2011: The Challenges

I managed to finish six of the seven reading challenges I signed up for at the beginning of the year. The Aussie Authors Challenge, the Global Reading Challenge the Historical Fiction Challenge, the Ireland Reading Challenge, the Nordic Book Challenge and the What’s in a Name challenge have all added diversity and, for the most part, enjoyment to my reading. I even completed my Good Reads challenge to read 175 books this year.

2011 Reading Challenge

2011 Reading Challenge
Bernadette has completed her goal of reading 175 books in 2011!

The challenge that has defeated me is the Eastern European Challenge. I aimed to read a paltry-seeming 4 books but have completed only 3 books which qualify. I feel I must point out (as though the gods of Reading Challenges award points for effort) that my failure is not for want of trying. My house is littered with the carcasses of half-read Eastern European books that have dropped to the floor as I slipped into yet another coma induced by yet another 27 paragraph description of winter. It reminded me of the horrors of my first year at University where I came to the realisation that my planned-for future as an English teacher would never eventuate because I knew with certainty that I would go mad if I had to read one more word by ‘another bloody Russian’. There is something about the style prevalent in Eastern European writing that my brain struggles to process and at my ripe old age (44) I have finally learned that there are battles not worth fighting. I do actually have two more books here that I had planned to try for the challenge during my post Christmas break but it is the end of a difficult year, the first heatwave of summer has begun and I am weary. I am not at all in the mood for things dense or difficult and so admit defeat. The fault is all mine Amy, thanks for hosting the challenge anyway.

Next year doesn’t look like being any easier in my non-reading life so I’ve radically reduced my reading challenges to one: the Australian Women Writers challenge. I hope still to have diversity in my reading but I’m not going to turn the pursuit of that goal into a second job. Life is challenging enough on its own sometimes 🙂

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7 Responses to 2011: The Challenges

  1. Margot Kinberg says:

    Bernadette – Life is indeed challenging enough just as it is. I don’t blame you one bit for cutting down on your reading challenges. I’m quite impressed with the challenges that you did meet this year. No, I’m much more than impressed…


  2. Amy says:

    Hey, you gave it a shot! That’s all we can do. I laughed at your reasons though, because I find those pages and pages of winter enthralling! LOL I agree, though, there is a dark edge to much of what is EE or R, and part of it is because the impossibility of really reacting to it..it seems mired in the past but brought to light and there’s very little that feels engaging (at times).
    BTW, we are almost the same age, I just turned 43!
    So, I’m amazed by your reading and really hoping to succeed better with my goals this next year. I’m trying to balance time for reading, univ and home life (lots of caregiving). It’s hard but the reading is what makes it all endurable.
    So far the Med Reading Challenge has been a dud…I have three people committed so far! I might just dump it if there’s not more interest and focus on the Australia month (I think Kerrie is hosting it?) and the extended EE/Russia Challenge.

    Be well and have a lovely new year! Let’s kiss 2011 to the curb!


    • It would be a dull old place if we all liked the same things eh Amy? As for balancing those goals it does take a lot of work but I too turn to reading when everything else is falling apart. I know some people find it strange but I guess it’s the same as an alcoholic turning to the bottle.

      I would like to have tried the Mediterranean challenge but I’m skipping all but the Aussie women writers one next year as I just need to simplify things. Kerrie is hosting the global reading challenge so maybe you could hook into that, It’s Kim from reading matters who has declared January to be Australia month


  3. shelleyrae @ Book'd Out says:

    Congrats Bernadette on your achievements! I just hate how life gets in the way of reading 🙂

    Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out


  4. Barbara says:

    I never enter challenges at all because it makes reading seem like work to me. I’m a mood reader so I want to read what I want when I want. If that makes me sound like a spoiled brat, so be it! 😀 I did set a goal of reading 100 books in 2011 but failed to reach the goal because my life got in the way. Also I seem to read slower as I get older.


  5. JoV says:

    I’m having cold feet on Russian lit now. Ok I’ll try Dovtoyskey (can’t you imagine I can’t even spell his name right?!!) this year. I don’t blame you for giving up in Eastern European challenge, I haven’t got a clue what to read.
    I’m not a member of goodread, maybe I should be one. I love those little widgets you have got there. Helps you keep track of things and there seems to be some wonderful features. Alas, it will require me to sit for ages before I can get all my books read and not read up to goodread… oh bother.
    Don’t beat yourself up too much. I think you did very well. I can’t break past 100 books a year!


  6. Marg says:

    I always have at least one challenge that beats me every year!


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