Reading Challenges

My 2016 reading challenges are in this post

2015 Reading Challenges


Readers Imbibing in Peril X 

Books read:

    1. The Fifth Season – NK Jemisin
    2. The Good House – Tananarive Due
    3. Zombillenium – Arthur de Pins
    4. The Strange Library – Haruki Murakami
    5. The Messenger of Truth – Jacqueline Winspear
    6. Sorcerer to the Crown – Zen Cho
    7. Beauty is a Wound by Eka Kurniawan


The Strange Library – Haruki Murakami (translated)
The Goddess Chronicle – Natsuo Kirino (translated)
A Loyal Character Dancer – Qiu Xiaolong (translated)
Dawn – Octavia Butler
Six suspects – Vikas Swarup
The Good House – Tananarive Due
The Hunter: A Detective Takako Otomichi Mystery – Asa Nonami (translated)
A Stranger in Olondria – Sofia Samatar

2015 Translation

Books in Translation Challenge

Conversationalist: 4-6

Books Read:

Who Ate Up All The Shinga? – Park Wan-Suh (translated from Korean)

The Story of a New Name – Elena Ferrante (translated from Italian)

The Sing-Song Girls of Shanghai – Han Bangqing (translated from Mandarin)


1Q84 – Haruki Murakami (translated from the Japanese by Jay Rubin, Philip Gabriel)

Last Winter We Parted – Fuminori Nakamura (translated from the Japanese by Allison Markin Powell)

Malice – Keigo Higashino (translated from the Japanese by Alexander O. Smith)

The Road to Redemption – Su Tong, (translated from the Chinese by Howard Goldblatt)

The Seventh Day – Yu Hua (translated from the Chinese by Allan H. Barr)

The Sing-Song Girls of Shanghai – Bangqing Han (first translated from the Chinese by Eileen Chang, revised and edited by Eva Hung)

Post Office Girl – Stefan Zweig (translated from the German by Joel Rotenberg)

On a Day Like This – Peter Stamm (translated from the German by Michael Hofmann)

Who Ate Up All the Shinga?: An Autobiographical Novel – Park Wan-Suh (translated from the Korean by Stephen Epstein and Yu Young-Nan)

Story of a new name – Elena Ferrante (translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein)

Books Read:


Back to the Classics 

Books Read:

A Forgotten Classic: Love on the Dole by Walter Greenwood

A Classic in Translation: The Sing-Song Girls of Shanghai by Han Bangqing

A Classic Novella: Four Girls and a Compact by Annie Hamilton Donnell

A Classic with a name in its title: Mildred Pierce

A Classic Children’s Book: Mary Poppins

A 20th Century Classic: The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien (published 1937)

A Nonfiction Classic: To Sir with Love by E.R. Braithwaite

A Classic Play: The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie

A 19th Century Classic: Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell


A 19th Century Classic
Ruth – Elizabeth Gaskell (pub. 1853)

The Invisible Man – H.G. Wells (pub. 1897)

A 20th Century Classic

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey (pub. 1962)

Tender is the Night – F Scott Fitzgerald (published 1933)

A Classic by a Woman Author.

Frenchman’s Creek – Daphne DuMaurier (pub. 1941)

A Raisin in the Sun – Lorraine Hansberry (pub. 1959)

A Classic in Translation

The Pillow Book – Sei Shōnagon (translated from Japanese, pub. 1002)

I am a Cat – Sōseki Natsume (translated from Japanese, pub. 1905)

A Very Long Classic Novel – a single work of 500 pages or longer

Shirley – Charlotte Bronte (pub. 1849, 624 pages)

A Classic Novella – any work shorter than 250 pages

The Pearl – John Steinbeck

Candide – Voltaire

A Classic with a Person’s Name in the Title

Heidi – Johanna Spyri (pub. 1880)

Mary Barton – Elizabeth Gaskell (pub. 1848)

A Humorous or Satirical Classic

Three Men in a Boat – Jerome K Jerome (pub. 1889)

The Inimitable Jeeves (Jeeves #2) – P.G. Wodehouse (pub. 1923)

A Tale of a Tub – Jonathan Swift (pub. 1704)

A Forgotten Classic

When the Sleeper Wakes – H.G. Wells (pub. 1899)

Love On The Dole – Walter Greenwood (pub. 1933)

Four girls and a compact – Annie Hamilton Donnell (pub. 1906)

A Nonfiction Classic

Seven Years in Tibet – Heinrich Harrer (pub. 1952)

Kon-Tiki – Thor Heyerdahl (pub. 1948)

A Classic Children’s Book.

The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien (published 1937)

Pinocchio –  Carlo Collodi (pub. 1880)

A Classic Play

A Streetcar Named Desire – Tennessee Williams (pub. 1947)

Death of a Salesman – Arthur Miller (pub. 1949)

reading england 1

Reading England 2015

Books Read: 

Lancashire: Love on the Dole – Walter Greenwood

And because I cannot resist a good map-banner-thing. And it kind of ties in with the classics challenge above! I first saw this on Much Madness is Divinest Sense

I’m going for:

Level two: 4 – 6 counties

The first five counties I picked because of the books suggested, London as an alternate, and Sussex because I once lived there

CumbriaSwallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome

Devon: Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore or And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (which is according to this list, set in Devon, and since it’s published in 1939, it’s kind of a classic, right?)

GloucestershireCider With Rose by Laurie Lee

Lancashire: The Road to Wigan Pier by George Orwell

YorkshireThe Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith; The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

LondonKeep the Apidistra Flying by George Orwell

Sussex:  The Talisman Ring by Georgette Heyer

Foodies Read 2013

Foodies Read 2015

I’m going for Pastry Chef: 4 to 8 books

Books read:

Come in, we’re closed: An invitation to staff meals at the world’s best restaurants – Christine Carroll and Jody Eddy

Soy Sauce for Beginners – Kirstin Chen

Mama’s Homesick Pie: A Persian Heart in an American Kitchen – Donia Bijan


The Reach of a Chef – Michael Ruhlman
The Kitchen Counter Cooking School: How a Few Simple Lessons Transformed Nine Culinary Novices into Fearless Home Cooks – Kathleen Flinn
Eat To Live: Healthy Asian Recipes – Sylvia Tan
Chop Suey, USA: The Story of Chinese Food in America – Chen Yong
The Language of Food: A Linguist reads the Menu – Dan Jurafsky
The secret financial life of food: from commodities markets to supermarkets – Kara Newman
The third plate: field notes on the future of food – Dan Barber
Burnt toast makes you sing good: a memoir of food and love from an American Midwest family – Kathleen Flinn
Provence, 1970: MFK Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American Taste – Luke Barr

2014 Reading Challenges

lavinia-portraitRIP1RIP IX

Books read:

1. Monkey Beach – Eden Robinson

2. Zone One – Colson Whitehead

3. Supernatural Enhancements – Edgar Cantero

4. Greenglass House – Kate Milford

5. Half a King – Joe Abercrombie

6. Carrie – Stephen King

7. Countdown City (The Last Policeman #2) – Ben H. Winters

8. Bloodchild and other stories – Octavia Butler

diversiverseDiversiverse 2014

Books read:

1. Monkey Beach – Eden Robinson

2. Together Tea – Marjan Kamali

3. Zone One – Colson Whitehead

4. The Traitor in the Tunnel (The Agency #3) by YS Lee
5. The Shadowed Sun by N.K. Jemisin
6. The Body at the Tower (The Agency #2) by YS Lee


Once Upon a Time VIII

1. A Stitch in Time – Penelope Lively

2. Winter Rose – Patricia A McKillip

3. Ella Enchanted – Gail Carson Levine

4. The Golem and the Jinni – Helene Wecker

2013 Reading Challenges


Once Upon a Time VII (challenge page)

Spindle’s End – Robin McKinley
Cinder – Marissa Meyer
Tithe – Holly Black
The Snow Child – Eowyn Ivey
Black Swan, White Raven – edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
The Magic Toyshop – Angela Carter

Global Women of Colour (challenge page)
Global Women of Color
I’ll be joining at the ‘Free Form’ level, and hope to read more than ten books.


1. Three Strong Women – Marie NDiaye

2. Forget Sorrow: An Ancestral Tale – Belle Yang

3. The Song of Everlasting Sorrow – Wang Anyi

4. Malinche – Laura Esquivel

5. Red Scarf Girl – Jiang Ji-li

6. Sky Burial: An epic love story of Tibet – Xinran

7. Zeina – Nawal El Saadawi

8. Empress – Shan Sa

9. A spy in the house (The Agency #1) – YS Lee

10. Real World – Natsuo Kirino

11. Revenge – Yoko Ogawa

12. Funny in Farsi – Firoozeh Dumas

13. Late for Tea at the Deer Palace – Tamara Chalabi

My pool:

The Lies That Build A Marriage: Stories of the Unsung, Unsaid and Uncelebrated in Singapore – Suchen Christine Lim (Singapore)
Bombay Time – Thrity N. Umrigar (India – US)
The Pleasure Seekers – Tishani Doshi (India)
Forgotten Country – Catherine Chung (Korea – US)
Inheritance – Lan Samantha Chang (China – US)
Evening is the whole day – Preeta Samarasan (Malaysia)
The song of everlasting sorrow : a novel of Shanghai – Wang Anyi (China)
Grotesque – Natsuo Kirino (Japan)
Zeina – Nawal El Saadawi (Egypt)
Mornings in Jenin – Susan Abulhawa (Palestine – US)
The sand fish : a novel from Dubai – Maha Gargash (Dubai)
Nervous conditions : a novel – Tsitsi Dangarembga (Zimbabwe)
So Long a Letter – Mariama Ba (Senegal)
Mr Fox – Helen Oyeyemi (Nigeria – UK)
Three Strong Women – Marie NDiaye (Senegal – France)
Silver Sparrow – Tayari Jones (African-American)
Lima Nights – Marie Arana (Peru – US)
Malinche – Laura Esquivel (Mexico)

Postal Reading Challenge (challenge page)

postalreadingI’m going to take things easy and go for Postcard Level, where I will read and review 4 books with a postal theme.

1. 84, Charing Cross Road – Helene Hanff

2. The House I Loved – Tatiana de Rosnay
3. Griffin & Sabine – Nick Bantock

My pool:

I’m tempted to reread the Griffin and Sabine books, which I last read over a decade ago.
Dear exile : the true story of two friends separated (for a year) by an ocean – Hilary Liftin and Kate Montgomery
Heidegger’s glasses : a novel – Thaisa Frank
The house I loved – Tatiana de Rosnay
The Gum Thief – Douglas Coupland
West from home: letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder, San Francisco, 1915 – Laura Ingalls Wilder

What’s in a name 6 (challenge page)


Beth Fish Reads is hosting this fun challenge and it’s my first time joining! Here’s the link to the sign-up page.
Between January 1 and December 31, 2013, read one book in each of the following categories (my ideas in blue):

  1. A book with up or down (or equivalent) in the title: Hand Me Down World (Lloyd Jones), Under Heaven (Guy Gavriel Kay)
  2. A book with something you’d find in your kitchen in the title: The Price of Salt (Patricia Highsmith), The Cookbook Collector (Allegra Goodman)
  3. A book with a party or celebration in the title: The Shooting Party (Isabel Colgate), Larry’s Party (Carol Shields)
  4. A book with fire (or equivalent) in the title: Enna Burning (Shannon Hale), The Bonfire of the Vanities (Tom Wolfe), The Moon and the Bonfire (Cesare Pavese)
  5. A book with an emotion in the title: The Pleasure Seekers (Tishani Doshi), Comfort and Joy (India Knight). Read: The Year of Pleasures (Elizabeth Berg)
  6. A book with lost or found (or equivalent) in the title: Lost Souls (Poppy Z Brite), What was Lost (Catherine O’Flynn)

2012 Reading Challenges


The Little Stranger – Sarah Waters (Part one here)
Strangers on a Train – Patricia Highsmith
My Cousin Rachel – Daphne du Maurier
Death of a red heroine – Qiu Xiaolong

February in Translation (personal challenge)

Books read:
The Lake – Banana Yoshimoto
The Confessions of Noa Weber – Gail Hareven
Brothers – Yu Hua
Out – Natsuo Kirino
To the End of the Land – David Grossman
Voice Over – Celine Curiol
Tokyo Fiancee – Amelie Nothomb
The Last Brother – Nathacha Appanah
All Quiet on the Western Front – Erich Maria Remarque

Via BTBA (Longlisted titles)
Hygiene and the Assassin – Amelie Nothomb
I curse the River of Time – Per Petterson
The Black Minutes – Martin Solares
Agaat – Marlene Van Niekerk
News from the Empire – Fernando del Paso
The Tanners – Robert Walser
Voice Over – Celine Curiol
The Savage Detectives – Roberto Bolano
Missing Soluch – Mahmoud Dowlatabadi

Via the BBC World Book Club podcast
To the End of the Land – David Grossman
Woman at point zero – Nawal El Saadawi
The winter queen: a novel – Boris Akunin

Other books off my TBR list
The Accordionist’s Son – Bernardo Atxaga
Brothers – Yu Hua
Chronicle of a Blood Merchant – Yu Hua
Someone to Run With – David Grossman
The Confessions of Noa Weber – Gail Hareven
In the Sea there are Crocodiles: Based on The True Story Of Enaiatollah Akbari – Fabio Geda
The Lake – Banana Yoshimoto
Hotel Iris – Yoko Ogawa
The Elegance of the Hedgehog – Muriel Barbery
Shifu, you’ll do anything for a laugh – Mo Yan
he song of everlasting sorrow: a novel of Shanghai – Wang Anyi
The gardens of light: a novel – Amin Maalouf
The Changeling – Kenzaburo Oe
The Boat to Redemption – Su Tong

Foodies Read 2 Challenge for 2012

Books read:

A Tiger in the Kitchen – Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan
Blood, bones, and butter – Gabrielle Hamilton
The Table Comes First: Family, France, and the meaning of food – Adam Gopnik
Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life – Sandra Beasley
The Fourth Star: Dispatches from Inside Daniel Boulud’s Celebrated New York Restaurant – Leslie Brenner
Far Flung and Well Fed – R.W.Apple Jr
Life is Meals: A Food Lover’s Book of Days – James and Kay Salter
97 Orchard: An edible history of five immigrant families in one New York tenement – Jane Ziegelman


<em>The table comes first : family, France, and the meaning of food – Adam Gopnik
The kitchen counter cooking school : how a few simple lessons transformed nine culinary novices into fearless home cooks – Kathleen Flinn
Don’t kill the birthday girl : tales from an allergic life – Sandra Beasley
How to eat a small country : a family’s pursuit of happiness, one meal at a time – Amy Finley
Beaten, seared, and sauced : on becoming a chef at the Culinary Institute of America – Jonathan Dixon
A tiger in the kitchen : a memoir of food and family – Cheryl Lu-lien Tan
Fannie’s last supper : re-creating one amazing meal from Fannie Farmer’s 1896 cookbook – Christopher Kimball
Blood, bones, and butter – Gabrielle Hamilton
The dirty life : on farming, food, and love – Kristin Kimball
Memories of a lost Egypt : a memoir with recipes – Colette Rossant
97 Orchard : an edible history of five immigrant families in one New York tenement – Jane Ziegelman

Mixing it Up challenge

1. Classics

Read: Night and Day – Virginia Woolf
All Quiet on the Western Front – Erich Maria Remarque

2. Biography

3. Cookery, food and wine

Read: A Tiger in the Kitchen – Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan
Blood, bones, and butter – Gabrielle Hamilton
The Table Comes First: Family, France, and the meaning of food – Adam Gopnik
Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life – Sandra Beasley
The Fourth Star: Dispatches from Inside Daniel Boulud’s Celebrated New York Restaurant – Leslie Brenner
Far Flung and Well Fed – R.W. Apple Jr
Life is Meals – James and Kay Salter

4. History
Yellow Wind – David Grossman

5. Modern fiction
The Lake – Banana Yoshimoto
The Confessions of Noa Weber – Gail Hareven
Brothers – Yu Hua
The Last Brother – Nathacha Appanah

6. Graphic novels and manga

Aya of Yop City and Aya: the secrets come out – Marguerite Abouet and Clement Oubrerie
V for vendetta – Alan Moore, David Lloyd
Hereville : how Mirka got her sword / Barry Deutsch
The Bone series
The Walking Dead series

Read: Hereville: how Mirka got her sword – Barry Deutsch
Castle Waiting 2 – Linda Medley
Empire State – Jason Shiga

7.  Crime and mystery
Read: Out by Natsuo Kirino
The Devotion of Suspect X – Keigo Higashino
The Winter Queen – Boris Akunin
And When She Was Good – Laura Lippman

8. Horror

Read: Locke and Key – Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez
The Last Werewolf – Glen Duncan

9. Romance
Read: Dating Mr December – Phillipa Ashley

10. Science fiction and fantasy

Beggars in Spain – Nancy Kress
The Wayfarer Redemption – Sara Douglass
The Forgotten Beasts of Eld – Patricia McKillip
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms – N.K. Jemisin
The Broken Kingdoms – N.K. Jemisin

11. Travel

Read: Among Flowers: a walk in the Himalaya – Jamaica Kincaid
Wild: From lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail – Cheryl Strayed

12. Poetry and drama
Dark Emperor and other poems of the night – Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Rick Allen

13. Journalism and humour

14. Science and natural history

Read: The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating – Elisabeth Tova Bailey

15. Children’s and Young adult

Read: Round Trip by Ann Jonas
A Book of Sleep – Il Sung Na
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase – Joan Aiken
Eep! – Joke van Leeuwen

16. Social sciences and philosophy

Read: Is that a Fish in your Ear? – David Bellos


War Through the Generations

Books read: 

All Quiet on the Western Front – Erich Maria Remarque

2011 Reading Challenges

Readers Imbibing in Peril VI (Completed!)

Books read:

Chocky – John Wyndham
A Red Herring without Mustard – Alan Bradley
The Terror – Dan Simmons
A Discovery of Witches – Deborah Harkness
Jamaica Inn – Daphne du Maurier

My Pool:

Poe’s Children The New Horror: An Anthology – edited by Peter Straub
The woman in black – Susan Hill
Ysabel – Guy Gavriel Kay
Jamaica Inn – Daphne du Maurier
A discovery of witches – Deborah Harkness
In the Woods – Tana French
The last werewolf – Glen Duncan
The Midwich Cuckoos – John Wyndham
Chocky – John Wyndham
The terror – Dan Simmons
The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins

2011 Global Reading Challenge

Challenge Page

Books read:

New Zealand
Dreamhunter: Book one of the Dreamhunter Duet – Elizabeth Knox
Dreamquake: Book two of the Dreamhunter Duet – Elizabeth Knox

The Slap – Christos Tsolkias
Eucalyptus – Murray Bail

Joss and Gold – Shirley Geok-lin Lim

Sputnik Sweetheart – Haruki Murakami

Cemetery of Dreams – S Mostofi

East Pakistan/Bangladesh
A Golden Age – Tahmima Anam

South Korea

Please Look After Mom – Kyung-Sook Shin

Cutting for Stone – Abraham Verghese

Graceland – Chris Abani

Sardines – Nuruddin Farah

Sierra Leone

The Memory of Love – Aminatta Forna

Ali and Nino – Kurban Said

After You’d Gone – Maggie O’Farrell

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice – Laurie R. King

Molly Fox’s Birthday – Deirdre Madden

South America
The Ventriloquist’s Tale – Pauline Melville

Monkey Hunting – Cristina Garcia

North America
Jade Peony – Wayson Choy
United States
A Visit from the Goon Squad – Jennifer Egan
You Remind Me of Me – Dan Chaon
Leaving Atlanta – Tayari Jones

The Seventh Continent (I’ve chosen space colonies)
The Dazzle of Day – Molly Gloss
Remnant Population – Elizabeth Moon

My Pool *likely to change and even more likely to grow and grow and grow*

(links are to Amazon)

The Lovers of Algeria: A Novel – Anouar Benmalek
The Swallows of Kabul – Yasmina Khadra
Secret Son – Laila Lalami
The Sheltering Sky – Paul Bowles
The Harafish – Naguib Mahfouz
Graceland – Chris Abani
Rhodesia (Zimbabwe)
Nervous Conditions – Tsitsi Dangarembga
Secrets – Nuruddin Farah

A Golden Age: A Novel – Tahmima Anam
All That Is Gone – Pramoedya Ananta Toer
The Philippines
Ilustrado: A Novel– Miguel Syjuco
Paradise of the Blind: A Novel – Duong Thu Huong
Joss and Gold – Shirley Geok-lin Lim
China Mountain Zhang – Maureen F. McHugh
Grotesque – Natsuo Kirino
The Calligrapher’s Daughter: A Novel – Eugenia Kim
The Blue Sky: A Novel – Galsan Tschinag
Hong Kong
The Piano Teacher: A Novel – Janice Y.K. Lee

The Slap: A Novel – Christos Tsiolkas
Eucalyptus: A Novel – Murray Bail
New Zealand
Once Were Warriors – Alan Duff

The Photograph – Penelope Lively
The Elegance of the Hedgehog – Muriel Barbery
The Swimmer – Zsuzsa Bank
Dreams Of My Russian Summers: A Novel – Andrei Makine
The Ice Princess: A Novel – Camilla Lackberg

North America
Annabel: A Novel – Kathleen Winter
February – Lisa Moore
Lullabies for Little Criminals – Heather O’Neill
Hey Nostradamus!: A Novel – Douglas Coupland
United States
Bastard out of Carolina – Dorothy Allison
Tales of the City: A Novel – Armistead Maupin
Heir to the Glimmering World – Cynthia Ozick

South America
The Story of the Night: A Novel – Colm Tóibín
Monkey Hunting – Cristina Garcia
The Good Cripple – Rodrigo Rey Rosa
The Ventriloquist’s Tale – Pauline Melville
The Tailor of Panama – John le Carre
Let the Wind Speak – Juan Carlos Onetti

The Seventh Continent (I’m going to pick books set in space colonies)
Farmer in the Sky – Robert A. Heinlein
The Knife of Never Letting Go: Chaos Walking: Book One – Patrick Ness
The Empress of Mars – Kage Baker
The Dazzle of Day – Molly Gloss
Revelation Space – Alistair Reynolds

Victorian Literature Challenge 2011

Books read:

The Pool:

Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy

Cranford – Elizabeth Gaskell

Adam Bede – George Eliot

New Grub Street – George Gissing

The Odd Women – George Gissing

Lord Jim – Joseph Conrad


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