2010 Reading Challenges


I finally had an opportunity to peek at my feed reader and discovered two interesting book challenges for 2010. I plan to participate in both challenges, given I have the time. I have just discovered I will be teaching a fifth class (and yes, five different preps) next semester, and I will be taking a difficult grad school course. I must find time to read, however, even if it’s just listening to audiobooks in the car because I need it to feed my soul.

Bibliophilic Book Challenge

The first book challenge I’ll be participating in is the 2010 Bibliophilic Book Challenge. This challenge involves reading books about reading, and from what I gather, what I call “derivative fiction,” such as Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series, can count. I have not decided with certainty what I will read, but I know one book will be Thomas C. Foster’s How to Read Novels Like a Professor. I thoroughly enjoyed his other book, How to Read Literature Like a Professor. I can’t stop recommending it to folks. The challenge consists of three levels:

  • Bookworm: Read three books
  • Litlover: Read six books
  • Bibliomaniac: Read twelve books

I know I can’t complete the Bibliomaniac level, and Litlover is possible, but unlikely, so I will only commit to Bookworm at this point. I just need to choose two more books. I will update once I have figured out what I’ll read.

Brontë ChallengeThe other challenge is the All About the Brontës challenge. In order to complete this challenge, I need to read or watch three to six Brontë-related books or films by the June 30 deadline. The flexibility of the challenge means that I will probably complete it, but aside from reading Syrie James’s The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Brontë, I’m not sure what I will do. I am thinking at least one audiobook, probably Wuthering Heights, which I’ve already read, but which I will be teaching this year, so it would be worth it to revisit. Again, once I figure out exactly what I plan to do for the challenge, I’ll update, but I will commit to three items at this point.

If you have a reading suggestion that would be appropriate for either challenge, I would surely appreciate it. Just leave a comment.


11 thoughts on “2010 Reading Challenges

  1. I've been wanting to read a book called Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain for some time now. I guess that I need to enter the Bibliophilic challenge in order to finally do so! Thanks for the idea.

  2. For your Books About Reading challenge (which I trust includes books about books), may I suggest the following:

    – Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon: one of the most perfectly written and most wonderfully translated books I have ever read. Trust me on this.

    – The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett (the Queen of England takes a sudden interest in reading) and The House of Paper by Carlos Maria Dominguez (about being obsessed by books) are two novellas. Not great literature, but fun and – let's face it – novellas are a boon to completing a reading challenge.

    – The Rule of Four, authored jointly by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason. Two students discover that the key to solving a murder lies in the decoding of the extremely rare, very beautiful and very mysterious Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. A bit ponderous, but better than it sounds.

    Good luck.

    1. Those first two suggestions are on my radar, and based on your suggestion, I will look into them. The third I have read and didn't like very much. You can read my review here.

  3. Thanks for joining my challenge, Dana! I hope you enjoy your books.

    Derivative fiction does count, particularly if they focus on the books and characters beyond just using them as a jumping off point (e.g. I would not count the book Rhett Butler's People as a choice, simply because it is a takeoff of Gone with the Wind).

    I have seen both of Foster's books in the store and contemplated getting at least one of them, so glad to hear at least one is worth the read and I look forward to reading your thoughts on the other, too.

    Good luck with the challenge!

    1. Ah, thanks for the clarification. I have read all of the Thursday Next books and the first of his Nursery Crime series, so feel free to ask me anything about them.

  4. Thank-you for joining the All About the Brontes Challenge! I have recently discoverd my love for audiobooks as well. I listened to three different Austen novels for the Everything Austen Challenge this year and gleaned a new perspective. I'm going to try out the Brontes as well for this challenge.

    I love that you are teaching Wuthering Heights this year as well. Hopefully we can get some good discussions sparked as part of the challenge and also give you some good ideas for other books to read. I look forward to reading your reviews!

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