Monday, January 7, 2019

A Tale of Two Challenges...

Here's what you need to know about me and reading challenges--I love the idea of them and I always start out with great enthusiasm, but some time around June, my enthusiasm begins to peter out, and I usually end up with a list of books I no longer want to read or review. Which then causes me unnecessary stress... and unwanted bookish guilt, too. So last year, I didn't sign up for any reading challenges. And it was nice. But part of me also missed joining in the reading challenge fun with everyone else.

So this year, I'm signing up for not one, but two reading challenges:  The Backlist Reader Challenge and the Back to the Classics 2019 Challenge. Why these two? Because I've done each of them before and they're a lot of fun, and also because the books on my TBR list that I was already planning on reading this year happen to count for both challenges.

It's bookish serendipity at its best!

(You'll have to wait and see if I'm able to finish either of these challenges, or if I end up quitting halfway through the year...again.)

Here are the main things you need to know about these two awesome reading challenges:

The Backlist Reader Challenge 2019
Hosted by Lark at The Bookwyrm's Hoard


The Rules:
  1. Choose and read books published before 2018 that are either already on your TBR shelf at home or on your want-to-read list. (I'm going to focus on the books I already own.)
  2. Sign up and set your own reading goal. (I like that I have the freedom to read as many or as few books as I want to with this challenge!)
  3. Review the books you read and link your posts back to Lark's blog.
Easy right? Plus, it tackles that ever-growing pesky TBR pile we all seem to have.


Back to the Classics Challenge 2019
Hosted by Karen at Books and Chocolate



Here are the categories for this year's challenge...and the authors I hope to read for each.
  1. 19th Century Classic.  (Elizabeth Gaskell)
  2. 20th Century Classic.   (Angela Thirkell)
  3. Classic by a Woman Author  (Willa Cather)
  4. Classic in Translation
  5. Classic Comic Novel   (Georgette Heyer)
  6. Classic Tragic Novel   (Thomas Hardy)
  7. Very Long Classic   (Anthony Trollope)
  8. Classic Novella   (Edgar Rice Burroughs)
  9. Classic From the Americas (includes the Caribbean)
  10. Classic From Africa, Asia, or Oceania
  11. Classic From a Place You've Lived   (Luke Short)
  12. Classic Play   (Shakespeare)
Complete either six, nine, or all twelve categories. Sounds fun right? You should join in!
(As you can see, I'm shooting for 9 of the 12 categories because I already own books by those authors.)

Wish me luck...and Happy Reading!

45 comments:

  1. I'm selecting books to read each month that fit the various challenges I'm doing. It'll help keep me motivated through the year with my reading!

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    1. That's a good way to do it...especially considering that my reading mood changes from month to month. :D

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  2. Good luck. You can do it. I do several but variety is the key for me. Also, I can't do challenges where I have to stick to a set list. I'm too much of a mood reader!

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    1. Sticking to a set list is hard for me, too, because halfway through the year I always find myself in the mood for different books. :)

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  3. I’m the same way with challenges. I start out excited, but then I get bored and don’t want to do them anymore. Good luck this year!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. Thanks! I'm hoping that I can finish both of these. :)

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  4. No longer do challenges, but Good Luck with both of yours!

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    1. I didn't do any challenges last year and it certainly made my reading year less stressful. And if I don't do well on these challenges this year, then I'll probably call it quits on all reading challenges. :D

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  5. Good luck! They both sound like good challenges, especially as you already own books that will count towards them.

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    1. That was my real motivation for signing up for these challenges! I'm hoping it helps me actually stick with them this time around. :)

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  6. Lark, good luck! I'm with you when it comes to challenge - I'm excited at first and then my enthusiasm fades. However, I am participating in the Japanese Literature Challenge - it runs from Jan to March and you only have to read one book minimum, so I figured I can do that :)

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    1. A one book minimum sounds doable to me! Happy reading. :)

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  7. Good luck with that! I don't do reading challenges as I never know what I will be in the mood for. I'm very much a mood reader! But I know a lot of people who say they feel good about having a 'guideline' regarding what (kind of book) to read next. It's a good thing we're all different! Happy reading :-)

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    1. I'm a bit of a mood reader, too, which is why I'm not always good at finishing the challenges I start, but I'm going to give these two a try. :D

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  8. Brilliant idea to read a Heyer for the comic category...I just may do that myself. I've started Oh, Pioneers, and love it so much. I hope to read the whole trilogy this year. Yes, Hardy is always good for a tragedy.

    Good luck with both challenges, and dodging the guilt!

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    1. Thanks, Jane! I love O, Pioneers. It's such a great Cather novel. And Heyer is always good for a laugh. :)

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  9. I feel the same way about challenges, Lark. I like the idea of them but I usually don't complete them, which is why I hardly ever sign up. I did sign up for an audiobook one, but that should be easy since I "read" so many books this way anyhow. Good luck!

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    1. Thanks, Rachel. Good luck on your challenge, too!

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  10. Good luck! I've learned I'm terrible at challenges.

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    1. I'm not that great at them either. We'll see how I do with these two. :)

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  11. I understand the dilemma! I don't like to feel hemmed in either. That is what I like about Karen's challenge, there are so many books that could fit in any category... good luck!

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    1. I like the openness of both of these challenges and the fact that I can change my mind about what I want to read at any time. Hopefully that'll help me stick with them. :)

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  12. I gave up on reading challenges years ago and although they're fun, I figured the books I choose to read are always on whim and at times my reading mood changes so it's not a good fit when reading challenges are concerned. :p

    Hope you've fun and that you enjoy all the books you'll be reading for these challenges. :)

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    1. Luckily, there's still plenty of room in my reading schedule for "whim reading", even with these two challenges. Otherwise I never would have signed up for them. :D

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  13. I like the sound of both of these challenges! I usually never finish them either but there's that nice sense of accomplishment when I do lol.

    I like the categories for the Classics

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    1. They're good categories this year! I can think of a lot of different books I could read for them, which is nice. :)

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  14. I'm the same way with challenges as well, so I resisted signing up for any this year - but I'll be cheering you on :) I'm interested to see which books you choose for your Classics list, and happy to see Georgette Heyer there!

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    1. I totally needed a break from challenges last year. :D And thanks for cheering me one!

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  15. I'm the same way with challenges, so these days, I just do them for fun. If I finish, great. If I don't, no big deal. If it stops being enjoyable and starts to feel stressful, I'm out.

    Good luck with these!

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    1. That's a healthier way to do things for sure. Not stressing so much about things is one of my goals this year. :)

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  16. It is fun being part of a challenge but I'm like you and I always lose steam after a bit.

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  17. Good luck! These sound like a lot of fun! I've never done a challenge before. I've thought about it, but didn't think I'd have the patience to complete them. Maybe one of these days... :)

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    1. Start with a short challenge! There are some where you only have to read 3-5 books. Like R.I.P. in the fall. Or in Lark's Backlist challenge you get to decide how many books you're going to read. That kind of flexibility in a challenge always works better for me. :)

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  18. Hi Lark, So glad you will be taking the 2019 Classics Challenge. I have Trollope on my list too. Georgette Heyer I've heard great thing about, particularly her novel the Grand Sophy. As for the Backlist Challenge where we read books we've already got stored in our kindles or in our bookshelves oh boy do I need to take that challenge!

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    1. I think we all do. I have so many books sitting on my shelves waiting to be read it's sad. What Trollope are you going to read for the Classics challenge?

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    2. Hi Lark, I will be reading The Way We Live Now. Its my first experience with Trollope and people say this is one of his best novels.

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    3. I've never read Trollope before either. But I have a copy of Can You Forgive Her? sitting on my shelf...so I'll be starting with that one. It'll be fun to see which book is better. :)

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  19. Yep, I totally understand the enthusiasm and then somehow falling off the challenge bandwagon. I love signing up, making lists, hearing about what others are reading, etc but I haven't had a good track record with challenges in the past couple of years so I'm taking a break this year. I like your idea of starting back up on a smaller scale. I think you're going to do great!

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    1. Glad I'm not the only one with reading challenge issues. It's nice to be in such good company. :D

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  20. Great choices, Lark. I was going to read The Great Gatsby for the tragedy but I don’t know that I want to do it now. I think I’d prefer something by Hardy, too.

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    1. Hardy does have a talent for writing tragic novels. :D

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  21. You have some excellent authors listed for BCC. I still have yet to read my first Thirkell but she's been on my TBR for years. I almost read High Rising for Christmas but couldn't quite fit it in. Gaskell is one my favourite authors. And for Trollope, do you think you might read The Way We Live Now? Best of luck with your challenges and have a wonderful reading year!

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    1. I haven't read Thirkell yet either, but I own one so I'm going to start with that one. As for Trollope, I have a copy of Can You Forgive Her? on my shelf that I've never read. Although I've heard good things about The Way We Live Now. Thanks for commenting! :)

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  22. I'm taking a break from challenges for similar reasons to yours. But I love Back to the Classics! I would like to get back to it soon.

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