Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Brainstorming Challenges

I'm half way through my last book for the Russian Reading Challenge right now, and my sights are already set on the next challenge I'll be joining. For those of you who haven't joined a reading challenge, I'd highly recommend it. If it's your first, I'd suggest picking something slightly less ambitious: one with fewer books required and with a topic or theme you'd likely to be reading anyway.

But even better than participating in a challenge is hosting your own. I encourage you to do so. I've hosted a couple of my own: The Obscure Challenge (which has been less than successful) and the 2 Canadian Book Challenges (which have been a lot of fun). I won't be starting up another one anytime soon, but I've had a few ideas running through my head for a while:

1. On A Roll Challenge - In this challenge you show your love for those people on your blogroll. Suggested rules and requirements: Pick four people on your blogroll and see what they've been reading. Choose any 5 of those books to read within one year.

2. Lost In Translation Challenge - In this challenge you read books not originally written in English. Two suggestions for rules and requirements: I. Pick three books originally written in three different languages to read in one year. II. Pick two different translations of the same book to read within 9 months.

3. I Read Dead People Challenge - In this challenge you only read books by authors who are no longer alive. Suggestion for rules and requirements: 3 books in 9 months; 1 from an author who died in the past five years, 1 from an author who died more than 10 years ago, and 1 from an author who died more than 50 years ago.

4. Challenge Challenge - This challenge encourages multi-tasking. Suggestion for rules and requirements: In one year, read four books that each meet a requirement of four other challenges. For instance, a book might fit into the Canadian Challenge, the Centuries Challenge, The A to Z Challenge, and the What's In A Name Challenge all at the same time.

As you can see, I've added suggested rules in case anyone wants to attempt hosting one of these. If you do, feel free to use the cheesy logos and rules, or revamp them to suit your tastes.

Can you think of any ideas for challenges? If you're not planning on hosting them yourself, feel free to throw them out here in the comment section for others who might be interested. Better yet, write a "Mock Challenge" post on your own blogs and simply add a link to it here. Just be willing to let someone use your idea, if they should be so inclined. Or, perhaps you'll pick up the torch yourself. There are a lot of challenges listed here and here if you want to make sure it hasn't already been done. Don't worry if you notice some overlap. For instance, the "On A Roll Challenge" listed above is similar in scope to the "I Heard It Through The Grapevine Challenge" and the "I Read Dead People Challenge" picks could count towards the "Decades Challenge" or many others.


1morechapter said...

*laughs* Are you mocking me, John?!

The "I read dead people" Challenge was the funniest. I laughed out loud and even had my kids come over and look at your icon.

Thanks for the laughs!

Wanda said...

LMAO! I just signed in with the intention to post a "teaser" when I caught sight of your toilet paper roll (TBMS is in my reader). Well, then I just had to pop over here first to see what the heck you were up to now. Showing your love and TP...great combo, too funny!

Michele said...

Ha ha ha. Funny stuff! How 'bout an "Off With Their Head Challenge" a book on various royals who lost their head. Boleyn, Jane Grey, Marie Antoinette, etc.

John Mutford said...

3M: I'd never mock you! You are a challenge queen!

Wanda: Nothin's says love like squeezin' the Charmin'.

Michele: A whole challenge around decapitations. Even more morbid than the "dead people" challenge, but I like it!

Jodie Robson said...

I'd like to suggest a Weighty German Novel Challenge, for people who haven't read Hesse (et al).

John Mutford said...

GeraniumCat: There is a German Reading Challenge beginning in January of next year. Read about it here. It doesn't say anything about the books being "weighty" but I'm sure you could choose such books. Maybe you could even combine it with the "Chunkster Challenge." Unless of course, you didn't mean "weighty" in the literal sense.

By the way, I recently read a collection of Hesse's poetry and reviewed it here.

But though Germany has already been taken (along the US, Canada, Russia, and Japan just off the top of my head)I'm sure there are other countries left that someone could create challenges for. I was surprised for instance to not be able to find a British reading challenge.

Remi said...

Though I like the notion of challenges, I only do one.

If I were to run one though, I'd probably do a Back to School challenge - five books centred around grade or high school or five books set around university life.

Francesca Thomas said...

I have a food book challenge already under way. It goes to next March so still list of time to join in.

My Shakespeare challenge will be starting again on January 1st and going for the whole 12 months this time.

John Mutford said...

Remi: And since you've been pretty exclusive with your challenges, I bet you picked a good one to join!

That Back to School Challenge isn't a bad idea. Maybe a similar challenge could look at the most common books currently being taught in highschools. I'd call it the "It'll Make You Look Younger" Challenge.

Historia: I've signed up for the Shakespeare challenge again! Thanks for hosting it.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I am too busy being entertained by the notion of your suggested challenges to actually come up with any of my own. But I shall let this idea stew in my noodle for a bit.

Teddy Rose said...


I love the On a Roll Challenge. LOL! However, until dec. 31 theres the Well Rounded Challenge that basically does the same thing. I don't know if Jan is going to host it again in the new year.

Teddy Rose said...

Woops, I ment the Challenge Challenge.

Dale said...

Please Use Anyone (of these challenges). Love that graphic!

tanabata said...

Haha! These are great! There is a Lost in Translation challenge but I love your graphic!

John Mutford said...

Thanks for the links to some of these that already existed! Awesome.