Reading Challenges Update

Since we are well into November and the end of the year is fast approaching, I thought I should go through my remaining reading challenges and see where I am. Here is my update as of today:

COMPLETED Challenges in the last couple of months:

The Women Unbound Challenge asked that participants read nonfiction and fiction books related to the rather broad idea of ‘women’s studies.’ Hosted by Eva, Care, and Aarti, the challenge allowed readers to choose their level of participation…and I chose to read 8 books. I actually finished this challenge awhile ago, but enjoyed it so much, that I kept reading books that fit its criteria. I’m calling it quits now after having completed 13 books (5 nonfiction and 8 fiction). You can see the books I read with links to my reviews here. To get links to all the great reviews of women’s study books, check out this page on the challenge blog. This was a wonderful challenge…and if they host it again in 2011, I will join!

The Chick Lit Challenge was hosted by Twiga…and I really enjoyed this one. The challenge was to read 8 books, and I completed 9. Here is my list of books read with links to reviews. If you you are interested in getting more links to reviews of great women’s fiction, check out this post. As for the books I read, they were mostly excellent. My top three favorites (in order of most favorite) were: Get Lucky by Katherine Center, The Blessings of the Animals by Katrina Kittle, and Promises to Keep by Jane Green.

Hosted by Melissa at The Betty and Boo Chronicles, The Memorable Memoir Challenge was one of my most enjoyable challenges in 2010. I discovered that I really do love memoirs…and I read some excellent ones for this challenge. You can check out the books with links to my reviews here. The goal was to read four books, and I managed to read seven…four of which I gave my top rating of 5 stars (the rest were rated 4 stars and 4.5 stars!). I hope Melissa hosts this one again in 2011 because I would definitely join.

I’m pretty proud that I managed to finally complete one of my own hosted challenges this year! The Chunkster Challenge is hosted on its own blog – and it actually runs through the end of January – so, although I’ve already met my goal to read six chunksters, I’m going to keep adding to my list here until the challenge ends. And in case you are wondering…I am planning to host this challenge again in 2011 (more details later).

Another one of my favorite challenges in 2010 is the Orbis Terrarum Reading Challenge hosted by Bethany. As with other favorite challenges, I surpassed the goal I set for myself. I set out to read 8 books from around the world, but ended up completing 9 books. You can see the books I read with links to their reviews on this post. I would also encourage you to visit the dedicated blog where you can find reviews to hundreds of books from around the world. I will definitely do this challenge again in 2011!

I love reading books by new-to-me authors and so every year I join Literary Escapism’s New Author Challenge. In 2010, I set a goal to read 50 new-to-me authors…so far I’ve read 64. I’m going to keep adding to my list for this challenge until December 31st. If you want to be really impressed, check out the hundreds of links to reviews which are accumulating over at the challenge blog.

Teddy’s ARC Reading Challenge helps me read all those ARCs that keep piling up on my shelves. My goal for this year was to get through at least 25 of them and so far I’ve read and reviewed 29. Based on the dozens more patiently waiting for me, I’m going to continue adding to my list until December 31st. And, in case you’re wondering – yes, I will join this challenge again in 2011 if Teddy decides to host it.

I’m still working on several other challenges in 2010 – some I will probably complete, others I am afraid will drop by the wayside.

2010 Challenges I am close to finishing:

Lurve A La Mode is hosting The Year of the Historical Challenge which requires that I read twelve books of historical fiction. I should be able to finish this one as I’ve already read and reviewed ten books. I love historical fiction, and so far this challenge has rewarded me with some awesome books (with two of them competing for my top ten of 2010 list: The Children’s Book by AS Byatt and By Fire, By Water by Mitchell James Kaplan).

The Suspense-Thriller Challenge is one I thoroughly enjoy as it gives me permission to sink into books which are simply entertaining and fun to read. Hosted by Book Chick City, I need to read and review 12 books to complete this challenge. I’m close having read ten thus far. I’m looking through my stacks and hoping to squeeze in the final two before the end of the year.

Michelle hosts the ever popular Book Awards Challenges…for Book Awards IV, I need to complete 10 different books from 10 different awards. I hope I can finish this one – I have three left to read. I can see I am going to have to move a few books up in the stacks if I am going to have any hope of finishing!

Challenges I am unlikely to Complete in 2010…or I give up:

I completely spaced out on the South Asian Author Challenge hosted by Swapna. The goal was to complete five books…and I have only managed one so far. It is highly unlikely that I will be able to succeed at this challenge…but, in the spirit of optimism, I will keep it posted until the end of the year just in case!

I started out very enthusiastically with The Social Justice Challenge – and actually kept up with it through July. Then the bottom dropped out of my life with my sister getting very ill and needing me back in New Hampshire. I don’t feel so bad about this challenge, however, because it looks like I participated a bit more than a lot of people…and in fact, the hosts themselves look like they may have given up on the challenge too (the last post to the dedicated blog was in July). The best part about this challenge was it got me to read outside my comfort zone…and prompted me to do some good things in the world.

The Short Story Reading Challenge (hosted by Kate’s Book Blog) seemed like the perfect challenge for me – I used to read a ton of short stories, and I had lots of books on my shelves for this challenge. But out of the five collections I wanted to read, I’ve only read one so far. There is no way I’ll finish this one before December 31st…so I’ve given myself permission to throw in the towel on it.

The Aussie Author Challenge (hosted by Book Lover Book Reviews) also seemed like a no brainer – and yet given an entire year to complete three books, I’ve only managed to read one. Live and learn, right? Well, I still have all those Aussie Author books sitting on my shelves…and some day, I will read them! But not this year…

I cannot believe that I didn’t come close to completing the O.A.T.E.S. Challenge (hosted by Trish at Hey Lady! Watcha Readin’). I love the authors represented by this challenge – but managed only to do the “A” part of it (Atwood)…and read two books by her. Given that there is only 6 weeks left in the year, I’m quitting this challenge … but I am determined to get to those authors in 2011!

I also have bombed on the Scandinavian Challenge which is especially embarrassing given that I have Swedish roots! The goal was to read six books by Scandinavian authors…I’ve read two and doubt I’ll get to four more before the end of the year…so this one can be considered “failed.” Oh well – at least I read two!

So there you have it! Have you been doing an accounting of where you stand in your reading in 2010? I know that going through all of this has helped me narrow down how I want to organize my reading in 2011!

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    • trish on November 14, 2010 at 13:27

    I’m disappointed to say I did as well as you for the O.A.T.E.S. challenge! Though looking at my reading this year compared to last (I’ll be lucky to read 40 books this year, and last year I read over 75), I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised. Oh well! Another goal to roll over into next year. 🙂

    • Bekah on November 14, 2010 at 16:28

    I hope you publish a list of Challenges at the beginning of the year so I can take a gander and try a few.

    • Wendy on November 14, 2010 at 16:41

    Trish: I’m glad to see I am not the only one that doesn’t always finish challenges!

    Bekah: I actually have another blog which lists all the challenges being hosted around the blogosphere – you can find it here:

    • Laura on November 14, 2010 at 16:54

    Wow, I didn’t realize how many challenges you’d taken on this year. I’m will be doing my own “2010 Challenge Wrap-up Post” pretty soon. I’ve finished a few, and there’s one I’m formally abandoning although I’m still likely to read all the books. I’ve just lost the energy to keep track and post updates to a challenge blog and all that.

    And in 2011 … no challenges ! Just reading what grabs me.

    • Wendy on November 14, 2010 at 17:40

    Laura: I purposefully tried to sign up for only those challenges I thought I would do this year (not just because they looked great!). I also gave myself permission to not stress and to drop out if I wasn’t doing well in a challenge. I will likely be doing far fewer in 2011 – like you, I am a little tired of tracking them! I need to sit down and really figure out my goals for 2011.

    • Shelley on November 14, 2010 at 20:08

    As categories go, I’d rather my work be social justice or unbound than chick lit, but my main impression here is amazement at your energy.

  1. Oh, my — what a fabulous list of challenges! I also loved By Fire, By Water — that is definitely on the top of the list for this year!

    • Amanda on November 15, 2010 at 17:32

    You’re doing far better than I did! I barely signed up for any and I later quit 95% of my challenges…

  2. I’m definitely not this organized…I’m impressed 🙂 I think that you are doing great although I can’t say that I am doing that well in challenges myself. Maybe next year…

  3. You read my mind, Wendy. There’s a very good chance I will be hosting the Memorable Memoir Challenge again for 2011. 🙂 Glad you finished and enjoyed this one!

    • Care on December 7, 2010 at 03:34

    Well done! Thanks for participating in the Women Unbound Challenge. i admirw how many challenges you signup for and complete! Wow. i am hoping to get my wrap up done this week knowing I still hope to read 3 key ‘finisher’ books.

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