What is Simply...Challenging?

In brief, Simply...Challenging is my challenge blog. Here, I'm only listing the reading (and 1 writing) challenges I am/have taken part in, as well as book lists for each. My reviews are posted at Goodreads. Yes, it seems weird, but right now, it works for me. ;)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Looking ahead (pt. 2)...and looking back...

Why are there so many challenges?! I have to whittle them down, but I can't decide! (she whines). Sigh. Well, here is my (ongoing) list of reading challenges I may enter in the coming year (as well as some natterings on personal challenges, ongoing challenges, and blog changes), but I have yet to decide on which ones...

Cruisin' Thru the Cozies, hosted by Yvonne at Socrates' Book Reviews - I wanted to do this challenge last year, but lost out to time. So, since I'm starting at the beginning of the year, I have no excuse! ;)  Entered!  Challenge post

Mixing It Up, hosted by Ellie at Musings of a Bookshop Girl - There are 16 categories (think genre's) to choose from, about half fiction and half (yay!) non-fiction, though you can do 1-4 or all 16 (and everything in between).

1000 Words A Day, hosted by Debbie at Inky Girl - While this isn't a reading challenge, this is a definitely a challenge I'll be attempting for the coming year!  Edit: I've already started this challenge (at the middle level) - I'll be tracking my progress through monthly log posts, of which the first has been posted (and will be added to during the course of the coming month).  Wish me luck! ;)

101 Fantasy Challenge, hosted by Michelle (of The True Book Addict), which has it's own challenge blog - This perpetual challenge contains a list of 813 (chosen and voted on by bloggers), from which you can read as many as you want.

Reading Romances, hosted by, ahem, the blogger at Reading Romances - Each month, a new romance sub-genre and/or theme will be posted and the challenger is to read books from that particular listing (challengee's choice).  Entered!  Challenge post

Mystery and Suspense Challenge, hosted by Carolyn and Laura (the "Brit Chicks") at Book Chick City - Read a minimum of 12 mystery novels, regardless of type (i.e. romantic suspense, hard boiled, cozy, historical, etc.).

Speculative Romance Challenge, also hosted by the ladies at Book Chick City - The challenge is to read romances with an "other" twist. Sub-genre suggestions are given. There are 4 levels of participation, from between 6 books to 24Entered!  Challenge post

100+ Books in a Year, is once again returning, also from the other side of the pond at Book Chick City - The challenge is to read 100 (or more!) books in 2012. The only catch with this challenge is that no audiobooks are allowed, and neither is non-fiction :( I love the button, though! ;)

British Books Challenges, hosted by Kristy at The Overflowing Library - Do you like British books? Then this is what this challenge is all about! There is a minimum of 12 books, with a max of 50 (or more!). The list of UK publishers submitting prizes is quite nice... Edit: I just noticed she only wants book bloggers, so as much as this challenge sounds interesting, this won't be happening for me.

Graphic Novels Challenge, with it's new host Nicola (of Back to Books) and once more with it's own dedicated blog - Yay! It's back! Nicola has pared down the levels to 12 (basically 1 graphic novel a month). I'll be taking part in this challenge as well, though I might set a higher personal level to reach...  Entered!  Challenge post

Shakespeare Reading Month, hosted by Allie at A Literary Odyssey - Just for January 2012, read anything Shakespeare - plays, sonnets, books about him or even plays by his contemporaries! Allie's also got some wonderful prizes (sonnets!)  Entered!  Challenge post

European Reading Challenge, hosted by the wonderful list-maker (a girl after my own heart! ;) at Rose City Reader - Always wanted to visit Europe? Here's your chance...at least through the pages of a book! There are 5 levels to choose from (she has a complete list of countries you could "travel" to), along with some "alternative arrangements"! There are prizes for those who read in the most books in the specific categories. It lasts for 13 months and readers can choose from fiction, non-fiction, poetry, etc. This one's definitely peaked my interest...I don't read enough "European".

Personal challenges I'm contemplating...
* my own non-fiction challenge, since I'm not entirely satisfied with what I've found so far;
* Victorian/Edwardian mysteries (excluding Anne Perry, see below, but mainly thinking of Robin Paige, Victoria Thompson, etc.) Done! See Death by Gaslight RC;
* London-based (non-fiction) books (since I have a lot of these on my GR shelves!), but this may work into a possible non-fiction, above...;  will be entering the Victorian Challenge
* a short story challenge - I like short stories, especially anthologies...one of the best ways to discover new authors! ;)
* award/list-based challenge(s)...I'm not talking about the "big" awards (Giller, Booker, etc.), but smaller (non-fiction!) awards, Canadian-based, or children's (such as the Samuel Johnson Prize, Kate Greenaway Medal, OLA's FoR Awards, RITA, AAR's top 100, etc.);
* author-based challenges, mainly to catch up on series, such as...
      * Terry Pratchett - Hannah at Once Upon a Time is hosting The Pratchett Reading Challenge, but I was thinking of taking my time; i.e. a long time ;) Most of mine will be re-reads, especially the City Watch sub-series (my favourites!);
      * Jim Butcher (Harry Dresen series, of which I read up to about book 6?);
      * Sherrilyn Kenyon (I've read all but her latest 5 Dark-Hunter books (I think), so I was thinking of rereading old ones as well; also the Nick Chronicles);
      * Anne Perry (Thomas and Charlotte series, William Monk series) Done! - See Thomas and Charlotte RC and the William Monk RC;
      * Doctor Who (starting with the Ninth Doctor).

There were also the challenges from 2011 that I especially liked and hope to return to, including...
* Manga challenge - though 6 books was way too easy!
* Graphic novels challenge See above
* Picture book challenge
As far as I can tell, none of these (as yet) are due to return from their original hosts (but there's still a month left!). If they don't return officially, I'll mostly likely continue them as personal challenges.
* GoodReads annual reading challenge - in a 7 month period (May to December), I challenged myself to read 500 books total (that includes everything from picture books to non-fiction and everything in between).  I really hope they bring this challenge back for 2012, as I'm looking forward to increasing my overall reading goal...

And then, of course, there are those challenges that last into the new year or are perpetual (see below)... or I failed to complete in 2011 (hopefully not many!). As for those I didn't finish, do I continue them until I finish, or just give up on them?
* Agatha Christie challenge (perpetual)
* Canadian book challenge (July 2012)
* Chunkster challenge (February 2012)
* Nancy and the Boys challenge (perpetual)
* Pride and Prejudice challenge (May 2012 or perpetual)

Finally, there are a few little changes I'll be making here (or am thinking of making), as well, including...
* adding the date read after book title/author
* adding a link to a review after the book title/author/date read
* possibly adding a page listing reviews completed?
* possibly adding a page listing awards (outside links?; read/tbr only?)

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