Monday, June 18, 2012

Reading Challenge Update

Ho hum. I have barely thought about my reading challenges since I first signed up for them. Isn't that awful? I got it in my head that if I signed up for them and started my own, I would make more time for both reading and blogging, two activities I love doing. Oh well. Best laid plans and all that.

I really appreciate everyone who is taking part in the Merely Mystery Challenge. You all are doing so well, and you've even given me ideas of books to read for some of the categories. I can't thank you enough. As a way to say thank you, I am giving away a book of your choice (up to $30 value) to one challenge participant at the end of the month. You don't have to do anything other than make sure you signed up for the challenge and have posted at least one review between the start of the challenge in January and the end of June (evidenced by linking the review in the monthly/bimonthly Mr. Linky here at Musings of a Bookish Kitty--see sidebar). For each review linked, participants will receive one entry--so, the more reviews you have, the more entries! The winner of the giveaway will be announced in early July. So, your job? Make sure you've added your reviews to Mr. Linky by June 30th!

As for all those other challenges I signed up for . . . I haven't been reading to meet any of the challenge requirements, but, taking a look at the criteria, I see I've met some of them unwittingly. I say that's progress! In a round about sort of way, at least. Mostly though, I suppose one can say I have a lot of reading to do between now and the beginning of the new year if I expect to finish any of them!

The Eclectic Reader Challenge
Literary Fiction
Crime/Mystery Fiction - No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Crombie
Romantic Fiction
Historical Fiction
Young Adult - Archon by Sabrina Benulis
Fantasy - Dark Time by Dakota Banks
Science Fiction - Under the Skin by Michel Faber
Non Fiction - Catherine the Great: A Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie
Thriller /Suspense - The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes by Marcus Sakey
Your favourite genre - Mystery - A Trick of the Light by Louise Penney

If I go by this challenge alone, I would say I am doing fairly well, wouldn't you?  Don't look at my poor progress on the other challenges then, please.  I currently am reading Stephen King's The Stand which will fit nicely under the horror category.  And then that would knock out my commitment to read one book for the Stephen King Project as well.  I considered counting Charles Todd's An Unmarked Grave as Historical Fiction for the Eclectic Reader Challenge but I wasn't sure if it qualified.  I kind of feel like that would be cheating given the challenge is to read books from a variety of genres, and a Bess Crawford mystery set during World War I certainly is historical--but it's also very much a mystery.  Then there is Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness, which takes place mostly in the late 1590's.  The vampire/witch thing makes me wonder if it would be a little too out there for the historical fiction category as well.

Essay Reading Challenge
I challenged myself to read at least 10 essays this year, which I knocked out at the beginning of the year when I read Between Interruptions: 30 Women Tell the Truth about Motherhood edited by Cori Howard . Although I began the book in 2011, I read the majority of the essays in January of 2012. I also read and reviewed Orwell's essay entitled "Shooting an Elephant" by George Orwell. While there is some speculation that it is more a story than an essay, it is considered an essay by most reputable sources.  I currently am listening to Me Talk Pretty One Day, a collection of essays by David Sedaris.

What's in a Name Challenge 5
A book with a topographical feature
A book with something you'd see in the sky in the title - My husband told me that a Trick of the Light does not qualify.  Although, I could argue this one.  There are many tricks of the light in the sky.  Rainbows for one.  Or what about an Archon?  That's an angel, right?  Why wouldn't you see one of those in the sky sometime?
A book with a creepy crawly in the title
A book with a type of house in the title - My husband says a grave doesn't count as a type of house because vampires only sometimes sleep in one.  They don't actually live in one.  And dead people, well, they don't count.  Otherwise, I'd have met this requirment. 
A book with something you'd carry in your pocket, purse, or backpack in the title: Shapeshifter: The Demo Tapes, Year 1 by Susan Helene Gottfried (Finally!  Something that fits!  Because I do carry music in my purse now and then.)
A book with a something you'd find on a calendar in the title - I think a person could find a cut on a calendar.  You know, like a rip.  No?  Well, it was a stretch. 

Clearly I am doing abysmally at the What's in a Name Challenge.  So far.  There's still time!  Don't count me out just yet.

Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
Aha!  A challenge where I can actually count Charles Todd's An Unmarked Grave (review to go up this week) because the rules say so.  I thought of counting Before the Poison by Peter Robinson due to the World War II story thread, but decided against it since it mostly takes place in modern times. I also recently read Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness, which takes place mostly in the late 16th Century, which I think would qualify for this challenge, given very little of the book is set in modern times.  I got to spend time with quite a few well known historical figures, including Queen Elizabeth.  If I count Shadow of Night and An Unmarked Grave towards this challenge, I've got it in the bag! I need to post my review of Shadow of the Night, of course, and a wrap up will follow later in the year.  Even though I only commited to reading two books for the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge, I'd like to squeeze one or two more in.

Finishing the Series Challenge
I seem to be starting more new series than finishing any of the old ones.  Oops.

Merely Mystery Challenge
The Whodunit: Missing Daughter,Shattered Family by Liz Strange
Locked Room Mystery
The Inverted Detective Story
The Historical Whodunnit: An Unmarked Grave by Charles Todd
The Police Procedural: A Trick of the Light by Louise Penney
The Professional Thriller
The Spy Novel
Caper Stories
The Psychological Suspense - The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes by Marcus Sakey
Spoofs and Parodies

Four is better than none, I suppose. I'll get there.  I can't not finish my own challenge.

So there you have it.  My challenge progress--or lack there of.  How are you progressing with your reading challenges?

© 2012, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.


  1. I need to evaluate my challenge progress as well! I'm doing good with the Merely Mystery challenge but I don't think I've linked up any of my reviews. Whoops ;) Good luck with all of these challenges!

    1. Samantha - Hurry up and get those links in so you can be entered in the giveaway! :-)

      I haven't linked any of my reviews either, I'm so bad.

  2. I have some challenges that I have done really well at but others, not so much!

    I have a few categories in the What's in a Name challenge that I am going to struggle with. I totally think light counts, but do think you might be grasping a bit for graves!

    And yay for meeting the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge!

    1. Marg - Thanks! I am glad the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge is so broad in scope in terms of genre. It makes it easier for someone like me who loves crossovers. I do want to read some more traditional historical fiction this year if I can swing it though.

      Yeah, graves for house doesn't really fit. :-) Since you say light is okay for the sky category, I think I'll go ahead and count it. Two against one! I was eying a book with the word "child" in the title the other day and am considering using that for the creepy crawly category. I mean, they can be creepy and sometimes they crawl . . . Okay, so maybe not. Anyway, I doubt I can count any of the children's board books I've been reading. The Itsy Bitsy Bug book would be perfect.

  3. I have a couple of ongoing challenges/longterm challenges that I've been keeping track of, but other than that I've been taking a break from them. Which is probably good because I haven't really kept up at all with even the ongoing ones this year.

    Good luck with your challenge reading for the rest of the year!

    1. Alyce - I probably should have refrained from challenges this year and think maybe will do so next year. I haven't put any pressure on myself, but I haven't made too much of an effort to keep up either.

      Thank you for the good luck wishes!

  4. Ugh to the challenges,I'm falling behind in my reading this late spring again. I haven't even read many mysteries for your challenge, so this must change!

    1. My reading seems to have slowed down a bit. I blame summer. It's having the opposite effect on me than it does on almost everyone else. LOL No pressure with the mystery challenge. Read what you can when you can. :-)

  5. One of these days I will spend a lot of time over at my challenge blog. I know for a fact that I have done well in some categories while others...not so good!! LOL!! It's all fun though right?

    1. Staci - Yes, it is all in fun! That's what I kept telling myself as I put together this post. LOL


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