What the heck…another Global Reading Challenge

I managed to achieve the Extreme level of this year’s global reading challenge which involved reading 21 books set in different parts of the world. I added a personal twist that all the books had to be by new-to-me authors. I really enjoyed the way this challenge expanded my reading.

So I have decided to tackle the 2011 version of the challenge, though I’m only aiming for the medium level this time around which requires the reading of a total of 14 books, 2 each from Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, North America (incl Central America), South America and ‘The Seventh Continent’ (the past, the future, space or the much dreaded Antarctica). The reason for this reduced ambition is that my personal reading challenges for next year are to get my various TBR piles (physical books, audio books and eBooks) to a more manageable level and also to read second books by many of the 165 new-to-me authors I have tried since the start of 2009.

The bright side of having a ridiculously large TBR pile (it’s hovering around 200 if you include pre-ordered titles that will trickle in over the next 12 months) is that it should allow me to participate in several challenges without troubling any retail establishment. Some of the titles I will set aside for next year’s global challenge include

  • Leighton Gage’s Blood of the Wicked set in Brazil
  • Ernesto Mallo’s Needle in a Haystack set in Argentina
  • Xavier-Marie Bonnot’s The First Fingerprint set in France
  • Michael Stanley’s The Second Death of Goodluck Tinubu set in Botswana
  • Zygmunt Miloszewski’s Entanglement set in Poland
  • Qiu Xiaolong’s A Case of Two Cities set in China
  • Timothy Hallinan’s A Nail Through the Heart set in Thailand

What about you?

Are you going to join the 2011 Global Reading Challenge?

Does your TBR pile offer a good start to one of the three levels to try for?

You can read whatever kind of fiction you want and this year you don’t have to read anything set in Antarctica unless you really want to so I recommend the challenge as a great way to extend your reading out of whatever comfort zone you find yourself in.

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12 Responses to What the heck…another Global Reading Challenge

  1. kathy durkin says:

    I did the global reading challenge informally–i.e., known to myself only, and I have nearly achieved the medium level, with one South American book to go; I have on library hold “Southwesterly Wind,” and one book set in Asia, probably one by Timothy Hallinan. I have also read an amazing total of books from 17 countries, something I never would have attained without challenge guidelines, as set on the website, nor the wonderful websites here, at Petrona, Eurocrime and Mysteries in Paradise, which posted excellent reviews, enticing me to read new authors.
    I will gladly do it again on the medium level, as a personal goal. I wish that there were more guidelines, as for some continents, to read books from different countries or states, where possible, although the goal of the number of books from various countries per level is an excellent one.
    My TBR pile is shrinking, although my lists are so large that I’m not bookmarking reviews, rather than writing down titles. But my Book Depository and Amazon (and Abe Books, too) expenditures will be growing this month, so the TBR pile will grow.
    Thanks for this excellent website. (And Solana’s book proved to be delectable, can’t wait for her second out next year.)


  2. kathy durkin says:

    Errata: I am bookmarking reviews and web/blog pages, rather than writing down titles on a list at this point, due to humongous lists in four places now. I do review the lists I have from this year’s blog reviews.


  3. Bernadette – I’m impressed with the books you’ve set aside for this year’s challenge! What a fascinating selection. I’m really eager to find out what you think of them. I think you’re doing such a smart thing, too, to try to balance the challenge and your goal of digging in to your TBR pile. I’ll be very interested to see what books everyone chooses for this year’s challenge…


  4. Thanks for the kind words about this blog Kathy and congratulations on completing the challenge yourself. I am very grateful to have found blogs which give me all the wonderful recommendations about books to read but I too am disappearing under the weight of all the books to read and wishlists and bookmarked webpages and whatnot. But it’s a good problem to have 🙂

    Glad you enjoyed the Teresa Solana book, I’ve actually pre-ordered the one due next year so will look forward to reading it.


  5. amy says:

    What a reading year it’s been! LOL

    I’m probably only going to do this next year, my own Eastern European Reading challenge that will start in January, and then another Aussie challenge if anyone hosts it.

    hope you’re well Bernadette!


  6. Definitely signing up for this again! Think I might attempt to upgrade a level as this year I only signed up in about June I think! Although I still actually have 3 books left to read to complete it, they’re all sitting here ready for me though.

    You already have a really broad selection set aside for next year… I’m a little envious! lol


  7. Karen says:

    I still have 1 book to go so I’m unsure if I’ll make the challenge (and I only set myself the first level!) but I hope to carry on with it next year.


  8. Jose Ignacio says:

    Nice choice of books Bernadette. I’ve read two on your list and have also ‘Entanglement’ on my shelves as a possible candidate for next year challenge. I’m also eager to read more Qiu Xiaolong books. Right now I’m reading ‘A Short Cut to Paradise’ by Teresa Solana and so far so good, with nice touches of humour that I hope will translate well.


  9. Norman says:

    I managed the medium level, twelve books, this year, and have put some books aside from my TBR pile for the 2011 challenge. These include Disco for the Departed-Colin Cotterill [Laos], Villain-Shuichi Yoshida [Japan], and Havana Fever-Leonardo Padura [Cuba].
    I think that the Americas should be divided into English speaking and Latin American countries, with Cuba and Mexico included along with South America rather than the North. That would make things a lot easier.
    I enjoyed both Blood of the Wicked and Needle in a Haystack, with the Mallo being outstanding.


  10. Dorte H says:

    I am glad you are in again.

    I have just checked my TBR today, and I can see I will be able to cover 11 of my 14 books by reading what I have already.


  11. JoV says:

    I’m sure you will do well in the challenge next year! I’m two minds about this, this is my favourite reading challenge so far and wanted to give the challenge a twist by reading all crime fictions set in different continents. I have been eyeing Qiu Xiaolong’s The death of the Red Heroine . I just want 2011 to be a breezy year of reading crime and mystery and get swept away by suspense, fingers crossed.

    I love those old maps! Great button Dorte!


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