Friday, January 8, 2010

Children's Classics Mystery Challenge

January 1 - June, 2010

Five Minutes for Books is hosting the Children's Classics Mystery Challenge. Here's what they say:

I'm so hyped about this particular challenge that I can barely type! Who didn't love Nancy Drew, the Dana Girls, the Hardy Boys, Trixie Belden, or Encyclopedia Brown growing up!?! And who wouldn't love a chance to revisit these gems? And who wouldn't love an excuse to bring their children in on the fun and introduce them to the beautiful world of children's mystery stories where there is always a mystery to solve and yet nothing gory ever happens?!

For the next six months, from January to June 2010, we're going to substitute our regular Children's Classics carnival (which typically takes place on the second Tuesday of the month) and replace it with a Children's Classics Mystery Challenge. What all does this entail?

Really, you are welcome to participate as much or as little as you like. The plan is to Make-Your-Own plan. Would you like to reread those Nancy Drew books you've had lying around? Trixie? Or mix and match! The choice is yours. All that we ask is that you write up an initial post saying that you and/or your children are going to be participating in this challenge and link back to this introductory post.

Then, on the second Tuesday of each month we will have a post wherein you can link up any and all reviews you have written in the previous month. For example, on January 12 you can link up your introductory post or any reviews you've completed, so feel free to start reading now. Books, movies, audio, and even video game (oh yes!) reviews may be included and are most welcome.

Why are we doing this? For a variety of reasons. First and foremost, quite frankly, I just want to visit with some old chums of mine. Secondly, this we feel this is a great way to involve our children in our reading habits and, just perhaps, introduce them to the company we kept when we were younger. Which series qualifies as a classic? Let's say anything that came into being before 1980. Maybe you know of a series that we don't, but these are some of my favorites from my younger days:

Nancy Drew, the Dana Girls (also attributed to Carolyn Keene), the Hardy Boys, Trixie Belden, Cherry Ames and the Boxcar Children. I might have to pick up an Encyclopedia Brown (which my husband read but I did not) to see what those are about. Are there others I've missed?

The point is - have fun. Find your inner child in these stories and remember what birthed your love of mystery stories today. Perhaps you even have some of these characters to thank for your present addiction to the written word. Let's celebrate, remember and have fellowship with them again. I think it's about time.

By devoting the 2nd Tuesday to the challenge, we are hoping to build a community of children's mystery lovers, or provide another source of reviews for those of you looking for books for your children.

This is a fairly low-key challenge, but it's always good to set a goal. We are even trying to dig up prizes, so be sure that you look for our monthly posts on the 2nd Tuesday.

I'm excited about this challenge and I hope you will choose to join in on the fun at a pace that suits you. Leave a comment if this sounds exciting to you. If you want to write up an introductory post with your goals, feel free to link it up here or on January 12th, or any 2nd Tuesday throughout the challenge.

To join, go to Children's Classics Mystery Challenge.

American Civil War Challenge

Marny is hosting the American Civil War Reading Challenge

Here's what she says:

Welcome to the American Civil War Reading Challenge.

Here are the rules:

1. Read books about the Civil War, either fiction or non-fiction

2. There are four levels of participation

- Private: Read three books

- Sergeant: Read six books

- Lieutenant: Read nine books

- General: Read twelve books

3. Read the books between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010

4. Overlaps with other challenges are allowed

5. Ebooks and audiobooks are okay, too

6. You don't have to have a reading list ready to participate in the challenge but please let me know which level you're doing

There will be a prize at the end of the challenge. If you complete the challenge and write a wrap-up post (or wrap-up comment), you're eligible.

1. Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer - James L. Swanson (Audio)
2 Corrigans Pool by Dot Ryan

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Memorable Memoir Reading Challenge

January 1 - December 31, 2010

Melissa of The Betty and Boo Chronicles is hosting the Memorable Memoir Reading Challenge. Here's what she says:

I know, I know ... you've already joined too many (me too!), you've just signed up for your very last challenge, but I would love for you to join one more. This one.
Memoirs, letters, diaries, and autobiographies count as reads for this challenge. (Basically, if you think it is the stuff of memoir, it counts.)

Overlaps with other challenges are allowed. Audiobooks and e-books are also allowed.

Participants are encouraged to read at least 4 memoirs/diaries/letters/autobiography books in 2010. Of course, more are fine!

You're not required to make a list, but if you'd like to do so, I'd love your ideas and suggestions!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Short Story Reading Challenge for 2010

January 1 - December 31, 2010

Kate from Kate's Book Blog is reviving the Short Story Reading Challenge for 2010. She writes:

I hosted the initial incarnation of the Short Story Reading Challenge in 2008 and was thrilled at the number of readers that I encountered through it who proved to be already devotees of or who were willing to embrace the short story form. I took a year off from challenges this past year, but after several expressions of interest in another round, I'm feeling enthusiastic about a revival of the Short Story Reading Challenge for 2010.
There are several options for participation:

Options 1 & 2: If you're short on time, you can simply commit to reading ten short stories by ten different authors over the course of 2010. If you're relatively new to reading short stories, any ten will do. If you’ve already got a lot of short stories under your belt, make it ten short stories by ten writers whose work you have not yet read.

Options 3 & 4: If you've got a bit more time to devote to this endeavor, you can commit to reading between five and ten short story collections over the course of 2010. Again, if you're a short story novice, the world is your oyster as far as selection is concerned. But if you're a seasoned short story reader, you'll want to choose collections by writers whose short stories you have not yet encountered.

Option 5: This is the custom option under the rubric of which you can tailor your reading list to best meet your personal reading aspirations. You might wish to craft a list that focuses on a particular place, or era, or genre. Or you might wish to include reading about short stories as well as of short stories, for example, such works as Frank O'Connor's The Lonely Voice: A Study of the Short Story. It's entirely up to you.

The blog dedicated to this challenge can be found here. On it, participants can post reading lists, recommendations, and reviews of specific short stories and short story collections, as well as ruminations on and links related to the short story form more generally.

Want more information or interested in joining? Visit the post about the challenge on Kate's blog and leave her a comment.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Every Month is a Holiday - 2010

January 1 - December 31, 2010

Kim is hosting the Every Month is A Holiday Challenge again for 2010. Participants read a book a month relating to one of the themes, special days or holidays.

+books may overlap with other challenges
+you may list the books you read and where your reading wishes take you

Kim has lots of great links to give you ideas for your reading.To learn more or sign up, visit the challenge blog.