2015 Reading Challenge

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In the bookish corner of the blog world the start of the year marks the start of Reading Challenges. There are quite a lot out there, but I decided to choose one that 1) was varied, 2) allowed me to tackle my TBR, 3) expanded my reading, and 4) was feasible (something that I can deal with given my rather packed schedule). I decided on joining Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge.

The challenge involves 24 tasks, averaging 2 book a month. It’s goal is to:

“inspire you to pick up books that represent experiences and places and cultures that might be different from your own. We encourage you to push yourself, to take advantage of this challenge as a way to explore topics or formats or genres that you otherwise wouldn’t try. ”

Below are the 24 tasks and the books I hope to read. Some of the books are quite long, but I have already began reading. Majority of the books are from my TBR pile with a few I have to purchase. I hope I stick to the list and get through reading them all. I’ll try to update the blog on how I’m doing in terms of the challenge and the books. I might review some or simply write a reaction towards it.

1.A book written by someone when they were under the age of 25: Zadie Smith’s White Teeth
2.A book written by someone when they were over the age of 65: Ursula Leguin’s Lavinia
3.A collection of short stories (either by one person or an anthology by many people) Teach us to Outgrow our Madness by Kenzaburo Oe
4.A book published by an indie press – The Wilds by Julia Elliot (I’m crossing my fingers I find a copy, otherwise I might seek out an “indie” local press)
5.A book by or about someone that identifies as LGBTQ – Everyday by David Levithan
6.A book by a person whose gender is different from your own – First Love by Ivan Turgenev
7.A book that takes place in Asia – Haruki Murakami’s Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
8.A book by an author from Africa – The Stranger by Albert Camus
9.A book that is by or about someone from an indigenous culture (Native Americans,Aboriginals, etc.) –The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
10.A microhistory – Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage by Stephanie Coontz
11.A YA novel – Why we Broke Up by Daniel Handler and Maria Kalman
12.A sci-fi novel – Ready Player One by Earnst Cline ( I have seen people talk about this book with such joy I’m hoping I enjoy it)
13.A romance novel – Nobody’s Baby but Mine by Susan Elizabeth Philipps (This was hard, I’m not quite versed in the Romance Novel Genre. If you have a recommendation let me know).
14.A National Book Award, Man Booker Prize or Pulitzer Prize winner from the last decade – The Road by Cormac McCarthy
15.A book that is a retelling of a classic story (fairytale, Shakespearian play, classic novel, etc.) –The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman (probable, I still need to find a copy)
16.An audiobook – I’m thinking Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman. Let’s see if I get around to finding one.
17.A collection of poetry – Sonnets from the Portuguese by Elizabeth Barett Browning
18.A book that someone else has recommended to you – Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan (Not so sure about this. I might change as there are quite a few recommendations to choose from)
19.A book that was originally published in another language – The 13 1/2 lives of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moers
20.A graphic novel, a graphic memoir or a collection of comics of any kind (Hi, have you met Panels?) – Potential by Ariel Schrag
21.A book that you would consider a guilty pleasure (Read, and then realize that good entertainment is nothing to feel guilty over) – Sanditon and The Watsons by Jane Austen ( Austen is definitely my guilty pleasure)
22.A book published before 1850 – The Brother Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
23.A book published this year – I’m hoping to read The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber
24.A self-improvement book (can be traditionally or non-traditionally considered “self-improvement”) – Daring Greatly by Brene Brown (probable. I have been wanting to read this but I can’t find a copy)

I’m crossing my fingers as outside of these 24 books are other books I need to read for the other book blog. But so far in the past few years I have averaged 60 books a year. I’m hoping 24 isn’t too much and I do hope I get to finally finish The Brother Karamzov.

Are you taking on a reading challenge? Are you making any reading resolutions? If you have recommendations for any of the 24 tasks I’m open to hear i, especially for those where I’m not quite sure of. Here’s to 2015!

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5 Comments

  1. I still don’t know what’s my guilty pleasure. I guess the measure would be whatever I’d be embarrassed getting caught reading? But yeah, one should never feel guilty about good entertainment. 🙂

    The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters has also gotten a lot of buzz for being a great read, it has romance in it, but I don’t know if it’s really classified as romance, romance. But they say it’s filled with romance and sex. Hee hee.

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  2. It took me a while to zone in on Austen as a guilty pleasure read, but after much thought it really is the book I enjoy so much. I seem to at every point in my life read one of her books and I do enjoy it too much. Indeed, why be guilty of good entertainment? Even if I like ‘serious’ books once in a while i include more fluff or YA to just break up the seriousness.

    I haven’t read any of Sarah Waters’ book, but i guess that would fall under romance given your description. The whole “new adult” genre that’s emerging I think can fall in the romance category. For the romance read, I just decided on reading real romance. I had read 2 books back in High School I think they were Judith McNaught, I’m not too sure. But its difficult, Romance Novels never really interest me.

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  3. […] Since my post (Reading Challenge 2015) on the books I planned to read, I had made changes on the books I plan to tackling for the challenge and have since read 6 books from the 24 on the list. While I don’t plan to write a review on all 24 books, I do plan to write a reaction or at least a marginalia on the books. For the meantime, here’s an update. […]

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  4. […] the flows of my mood). My mind, unwillingly to be constrained by the definitions presented by Book Riot’s Reading Challenge has become less concerned of meeting the challenge as to giving in to my fancies.  One can say, my […]

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