Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fall 2008 Reading Challenge


I set myself a Reading Challenge Quest to read all the AAR Top 100 Romances for 2007 at some point during this year. I see a reading challenge as an arbitrary way to get some new books, new authors, new genres, under my belt. If so many people love them, I figured, then maybe I will too.

I had already read maybe 20 or so of the Top 100 when I started. I quickly learned that just because they're popular doesn't mean I will like them, and while I knocked back 6 Lisa Kleypas books, 4 from the 100, I learned I am not a fan of her writing style. I think trying 6 books was enough - so I scratched her other Top 100s off my TBR list. No point in wasting a day reading a book I am probably not going to enjoy.

I have now read just over 50 of the books on the list, and scratched off an additional 10 or so that I don't have much interest in reading. I ponder the "ethics" as it were of claiming I read all 100 if I don't read them all - maybe on a whim I will submit myself to the torture of reading those 10 just so I can truthfully say I did. Funny, huh? And if I do read them all? Should I make myself a t-shirt and a web banner?

Of course, I didn't make up Reading Challenges, and there are several people out there challenging themselves to read any number of books for various reasons. In fact, I joined a Shelfari Group called Readers of Romance Book Challenges just to see what other people are doing.

What this group does is set up a number of book challenges, including 3-month-long seasonal challenges. Each member chooses to read 5, 10 or 15 books based on a list of truly arbitrary descriptions (like read a book with a word starting with N in the title, for November). Many people seem to use it to whittle down their TBR mountains and/or to find new books to read.

I can't decide if I can bend to the whims of a pre-ordained list, or if maybe in my book-a-day reading I might read books that meet the list's requirements anyway. So, for my first joint challenge venture, I'll post the Fall Challenge List:

Books must be read between September 1 – November 30
1. Title that reminds you of a fairytale - The Raven Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt *****
2. Book based on the cover Night of Sin by Julia Ross **** READ 11/4
3. Read a book that was read and reviewed on the blog in the Summer Book Challenge - The Secret Pearl by Mary Balogh 9/13 ***** (also on AAR Top 100) see review here
4. Read a book from a genre you have not read yet (or if you have read all genres, read from the genre you read the least) Remembrance by Jude Deveraux **** paranormal
5. Read a book that has an “N” word in the title for November Taming Natasha by Nora Roberts, READ 9/29 ****
6. Read an author that last name or first name starts with "S" for September - Delicious by Sherry Thomas READ 9/12 *****
7. Read a book by Johanna Lindsey - Love Me Forever - read 10/21 **
8. For Halloween…. Read a book that is "spooky" (ghosts, vampires, werewolves, mystery, suspense) Dark Fever by Karen Marie Moning, free podcast/audio book 9/21 ****
9. Title with an address or a place in it - Blue Bayou by JoAnn Ross, in a 3fer book with the other 2 titles, River Road and Magnolia Moon, Read 10/14 ****
10. Title that has a name in it - Falling for Rachel by Nora Roberts, Read 9/30 **** (also in this category, Taming Natasha by Nora Roberts, Without a Trace by Nora Roberts and Passion by Lisa Valdez)
11. Read a Series Book Beguiled by Lori Foster, 9/3 on audio (maybe 250 pages?) **** - I have Caught In The Act on audio, it's Delilah and Mick's story, after this one which is Dane and Angel's story
12. Read a Series Book The Velvet Promise by Jude Deveraux ****, first in the Velvet Series, read 9/5
13. Read a New (to you) author A Little Help From Above by Saralee Rosenberg ***, read 9/2
14. Title that has an animal in it - The Leopard Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt, read 9/18 ***
15. Title that is 2 words Death Angel by Linda Howard *****, read 9/1

I originally hesitated to try to post titles I planned to read that fit the list right away - I had, at the time I wrote this post, 19 more days in the month during which I figured I would read at least 15 books currently in my TBR stack, and I wasn't sure I wanted to hold any back for September 1st... It was a dilemma (since resolved).

As you can see from the list, I've whittled away 9 of the categories, and have 1 in my TBR pile, and one on my ipod that I'm working on, with 4 categories not yet filled. I can pick up the Johanna Lindsey at Hastings (if it's still there), but will have to work on the other 3 after my trip to Egypt.

3 to go - I managed to knock 2 of them off in Egypt. I still need Johanna Lindsey, the book based on cover and the title with an address or place... Nothing in my TBR matches this.

At last, I bought a Johanna Lindsey on sale at Hastings for $4.49 in hard cover AND I managed to buy something I'd been considering that I now realize has a PLACE in the title (Blue Bayou, JoAnn Ross). Now to find SOMETHING I read because I liked the cover...

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