Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday Salon: 2010 Challenge Edition, Part One

The Sunday I say Part One, because if I listed ALL of the challenges I'd like to join for 2010, I think Blogger would probably crash on me!! Sorry this is posted so late. Almost Monday. Oh well. Better late than not at all!

Isn't it funny how you can plan an entire year's worth of reading in one sitting, right here in front of the computer?? Actually, it's not all that difficult for me. I don't read nearly as many books in a year as a lot of you do. In fact, I actually think I read LESS books now that I've started blogging that I did before. BUT the quality of book has gone up, if that makes any sense. I was trying to figure out why the other day, and I finally realized that blogging/twitter time and reading time takes up the same allotment!! I only have so many free hours in a week. If I'm on the computer, I'm not reading. And vise versa. Probably why I've been offline so much lately. I've been immersed in The Ask and the Answer. OMG. I don't know if I can possibly wait for the next book!! SO GOOD!!

But....on to the topic at hand. 2010 Challenges and Group Reads. Oh my. There are SO MANY fun ones out there, it's just a matter of where start!! I know, I know. I rarely finish. But I like the JOINING. And the LISTS. If I actually finish, then I can bask in the glow of accomplishment. Otherwise, I meet cool people, read great reviews, increase my TBR and have fun. Nothing wrong with all that!! So, I've been keeping a list over the last few months of all the great challenges that are coming out for 2010. Thought I would make one post for all. WRONG! I went back to my list tonight, and realized that 24 challenges and 2 read-a-longs. And that's not even including the Once Upon a Time or the RIP challenge that Carl hosts yearly. So, I'll make a couple of posts and weed out the ones that I'm really looking forward to joining:

2009 marked the year that I read my first Graphic Novel. And my second...and third. You get the picture?? So, I knew that the first thing I would do in 2010 would be to join the GN Challenge. Hosted this year by my friends, Nymeth and Chris, the Graphic Novels Challenge 2010 is here.


  • The challenge starts on January 1st 2010 and ends on December 31st (but we don't mind you starting early.)
  • you don't have to make a list beforehand (but you can, of course! Lists are great because they give ideas to people who aren't sure what to read. And if you do make one, don't feel forced to stick to it!)
  • We simplified the levels of participation: you can be a Beginner (3 Comics or Graphic Novels), Intermediate (3-10) or an Expert (10+). You're more than free to adjust your level of participation after the challenge has begun.
  • There will be mini-challenges! Look for a post with more info on that soon.
  • Overlaps with other challenges are totally fine.

I don't have a set reading list yet, but my brother sent me some suggestions, so I'm definitely going to be reading a lot of Graphic Novels this year!! Among them:

  • Rest of the Fables Series.
  • Rest of the Sandman Series.
  • Rest of the Preacher Series.
  • Transmetropolitan by Warren Ellis.
  • Locke and Key by Joe Hill
  • The Walking Dead Series by Robert Kirkman
  • Y the Last Man by Brian Vaughn
  • Ex Machina by Brian Vaughn
  • DMZ by Brian Wood.
  • Scalped by Jason Aaron.
  • Bone by Jeff Smith
  • Girl Genius by Kaja and Phil Foglio

Like I said, my brother recommended a LOT of these series. Since most are not available in the library, my reading them will be based on my ability to BUY them. So, we'll see how that goes!!!

Marg, my wonderful friend, from Reading Adventures is hosting the Terry Pratchett 2010 Challenge. Now, I know this actually started this month, but I'm hoping Marg will still let me join!! The challenge will start from 1 December 2009 and run through to 30 November 2010. There are several different levels of participation for you to choose from:
1-3 books - Cashier at Ankh-Morpork Mint
4-5 books - Guard of the City Watch
6-8 books - Academic at the Unseen University
9-10 books - Member of Granny Weatherwax's Coven
10-12 books - Death's Apprentice

You can either be reading the books for the first time, rereading, or even watching the TV adaptations if you like! As long as everyone has fun I will be happy! Please also do not feel limited to only reading the Discworld books as any books by Terry Pratchett will count for this challenge.For a full list of the Discworld books in publication order, check out this page on the author's website for his page at Fantastic Fiction. The number of books either written by Terry Pratchett or about his work is a bit mind boggling really.

I'm hoping to read the entire Discworld Series in the next year or two. Hopefully, I'll be able to slip in one or two or twelve this year! On the list of books I must read are:

  • Nation (not Discworld, but a gift this Christmas)
  • A Hat Full of Sky
  • Wintersmith
  • The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents
  • The Colour of Magic
  • The Light Fantastic
  • Sourcery
  • Eric
  • Interesting Times
  • The Last Continent
  • The Last Hero

Natasha at Maw Books, Amy at My Friend Amy, and Hannah at Word Lily are hosting the 2010 Social Justice Challenge. They have created a dedicated blog for the challenge and write:

Reading opens new worlds to us and can sometimes expose the injustice in our own. We have all been powerfully moved by the injustice we have learned about in books and decided we wanted to host a reading project that would encourage us to learn more about these issues in the world.

The details of the challenge are as follows:

We will focus each month on a different area of social injustice in the world. During that month, we are asking that you read something from the list of resources or watch something suggested by that month’s host. That will complete step one of this challenge: Learn.

Throughout the month we will also be posting ways you can make a difference in this area. Don’t worry, we will provide several different options at many different levels of commitment. The important thing is to take an action step towards doing something to change things! That fulfills step 2–Take Action.

The hosts of this challenge have created several levels of participation for EACH MONTH of the challenge (participants agree to participate each month, but can customize that participation depending on their own individual needs):

Activist–At this level you are agreeing to participate fully in the activities of the month. You will read at least one full length book as well as choosing something from the other media list. You will also complete an action step. By signing up for the challenge, you agree to do a minimum of 3 months at this level. You do not have to decide which months in advance.

Intern–You agree to either read something from the reading resources (it can be an essay or children’s book) or choose to do something from the other media list. You will complete an action step. You do not have to decide which months in advance.

Volunteer– You agree to read at least one of the recommended blog posts, essays or shorter novels. You will complete an action step. You do not have to decide in advance which months they will be.Observer — Need a break? Just follow along with the blog for the month. This month has no commitment level. You can only do a maximum of three months at this level.At the beginning of every month there will be a mister linky where you can link to reviews of what you’ve read and where you share what you’ve learned. The host for the month will recap everyone’s posts and reviews. The resource lists will be continuously updated throughout the year and there will be a weekly recap to let you know what has been added.

The Monthly topics are as follows:

Religious Freedom
Domestic Violence and Child Abuse
AIDS crisis
Illiteracy and Education
Modern Day Slavery
Homelessness & Refugees
Women’s Rights
Child Soldiers and Children in War

SO looking forward to this challenge!!

Amazingly, as much fantasy as I like to read now, I've never read the "Classics". So, one night on Twitter I found out about The Lord of the Rings Readalong.

Starting January 1, 2010, we’ll be reading one book from the series (including The Hobbit) each month with a goal of finishing all four books in April. We’ll be taking turns hosting the readalong, so you can follow our intrepid fellowship of readers around the blogosphere. Here’s where you’ll find us each month:

January: The Hobbit at A Striped Armchair
February: The Fellowship of the Ring at The Literary Omnivore
March: The Two Towers here at Shelf Love
April: The Return of the King at Just Add Books

To join, go to The Lord of the Rings Readalong

Hosted by Darren of Bart's Bookshelf, the TwentyTen Challenge:

The aim is to read a total 20 books, over ten categories, in 2010. (Was this challenge based solely around the name? I’ll let you decide!)
So, on with the categories:

Young Adult Any book classified as young adult or featuring a teenage protagonist counts for this category.

T.B.R. **Intended to help reduce the old T.B.R. pile. Books for this category must be already residents of your bookshelves as of 1/11/09.

Shiny & New Bought a book NEW during 2010 from a bookstore, online, or a supermarket? Then it counts for this category. Second-hand books do not count for this one, but, for those on book-buying bans, books bought for you as gifts or won in a giveaway also count! \

Bad Blogger’s ***Books in this category, should be ones you’ve picked up purely on the recommendation of another blogger count for this category (any reviews you post should also link to the post that convinced you give the book ago).***

Charity Support your local charity shops with this category, by picking up books from one of their shops. Again, for those on book-buying bans, books bought for you as gifts also count, as long as they were bought from a charity shop.

New in 2010 This category is for those books newly published in 2010 (whether it be the first time it is has been released, or you had to wait for it to be published in your country, it counts for this one!)

Older Than You Read two books that were published before you were born, whether that be the day before or 100 years prior!

Win! Win! Have a couple of books you need to read for another challenge? Then this is the category to use, as long that is, you don’t break the rules of the other challenge by doing so!

Who Are You Again? This one isn’t just for authors you’ve never read before, this is for those authors you have never even heard of before!

Up to You!The requirements for this category are up to you! Want to challenge yourself to read some graphic novels? A genre outside your comfort zone? Something completely wild and wacky? Then this is the category to you. The only requirement is that you state it in your sign-up post.

The Rules:
Read 2 books from each category, making a requirement of 20 books total.
The categories are intended to be loose guidelines only, if you decide it fits, then it fits. (Apart from those marked **)
Categories marked with ** have tighter rules, and these must be followed.
Each book can only qualify for one category.
Crossovers with other challenges are allowed. To sign up, go to TwentyTen Reading Challenge


Finally, a new challenge I just found tonight!!

Hosted by Catherine from On the Nightstand and Pam from, is the new Vampire Reading Challenge: Fangtastic Fiction (seriously, who can resist a challenge with a name like that?)

Challenge Levels/Goals

The base challenge here (“Newly Turned”) is to read four books, one from each of the four categories below: classic, horror, romance and young adult. If a book can fit into two categories (or more), simply pick one category and then read another.
Once you have completed that, you can go wild with what books you read for your challenge list, so long as they have vampires in some form as a prominent part. For every additional four books you read, you go up a level. Where the base challenge is the equivalent of the first stages of a vampire, think of each four books as a century added onto their existence.
How old can you go?

First Blood
This is the category for vampire tales that were written prior to 1900. Examples of such books would be:
Dracula – Bram Stoker
Carmilla – Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

Things That Go Bite In The Night
This is the category for works firmly entrenched in the horror genre. Examples of such books would be:
Salem’s Lot – Steven King
Let The Right One In – John Ajvide Lindqvist

Kiss Of The Vampire
This is the category for all books that have romance as one of its main genres/focusses. Examples of such books would be:
Dead Until Dark (etc) – Charlaine Harris
Jessica’s Guide To Dating On The Dark Side – Beth Fantaskey

High School Is Hell
This is the category for all vampire books that fit in the young adult category. Examples of such books would be:
The Vampire Diaries – L.J. Smith
The Morganville Vampires – Rachel Caine

Bonus Challenge/Activity: Screams On Screen
As a bonus challenge/activity, why not take in vampires on the large and small screens as well? Keep track of how many movies or TV seasons you watch, whether it’s Buffy, True Blood or The Vampire Diaries on your TV, or Lost Boys, Underworld or any film adaptation of a vampire novel, and see how many you can total up during the year!
Other Information:

This challenge runs the entire length of 2010, so from January 1 to December 31.

Later, I'll post more challenges, like the Gilmore Girls, GLBT, Flashback, What's in a Name and Essay's Challenges!!


Ana S. said...

Welcome to the GN challenge! It sounds like you have some excellent reading ahead of you, for all of them :)

Eva said...

What fun! I'm like you; I'm suddenly like "There's my reading year!" lol The challenges look fun though. :D And I'm with you-when I have a job again, I expect I'll cut dramatically back on blogging so I still have my reading time. I haven't really been on Twitter this month, and while I miss chatting with all of y'all, I've gotten more reading done in less free time. It's a tricky balance. :)

Lawral the Librarian said...

Planning the year's challenges is so much fun! I didn't participate in too many this past year, but I feel like I'll be overloaded (in a good way) with challenges in 2010!

Also, Patrick Ness published a short story to hold you over until the last Chaos Walking book comes out:

Marg said...

No dramas with joining the Terry Pratchett challenge now. Glad you are joining in regardless.

Serena said...

Wow, great list of challenges. Good luck. I hope you'll consider the 2010 Vietnam War Reading Challenge over at War Through the Generations. WWII was a success this year, so Anna and I are hoping to meet that success in 2010.

Lesley said...

24 challenges - wow! Good luck with the ones you decide to join - I am probably in over my head at this point, too, but there are still a couple more I am planning to sign up for. They are so irresistable!

Marg said...

Just doing the wrap up posts from terry Pratchett challenge, and wanted to take the opportunity to say, miss you! Hope things are coming together for you!

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