I have learned one thing about myself in 2013. I never learn.
And yes, I am aware of the absurdity of the above statement.
But it’s still true.
The thing is, I love to challenge myself to read. Both to read very different types of books but also to read a lot. But throughout this year, I’ve been wondering why I feel this need and why I just don’t read whatever I want to and feel like. And yet, despite these feelings, I have found some challenges for 2014, I really want to participate in… Yeah, I know!
But it’s hard when people post great challenges that I feel will help me get through some books that I want to get through. Like Adam from Roof Beam Reader’s TBR Pile Challenge. I own a lot of books that I haven’t read – and that I have owned for years but haven’t gotten around to actually opening or in fact reading. And each year I do challenge myself to read some books from my shelves so it seems obvious to be a part of this challenge. For this challenge, you have to read 12 books from your shelves – 12 books, that you have owned for more than a year. You are allowed to list two extras if for some reason you can’t finish any of the first 12 you pick – and here’s my list:
- Monica Ali: Untold Story
- A.S. Byatt: Possession
- Fyodor Dostoevsky: Crime and Punishment
- Kenneth Graham: The Wind in the Willows
- Benjamin Hale: The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore
- Frank Herbert: Dune
- Robin Hobb: Assassin’s Apprentice (The Farseer Trilogy)
- Gabriel Garcia Marquez: One Hundred Years of Solitude
- Steve Martin: An Object of Beauty
- David Mitchell: Ghostwritten
- Erin Morgenstern: The Night Circus
- Bob Tarte: Enslaved by Ducks
- Extra: Paul Auster: The New York Trilogy
- Extra: Michael Chabon: Cavalier and Clay
O from Behold the Stars are challenging us all to read more Russian Literature. I have already read War and Peace, Anna Karenina and The Brothers Karamazov and I’ve loved them all. I own two more Dostoevsky books that I have owned since 2010 but haven’t read – and they are on my Classic Club list. So it seems obvious that I have to join that challenge as well – and besides, this challenge works well with the TBR Pile Challenge. I’m only going for level 1 for this challenge which is to read 1-3 books by Russian authors.
And of course then there’s the Chunkster Challenge. I have participated in this one before and since I like reading chunksters, this one seems obvious as well. Add to that, that it’s very easy to combine this challenge with the two mentioned above and we have three challenges that feed into each other so maybe I have learned a tiny bit from this and the previous years. I’m hoping to read 10 chunksters, that is 6 books with more than 450 pages.
And finally – here’s my own reading challenge. This challenge has a tendency to just get bigger each year because even though I’m aware that I never complete it, I just keep adding books and challenges and then I transfer the things I didn’t read from the year(s) before and well, we end up with an unruly mess. And that’s where we are again. So I’m desperately hoping to actually complete this challenge and get everything read from it so I can start with a clear slate next year and maybe, just maybe, make a challenge that I actually have a chance to complete!
Christina’s Reading Challenge 2014
Read 52 books.
End the year with fewer books on my to-read list than I started it with (January 1st = 195 books.)
Read at least one book by each of my five favorite authors:
a. John Irving
b. Stephen King
c. Haruki Murakami
d. Joyce Carol Oates
e. Terry Pratchett
Explore the following authors (ie read at least one book by each)
a. Jasper Fforde
b. Roddy Doyle
c. Patrick Rothfuss
Christmas Classic: Edith Wharton: The Age of Innocence
At least three non-fiction books
Read at least one book by a Danish author
Read 10 books from my Classic Club List
The Official 2014 TBR Pile Challenge: 12 books.
Russian Literature 2014: 1-3 books
2014 Chunkster Challenge: 10 books of 450+ pages.
Reread: J.R.R. Tolkien: Lord of the Rings
+ the books I didn’t read from my 2012 list of reading goals:
Don DeLillo: Underworld
Finish Sherlock Holmes
One non-fiction about philosophy: Coppleston vol. 1
+ the books I didn’t read from my 2013 list of reading goals:
One non-fiction book.
Books from friends
From Henrik: Gene Wolfe: The Book of the New Sun
From Peder: Lauren Binet: HHhH
So there we have it. About a billion books that I want to read this year. We’ll see how it goes. Right now I’m determined, making plans about how I’m going to tackle all this and feeling good about it. But – I haven’t started work yet. This is the last day of my Christmas vacation so no wonder I have a lot of time to read. But tomorrow, it’s back to work, back to taking the girls to kindergarten and I know how busy we all are. So all my carefully laid plans may crumble tomorrow already – we’ll see. But even so, I’ll still try!