I’m trying to go challenge-lite this year as I overdid it a tad last year. Though that’s not to say I was entirely unsuccessful I just thought of them more as “well I’ll be reading that genre anyway so why not?” than as challenges. So here are a small handful of challenges for myself. If you’re interested, the buttons link to the sign up pages and there are more on the challenge page for a little while that I had been considering also.

My 2013 Sign-Ups

The New Year’s Resolutions Challenge is actually an idea I had had. I found Livia had set it up before I’d even considered any sort of ground rules and figured I’d be best off joining rather than hosting, especially after my miserable excuse for a challenge in 2012!

My 2013 Resolutions
  • Focus less on books for review and more on what I want to read. There is so much out there that I have never read but didn’t have time over the past couple of years because I was so heavily focused on review books so this year I’m planning to try some of these must reads.
  • Read more epic fantasy, classics, and more of what I fancy at the time. Don’t let myself feel like I have to read a certain genre when I’m not in the mood, that’s how reading slumps happen. Just read for the pure joy of it. Become more well read in the genres I love.
  • Get writing. I want to be a published author, I now have the privacy and the laptop to take advantage of it with, it’s time to get writing seriously this year.

I’ve always wanted to take a look at the “must reads” lists and this could be the perfect opportunity. I’ve read a small handful of them but nowhere near enough. This challenge focuses on the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, but there are many, many other lists including BBC Big Reads and the newer Goodreads 100-Fiction, both of which I imagine would have a lot of crossover, so I shall take a look and get around to some of those books I have always meant to get around to. Three birds with one stone! These following books aren’t a definite list but are books I’ll be considering reading in 2013.

A Handful I’d Like To Read (Finally)

I may make a page for the 1001 featured that I have read and have yet to read to keep track but for now, here’s a few I particularly want to aim to get around to soon.

  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  • Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  • The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  • Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  • Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  • Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murukami
  • Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Not On 1001 But On The Others And Should Be

While I’m not reading these for the 1001 challenge as I’m sure that’s technically cheating, they come under the ‘must read’ category and feature on the other two lists I’ve linked up.. and I really should read them.

  • His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  • The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
  • Dune by Frank Herbert
  • The Stand by Stephen King
  • Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
  • Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding
  • Magician by Raymond E Feist
  • The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
  • The Odyssey by Homer
  • The Princess Bride by William Goldman
  • Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  • Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

This one will have a lot of tie-in with other challenges I’ve signed up to, but it also has specific goals of its’ own.

  • A 19th Century Classic
  • A 20th Century Classic
  • A Pre-18th or 18th Century Classic
  • A Classic that relates to the African-American Experience – This can be an African-American author, or a book relating to slavery, civil rights, or African-American culture.
  • A Classic Adventure
  • A Classic that prominently features an Animal – This can feature animal characters or animals in the title (real or imagined)

I’ll try to choose these from the 1001 Books list, which shouldn’t be too hard, or the other ‘must read’ lists.

There are a fair few challenges that focus on choosing books based on finding certain keywords within titles and I love the sound of all of them but in the end decided that What’s in a Name would suit me and my other challenges the best. All it asks you to do is read six books, one in each of the following categories.

  • A book with up or down (or equivalent) in the title: Deep down True, The Girl Below, The Diva Digs up the Dirt
  • A book with something you’d find in your kitchen in the title: Loose Lips Sink Ships, The Knife of Never Letting Go, Breadcrumbs
  • A book with a party or celebration in the title: A Feast for Crows, A Wedding in Haiti, Cocktail Hour under the Tree of Forgetfulness
  • A book with fire (or equivalent) in the title: Burning for Revenge, Fireworks over Toccoa, Catching Fire
  • A book with an emotion in the title: Baltimore Blues, Say You’re Sorry, Dreams of Joy
  • A book with lost or found (or equivalent) in the title: The Book of Lost Fragrances, The World We Found, A Discovery of Witches

Amanda and Kelly hosted (correct me if I’m wrong) a mini challenge during the Summer to catch up on series we’ve started but not yet finished. Well I didn’t have time at that point to join in but with my New Years Resolutions, I want to focus more on the books I want to read. And that means catching up on my series. I may look at some series that I haven’t yet started but here are the few I’ve started and not gotten around to continuing with yet.

  • Tawny Man/Fool’s Trilogy by Robin Hobb. – I’ve read book one, need to read two and three and finish this one off!
  • Sookie Stackhouse (aka True Blood) by Charlaine Harris. – I’m partway through book four and would love to finally catch up here.
  • Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger – Have read book one, Soulless, and own 2, 3, 4, and 5 but haven’t had chance to get back to it.
  • Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin – Another I have read book one of. Started book two, own 3 and 4 as well, would like to catch up.
  • Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins – Again, I read book one, haven’t read 2 or 3.
  • Women of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong – I’m starting to feel like a broken record but this is why I’ve signed up for this challenge. I’ve been collecting the rest of the series slowly knowing I’ll read them and haven’t yet.
  • Assassin’s Rising series by S.B. Sebrick. – This is a self published epic fantasy series that I shall be reviewing in the new year. I have book two to get started on and there are 1 or 2 others after that one as well, would really like to see where Sebrick’s series goes.
  • Alex Craft by Kalayna Price – I still have to read book three and get hold of book four when it’s released. Adore this series.
  • Songs of Magic by J.L. Bryan – So much fun! I have 2, 3, and 4 to read here and intend to.
I’ll be going for the “Semi-serious” level in series started before and in 2013 though that’s not to say I won’t end up doing more.

Now hosted by Kelly and Amanda (who I am fairly sure are joined at the hip by now), I’m once again signing up to Why Buy the Cow? Why? Well… you see how many freebies I pick up month after month! I have hundreds sat unread and I’d really like to finally read a few of them. I pick them up for a reason after all. I failed pretty miserably last year totalling just 1 freebie read, so this year I’m determined to do better. I just don’t read very fast and I’m not good at reading through noise and distractions. Still! The minimum is 12 and I’ll do my darned best to get there. This is my freebie list which I occasionally rearrange for funsies.

So: 6 this year! Let’s see what I can do with these. How many challenges are you signing up for this year and which ones?