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Old 11-12-2015, 08:51 AM   #1
pdurrant
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The 2016 Annual Reading Challenge Discussion Thread

2016 Reading Challenge Discussion Thread

Welcome to our 7th Annual Reading Challenge!

Maybe you would like to read a certain number of pages this year, finish a certain number of books, concentrate on a specific genre or deplete your ever-growing TBR list. Maybe you're looking for ideas or you just want to see how far you can go…

This is the thread where we can share our personal goals and strategies or ask for suggestions and support. New ideas are encouraged and always welcomed.

The Annual Reading Challenge is neither a race, contest, nor an "exclusive club", anyone can join! This is just a fun activity that some of us have enjoyed doing in the past. Many of us have found reading challenges to be an entertaining way to set goals for ourselves, get ideas for books, and see what others are reading.

You are welcome to keep track of the books you have read in the "List Thread", here: 2016 Annual Reading Challenge List Thread

Plus, if you would like to discuss a particular book, please participate in the Hey!! Let's get some action going! What are we reading? thread and share your thoughts about the book with others.

Last edited by pdurrant; 11-12-2015 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 12-01-2015, 01:19 PM   #2
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So, what are people going for this year?

I'm planning on a reduced budget and a TBR reduction target, and nothing else. I just have to decide on numbers.
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Old 12-01-2015, 01:28 PM   #3
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I am going to keep my spending down to the usual $20 a month (probably less, but I do have some oddities in my reading list to worry about getting.)

As well, EVERYBODY LOVES BINGO!

So I've got two BINGO cards to fill out, one for countries in continuing my geography challenge from 2014 and one for genres/formats which I have never done a challenge relating too:

Spoiler:





Note: for the countries I have used the two digit ISO standard and the number in brackets is the number of titles I've previously read from the country. Lots of new ones.


Should be fun. Books can count to both BINGO cards and I've generated a reasonably plausible list of books with the help of many members on MobileRead for the genres that will get me through both cards in 36 books. So my number of books challenge is 36:

Spoiler:

Lajja by Taslima Nasrin (Bangladesh) (banned)
Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster by Svetlana Alexievich (Belarus) (history)
The Angel Maker by Stefan Brijs (Belgium) (horror)
Turing's Delirium by Edmundo Paz Soldán (Bolivia) (science fiction)
How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone by Saša Stanišić (Bosnia & Herzegovina) (historical fiction)
The Monkey King by Timothy Mo (China)
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcí*a Márquez (Colombia) (magical realism)
This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz (Dominican Republic)
At The Edge Of Light by Maria Peura (Finland)
The Radiance of the King by Camara Laye (W - Guinea)
The Ships by Roberto Quesada (Honduras)
In the Forest of Forgetting by Theodora Goss (Hungary) (fantasy)
Last Man in Tower by Aravind Adiga (India)Last Man in Tower by Aravind Adiga (India)
Children of the Jacaranda Tree by Sahar Delijani (Iran)
The Corpse Exhibition: And Other Stories of Iraq by Hassan Blasim (Iraq) (short stories)
A Tale of Love and Darkness by Amos Oz (Israel) (literary fiction)
Grotesque by Natsuo Kirino (Japan)
The Cry of the Dove by Fadia Faqir (Jordan)
The Blue Sky by Galsan Tschinag (Mongolia)
A Death in the Family by Karl Ove Knausgaard (Norway) (biography/memoir)
Earth Weeps, Saturn Laughs by Abdulaziz Al Farsi (Oman)
The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist (Sweden) (dystopia)
Chaff On The Wind: A Novel by Ebou Dibba (The Gambia)
With the Lightnings by David Drake (United States) (space opera)
The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks (United States) (chick lit)
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (United Kingdom) (mystery)
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (United States) (romance)
Vermilion by Molly Tanzer (United Kingdom) (steampunk)
Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh (United States) (humor)
Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente (United States) (folklore/mythology)
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (United States) (gothic)
The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver (United States) (thriller)
The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains by Owen Wister (United States) (western)
Lost Horizon by James Hilton (United States) (travel/adventure)
The Vengeful Virgin by Gil Brewer (United States) (pulp)
The Variant Effect by G. Wells Taylor (United States) (zombies)

Last edited by HomeInMyShoes; 12-02-2015 at 09:14 AM. Reason: Updated the BINGO cards, I noticed one was an old one which didn't have Short Stories (gasp!)
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Old 12-01-2015, 02:27 PM   #4
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Spoiler:

I hadn't heard of "Southern Gothic" before so I had to look it up. It sounds like an interesting category.

For me, I have been happy using pages as my benchmark so I will continue with that as my main goal.

My secondary goals will probably change though. I haven't read as many new authors this years as in years past so that might be a goal. I read very little nonfiction and would like to read more so that may be a goal. From 2011 through 2013 I read about 33% self-published books but haven't done that much since my library started offering ebooks; I want to get back into that a little more as well (which should also help me find new authors.)
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Old 12-01-2015, 03:04 PM   #5
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I'm going to do a theme challenge each month. I'm not going to make a list in advance of which theme will be which month; that won't work for me. I have made a list of 20 themes I can choose from, but if I think of anything else I can add it. As usual I made a blog page with the rules, lists and statistics.

In January I'm going to make it easy for me. Since I'm going on a lazy vacation for a week and I always like to read horror when on vacation "horror" will be my theme for that month.
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Old 12-01-2015, 04:45 PM   #6
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I'm intending to take on fewer sub-challenges in 2016, and mainly just worry about the TBR. I have some ongoing challenges: an A-Z series challenge, a chronological SF challenge and my BSFA award winners challenge, but only the first actually needs to be completed in 2016.
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Old 12-01-2015, 05:18 PM   #7
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My goal is to complete a few series I started. I have several trilogies and quadrilogies (or is it tetralogies? Greek or Latin prefix?) already purchased so no added expense.
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Old 12-02-2015, 04:16 AM   #8
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My previous goal of reading one-third outside of SF/Fantasy genres has become a bit too easy, because that one-third has become dominated by crime. I expect it would be similar in 2016 if I kept that goal, as I still have authors like Åke Edwardson, Håkan Nesser, Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, Helene Tursten I want to try and a lot more of Andrea Camilleri to read.

So my goal for 2016 is to read at least one-sixth outside of SF/Fantasy/Crime genres.
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Old 12-02-2015, 04:58 AM   #9
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My "sub-challenges" all involve a deliberate exploration of areas that I seem to unintentionally avoid while reading: I read predominantly SFF series written by Anglo and Caucasian men. It'll be fairly easy to meet the sub-challenge requirements, I think. It's more of a mindfulness goal rather than something that will be difficult to strive for.

My "main" challenge is going to be a doozey for me, given that I've always been a very slow reader. I want to try to read 50,000 pages. I think that the most I've ever read in a year (though I don't have a GoodReads account or anything like that, so I'm frowning at my Kindle orders to remember what I've read and when) is about 26,000.

It'll mean reading about twice as much as I usually do in a given year. Well, I do have an hour's drive either way from my krav maga classes -- I usually hate audiobooks, but I might have to give them another try just to reach this goal!
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Old 12-02-2015, 08:15 AM   #10
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But audiobooks have no pages!

I see I've read 32,768 pages so far this year, which is a nice round number to us programmers (it's a power of 2), and almost makes me want to stop here. I think 50k would be much too much for me to attempt.
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Old 12-02-2015, 11:19 AM   #11
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I am going for 50ish books (even though I hit 70) this year. I would rather plan for the worst and hope for the best on that count.

As far as my sub-goals, I would like to branch out. I would like to read more nonfiction, more international, more genre fiction (really, just science fiction), and far more short stories. My wife and I have a physical library of thousands of comics that I would also like to read more of.

I have planned out a list of 22 (see spoiler below) that I want to start with. I figure that I might get through all of them by the end of the year, depending on how many shiny things distract me along the way.

Spoiler:
Potential Reading List:
Abnett, Dan The New Deadwardians
Einhaus, Anne-Marie Penguin Book of First World War Stories, The
Freeman, Anna Fair Fight: A Novel, The
Gaiman, Neil Trigger Warning
Galbraith, Robert Career of Evil
Graedon, Alena The Word Exchange
Greenwood, Kerry Introducing the Honourable Phryne Fisher
Kawabata, Yusunari The Old Capital
Kowal, Mary Robinette The Lady Astronaut of Mars
Li, Yiyun Kinder Than Solitude: A Novel
Macdonald, Helen H Is for Hawk
Murakami, Haruki Norwegian Wood
Novic, Sara Girl at War
Ono, Sokyo Shinto: The Kami Way
Parker, Mary Louise Dear Mr. You
Rash, Ron Something Rich and Strange: Selected Stories
Speller, Elizabeth First of July, The
Tamaki, Jilian Super Mutant Magic Academy
Tanizaki, Junichiro Makioka Sisters, The
Tarkington, Booth Alice Adams
Woolf, Virginia Orlando
Yoshimoto, Banana Lizard
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Old 12-02-2015, 11:29 AM   #12
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I am going for 50ish books (even though I hit 70) this year.
[/SPOILER]
50ish, 70? that's a lot. Oh my, I should plan to save more money for my new reading hobby. I am new to ebooks
I prefer fiction and crime... Well, I'll see where it will take me 2016. I buy books pretty spontanious. Sorry, it's ebooks from now on
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Old 12-02-2015, 11:30 AM   #13
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I am going for 50ish books (even though I hit 70) this year. I would rather plan for the worst and hope for the best on that count.
A fine plan. Some people aim high (which is also fine) but then stress about meeting the target, which is not the idea at all.

You might like to reserve a slot in the Lists Thread, to record your progress.
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Old 12-02-2015, 11:32 AM   #14
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50ish, 70? that's a lot. Oh my, I should plan to save more money for my new reading hobby. I am new to ebooks
I prefer fiction and crime... Well, I'll see where it will take me 2016. I buy books pretty spontanious. Sorry, it's ebooks from now on
Ebooks are wonderfully easy to buy. And quite cheap, if you're able to wait around for special offers. But beware of building up a big 'To Be Read' list of bought books that you haven't read yet. A 3-6 month supply is probably best, IMO.
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Old 12-02-2015, 11:47 AM   #15
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So, what are people going for this year?

I'm planning on a reduced budget and a TBR reduction target, and nothing else. I just have to decide on numbers.
OK, I've decided. I'm aiming at getting my TBR below 700 by the end of 2016, and an overall budget of £240 (down from £300).

I'm also going to try to read any books in my TBR bought before 1st July 2008. (Currently that's 76 books, so about 1/3 of the books I expect I'll read next year.)
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