TSS - Challenges Oy Vay.

G'mornin' my fellow book buddies. We're actually experiencing some chillier air here in Florida (I believe it might get down to the 30's this evening? Hot cocoa time for sure).

This is one of my most favorite times of the year. I love the energy that forms. It's as though everyone gets this second burst of life and charges full speed ahead until the New Year. (This is especially the case of my students who are off the chain, heh).

I decided it's time to take stock in challenges. This past year I was not very consistent with maintaining my challenge page, and after a quick glance last night, I'm surprised that I (probably) completed as many as I did. I haven't gone through my personal nerddom and analyze this past year YET, but I get the sense that it was a pretty good year.
I already have an idea of what my reading resolutions will be for 2011 and will draft that post soon. One thing that I've considered is participating in less challenges. I mean, quite frankly, it's not as though I'm really that great at keeping up with them. There's a few out there that HAVE caught my attention and because they are consistent with my own goals for the new year, of course I'm willing to sign up.

First is Amanda's LGBTQ challenge. I wasn't very active with posting my reviews, but I love the challenge and think it's important to encourage diversity. I especially love where LGBTQ lit is going. While at NCTE I attended a panel discussion with Bill Konigsberg (2009 Lambda winner for Out of the Pocket) he pointed out what cool times we were living in. More and more LGBTQ books aren't about the coming out process or about the first time falling in love experience (although both are still equally important), rather the character's sexuality is not the center of the novel. It's just what it is. Of course there's still a long way to go, but the progress is exciting. Konigsberg shared that when he was growing up (even in NYC) he had no one to identify himself with as an adolescent. Even in smaller towns, I feel that isolation is withering away with books and even television (yay to Ellen and double yay for Modern Family).

I will also be participating in words, words, words' Victorian Literature Challenge this coming year. This was sorta a no-brainer. I plan on returning to the classics (as so many book bloggers are) this year. I surely don't mean to commit to ONLY the classics, but I'd like to read at least a couple a month rather than the three or four I've read this year. (And it might have even been less!) I'll create an official post to sign up for this challenge, but more than likely I'll aim low: Sense & Sensibility.

Also, I love what Ready When You Are, CB is doing for the New Year: the TBR Dare. It runs through April and the goal is to read only from your TBR stacks. This is a serious must for me. I have so many great books on my shelves there's no reason for me to go out and purchase more. I'm hoping to last until April, but will be quite pleased with myself if I manage to make it through February.

And FINALLY - I'm excited to participate in Allie's Read-A-Longs for 2011. She has put together some amazing choices for each month, and voting is up for the first quarter. Plus, for the larger tombs (War and Peace, Atlas Shrugged..Anna Karenina) she has alloted two months. I've never participated in a read-a-long but I think it will help satisfy what I miss the most about my literature courses - discussion on the same book!

I have such a good feeling about this year. I think that it's going to be very productive and enjoyable. Where are you with challenges? Are you signing up for any? Which ones?


  1. Thanks for getting the word out about the TBR Dare. I'm doing that one, of course, and I'll be announcing a western read-a-long later this week. I don't know what other one's I'll sign up for yet. I'm leaning more towards read-a-longs, but I did the Dewey Decimal Chalenge a couple of years ago and had a lot of fun with it. I may do that one.

  2. I'm trying to do very few challenges next year too. I've still got the Middle Eastern Challenge going on until the end of July, but it's a "read as many as you want" sort of challenge so I can already end it if I decide to. The GLBT Challenge of course (thanks for joining again!) and my classics project, as well as a reading swap with my husband. Other than that, I don't think I'm signing up for anything. I guess that means the only new official challenge I'm joining is the GLBT.

    I love that TBR challenge but I have book clubs that require me to get books fromthe library, so I can't participate. Ah well!

  3. I kind of wanted to avoid challenges for next year other than the Year of Feminist Classics and a few reading list swaps with friends, but the GLBTQ and Victorian ones are so calling my name...

  4. I've signed up for one: The Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, hosted by Bev of My Reader's Block.

  5. Good luck with any challenges you do decide to do. The read a long sounds fun. I'm just setting my own challenges this year. I have a lot of series I'd like to get finished so on my challenge page I'm just listing a bunch of those. I don't know if I'll do them all - we'll see. I'm hoping 2011 is going to be a great year for us all.

  6. I really just need to keep away from my Google Reader until everyone has stopped posting about awesome challenges. I always forget about mine halfway through the year!

  7. I would love to do a Read-a-long. I wonder why I have never done one.

    And I might actually finish some of those big books!

  8. CB - I've really enjoyed reading others Dewey Decimal challenge. I like that it forces everyone out of their comfort zone (my NF reads are usually sociology or psychology).

    Amanda - I've never really been able to complete challenges that aren't a year long. In fact, although I love reading the posts and I (vicariously) participate, I have never even signed up for the RIP challenge!

    Ana - I totally forgot about the feminist challenge. I love the pick for January. Perhaps I will squeeze another one in. :)

    Charlie - Good luck to you with your challenge. I've never really found a mystery writer that I liked enough to read more of.

    Darlene - I've found myself enjoying series more than expected. Very unusual for me. Good luck with yours.

    Jenny - *grin* That's how I felt last year.

    Debbie - I'm tweeting you the link. I forgot to post it and have since made the correction. Ooops. Maybe I needed 3 cups of coffee! Hee hee.

  9. I must resist the urge! I will not be tempted by reading challenges next year. I just end up failing miserably.

  10. I am horrible at challenges...I learned that early on in my book blogging career! I love hearing about all the interesting reading challenges people come up with, though. And I'm always tempted!

    Good luck with yours!

  11. I'm not sure which I will be joining yet (other than the two that I host: The Time Travel Reading Challenge and The Awesome Author Challenge).

    Good luck with you're reading!

  12. I have a million challenges that I want to join next year but I'll probably limit myself to no more than ten. The TBR Dare challenge sounds so hard! Good luck to you on it. Thanks for posting about Allie's Read-alongs! I had no idea this was going on. Have a great week!

  13. I've given up challenges this year and don't plan to do any next year but I love readalongs and will be checking out Allie's. I think Jill (Fizzy) and Trisha (Eclectic) will be doing Ulysses next year as well. They better as I've already bought the book.

    So glad to see bloggers returning to classics. I love bloghopping but I admit it's tough when every post you read is for an ARC.

    Might have to unofficially do CB's TBR dare.

    Oh, and I JUST realized yesterday that the year is over in two weeks. WTF. Talk about sudden energy burst!


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