Apparently I’ve been sleeping under a rock and so was unaware of the crazily addictive presence of “Reading Challenges.” I had no idea what challenges were all about until a week ago, and now, I am beginning to recognize their strange power. (For anyone else out there who also happens to be living under a proverbial rock, a reading challenge is an online event organized by a mastermind, in which people commit to reading a certain number of books connected to a particular theme, in a given amount of time. Often there is a blog associated with the challenge where participants post reviews of the books they read, and find out about what everyone else has read too).
For starters, I am a list girl. I enjoy making lists. Lists please me. They often lend shape, control and purpose to my busy life. Lists are good. I also like goals. And so it would seem that Reading Challenges were created for me. I can also imagine that it would be easy to let Reading Challenges take over your reading life, sucking all spontaneity from your reading experiences. This sounds supremely unfortunate to me. I was checking out a few book blogs yesterday, and one blogger was bemoaning the fact that she couldn’t get a grip on all of the titles she needed to read for all of her challenges, and she longed for a day when she might just pick up a book she liked because she felt like it, not because it was a title she needed to cross off her list. Sad, so sad.
With this caveat in mind, I have been careful not to jump all over any and every groovy looking challenge I’ve found over the past couple of days. I have decided to take on one more challenge this year (in addition to the Expanding Horizons Challenge I settled on first). I couldn’t really resist this one, since it is so quirky and it came from a 10 year old’s brain. Cool, yes? The What’s in a Name? challenge, created by Annie, involves selecting 6 books to read in 2008 with particular words in their titles: a colour, a first name, a plant, a place, an animal, and a weather event.
I wanted all of the books for this challenge to be for kids, teens or crossover titles. Now I haven’t settled 100% on the following books, but I think most are here to stay:
1. The Red Necklace – Sally Gardner
2. Becca at Sea – Deirdre Baker or The Plain Janes – Cecil Castellucci
3. Sacred Leaf – Deborah Ellis
4. Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood – Ibtisam Barakat
5. The White Giraffe – Lauren St. John
6. Heat – Mike Lupica
I’m happy with all of these, but had to dig pretty deep for an animal title. Any other suggestions for a book with an animal in the title (or in any of the other categories for that matter)?
No more challenges. No more.