2015 Challenges

I didn’t do so well with my challenges this year. I kept getting distracted by read-alongs and weekly/monthly reading events. And there were quite a few books I simply had to read after seeing them reviewed on other blogs. So I wasn’t going to sign up for anything. But sign-up posts for various challenges are popping up everywhere, and I am so tempted to try again. So what the heck, here goes…

2015tbrbutton

This year, I only read 5 of the 12 books I had picked for Adam’s TBR Pile challenge. Not a good result, but it’s still 5 books off my pile. I think I can beat this rather poor record. For 2015, I’ve picked from both my Classics Club and my Women’s Price for Fiction lists to come up with my challenge titles. I have firmly resolved to start 2015 by reading 20 books that I own (inspiration here) and to participate in Lori’s initiative to put the library on hold in January. So this challenge should be easy, right?!? Yes, hope springs eternal! Without further ado, here are the books I would really like to read next year:

1. The Ballad of the Sad Café, Carson McCullers
2. Wise Blood, Flannery O’Connor
3. The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien
4. The Marquise of O, Heinrich von Kleist
5. The Jew’s Beech Tree, Annette von Droste-Hülshoff
6. Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
7. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, John LeCarre

8. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
9. State of Wonder, Ann Pattchet
10. The History of Love, Nicole Krauss
11. Purple Hibiscus, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
12. Ice Road, Gillian Slovo

My two back-up books will be titles from my personal non-fiction challenge for next year:

13. Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage, Alfred Lansing
14. West With the Night, Beryl Markham


backtotheclassics2015BUTTON I’ve been very happy with my Classics reading progress this year, and I would like to continue that trend. What better way than participating in Karen’s Back to the Classics challenge. I like that I don’t have to pick titles ahead of time, though I already have some ideas. Ideally, I will fill all 12 categories.

1.  A 19th Century Classic: The Jew’s Beech Tree, Annette von Droste-Hülshoff
2.  A 20th Century Classic: The Country Girls, Edna O’Brien
3.  A Classic by a Woman Author: Summer, Edith Wharton
4.  A Classic in Translation: Naomi, Junichiro Tanizaki
5.  A Very Long Classic Novel: Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
6.  A Classic Novella: Call of the Wild, Jack London
7.  A Classic with a Person’s Name in the Title: Dracula, Bram Stoker
8.  A Humorous or Satirical Classic: Three Men in a Boat, Jerome K. Jerome
9.  A Forgotten Classic: After the Divorce, Grazia Deledda
10.  A Nonfiction Classic: West With the Night, Beryl Markham
11.  A Classic Children’s Book: Emil and the Detectives, Erich Kästner
12.  A Classic Play: The Short Plays of Thornton Wilder
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23 comments

  1. I completely understand about not wanting to overload yourself with challenges… I don’t even think I’m going to meet my “total books read for the year” goal, much less anything else!

    Still, so happy to see you taking part in the TBR Pile Challenge. That’s definitely one I can get behind. 🙂

    Good luck!

  2. Kudos to you! I cannot even imagine taking the Classics challenge. It makes my head hurt just think about it. I did the TBR challenge this year but did not fare so well either and unlike you, am not being strong about it but just giving it up for next year. In short, I’m going to be a total slacker!

  3. I have given up deciding in advance what I’m going to read. Like you, I get distracted by all sorts of things – not just literary. I’ll probably read 20/30 books in the year but apart from three or four I have no idea what they’re going to be.

  4. Good luck with your challenges for the coming year. I have resisted signing up for any year long challenges. Instead I will keep my focus on The Classics Club except for a few shorter reading events.

  5. I loved State of Wonder – such a unique book and so much better than Bel Canto, I thought. I might join this TBR pile challenge…I’ve needed some inspiration to tackle some backlist books that I’ve meant to read for awhile now.

    • That’s good to hear. I’ve had State of Wonder on my shelf for over a while now. Sometimes a challenge like this is what you need to start reading the books from your shelf. Although I didn’t do very well with it this year…

  6. I think I”m going to stick with one challenge at a time (plus reading weeks and such) so it’s just Back to the Classics for me! I don’t count “Put the Library on Hold” because there are no rules there except not checking out from the library for a month. I do hope I will get to some books I’ve been neglecting. Enjoy your 2015 challenges!

    • Put the library on hold will be a mini-challenge for me, because we stop there at least once a week. It’s always tempting to quickly grab a book from the “Newly Arrived” shelf. I’m looking forward to reading you classics reviews.

  7. Best of luck with your 2015 challenges. It’s so hard to keep everything spinning without getting distracted by other reviews and readalongs.

    I’ve read a few on your list – loved Brideshead, The History of Love and Tess. Carson McCullers writes with such insight and humanity, and I’d like to read another by her next year (probably The Heart is a Lonely Hunter). I haven’t read Ballad but her Clock Without Hands has stayed with me.

    • I’m looking forward to the books on my list, and it’s good to hear that you liked several of them. I haven’t read any McCullers yet, so I am looking forward to finally trying her next year.

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