2012 Reading Challenge: Pay It Sideways

“So for the past few days I hopped, greedily perusing Top Ten list after Top Ten list, gathering book after stellar book from bloggers’ 2011 favorites and adding them to my ever mounting virtual TBR pile for 2012. Then a lightning bolt struck: What a perfect 2012 challenge to knit our book blogger community closer together, and perhaps to stretch our own reading boundaries a bit…”

Such was the impetus for the Pay it Sideways Challenge, hosted by What She Read. Two challenges for 2012 feels a little daunting, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to stretch my reading boundaries and give some thanks to some of my favorite bloggers. Here’s the breakdown:

  1. Choose one book from your favorite bloggers’ recommended reads in 2011 that you will read and review in 2012. You needn’t gather them from “best of” posts, but could also simply read through the blog archives of your favorite book pals on the interwebs and select from those.
  2. Post your list of books and blogs whenever you decide to take on this challenge.
  3. Then, when you review each book, link to the blog that inspired you to read it, and provide a brief note praising the merits of that particular blog/blogger.

I’m going with the Explorer level: “Read six books you wouldn’t ordinarily try (based on genre or style or length or whatever standard you set yourself) and six you would, based on recommendations from other bloggers.”

My selections

Links go to individual book reviews on their respective blogs.

Books I’m so into

  • Mistress of the Art of Death (Ariana Franklin) – Recommended by Desktop Retreat
  • The First Rule of Ten (Gay Hendricks and Tinker Lindsay) – Recommended by Popcorn Reads
  • The Nymphos of Rocky Flats (Mario Acevedo) – Recommend by Reading with Teguila
  • The Princess Curse (Merrie Haskell) – Recommended by Small Review
  • Anya’s Ghost (Vera Brosgol) – Recommended by The Broke and the Bookish
  • The Haunting of Hill House (Shirley Jackson) – Recommended by Two Bibliomaniacs

We’ll see how these go

  • The Radleys (Matt Haig) Recommended by Bart’s Bookshelf
  • The Sugar Queen (Sarah Addison Allen) – Recommended by No Page Left Behind
  • Eragon (Christopher Paolini) – Recommended by Alternate Readality
  • Moll Flanders (Daniel Defoe) – Recommended by bundleofbooks
  • A Monster Calls (Patrick Ness) – Recommended by eclectic/eccentric
  • The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (NK Jemisin) – Recommended by Giraffe Days

Which of these should I read first?

Other 2012 challenges

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11 thoughts on “2012 Reading Challenge: Pay It Sideways

  1. Hey, thanks for the shout-out! What a great idea for a challenge. I have my eye on more of Ariana Franklin’s books as well as Shirley Jackson. Haunting of Hill House was really good!

    1. I thought so, too. I love What’s She Read’s blog, she writes some great reviews. I’m looking forward to both Franklin and Shirley’s stories — the book I’m actually most worried about is Eragon…I’m afraid I’ll hate it. Or at least be as unimpressed with it now as I was the first time I read it. 🙁

      Maybe I’ll pick up Haunting of Hill House at the library tomorrow. I have to get a copy of The Three Musketeers, might as well kill two birds with one stone.

  2. Ooh! Obviously I’m a little biased but I really hope you get to read some Sarah Addison Allen…such fun, light yet well-written books! I’ve also wanted to read Anya’s Ghost and The Haunting of Hill House – what a great challenge, if I’m not too overwhelmed with my challenges this year I may have to join in! 🙂

    1. I’m not always the biggest fan of fluffy reads, but a nicely-done one now and then is a good counterbalance to some of the thicker stuff I read. I’ve been reading some darker stuff recently too (dark retellings of fairy tales, macabre stuff, etc.) so I’m thinking I’ll enjoy the adventure. 🙂

      Speaking of dark stories…I’m planning to pick up a copy of The Haunting of Hill House at the library this week. Need to read it before my hubby goes out of town in a few weeks so I’m not alone and scaring the snot out of myself without him here to make it better. 🙂

      Yes, join the challenge! I think it’s going to be a great way for everyone to stretch their reading boundaries a bit further. And to drool more over their favorite bloggers.

  3. Thanks for linking my site! I hope you enjoy Moll Flanders! I will definitely be doing this challenge (and I don’t usually do challenges) just as soon as I finish A Game of Thrones. I’m on page 170 of 780 so I have a loooong way to go. But I think it’s a great idea and will be joining in just as soon as I can!

    1. Thanks! 🙂 I hope I enjoy it too — your review had me intrigued. Yay for Game of Thrones. I want to read it, but I’m a little terrified of delving into such a long/chunky series. It’s hard for me to balance reading and blogging already, and I can’t talk about Martin’s books to the exclusion of all else (as much fun as that would be).

      I’m looking forward to seeing what books you pick up for the challenge — happy reading!

  4. Ooh these look good! I haven’t read any except for the obvious one, and Eragon, which didn’t impress me much (well, it did read like it was written by a teenager, which it was, so maybe I shouldn’t be too hard on it). I’m looking forward to your reviews especially as I’m considering A Monster Calls. Really, they all sound great but I don’t know anything about most of them!

    1. Yea, I read Eragon when it first came out, and I was kind of “meh” about it. I was a teen at the time though, and I’ve become more familiar with the fantasy genre in recent years, and I’d like to try it again. I’m hoping to find myself enjoying it more the second time around.

      People have been going gaga over A Monster Calls. I’m not sure how it’s going to go, but the few illustrations I’ve seen look really awesome. So we’ll see how it goes.

    1. More than half of the books I add to my TBR list these days are recommendations from blogs I follow or visit. I love making new bookish friends, but my poor TBR list is teetering on the edge of achievable! :p

      Can’t wait to see what books you pick for the challenge!

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