Literary Quote of the Month

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Sunday Salon and Reading Challenges 2014

It's Sunday! It's that time of the week where we talk books! It's The Sunday Salon! Grab a cup of Joe, find yourself a comfy chair and relax!

This week we're not going to talk about books, but book (a.k.a. reading) challenges. I was trying to explain to someone what a reading challenge was this week. The best way to describe a reading challenge is that it's a New Year's resolution for readers. It's a way for us to manage our "piles", force us out of our comfort zone, challenge us to go beyond our normal reading. Some people resolve to quit smoking, I resolve to read my TBR pile! OK, so here's the low down on reading challenges… out there in the virtual reading rooms across the internet there are bloggers who invite everyone and anyone who has access to a computer to join their reading challenge. It's like a virtual get together with other readers who want to accomplish the same goal. Sometimes there are prizes, sometimes it's just the satisfaction of meeting the challenge. Usually you can chat with others participating in the challenge to see how they are doing. And definitely there's a spot somewhere to share what books you read to meet the criteria of the challenge. The hosts of these reading challenges make the "rules", but the goal of all of them is to enjoy reading books. No pressure, just fun.

I've participated in reading challenges for years. Usually I'm a bit over ambitious with what I sign up for and intend to read, but that's OK. No one is going to punish you for not finishing. Remember the ultimate goal is to have fun and read books! I've searched the blogosphere for some great reading challenges hosted by some great bloggers, and here they are…

2014 Chunkster Challenge 2014, hosted by Vasilly at 1330v - Thoughts of an Eclectic Reader. One of my favorite challenges. Basically if you enjoy FAT books, this is a challenge for you! A Chunkster is an adult or YA book that is 450 pages or more. This year audiobooks and ebooks are allowed! There are no levels this year either, so just one Chunkster will meet the challenge, but what kind of a challenge is just one?! You can read all about it at The Chunkster Challenge Blog. I signed up for this one…

2014 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge, hosted by Historical Tapestry. Historical fiction is such a wonderful read if you love traveling "literally" to other countries. There are 6 levels of participation to this challenge, with the beginning level being "20th Century reader", where you need to read 2 books to meet the challenge. Click on the Challenge title to read all about it, and find out how to sign up.

The Dystopian Reading Challenge 2014, hosted by Ula of Blog of Erised. Another genre that I enjoy reading. Think Hunger Games and you'll understand Dystopian. There are 4 levels, the first level challenge is to read 1 - 6 books. Very easy! You can get more info on the challenge, suggested reading and find where to sign up at Blog of Erised. I signed up for this one too...

The Graphic Novels Reading Challenge, hosted by Nicola of It's All Comic to Me. What can I say, I am a closet Graphic Novel junkie. OK, maybe I've come out of the closet somewhat, but some people still scratch their heads when you share with them the graphic novel you're reading. This is the 7th year for this reading challenge and if you usually don't read graphic novels or Manga (that counts towards the challenge too) this may be a good challenge for you to get you to step out of the box. Beginners level of the challenge calls for 12 books over the course of the year. I signed up for this one...

Romance Reading Challenge 2014, hosted by Naida of ...the bookworm… Romance is in the air! And this challenge includes all types of romance- contemporary, historical, suspense. As long as there is romance between the two main characters, it counts. For the challenge you need to choose 5 romances to read, but you only need to read and review one to meet the challenge. Nonbloggers, or those without a website, can review their books on sites like Goodreads or LibraryThing. Naida is also having a giveaway for participants who complete the challenge. Click on the Challenge Title above to read all about it.

Erotic Reading Challenge 2014, hosted by Herding Cats and Burning Soup. Up for a little romance? How about something a bit steamier? Well this challenge is for you! Minimum read is 12 erotic books. If you're not a blogger, you can participate by through Goodreads, LibraryThing or one of those other platforms. Click on the challenge title for info about signing up.

2014 TBR Pile Reading Challenge, hosted by the ladies at Bookish. TBR means "To Be Read" and refers to those books you enthusiastically bought, but just never got around to reading. I have quite a few of those. There are 6 levels. The intro level is called A Firm Handshake, with a goal of between 1 and 10 books. Click on the Challenge title to find out all the information on the challenge and where to sign up.

2014 Book Bingo Challenge, hosted by Anne from Creativities Corner & Kristilyn of Reading in Winter. This challenge looks like so much fun! Anne and Kristilyn have made up a Bingo card with specific tasks in each spot. The top of the Bingo card lists TBR, Mix it Up, Series, Genres, and New Releases. I may have to attempt to do this challenge just because it really looks like so much fun, although there are a lot of books to this challenge. Check out the challenge, get all the info about it and check out the Bingo card by clicking on the link on the challenge title above.

Southern Literature Challenge 2014, hosted by Jennifer from The Introverted Reader. There are so many wonderful Southern writers and Southern settings that it's almost a no brainer to participate in this challenge. Coming to mind are The Help, To Kill a Mockingbird, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil… what great reading! Minimum to meet the challenge is just one book! OK, I'm signing up for this… Jennifer provides links to reading suggestions, places to share your reads if you are not a blogger, and all the information on the Southern Literature Challenge at The Introverted Reader.

The 2014 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge, hosted by Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book. Another fun reading challenge! You fill in the alphabet as you read during the year. So, The Help would be for the letter H, or Flowers in the Attic would be for F. No specific genre, just one book for each letter of the alphabet. Get all the details, & a link for suggestions for some of those difficult letters at the Reading Challenge website link above.

Goodreads 2013 & 2014 reading Challenge, hosted by Goodreads. No specific requirement, challenges or rules. Basically you challenge yourself and discuss what you're reading, your reading challenges etc. with like minded people. Nice to be able to chat virtually with other readers, and nice to have no pressure to read period. Click on the Challenge title to find out more info.

*Reading Challenges Update…
Immigrant Stories Challenge 2014 hosted by Colleen from Books in City. There are so many stories involving immigrants. The only requirement for the challenge is that books read must include an immigrant story. Now this came be immigration from any country to another. And you need only read 1 book to meet the challenge! Read all about it by clicking on the link on the challenge title! And Colleen says she will be hosting the Ireland Reading Challenge.

**Colleen also left a comment here, about a great resource for finding even more reading challenges! If you go over to visit the ladies of A Novel Challenge, there are over a dozen more reading challenges to read about! Thanks Colleen for sharing!

There are reading challenges for almost any taste. These are only a sampling of what's out there. Google "reading challenges 2014" and you will find many more. Goodreads is a great host for your personal reading challenge. What kind of goals can you set for yourself? Reading 50 books? Reading every book on your bookshelf that's been collecting dust? How about reading something you've never read before, like sic-fi?

Joining one of these challenges is more than challenging yourself to read, it's a great way to meet other readers, discover great reading blogs, and find new books to read. I've already joined more than I should, but 2014 will be a year filled with reading!

Weekly ReCap…

*January 1st marked the start of the new year, and this means your first read of the year too! No matter when you start that book in 2014, it will be your first. Motivated by Vasilly of 1330v~ Thoughts of an Eclectic Reader and prompted by Sheila of Book Journey, who is hosting the First Book of 2014 meme, I chose a book to officially start the year. That book was The Unwelcomed Child by V.C. Andrews. Great book and a great start to the year! You can read all about it at The First Book of 2014 post.

*I finished my first book of the year! Yah! First bit of horror in a LONG time, but it was really good! Here's my REVIEW of The Unwelcomed Child by V.C. Andrew.

*I started a new book this week after finishing my first book of the year… it's Three Souls by Janie Chang and it is absolutely wonderful! I posted a little teaser of it in First Lines Friday. I actually finished the book last night and am just lingering in the moment for a while because it was just that good. I will review it this week, but in the meantime I'll give you a brief 6 word sentence to describe it:  You Will Want To Read This. Love, lust, betrayal, revenge, friendship. Chinese superstitions, ghosts, and Chinese traditions all set with the backdrop of pre WWII China. The Lovely Bones meets Amy Tan. There it is - my teaser, but seriously it will probably be one of my favorite reads this year. It has a Feb. 25th publishing date.

I hope I've sparked some interest in reading challenges today! Share what reading challenges you've enjoyed and how you're reading may have changed because of it. This week I've posted most of my reading challenges. Check them out at Reading Challenges 2014 or click on the badge on my side bar. I have 3 (OK, maybe more) more challenges to add to the list and I'll be posting about them Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

Happy reading challenge… Suzanne


Vasilly said...

I love this post!! If I ever have to explain reading challenges to someone, this will be the post I reference.

Thanks for highlighting the Chunkster Challenge. Some if these challenges I didn't know existed like the TBR one. I'm off to sign up. Happy Sunday!

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Vasilly! Thanks for stopping by and heck, it's because of you that I got into these challenges this year! First the Chunkster Challenge and then it went from there…. I was trying to resist the TBR challenge, but you know… Ok, I'm signing up for that one too! Have a great week!

Booksnyc said...

What a great round up of challenges! I will be also doing one for the TBR and The Southern Lit Challenge. I also hosting the Immigrant Stories Challenge and the Ireland Reading Challenge. The website A Novel Challenge provides a listing of all the challenges out there - its a good resource.

Good luck with all your reading this year!

Unknown said...

What an amazing list of challenges. I'll have to take part in a couple of them. I've already started GoodReads reading challenge to read 50 novels this year, I'll have to add to that.

Harvee said...

I have joined the Goodreads Reading challenge, the 100 Book Challenge by Book Chick City as well as the 100+ Books by Freda's Voice. I also will contribute to Immigrants Reading Challenge and the Poetry Challenge by Savvy Verse and Wit.
Book Dilettante

Dana Huff said...

We are participating in some of the same reading challenges! Good luck and Happy New Year!

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Every year (for the past three), I've participated in a challenge about my TBR piles.

It does help, even though I keep adding to the piles. The overall numbers have decreased, however.

I haven't read anything by V. C. Andrews, but I loved the movie Flowers in the Attic. There's an updated version coming as a TV movie mid January.


Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Booksync! Thanks for sharing your challenges and the resources at A Novel Challenge! I've posted it all today in an update on the post! Immigrant stories are included in many great novels, what a great challenge to host!

I have been eyeing that TBR reading challenge. I could use it!

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Doris!
I was definitely thinking about the 50 book challenge. I never counted up my books at the end of the year and think I probably would reach at least 50. I'm going to keep track this year and see .

Have fun with your challenges!

Suzanne Yester said...

Harvee you are such a voracious reader! I don't dare even look at those 100 book reading challenges! ;-) Thanks for mentioning the Poetry Reading Challenge - that is something I may be able to fit in!

Enjoy the challenges! I look forward to seeing your updates!

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Dana!
We will have to compare some challenge notes! Have fun with them!

Suzanne Yester said...

Laurel-Rain if getting my TBR pile down is easier by joining the challenge I may have to consider that! I overdid the challenge desire plate, but TBR shouldn't be a problem either!

Enjoy your reading & challenges!

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