Can't resist a good challenge.

Monday, December 17, 2012

2013 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge


**Challenge complete. See my wrap-up post HERE.**

Dates: 1 January - 31 December, 2013
Hosted by: Historical Tapestry

Guidelines (quoted from challenge announcement page):

"The challenge will run in the same way as it has over the last couple of years that we have hosted the challenge. The only thing that has changed is the names of the categories....Each month, a new post dedicated to the HF Challenge will be created. To participate, you only have to follow the rules:
  • everyone can participate, even those who don't have a blog (you can add your book title and thoughts in the comment section if you wish) 
  • add the link(s) of your review(s) including your name and book title to the Mister Linky we’ll be adding to our monthly post (please, do not add your blog link, but the correct address that will guide us directly to your review) 
  • any kind of historical fiction is accepted (HF fantasy, HF young adult,...)"

Levels:
  1. 20th century reader - 2 books 
  2. Victorian reader - 5 books 
  3. Renaissance reader - 10 books 
  4. Medieval - 15 books 
  5. Ancient History -25+ books 
See my original post about the challenge here.
See my challenge wrap-up post here
See the Challenge announcement/sign-up page here.

** I'm signing up at the second level ("Victorian reader"), so I'll be reading five books.

MY READING LIST (books read, with links to reviews):  
  1. The Heat of the Sun. David Rain
  2. The Flamethrowers. Rachel Kushner 
  3. Clea. Lawrence Durrell (review to come)
  4. Is This Tomorrow. Caroline Leavitt (review to come)
  5. A Fatal Likeness. Lyn Shepherd (review to come)
  6. The Shooting Party. Isabel Colegate  
  7. The 13 Clocks. James Thurber 



2013 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge


**Challenge complete. See my wrap-up post HERE.**

Dates: 1 January - 31 December, 2013
Hosted by: The Book Vixen

Guidelines (quoted from the Challenge announcement page):
  • The goal is to outdo yourself by reading more books in 2013 than you did in 2012.
  • See the different levels below and pick the one that works best for you. You can move up a level as often as you’d like but no moving down.
  • Books can be any format (bound, ebook, audio).
  • Novellas that are at least 100 pages in length, as well as full-length novels, will count for this reading challenge.
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.
  • You do not have to be a book blogger to participate; you can track your progress on Goodreads or LibraryThing.

Levels:
  1. Getting my heart rate up – Read 1–5 more books 
  2. Out of breath – Read 6–10 more books 
  3. Breaking a sweat – Read 11–15 more books 
  4. I’m on fire! – Read 16+ more books

** I'm signing up at the second level ("Out of breath").

See my original post about the challenge here
See my challenge wrap-up post here

See the Challenge announcement/sign-up page here.
See the Challenge review link-up page here.

MY READING LIST (books read, with links to reviews):
  1. The Lost Symbol. Dan Brown 
  2. Cat on the Scent. Rita Mae Brown
  3. Darwin's Ghosts. Rebecca Stott 
  4. The Heat of the Sun. David Rain
  5. Farewell, Dorothy Parker. Ellen Meister
  6. Guilt. Jonathan Kellerman 
  7. Cold Remains. Sally Spedding
  8. The Happy Hollisters. Jerry West
  9. Half Magic. Edward Eager
  10. The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club. Duncan Whitehead
  11. Clea. Lawrence Durrell
  12. Seduction. M.J. Rose
  13. Fer-de-Lance. Rex Stout 
  14. The Flamethrowers. Rachel Kushner
  15. & Sons: A Novel. David Gilbert 
  16. Inferno. Dan Brown 
  17. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. L. Frank Baum
  18. A Fearful Madness. Julius Falconer
  19. Death By a HoneyBee. Abigail Keam
  20. Is This Tomorrow. Caroline Leavitt 
  21. A Fatal Likeness. Lyn Shepherd 
  22. Pretty Polly Flinders. Mary Frances Blaisdell
  23. The Good Luck of Right Now. Matthew Quick 
  24. The Buddhist Catechism. Henry Steel Olcott
  25. Bunnicula.  James Howe & Deborah Howe
  26. The Book of Secrets. Elizabeth Joy Arnold
  27. Night Film. Marisha Pessl
  28. The Small Hand & Dolly. Susan Hill
  29. The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. H.P. Lovecraft
  30. Ignorance. Milan Kundera
  31. The Shooting Party. Isabel Colegate
  32. Time Will Tell. Donald Greig
  33. Heroic Measures. Jill Ciment
  34. Invisible Cities. Italo Calvino
  35. Double Indemnity. James M. Cain
  36. Evil Under the Sun. Agatha Christie
  37. The 13 Clocks. James Thurber
  38. Chéri. Colette 


Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge 2013: Scattergories


**Challenge complete (sort of). See my wrap-up post HERE.**

Dates: 1 January - 31 December, 2013
Hosted by: Bev @ My Reader's Block

Guidelines:
  • Read at least 8 books from 8 different categories
  • All books must have been originally written before 1960 and be from the mystery category (crime fiction, detective fiction, espionage, etc.). 
  • Short story collections are OK so long as all the stories included were originally written pre-1960. 
  • Each book may count for only one category. 
  • Books may count towards any other challenges. 
  • Challenge runs from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013. Sign up any time between now and November 30, 2013. Any books read from January 1 on may count regardless of your sign-up date. 
  • Reviews are not required. 
  • Once you have met the 8 book minimum, you may repeat any category (except the last one) any number of times to reach the 16+ level. 
  • There will be a site for reviews/progress reports. 
  •  Mini-Challenge Level--for those who would like to participate at a lower commitment. Choose any 4 categories for a commitment of 4 books. Challengers who complete this level will be eligible for a separate year-end prize drawing.
 Categories:
  1. Colorful Crime: a book with a color or reference to color in the title 
  2. Murder by the Numbers: a book with a number, quantity in the title 
  3. Amateur Night: a book with a "detective" who is not a P.I.; Police Officer; Official Investigator (Nurse Keate, Father Brown, Miss Marple, etc.) 
  4. Leave It to the Professionals: a book featuring cops, private eyes, secret service, professional spies, etc. 
  5. Jolly Old England: one mystery set in Britain 
  6. Yankee Doodle Dandy: one mystery set in the United States 
  7. World Traveler: one mystery set in any country except the US or Britain 
  8. Dangerous Beasts: a book with an animal in the title (The Case of the Grinning Gorilla; The Canary Murder Case; etc.) 
  9. A Calendar of Crime: a mystery with a date/holiday/year/month/etc. in the title (Hercule Poirot's Christmas, Holiday Homicide, etc.) 
  10. Wicked Women: a book with a woman in the title--either by name (Mrs. McGinty's Dead) or by reference (The Case of the Vagabound Virgin) 
  11. Malicious Men: a book with a man in the title--either by name (Maigret & the Yellow Dog) or by reference (The Case of the Haunted Husband) 
  12. Murderous Methods : a book with a means of death in the title (The Noose, 5 Bullets, Deadly Nightshade, etc). 
  13. Staging the Crime: a mystery set in the entertainment world (the theater, musical event, a pageant, Hollywood, featuring a magician, etc) 
  14. Scene of the Crime: a book with the location of the crime in the title (The Body in the Library, Murder at the Vicarage, etc.) 
  15. Cops & Robbers: a book that features a theft rather than murder 
  16. Locked Rooms: a locked-room mystery 
  17. Country House Criminals: a standard (or not-so-standard) Golden Age country house murder
  18. Murder on the High Seas: a mystery involving water 
  19. Planes, Trains & Automobiles: a mystery that involves a mode of transportation in a vital way--explicitly in the title (Murder on the Orient Express) or by implication (Death in the Air; Death Under Sail) or perhaps the victim was shoved under a bus.... 
  20. Murder Is Academic: a mystery involving a scholar, teacher, librarian, etc. OR set at a school, university, library, etc. 
  21. Things That Go Bump in the Night: a mystery with something spooky, creepy, gothic in the title (The Skeleton in the Clock, Haunted Lady, The Bat, etc.) 
  22. Repeat Offenders: a mystery featuring your favorite series detective or by your favorite author (the books/authors you'd read over and over again) OR reread an old favorite 
  23. The Butler Did It...Or Not: a mystery where the butler is the victim, the sleuth....(gasp) the criminal....or is just downright memorable for whatever reason. 
  24. A Mystery By Any Other Name: any book that has been published under more than one title (Murder Is Easy--aka Easy to Kill [Christie]; Fog of Doubt--aka London Particular [Christianna Brand], etc.) 
  25. Dynamic Duos: a mystery featuring a detective team--Holmes & Watson, Pam & Jerry North, Wolfe & Goodwin, or....a little-known team that you introduce to us. 
  26. Size Matters: a book with a size or measurement in the title (Death Has a Small Voice, The Big Four, The Weight of the Evidence, etc.) 
  27. Psychic Phenomena: a mystery featuring a seance, medium, hypnotism, or other psychic or "supernatural" characters/events 
  28. Book to Movie: one vintage mystery that has appeared on screen (feature film or TV movie). 
  29. The Old Bailey: a courtroom drama mystery (Perry Mason, anyone? Witness for the Prosecution...etc.) OR a mystery featuring a judge, lawyer, barrister, D.A., etc. 
  30. Get Out of Jail Free: This is a freebie category. One per customer. 

See my original post about the challenge here.
See my challenge wrap-up post here
See the Challenge Announcement page here.
See the review site here.

MY READING LIST (with links to reviews):
  1. Fer-de-Lance. Rex Stout (first published 1934)
    ~ Since this is the first book in Stout's Nero Wolfe/Archie Goodwin series, it's definitely in the "Dynamic Duo" category (Category #25).
  2. Evil Under the Sun. Agatha Christie (first published 1941)
    ~ I loved the film with Peter Ustinov, Maggie Smith, and Diana Rigg. How have I neglected to read the book all these years? Category #28 (Book to Movie)

What's in a Name 6


**Challenge complete.  See my wrap-up post HERE.**

Dates: 1 January - 31 December 2013
Hosted by: Beth Fish Reads

What it's all about -- Between January 1 and December 31, 2013, participants will read one book in each of the following Categories:
  1. A book with up or down (or equivalent) in the title
  2. A book with something you'd find in your kitchen in the title
  3. A book with a party or celebration in the title
  4. A book with fire (or equivalent) in the title
  5. A book with an emotion in the title
  6. A book with lost or found (or equivalent) in the title

Guidelines (quoted from Challenge announcement page):
  • Books may be any form (audio, print, e-book). 
  • Books may overlap other challenges. 
  • Books may not overlap categories; you need a different book for each category. 
  • Creativity for matching the categories is not only allowed but encouraged. 
  • You do not have to make a list of books before hand. 
  • You do not have to read through the categories in any particular order. 

See my original post about the challenge here.
See my challenge wrap-up post here
See the challenge announcement/sign-up page here.
See the gateway to review link-ups here.

MY READING LIST (books read, with links to reviews):
  • Category #1: Evil Under the Sun. Agatha Christie
  • Category #2: Death By a HoneyBee. Abigail Keam
  • Category #3: The Shooting Party. Isabel Colegate
  • Category #4: The Heat of the Sun. David Rain (See Review)
  • Category #5: The Happy Hollisters. Jerry West (See Review)
  • Category #6: The Lost Symbol. Dan Brown (See Review)