Country Living Series

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The 2015 Reading Challenge

Older Daughter came across an interesting prospect: The 2015 Reading Challenge.


This is a list of 52 books (50 categories, but one of the categories is a trilogy) to be read over the next 52 weeks. Older Daughter got it in her head to accept this challenge and managed to talk the rest of us (Younger Daughter, our friend GG, and myself) into participating as well.


Here's the list:

• A book with more than 500 pages
• A classic romance
• A book that became a movie
• A book published this year
• A book with a number in the title
• A book written by someone under 30
• A book with nonhuman characters
• A funny book
• A book by a female author
• A mystery or thriller
• A book with a one-word title
• A book of short stories
• A book set in a different country
• A nonfiction book
• A popular author’s first book
• A book from an author you love that you haven’t read yet
• A book a friend recommended
• A Pulitzer Price-winning book
• A book based on a true story
• A book at the bottom of your to-read list
• A book your mom loves
• A book that scares you
• A book more than 100 years old
• A book based entirely on its cover
• A book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t
• A memoir
• A book you can finish in a day
• A book with antonyms in the title
• A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit
• A book that came out the year you were born
• A book with bad reviews
• A trilogy
• A book from your childhood
• A book with a love triangle
• A book set in the future
• A book set in high school
• A book with a color in the title
• A book that made you cry
• A book with magic
• A graphic novel
• A book by an author you’ve never read before
• A book you own but have never read
• A book that takes place in your home town
• A book that was originally written in a different language
• A book set during Christmas
• A book written by an author with your same initials
• A play
• A banned book
• A book based on or turned into a TV show
• A book you started but never finished

While the "rules" for this challenge are fluid, nothing says you can't re-read a book you've read before. Here are the unofficial rules, which include:

• All books are acceptable except children's books (i.e. Run Spot Run) (young adult books are fine).
• All forms of books are acceptable including e-books, audio books, etc.

This morning we had a lively conversation lasting several hours about which books to read. We all have different lists, of course. Although my personal list may shift through the next year, here's the books I have so far (the only one I'm missing is "A book your mom loves" -- I'm waiting to hear back from my mom):

• A book with more than 500 pages – Devil Water by Anya Seton
• A classic romance – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
• A book that became a movie – Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
• A book published this year – Live Right and Find Happiness (Although Beer is Much Faster): Life Lessons and Other Ravings from Dave Barry
• A book with a number in the title – Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
• A book written by someone under 30 – Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
• A book with nonhuman characters – The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien


• A funny book – Dave Barry Does Japan
• A book by a female author -- Dragonwyck by Anya Seton
• A mystery or thriller – Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
• A book with a one-word title -- Katherine by Anya Seton
• A book of short stories – The Legend of Sleepy Hollow etc. by Washington Irving
• A book set in a different country – Avalon by Anya Seton
• A nonfiction book – A Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs
• A popular author’s first book – Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel
• A book from an author you love that you haven’t read yet – Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
• A book a friend recommended – The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
• A Pulitzer Price-winning book – To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
• A book based on a true story – A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson


• A book at the bottom of your to-read list – Utopia by Thomas More
• A book your mom loves – ??
• A book that scares you – The Bad Seed by William March
• A book more than 100 years old – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
• A book based entirely on its cover – Legacy by Susan Kay


• A book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t – Walden Pond by Henry David Thoreau
• A memoir – Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington
• A book you can finish in a day – Guide to Guys by Dave Barry
• A book with antonyms in the title – North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
• A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit – Born in Ice by Nora Roberts
• A book that came out the year you were born – A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
• A book with bad reviews – Not Buying It by Judith Levine
• A trilogy – All Things Bright and Beautiful, etc. by James Herriot
• A book from your childhood – The Cay by Theodore Taylor
• A book with a love triangle – Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
• A book set in the future – House of Stairs by William Sleator
• A book set in high school – A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
• A book with a color in the title – The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
• A book that made you cry – Death Be Not Proud by John Gunther
• A book with magic – The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis
• A graphic novel – Elfquest by Wendy & Richard Pini
• A book by an author you’ve never read before – Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett
• A book you own but have never read – The Bronte Story by Margaret Lane
• A book that takes place in your home town – With a Shotgun Behind the Door by ??
• A book that was originally written in a different language – The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
• A book set during Christmas – A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
• A book written by an author with your same initials – Hidden World of the Aztec by Peter Lourie
• A play – The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare
• A banned book – Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
• A book based on or turned into a TV show – Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
• A book you started but never finished – A Year Without "Made in China" by Sara Bongiorni



It pleased me that I was able to scare up 41 of the 52 books from our own personal library of over 5000 volumes. The rest will have to come from the public library.



So -- anyone else want to participate?

23 comments:

  1. The worst thing about this is that my hometown has 3000 people who are not noted as writers.
    Are you an Any Seton fan by chance?!

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    Replies
    1. Ditto -- our town has 1000 people, but apparently a local fellow wrote a history of it, so I'll see if I can dig that up at our library.

      And yes, I'm a HUGE Anya Seton fan.

      - Patrice

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  2. To be fair, Francie from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn never actually gets to attend high school...and once she has her junior-high graduation, it's not set in school at all.

    A.J. Jacobs may write stunt journalism, but it is amusing. A Year of Living Biblically was downright hilarious at times. Particularly when his wife is unamused with his new restrictions and eccentricities of behavior. I hope you like it!

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    Replies
    1. True (about a Tree Grows in Brooklyn) -- but I can't bear the thought of reading some modern angst-y teenage melodrama. I'll stick with the classic.

      I've read A Year of Living Biblically before and loved it -- that will be a re-read for me.

      - Patrice

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    2. Well, I'll agree with that assessment of modern teenage lit. And on the latter, did you ever read A Year of Biblical Womanhood? Basically a 'non domestic' young woman tries out the Proverbs 31 schtick on her husband. It's .... also interesting. Not as funny, though. And A Year Without Made In China has some glaring factual errors, and I'll leave it at that.

      I have strong opinions about books. I apologize if that bothers you. Happy reading!

      Delete
  3. What a fun challenge, my schedule doesn't allow for that much reading, a book a month is more what I can handle at this point in life. I hope we get to hear reviews of some of the books?

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  4. What a fun idea.

    Reading books is very difficult for me - not because of disinterest or inability, but because of a comprehension problem. Sometimes I have to read the same sentence or paragraph 4 times before I understand it.

    I once attempted Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. I only got halfway through because of Defoe's very unusual sentence structure. I kind of use periods as a cue to breathe, and the very lengthy, page-long sentences made me run out of breath.

    I also tried Mitchell's Gone With the Wind, and found the character development exhausting. I gave up after a couple hundred pages.

    I have better luck with newer work, like A Dan Browne novel or Pournelle and Niven's Lucifer's Hammer.

    It would be fun to spend some time trying to come up with works I could actually accomplish! What a fun thing to do on New Year's Day! I'm in.

    (Case in point -- I had to re-read this comment 6 times before I posted it to make sure of what I was saying.)

    Just Me

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  5. This sounds like a fun challenge and for me it would really be a challenge. Altho I read usually 3 fiction books a week and 1 non-fiction book every 2 weeks (I am retired and don't watch TV), I have very particular tastes in books, usually mysteries by female authors and non-fiction about FL, I'll see what I can come up with.
    Will also mention this at the library when I go on Monday.

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  6. This sounds like my kind of challenge. Not sure that I can get through all the books in one year, but I'm willing to give it a go.

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  7. May I suggest several books and authors that fit a couple of categories/

    Brom Stokers Dracula, the movie from the 90's follows the book nearly exactly.
    Anything by Zane Grey, several were made into movies.
    Atlas Shrugged and/or the Fountianhead by Ayn Rand, also some of Non fiction works are good but very hard reading.

    I read about a book a week anyway, mostly action novels written in the past 20 years. But I am going to try and meet the rules here and see how I do.

    Carl in the UP

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  8. What a fun idea!
    I once decided that true wealth is three books I want to read but have not yet started (and TWO pairs of dry socks in my backpack...but that's another story!).
    Already working on my list.

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  9. So, does this mean we can expect less postings from you? Is
    this your merry way of warning us? I wonder how many Books
    in the Bible would qualify.

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  10. I'm in too!
    And I'll try to persuade my 18 year old daughter to join in the fun. She's a GREAT reader but with several AP senior HS classes, I'm not sure she'll have the time. :(

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  11. I'm up for this challenge!

    I've copied the list into an excel spread sheet and added columns for author/title (and one for a BookCrossing ID number). http://www.bookcrossing.com/

    Have started out with a Mark Twain short story collection this morning.

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    Replies
    1. For #42 - the Graphic novel I took a stab at a Japanese anime graphic novel, Children of the Sea by Daisuke Igarashi. Oh man - this was tough going. You start at the "back" of the book, read top to bottom, but right to left. Once I got my head wrapped around that I did okay. Can't say I liked the book - but at least it was fast and I did finish it!

      Delete
  12. I'm in! This sounds fun. I love to read and I have started my list!
    Thanks!

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  13. I am in. My fun will be finding new titles to fill this required reading list, as I am a voracious reader and I vowed not to reread. For books about high school, try Lois Lowry. Her heroines are usually battling in high school. I am also an Anya Seton fan.
    Washington Irving's short stories are fun as are Stephen King's.
    I have not read The Color Purple so that is my choice for color.
    Fun thing to do!

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  14. So happy to see the 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge inspired you. Enjoyed checking out the different categories you came up with. Check out the monthly themes and author flavors of the month. It may give you even more ideas. Glad you are playing along.

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  15. This sounds fun and it will fit in with the project I began about 5 years ago of reading everything on my high school reading list that I was too callow to understand at the time, what an eye opener! I will definitely try. May I suggest Louis L'Amour novels that were made into movies as well.

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  16. I'm in! Love Anya Seton! Re-reading The Turquoise by her will be my "color."

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  17. I found this on Pintrest a couple days ago and started my first book yesterday. A book started but never finished - The Silver Chair by CS Lewis.

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  18. Patrice, my husband just read a local book by Oscar "Benewah" Blake called TIMBER DOWN THE HILL. Based around his move to the area at 18 and claiming/developing a homestead off the Benewah Creek Rd area. Not polished, but very interesting. St Maries library has it in the Idaho section.

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  19. Yay! You're discovering Pratchett!

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