Sunday 14 December 2014

2015 - Challenges - Will I? Or Won't I?

I may have over-commited myself when planning my 2014 reading challenges!

I very nearly threw my hands up in despair last week when I started spotting 2015 challenges. I was adamant - NO! Not again.

But then I spotted Behold the Stars British Reading Challenge & Adam's TBR Challenge...and I started wondering....

Did I really do so badly with my 2014 challenges?
And even if I did, does it matter?

Thanks to all those challenges I met some fabulous new bloggers & read lots of great reviews for books I'd like to read one day.

Only one way to find....

To summarise:

My ability to keep my challenge page up to date & link appropriate reviews fell down about August. But with a bit of double-checking and cross-referencing I discovered...

Eclectic Reader Challenge - not as eclectic as I thought I was.
The bulk of my reading in 2014 was either 'award-winning', 'cosy-crime' or 'published this year'. I only read some Gothic books thanks to the Angela Carter Reading Week in June.

Around the World Challenge - success!
I planned to read 4 countries, but managed to read 8 (Australia, England, USA, Japan, New Zealand, Netherlands, France, India - & half a Russian!) Which makes me a 'casual tourist'.

Adam's TBR Challenge - I only read 4 of my nominated TBR list, although I actually read somewhere between 12-15 books from off my TBR pile anyway!

What's in a Name? Of the 5 categories I only fulfilled one. Although I fulfilled that one, over and over and over again! Who knew that I enjoyed reading books with people's first names in them so much?

Back to the Classics - of the 6 categories - I read more than one book from 5 of them. Even though I read a few war books this year, they were not classics alas.

History Reading Challenge - thanks to Aus-Reading Month & Non-Fiction November I finally finished a book on the Eureka Stockade to fulfill one read in this challenge.

Chunkster Reading Challenge - I read at least 4 chunksters this year - yay me!

Michael's Literary Exploration Challenge - I failed miserably at maintaining a goodreads page, but I did read out of 23 of the 36 categories in the Insane Challenge.

New Year's Resolution Reading Challenge - X

Books on France - big tick - at least 7 books completed.

Foodies Challenge - one book completed - review still to come.

Colour Coded Reading Challenge - 2 books

The Classics Club - 11 more books ticked off my list.

Lessons learnt?

I read classics, I read contemporary. I read historical fiction & non-fiction. I read translations and love books set in other countries. I love joining in readalongs & reading weeks. I read a LOT of Australian books.

So I guess that means I'm in!
In for another year of reading challenges, readalongs and reading weeks - although tailored towards my preferred reading genres and styles.

Behold the Stars: Reading England Challenge

Cambridgeshire - Jacob's Room by Virginia Woolf (20th century)

Cheshire - Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

Cornwall - Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier (reread) & Basil by Wilkie Collins (person's name)

Cumbra - Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte (woman author)

Derbyshire - Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain

Devon - The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle (novella)

Gloucestershire - Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee (non-fiction)

Hampshire - Watership Down by Richard Adams (reread) (children's)

Kent - Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens & Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man by Siegfried Sassoon

Lancashire - Mary Barton (19th century) and North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell (chunkster)

London - Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe, The Diary of a Nobody by George & Wheedon Grossmith (humorous),  Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens, Night and Day by Virginia Woolf & The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope

All of these books are currently (languishing) on my shelves (or in the piles hidden behind my bedroom mirror!) Most of them are also on my Classics Club list.

The list (currently) consists of 16 books which means that I can also officially join in Adam's TBR Pile Challenge of 12 books from my TBR pile.

Karen's Back to the Classics is also (mostly) covered by the books above (notes in blue).
For the rest - a forgotten classic is Stoner by John Williams, a translation is The Dream by Emile Zola & a play is Summer of the Seventeenth Doll by Ray Lawler (Australian).

On my left sidebar Plethora of Books has not only conceived a project after my own heart, but she has also designed the most exquisite badge ever.
I re-read at least one Austen every year, so it will be a pleasure to join in as time permits with this one.

Lois at You, Me and a Cup of Tea is also hosting a Birthday Reading Challenge. The idea is simply to read a book by an author who has a birthday during each month. Each month she will post a list of possible authors and a review link for that month. Could be fun.

I also plan to join the Australian Women Writers Challenge when they post their 2015 sign up as my reading & reviewing this year proved to be predominately Australian women writers.

Are you joining in any reading challenges in 2015?


  1. A very good job at crossing over between challenges! I'm impressed! I've joined about 6 challenges, but I think I was at 13 last year so I have cut back. I may add another one or two though if I can't resist.

    1. Yes, I tried 12 challenges last year...much too hard!
      I feel that 4 is far more managable! Especially if I can combine them.

      I may be tempted to add another one or two as well though...

  2. You are amazing Brona! What a lot of wonderful reading you did in 2014. I think I have to limit myself to one challenge per year, otherwise I will get too tangled up in my reading lists. Although some of the others are very tempting...

  3. I'm impressed with all you have achieved this year - I must admit I love the motivation of joining in with challenges, but well if I don't quite keep up well never mind!!
    Hope you get some reading in this week! Thanks for your Schoolies best wishes!

  4. You seem to have read lots of interesting and worthwhile books which is really all that matters.

    I too cannot seem to find the time to read everything that I want to. Thus I usually refrain from joining challenges.

    Your lineup for the next year looks so good. I am looking forward to reading your thoughts on these books.

    Happy reading!

  5. I plan to sign on for a couple of challenges in 2015 -- I find they stretch me to read beyond my usual choices, which I like. I will not be doing the TBR pile challenge again. I did it for the first time this year and learned that I don't do well reading off a pre-chosen list, it felt like homework and I kept avoiding it. I look forward to hearing about all the great books you have planned for next year. Enjoy!

  6. Anonymous15/12/14

    I didn't do so well with my challenges either, but I am in the process of getting my lists together. I can't resist. Although my challenges won't be half as challenging as yours. :)

  7. Anonymous15/12/14

    I am hesitant to join challenges....yet I have succumbed to a few that interest me and are 'do- able'.
    You can see my 2015 planning on the blogpost 'Winners and Losers"

    Let's make it a great reading year 2015!
    ...and if you have a 'blog-dip'..remember to take some time off and regroup. I did in October 2014 and it does help you 'charge your batteries' !

  8. These days I don't take on many challenges but the classic ones have really appealed for 2015 . You have some great titles on your list.

  9. Anonymous15/12/14

    congratulations for your 7 books on France. did you see the new twist for 2015?:

  10. I hope you do the First book Of The Year! Its fun and I would love to have you on board :) Its a one day challenge :)

    1. Thanks Shelia I did spot your one yesterday and will check out the details :-)

  11. Like you, I didn't keep up with updating my challenges so very well, but I actually did pretty well on them when I looked at it. I'm hosting a challenge on my blog this year, but it's a little different - a discussion challenge! I thought it might be a fun change from all the reading challenges. :-)

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. Sounds interesting - I'll check it out :-)

  12. Great list! We've got lots in common :D

    1. Hopefully your challenge will help me get on top of my classic TBR pile!

  13. I just joined the Back to the Classics Challenge 2015. I'll be using some of my Classics Club titles but haven't finalised my list - or really made one yet. I'll have to snoop around & see what everyone else is doing & see if I like any of them more than what I have in mind.

  14. I'm back after a year of staying away from reading challenges (and reading as well - though not intentionally). I've also signed up for O's and Adam's challenges and three more that caught my fancy because they appeal to my reading sense and style. :D

    I also have A Bronte's Tenant of Wildfell Hall down for Reading England.

  15. I over committed myself this year too! I think I'm also going to jump in next year anyway and I think I'll prioritize my challenge choices by picking only those which include the sort of books I think it's really important to read - banned books, diverse books, and books I already own for example :) Good luck with your challenges next year!

  16. Anonymous20/12/14

    I'm glad you're joining us for 2015! :)

  17. I'm joining the Reading England challenge -- looks fun!

    Joy's Book Blog


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