Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Reading from the Mountain, Playing Mystery Bingo and Back to the Classics

It’s reading challenge time again. In 2014, I’m signing up for two challenges, ones I’ve done before, and using a third challenge as inspiration: the Back to the Classics Challenge.  Reading is practically my favorite thing, and I’ve decided to use that to gently step outside my usual comfort zone.

I’m returning to Bev’s (My Reader’s Block) Mount TBR Challenge in 2014, but stepping it up to the Mt. Vancouver level (36 books) because Something Must Be Done about the state of my bookshelves. This will truly be a challenge because I barely squeaked by with my 24 from last year, even after I got off to a good start. I’ll need to average three books a month from my own shelves to reach my goal. Fortunately, I’m well-equipped for this, and I’ll use books from my stash for my other two challenges. Now if only I can keep from being too distracted by the intriguing books I’ll hear about this year….

2014 Vintage Mystery BINGO Sign-UpVintage mysteries are my favorite, possibly because I grew up reading Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, and Erle Stanley Gardner, and this will be my third vintage mystery challenge. This year, I’m playing Vintage Mystery Bingo, also hosted by Bev. I’m doing the Golden level, and might consider the Silver level as well if I find myself reading enough books from that era without putting strain on the other two challenges. I’ve already finished Georgette Heyer’s A Blunt Instrument and have started Sheila Pim’s Creeping Venom. This will be by far my easiest challenge—these books are the equivalent of eating cookies: delicious and comforting. 

And finally, I’m using the Back to the Classics Challenge, hosted by Karen at Books and Chocolate, as inspiration for reading more classics. (I’m not officially signing up because I’m not planning to write a blog post about each classic that I read—I’m just going to use the categories as guidelines.) I’ve wanted to read more classic literature but haven’t been able to discipline myself to do so, even though “classic” doesn’t have to mean difficult, long or boring. (Pride and Prejudice is a classic and one of my all-time favorite books, for example). This challenge seems within my reach, with six required books, and four more optional choices. Of course, I have a number of unread classics on my TBR shelves to choose from. (Thank you to Danielle at A Work in Progress for linking to Karen’s challenge.) 

It’s likely I’m biting off more than I can chew—but it’s a new year and everything seems possible! Even putting a dent in my (almost literal) mountain of unread books. (See the sidebar left for a link to my 2014 reading challenge log.)

Will you join any reading challenges in 2014?

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8 comments:

Cheryl Gebhart said...

I had decided to take a break from challenges this year, but the back to the classics challenge you mention sounds interesting. I'm going to think about that one.

Bev Hankins said...

Welcome back to the Mountain and to Vintage! Will keep my ears open for the echoes of your first "Bingo"!

michelle said...

Yes, it's a new year, and everything does seem possible! I have no plans of joining any challenges at the moment, will see how it goes later on. Just want to enjoy what I read, and continue making inroads to the Mount TBR before it really topples over!

Kathy A. Johnson said...

Cheryl--I see from your blog that you decided to try the classics challenge. Yay! Let's keep in touch about what we're reading. It's always nice to have a friend along for the journey.

Kathy A. Johnson said...

Bev--Thanks for hosting such great challenges! I want to explore your blog more this year and keep in better touch.

I'll be sure to let you know when I reach a bingo!

Kathy A. Johnson said...

Michelle--I don't blame you--it's so nice to read at whim. I try to only pick challenges I'll really enjoy, but I may take a break next year. I'm really hoping this year will put a big dent in my TBR shelves and I won't "need" a challenge for them next year. Hey, I can dream, can't I?

Danielle said...

I'm a happy enabler when it comes to books! I should really take on the Mount TBR challenge as I have So Many unread books, but I guess I have more than enough plans to keep me busy and will try to continue to read from my own stacks. I am nearly finished with my first mystery--an Agatha Christie. I had hoped to finish this weekend, but I think that is being too optimistic (considering I will be watching Downton Abbey on Sunday!). I was thinking I would pick up a Georgette Heyer mystery next, too--we're on the same wave-length! I'm not sure which--I have read lots of her novels, but never any mysteries, and as I wanted to read something by her this year in any case--it would be perfect timing!

Kathy A. Johnson said...

Danielle--Yes, you are certainly an enabler when it comes to books suggestions. You make everything sound so good!

I just started reading Georgette Heyer's The Black Moth, her first novel according to the introduction. I happened to have it on my TBR shelf and was in the mood for one of her lighthearted stories. I also enjoy her mysteries a lot, and I haven't read them all so it's fun to come across ones I haven't read. I think you'll like them.