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?