Saturday, December 29, 2012

Challenges Ahead, 2013 Edition

Flaking out on this year's Challenges does not mean I won't be signing up for any more in 2013. But I think I'll be a little more circumspect this time around! There are a few stalwarts that I join religiously, and then a few new ones I'm going to try out. One of the ways I'm going to challenge myself a little more is to try to create all my possible booklists from the variety of titles I already have on my own shelves.

Still going on: the Canadian Book Challenge, which I have 3 books left to read in order to officially complete. And of course the seasonal challenges like the RIP which I will sign up for again.

But as for the year-long challenges starting January 1st --

Definitely signing up for What's In a Name 6, hosted by Beth Fish Reads once again. This has always been one of my favourites -- I love the random nature of book selection and the wide variety of titles it turns up. It runs all year, and the 'rules' are very broad. This year's categories, and my possible options for each are:
1. A book with up or down (or equivalent) in the title:
        Up, Up, Up / Julie Booker
        The Underpainter / Jane Urquhart
        Break it down / Lydia Davis
        Read: Comfort Foods for Breakups / Marusya Bociurkiw

2. A book with something you'd find in your kitchen in the title:
       Read:  Unusual Uses for Olive Oil / Alexander McCall Smith
        Honey and Ashes / Janice Kulyk Keefer
        Liquid Jade / Beatrice Hohenegger

3. A book with a party or celebration in the title:
        Party Going / Henry Green
        Read: Larry's Party / Carol Shields
        Read: John Saturnall's Feast / Lawrence Norfolk

4. A book with fire (or equivalent) in the title:
        Read: Embers / Sandor Marai
        Fire in the Blood / Irene Nemirovsky
        Pale Fire / Nabokov  
        Read: The Firebird / Susanna Kearsley
5. A book with an emotion in the title:
        Read: A Little Love, A Little Learning / Nina Bawden
       Where Angels Fear to Tread / E.M. Forster
       Ardor / Lily Prior

6. A book with lost or found (or equivalent) in the title:
        The Lost Dog / Michelle de Kretser
        Read: The Disapparition of James / Anne Ursu
        Read: The 100 Year Old Man who climbed out a window and disappeared / Jonas Jonasson

I'm going to try the Colourful Reading Challenge 2013 again since Lost in Books has revived it. This is another random selection kind of challenge which I find fun to do. The challenge is to read 9 books that have a colour in the title. Any book you like, any colour you like. Fun! Some possibilities from my shelves may include:

  • The Blue Flower / Penelope Fitzgerald
  • Crome Yellow / Aldous Huxley (read)
  • A Few Green Leaves / Barbara Pym (read)
  • Black Elk in Paris / Kate Horsley
  • Heart so White / Javier Marias
  • The Golden Arrow / Mary Webb
  • Liquid Jade / Beatrice Hohenegger
  • Plum Bun / Jessie Redmon Fauset
  • Crimson Petal and the White / Michel Faber
Also read: 

And I'm going to try, once more, to read a chunkster within the outlines of the Tea & Books Challenge! I completely flunked out in 2012, so am going to be cautious and simply sign up hoping to read 2 chunksters over 650 pages in 2013. That will put me at the Chamomile Lover level, and while I am not a huge fan of chamomile in everyday life it is what I am striving for here ;)

Some of the giant books that have been patiently awaiting my attention on my overflowing shelves, those that I may pick up for this one are:


So I am going to limit myself to these ones for the present, perhaps one or two may may pique my interest later on but I'm signing up for simply these ones for now. Are you signing up for challenges? Do you like them, find they spur on your reading, or find them too constraining? I love making up lists and so I keep signing up each year!


  1. Great challenges -- I am doing all the same ones (plus some others, caution wasn't a watchword for me this time). Bleak House almost kept me from making it through the 2012 tea and books challenge. I have heard good things about Crimson Petal and the White (and it would meet 2 challenges). I love the idea of Chrome Yellow which is a Huxley I haven't read yet.

  2. This all looks like a good plan.

    I'll be interested to see what you think of John Saturnall's Feast. I've glanced at a few pages in the bookstore and can't wait to get a copy!

  3. I always say I won't and then I do. I'm also doing the Canadian Lit challenge and am on book #7--halfway there (and maybe a challenge I'll actually complete). I have more projects in mind than actual reading challenges, but they are indeed tempting. I feel like making a list of 'what's in a name books' just because it sounds so fun! I did do that challenge one year...may have to contemplate it now again... Good luck with your reading--wherever it takes you! :)

  4. Mary- I limited myself to just these challenges for now, but who knows... :)

    duckthief - that's the one book I don't already own on these lists. But it looks so good I have to get it!

    Danielle - I am a regular Canadian Book Challenge reader and am so glad you're participating as well. The "What's in a Name" is such fun, just in the making of a list, that I do it every year as well.

  5. Welcome to the Colorful Reading Challenge! I am excited you will be participating. I just put up the January Links post so if/when you get to a book this month, be sure to add it! Then we can each find each other's reviews.

    I am impressed with the Tea and Books Challenge. To me, a chunkster is 400 pages so I don't think I will be participating in this one, but I will be sure to look for your reviews!

    Happy Reading!

  6. Becca - can't wait to get started! And I am hoping I'll get one of those monster books read this year...but am not holding my breath ;)

  7. Nice list of challenges there. I wasn't going to do What's in Name, but after seeing some of your possibilities, a lot of which are on TBR, I may change my mind. Good luck with all the challenges.

  8. Jules - thanks! Nice to hear that some of my choices are also on your list...hope you'll read them this year as well!

  9. I'm always tempted by challenges - it really is all about making the lists, isn't it! And erm yeah, trying to actually read all the books on said lists....!

  10. olduvai - I think list making is one of the most enjoyable bits in a challenge :) And of course ticking them off as you read...


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