The Deal-Me-In Challenge for 2019 is here!

Deal Me In Challenge Classical Carousel

Yay!  The Deal Me In Challenge is here again!  Many thanks to Jay at Bibliophilopolis for hosting this challenge which has helped me to read many more Short Stories, Essays, Poetry and Children’s Books than I ever would have without it.

The rules are simple.  Choose short stories to correspond to each card in a deck of cards. Then draw one card each week and read the story that corresponds.

What do you need for this challenge?

  1. Access to at least fifty-two short stories (or other …. see my altered challenge below)
  2. A deck of cards
  3. An average of perhaps as little as just thirty minutes of reading time each week

Each year, I’ve altered the challenge giving each suit a category to my personal tastes:

  • Clubs – Short Stories
  • Spades – Essays
  • Diamonds – Poetry
  • Hearts – Children’s Stories

Boy Playing With Cards Jean Baptiste Chardin

Here is my list of titles for 2019:


Deal Me In Challenge 2019

Clubs – Short Stories

A – Signs and Symbols – Vladimir Nabakov

2 – Cabbages and Kings – O’Henry

3 – Love – Leo Tolstoy

4 – The Queen of Spades – Alexander Pushkin

5 – The Yellow Wallpaper – Charlotte Gilman

6 – The Story of A Farm Girl – Guy Maupassant

7 – The Birds – Anton Chekhov

8 – The Hammer of God (Father Brown) – G.K. Chesterton

9 – The Diary of a Madman – Guy Maupassant

10 – Doubtful Happiness – Guy Maupassant

J – The Unpresentable Appearance of Colonel Crane – G.K. Chesterton

Q – The Honest Thief – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

K – The Mark on the Wall – Virginia Woolf


Spades – Essays

A – A Midsummer Night’s Dream – G.K. Chesterton

2 – On A Faithful Friend – Virginia Woolf

3 – A Note on Jane Austen – C.S. Lewis

4 – In Defence of Literacy – Wendell Berry

5 – The Tyranny of Bad Journalism – G.K. Chesterton

6 – The Hotel of a Total Stranger – E.B. White

7 – Sex, Economy, Freedom and Community – Wendell Berry

8 – Sense – C.S. Lewis

9 – An Apology for Idlers – Robert Louis Stevenson

10 – Reflections on Gandhi – George Orwell

J – The End of the World – G.K. Chesterton

Q – Self-Reliance – Ralph Waldo Emerson

K – On Going A Journey – William Hazlitt


Diamonds – Poetry

A – Phoenix and the Turtle – William Shakespeare

2 – From Milton [Jerusalem] – William Blake

3 – Ode to the West Wind – Percy Bysshe Shelley

4 – A Sea Dirge – Lewis Carroll

5 – To A Mouse – Robert Burns

6 – Gesang Der Geister Über Den Wassern – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

7 – Ode III – Fray Luis de León

8 – Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night – Dylan Thomas

9 – It Is A Beauteous Evening – William Wordsworth

10 – Love Sonnet XIII – Pablo Neruda

J – The Mad Gardener’s Song – Lewis Carroll

Q – Resolution and Independence – William Wordsworth

K – Sonnet XXIII – Garcilaso de la Vega


Hearts – Children’s Stories

A – City of the Golden House – Madeleine Polland

2 – Sprig of Broom – Barbara Willard

3 – Teddy’s Button – Amy Lefeuvre

4 – Just David – Eleanor H. Porter

5 – Beyond the Desert Gate – Mary Ray

6 – A Triumph for Flavius – Caroline Dale Snedecker

7 – The Story of the Treasure Seekers – E. Nesbit

8 – Detectives in Togas – Henry Winterfeld

9 – Shadow Hawk – Andre Norton

10 – The Spartan – Caroline Dale Snedecker

J – Three Greek Children – Alfred J. Church

Q – Red Sails to Capri – Ann Weil

K – The Bronze Bow – Elizabeth George Speare

Here are my other Deal Me In Challenges for previous years:

I can’t wait to get started for this coming year!  If you want to join us, please sign up here!


Deal Me In Challenge Classical Carousel

18 thoughts on “The Deal-Me-In Challenge for 2019 is here!

    • Lol! Perhaps you can get them to send a kick-in-the-pants too, to get me going. I need to tally my count over 5 years and see if I’ve even reached 52. In any case, thanks for thinking of this wonderful challenge and all the best to you in the new year!

  1. Thank you and same to you! I read my stories for 2018, but my blogging about them has slowed to a trickle this year. It’s one of my resolutions in the new year to get back on track as well. We’ll see how that goes…

      • I intellectually accept that some people are really moved by poetry. I just don’t don’t happen to be one of them. I get more edification from reading a soup can label than I do poetry.

        I’ve tried enough times to read poetry to realize that it isn’t worth the struggle to me.

        And honestly, the older I get, the less I like “challenges” in my hobby. Whatever label they get called, they become weights around my neck instead of something to spur me on. Now that I’ve got my reading rotation down to science, I’ve no need either 🙂

  2. It’s so cool that you do this every year. I would really like to do it too, but I have too much already for 2019, given what my work schedule will be…and coming up with 52 short things to read is such a lot!

    • Oh, I do hope you join! You’re so well-read, your choices will be fascinating!

      And I’m so glad I picked a good one out of thin air. 🙂

  3. I’m impressed that you’ve attempted this challenge so often – I’ve found that it’s more than I can do, at least consistently. Or maybe it’s too restricting to me! 🙂 Good luck and I hope you enjoy all your selections.

    • Thanks, Amanda! It forces me to read excellent writing that is out of my comfort zone. So in that way it’s been enormously beneficial. Even if I only get through 20% of it!

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