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In 2019 I plan on participating in two reading challenges. Both of them will also help considerably in my own personal challenge of reading the books already sitting on my shelves. I also read one interesting idea where the challenge was to read one non-fiction book a month. I have so many non-fiction books sitting on my shelves that this would be such a perfect way of reading them – I’ve posted so many times about all the non-fiction books I want to get to – I think that is such an achievable goal for 2019 don’t you?

Reading Women Challenge

In 2018 I was actively reading for the Reading Women Challenge. I didn’t quite finish it though – I think I had 4 tasks left to finish and I just didn’t get to them by the end of the year: Set in or by a Russian author; a woman with a chronic illness; a true crime book; and a Nobel Prize winner). Not too bad considering I read 20 out of the 24 challenges, and some of those books were outside of my normal reading and comfort zones (mainly the fantasy novel (written by woman of colour), and poetry collection). I didn’t specifically post about those books in 2018, most of them were okay reading experiences so I didn’t expand too much on most of them. But….Reading Women has decided to create a new challenge for 2019. The challenge categories look very interesting and already I have created a list of books that fit the 24 tasks and include books that fit the Bonus Categories too. It definitely appears to be more exciting to read through this one in the new year.

I’ve got multiple books I can use for each of the challenges. Some I have only one book chosen specifically for the task. I should be able to complete this challenge this year, the categories appear much more interesting and many match my plan to read from my own shelves, so I’ve focused picking books that are owned already by me, and others that are easily available to borrow from the library.

I may very well start with Task #1, which is a book I can read on my tablet:

Among the Ruins, Ausma Zehanat Khan

I’ve got quite a few on my shelf for Task #2: “Woman with a Mental Illness” and I could/should easily read all 3 since they are all high on my list to read!

Women with a Mental Illness challenge

As you can see, I have many, many books that will fit many of the categories listed, and many could be multiples to fit just like the “Women with a Mental Illness” category. I also have many, many others on my Kobo and Samsung tablet, so the 2019 challenge is the perfect way to also work on reading from my own shelves challenge I’ve set for myself in the new year!

Books from my shelves that meet some of the tasks for the 2019 Reading Women Challenge

Reading With Style Seasonal Challenge

I was also introduced to a group on Goodreads (Reading With Style) that conducts Seasonal Challenges and the one for Winter 18-19 looked like fun, and I’ve already been steadily reading through books for this one. It runs from December to March. They use a system of points (20-and-10 point tasks and give bonus points if you’re book meets also fits with other tasks) I’ve been using books that are on my shelves or readily available so it’s been a good way to keep with my goal of reading my own shelves in 2019!

For instance, I’ve completed:

  1. Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett for “Winter Birthdays”. Patchett was born in December. (Got lots of bonus points for this one!)
  2. Death in the Darkening Mist by Iona Whishaw for “Over and Under”. This challenge was to find a book that has a rating over 3.75 on Goodreads and has under 1,000 ratings. Death in the Darkening Mist is rated at 4.05 and has just 141 ratings. (A couple of bonus points here too)
  3. November Road by Lou Berney for “New Author” – a task to read an author the moderators have not read yet. This one was a real challenge, as their list of authors read is gigantic!
  4. Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny. This task is to fit a book into a “Square Peg” – a book that doesn’t fit into any other of the challenges. It was a bit of a challenge to find one for this task too, but I happily got to use my new Louise Penny for it!

Their other challenges are:

  1. T. Corgahessan Boyle (Read Authors from the Iowa Writers Workshop) I’ve chosen: John Irving, Ann Patchett, Jennifer Haigh, Jane Smiley – any of these authors are on my bookshelves.
  2. Isaac Asimov (author’s “Not a novel”)   I’ve chosen: Ann Patchett – Truth and Beauty
  3. Wilkie Collins (Read a book in the top 300 list of Best Crime Mystery Books) I’ve can read The Secret History, Donna Tartt or Mistress of the Art of Death, Ariana Franklin.
  4. Nevil Shute (Read a book shelved at least 600 times as historical fiction) I’ve chosen: My Brilliant Friend, Elena Ferrante (746 times); The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller (this also fits with the Reading Women Challenge); The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver (also fits the RWC); or The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley (also same for the RWC).
  5. Edith Wharton (Read a book about the super wealthy, leisure class) I can read: The House of Spirits, Isabel Allende (fits for RWC); The Debutante, Kathleen Tessaro; The Moonstone, Wilkie Collins or The Party, Elizabeth Hay.
  6. Charles Darwin (Read a work that involves a grand adventure) I can read The Lost City of the Monkey God, Douglas Preston, or Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand or Sideways on a Scooter by Miranda Kennedy (leaning towards this one).
  7. Appalachia. This is the same as RWC, so I can fit Prodigal Summer by Prodigal Summer in for both.
  8. Long Nights, Long Books. (This is to read a book longer than 700 pages.) I was hoping to read Lethal White by Robert Galbraith but dang it! Falls short at 650ish pages! But, The Labyrinth of the Spirits works at 805 pages, or Middlemarch by George Eliot, The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt.
  9. Gerald Durrell (book published 1925-1995) 
  10. New Year’s Day (an author’s debut novel)

There’s a few more to list…but you get the point of the types of books/challenges they are putting out there. I’ve been enjoying reading through them and with January 1st just a few short days away, I’ll be able to start the work to combine the books that match with the Reading Women Challenge. :-)

I’m looking forward to reading through 2019! How about you? Are you participating in any reading challenges in 2019? Happy New Year and can you believe we’re just 2 days away from a brand new year?!