Reading All Around the World Challenge

Jean from Howling Frog Books is hosting a Reading All Around the World Challenge and with some trepidation, I’m jumping into the fray.

Why do I want to be part of another challenge?  I don’t know.  But since this one is so open-ended, the pressure is minimal and the benefits ……… well, hopefully it will get me reading in countries that I normally don’t visit book-wise.  In any case, the outline for the challenge is as follows:

    • Pick 50+ countries or go for the gold with all of them! The number depends on you. 
    • Sign up at the project page here. 
    • Read either fiction by a writer living in/from the country, OR a non-fiction book about it, such as memoir, history, culture, language. 
    • Tweet your posts with #readingallaround 
    • There are no time constraints. You can decide on a timeline, but don’t worry if you don’t make it. If you’re going for the full list, I’d recommend five years at least to complete it. 
    • Keep track of your reading. Maybe fill in a list or build a Google map of all your books and countries. Maintain it at your blog and post about the books you read. 
    • When you reach your goal, celebrate!

    So here I go!  Please check out my Reading All Around the World page in progress. I’m not sure at this point how many countries I’ll read so I’ve listed a number of them, and then I’ll chop and change as the mood hits me.  Wish me luck!

    Deal-Me-In Challenge 2017

    Woo hoo!  Jay at Bibliophilopolis has launched the 7th annual Deal Me In Challenge for 2017 and I’m can hardly contain myself!  It is one of my favourite challenges of the year. Why, you say, when I barely seem to be able to complete 25% of it? Well, it “encourages” me to read works that I otherwise would never get to, so even if I complete 10 off the list, I’m happy.

    Holding the Cards (1876)
    Mary Cassatt
    source Wikiart

    Of course, I change the challenge up to include short stories and essays, poetry and children’s classics to give me a smorgasbord of choices.

    Last year, I compiled a new list with only a few of the works I didn’t complete in the previous year, but this year I’ll be boring and simply keep my old unfinished list, adding new titles in the open spaces.

    Clubs – Short Stories
    A –  Cabbages and Kings – O’Henry
    2 –  Excellent People – Anton Chekhov
    3 –  The Queen of Spades – Alexander Pushkin
    4 –  Le Horla – Guy de Maupassant
    5 –  The Tell-Tale Heart – Edgar Allan Poe
    6 –  The Life You Save Might Be Your Own- Flannery O’Connor
    7 –  The Honest Thief – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    8 –  A Little Woman – Franz Kafka
    9 –  A Haunted House – Virginia Woolf
    10 – The Birds – Anton Chekhov
    J –  The Yellow Wallpaper – Charlotte Gilman
    Q –  Love – Leo Tolstoy 
    K –  Signs and Symbols – Vladimir Nabakov
    Spades – Essays
    A – Milton – Charles Williams
    2 – Doodles in the Dictionary – Aldous Huxley
    3 – A Midsummer Night’s Dream – G.K. Chesterton
    4 – On A Faithful Friend – Virginia Woolf
    5 – A Note on Jane Austen – C.S. Lewis
    6 –  In Defence of Literacy – Wendell Berry
    7 –  The Tyranny of Bad Journalism – G.K. Chesterton
    8 – Politics and the English Language – George Orwell
    9 –  An Apology for Idlers – Robert Louis Stevenson
    10 – Sense – C.S. Lewis
    J – Sex, Economy, Freedom & Community – Wendell Berry
    Q – What I Demand of Life – Frank Swinnerton
    K – Vulgarity – G.K. Chesterton
    Diamonds – Poetry
    A – A Sea Dirge – Lewis Carroll
    2 –  Gesang Der Geister Über Den Wassern – Johann Wolfgang
                   von Goethe
    3 – Nothing But Death – Pablo Neruda (from Poetry Soup)
    4 – Sonnett XXIII – Garcilaso de la Vega
    5 – Love Sonnet XIII – Pablo Neruda
    6 – Resolution and Independence – William Wordsworth
    7 – Ode III – Fray Luis de León
    8 – Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night – Dylan Thomas
    9 – To A Mouse – Robert Burns
    10 – Tears, Idle Tears – Alfred LordTennyson
    J –  Easter Wings – George Hebert
    Q – On His Blindness – John Milton
    K – Phoenix and the Turtle – William Shakespeare
    Hearts – Children’s Classic
    A – A Triumph for Flavius – Caroline Dale Snedeker
    2 – Three Greek Children – Alfred Church
    3 –  The Story of the Treasure Seekers – E. Nesbit
    4 – Detectives in Togas – Henry Winterfeld
    5 – Finn Family Moomintroll – Tove Jansson
    6 – The Tanglewood’s Secret – Patricia St. John
    7 – The Wolves of Willoughy Chase – Joan Aiken
    8 – Red Sails to Capri – Ann Weil
    9 – Sprig of Broom – Barbara Willard
    10 – Teddy’s Button – Amy LeFeuvre
    J –  Call It Courage – Armstrong Sperry
    Q – Just David – Eleanor H. Porter
    K – Beyond the Desert Gate – Mary Ray 

    A Young Man and a Girl Playing Cards
    source Wikiart

    Can I make a confession?  The problem I have is that when I draw a card during the year, sometimes I can’t find the book that contains the short story, poem, or essay. Does anyone else have this problem, or it is just me?  Perhaps a more practical resolution is needed for the new year: to be more organized.

    In any case, I’m excited to start this challenge and thanks to Jay for hosting again.  This year I’ll try to do better ….. really I will!

    Russian Literature Challenge 2017

    Keely at We Went Outside and Saw The Stars is hosting a Russian Literature Challenge for 2017 about which I’m very excited!  In the past couple of years, I’ve continued reading Tolstoy, have begun to delve into Dostoyevsky, have explored some of Chekhov’s works, and have aspirations to read more Pushkin. What better way to accomplish my plans than the Russian Literature Challenge?

    Here are the levels to aim for:

    • Level One (Tolstoy): 1-3 books 
    • Level Two (Chekov): 4-6 books 
    • Level Three (Dostoevsky): 7-11 books
    • Level Four (Turgenev): 12+ books

    You can count short stories, poetry, novels, novellas and plays in your book count.

    As for my planned reads?  Ugh, I don’t really like plans because for me they always change, but I’ll list a few possibilities I might chose:

    1. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky and a short story or two (my annoyance with D is turning into fascination)
    2. The Kreutzer Sonata by Leo Tolstoy & a short story or two
    3. Anna Akhmatova (poetry)
    4. The Diary of A Superfluous Man by Ivan Turgenev
    5. The Queen of Spades by Alexander Pushkin and others
    6. A Hero of Our Time by Mikhail Lermontov
    7. Dead Souls by Nikolia Gogol
    8. Oblomov by Ivan Goncharov
    9. Chekhov’s works
    10. Dr. Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
    11. Heart of A Dog by Mikhail Bulgakov
    12. something by Vladimir Nabokov
    13. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch by Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn
    14. The Gulag Archipelago by Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn
    15. We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

    Before I start, I’d also love to read Lectures on Russian Literature by Vladimir Nabokov.

    I’m having many wishful thoughts, I know.  For someone who was complaining about not having enough challenges for 2017, my slate seems to be filling up rapidly.  I just hope I can keep up!

    Back to the Classics Challenge 2017

    One challenge I participate in every year is the Back to the Classics Challenge hosted by Karen at Books and Chocolate.  I’m under the mistaken impression that because I read mainly classics, that this challenge will be easy to complete.  Ha!  My 2016 challenge is still lacking three books and one extra review.  I’ll have to go back through my reads and do some fill-ins.  Whether I achieve successful completion is anyone’s guess.

    The 2017 challenge has familiar categorizes and those which have been changed up. Here are the guidelines and rules:

    The challenge will be exactly the same as last year, 12 classic books, but with slightly different categories. You do not have to read 12 books to participate in this.

    • Complete six categories, and you get one entry in the drawing
    • Complete nine categories, and you get two entries in the drawing
    • Complete all twelve categories, and you get three entries in the drawing

    And here are the categories for the 2016 Back to the Classics Challenge:

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

    2.  A 20th Century Classic – any book published between 1900 and 1967. Just like last year, all books MUST have been published at least 50 years ago to qualify. The only exception is books written at least 50 years ago, but published later, such as posthumous publications.

    3.  A classic by a woman author

    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).

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

    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.

    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

    8.  A classic with a number in the title. Examples include A Tale of Two CitiesThree Men in a Boat, Slaughterhouse Five, Fahrenheit 451, etc.

    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. 

    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.

    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.

    12. A Russian Classic2017 will be the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, so read a classic by any Russian author. 

    And now, the rest of the rules:

    • All books must be read in 2017. Books started before January 1, 2017 do not qualify. All reviews must be linked to this challenge by December 31, 2017. I’ll post links each category the first week of January which will be featured on a sidebar on this blog for the entire year. 
    • You must also post a wrap-up review and link it to the challenge no later than December 31, 2017. Please include links within your final wrap-up to that I can easily confirm all your categories. 
    • 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.
    • E-books and audiobooks are eligible! You may also count books that you read for other challenges.
    • Books may NOT cross over within this challenge. You must read a different book for EACH category, or it doesn’t count.
    • Children’s classics are acceptable, but please, no more than 3 total for the challenge.
    • If you do not have a blog, you may link to reviews on Goodreads or any other publicly accessible online format. 
    • The deadline to sign up for the challenge is March 1, 2017. After that, I will close the link and you’ll have to wait until the next year! Please include a link to your original sign-up post, not your blog URL. 
    • You do NOT have to list all the books you’re going to read for the challenge in your sign-up post, but it’s more fun if you do! Of course, you can change your list any time. Books may also be read in any order. 
    • The winner will be announced on this blog the first week of January, 2018. All qualifying participants will receive one or more entries, depending on the number of categories completed. One winner will be selected at random for all qualifying entries. The winner will receive a gift certificate in the amount of $30 (US currency) from either OR $30 worth of books from The Book Depository. The winner MUST live in a country that will receive shipments from one or the other. For a list of countries that receive shipments from The Book Depository, click here

    Possible choices could be:

    • The Histories
    • City of God
    • The Taming of the Shrew
    • Travels with a Donkey in Cevennes
    • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
    • The Twelve Caesars
    • Shirley
    • The Mill on the Floss
    • O Pioneers!
    • The Merchant of Venice
    • A Small House at Allington
    • The Last Chronicle of Barset
    • 1984
    • Dr. Zhivago
    • One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
    • We
    • Crime and Punishment
    • Dead Souls

    With a dearth of challenges that have been catching my eye for 2017, this one should get some particular focus.  Wish me luck and if you’d like to participate, pop over to Karen’s blog and join the fun!