Sunday, December 7, 2014

2015 Challenges!

Ever since I started blogging, I've signed up for challenges. And every year I've experienced epic failure, finishing very few of the challenges. But in 2014, I've done very well, completing all but one of my challenges. Yea, me! So I'm all fired up for 2015. I'm sure I'll add a couple more challenges (the Historical Fiction challenge, for example). So far here's what I'm signing up for:

The Official 2015 TBR Pile Challenge:

The Goal: To finally read 12 books from your “to be read” pile (within 12 months).

Specifics: 1. Each of these 12 books must have been on your bookshelf or “To Be Read” list for AT LEAST one full year. This means the book cannot have a publication date of 1/1/2014 or later (any book published in the year 2013 or earlier qualifies, as long as it has been on your TBR pile – I WILL be checking publication dates). Caveat: Two (2) alternates are allowed, just in case one or two of the books end up in the “can’t get through” pile.

This is the one challenge I did not finish in 2014. Shame on me. I think I'll finish the year reading 7 of the 12 books I'd planned to read. Sad. But since my TBR shelves are the books I most need to focus on, I'm bound and determined to take another shot at it. There are more rules, of course, but this is the biggie.

Here's my official list (the first four are carryovers from my 2014 list):

1. Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
2. The Portrait Of A Lady by Henry James
3. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
4. The Sound and The Fury by William Faulkner
5. Tolstoy and the Purple Chair by Nina Sankovitch
6. Bloodroot by Amy Greene
7. Ape House by Sara Gruen
8. Still Missing by Chevy Stevens
9. Brain On Fire by Susannah Cahalan
10. White Dog Fell From The Sky by Eleanor Morse
11. Little Princes by Conor Grennan
12. Hearts West by Chris Enss

1. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
2. The Pillars of The Earth by Ken Follett

What's In A Name? 2015:

The challenge runs from January to December. During this time you choose a book to read from each of the following categories (examples of books you could choose are in brackets):

A word including ‘ing’ in it (The Time Of Singing, Dancing To The Flute, Lex Trent Fighting With Fire) My examples are verbs but you can of course use other words.

A colour (The Red Queen, White Truffles In Winter, On Gold Mountain)

A familial relation (Daughter Of Smoke And Bone, Dombey And Son, My Cousin Rachel) By all means include in-laws, step, and halves.

A body of water (The River Of No Return, Black Lake, Beside The Sea)

A city (Barcelona Shadows, Shanghai Girls, Under The Tripoli Sky)

An animal (Black Swan Rising, The Leopard Unleashed, The Horse And His Boy)

These always seem like they'll be relatively easy, but then there's that one category that you don't have the right book for. And I kind of refuse to get a book just to fit a category. Because, you know, that TBR pile I'm trying to work through. Here's what I'm thinking for this one so far:

Foodies Read 2015:

Since I generally don't go out of my way to pick up books that have to do with food, but always seem to have some around, I enjoy this challenge on a "lite" level.

1. Decide how many food books you want to read in 2014.
Pick one of the reading levels below:

Short-Order Cook: 1 to 3 books
Pastry Chef: 4 to 8 books
Sous-Chef: 9 to 13 books
Chef de Cuisine: 14 to 18
Cordon-Bleu Chef: More than 19

This year I'm stepping back to the Short-Order Cook level since I'm sure I'll have that many books that qualify but not sure I'll have more.

Finishing the Series:

This is a new one for me but, as I said not too long ago, one of my goals for the coming year is to finish up some series I've started. Here's the deal:
1) All books that are part of a continuing series qualify (i.e. Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove, Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum, James Patterson's Alex Cross, etc. etc.)

2) It doesn't matter if you have 1 or 10 books in a series to complete it, it qualifies (i.e. if you only need to read one more Sookie Stackhouse book to complete the goal, that's fine) The goal is to complete a series from wherever you are up to until the last published book.

8) Choose a level....

Level 1 (Novice series reader) - Complete 1 series.
Level 2 (Testing the waters) - Complete 2 series.
Level 3 (Experienced) - Complete 3 series.
Level 4 (Expert series reader) - Complete 4 or more series.

I skipped some rules, obviously, but those are the key points. I'd love to finish a couple of series but I'll be realistic and figure that if this pushes me to finish one, I'm ahead. Going in as a Novice with my target to finish the Millennium series (you know, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo).

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