Themed Reading Challenge – 2009 – INFO & SIGN UPS


February 1, 2009 – July 31, 2009

The Themed Reading Challenge is a six month challenge designed to help readers clear books from their to-be-read stacks which center around a common theme or themes. Here are the “rules”:

  1. Books should be chosen from the reader’s TBR pile (this may be an actual physical pile or a virtual pile).
  2. The goal is to read 4 to 6 books linked by theme.
  3. Overlaps with other challenges are allowed.
  4. Readers may change their list of books at any time.
  5. Readers may choose three different levels of participation:
  • Read at least 4 books with the same theme.
  • Read at least 5 books that share at least TWO themes.
  • Read at least 6 books that share MORE than two themes.

Themes can be geographic, genre, author, subject matter, or anything in between! Last year’s themes were wonderfully creative and varied and included such things as: books about books, books set in New England, books with a color in the title, books about vampires, books with the word ‘lady’ in the title, Gothic classics, fairy tales retold for adults, highschool classics, Asian culture, feathered friends, WWII, Canada, books in translation, and Beverly Cleary. There were many others I have not listed here!

The only thing limiting your choices is your imagination – so have fun!

Sign-ups for this challenge will close on March 30th. Please use Mr. Linky below to link DIRECTLY TO YOUR POST about the challenge which should include your theme (or themes) and preliminary list of books. As I did last year, I will provide a Mr. Linky for you to link to your reviews for February/March, April/May, and June/July…as well as for your wrap up posts. IF you do not have a blog, you may still participate…please just enter your name in Mr. Linky below with no http link OR leave me a comment on this post.

1. Becky (Theme: Names In The Title/Classics Pubbed before 1920)
2. Lynda (Theme: Women\’s names / classics)
3. Shelly (Write for a Reader)
4. Amy(The Sleepy Reader)
5. Linda
6. Nely
7. Lindy
8. Katrina (Either Contemporary Classics or Move \’em Along)
9. LizzySiddal
10. Arial
11. Sue (Books, Books, magical)
12. J.G. (Guilty Conscience Books)
13. DeSeRt RoSe
14. Veronica (The First Draft)
15. Whitney
16. Jenny
17. TexasRed
18. Cafeshree
19. Kim-(female British authors)
20. Tuesday: (non-fiction) writings by/on artists and writers
21. Jackie (Literary Escapism)
22. Elizabeth W.
23. Susan L.
24. Beth F
25. Amanda (European setting, female author, time period signficant)
26. kim in ohio
27. Sherrie
28. Christina (Babbling Book Reviews)
29. Kailana
30. 3M
31. Judie of Judiefication
32. Quenby (hikaruthedragon)
33. FleurFisher
34. Kat
35. Karin
36. Lexie
37. Darcie (Reading Derby)
38. Shelley (Chain Reading)
39. Vivek Tejuja
40. Natasha @ Maw Books
41. Wendy (Caribousmom)
42. Amanda
43. Sandra (Fresh Ink Books)
44. Shonda
45. lupingirl
46. Brandi @ Project Brandi
47. Sally906
48. C Woods
49. Teddy Rose
50. Adventures in Reading
51. Tiny Librarian
52. raidergirl3
53. Sue
54. Joanna
55. J. Kaye\’s Book Blog
56. Yvonne (Socrates\’ Book Reviews)
57. Jodie
58. Kathrin
59. Book Psmith
60. Kristi (Books and Needlepoint)
61. Twiga
62. Judy (Intergalactic Bookworm)
63. Ms Ulat Buku
64. Jill (The Magic Lasso)
65. Kara
66. Nancy
67. Elizabeth U. @ Wassup Rockers
68. Samantha
69. Amanda
70. Jules (Bookworm Jules)
71. Shaluna
72. Jessica (The Bluestocking Society)
73. Laura (retroredux)
74. Literary Feline
75. sharon bakar
76. Claire
77. Shelley Munro
78. Callista (books about books)
79. Rebecca
80. Annette
81. Dani
82. Stephanie (atla)
83. Valorie
84. Sari
85. Ashlee
86. Eva (The Middle Ages)
87. Jessica (consumerism)
88. Aimee
89. oreneta
90. Lissa
91. Bookosaurus rex (fairy tales)
92. Penny (Penny\’s Pages)
93. Sari
94. Trish Vidal
95. laylay

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    • Jodie on December 22, 2008 at 03:51

    Yay I can totally do this as I have a planned reading theme already picked for 2009. I’ll be reading about the 17th century in all its glory – civil war, european intrigue etc

    • Kathrin on December 22, 2008 at 09:44

    I’m in! I will pick the 5 book-version with one theme being “Sisters In Literature”. About the second theme: I’m not sure yet.

  1. Thanks for hosting this challenge. I had fun coming up with my list…trying to find six books with more than two themes. My list is at the address below. See you in February.

    • twiga on December 24, 2008 at 11:09

    My theme is biblical fiction – stories about people from the Bible

  2. I’ve signed up too. Wish me luck!

  3. I know that one of my themes will be Doctor Who. I am coming up with more themes.

    Judy/Intergalactic Bookworm

    • Jill on December 26, 2008 at 04:56

    Thanks for hosting again! =)

    • Kara on December 26, 2008 at 10:47

    I’m joining in on the fun this year!!! I am going to be participating in the 5 Books/2 Themes choice. My 2 themes are women authors/vampire genre.

    • Nancy on December 27, 2008 at 12:13

    This sounds great! I am going to choose the 4 books and my theme is culinary mysteries. I haven’t picked out the 4 books yet but will in the next day or two.

    • Shaluna on December 30, 2008 at 13:59


    I’m joining too, I’m reading four books about eating disorders.

    Direct link to the post:

    • Jessica on December 30, 2008 at 15:29

    I’m excited about this one. I’m going to read four books by Ian McEwan.

    • laura on January 1, 2009 at 08:31

    I’ve signed up for 6 books w/one theme. Books I own that have the word devil in the title. Thanks for hosting!

    • teach2reach on January 1, 2009 at 11:07

    Thanks for hosting! I’m trying to organize my challenges, so no theme quite yet.

  4. i’ll go for “6 books which made last year’s booker longlist”

    (sharon bakar)

    • claire on January 2, 2009 at 15:36

    Just signed in! I’m doing 4 books with LOVE in the title.

  5. Thanks. This challenge looks like fun. 🙂

  6. Could you delete number 32? I changed where my challenge posts are.

    • Wendy on January 4, 2009 at 09:31

    All set, Callista 🙂

    I am blown away by how many people are signing up – thank you! I am also loving the variation in themes!!

  7. This sounds great. I have a TBR pile that is taller than my ceiling.

    • Dani on January 6, 2009 at 07:38

    I am going to join this as well i will have to go through my books and come up with a theme with in the next few days.

    • Nely on January 6, 2009 at 08:06

    I wasn’t sure where to post reviews for this challenge. Please let me know. Thanks ~ Nely

    • Wendy on January 6, 2009 at 08:24

    Nely: I will be creating a Mr. Linky post for reviews on February 1 (when the challenge officially begins!). I will be actually setting up 3 Mr. Linky’s – 1 for Feb/March reviews, 1 for April/May reviews, and 1 for June/July reviews…there will also be a place to post a wrap up post 🙂 Thanks for asking!

  8. I’m in! My theme will be Mexico/Mexicans. I’ll read 6 books either by a Mexican author, about Mexican characters, or set in Mexico.

    I’m starting the challenge with T.C. Boyle’s Tortilla Curtain.

  9. Great challenge! I am looking forward to it.

    • Wendy on January 9, 2009 at 17:03

    Stephanie: Tortilla Curtain is a TERRIFIC book – hope you’ll love it as I did!

    • Sari on January 9, 2009 at 21:15

    Thanks Wendy! This is a great way for me to push myself to do what I know I should; read more Buddhist books. It is this or box them up to make room for more TBRs’.

    • Dani on January 12, 2009 at 14:18

    I posted on my blog my theme which will be Books that have a Number in the Title.

    • oreneta on January 31, 2009 at 23:57

    Found you through JG, sounds like fun. My theme is all the books that arrived on Friday Jan 30…and there are a lot! Yippee!

    • Lissa on February 1, 2009 at 14:06

    Thanks for hosting. I’m looking forward to this challenge. I have been looking for a way to get in more mystery reading, without feeling guilty about neglecting my other challenges. So I have chosen as my theme: mystery novels with a female protagonist. =D

    • Wendy on February 3, 2009 at 17:36

    Lissa: You are welcome! Your theme sounds great!

    • Jill on February 18, 2009 at 14:53

    Oh, Wennndddyy! Where are you hiding Mr. Linky for February reviews?

    • Wendy on February 18, 2009 at 16:38

    Oh Jilleeeeee! *laughing* It is right here. You can also get there from my right side bar…scroll down to the Themed button and you will see the link right underneath it 🙂

  10. I’ve been avoiding this challenge because I didn’t think I had a theme. When I started looking at my classics TBR, I not only found a theme, but I’m going for the six books in multiple themes!

    • Wendy on March 21, 2009 at 07:44

    Penny: *laughs* It is amazing what we find on our TBR mountains, isn’t it!?!? Glad to see you jumping into the fray!

    • claire on April 6, 2009 at 07:45

    Hi Wendy, I’ve completed the challenge. Where do we link to our review posts? Thanks for hosting this, I really enjoyed it. It’s the first challenge I completed. 😀

    • Wendy on April 8, 2009 at 10:32

    Hi Claire: Congratulations on completing the challenge!!! You will see links to the review Mr. Linkys AND for the wrap up posts in my RIGHT sidebar. Thanks for participating and I am so glad you enjoyed yourself!!

    • nila on May 23, 2009 at 14:55

    hey, i found your site by looking at another blog, and was wondering if you had any intentions of restarting this challenge after the one that you are hosting now is over. I really wish you would, so I could participate!!

    Thanks so much

    • Wendy on May 24, 2009 at 12:39

    Thanks for stopping by, Nila! I will be hosting this challenge again in 2010 – probably the same months as in 2009. I hope you’ll join us then!

  11. Well I just had to share that, though I haven’t posted any reviews yet, I’ve finished the first three of the six books I chose for this Challenge, and I’ve crossed them out on my original Sign-up post.
    I’m proud of myself…I started two new jobs in April and have
    been insanely busy, but still managed to read a trilogy that has sat on my shelves for about 18 years!!
    Go, me! Quenby (hikaruthedragon)

    • Wendy on July 3, 2009 at 09:54

    Congratulations, Quenby!!! I haven’t checked yet…did you give me a link to your wrap up of this challenge? If you go to my sidebar, you can find the place to post links to the wrap ups!!!

  12. I didn’t post a wrap -up because I haven’t posted my reviews yet.
    I’ll try to get to that later today. We still have a couple weeks left for this Challenge, right? But just in case, thanks for hosting this and for
    giving me the incentive to get those dusty books read and off my shelves!


    • Sandra on July 4, 2009 at 08:59

    I have posted my wrap up for the challenge. Thank you Wendy, I enjoyed it very much and have enough books on the theme of music to do it again.

    • Wendy on July 6, 2009 at 07:09

    Oh, that’s fine, Quenby (I’m not pressuring you!!) And yes, the challenge runs through the end of this month 🙂

    Sandra: Great job! Thanks for playing!!

  13. Hi!
    I have 3 books done so I’m sure I’m not going to make this. I don’t know why but I thought this challenge ran until December. Well, anyway my review for my latest book is at my place, Just Books. Have a great day!


    • Penny on July 30, 2009 at 19:22

    Whew! Barely squeaked in on time, but I finished! Wrap-up post is here:

  14. I completely forgot that this was a challenge that didn’t finish in December … I’ve only read two books so am definitely not going to meet the deadline. However, I intend reading the remaining three before the end of the year – the books are in the TBR after all!

    • Wendy on August 2, 2009 at 06:33

    Sherri and Lizzy: Aw, sorry you both forgot it was a six month challenge…but glad to hear you’ll read the books anyway.

    • J.G. on November 29, 2009 at 05:53

    Are you hosting again for 2010? I know you may not be thinking about it yet, but we are. 🙂

    This was such fun last year, and I had a lot of good theme ideas left over. Now if I can just find out where I wrote them down . . . .

    • Wendy on December 9, 2009 at 13:48

    J.G. : YES, I’m doing this one again in 2010…I think probably the same time frame too. Thanks for asking!!

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