Sunday, January 16, 2011

Birth Year Reading Challenge 2011 - Time Machine

What books were published the year you were born, or just before or after your birth year? This challenge encourages you to find out, and then read some of them. You might even draw a few conclusions about social and literary trends that year. If nothing else, you'll have an incentive to explore books you might otherwise not have considered.

Wikipedia has lists of books by year published. You can also check literary prize lists for high-quality choices. Using Google to locate “best books of _____” also provides some interesting choices. There is also a cool feature at BibliOZ where you can check the New York Times bestseller list for the week you were born.*

If you already participated in this challenge, or if you discover you were born in a year of unattractive books, the Time Machine option gives you the chance to sample another year instead. So read on!

Ready to join? Leave a comment and a link to your post, and I'll sign you right up.


1. Join anytime between now and November 30, 2011. The challenge ends at midnight EST on December 31, 2011.

2. a. Choose books from your birth year.


2.b. Use the Time Machine to identify another year. First decide whether you want to read books from before or after your birth year. Then use a dice roll (real or virtual) to determine how many years to add to or subtract from your birth year, and choose books from that year.

3. Books may come from your TBR pile or list, but they don’t have to.

4. Overlaps with other challenges are allowed and encouraged.

5. Change your list at any time.

6. Reviews and reactions are encouraged, but not required. You don’t need to have a blog to participate. But you do need to let me know of your progress, so I can bestow your virtual candles. (Here's the progress page from BYRC 2010, so you can see how it works.)

7. All genres and formats are eligible. If it’s a book, you can count it.

8. One candle is awarded for each qualifying book you read. There is no limit on how few or how many candles you can earn.


When you meet your reading goal, you can select a book from my library – most likely a gently used trade paperback – and I'll mail it to you. But keep reading because . . .


On January 1, 2012, the three readers who’ve earned the most candles will be entered into a drawing for a $25.00 gift card from Barnes & Noble. Nothing like a little no cost book shopping to start a new year off right!

*Special thanks to 3m at 1morechapter for pointing this out.


  1. I'm probably in, going to go roll some virtual dice cause my birth year was a LOSER!

  2. Rolled the dice and things are looking BETTAH!

  3. Hurray! I've been waiting to see what kind of spin you were going to put on the challenge this year. I'm in for another round--using the Time Machine function. Only eight books this year. Post is up:

  4. Hooray! Glad y'all are in. I'll be reading along too, and the Time Machine landed me in 1954.

  5. I hope you don't mind I'm using my son's birth year of 1994-my birth year really stunk

  6. I'm participating! I am using my birth year again because there are a few more books I would like to read. Here's my start-up post:

  7. Tenia, technically that's not the way it works, but: if 1994's a better year for you, why not? Go for it.

    L.L., welcome back! You've got some good choices there; can't blame you for sticking with your own birth year.

  8. I'm back for another try. I used the Time Machine and ended up in 1953 which seems to be a fertile year for great books. Today's post has the whole list. I'm excited and looking forward to re-reading some cool stuff.

  9. 1 book minimum? Cool! Off to research my birth year.....

  10. I have just found this and will definitely like to join up. I hope I am not toolate.
    My post is here

  11. Hi, Tracy, you are definitely not too late! Glad to have you along!

  12. Hi, I'm late to join in but I thought this year would be too busy already with two literature courses... And it is, but I need a change:)
    I rolled the dice and the result is year 1992. I'll try to get my sign-up post up soon:)

  13. And the sign-up is here:

  14. I found out about this challenge from my good friend (aka book dragon) and put several books on my ereader to try out. I am a little late but consider me in.

  15. Welcome, Colette! You are still in plenty of time, and I'm glad you are here.

    Let me know when you decide on your goal and I will link to your post, if you do one. (Remember you only have to choose and read one book to be eligible for a prize.)

  16. Hi

    I'd like to join this challenge but was wondering whether it is international?

  17. Hi, Neer,

    How nice to hear from you, so far away! Yes, the BYRC is absolutely international! It will be great to have you along.

    When you make your selections, let me know, okay? I will link to your list at the progress page,

  18. Hi J.G

    Thanks for making me feel so welcome. Since you were so gracious about the land I belonged too so I decided to read only Indian English fiction for this challenge. As there is hardly any time left I'll be reading only two books.

    Here's my post:

  19. Thank you for stopping by.

    Sure I'd love a book but don't feel that I've really earned it. I had a lot of fun looking for books but I only read one for the challenge and it overlapped!

    I'll be back another year with a loftier goal :)

  20. Well, Book Dragon, it's your call. The 2012 BYRC will be out soon; hope to see your sign-up there.

  21. Here's my wrap up post for 2011. Sadly, my goal was to read two of the three possibilities I found on my TBR shelf, and I only read one of them. Really lame.

    But that means I have two possibilities for 2012! I am so glad you are hosting it again.

  22. Now there's a positive attitude, Rose! You are already ahead of the game for BYRC 2012. :-)

    Adding your wrap-up post now . . .


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