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. ;)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Death by Gaslight Reading Challenge - Sign Up

1 January 2012 - 31 December 2012
The majority of the mysteries I read are either cozies or historicals (and mostly both).  Since I'm already planning to participate in Yvonne's (from Socrates' Book Reviews) Cruisin' Thru the Cozies Reading Challenge, I thought I would design a personal challenge for my "historical" bent. 

For the Death by Gaslight Reading Challenge, the goal is to read mysteries set in or written during the Victorian and Edwardian eras (1837 - 1910). I'll probably be reading mysteries set in England (since those are the ones I'm most interested in), but any location is acceptable, as long as the time frame fits. No more than 3 titles can be from the same series (except for the first special challenge, listed below).

There are 4 levels to choose from:
1.  The Merry Widow of Windy Nook: 5 books
2.  Palmer the Poisoner: 10 books
3.  Burke and Hare, Body Snatchers: 15 books
4.  Jack the Ripper: 20+ books

Additionally, there are 4 "special challenges".  Books which are read for any of these mini-levels do not count towards the main reading levels. These are "extra credit" and are purely optional.
1.  Serial Killer: Read an entire series (re-reading if necessary) from the first book until the last (or most recently published). There is no limit on the number of books, so a series could consist of 2 books or 20.
2.  The Great Detective: Read 5 (or more) books featuring Sherlock Holmes, at least one of which must be an original story by Arthur Conan Doyle.
3.  Arsenic and Air Ships: Read 5 (or more) books which are steampunk mysteries.
4.  Penny Dreadfuls: Read 5 (or more) non-fiction books that detail Victorian or Edwardian crimes.

All the regular rules apply:
* cross-overs between challenges are more than okay
* any format counts - audio, ebook, etc., as well as any level (adult, children, YA)
* you don't have to have a blog to participate (since I technically don't - I post reviews at Goodreads)
* feel free to change levels at any time
* re-reads are fine, but books must be read in the 2012 calendar year to count
Reading challenges are suppose to the challenging (hence the name)...but we don't do this for a living, we do this for fun! 

Some sites for ideas...
19th Century British Mysteries (at HistoricalNovels.com)
19th Century European Mysteries (at HistoricalNovels.com)

If you're interested in participating, I'd love the company! ;)  Please leave a comment with your name, link to your challenge post (if you have a blog/site), and what level(s) you'd like to participate at.  I'll add everyone to the paticipant's list below.  Also, there is a separate post for linking reviews.  Thanks!

1.  Jenn from Simply...Challenging - 15 books plus non-fiction mini-challenge
2.  Neer from a hot cup of pleasure - 10 books
3.  The Lit Bitch - 5 books plus (maybe) Sherlock Holmes mini-challenge
4.  Bev from My Reader's Block - 15 books plus Sherlock Holmes mini-challenge
5.  Amanda from Fig and Thistle - 10 books
6.  Susan from Avid Series Reader - 5 books
7.  Rummanah from Books in the Spotlight - 10 books plus (maybe) Sherlock Holmes mini-challenge
8.  Srivalli from Valli's Book Den - 10 books
9.  Samantha from Booked On a Feeling - 5 books
10.  You're next!


  1. I'd love to participate but are crossovers with other challenges allowed.

  2. Hi neer:

    Cross-overs are fine - I added that a few other "general" rules (which I completely forgot about, so thanks for reminding me!) to the post.

    I've also started a participants list - do you want me to add you (and at what level)?

    Thanks! Jenn

  3. Ok I think I'm a shoe in for this one....I LOVE LOVE LOVE Victorian murder by gaslight style books :) Im totally game :). But.....I can't post to the sign up here. How do I sign up?

  4. Hi Jenn

    Count me in for Palmer the Poisoner level. Here's my post:


    I'd like to have a post for linking reviews.

  5. I can't resist. I love mysteries. I love the Victorian era. Must join! Here's my post: http://myreadersblock.blogspot.com/2011/12/death-by-gaslight-challenge.html

  6. @The Lit Bitch: I've added you to the list - the linky widget was giving me a hard time so I ditched it and am adding manually.

    @neer and @Bev: I've added you as well - thanks for joining!

    Let me know (if you haven't already!) if you'd like one post for linking reviews or monthly posts for linking reviews - maybe I'll attempting the linky widget again... ;)

    Jenn ;)

  7. Great sounds good, I'm going for the The Merry Widow of Windy Nook: 5 books level and I might even consider the 'extra credit' option for the Great Detective level with the Sherlock Holmes books....we shall see :). I'm super excited thanks!!

  8. Sign me up! My link is here: http://figandthistle.blogspot.com/2011/12/my-2012-reading-challenge-adventures.html

  9. I'm in for 5 - love this challenge theme!

    Jenn, I also post only challenges/booklists on my blog. I post reviews on Shelfari (backup copy on GoodReads). Works well for me!

  10. Amanda and Susan - Thanks for joining! I've added you both to the participants list.

    Susan - Glad I'm not the only one! ;)

  11. I'm game! Are children/YA books allowed too? I'm in for 10 books and maybe for the Great Detective. Here is my link: http://booksinthespotlight.blogspot.com/2011/12/2012-death-by-gaslight-reading.html

  12. Children/YA definitely allowed - I've been thinking of a few myself! I've added you to the participants list and thanks again for joining! ;)

  13. I am in! Here is my post http://srivallip.blogspot.com/2012/01/death-by-gaslight-reading-challenge.html

  14. Srivalli - I've added you to the participants' list. Thanks for joining!

  15. I would like to sign up with 5 books. My name is Samantha and my blog is Booked on a Feeling. Here is a link to my post


  16. Glad to have you Samantha! I've added you to the participants list!

  17. Sign me up Jenn! I'll go for Palmer the Poisoner 10! Peggy from Peggy Ann's Post Thanks!

  18. Hello! If you have room for more at the twelth hour (LOL), I've had my eye on your event. Please give your 'okay' on my blog and I'll hastily do a dedicated post to bring you, level I. P.S, I could go higher with more than 3 from a series but hey, we're supposed to be 'challenged'! :) To everyone here from potential member 10: merry Christmas!

  19. Hello! I hadn't heard from you and thus went ahead with my participation post. I hope you see that I've vollied for spot #10 before the deadline and do add me on record, whether or not there are prizes. I've joined at level I with a sixth novel that qualifies. :)

    Happy new year from Canada! http://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2012/12/30/victorian-to-edwardian-themed/