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New Year, new start, new resolutions and new challenges. To be honest I am not one for making resolutions, as I think these can be made at any point in the year not just at the beginning of it. Plus there is the obvious wait as those around you who know that you have made a resolution wait to see you fall flat on your face!

I do know I want to do something different this year, something out of my comfort zone – but as of yet I do not know what it is and well I do not have to make up mind now do I? If anyone has any ideas or thoughts I would love to hear from them. Nothing dangerous to my health or others and nothing illegal!

There is always plenty of reading challenges doing the rounds and I have been reading about lots that many blogs I visit are starting for 2012.  This blog here  is a great start if you want to get involved, it seems to have something for everyone. I am so tempted by lots and lots of them, but I know with reading if I put myself under undue pressure nothing will happen and I will do my best to avoid reading for these challenges. However, they have given me an idea of my own and so I decided to set my own challenges. Without further ado….

Reading Challenges

The three Standard Challenges that I have every year is

  1. Read 50 books in the year
  2. Do not buy any more books
  3. Review every book I read
However, I thought I would perhaps expand this a bit and go for a few more.
New Challenges

The rules are simple for the first 5, read 1 book by that author.

Read 1 Charlotte Bronte Novel

Currently on Jane Eyre and have about 80 pages left and I know I started it in 2011, but I knew I was never going to finish it before the end of year.

Read 1 Charles Dickens novel

Not sure what book to choose here, so might leave that one up to fate. In addition thought with this one, as I live in Portsmouth and never been I am also going to visit Charles Dickens Birthplace at some point between 28 January and 4 November, if I can tie this in with the first Sunday of the month apparently they do some readings as well.

Read 1 Daphne du Maurier Novel

At the moment, I am thinking My Cousin Rachel, simply because I picked it up after having read Jamaica Inn last year and it is still on the shelf unread.

Read 1 Jane Austen Novel

Mansfield Park is the choice here. I already had downloaded this on my kindle after reading Persuasion last year, and then the delightful Rachel on Book Snob had a bit of luck getting hold of a rather beautiful copy, to read and well it would be rude not to join in!

Along with this one, is the fact that I won tickets to the Jane Austen House museum and need to go and experience all things Austenesque before the 31 August.

Read 1 Georgette Heyer Novel

I have never read any by this author and have seen lots and lots on the blogs I visit about her, so I knew that I must at least try one. Any recommendations?

Unfinished Books

I currently have a few unfinished books, they are currently unfinished because I have been struggling with them.

Little Women – Louisa May Alcott I am just finding this quite a difficult read.

The Crimson, Petal and the White – Michael Faber This is a long book, and whilst it is good other books kept getting in the way. 

Wedlock – Wendy Moore I think I need to restart this one completely so I can enjoy it properly. 

I would like to finish 1 of these this year.

Series Challenge

Looking back on 2011 I have picked 3 authors whose series of books I am currently reading and would like to read 3 more in the current series I am reading.

  1. M.C. Beaton – Agatha Raisin
  2. Carola Dunn – Daisy Dalrymple
  3. Debbie Macomber – Cedar Cove Series

I am going to copy this onto a tab at the top of my blog, so I and anyone else can keep a track on them. That way I can also add in more challenges throughout the year as they come to mind, or as some really tempt me.

What sort of challenges are you doing for 2012? Any I might have missed out on?

12 thoughts on “Challenges

  1. I don’t like challenges since I hate feeling pressured – I figure I want to keep my habit of reading completely pressure-free – but I can understand why it works for other people. Good luck with your challenges!

  2. Good luck with your challenge 🙂

    For me it’s something very difficult not to buy new books. But recently I started using a special system: I have to read 5 books I already own before I buy something new. Works pretty well But of course my to-read list keeps growing.

  3. With Little Women, the film with Winona Ryder in it is very good. Maybe watching the film would inspire you to keep going with the book? It is definitely worth it, it’s one of my favourite books.

    I also LOVE The Crimson Petal and the White. I hope you get to finish it because it is amazing.

  4. I am going to reread My Cousin Rachel too at some point, probably at the end of Febaruary when I am on holiday. Happy reading this year!

  5. I was trying not to sign up for any challenges this year but still couldn’t resist joining a few of them! I prefer the ones that are less ‘challenging’ and allow me to read books that I would probably have read anyway.

    I love Georgette Heyer though I still haven’t read many of her books. So far I’ve really enjoyed The Masqueraders, The Talisman Ring and Cousin Kate. And Little Women was one of my favourite books when I was younger, though it’s been a long time since I last read it. Good luck with finishing it this year!

  6. Have you ever succeeded in not buying a new book throughout the year? Or even a second-hand one? If so, you’re a lot more determined than me.

  7. I like reading your challenges. A personal one for me is to either re read Jane Eyre & or read Wuthering Heights this year. I’m currently re reading Little Women for a bookclub. I’ve loved re reading Little Women but am finding Good Wives a little slow & think perhaps I should have read another book inbetween to break it up. Happy Reading in 2012.

  8. What a wonderful plan. i can never resist signing up for challenges, but nobody minds if you don’t hit your targets and, of course, the most important thing is always to read the right books for you at the right time.

  9. I think Devil’s Cub is always a good choice for someone new to Heyer — also The Grand Sophy. For Dickens, I think Great Expectations is a perennially god choice. Good luck with your challenges 🙂

  10. I haven’t signed up for any challenges yet. I don’t like to commit to too many though. One I’m definitely keen to do again is the Mental Illness Advocacy reading challenge, for which I already have several books lined up for that woul be perfect inlcuding some more Linda Gillard.

    I really like how you have come up with your own challenges, and look forwatd to seeing how you do over the coing year 🙂

  11. Hi Jo,

    Challenges are definitely off the agenda for me this year. I want to keep my reading and blogging purely for pleasure, with no time restrictions, or the necessity to select books to read which fit in with any challenge crtiteria.

    I will still take in author/publisher requests for review, however these will be dealt with on a strictly ‘first come, first served’ basis.

    I am sorry that you are not particularly enjoying ‘Little Women’, this was always one of my favourite books as a child, although I haven’t read it for years.

    ‘My Cousin Rachel’ is also a book which is well worth the effort. I recently managed to acquire a boxed set of nine Daphen Du Maurier books, at a very reasonable price. My mother-in-law begged to be given the opportunity to read them first, so I am just waiting to get my hands on them.

  12. Sounds like you’ve got the year planned out! I like the idea of choosing authors at the beginning of the year. Although one year I determined to read lots of Scandinavian literature… I think it’s the only year for about a decade where I read none at all!

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