Sunday, January 5, 2014

A Century of Books

A Century of Books, hosted by Stuck in a Book. Click on links, or image above, for further details and to sign up.

I saw this long term (sort of) challenge over at My Reader's Block. Here's what Bev said about it:

Simon over at Stuck in a Book decided to work on A Century of Books challenge where you read one book for every year of the 20th century, in as much time as (and in whatever order) you choose. He and Claire completed their century last year and are gearing up for another round in 2014. I, being the challengaholic that I am, will be joining them.

I'm going to work on my century in 4 parts...25 books a year for 4 years (one year will be 24). I've already added in what I'm planning to read this year, incorporating books from a couple of other yearly challenges I've signed up for this year and the rest to help me make a dent in my Non-Fiction Adventure challenge. (I added one over the 25 for an alternate choice and of course I can change any title out for another if I so choose)

1901 Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis
1911  History of American Literature, Reuben Post Halleck, MA
1927  The Master of Hestviken, Sigrid Undset
1928  The Gangs of New York, Herbert Asbury
1929  A Room of One's Own, Virginia Woolf
1949  Gods, Graves, and Scholars: The Story of Archaeology, C.W. Ceram
1957  Doctor Zhivago, Boris Pasternak
1958  The Once and Future King, T.H. White
1961  The Queen's Necklace, Frances Mossiker
1970  Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Dee Brown
1975  Salem's Lot, Stephen King
1976  Hostage to the Devil: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Contemporary Americans, Malachi Martin
1977  Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Biography, Marion Meade
1978  Hotel Transylvania, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
1982  Holy Blood, Holy Grail, Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Harry Lincoln
1986  King Arthur, Norma Lorre Goodrich
1988  The Eight, Katherine Neville
1989  The Life and Death of a Druid Prince by Anne Ross and Don Robins
1991  Outlander, Diana Gabaldon
1992  The Princes in the Tower, Alison Weir
1994  The Invisible Circus, Jennifer Egan
1995  The Joy of Books, Eric Burns OR Fingerprints of the Gods, Graham Hancock
1996  Pope Joan, Donna Woolfolk Cross
1997  Starvation Heights, Gregg Olsen
1998  A Clash of Kings, George R.R. Martin
1999  Vincent Price, Victoria Price


2014 Chunkster Challenge

2014 Chunkster Challenge, hosted at the dedicated blog by Vasilly at 1330v. Click the links, or the image above, to sign up.

Wondering what’s a chunkster? A chunkster is an adult or YA book, non-fiction or fiction, that’s 450 pages or more.

Rules for this challenge:
  • Audio books and e-books are now allowed. You want to listen to a chunkster on audio? Be my guest.
  • Essay, short story, and poetry collections are allowed but they have to be read in their entirety to count. 
  • Books may crossover with other challenges. 
  • Anyone can join.
  • You don’t have to list your book ahead of time. 
  • Graphic novels don’t count. Sorry guys but reading a chunkster graphic novel isn’t the same as reading a non-graphic chunkster.
I’ve been thinking long and hard about the levels of participation that have always been a part of this challenge. This year we’re going to try something new: there won’t be any levels.

Don’t get me wrong. This is still a reading challenge. Challenge yourself without being locked in to a certain number. If you didn’t read any chunksters in 2013 and want to change that in 2014, come up with a number and try to read that amount.

I understand that chunksters can be a bit intimidating. My goal is to encourage as many people as possible to give chunksters a try. We all love short books because we can get through them in a sitting or a few days. It’s different with chunksters. With chunksters, you have to slow down and take your time. The Chunkster Challenge is all about having fun and reading good books.

I'm going to set a modest goal of 5 chunksters. If I surpass that before the year is done, I'll up the ante...

(All details were taken directly from the challenge host's site, linked above)


Back to the Classics Challenge 2014

Back to the Classics Challenge 2014, hosted by Books and Chocolate. Click one of the links, or the image above, to sign up.

The challenge will be very similar to the way Sarah created it. Like last year, there will be six required categories that all participants must complete. Everyone who reads and reviews six eligible books and writes a wrap-up post will automatically be entered into the drawing for an Amazon gift card for $30 (U.S) or a choice of book(s) from The Book Depository.

There will also be five optional categories for additional entries. Participants who complete three of those (with corresponding posts) will also get an additional entry into the prize drawing; those completing posts in all five categories will get another entry, for a total of three. To receive the maximum of three entries, you would need to post eleven times.

I am making one slight change, other than varying the book categories. I'm a little stricter than Sarah regarding the definition of a classic. In my opinion, a classic is a book that has endured for some reason ; therefore, I am defining a classic as a book that was published at least 50 years ago. Therefore, any book published after 1964 is ineligible.

Here are the rest of the guidelines:
  • All books must be read in 2014. Books started prior to January 1, 2014 are not eligible. Reviews must be linked by December 31, 2014.
  • E-books and audiobooks are eligible! Books can count for other challenges you may be working on. However, books may NOT crossover categories within this challenge. You may NOT count the same book twice for different categories in this challenge.
  • If you do not have a blog, you may link your review from Goodreads or other publicly accessible online format. 
  • Please sign up for the challenge using the linky below BEFORE MARCH 1, 2014. Please link to your sign-up announcement post (if possible/applicable).
  • You do not have to list your books prior to starting the challenge, but it is more fun that way :). You can always change your list at any time. You can read the books in any order (including mixing in the optional categories at any time).
  • You can decide to attempt the optional categories at any point (you can also bow out of the optional categories at any point as well).
  • Please identify the categories you've read in your wrap-up post so that I can easily add up your entries for the prize drawing! Adding links within the post would also be greatly appreciated. And finally. . . . The 2014 categories:
  1. A 20th Century Classic
  2. A 19th Century Classic
  3. A Classic by a Woman Author
  4. A Classic in Translation If English is not your primary language, then books originally published in English are acceptable. You could also read the book in its original language if you are willing and able to do so.
  5. A Classic About War 2014 will be the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I. Any book relating to a war is fine -- WWI, WWII, the French Revolution, the War of the Worlds -- your choice.
  6. A Classic by an Author Who Is New To You This can be any author whose works you have not read before. It doesn't necessarily have to be an author you've never heard of.
Optional Categories:
  1. An American Classic
  2. A Classic Mystery, Suspense or Thriller 
  3. A Historical Fiction Classic. This is any classic set at least 50 years before the time when it was written. For example, Margaret Mitchell published Gone with the Wind 70 years after the end of the Civil War; therefore, it is considered a historical novel. A Tale of Two Cities and The Scarlet Letter are also historical novels. However, older classics set during the period in which they were written are not considered historical; for example, the novels of Jane Austen.
  4. A Classic That's Been Adapted Into a Movie or TV Series. Any period, any genre! This is practically a free choice category. However, it's a separate category than the required categories.
  5. Extra Fun Category: Write a Review of the Movie or TV Series adapted from Optional Category #4. This should be some kind of posting reviewing the book read for the previous optional category above. It can be any adaptation -- does not have to be adapted before 1964. For example, if you chose Pride and Prejudice as your the optional classic above, you could review any adaptation -- 1940, 1980, 1995, 2005, etc. These two optional categories go together, but this must be a separate blog posting -- no fair just mentioning it in the book review!
And to clarify, you have to read different books for each category -- you can repeat authors or genres, but no fair using the same book multiple times within this challenge! The only book that you can repeat is in the movie/TV adaptation review.

I decided to sign up for this one to help me tackle the classics on my Classics Club list. Here's my list:

  1. 20th Century:  The Once and Future King, T.H. White
  2. 19th Century:  What Maisie Knew, Henry James
  3. Woman Author:  Silas Marner, George Eliot
  4. Classic in Translation:  Moravagine, Blaise Cendrars
  5. Classic about War:  Doctor Zhivago, Boris Pasternak
  6. Author new to me:  She, H. Rider Haggard
  1. American Classic:  The House of Seven Gables, Nathaniel Hawthorne
  2. Classic Mystery, Suspense, Thriller:  Uncle Silas, Sheridan La Fanu
  3. Historical Fiction classic: Queen Margot, Alexandre Dumas
  4. Classic Adapted Into a Movie or TV Series:  1984, George Orwell
  5. Extra Fun Category: Write a Review of the Movie or TV Series adapted from Optional Category #4.
(All details were taken directly from the challenge host's site, linked above)


Saturday, January 4, 2014

2014 Horror Reading Challenge

2014 Horror Reading Challenge, hosted by Midnyte Reader. Follow one of the links, or the image above, to sign up. 

Don't be scared, it's just a reading challenge.

Dive into spine tingling, flesh crawling, gore ridden books.

•This challenge will run from January 1, 2014 - December 31, 2014.
•Books must be read and reviewed in 2014.
•You can choose fiction or non-fiction.
•Audio books are fine.
•Short stories are fine as long as you leave a thoughtful review.
•Books can cross with other challenges.
•You can join at anytime during the year. Any books you have read in 2014 can be added.
•Anyone can participate (not just book bloggers). If you don't have a blog: You can link to Goodreads, Amazon, Shelfari, etc. If you are using one of these platforms, the easiest way may be to make a seperate shelf for this Challenge or a post.
•Links back to the Challenge are appreciated and will help others if they would like more information.
•If you are using Facebook for this challenge, please write a post (you can just use a few sentences) about the Challenge.
•Links back to the Challenge are appreciated and will help others if they would like more information.
•When you review a book or short story, please do not write a sentence or two. Please write a full review, even if it is just a few few paragraphs.

Horror is described on the Bing Dictionary site as:
"...Literature grotesque and terrifying: describes a genre of motion picture or literature intended to thrill viewers or readers by provoking fear or revulsion through the portrayal of grotesque, violent, or supernatural events."

Horror can be subjective. The events of one experience may be horrific to one person and not to another. But for the purposes of this Challenge let's be a little selective. Think terror, dread, and fear. I would really love this Challenge to be a meaningful exploration into the Horror genre. Just because a vampire could be scary does not mean that every book that includes one is right for this challenge. We don't necessarily have to go for the gore, but let's go for the throat and get our scare on!
•Write a post about this challenge with a link back to this post.
•If you want to make a list of books you wish to read you can, but it's not mandatory.
•Your list is not set in stone. You can change, add or subtract books
•Sign up on the designated Mr. Linky below. PLEASE DO NOT sign up without a post. It is not fair to others who have written a post.
•The page to link your reviews is HERE.

1-5 Horror Books - Running Scared.
6-10 Horror Books - Brave Reader.
11-15 Horror Books - Fearless.
16 + Horror Books - Horror Hound.

Oh heck, why not be brave. The Brave Reader it is!

--------------Goal--above line----------------------------

(All details were taken directly from the challenge host's site, linked above)


    2014 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

    2014 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge, hosted by Historical Tapestry. Click one of the links, or the image above, to sign up.

    We are excited to announce that the we will again be hosting the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge in 2014, and we hope that you are all excited at the prospect of joining in.

    The challenge will run in the same way as it has over the last couple of years that we have hosted the challenge. The only thing that has changed is that I have added an additional category for those hard core HF readers who want to challenge themselves to read more than 50 HF novels over the course of the next 12 months.

    Here are the details:

    Each month, a new post dedicated to the HF Challenge will be created. To participate, you only have to follow the rules:
    • everyone can participate, even those who don't have a blog (you can add your book title and thoughts in the comment section if you wish)
    • add the link(s) of your review(s) including your name and book title to the Mister Linky we’ll be adding to our monthly post (please, do not add your blog link, but the correct address that will guide us directly to your review) 
    • any kind of historical fiction is accepted (HF fantasy, HF young adult,...)
    • During the following 12 months you can choose one of the different reading levels:
    20th century reader - 2 books
    Victorian reader - 5 books
    Renaissance Reader - 10 books
    Medieval - 15 books
    Ancient History - 25 books
    Prehistoric - 50+ books

    You can tailor the challenge to suit you in whichever way you like! For example, last year I was only counting books by Australian authors for my own participation in the challenge just to make it a bit harder for myself. I also know of one participant who over the last couple of years has only read historical mysteries as it suits their own reading tastes!

    To join the challenge you only need to make a post about it, add your link in Mr. Linky below or just leave a link to your blog if you are not yet ready to post about it yet. If you don't have a blog you can just leave a comment for this post saying that you are joining.

    The challenge runs from 1 January to 31 December 2014.

    Although I will most likely read more, I'm going to be modest here and go for the Medieval level:
    (All details were taken directly from the challenge host's site, linked above)


    2014 Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge

    2014 Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge, hosted by Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf. Click one of the links, or the image above, to sign up.
    • Low commitment…you can sign up to read just ONE book as an INITIATE!!!
    • Participants who choose to link up reviews will be entered for the end of year prize!!
    Challenge Rules:
    • This challenge will run from Jan 1, 2014 – Dec 31, 2014. I will be posting a place to link up a sign-up post (below), reviews and a wrap-up post. (Note: You do not have to review the books to participate, but only those who link up reviews will be entered for the prize)
    • Grab the reading challenge button (code & button below) and post this reading challenge on your blog to track your progress. Please include a link back to this sign-up post so others can join the reading challenge too. You do not have to be a book blogger to participate- you could track your progress and post reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, etc.
    • Any full length book that includes a witch as a main character or includes major witchcraft elements counts. They may be fiction or non-fiction. However, they should not be reference books which are not read cover to cover-I will leave this to your discretion.
    • Books can be any format (bound, eBook, audio).
    • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.
    • You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap-up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.
    • When you sign up in the linky put the direct link to your post about joining the 2014 Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge, not just a link to your blog.
    • You can move up levels, but no moving down.
    • Sign-ups will be open until Dec 15, 2014, so feel free to join at any time throughout the year.
    • Have some Witchy Good Fun !!!
    Initiate: Read 1 – 5 Witchy Books
    Maiden: Read 6 – 10 Witchy Books
    Mother: Read 11 – 15 Witchy Books
    Crone: Read 16 – 20 Witchy Books

    Okay, so I signed up for this last year and then didn't keep track. Since I'm signing up for under 10 challenges this year, I'm hoping I can do this for 2014. I'll be doing the Initiate level.

    (All details were taken directly from the challenge host's site, linked above)


    Dive Into Poetry Reading Challenge 2014

    Dive Into Poetry Reading Challenge 2014, hosted by Savvy Verse and Wit. Click on links, or image above, to sign up.

    1. Create a post on your blog stating your intention to read poetry in 2014 and sign up in Mr. Linky. If you don’t have a blog, simply leave a comment about reading poetry in 2014.

    2. Choose one of the following options to complete the challenge:

    Dip Your Toes and read up to 2 books of poetry throughout 2014 and leave the full link to each review (if you have them) in Mr. Linky.
    Wade in and read 4-6 books of poetry throughout 2014 and leave the full links for reviews in Mr. Linky.
    Dive in and read 7 or more books of poetry throughout 2014 and leave the full links for reviews in Mr. Linky.

    3. Complete your goals between Jan. 1, 2014, and Dec. 31, 2014.

    I'm choosing the "Dip Your Toes" level:


    (All details were taken directly from the challenge host's site, linked above)


    The Official 2014 TBR Pile Challenge #TBRChallengeRBR

    The Official 2014 TBR Pile Challenge, hosted by Roof Beam Reader.  Click the link or image above to sign up.

    The Goal: To finally read 12 books from your “to be read” pile (within 12 months).


    1. Each of these 12 books must have been on your bookshelf or “To Be Read” list for AT LEAST one full year. This means the book cannot have a publication date of 1/1/2013 or later (any book published in the year 2012 or earlier qualifies, as long as it has been on your TBR pile – I WILL be checking publication dates). Caveat: Two (2) alternates are allowed, just in case one or two of the books end up in the “can’t get through” pile.

    2. To be eligible, you must sign-up with Mr. Linky below – link to your list (so create it ahead of time!) and add updated links to each book’s review. Books must be read and must be reviewed (doesn’t have to be too fancy) in order to count as completed.

    3. The link you post in the Mr. Linky below must be to your “master list” (see mine below). This is where you will keep track of your books completed, crossing them out and/or dating them as you go along, and updating the list with the links to each review (so there’s one easy, convenient way to find your list and all your reviews for the challenge). See THIS LINK for an idea of what I mean. Your complete and final list must be posted by January 15th, 2014.

    4. Leave comments on this post as you go along, to update us on your status. Come back here if/when you complete this challenge and leave a comment indicating that you CONQUERED YOUR 2014 TBR LIST! Every person who successfully reads his/her 12 books and/or alternates (and who provides a working link to their list, which has links to the review locations) will be entered to win a $50 gift card from or The Book Depository!

    5. Crossovers from other challenges are totally acceptable, as long as you have never read the book before and it was published before 2013!

    *Note – You can read the books on your list in any order; they do not need to be read in the order you have them listed. As you complete a book – review it, and go back to your original list and turn that title into a link to the review - that will keep the comments section here from getting ridiculously cluttered. For an example of what I mean, Click Here.

    Monthly Check-Ins: On the 15th of each month, I’m going to post a “TBR Pile Check-In.” This will allow participants to link-up their reviews from the past month and get some recognition for their progress. There will also be small mini-challenges and giveaways to go along with these posts (Such As: Read 6 books by the June Check-in and be entered to win a book of your choice!). I’m hoping this will help to keep us all on track and make the challenge a bit more engaging/interactive. I started these mini-challenges last year, and I think they were a great success, so I am continuing them this year!

    Chat: On Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, use #TBRChallengeRBR

    This is my first time participating in this challenge. Since my focus this year is to really put a dent in reading books from my home library, I thought this was appropriate. Here's my list:
    1.  The Vampire Armand, Anne Rice
    2.  Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides
    3.  Outlander, Diana Gabaldon
    4.  The Invisible Circus, Jennifer Egan
    5.  Hotel Transylvania, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
    6.  The Eight, Katherine Neville
    7.  Dreaming the Eagle, Manda Scott
    8. Pope Joan, Donna Woolfolk Cross
    9. The Red Church, Scott Nicholson
    10. The Religion, Tim Willocks 
    11. Under the Snow, Kerstin Ekman
    12. The Terror, Dan Simmons
    1. Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk
    2. Helen of Troy, Margaret George
    (All details were taken directly from the challenge host's site, linked above)