Previous Challenges

2016 Challenges

There are few things in life I love more than checking stuff off a list. These challenges are a way for me to satisfy that need, as well as keep my reading from becoming myopic. I’m not a hard-ass about finishing everything, but these give me a good goal for which to strive.

2016 Charity Reading Challenge

Challenge: Donate to charity for every book you read
Books read: 58 (as of 12/25/2016)
Total donated in 2016: $116

The Charity Reading Challenge is hosted by Becky’s Book Reviews, and asks readers to donate a certain amount of money to the charity of his/her choice for every book read in 2016 (bonus points for buying all your books at charity shops).

I’m excited about this challenge because it gives me a chance to give to — and promote — Camfed, which educates girls and women in sub-Saharan Africa. I plan to donate $2 per book I read in 2016.

2016 Mount TBR Reading Challenge

Challenge: Read 6 books from your TBR
Books read: 3/6

The Mount TBR Reading Challenge is an opportunity to read books that have been sitting on your To Be Read List for just a little too long. My TBR list is no shorter than it was in 2015, so this challenge is right up my alley.

  1. The Carpet People (Terry Pratchett)
  2. The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All (Allan Gurganus)
  3. Circus Galacticus (Deva Fagan)
  4. The Invention of Murder (Judith Flanders)
  5. The Golem and the Jinni (Helene Wecker)
  6. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)

2016 Monthly Motif Reading Challenge-2016

Challenge: Read one book from each category, every month
Books read: 12/12 – DONE

The Monthly Motif Challenge is hosted by Girlxoxo. I liked this challenge last year because it got me out of my reading comfort zone, so I’m giving it another shot in 2016.

  • January: Who Dunnit? – Crack the case and solve the mystery with your first book of the year. Strange Gods
  • February: New Releases – Read a book released in the last year. Vermilion
  • March: Take a Trip – Time travel or read a book set in a country different than where you live. Dirty Old London
  • April: Best of the Best – Read a book that has won recognition or a literary award. Sorrow’s Knot
  • May: Story of Survival – Make it out alive, beat the odds, save yourself stories. The Iron Trial
  • June: Girlxoxo Recommends – We’ve read a lot of great books. Check out our archives and pick one of our recommendations off our book lists. The Golem and the Jinni
  • July: LOL – Hilarious memoirs, silly chick lit, comedic sci-fi. Pick a book that is guaranteed to make you laugh out loud. Friday’s Child
  • August: Genre Jumble – Read from a genre that you don’t normally read from. Gunn’s Golden Rules
  • September: Steampunk, Science Fiction, and Fantasy – Pretty self-explanatory and loads of great books to pick from in this motif. Blood of Elves
  • October: Things That Go Bump in The Night – Cozy mystery ghost stories, paranormal creeptastic, murder mystery, it’s up to you! The Winter People
  • November: Fiction Takes a Break – It’s all about Nonfiction November this month! Working
  • December: That’s a Wrap – Finish a series you’ve been meaning to finish or read the next book in a series you started but never finished. Equal Rites

2015 Challenges
Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2015

Challenge: Read 12 books from your TBR
Books read: 6/12

The Mount TBR Reading Challenge is hosted by My Reader’s Block, and is an opportunity to read books that may have been languishing on your To Be Read list for a few months…or years. My TBR list is a little insane, so this challenge should help me shorten just a bit.

  1. The Carpet People (Terry Pratchett)
  2. The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All (Allan Gurganus)
  3. The Interestings (Meg Wolitzer)
  4. Froggy Style (J.A. Kazimer)
  5. Circus Galacticus (Deva Fagan)
  6. Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time (James Gurney)
  7. Deception’s Princess (Esther M. Friesner)
  8. Northanger Abbey (Val McDermid)
  9. The House on Tradd Street (Karen White)
  10. The Intern’s Handbook: A Thriller (Shane Kuhn)
  11. The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century (Steven Pinker)
  12. Déjà Dead (Kathy Reichs)

2015 Monthly Motif Reading Challenge

Challenge: Read one book from each category, each month
Books read: 10/12

The Monthly Motif Challenge is hosted by Bookmark to Blog. Each month is assigned a certain motif or theme, and my task is to read one book that fits in with the month’s respective motif.

  1. JAN: Book to Movie or Audio – Read a book that has a movie based off of it.
  2. FEB: Award Winner – Read a book that has won recognition or a literary award.
  3. MAR: Genre Jumble – Read a book in a genre that you’ve never tried or that you’re least familiar with. – The Undertaking of Lily Chen
  4. APR: Mystery, Murder, and Mayhem – Read a murder/mystery book, a book in which someone dies of mysterious causes, or a book in which the truth must come out. The Clockwork Scarab
  5. MAY: Library Love – Show your library some love and visit your local branch. Choose a book to read that they have on display. The Night Gardener
  6. JUN: Take a Trip – Choose a book to read that takes place in a country different than the one you live in, or a book written by an author that is from a country different than your own. Unspoken
  7. JUL: Standing Up – Read a book in which the main character stands up for themselves, against an enemy, or for something they believe in. Hild
  8. AUG: Alternate Reality – Read a book that’s set in the future, on another planet, in another dimension, or in an unknown world. The Legend of Eli Monpress
  9. SEP: Furry Friends – Read a book that includes an animal either as a main character or supporting character. Roosevelt’s Beast
  10. OCT: Goblins, and Ghost, and Ghouls, Oh My! – Cozy mystery ghost stories, paranormal creeptastic, funky fantasy creatures — it’s up to you! The Woman in Black
  11. NOV: An Oldie but Goodie – Pick a book published before 2000 that you’ve always wanted to read, but just never got to. Long Walk to Freedom
  12. DEC: That’s a Wrap – Finish a series you’ve been meaning to finish (or read the next book in a series you’ve started). Return to Tradd Street

2014 Challenges

Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2014
Challenge: Read 12 books from your TBR
Books read: 4/12

The Mount TBR Reading Challenge is hosted by My Reader’s Block. I’m moving to a new city and I’m not sure how well-stocked its library system is, so I think I’ll stick with the Pike’s Peak level and try to knock 12 books off my TBR before the end of the year (if the new library is totally stocked I might go for more).

  1. 9 Steps to Work Less and Do More (Stever Robbins)
  2. Born to Kvetch (Michael Wex)
  3. The Book of Madness and Cures (Regina O’Melveny)
  4. Full Voice: The Art and Practice of Vocal Presence (Barbara McAfee)
  5. A Vindication of the Rights of Women (Mary Wollstonecraft)
  6. Huntress (Malinda Lo)
  7. The Convenient Marriage (Georgette Heyer)
  8. Pulse and Prejudice (Colette L. Saucier)
  9. The Woman in Black (Susan Hill)
  10. The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All (Allan Gurganus)
  11. The Interestings (Meg Wolitzer)
  12. Life After Life (Jill McCorkle)

Reading Outside the Box challenge
Challenge: Read 1 book from 4 categories
Books read: 2/4

Reading Outside the Box is an annual challenge hosted by Musings of a Book Lover, and I like that it forces me to try new things. They’re not always successful, but that’s half the fun. I don’t want to overextend myself, so I’m going with I’m a Little Scared and read four books in the following categories:

  1. It’s My Birthday! – A book published the same year or month as your birthday – Mort, Terry Pratchett (1987)
  2. Another Voice – Read a book written from a different perspective than you normally read – The Whale Rider, Witi Ihimaera
  3. It’s All About Me – Read a memoir – Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela
  4. She Made Me Do It – Read a book recommended by someone else – The Color Master, Aimee Bender

2013 Challenges

Reading Outside the Box challengeChallenge: Read 1 book from 3-4 categories
Books read: 3/3 – COMPLETE

Reading Outside the Box is a challenge hosted by Musings of a Bookworm, and challenges readers to select books from a set of categories. I’m taking this one a bit easy, so I’ve selected the “I’m a Little Scared” option and will be reading books in the following categories:

  • To the Screen – Read a book that was adapted to film – The Descendants
  • Another Voice – Read a book written from a different perspective than you normally read (i.e., male protagonist instead of female) – The Things They Carried
  • Opposites Attract – Read a book that’s opposite of what you normally read (i.e., contemporary instead of historical fiction) – Chapman’s Odyssey

Mount TBR 2013Challenge: Read 12 books from my TBR list
Books read: 12/12 – COMPLETE

The Mount TBR Challenge is hosted by My Reader’s Block, and challenges readers to pare down their TBR lists. I’ve picked the “Pike’s Peak” option, so I’ve got a year to read 12 books that were on my TBR list prior to January 1, 2013.

  1. Hospital Sketches: An Army Nurse’s True Account of Her Experiences During the Civil War (Louisa May Alcott)
  2. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
  3. What Alice Forgot (Liane Moriarty)
  4. Eon (Alison Goodman)
  5. A Short History of Nearly Everything (Bill Bryson)
  6. The Girl is Murder (Kathryn Miller Haines)
  7. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln (Doris Kearns Goodwin)
  8. Scars (Cheryl Rainfield)
  9. A Tale of Two Castles (Gail Carson Levine)
  10. Long Lankin (Lindsey Barraclough)
  11. The Ruins of Gorlan (John Flanagan)
  12. My Antonia (Willa Cather)

2013 Audio Book ChallengeChallenge: Listen to 1 audiobook
Books “read”: 1/1 – COMPLETE

Lastly is the Audio Book Challenge, hosted by Teresa’s Reading Corner. Six audiobooks feels like too much to start with, so I’m “Defining the Relationship” and choosing to “read” just one audiobook. I may get totally into it and listen to more, but for now I’m sticking with simple.

  1. Born on a Blue Day (Daniel Tammet)

2012 Challenges

Challenge: Read a classic from each category
Books read: 7/9

  1. Any 19th century classic – Agnes Grey (pub. 1847)
  2. Any 20th century classic – Their Eyes Were Watching God (pub. 1937)
  3. Re-read a classic of your choice – Jane Eyre (pub. 1847)
  4. Any classic play – The Taming of the Shrew (pub. 1590/1591)
  5. Classic mystery/horror/crime fiction – Murder on the Orient Express (pub. 1934)
  6. Classic romance – The Scarlet Pimpernel (play pub. 1904, novel pub. 1905)
  7. Read a classic that has been translated from its original language into your language – The Count of Monte Cristo (read after challenge ended)
  8. Classic award winner (the book must have won a literary award) – From the Mixed-Up Files… (pub. 1967)
  9. Read a classic set in a country you’ll likely never visit (fictional countries count) – The Phantom Tollbooth (read after challenge ended)

Challenge: Read books recommended by your favorite bloggers
Books read: 9/12

  • 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.
  • Post your list of books and blogs whenever you decide to take on this challenge.
  • 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.”

Book title links go to my reviews; blog title links go to those bloggers’ reviews.

Books I’m so into

We’ll see how these go

2011 Challenges

2011 was the first year I attempted some reading challenges. I didn’t quite make my goals, but I had fun trying! Check out the final tallies below.

Challenge level: A Maniacal Frenzy
Books read: 7/10

  1. The Castle of Otranto (Horace Walpole)
  2. Northanger Abbey (Jane Austen)
  3. The Woman in White (Wilkie Collins)
  4. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Robert Louis Stevenson)
  5. The Last Unicorn (Peter S. Beagle)
  6. The Secret Garden (Francis Hodgson Burnett)
  7. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Ransom Riggs)

Challenge: Read a dystopian novel in February
Books read: 1/1

  1. The Girl in the Arena (Lise Haines)
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