Monday, December 8, 2014

2015 Challenges!

Ever since I started blogging, I've signed up for challenges. And every year I've experienced epic failure, finishing very few of the challenges. But in 2014, I've done very well, completing all but one of my challenges. Yea, me! So I'm all fired up for 2015. I'm sure I'll add a couple more challenges (the Historical Fiction challenge, for example). So far here's what I'm signing up for:

The Official 2015 TBR Pile Challenge:

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

Specifics: 1. Each 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 (any book published in the year 2013 or earlier qualifies, as long as it has been on your TBR pile – I WILL be checking publication dates). Caveat: Two (2) alternates are allowed, just in case one or two of the books end up in the “can’t get through” pile.

This is the one challenge I did not finish in 2014. Shame on me. I think I'll finish the year reading 7 of the 12 books I'd planned to read. Sad. But since my TBR shelves are the books I most need to focus on, I'm bound and determined to take another shot at it. There are more rules, of course, but this is the biggie.

Here's my official list (the first four are carryovers from my 2014 list):

1. Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
2. The Portrait Of A Lady by Henry James
3. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
4. The Sound and The Fury by William Faulkner
5. Tolstoy and the Purple Chair by Nina Sankovitch
6. Bloodroot by Amy Greene
7. Ape House by Sara Gruen
8. Still Missing by Chevy Stevens
9. Brain On Fire by Susannah Cahalan
10. White Dog Fell From The Sky by Eleanor Morse
11. Little Princes by Conor Grennan
12. Hearts West by Chris Enss

1. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
2. The Pillars of The Earth by Ken Follett

What's In A Name? 2015:

The challenge runs from January to December. During this time you choose a book to read from each of the following categories (examples of books you could choose are in brackets):

A word including ‘ing’ in it (The Time Of Singing, Dancing To The Flute, Lex Trent Fighting With Fire) My examples are verbs but you can of course use other words.

A colour (The Red Queen, White Truffles In Winter, On Gold Mountain)

A familial relation (Daughter Of Smoke And Bone, Dombey And Son, My Cousin Rachel) By all means include in-laws, step, and halves.

A body of water (The River Of No Return, Black Lake, Beside The Sea)

A city (Barcelona Shadows, Shanghai Girls, Under The Tripoli Sky)

An animal (Black Swan Rising, The Leopard Unleashed, The Horse And His Boy)

These always seem like they'll be relatively easy, but then there's that one category that you don't have the right book for. And I kind of refuse to get a book just to fit a category. Because, you know, that TBR pile I'm trying to work through. Here's what I'm thinking for this one so far:

Foodies Read 2015:

Since I generally don't go out of my way to pick up books that have to do with food, but always seem to have some around, I enjoy this challenge on a "lite" level.

1. Decide how many food books you want to read in 2014.
Pick one of the reading levels below:

Short-Order Cook: 1 to 3 books
Pastry Chef: 4 to 8 books
Sous-Chef: 9 to 13 books
Chef de Cuisine: 14 to 18
Cordon-Bleu Chef: More than 19

This year I'm stepping back to the Short-Order Cook level since I'm sure I'll have that many books that qualify but not sure I'll have more.

Finishing the Series:

This is a new one for me but, as I said not too long ago, one of my goals for the coming year is to finish up some series I've started. Here's the deal:
1) All books that are part of a continuing series qualify (i.e. Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove, Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum, James Patterson's Alex Cross, etc. etc.)

2) It doesn't matter if you have 1 or 10 books in a series to complete it, it qualifies (i.e. if you only need to read one more Sookie Stackhouse book to complete the goal, that's fine) The goal is to complete a series from wherever you are up to until the last published book.

8) Choose a level....

Level 1 (Novice series reader) - Complete 1 series.
Level 2 (Testing the waters) - Complete 2 series.
Level 3 (Experienced) - Complete 3 series.
Level 4 (Expert series reader) - Complete 4 or more series.

I skipped some rules, obviously, but those are the key points. I'd love to finish a couple of series but I'll be realistic and figure that if this pushes me to finish one, I'm ahead. Going in as a Novice with my target to finish the Millennium series (you know, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo).


  1. Great challenges! I'm going to do the Foodie challenge and I"m so tempted by the What's in a Name. There's so many great ones out there I want to do them all!

  2. Great job! I did not finish any of mine this year. I think I need to take a break for a bit and then try again. I enjoy the idea of the challenges. They break me out of my usual books and allow me to dig into something else and new authors.

  3. Thanks for joining the Foodies Read challenge!

  4. Welcome to the Finishing the Series challenge. The Millennium series looks like a good one. Enjoy!

  5. Glad you joined for 2015! I hope you enjoy your Foodie books!

  6. Oh! I'm doing the TBR Pile and Foodies Read challenges too. The other ones you've posted about here are very tempting, too.

  7. I did well on most of my challenges for 2014, but for some reason, not Foodies Read. Oh well, I'm trying again in 2015!

    I'm looking forward to What's in a Name, too.

  8. Love your TBR list - I have never completed the challenge, but I still do it every year! I am SO jealous you get to read The Princess Bride for the first time. It is one of the best books ever. I have actually read it more than once. Good luck!

  9. Best of luck with your challenges, Lisa. I try to make most of What's In A Name easy with just one or two that are a bit harder, for the 'challenge' aspect, but there should be some free classics that will help :)