It's a little early to be thinking about 2017 reading challenges, but I'm considering running one (or more?) and for some reason I'm filled with ideas about what they might be. Creativity comes in strange blasts these days.
Which one of these would tempt you to sign up? There will be prizes, of course, but I'm really hoping that the ideas alone make you want to join.
Please keep in mind that these generic names aren't the actual names of the challenges, just placeholders for the catchy, memorable names that will come later (I hope).
Your feedback is welcome! And it should go without saying that honest feedback is the best kind.
I've made some personal comments about the ideas I like best, but don't let those sway you.
Birth Year Reading Challenge: I ran this for a few years and it was very well received. It definitely gets you out of your comfort zone and leads to some interesting books. I think it's been long enough that the "plain vanilla" version of simply reading from your own birth year would be interesting again.
Nature reading: Fiction and non-fiction in various categories that have to do with nature and the outdoors, such as Classic Work (Rachel Carson, Henry David Thoreau, Aldo Leopold, Gary Snyder, et al.), Has Gear on the Cover (backpack, snowshoes, whatever), Animal Related, Female Focus, and Current Issue (climate change, biodiversity loss, etc.). Just so you know, I will probably do this one even if nobody's interested, because I want to read some of these myself!
Cooking theme: Cooking memoirs or otherwise with a cooking theme. I got this idea from an author interview by Rose City Reader and realized this could be a nice challenge theme. This isn't really my genre, though. Maybe its destiny is for someone else to host it?
Animal perspective: Books told from an animal's perspective. Another idea sparked by a bloggy friend, this time a review by Debbie at ExUrbanis. Again, perhaps not my strongest genre, but it could be done and would give me a chance to expand my reading horizons.
Prizewinners and Also Rans: Winner(s) of various prizes for a particular year, plus another book published that year that didn't win. My bloggy friend Nan who writes Letters from a Hill Farm inspired this idea, but I can't find the actual post or comment. I believe the example she used was that Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises was published in the fall of 1926, and Early Autumn by Louis Bromfield won the Pulitzer Prize in 1927. Obviously we're all still reading one of them, but the point here would be to read both of them and compare and contrast.
Book Doubles: Books with the same title or nearly the same title (Life After Life is one such example) OR books sufficiently linked that they could be mistaken for each other. My recent confusion about Alice Adams the character and Alice Adams the author was the inspiration for this one.
Dread Books: Books on your TBR list that you "have to" read but have been putting off. Anyone who reads prize winners will relate to this one. For me, there's not one but two books about violent, troubled children . . . and Karen at Bookertalk helped gel this idea with her mention of books she's been avoiding. So maybe this should be balanced with a reward book of some sort. Dread and Fluff? Dread and Reward? Or just a fun little something in the mail from me when you finish your goals? That would be Dread and Read!
Guilty Conscience Books: Books you "should" have read for school, or gift books you never read, or books you started and didn't finish. In short, any book you feel bad about. I did this as part of the Themed Reading Challenge a few years back (yikes, in 2009!) and it was very psychically clearing.
So there you have it. I'm looking forward to hearing what you think!