I don’t know about you, but I really got into the idea of reading challenges in 2014 and, from what I can tell, I’m going about them in a constructive way. They still feel challenging but in a fun, totally no-pressure kind of way.
This year, I am going to take up the Goodreads challenge again aiming for 35 books. In 2014, I had initially challenged myself to 20 books which I thought would be a stretch for me – an easily distracted, slow reader – but it turns out it wasn’t, so I bumped it up to 35. In the end, I surpassed that and read 64! Huzzah! That said, I feel like last year was a total fluke. (I had a lot more time for starters.) So I think 35 is reasonable for 2015. I might increase the challenge later. I might not. We’ll see!
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☆ I really enjoyed my challenge #1 last year, so I’m doing it again this year (sort of in conjunction with my Goodreads 35 book challenge). Rules: No titles can appear in more than one category.
10 Books by Female Authors because I am a feminist (yet I don’t read enough female writers as evidenced by my 2014 stats). Likely reads: Wonder, Margaret Atwood, Bell Hooks
10 Books from Around the World because it’s so easy to unintentionally trap yourself in the world of North American/British/Australian literature. Rough guide: 3 books from Africa, 3 books from Asia, 3 books from South/Central America, 1 wild card. Likely reads: Haruki Murakami, Kōbō Abe, Nnedi Okorafor, Helen Oyeyemi, Down the Rabbit Hole, The Book of Unknown Americans…
10 Graphic Novels/Comics/Picture Books because I’m an illustrator and comics are so great and I haven’t been getting enough of them in my life recently. Likely reads: comics like Saga vol 3, Saga vol 4, Rat Queens, This One Summer, and picture books like The Little Gardener
5 Non-Fiction Books because, learning aside, while the fictional world is brilliant, sometimes the real world is just as bizarre and interesting. Likely reads: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Malcolm Gladwell, Jon Ronson…
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☆ The next challenge is from one of my Goodreads book clubs: 2015 Old & New Classics Challenge.
Old School (pre-1900)∆
1. Persuasion* by Jane Austen
2. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
3. The Double by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
4. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by C.S. Lewis
5. Silly Novels by Lady Novelists by George Eliot
New School (1900—1999)
6. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
7. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
8. Bone Black: Memories of Girlhood by Bell Hooks
9. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
10. Five Red Herrings by Dorothy L Sayers
11. Children of Men by PD James
12. Black Air by Agustín Fernández Paz
*I’ve never read Austen before and I’ve decided to start with Persuasion since Pride & Prejudice is so ubiquitous as to be less interesting to me as a first read.
** I might change this for a different alternate in the event I do start it later this month.
I’ve intentionally tried to include a majority of women in this classics challenge.
∆ Sort of wish I’d picked more pre-1800’s options…I am tackling The Odyssey this year and hopefully a few other ancient works too.
If anyone has any strong feelings about any of these books I would love to read your (non-spoiler!) reviews. People say you can’t spoil a classic, but I find my interest goes down tremendously if I know too much (i.e. Pride & Prejudice).
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☆ And, lastly, two rather vague/broad challenges:
I plan to continue reading more diversely and I want to try to make a dent in my TBR shelves this year. (To challenges which, sadly, almost directly oppose one another so this should be interesting.) Having organised my shelves to properly assess the situation, I realised I’d already tackled almost an entire row of the three main shelves in my bedroom so I don’t feel too intimidated by the prospect of tackling the TBR, but I’m going to have to balance out the homogeny somehow.
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My, my. What a wordy, listy post.