My 2012 Reading Challenge Adventures, Part 1

I rarely actually finish a reading challenge.  I bite off more than I can chew and go into my reading challenges with a list and good intentions, but I’ve never really “planned-out” my challenges.  2012 will be my kick-ass reading challenge year.  I like reading challenges because I feel more mindful about my reading; I tend to notice connections and read with more purpose and it helps to eliminate the panic of “what the heck do I read next?” 

My goal is to plan my reading to correspond with challenges and leave a few “wild card” reading spots open.  I’ve also decided that instead of planning and entire year, I’ll take a four month block, plan it and have the fourth month as my catch-up month.  I’ve also planned to lump together reading challenges that overlap.  That should simplify things a bit.  I will be participating in a few long-term challenges that will last the entire year, but those challenges have more to do with page numbers, numbers of library books, etc… and have nothing to do with themes. 

Here is what the first reading challenge chunk looks like:

Here is what my first reading challenge chunk looks like:

  1.  The Mammoth Book of Dickensian Whodunnits edited by Mike Ashley
  2. Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
  3. Charles Dickens, A Life by Claire Tomalin
Professor Level, 7 pairs of books
  1.  Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens / Charles Dickens: a Life by Claire Tomalin
  2. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie / The Poisoner’s Handbook by Deborah Blum
  3. This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald / Zelda: A Life by Nancy Milford
  4. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Ann Bronte / The Bronte Myth by Lucasta Miller
  5. Richard III by William Shakespeare / The Wars of the Roses by Alison Weir
  6. Transformations by Anne Sexton / Anne Sexton by Diane Middlebrook
  7. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath / This Rough Magic by Paul Alexander
  1.  19th Century:  Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
  2. 20th Century:  This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  3. Reread:  The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Ann Bronte
  4. Play:  Richard the III by William Shakespeare
  5. Mystery/Horror/Crime:  The Leavenworth Case by Anna Katherine Green
  6. Romance:  Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
  7. Non-English:  Kristen Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset
  8. Award Winner:  Hunger by Knut Hamson
  9. Other Country (real or imagined):  The Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang
Read 5 Victorian novels
  1.  Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
  2. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Ann Bronte
  3. Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
  4. No Name by Wilkie Collins
  5. The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Deadly Decades, 8 books
  1.  Pre-1900s:  The Leavenworth Case by Anna Katherine Green
  2. 1900-1909:  The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart
  3. 1910-1919:  The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan
  4. 1920-1929:  The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
  5. 1930-1939:  The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
  6. 1940-1949:  The Moving Toyshop by Edmund Crispin
  7. 1950-1959:  The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey
  8. Bonus:  Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith
Palmer the Poisoner, 10 books
  1.  The Leavenworth Case by Anna Katherine Green
  2. The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart
  3. The Mammoth Book of Dickension Whodunnits edited by Mike Ashley
  4. No Name by Wilkie Collins
  5. The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  6. The Shadow in the North by Philip Pullman
  7. The Tiger in the Well by Philip Pullman
  8. The Tin Princess by Philip Pullman
  9. The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox
  10. The Glass of Time by Michael Cox

 Whew! Cross your fingers, folks.  I hope I can get these all completed.  It seems like a lot, but it overlaps nicely.  Tomorrow I’ll discuss my long-term challenges.  Nerd Snorrrrtttt!

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10 comments

  1. These look good. I hadn't thought of doing certain challenges during certain months. I usually leave the lists up all year and whittle on them little by little. Don't forget the Reading Addict Challenge! 🙂 I can't wait to see your next list.

  2. Ah, Amanda! I cannot wait to read your reviews on so many of those books. I am nervous about March Mystery Month. I honestly don't even know where to begin!! *biggest mystery novice evhar!*

  3. Thanks for joining the Death by Gaslight challenge! I can't wait to see what you think of your choices. BTW, I love your reading challenge schedule – if only I could be so organized! 😉

  4. Oooh, I hadn't heard of the Death By Gaslight challenge! That's quite a schedule you have for the first four months. I've found that if I join challenges, and leave a little space for spontaneity, then I am much happier and much more likely to read some of the books I intend to! I need to find a Dickens challenge for the whole year, not just for the month.

    Good luck with your goals and challenges, Amanda! they are impressive, inspiring, and fun to read 🙂

  5. I really like how you organized this. I may have to do something similar! 🙂 I think it might be easier to knock out challenges if I finish them in chunks. Hmmm…now I need to go organize. 🙂

  6. Tenant of Wyldfeld Hall is on my list as well and I may reread Kristin Lavransdatter, or take on her tetralogy Master of Hestkiven. Lord, I might have to start a blog to take part in your Dickens challenge. I'm planning to read Great Expectations in preparation for the the new Masterpiece Theatre series and……I'm also reading Little Dorrit for the first time. Very excited.

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