Reading Challenges 2023

2023 Popsugar Reading Challenge (more here)

  • A book you meant to read in 2022
  • A book you bought from an independent bookstore
  • A book about a vacation
  • A book by a first-time author
  • A book with mythical creatures
  • A book about a forbidden romance
  • A book with “Girl” in the title
  • A celebrity memoir
  • A book with a color in the title
  • A romance with a fat lead
  • A book about or set in Hollywood
  • A book published in spring 2023
  • A book published the year you were born
  • A modern retelling of a classic
  • A book with a song lyric as its title
  • A book where the main character’s name is in the title
  • A book with a love triangle
  • A book that’s been banned or challenged in any state in 2022
  • A book that fulfills your favorite prompt from a past challenge
  • A book becoming a TV series or movie in 2023
  • A book set in the decade you were born
  • A book with a queer lead
  • A book with a map
  • A book with a rabbit on the cover
  • A book with just text on the cover
  • The shortest book (by pages) on your TBR list
  • A #BookTok recommendation
  • A book you bought secondhand
  • A book your friend recommended
  • A book that’s on a celebrity book-club list
  • A book about a family
  • A book that comes out in the second half of 2023
  • A book about an athlete/sport
  • A historical-fiction book
  • A book about divorce
  • A book you think your best friend would like
  • A book you should have read in high school
  • A book you read more than 10 years ago
  • A book you wish you could read for the first time again
  • A book by an author with the same initials as you


  • A book written during NaNoWriMo
  • A book based on a popular movie
  • A book that takes place entirely in one day
  • A book that was self-published
  • A book that started out as fan fiction
  • A book with a pet character
  • A book about a holiday that’s not Christmas
  • A book that features two languages
  • The longest book (by pages) on your TBR list
  • A book with alliteration in the title

Book Riot 2022 Reading Challenge (more here)

  1. Read a novel about a trans character written by a trans author.
  2. Read one of your favorite author’s favorite books.
  3. Read a book about activism.
  4. Read a book that’s been challenged recently in your school district/library OR read one of the most-challenged/banned books of the year by a queer and/or BIPOC author.
  5. Read a completed webcomic.
  6. Finish a book you’ve DNFed (did not finish).
  7. Listen to an audiobook performed by a person of color of a book written by an author of color.
  8. Read a graphic novel/comic/manga if you haven’t before; or read one that is a different genre than you normally read.
  9. Read an independently published book by a BIPOC author.
  10. Read a book you know nothing about based solely on the cover.
  11. Read a cookbook cover to cover.
  12. Read a nonfiction book about BIPOC and/or queer history.
  13. Read an author local to you.
  14. Read a book with under 500 Goodreads ratings.
  15. Read a historical fiction book set in an Eastern country.
  16. Read a romance with bisexual representation.
  17. Read a YA book by an Indigenous author.
  18. Read a comic or graphic novel that features disability representation.
  19. Read a nonfiction book about intersectional feminism.
  20. Read a book of poetry by a BIPOC or queer author.
  21. Read a book of short stories.
  22. Read any book from the Ignyte awards shortlist/longlist/winner list.
  23. Read a social horror, mystery, or thriller novel.
  24. Pick a challenge from any of the previous years’ challenges to repeat!

The Decades Reading Challenge

I realise that this challenge is to read books set during these years, but I think I would like to try my hand at books published during these decades. I’m setting an additional goal of reading books written by BIPOC and/or women.

In the original challenge, 2000s and 2010s are combined into one category, with the final category being “spanning decades”. That won’t work with my plan to fill the categories according to publication date, so I’m skipping that one.

1880s to 1890s:

1900s to 1910s:











Nonfiction Reader Challenge

Crime & Punishment
Social Media
The Arts
Published in 2023

Reading Across Asia (on Storygraph)

A bit ambitious this one, as I’m not sure if I can find books by from all the different countries. It depends greatly on whether my library stocks them! If books by authors from these countries can’t be found, I will (reluctantly) substitute it with books set in that country.

Afghan author:

Armenian author:

Azerbaijani author:

Bahraini author:

Bangladeshi author:

Bhutanese author:

Bruneiain author:

Burmese author:

Cambodian author:

Chinese author:

Cypriot author:

Georgian author:

Indian author:

Iranian author:

Indonesian author:

Iraqi author:

Israeli author:

Japanese author:

Jordanian author:

Kazakh author:

Kuwaiti author:

Kyrgyzstan author:

Laotian author:

Lebanese author:

Malaysian author:

Maldivian author:

Mongolian author:

Nepali author:

North Korean author:

Omani author:

Pakistani author:

Palestianian author:

Filipino author:

Qatari author:

Saudi Arabian author:

Singaporean author:

South Korean author:

Sri Lankan author:

Syrian author:

Tajikistani author:

Thai author:

Timor-Leste author:

Turkmenistan author:

Emirati author:

Uzbekistan author:

Vietnamese author:

Yemeni author:

Reading Challenges 2021

I love joining reading challenges, but I’m usually not very good about finishing them. However, I’ve discovered that keeping track of them on Storygraph makes it easier. So I’m joining a few and let’s see how I do over the year. I’ve picked a few challenges that will help me diversify my reading. 

Books in Translation Reading Challenge

  • Conversationalist level (4-6 books)

The Stranger by Albert Camus (translated from the French)

The Gun by Fuminori Nakamura (translated from the Japanese)

Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi (translated from the Japanese)

Schoolgirl by Osamu Dazai (translated from the Japanese)

Earthlings by Sayaka Murata (translated from the Japanese)

Back to the Classics Challenge

1. A 19th century classic: any book first published from 1800 to 18992.

A 20th century classic: any book first published from 1900 to 1971 – The Stranger by Albert Camus

3. A classic by a woman author.

4. A classic in translation – Quicksand by Junichiro Tanizaki

5. A classic by BIPOC author; that is, a non-white author.

6. A classic by a new-to-you author.

7. New-to-you classic by a favorite author. Judith by Noel Streatfeild

8. A classic about an animal, or with an animal in the title. The animal can be real or metaphorical. (i.e., To Kill a Mockingbird). One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey 

9. A children’s classic. Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome

10. A humorous or satirical classic.

11. A travel or adventure classic (fiction or non-fiction).

12. A classic play.  

Read Harder Challenge 2021

  1. Read a book you’ve been intimidated to read (The Stranger by Albert Camus)
  2. Read a nonfiction book about anti-racism
  3. Read a non-European novel in translation (Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi)
  4. Read an LGBTQ+ history book
  5. Read a genre novel by an Indigenous, First Nations, or Native American author
  6. Read a fanfic
  7. Read a fat-positive romance (One to Watch – Kate Stayman-London)
  8. Read a romance by a trans or nonbinary author 
  9. Read a middle grade mystery
  10. Read an SFF anthology edited by a person of color
  11. Read a food memoir by an author of color
  12. Read a work of investigative nonfiction by an author of color
  13. Read a book with a cover you don’t like
  14. Read a realistic YA book not set in the U.S., UK, or Canada
  15. Read a memoir by a Latinx author
  16. Read an own voices book about disability
  17. Read an own voices YA book with a Black main character that isn’t about Black pain (Felix Ever After – Kacen Callender)
  18. Read a book by/about a non-Western world leader
  19. Read a historical fiction with a POC or LGBTQ+ protagonist
  20. Read a book of nature poems
  21. Read a children’s book that centers a disabled character but not their disability
  22. Read a book set in the Midwest
  23. Read a book that demystifies a common mental illness
  24. Read a book featuring a beloved pet where the pet doesn’t die

Reading Women Challenge 2021

A Book Longlisted for the JCB Prize (Latitudes of Longing by Shubhangi Swarup)

An Author from Eastern Europe

A Book About Incarceration (Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam)

A Cookbook by a Woman of Color

A Book with a Protagonist Older than 50 (Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton)

A Book by a South American Author in Translation

Reread a Favorite Book

A Memoir by an Indigenous, First Nations, Native, or Aboriginal Woman

A Book by a Neurodivergent Author

A Crime Novel or Thriller in Translation

A Book About the Natural World

A Young Adult Novel by a Latinx Author

A Poetry Collection by a Black Woman

A Book with a Biracial Protagonist

A Muslim Middle Grade Novel

A Book Featuring a Queer Love Story

About a Woman in Politics

A Book with a Rural Setting (Earthlings by Sayaka Murata)

A Book with a Cover Designed by a Woman (Gimme Everything You Got – Iva-Marie Palmer)

A Book by an Arab Author in Translation

A Book by a Trans Author (Felix Ever After – Kacen Callender)

A Fantasy Novel by an Asian Author

A Nonfiction Book Focused on Social Justice

A Short Story Collection by a Caribbean Author


  • A Book by Alexis Wright
  • A Book by Tsitsi Dangarembga
  • A Book by Leila Aboulela
  • A Book by Yoko Ogawa

2019 Reading Challenges

I love starting reading challenges but I never finish them, except for those that run for just a few months in a year. Hoping for better accountability next year, so I’m putting them in a permanent post, whether it’s a blog or Litsy challenge. Here goes!

The Reading Women podcast #readingwomenchallenge (get the pdf here)

Mystery/Thriller by WOC
Woman w mental illness
Author fr Nigeria or NZ
About or set in Appalachia
Children’s book
Multi-gen family saga
Featuring a woman in science
Myth retelling
Woman athlete
YA Books by WOC
Lambda Literary Award winner
Translated book pub before 1945
A play
Written by South Asian author
By indigenous woman
From 2018 Reading Women Award shortlist
Romance or love story
About nature – The Lotus Garden by Li Ang
Historical fiction
Book bought/borrowed in 2019 – Mary B by Katherine J Chen
Book you got because of cover
Any book from a series
Book featuring a religion other than your own
Book by Jesmyn Ward
Book by Jhumpa Lahiri – The Clothing of Books

#Booked2019 – a Litsy reading challenge

Female detective
Fairy tale retelling
Reminds you of your happy place – The Library Book by Susan Orlean
Related to a podcast
Set in Ireland or Irish author
new to you author – Mary B by Katherine J Chen
night-oriented title
Indigenous author
features a musician
social media focus
food or beverage on cover
Muslim author or MC
book to movie
book gifted to you
diverse middle grade
book about addiction
soldiers story
new in 2019
poc MC paranormal
public domain
political intrigue

The monthly motif reading challenge hosted by Girlxoxo

JANUARY – New to You Author

Mary B by Katherine J Chen

Read a book by an author whose writing you’ve never read before.

FEBRUARY – Cover Love

Yes. We’re giving you permission to judge a book by its cover and read a book with a cover that really caught your eye.

MARCH – Royalty, Kingdoms, Empires, Governments

Read a book in which the character is involved in a ruling or governing body in some way.

APRIL – Crack the Case

Read a mystery, detective story, true crime, cozy mystery, or book involving a puzzle to solve.

MAY – One Sitting Reads

Read something that is short enough you could get through it in one sitting- try a graphic novel, comic book, short story, essay, or short collection of poetry.

JUNE – Diversify Your Reading

Read a book with a character (or written by an author) of a race, religion, or sexual orientation other than your own or read about a culture you want to learn more about.

JULY – Through The Years

Read a book involving time travel, a book with a ‘time’ setting such as The Great Gatsby (20s), read a historical fiction/nonfiction, or choose a book published in your birth year.

AUGUST – Mode of Transportation

Read a book where the mode of transportation plays a role in the story (ex. Murder on the Orient Express or The Boys in the Boat)

SEPTEMBER – Animal, Number, Color, Name

One of those things needs to be in the title of the book you choose (ex. Water for Elephants, Red Queen, Fahrenheit 451, Rebecca, Harry Potter)

OCTOBER – Tricks and Trades

Read a book set in a theater, an amusement park, a circus, or a book involving magic, illusions, or characters with special powers.

NOVEMBER – Seasons, Elements, and Weather

Embrace a winter wonderland setting, pick a beach read, or read about a natural disaster. As long as a season, element, or the weather plays a key role in the story or is part of the title, it counts. (ex. Little Fires Everywhere, The Snow Child, On The Island)

DECEMBER – Last Chance

Finally read that one book that you’ve been meaning to get to all year long.

Back to the Classics hosted by Books and Chocolate

All books must have been written at least 50 years ago to qualify; therefore, books must have been published no later than 1969 for this challenge.

1. 19th Century Classic. Any classic book originally published between 1800 and 1899.
2. 20th Century Classic – No Fond Return of Love by Barbara Pym
3. Classic by a Female Author The Forsaken Inn by Anna Katherine Green
4. Classic in Translation. 
5. Classic Comedy. 
6. Classic Tragedy.
7. Very Long Classic. 
8. Classic Novella. 
9. Classic From the Americas (includes the Caribbean) – Lonely Londoners
10. Classic From Africa, Asia, or Oceania (includes Australia). – Snow Country
11. Classic From a Place You’ve Lived Fifth Chinese Daughter by Jade Snow Wong
12. Classic Play – Death of a Salesman

Back to the Classics 2017



Karen at Books and Chocolate is hosting the Back to the Classics challenge again. I didn’t do so great at this year’s but I’m going to give it a try again! All the details are here!

Here are the 12 categories and to note:

  • All books must have been written at least 50 years ago; therefore, books must have been written by 1967 to qualify for this challenge. The ONLY exceptions are books published posthumously.

Here are some books I may read. I’m giving myself a few choices just in case….!

1.  A 19th Century Classic – any book published between 1800 and 1899.

Cousin Phyllis – Elizabeth Gaskell (1864)

Agnes Grey – Anne Brontë (1847)

2.  A 20th Century Classic – any book published between 1900 and 1967.

Raising Demons – Shirley Jackson (1957)

The Dollmaker – Harriette Simpson Arnow (1954)

3.  A classic by a woman author.

Read: A Raisin in the Sun – Lorraine Hansberry

This Crooked Way – Elizabeth Spencer (1952)

A Raisin in the Sun – Lorraine Hansberry (1959)

4.  A classic in translation.  Any book originally written published in a language other than your native language. Feel free to read the book in your language or the original language. (You can also read books in translation for any of the other categories).

Seven Years in Tibet – Heinrich Harrer (1952)

Chess Story – Stefan Zweig (1941) 

Children of the Alley – Naguib Mahfouz, Peter Theroux (Translator) (1959)

5.  A classic published before 1800. Plays and epic poems are acceptable in this category also.

The Monk – Matthew Lewis (1796)

The Castle of Otranto –  Horace Walpole (1764)

6.  An romance classic. I’m pretty flexible here about the definition of romance. It can have a happy ending or a sad ending, as long as there is a strong romantic element to the plot.

Katherine – Anya Seton

Winthrop Women – Anya Seton

7.  A Gothic or horror classic. For a good definition of what makes a book Gothic, and an excellent list of possible reads, please see this list on Goodreads.

Rosemary’s Baby – Ira Levin (1967)

Whatever happened to Baby Jane? – Henry Farrell (1960)

8.  A classic with a number in the title. Examples include A Tale of Two Cities, Three Men in a Boat, The Nine Tailors, Henry V, Fahrenheit 451, etc.

Three Guineas – Virginia Woolf (1938)

And Then There Were None – Agatha Christie (1939)

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

9.  A classic about an animal or which includes the name of an animal in the title.  It an actual animal or a metaphor, or just the name. Examples include To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men, The Metamorphosis, White Fang, etc.

The Tiger in the Smoke –  Margery Allingham (1952)

They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? – Horace McCoy (1935)

The Call of the Wild – Jack London (1902)

10. A classic set in a place you’d like to visit. It can be real or imaginary: The Wizard of Oz, Down and Out in Paris and London, Death on the Nile, etc.

Hawaii – James A Michener (1959)

My Side of the Mountain – Jean Craighead George (1959)

The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett (1911)

11. An award-winning classic. It could be the Newbery award, the Prix Goncourt, the Pulitzer Prize, the James Tait Award, etc. Any award, just mention in your blog post what award your choice received.

Strawberry Girl – Lois Lenski (Newberry award 1946)

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare (Newberry award 1959)

12. A Russian Classic. 2017 will be the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, so read a classic by any Russian author.

Doctor Zhivago – Boris Pasternak (1957)

(I secretly avoid Russian classics so hopefully I can get through this one. Also I have to ask, are there Russian classics written by women?)

Weird reads for the #weirdathon


Julianne at Outlandish Lit is hosting the month-long Weirdathon!

She says:

Read as many weird books as you can during march! You can set your goal low or high, it’s completely self-directed. To help you along, there will be achievements to give you more giveaway entries. Every week there will be an optional link-up for your progress.

Here are some I’m thinking of reading:


Vacant Possession – Hilary Mantel

I think Mantel herself is this really weird person. Have you ever heard her speak? She has this kind of creepy voice. And she does write some weird books.

Lock your doors, barricade your windows: Muriel Axon is back in town. It’s been ten years since she was locked away for killing her mad old mother. Now she wants to lay Mother’s ghost to rest and find her missing child. But above all, she wants revenge. Her former social worker and her old neighbours have made new lives, but Muriel, with her talent for disguise, will infiltrate their homes and exploit their talents for self-destruction, until at last all her enemies are brought together for a gruesome finale. Hilary Mantel’s razor-sharp wit animates every page. This malevolent black comedy has as many twists and turns as a well-plotted thriller.

The Man in the High Castle – Philip K Dick

I had already planned to read this for the Back to the Classics challenge. But it works great for this too.

It’s America in 1962. Slavery is legal once again. The few Jews who still survive hide under assumed names. In San Francisco the I Ching is as common as the Yellow Pages. All because some 20 years earlier the United States lost a war, and is now occupied jointly by Nazi Germany and Japan.

Man Tiger – Eka Kurniawan

Kurniawan’s Beauty is a Wound was a gloriously weird book that begins with a woman emerging from her grave. So I have high hopes for this one, originally published in 2004.

A slim, wry story set in an unnamed town near the Indian Ocean, Man Tiger tells the story of two interlinked and tormented families, and of Margio, an ordinary half-city, half-rural youngster who also happens to be half-man, half-supernatural female white tiger (in many parts of Indonesia, magical tigers protect good villages and families).

I am sure I have plenty more weird reads to uncover but this will do for my own reading list for now.

However, if you’re looking for more weird reads, boy, do I have some (that I have already read) for you!

Lots of good reads there. All of them have a bit of weirdness in them.


Are you taking part in the Weirdathon? What are your favourite weird reads?

2016 Reading Challenges

Ah, a new year, a clean slate! And this year, with my number of books read set back to zero, I would like to begin again and join some challenges. More importantly, I will try my very best to maintain my enthusiasm for the challenges throughout the year!




Karen at Books and Chocolate is once again hosting the Back to the Classics Challenge,  where we will be reading books written at least 50 years ago (by 1966) in 12 different categories. Or at least I hope to be able to read books in all 12 categories!

1. A 19th Century Classic – any book published between 1800 and 1899.

An Old-Fashioned Girl – Louisa May Alcott (published 1869)

2.  A 20th Century Classic – any book published between 1900 and 1966.

The Making of a Marchioness – Frances Hodgson Burnett (published 1901)

3.  A classic by a woman author.

Read: Miss Happiness and Miss Flower – Rumer Godden (published 1961)

The Time of Man – Elizabeth Madox Roberts (published 1935)

4.  A classic in translation.

Read: Alberto Moravia’s Conjugal Love (translated from Italian)
Journey to the End of the Night – Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Ralph Manheim (Translator) (published 1932)
Dom Casmurro – Machado de Assis (published in 1899)
The Makioka Sisters – Jun’ichirō Tanizaki, Edward G. Seidensticker (Translator) (published 1943)

5.  A classic by a non-white author.

Read: The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki

A Raisin in the Sun – Lorraine Hansberry (published 1959)
Go Tell it On the Mountain – James Baldwin (published 1953)
The Train to Pakistan – Khushwant Singh (published 1956)

6.  An adventure classic – can be fiction or non-fiction.

Read: Kon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl

Wind, Sand and Stars – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Lewis Galantière (Translator) (published 1939)
Annapurna: The First Conquest of an 8,000-Meter Peak – Maurice Herzog (published 1951)

7.  A fantasy, science fiction, or dystopian classic.

The Man in the High Castle – Philip K Dick (published 1962)
When the Sleeper Wakes – HG Wells (published 1899)

8.  A classic detective novel.

The Crime at Black Dudley – Margery Allingham (published 1929)
And Then There Were None – Agatha Christie (published 1939)

9.  A classic which includes the name of a place in the title.

Howard End – EM Forster
Winesburg, Ohio – Sherwood Anderson

10. A classic which has been banned or censored. If possible, please mention why this book was banned or censored in your review.

A Separate Peace – John Knowles

according to the ALA: Challenged in Vernon-Verona-Sherill, NY School District (1980) as a “filthy, trashy sex novel.” Challenged at the Fannett-Metal High School in Shippensburg, Pa. (1985) because of its allegedly offensive language. Challenged as appropriate for high school reading lists in the Shelby County, Tenn. school system (1989) because the novel contained “offensive language.” Challenged at the McDowell County, N.C. schools (1996) because of “graphic language.” Source: Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, May 1980, p. 62; Nov. 1985, p. 204; Jan, 1990, pp 11-12; Jan. 1997, p. 11.

11. Re-read a classic you read in school (high school or college). 

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift (published 1726)

12. A volume of classic short stories. This must be one complete volume, at least 8 short stories.

Stories – Katherine Mansfield (published 1956)


#ReadMyOwnDamnBooks over at Estellas Revenge


I’ve got a pile of books on my night stand, and another next to my Macbook. Both of which I hope to clear by the end of 2016.





Diversity on the Shelf 2016 over at The Englishist

I’ve taken part in Aarti’s Diversiverse for the past couple of years now, but I try to read as diversely as possible throughout the year too. I just need to post about these books already. Hopefully this challenge will encourage me to do more of that.

I’m going for 5th Shelf: Read 25+ books


1. Delicious Foods – James Hannaham
2. Supermutant Magic Academy – Jillian Tamaki
3. Loyola Chin and the San Peligran Order – Gene Luen Yang
4. The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye – Sonny Liew
5. The Makioka Sisters – Junichiro Tanizaki
6. The Wrath and the Dawn – Renee Ahdieh
7. The Old Garden – Hwang Sok-yong
8. Nijigahara Holograph – Inio Asano
9. The Book of Memory – Petina Gappah
10. Fresh off the Boat – Eddie Huang
11. Mayumi and the Sea of Happiness – Jennifer Tseng
12. Modern Romance – Aziz Ansari
13. The Paper Menagerie and other stories – Ken Liu
14. Who Slashed Celanire’s throat? A Fantastical Novel – Maryse Conde
The Partner Track by Helen Wan
15. Half a Lifelong Romance by Eileen Chang

I’m not going to list all the books right now, instead, I’m noting some books already on the lists of my other challenges (see above)

In the Light of What we know – Zia Haider Rahman
Ten Things My Father Never Taught Me and other stories – Cyril Wong
The Makioka Sisters – Jun’ichirō Tanizaki, Edward G. Seidensticker (Translator)
A Raisin in the Sun – Lorraine Hansberry
Go Tell it On the Mountain – James Baldwin
The Train to Pakistan – Khushwant Singh

I’m also adding to that some books on my list for Diversiverse last year that I never got to
Skin Folk: stories by Nalo Hopkinson
Grace of Kings by Ken Liu
Spirits Abroad by Zen Cho


Nonfiction Reading Challenge hosted at The Introverted Reader
Non-fiction Reading Challenge – The Introverted Reader

Explorer–Read 6-10

What makes this book so great – Jo Walton
Why I read: the serious pleasure of books – Wendy Lesser
Fire shut up in my bones – Charles M Blow
Four seasons in Rome – Anthony Doerr
Population: 485 – Michael Perry
Between the World and Me: – Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Corpse Walker: Real Life Stories, China from the Bottom Up – Liao Yiwu, Wenguang Huang (Translator)
As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto

(and more to come)

#AMonthofFaves – #Reading Challenges for 2015



A Month of Favorites is hosted by GirlxoxoTraveling with T, and Andi at Estella’s Revenge

Today’s topic is a review or discussion of your choice, so I’m turning my attention to READING CHALLENGES!

So last year I didn’t commit to many reading challenges, just a few short ones like Diversiverse, Nonfiction November, RIP and Once Upon a Time – I fully intend to rejoin these shorter challenges in 2015 too! These shorter ones tend to work better for me as I never can remember to stick to my challenge lists! But one thing that challenges make me do is sit down and write about the books I read. And that is something I really need to do more of! I’m hoping these challenges will add to my reading experience in 2015!

It’s going to be 2015!! And we are still not living on the moon! My younger self would be so disappointed.

Foodies Read 2013

Foodies Read 2015

Food and books. What better than that??!

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

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






Back to the Classics 

Ok! So I need to read more classics. And I like that the cut-off date is 1965 – or at least 50 years ago. That I can do! I’m listing books in all twelve categories, which is a bit ambitious. I just hope to be able to complete six categories. But I tell you, I had such fun putting this list together!


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)

They came like swallows – William Maxwell (pub. 1937)

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 (pub. 1945)

Candide – Voltaire (pub. 1759)

The Duel – Giacomo Casanova (pub. 1789)

A Classic with a Person’s Name in the Title

Heidi – Johanna Spyri (pub. 1880)

Mary Barton – Elizabeth Gaskell (pub. 1848)

Lady Susan – Jane Austen (pub. 1791)

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

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

London: Keep the Apidistra Flying by George Orwell

Sussex:  The Talisman Ring by Georgette Heyer

Yorkshire: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (I hope it’s ok that I reread this – it was something I read many years ago as a child, and am now curious to see if I would enjoy it!)

PS I might have to change the counties/books chosen here depending on the availability of the books from the library!


What reading challenges are you thinking of joining next year? 

Postal Reading Challenge

Melwyk has created a rather tempting challenge, the Postal Reading Challenge.


What is the Challenge?

The key is to read and review books with a postal theme. These can be non-fiction on the subject of letter writing, collections of real letters, or epistolary fiction of any era. Be creative! Review each one and link back to the challenge — there will be quarterly roundup posts for you to link reviews and posts to as you create them.

The challenge runs from January 1st, 2013 to December 31st, 2013.  You can sign up ANY TIME throughout the year.

Any books chosen can overlap with any other challenge, and rereads are allowed. Just remember to review them somewhere online in order for them to count toward the challenge. Lists don’t have to be made in advance, though feel free to share your choices and inspire other readers if you wish! 

I’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
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

Completed challenges

Reading Challenges 2010

R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril V

Books read:

1. I Am Legend – Richard Matheson(my review)
2. Tales of the Slayers – Joss Whedon et al (my review)
3. The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruis Zafon (my review)

4. A Graveyard for Lunatics – Ray Bradbury (my review)

5. The Fall – Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan (my review)

6. The Bird’s Nest – Shirley Jackson (my review)

The Pool:

The Fall – Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan
The Bird’s Nest – Shirley Jackson
The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag – Alan Bradley
The Last Temptation – Neil Gaiman
Murder on the Orient Express – Agatha Christie
The Sister – Poppy Adams
The Heretic’s Daughter – Kathleen Kent
I am legend – Richard Matheson
Button, Button : Uncanny Stories – Richard Matheson
A Graveyard for Lunatics : Another tale of two cities – Ray Bradbury
Oh and whatever related graphic novels/comics I can get my hands on

Choose one book from/about/by or illustrated by someone from each of the seven continents. (By beginning in February 2010, I will need to finish this challenge by July 2010).

Books Read:

Africa – Morocco

Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail by Malika Oufkir and Michele Fitoussi (my review)


Terra Incognita: Travels in Antarctica by Sara Wheeler (my review)

The Crystal Desert by David Campbell (my review)

North America – Canada

Island by Alistair MacLeod (my review)

Europe – Portugal

Death With Interruptions by Jose Saramago (my review)

Asia – Sri Lanka

Reef by Romesh Gunesekera (my review)

Anil’s Ghost – Michael Ondaatje (my review)

South America – Argentina

The Honorary Consul by Graham Greene (my review)

Australasia – New Zealand

The Bone People by Keri Hulme (my review)

My pool of books:

Africa – Morocco
Secret Son
– Laila Lalami
In Arabian Nights: A Caravan of Moroccan Dreams
– Tahir Shah
Dreams Of Trespass: Tales Of A Harem Girlhood
– Fatima Mernissi
Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail
– Malika Oufkir
The Sheltering Sky
– Paul Bowles

Terra Incognita: Travels in Antarctica
– Sara Wheeler
Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage
– Alfred Lansing
Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer
– Lynne Cox

Asia – Sri Lanka
– Roma Tearne
The Last Theorem
– Arthur C Clarke and Frederik Pohl
Bringing Tony Home
– Tissa Abēsēkara
The Far Field: A Novel of Ceylon
– Edie Meidav
Anil’s Ghost: A Novel
– Michael Ondaatje
– Romesh Gunesekera

Australasia – New Zealand
The Garden Party and Other Stories
– Katherine Mansfield
The Bone People
– Keri Hulme
Farther Than Any Man: The Rise and Fall of Captain James Cook
– Martin Dugard
Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before
– Tony Horwitz

Europe – Portugal
Death with Interruptions
– Jose Saramago
Journey to Portugal: In Pursuit of Portugal’s History and Culture
– Jose Saramago
Over the Edge of the World: Magellan’s Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe
– Laurence Bergreen
Alentejo Blue
– Monica Ali
The Inquisitors’ Manual
– Antonio Lobo Antunes

North America – Canada
Fall On Your Knees
– Ann-Marie MacDonald
Island: The Complete Stories
– Alistair MacLeod
The End of East: A Novel
– Jen Sookfong Lee
Through Black Spruce: A Novel
– Joseph Boyden
The Colony of Unrequited Dreams: A Novel
– Wayne Johnston

South America – Argentina
Collected Fictions
– Jorge Luis Borges
Borges: Selected Non-Fictions
– Jorge Luis Borges
Evita: In My Own Words
– Eva Peron
The Tunnel
– Ernesto Sabato
Leopoldina’s Dream
– Silvina Ocampo

1. Food and Loathing: A Life Measured Out in Calories by Betsy Lerner (reviewed 13 November 2009)
2. Kabul Beauty School by Deborah Rodriguez (reviewed 17 November 2009)
3. Nobody Said Not To Go: The Life, Loves, and Adventures of Emily Hahn by Ken Cuthbertson (reviewed 30 November 2009)
4. Eight Months on Ghazzah Street by Hilary Mantel (reviewed 7 December 2009)
5. An Exact Replica of a Figment of my Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken (reviewed 8 December 2009)
6. Hungry: A Mother and Daughter Fight Anorexia by Sheila and Lisa Himmel (reviewed 14 January 2010)
7. Not Becoming My Mother by Ruth Reichl (reviewed 26 January 2010)
8. Unless by Carol Shields (reviewed 7 March 2010)
My pool:
The Female Man by Joanna Russ
Bastard out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison
The Scent of the Gods by Fiona Cheong
Then She Found Me by Elinor Lipman
Mary Reilly by Valerie Martin
Evelina by Frances Burney
The Painter from Shanghai by Jennifer Cody Epstein
Becoming Madame Mao by Anchee Min
When Heaven and Earth Changed Places by Le Ly Hayslip (from Eva’s list)
Lakota Woman by Mary Crow Dog (Vasilly’s list)
Letter to My Daughter by Maya Angelous (Eva’s list)

Sci-fi Challenge

The challenge runs from August 28, 2009 to August 8, 2010.

1. The Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler (read 29 September 2009)
2. The Children of Men by P.D. James (read 10 October 2009)
3. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (read 5 November 2009)
4. Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke (reviewed 23 January 2009)
5. The  Unit by Ninni Holmqvist (reviewed 23 February 2010)
6. The City and the City by China Mieville (reviewed 11 March 2010)
7. Passage by Connie Willis (reviewed 18 May 2010)
8. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell (reviewed 5 June 2010)

The Pool:
The Children of Men – P.D. James
I, Robot – Isaac Asimov
His Majesty’s Dragon (Temeraire, Book 1)– Naomi Novik
Red Mars – Kim Stanley Robinson
Passage – Connie Willis
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?– Philip K. Dick
Childhood’s End – Arthur C. Clarke
The Female Man – Joanna Russ
The Other End of Time – Frederik Pohl
The Illustrated Man – Ray Bradbury
The Telling – Ursula K Le Guin
Woman on the Edge of Time – Marge Piercy
Fledgling – Octavia Butler


1. Affinity by Sarah Waters (completed 31 August 2009)
2. The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan (completed 8 September 2009)
3. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (completed 11 September 2009)
4. The Collector of Hearts by Joyce Carol Oates (completed 17 September 2009)
5. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (completed 28 September 2009).

The rest of the pool
The Stand by Stephen King
The Ghost in Love by Jonathan Carroll
The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton by Edith Wharton

(RIP IV reviews page)