, I realized several of the ones I was looking for were on their special Newbery display. So I figured what's one more challenge? Quite a few of these books are also on the 1,001 Children's Books list!

Hosted by: Smiling Shelves
Goal: L'Engle level; 15-29 points
{Newbery Medal Winner = 3 points
Newbery Honor Book = 2 points
Caldecott Medal Winner = 1 point}
GoodReads Shelf: Newbery
Progress:
1/29 points

The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg (1 pt.)

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Clearly I needed to join this one again! I am hoping the combination of having more time to read and entering most challenges at lower levels will help me complete more of them this time around! This may seem a bit hard to believe, but my overall goal really is quality, diversified reads throughout the year, not just quantity! 

Hosted by: Reading Challenge Addict
Goal: Out of This World level, 16+ challenges entered & completed
Progress:
16/20 challenges

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I'll try not to sneak any more new challenges in after this post goes live, but I make no promises. If Justice hosts a Books About Books challenge again, I am so in! I also will definitely join the annual GoodReads challenge, but haven't seen any info on it yet. If and when they do open it up, I will add the widget to my sidebar -- it is truly the challenge that encompasses all other challenges since it is just an overall number. I think I would like to set my goal for the year at 50 books and if I manage to exceed that, I will be one happy camper.

Here's to a year of reading -- Happy New Year everyone!

39 comments:

  1. Good luck with all of your challenges! It does seem like a great way to expand your reading choices. I am going to do a TBR challenge this year but that may be the extent of that. lol We shall see. :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Kay! I went with the Rewind challenge instead of TBR, because TBR for some reason really makes it feel like a chore to me...the rewind challenge is essentially the same thing, but focuses more on choosing books you so looked forward to, but then neglected. I like the more positive spin :) Whatever you decide, good luck!

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  2. Hello from your new hostess, with a lifetime of both my names being misspelled. ;) Let's get 'R-I-E-D-E-L' corrected with the German I before the E please. LOL!

    I'm thrilled to welcome you with open arms to the launch of "My Kind Of Mystery" on February 1st! I'm touched by your excited review because you GET the all-encompassing group I wished to create. You couldn't have rewarded my effort better, than by referring to it as flexible. :) Happy new year, Christine! I'm happy you'll be part of my brand new mystery team in 2014! Carolyn. http://cmriedel.wordpress.com/riedel-reading-themes/

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    1. Sorry about that -- is now corrected! That's what I get for typing too fast, LOL.

      I never would have dreamed of joining a "traditional" mystery challenge, but this one was the challenge I didn't even know I was looking for until I found it! Thanks for creating it and hosting it -- I am really looking forward to beginning in February :)

      Happy New Year Carolyn & thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Impressive list of challenges! Glad you joined us at Read Scotland 2014! See you on My Kind of Mystery too. I like the idea of using the Goodreads shelves for progress! I'm off to see about setting that up for myself now! Happy New Year. I loved the Winter People:)

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    1. Thanks Peggy Ann! I already have some of my Scottish books picked out and am considering an Outlander Re-Read...I love using GoodReads for organization -- I hope it works for you too.

      I am loving The Winter People so far, too! Now that I have my new year goals sorted out, I can make some time to finish it, lol. Happy New Year!

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  4. Welcome to the Foodies Read challenge! Looking forward to reading your reviews!

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  5. Thanks for signing up for the Back to the Classics Challenge! You have some great books on your list -- Bel Ami is one I have on my unread shelves as well. Good luck with all your challenges!

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  6. WOW! 16!! You go girl. First let me welcome you to the Diversity Reading Challenge. It'll be fun and I have giveaways planned.
    I am still thinking about joining a few more challenges too. The Prequel Sequel Challenge looks good too. There are just so many! And there are a few new ones on Novel Challenge today that I have been thinking about.

    I love how you pre-plan your books for the challenges. I seem to do the opposite. I read a book and then see what challenges it fits into. Then towards the end of the year I pick books to read based off of the books I am missing.

    I think you are wayyyy more organized than me on that for sure!!!
    Thanks for joining and HAPPY NEEWW YEAARR!!!

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    1. Novel Challenges is my downfall! (and the reason why I've signed up for so many like a crazy person...) I don't have too many books really planned for the challenges -- the GoodReads shelves are mostly for keeping track of my options and to see which cross over to multiple challenges. So an ARC of a historical fiction novel by a new-to-me author set in Scotland with over 450 pages is golden, LOL.

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    2. I love when a book crosses several challenges. That is what Anne Rice did for me last year. One book knocked out 4 challenges. (Book from my shelf, with tons of dust on it, a the top of my TBR by Anne Rice.) LOL!

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  7. Wow, you're participating in A LOT of challenges this year - being able to combine some with others is a good idea, especially when attempting that many!
    I like the sound of the classics challenge - I read Rebecca last year and the book received a mention in my favourites of last year. Also, anything by Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is a winner in my books!
    Having never participated in a challenge before I did toy with the idea this year - Doing Dewey's Book To Movie Challenge caught my eye in particular - but I decided to save off until next year with challenges.
    I wish you luck with completing all your challenges!
    :-)
    Bits & Bobs

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    1. Thanks Jade! I'm really excited for the classics challenge because that is an area I have been wanting to improve on, but having a new house thwarted my plans last year. I probably joined too many, but luckily there are no reading challenge police and they are just for fun :)

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    2. Hi, I'm addicted too! Have signed up for over 25 challenges already and am considering a few more. Definitely addicted!

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    3. They're just so much fun, right? Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. *picks up the jaw from the floor*

    I feel like such a newb now :D Most of these look tempting enough for me to consider as well, but I'm going to restrict myself and stick to five - it's my first year of challenges so maybe 16 would be a bit overwhelming.

    I'll be looking forward to your reads for Foodies challenge especially, and good luck for the rest of the challenges as well!

    Happy new year!

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    1. LOL, I know I'm definitely a little nuts. There is just something about the New Year that makes me crazy optimistic and think I really can read ALL the books. If not for overlap this would be a completely doomed endeavor from the start. I think 5 is a much more reasonable number to be honest! One of my favorite things about challenges is linking up reviews and reading other participants reviews in genres where we have a common interest. Very exciting you're doing the Foodie challenge as well -- ;looking forward to seeing your choice for that one as well. Happy New Year!

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    2. I don't think you're nuts - dream big! :D That's how the books will get read. I am ridiculously excited to start my first challenges - and to review and follow others and observe progress :) I'm just checking out your foodie shelves on Goodreads - so inspiring! I need some of that to decide which books to read if I want to make it 8 in the end.

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  9. I'm definitely a challenge junky too! I didn't finish all of mine last year, but they got me to read books I wouldn't have read otherwise, so I'm happy to try a bunch again this year :) Thanks for joining the book to movie challenge!

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    1. Hello fellow junkie! That is definitely one of the things I love about challenges -- when I decide which ones to join in Dec/Jan, I like thinking ahead to what types of books I want to have read by the end of the year -- If I didn't do that, I know there are many I would probably never get around to -- at least this way, I've made some sort of a commitment, even if it's not set in stone, and am more aware of my book choices. Good luck with your challenges :)

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  10. Wow, that is a LOT of challenges! I'm not much of a challenge person myself; I'd love the social part of them, and I set my own arbitrary goals all the time even if I don't share them... so why no challenges? I don't know, never really been able to figure that out.

    Good luck!

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    1. They're definitely not for everyone...I just like them to remind me to vary my reading and I like having a legitimate place where I can share my reviews with others also interested in the same topics. It's always fun to check the Linky to see who else has read the same book, others I have already read, or who already reviewed a book I'm considering reading.

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  11. Craziness isn't defined by quantity of challenges. You're applying a theme to what you're reading anyway! :) I wrote an article about why I took to them with tremendous enjoyment, like a duck to water (and why as of February 1st I'll begin hosting). I'll share it below. It tells newbies how to go about it so it isn't hard.

    I had never heard of them until summer 2012. Joining most around September, 3 months to their usual conclusion; I joined and finished 18! You of course count all books, before you dipped your toe into a group. I'll have to count but this year I believe I've finished 42! The same book fulfills many circles. The only thing that gets busy is signing-off that many websites because too many of them run Jan-Dec (my trio kills that traffic, Feb-Feb). I'm still tying 2013 ends! When I catch breath, I'll join most of you for the same themes, with pleasure.

    Carolyn Of 'RIEDEL Fascination'.
    http://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2013/11/15/daring-to-host/

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    1. Wow that's a lot of challenges! I know I *could* join even more, but I think my number has gotten quite high enough already! I like the idea of thinking of them as reading circles in addition to challenges. I will admit, for 2013 I really didn't officially sign-off for most of my challenges by writing a wrap-up post, mostly because I didn't finish a lot of them! And many don't require it, so I just keep track of my progress throughout. In 2014, I am hoping to actually complete more of my challenges, so will try to wrap them up as I go along and try not to wait until the bitter end. Thanks for stopping by again Carolyn :)

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    2. It's my great pleasure to discuss books, for which we have ample outlets together! I'm sorting out humble prizes and adventures for my 3 circles (which I'm glad you love calling them too). I don't require any wrap-up. I compose all kinds of articles on my blog and pray the book traffic as it is, doesn't scare away my non-book subscribers.

      Just update the same posts with which you join. I want my guests to continue doing contests with me and adding extra books they come up with, without the weight of any time-limited obligation. In short: announce when you read what you hoped but stay, comment, and play! :) http://cmriedel.wordpress.com/riedel-reading-themes/

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  12. Wow, that's a lot of challenges! I may add a couple to my list :) How did you add the progress bars to each challenge, if you don't mind me asking?

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    1. I'm such a challenge junkie :) And actually, I meant to include the link to the progress bar tutorial and forgot! I learned how to create them from this post by The Book Vixen. I added a P.S. with the link up above in the post as well in case anyone else is wondering, so thanks for the reminder!

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  13. I also joined a lot of challenges in 2014. I'm hoping to complete all of them this year except maybe the rereading one. Good luck.

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    1. Thanks Rachael & good luck on yours!

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  14. Hi Christine, thanks for choosing Lucky No 14 :D I'm so glad you've got the sign :D Hope you'll have a good time doing all the challenges in 2014.

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  15. Terrific goals! Good luck! I'm joining the Chunkster, Foodies, and Nonfiction challenges. It will be fun to see you around on all three of those!

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    1. Thanks Joy! I'll have to pop over and see what other ones you've joined :)

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  16. Looks like you are off to a good start Christine. We are entered in a lot of overlapping challenges. I hope this year brings you more luck than last year. I'm pretty sure 2014 is going to be a great year for reading.

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    1. Thanks Rachael -- the year is looking up for reading already :)

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  17. Good morning, Christine! This form didn't load yesterday. The guests of my challenges aren't yet used to checking my comment boxes for conversation. (I beg replies to my blog, please, being encumbered by dial-up speed). Re-visiting the Mother page for new information is worthwhile. :) The first 'A RIEDEL Clue' is in play! It elapses in 7 hours! Newcomers may jump in, as soon as they sign-up. I want to ensure -this time- that existing guests don't miss it. Yours Truly, Carolyn.
    http://cmriedel.wordpress.com/riedel-reading-themes/

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    1. Thanks for letting me know! As you know, I've entered my guess for the clue :)

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I'd love to hear what you think :)