I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that one other reason I love this last month of a year is just to look at all the wonderful challenges being hosted. They really endear to the list-obsessed side of me although I rarely complete any of the lists. Looking at the new challenges also save me from going through the ICompletedAnotherChallenge posts that keep popping up all over the blogosphere. (My 2010 stats are that miserable!) Anyways, I had a lot of fun choosing among the tons of amazing challenges for 2011; this time, though, I decided to be more practical - to take on a challenge that I would have fun doing, and to drop out of one if it begins to feel like work. There - I just took my first (and probably only) 2011 resolution. So, without any more meaningless rambling, let me start listing them, shall I?
One challenge that I signed up for in 2010 but never got to doing is the Orange Prize Project, which luckily/unluckily for me, is perpetual. There are some really amazing women writers glazing this prize list, none of whom I have read yet, though I have a few of those winners sitting on my shelves at home. I guess it is the abundance of choices that stalled my reading last year. I could probably do with narrowing my choices down, starting with the titles I have at home. I've decided to try and read at least five out of the list - not just winners but nominees as well.
The second challenge that I'm continuing from last year is Helen's Middle East Challenge - another challenge that I failed to make a dent in. Since this is a read-as-many-or-as-little-as-you-wish challenge, I'll start with one book and then move forward. I have quite a few books in my wishlist that can be counted to this challenge, so I'm sure I'll be reading more than that.
Among the 2011 challenges, one that I'm most excited about is the Graphic Novels Challenge. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi was the first graphic novel I read before even knowing what a graphic novel was. That was a year ago. This year, I had my formal introduction to this category (Embroideries, Chicken with Plums, The Arrival, Asterios Polyp, Blankets) and was surprised by how much I really enjoyed this medium. I have been poring through the 2010 lists of many participants to help with my reading in 2011. Since I now feel more comfortable with graphic novels, I've decided to join at the Expert level, which is to read 10+ books. My only worry now is whether my library stocks enough graphic novels.
Another 2011 challenge that I'm joining is the Take a Chance Challenge 3. I love the total randomness and unpredictability that comes with this challenge, making it perfect for an impromptu reading. Since I do look at recommendation lists and that often decides my reading, I'm thrilled to have a lot more options to choose from.
I've realized that my reading of classics has suffered last year. I usually revisit them at least once a year, but last year was just too hectic overall, and classics require a more predictable frame of mind. So I plan to read two classics this year, and luckily for me, The Deranged Book Lovers is organizing the Wordsworth Classics Reading Challenge. I'll be joining at the Peasant level (1 - 4 books), though I don't expect to read more than two books for this challenge.
That's five challenges - a lot less than the 15-odd I joined in 2010! On top of these, I do have a few personal projects but I'll be talking about them in a different post.