2015 Reading Challenges (Nikki)

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!

• • •

☆ 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…

• • •

☆ 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

Wildcard/Contemporary (Post-1999)
12. Black Air by Agustín Fernández Paz

Alternates
• Psmith, Journalist by PG Wodehouse
• Lirael** by Garth Nix

*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).

• • •

☆ 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.

• • •

My, my. What a wordy, listy post.

What challenges are you doing in 2015?

Or, if you aren’t doing any, why not?

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5 Responses to 2015 Reading Challenges (Nikki)

  1. icowdave says:

    I’m doing the 2015 Women of Genre Fiction (12 new to you women authors), 2015 Space Opera and The Definitive Science Fiction of the 1950s reading challenges. They’re just 3 of 34 different RCs that make up the Roll-Your-Own Reading Challenge at WWEnd. I’ve found lots of possible overlap in these three so that will surely help 😉

    • Nicole says:

      Those sound interestingly specific! And it’s always handy to have a little overlap. My ‘old/new “classics”‘ challenge was designed to almost completely overlap with what’s already on my TBR shelves! There are only two books from that list that I don’t already own so knocking that challenge out should put a nice little dent in my TBR shelves.

    • Claire (BWB) says:

      Those are SUUUUPER specific, wow! goodluck!

  2. Crystal says:

    Here are the challenges that I will be doing this year: http://readingtl.blogspot.com/2015/01/new-year-new-goals.html. It sounds like you have a wide range of books picked out for the year. Have fun!

    • Nicole says:

      Took me a while to look through them all! I like the general diversity theme. The Around the World challenge looks tricky, but I like it. I think it’s easy to get caught up in one culture even while reading diversely in terms of race and gender and so on. The Blogger Organisation one is a good challenge too.
      Good luck tackling all your challenges!! 🙂

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