2015 Reading Challenges

2015 Reading Challenges:

A – Z Challenge

Challenge Status: COMPLETE as of 12/30

This isn’t an official challenge, although there are a few official A-Z challenges out there. The A-Z challenge is something I’ve done most years since I started book blogging. I decided to go solo again this year.

The rules: Read a book from every letter of the alphabet, going by either title or author. I’ve chosen author. Titles in grey are tentative.

  • A – The Light of the World by Elizabeth Alexander
  • B – On Immunity: An Inoculation by Eula Biss
  • C – Sweetland by Michael Crummey
  • D – The Initiates by Étienne Davodeau
  • E – Heartburn by Nora Ephron
  • F – Globejotting: How to Write Extraordinary Travel Journals by Dave Fox
  • G – The Photographer by Emmanuel Guibert and Didier Lefèvre
  • H – Confessions of a Latter-Day Virgin by Nicole Hardy
  • I – Reeling Through Life: How I Learned to Live, Love and Die at the Movies by Tara Ison
  • J – The First Bad Man by Miranda July
  • K – The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger
  • L – Lucky Alan: And Other Stories by Jonathan Lethem
  • M – Bon Appétempt: A Coming-of-Age Story by Amelia Morris
  • N – The Beekeeper’s Lament by Hannah Nordhaus
  • O – Rant. Chant. Chisme. by Amalia Ortiz
  • P – Unrequited: Women and Romantic Obsession by Lisa A. Phillips
  • Q – Gabi: A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero
  • R – Insurgent by Veronica Roth
  • S – Coffee Will Make You Black by April Sinclair
  • T – War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  • U – Scrumptious by Amanda Usen
  • V – Night at the Fiestas: Stories by Kirsten Valdez Quade
  • W – Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson
  • X – Half of Man is Woman by Zhang Xianliang
  • Y – Shifu, You’ll Do Anything for a Laugh by Mo Yan
  • Z – Houston, We Have a Problema by Gwendolyn Zepeda

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The Europa Challenge

Challenge Status: 0/4

The rules: From January 1 – December 31, 2015, read a certain number of books published by Europa Editions. I’m aiming for the Espresso Level (4 Europa titles); these 6 have been sitting on my shelves for a while, so I’ll choose from this list:

  1. You Are Not Like Other Mothers by Angelika Schrobsdorff
  2. A Novel Bookstore by Laurence Cosse
  3. The Sexual Life of an Islamist in Paris by Leïla Marouane
  4. Gourmet Rhapsody by Muriel Barbery
  5. The Jewish Husband by Lia Levy
  6. The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante

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Pulitzer 5s Challenge

Challenge Status: 3/10

This is a personal challenge that helps me break down my much larger Pulitzer Project.

The goal: read all of the Pulitzer fiction winners for the years ending in 5.

1925 – So Big by Edna Ferber
1935 – Now in November by Josephine Winslow Johnson
1945 – Bell for Adano by John Hersey
1955 – A Fable by William Faulkner
1965 – The Keepers of the House by Shirley Ann Grau
1975 – The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
1985 – Foreign Affairs by Alison Lurie
1995 – The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields
2005 – Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
2015 – All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

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TBR Challenge

Challenge Status: 5/12

The goal: To finally read 12 books from your “to be read” pile (within 12 months).

The rulesEach of these 12 books must have been on your bookshelf or “To Be Read” list for AT LEAST one full year. This means the book cannot have a publication date of 1/1/2014 or later. Two (2) alternates are allowed, just in case one or two of the books end up in the “can’t get through” pile.

My books:

  1. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  2. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  4. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
  5. Coffee Will Make You Black by April Sinclair
  6. Gate of the Sun by Elias Khoury
  7. The Beekeeper’s Lament by Hannah Nordhaus
  8. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
  9. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  10. Gourmet Rhapsody by Muriel Barbery
  11. Death in Spring by Merce Rodoreda
  12. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
My alternates:
  1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  2. How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez
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What’s in a Name? 2015

What's in a Name? 2015

Challenge Status: COMPLETE as of 11/29

The rules: Between January 1 and December 31, 2015, read one book in each of the following categories. These are my tentative titles:

  1. A word including -ing in the title: Reeling Through Life by Tara Ison
  2. A color in the title: Red Rosa: A Graphic Biography of Rosa Luxemburg by Kate Evans
  3. A familial relation in the title: Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me by Harvey Pekar
  4. A body of water in the title: Sea Lovers by Valerie Martin
  5. A city in the title: Houston, We Have a Problema by Gwendolyn Zepeda
  6. An animal in the title: The Beekeeper’s Lament by Hannah Nordhaus
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Book Riot’s 2015 Read Harder Challenge

Challenge Status: COMPLETE as of 12/31

The rules: There are 24 tasks in the Read Harder Challenge (or roughly two per month). You can tackle them in any order, make any changes, do them all in a month or spread them out over the year. Make the challenge yours! The Goodreads group for the challenge is here.

The tasks:

  1. A book written by someone when they were under the age of 25The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
  2. A book written by someone when they were over the age of 65: God Help the Child by Toni Morrison
  3. A collection of short storiesLucky Alan: And Other Stories by Jonathan Lethem
  4. A book published by an indie pressOn Immunity: An Inoculation by Eula Biss
  5. A book by/about someone that identifies as LGBTQCoffee Will Make You Black by April Sinclair
  6. A book by author/w gender different from yoursThe Photographer by Emmanuel Guibert and Didier Lefèvre
  7. A book that takes place in AsiaThe Tusk That Did the Damage by Tania James
  8. A book by an author from Africa: We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  9. A book by/about someone from an indigenous culture: Crazy Brave by Joy Harjo
  10. A microhistory: Straight: The Surprisingly Brief History of Heterosexuality by Hanne Blank
  11. A YA novel: Insurgent by Veronica Roth
  12. A sci-fi novel: The Martian by Andrew Weir
  13. A romance novel: A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev
  14. A NBA/Booker/Pulitzer Prize winner from the last decade: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  15. A book that is a retelling of a classic story: Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  16. An audiobookThe Spire by William Golding (narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch)
  17. A collection of poetryRant. Chant. Chisme. by Amalia Ortiz
  18. A book that someone else has recommended to you: The Tastemakers by David Sax
  19. A book that was originally published in another languageThe Initiates by Étienne Davodeau
  20. A comic of any kindSyllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professor by Lynda Barry
  21. A book that you would consider a guilty pleasure: 50 Shades Darker by E. L. James
  22. A book published before 1850: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  23. A book published this year: Sweetland by Michael Crummey
  24. A self-improvement book: Globejotting: How to Write Extraordinary Travel Journals by Dave Fox
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9 comments

  1. looloolooweez

    Wow, look at all these challenges! I bet you’ll have fun. I signed up for the TBR Pile Challenge, too (and I’ve spent the better part of an afternoon checking out the blogs in the link widget thing). I’m interested in what you’ll think of American Gods and Speak. Good luck to you, and Happy New Year!

  2. texerinsydney

    I am totally impressed with these lists! I’m participating in TBR challenge, and Pride and Prejudice is on my list as well. It’s just one of those books I’ve always meant to read, you know? Well, you do know because it’s on your list too! Happy reading!

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