Thursday, January 3, 2008

2008 Reading Challenges

Welcome to my reading list for 2008! Last year I read 53 books (25 of which were counted towards my Classics Challenge), and this year I've decided to up the ante just a little to 55 books.

I've also decided to undertake some extra reading challenges this year. All the books I read for the challenges will be from my TBR pile, which is nearing the 300 mark, so I'll have a wide selection to choose from and won't need to buy more books in order to complete the challenges.

I'm trying not to stretch myself too much (even though it's a challenge, I'd like to keep my goals within the realms of possibility!) and quite a few of my books will suit several different challenges at once. For example, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie by May Gibbs will tick a box in the Classics Challenge, Young Adults Challenge, Reading through the Decades Challenge and Australian Literature Challenge (see below for more details of challenges).

What's with all the challenges, I hear you ask? Well, I've been reading a fair few book blogs recently, and it seems like signing yourself up for a stack of reading challenges is quite a popular thing to do. It becomes addictive and it's very difficult to stop joining more challenges. I think it appeals to the list-maker in me: I love making lists and I love ticking things off. It gives me a great sense of achievement.

The challenges are as follows:

Classics Challenge (CL) - My definition of 'Classic' literature is books that were written prior to 1900; I define books written from 1900 to around the mid 1960s as 'Modern Classic'. Both types of books qualify for this challenge. As already mentioned, I read 25 books for the CL last year. This year my goal is the same: 25 books.

1001 Books Challenge (1K) - Books listed in '1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die' by Peter Boxall. I currently have around 60 of these books on my TBR pile, and a few dozen more as ebooks. Last year I read 22 books and this year my goal is 20 books.

Reading through the Decades Challenge (RD) - Entails reading a book from every decade for the past 100 years. My goal is to read 11 books which cover the 1900s to the 2000s inclusive. If I have time I'll start working backwards from the 1890s. I have so many books on my TBR pile that I'll have at least several choices from each of these decades!

Book Club Forum Reading Circle Challenge (BF) - Last year I read 8 books for various BCF reading circles. With the Jane Austen Reading Circle starting up this month, at least 4 of her books should count towards the challenge (if I don't elect to re-read the other 2). I will also count any books that were chosen for past reading circles (such as Life of Pi by Yann Martel). This year I'm going to aim for 10 books.

Young Adults Challenge (YA) - Books aimed at younger readers. My goal is to read 10 books, which shouldn't be a problem because they're generally easy reads and I have plenty of them on my TBR pile!

Sci Fi/Fantasy Challenge (SF) - The Sci Fi/Fantasy section of my TBR pile has been growing quite quickly in the last year, but my reading is lagging far behind. I'm going to try to remedy that this year by knocking 8 books off the list.

Australian Literature Challenge (AU) - I have been sadly neglecting Australian literature lately but I'm hoping to turn that around this year because I have plenty of great Australian classics on my shelves. My goal is to read 6 books.

Dystopian Challenge (DY) - Books set in dystopian societies (from Wikipedia: 'usually characterised by an oppressive social control, such as an authoritarian or totalitarian government'). This is my favourite genre (sub-genre?) to read so I'm really looking forward to this one. I read 5 books last year and this year my goal is the same: 5 books.

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