Challenges Update

Was it just me, or did you also do a double-take upon seeing the first announcements about the various 2012 Reading Challenges?

(If you haven’t seen any yet, they’re out there … and there are some good ones, too.)

My first reaction was akin to the feeling you get when you spot Christmas decorations in the stores before the 4th of July.  “Already?! We’re thinking about next year’s challenges already?!”

Indeed we are.

I have done a complete 360 degree turn on reading challenges.  I started off clueless about them, then swore they were not for me, then tried one or two … and before I knew it, at the beginning of this year I had signed myself up for 16 reading challenges.  Sixteen!

So here’s where they all stand, as we look at two more months left this year.

Challenges I’ve Completed
1. Audiobook Challenge (hosted by Teresa’s Reading Corner)
My goal was 3 audiobooks for this one and I actually listened to 6.

Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime, by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin
Mockingbird, by Kathryn Erskine
American Salvage, Stories by Bonnie Jo Campbell
I Curse the River of Time, by Per Petterson
The Box: Tales from the Darkroom, by Gunter Grass
Reading Jackie: Her Autobiography in Books, by William Kuhn
Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen

2. Fearless Poetry Challenge (hosted by Savvy Verse and Wit)
Only one book of poetry is needed to complete this challenge.  I’ve read 3.
Picnic, Lightning by Billy Collins
Poems by Emily Dickinson, Third Series
Best American Poetry 2010, guest edited by Amy Gerstler

3. New Authors (hosted by Literary Escapism)
My goal was to read 15 new authors this year and I’ve surpassed that with 20 new authors read to date.  You probably don’t care about seeing a whole list of them, right?

Challenges I’m Still Working On and Will Probably Complete
1. 2nds Challenge, hosted by A Few More Pages.  I’m slightly more than halfway finished with this one, having read 4 of the 6 required books for the “few more bites” level.  This challenge is all about reading a second book (to you, not necessary chronological) by a particular author or the second book in a series.

Innocence, by Jane Mendelsohn
The Unnamed, by Joshua Ferris
The Monsters of Templeton, by Lauren Groff
By Nightfall, by Michael Cunningham

2. Chunkster Challenge
Hosted by Wendy at Caribou’s Mom, this one requires one to read books that are 450 pages or more.  I signed up to read four such books and am at … zero.  However, since this goes until January 31, I’m not too concerned.

3. E-Book Challenge
Hosted by The Ladybug Reads, I’ve signed up to read 6 e-books and so far I’m at 2.

Poems by Emily Dickinson, Third Series Complete
The Monsters of Templeton, by Lauren Groff

4. Essay Reading Challenge

I haven’t read any of the 10 essays I’ve signed up to read in this challenge, hosted By: Books and Movies, but this is definitely doable.

5. GLBT Challenge
I’ve read 3 books about GLBT topics and/or by GLBT authors, even though my personal goal is 5.  Another one that is definitely doable.

Room, by Emma Donoghue
The Kid by Dan Savage
By Nightfall, by Michael Cunningham

“What the Hell Was I Thinking?!” Challenges (or, Challenges I Have Some Serious Doubts About My Ability to Finish)

1. 50 States
This one is hosted by Book Obsessed and requires participants to read one book set in each of the 50 states. I’m at 7 out of 50 right now.  (California, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York – with six books! – Pennsylvania, and Virginia.) Truthfully, I knew this challenge was a long shot for me when I signed up.  I just thought it would be yet another fun way to track my reading (’cause I’m kinda nerdy like that).

2. Foodies Challenge, hosted by Margot on its own blog at Foodies Reading Challenge.
I may have bitten off more than I can chew by signing up to read 12+ books (the Glutton level, no less) related to food in some way. I’ve only read these two:
Recipes from the Root Cellar: 270 Fresh Ways to Enjoy Winter Vegetables, by Andrea Chesman
American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Half Its Food (and what we can do about it), by Jonathan Bloom

3. I know, I only have one more book to go for the Nordic Challenge, hosted by Zee from Notes from the North, but I’m pessimistic because I didn’t like the first book I chose:
I Curse the River of Time, by Per Petterson

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