The Aussie Readers Group Summer Reading Challenge

The Good Reads Aussie Readers Group of which I am a member has posed a summer reading challenge in which the aim is to read books from at least 5 of the 10 listed categories from 1 Dec 2010 to 28 Feb 2011. As I’m making a concerted effort to get my ridiculous TBR pile under control (it’s teetering near 200 now) I’m using the challenge as a prompt to read books I already own. I’ve made some predictions about what I might read below though reserve the right to swap some titles depending on my mood.

1. Celebrate Australia! Choose one book from our Aussie Readers group bookshelf from your preferred genre shelf). Of the 263 books listed on the crime fiction shelf these are the ones sitting unread on my own shelves or eReader. I will pick one for this leg of the challenge

  • Lindy Cameron – Bleeding Hearts, Blood Guilt and Redback
  • Garry Disher – Snapshot
  • Brian Kavanagh – A Canterbury Crime
  • Gabrielle Lord – Lethal Factor
  • Michael MacConnell – Maelstrom
  • P D Martin – Kiss of Death and Coming Home
  • Leigh Redhead – Rubdown
  • Kel Robertson – Dead Set
  • Michael Robotham – Bombproof
  • Felicity Young  – Harum Scarum

2. Lighten the load! We’ve all been complaining about it. Those mountainous TBR shelves! Choose one book from your TBR list. As I’m doing the whole challenge from my TBR I’ll pick another title from the above list of Aussie crime writers for this leg of the challenge.

3. Choose a book that’s been made into (or referenced in) a movie, TV series or play. Robert Harris’The Ghost has been on my TBR for about 18 months, a movie was released earlier this year though I didn’t see it.

4. Choose a book with a word related to Summer in the title (e.g. Summer, heat, beach, holidays etc., I‘m sure you can think of many examples). My TBR pile must subconsciously reflect my tastes in other areas of my life because I hate the beach and other things summery so I’ll have to read my lone appropriate title which is Simon Brett’s Body on the Beach.

5. Oprah’s visiting Australia in December. Pick a book from one of the following two Oprah Book Lists: Complete List of Oprah‘s Book Club Books or ‘O’ Magazine’s Summer Reading List 2010 (20 books). I’m going to skip this one. Frankly neither she nor her recommendations for reading hold any interest for me and I am already sick of hearing about her impending visit to our shores.

6. A few of our group members have just had a baby or are due any second! To help them celebrate choose a new release book from 2010 or 2011 to read. I have a bunch of new releases I could choose but will probably not be able to wait much longer before I listen to, Rolling Thunder, the last (so far) of Chris Grabenstein’s wonderful John Ceepak novels narrated by Jeff Woodman which was released a few months ago.

7. Uh Oh!! It’s Schoolies week!!!! Lock up your kids and choose a YA novel to read or a book that features some teenage characters. I don’t have any YA books TBR but I believe the main character’s newly adopted teenage daughters feature quite heavily in the second of Tom Rob Smith’s book, The Secret Speech, which has been sitting on my shelves for far too long.

8. Ho Ho Ho! Santa’s on his way… Choose a book that has a Christmas/Winter theme or reference to Christmas/Winter/Cold/Ice/Snow in the Title, story or cover. Although I am well-known for my Scrooge-ness I usually end up reading a Christmas-y book or two each year and have got Cleo Coyle’s Holiday Grind set aside to read this December.

9. Have you checked out the excellent Literature Map Website? Type in the name of a favourite author, choose the author closest to him/her and select one of their books to read. I chose to input the author Elly Griffiths who is a new favourite of mine with only 2 books to her name. Only a handful of authors appeared in the results but one was Michael Connelly and people have been telling me to read more of him for ages. I will either read The Overlook which I recently mooched or listen to The Brass Verdict which is ready for download in my audible library.

10. It’s Valentine’s Day in February! Choose a book with a touch of Romance. I don’t have a romantic bone in my body (whereas I often feel murderous) but perhaps the second installment of Ariana Franklin’s Adelia Aguilar series, A Serpent’s Tale, might count? The first novel certainly had a romantic thread and I believe this is carried into the next book. Otherwise I might have to skip this one.

You don’t have to be Australian to join the Aussie Readers Group so feel free to join in the fun.

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7 Responses to The Aussie Readers Group Summer Reading Challenge

  1. kathy durkin says:

    What a creative book challenge! Sounds challenging and fun. I may join this one after I finish my informal global challenge and my promise to myself to read “Roseanna,” “A Mind’s Eye,” and “The Redbreast,” before New Year’s Day.
    Your points are hilarious, however, and can’t wait to read the reviews of these books.
    One suggestion on Michael Connelly: I thought “The Lincoln Lawyer,” was the best of the books I’ve read of his. And, that movie is coming out, at least over here, on March 18.
    Am trying to forestall a post-good-book slump, after finishing Teresa Solana’s first book, am waiting for her second, and reading Laura Lippman’s latest stand-alone, which is a page-turner.


  2. Bernadette – This book challenge sounds interesting, fun and creative! I always like the idea of reducing one’s TBR list, too, if one’s working on a challenge. I really look forward to your reviews on what you read.


  3. Davis Brewer says:

    Kathy, I know just what you mean by the post-good-book-blues. How funny to see a name for it but after finishing John Irving’s ‘Widow for a Year,’ I couldn’t pick up another book. I later found out a friend had the same experience w/ the same book.

    I’m going to give a try at the 2011 Crime Book Read where you choose an author you’ve never read and they have to be from 6 particular countries. Wait, maybe I’m being redundant here. This is why I’m on this site. How silly.


  4. Mandy says:

    Hey! That’s my challenge! Thanks for joining in Bernadette.;D


  5. @Kathy I do so understand the post good book blues (somebody ought to write a song) – last time I had it was after reading my favourite book of this year (so far) – Adrian Hyland’s Gunshot Road – I couldn’t settle to anything for a few weeks.

    No Mandy, thank you, anything that gets me reading from my TBR instead of buying more books is a good thing.


  6. Pingback: Books of the Month – November 2010 | Reactions to Reading

  7. kathy durkin says:

    Yes, Bernadette, I had post-good-book slump for a few weeks after finishing “Gunshot Road,” and had it for a few days after finishing Solana’s, but I highly anticipate her second in the series. Knowing that it’s funny just heightens the anticipation.


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