The Aussie Readers group on Good Reads is hosting a challenge to read books in at least 5 of the listed categories between 1 December 2010 and 28 February 2011 (our summer down here at the bottom of the world). In wanting to do the whole challenge from my existing TBR I’ve managed 8 of the 10 books and am counting the challenge as done as I won’t be reading any books in the other categories even though there’s a month of the season left. Romances are not really my thing and I couldn’t bring myself to read Pillars of the Earth, the only Oprah recommended book I own (I’ve started it twice but lose the will to live long before the 800+ pages are over).
1. Celebrate Australia! Choose one book from our Aussie Readers group bookshelf (from your preferred genre shelf). I read Gabrielle Lord’s Lethal Factor, a scientific procedural based in Canberra and Sydney featuring a dead nun, an anthrax scare and some very scary criminals.
2. Lighten the load! Choose one book from your TBR list. I chose another Aussie crime novel, Brian Kavanagh’s A Canterbury Crime, which is a fun cosy with great historical themes.
3. Choose a book that’s been made into (or referenced in) a movie, TV series or play. I read Robert Harris’ The Ghost which portrays the story of a fictional former British Prime Minister who has an uncanny resemblance to Tony Blair. It was made into a film starring Nicholas Cage in 2010 (though the book was dull enough that I don’t think I’ll be bothered to see the film)
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). Actually I hate summer and my bookshelves reflect this, offering only one title to read, Simon Brett’s The Body on the Beach. The first novel in an English cosy series was populated by good, if not likable, characters.
5. Oprah’s visiting Australia in December. Pick a book from one of Oprah’s Book Lists Skiped this one
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 read (in audio format) the most recent of Chris Grabenstein’s John Ceepak novels, Rolling Thunder which was released in May 2010 and which I have been saving for as long as I could because it’s a long wait for the next one in 2012!
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 read Tom Rob Smith’s The Secret Speech which is not YA but does feature at its centre the character of Zoya, a teenage girl who has been adopted by the man who was partly responsible for the death of her parents. Not surprisingly, she cannot forgive her adoptive parent which causes even more trauma for the family in this second book of a planned trilogy.
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. I read Cleo Coyle’s Holiday Grind, set in New York at Christmas time and featuring an unfortunately deceased Santa.
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 typed in Elly Griffiths which because she is a new author only threw up 5 names, one of which was Michael Connelly and I had The Overlook on my TBR pile so finally got around to reading it.
10. It’s Valentine’s Day in February! Choose a book with a touch of Romance. Er. Um. Sipped it.