Shonna's 2013 Challenges

This is a summary of all the challenges I have committed to for the year 2013.

6th Annual Canadian Book Challenge 

Completed - 37 books read
This challenge runs from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013  Challenge Home Page  My Wrap-up Page
The Canadian Book Challenge is an online reading challenge in which participants from Canada and around the world aim to read and review 13 or more Canadian books in a one year span: Canada Day to Canada Day. Reviews must be posted online and participants are asked to share links to their reviews with other participants.  
Canadian books can include any genre or form (picture books, poetry, novels, non-fiction, plays, anthologies, graphic novels, cookbooks, etc), can be written by Canadian authors (by birth or immigration) or about Canadians. Ultimately, participants must decide for themselves whether or not something fits the description of Canadian.

My Signup Page  and my Wrap-Up Page
Books read
1. Cities of Refuge by Michael Helm, fiction set in Toronto
2. Thirst by Shree Ghatage, fiction set in England
3. Just the Rules by Tosca Reno, about healthy eating
4. The Accidental Captives by Carolyn Gossage, history from World War II
5. Guardians of Being by Eckhart Tolle, about happiness
6. Trust Your Eyes by Linwood Barclay, thriller set in the United States
7. Forgotten Highways by Nicky Brink and Stephen R Bown, about walking in the Rockies
8. The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny, mystery set in Quebec
9. A Door in the River by Inger Ash Wolfe, mystery set in Ontario
10. The Emperor of Paris by C.S. Richardson, fiction set in Paris
11. Watching the Dark by Peter Robinson, mystery set in England and Estonia
12. Choose It and Lose It by Rose Reisman, about healthy eating
13. Whirl Away by Russell Wangersky, short stories set in various Canadian places
14. The Honey Locust by Jeffrey Round, fiction set in Ontario, Sarajevo, and Mexico
15. Chanda's Wars by Allan Stratton, children's fiction set in Africa
16. The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King, about natives in North America
17. Death by Prescription by Terence H. Young, about the dangers of prescription drugs
18. The Next One to Fall by Hilary Davidson, mystery set in Peru
19. Anna from Away by D.R. MacDonald, fiction set in Cape Breton
20. Dear Lila compiled by Robert H. Blackburn, historical letters from Alberta
21. Burma Effect by Michael E. Rose, thriller set in Thailand and Burma
22. Letters from the Lost by Helen Waldstein Wilkes, letters from occupied Europe
23. Everybody Has Everything by Katrina Onstad set in Toronto
24. Deep Leadership by Joe MacInnis, about leadership
25. Bow Grip by Ivan E. Coyote, fiction set in Alberta
26. Queen of Hearts by Martha Brooks, teen fiction set in Manitoba in the 1940s
27. Speaking from Among the Bones by Alan Bradley mystery fiction set in England in the 1950s
28. Word from New France, selected letters from the 1600s, from one of Canada's first nuns.
29. Counting Back from Nine by Valerie Sherrard, a teen novel written in poetry.
30. Testify by Valerie Sherrard, a teen novel about the nature of truth.
31. Authentic Letters from Upper Canada, letters from the 1830s back to Ireland
32. The Lion Seeker by Kenneth Bonert, historical fiction set around World War II in Jewish South Africa
33. The Wild Beasts of Wuhan by Ian Hamilton, 3rd in the Ava Lee thriller series
34. Train I Ride by Kit Robinson, a chapbook of poetry
35. The Underwater Welder by Jeff Lemire, a graphic novel.
36. Mount Pleasant by Don Gillmor, a novel of a man and money.
37. Travelling Light by Peter Behrens, a collection of short stories

War Through the Generations Challenge 2013

For 2013 the war is the American Revolution.  Challenge Home Page  My Signup Page

Challenge rules:
Books can take place before, during, or after the war, so long as the conflicts that led to the war or the war itself are important to the story. Books from other challenges count so long as they meet the above criteria.

I went for the Wade level, which is
Read 4-10 books in any genre with the American Revolution as a primary or secondary theme.

Books read:
1. The Fort by Bernard Cornwell  -- Finished January 22
2. American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies at the Founding of the Republic by Joseph J Ellis -- Finished April 2
3. Regulated for Murder by Suzanne Adair -- Finished May 19
4. New York by Edward Rutherfurd -- Finished October 10

And I completed it at the lowest level!

What's In a Name Challenge (6th) for 2013

Challenge Home Page
My Signup Page Between January 1 and December 31, 2013, read one book in each of the following categories (The book titles are just suggestions, you can read whatever book you want to fit the category.):
  1. A book with up or down (or equivalent) in the title: Deep down True, The Girl Below, The Diva Digs up the Dirt
    Book Read:  The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud
  2. A book with something you'd find in your kitchen in the title: Loose Lips Sink Ships, The Knife of Never Letting Go, Breadcrumbs
    Book Read: A Mountain of Crumbs by Elena Gorokhova
  3. A book with a party or celebration in the title: A Feast for Crows, A Wedding in Haiti, Cocktail Hour under the Tree of Forgetfulness
    Book Read:
    An Irish Country Wedding by Patrick Taylor
  4. A book with fire (or equivalent) in the title: Burning for Revenge, Fireworks over Toccoa, Catching Fire
    Book Read:
    Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wien
  5. A book with an emotion in the title: Baltimore Blues, Say You're Sorry, Dreams of Joy
    Book Read: Love Saves the Day by Gwen Cooper
  6. A book with lost or found (or equivalent) in the title: The Book of Lost Fragrances, The World We Found, A Discovery of Witches
    Book Read:
    Letters from the Lost: a memoir of discovery by Helen Waldstein Wilkes
This challenge usually gets spread out over the year as I identify books that fit. Other rules they have are:
  • Books may be any form (audio, print, e-book).
  • Books may overlap other challenges.
  • Books may not overlap categories; you need a different book for each category.
  • Creativity for matching the categories is not only allowed but encouraged.
  • You do not have to make a list of books before hand.
  • You do not have to read through the categories in any particular order.
My wrap-up Post

Chunkster Challenge 2013

Challenge Home Page
My Signup Page A chunkster is 450 pages or more of ADULT literature, whether non-fiction or fiction. A chunkster should be a challenge.
The rules:
  •  No audio books. (There are exceptions to this rule.)
  • No e-books allowed. This was discussed in much detail in the 2011 challenge. The short version: a chunkster isn’t a challenge if you’re reading it on an e-reader. (There are exceptions to this rule.)
  • Essay, poetry, and short story collections will be allowedCollections have to be read in their entirety to count. If you’ve needed a reason to finally pick up your copy of The Collected Works Of ____ now is the time.
  • Books may crossover with other challenges.
  •  Anyone may join. (If you don’t have a blog, just leave a comment on this post with your challenge level and your progress throughout the challenge.) 
  • You don’t need to list your books ahead of time.
  • Once you’ve picked a level, that’s it. You’re committed to it!

I chose the highest of the four levels:
Mor-book-ly Obese - This is for the truly out of control chunkster. For this level of challenge you must commit to EIGHT or more Chunksters of which three tomes MUST be 750 pages or more. You know you want to.....go on and give in to your cravings.

Books read:
  1. Map of Bones by James Rollins (623 pages)
  2. The Lion Seeker by Kenneth Bonert (561 pages)
  3. The Needle in the Blood by Sarah Bower (523 pages)
  4. New York by Edward Rutherfurd (1026 pages)
  5. Allegiant by Veronica Roth (526 pages) [This is teen, so may not count]
So, didn't complete it as planned. And only have one book at the highest level.

Global Reading Challenge 2013

As in the past, the 2013 Global Reading Challenge (2013GRC) challenges you to expand your reading boundaries, go where you haven't been before, move a little outside your comfort zone.

You may read any genre so long as the books are fiction.

Decide which level you will attempt, although you can change that later if you wish.
Use the Mr Linky to sign up with your name, the level you intend to attempt, and your blog URL.

Feel free to include the logo in your blog posts or on your blog (with a link to this page) 

Your reading will take place in the calendar year 2013.

I chose the The Expert Challenge
Read three novels from each of these continents in the course of 2013:

Africa, Asia, Australasia/Oceania, Europe, North America, South America (please include Central America where it is most convenient for you)

The Seventh Continent (here you can either choose Antarctica or your own ´seventh´ setting, eg the sea, the space, a supernatural/paranormal world, history, the future – you name it). 

From your own continent: try to find a country, state or author that is new to you.

Select novels from twenty-one different countries or states if possible. (For Australasia, selecting a different state for your last book will be acceptable)

  1. The Lion Seeker by Kenneth Bonert (South Africa) Finished May 13 
  2. Son of a Gun by Anne de Graaf (Liberia) Finished June 15

  1. Salvation of a Saint by Keigo Higashino (Japan) Finished April 20
  2. The Paradise Guest House by Ellen Sussman (Bali) Finished May 4
  3. The Village by Nikita Lalwani (India) Finished June 29
  1. Albert of Adelaide by Howard L Anderson (Australia) finished October 6
  1. City of Women by David R. Gillham (Germany) Finished January 13
  2. Young Turk by Moris Farhi (Turkey) Finished January 15
  3. Harvest by Jim Crace (England) Finished February 20
North America:
  1. The Fort by Bernard Cornwell (United States) Finished January 22
  2. Anna from Away by D.R. MacDonald (Canada) Finished January 28
  3. Evil in All Its Disguises by Hilary Davidson (Mexico) Finished August 5
South America:
  1. The Next One to Fall by Hilary Davidson (Peru) Finished January 17

Seventh Continent:
  1. As Sweet As Honey by Indira Ganesan (Fictional Island) April 15
  2. Bedlam by Christopher Brookmyre (Future) August 22
  3. Ancestors of Avalon by Diana L Paxson (Historical Fantasy) September 8

European Reading Challenge

The gist: The idea is to read books by European authors or books set in European countries (no matter where the author comes from). The books can be anything – novels, short stories, memoirs, travel guides, cookbooks, biography, poetry, or any other genre. You can participate at different levels, but each book must be by a different author and set in a different country – it's supposed to be a tour. (See note about the UK, below)

What counts as "Europe"? For this challenge, we will use the list of 50 sovereign states that fall (at least partially) within the geographic territory of the continent of Europe and/or enjoy membership in international European organizations such as the Council of Europe. This list includes the obvious (the UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy), the really huge Russia, the tiny Vatican City, and the mixed bag of Baltic, Balkan, and former Soviet states.

Note: Technically, the United Kingdom is one country that includes England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.  So one book from any one of these four should count as your one book for that one country. I'm not going to be a stickler about it because challenges should be about fun not about rules. However, when it comes to winning the Jet Setter prize, only one book from one of the UK countries will count.

Here is the list, in alphabetical order: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Vatican City. 

I've chosen the top level
Five Star (Deluxe Entourage): Read at least five books by different European authors or books set in different European countries.

Books Read:
  1. Dark Dreams by Michael Genelin (Slovakia) Finished January 5
  2. City of Women by David R. Gillham (Germany) Finished January 13
  3. Young Turk by Moris Farhi (Turkey) Finished January 13
  4. Harvest by Jim Crace (UK) Finished February 20
  5. The Smell of the Night by Andrea Camilleri (Italy) Finished March 15
  6. A Mountain of Crumbs by Elena Gorokhova (Russia) Finished March 16
  7. Two Pints by Roddy Doyle (Ireland) Finished May 2
  8. The Ghost Riders of Ordebec by Fred Vargas (France) Finished May 11
  9. Léon & Louise by Alex Capus (Switzerland) Finished June 2
  10. The Lullaby of Polish Girls by Dagmara Dominczyk (Poland) Finished July 2
  11. HHhH by Laurent Binet (Czech Republic) Finished July 17
  12. Norwegian by Night by Derek B. Miller (Norway) Finished July 30
I'm happy with my progress on this one, reaching more than double my goal. 

2013 TBR Pile Challenge

Challenge Home Page
My Signup and Tracking Page  So far this year I have only completed three. Better get going!!

The Goal: To finally read 12 books from your “to be read” pile (within 12 months).
1. Each of these 12 books must have been on your bookshelf or “To Be Read” list for AT LEAST one full year. This means the book cannot have a publication date of 1/1/2012 or later (any book published in the year 2011 or earlier qualifies, as long as it has been on your TBR pile – I WILL be checking publication dates). Caveat: Two (2) alternates are allowed, just in case one or two of the books end up in the “can’t get through” pile.
2.  To be eligible, you must sign-up with Mr. Linky below – link to your list (so create it ahead of time!) and add updated links to each book’s review.  Books must be read and must be reviewed (doesn’t have to be too fancy) in order to count as completed.
3.  The link you post in the Mr. Linky below must be to your “master list” (see mine below).  This is where you will keep track of your books completed, crossing them out and/or dating them as you go along, and updating the list with the links to each review (so there’s one easy, convenient way to find your list and all your reviews for the challenge).  See THIS LINK for an idea of what I mean.  Your complete and final list must be posted by January 5th, 2013.
4. Leave comments on this post as you go along, to update us on your status. Come back here if/when you complete this challenge and leave a comment indicating that you CONQUERED YOUR 2013 TBR LIST!  Every person who successfully reads his/her 12 books and/or alternates (and who provides a working link to their list, which has links to the review locations) will be entered to win a $50 gift card from or The Book Depository!
5. Crossovers from other challenges are totally acceptable, as long as you have never read the book before and it was published pre-2012!
*Note – You can read the books on your list in any order; they do not need to be read in the order you have them listed. As you complete a book – review it, and go back to your original list and turn that title into a link to the review - that will keep the comments section here from getting ridiculously cluttered.  For an example of what I mean, Click Here.
UPDATE:  I’ve decided to make a small change/addition to this year’s challenge.  On the 15th of each month, I’m going to post a “TBR Pile Check-In.”  This will allow participants to link-up their reviews from the past month and get some recognition for their progress.  There will also be small mini-challenges and giveaways to go along with these posts (Such As: Read 6 books by the June Check-in and be entered to win a book of your choice!).  I’m hoping this will help to keep us all on track and make the challenge a bit more engaging/interactive. If it goes well, maybe I’ll keep this format for future years.

2013 Colourful Reading Challenge

The Colorful Reading Challenge is simple:
1. Just choose 9 books with colors in the titles.  
2. The books can overlap with other reading challenges (because let's face it, we need them to.)  
3. Post your links to your reviews each month to share with other participants.
4. The challenge runs from January 1, 2013 to December 1, 2013.
5. Read to your heart's content!

When most people think of colors they think of the basics- red, yellow, blue, green, orange, purple, white, black, and brown.  But don't forget, as Crayola taught us, colors have a wide array of tints and shades so don't forget you can include colors such as silver, gold, plum, pink, crimson, scarlet, turquoise, blonde, gray, pumpkin, the list goes on. 

Books Read
  1. Snow White Must Die by Nele Neuhaus (White) Finished April 9
  2. Gold Digger by Frances Fyfield (Gold) Finished June 16
  3. Black Irish by Stephan Talty (Black) Finished June 22
  4. The Lavender Garden by Lucinda Riley (Lavender) Finished July 15
  5. Red Joan by Jennie Rooney (Red) Finished September 14
  6. Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wien (Rose) Finished Setember 18
  7. Bellman and Black by Diane Setterfield (Black) Finished November 30
  8. The Yellow Duster Sisters by Susan Kennaway (Yellow) Finished December 28
  9. Hot Pink by Adam Levin (Pink) Finished December 29

Postal Reading Challenge

What is the Challenge?

The key is to read and review books with a postal theme. These can be non-fiction on the subject of letter writing, collections of real letters, or epistolary fiction of any era. Be creative! Review each one and link back to the challenge -- there will be quarterly roundup posts for you to link reviews and posts to as you create them.

The challenge runs from January 1st, 2013 to December 31st, 2013.  You can sign up ANY TIME throughout the year.

Any books chosen can overlap with any other challenge, and rereads are allowed. Just remember to review them somewhere online in order for them to count toward the challenge. Lists don't have to be made in advance, though feel free to share your choices and inspire other readers if you wish! 

I chose the highest level (gee, do you see a trend!!)

Air Mail Express Level:   Read and review 12 books with a postal themeAND commit to sending more old fashioned letters this year. At least 12pieces of mail (or more!), and you can share numbers or even images of your mail art in the quarterly roundups.

Books Read:
  1. Dear Lila: life on an Alberta Farm in 1925 as recorded in letters saved by Lila Blackburn compiled by Robert H. Blackburn. Finished February 5
  2. Letters from the Lost: a memoir of discovery by Helen Waldstein Wilkes. Finished February 9
  3. Dear Mr. Longfellow: letters to and from the children's poet by Sydelle Pearl. Finished February 16
  4. Original Letters from India by Eliza Fay. Finished March 23
  5. Word from New France: the selected letters of Marie de l'Incarnation translated and edited by Joyce Marshall. Finished March 26
  6. Authentic Letters from Upper Canada including an Account of Canadian Field Sports by Thomas William McGrath, the whole edited by the Reverend Thomas Radcliff. Finished April 21
  7. Here and Now: letters 2008-2011 by Paul Auster and J.M. Coetzee. Finished June 13

Science Book Challenge

The 2013 Science Book Challenge

  1. Read three (or more!) nonfiction books in 2013 related to the theme "Science & Culture". Your books should have something to do with science, scientists, how science operates, or the relationship of science with our culture. Your books might be popularizations of science, they might be histories, they might be biographies, they might be anthologies; they can be recent titles or older books, from the bookstore or your local library. We take a very broad view of what makes for interesting and informative science reading, looking for perspectives on science as part of culture and history.
  2. After you've read a book, write a short note about it giving your opinions of the book. Tell us what you'd tell a friend if you wanted to convince your friend to read it--or avoid it. You can read some of the existing Book Notes for ideas. You might like to read our Book-note ratings for ideas about how to evaluate your books; we include ratings with every book note.
  3. Don't worry if you find that you've read a book someone else has also read; we welcome multiple notes on one title.
  4. Get your book note to us and we'll post it with the other notes in our Book Note section. Use the book-note form or the comment form to get in touch with us.
  5. Spread the scienticity and tell other people about the Science Book Challenge, either here,, or at our Facebook group.

Books Read
  1. The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr. Finished May 28
  2. A Little History of Science by William Bynum. Finished May 29
  3. An Appetite for Wonder by Richard Dawkins. Finished October 29
Tea and Books Challenge

You may pick both fiction and non fiction books! Short story collections, anthologies or collected works in one volume are now allowed! Re-reads are also ok (though preferably you should read one of those unread tomes that have been collecting dust on your shelves)!
Last year you had to read 700+ pages but she reduced this to 650+ for 2013.
And as a little incentive - books with more than 1.200 pages will count for two books (so theoretically you can read four such super-chunksters to reach the Sencha Connoisseur level)!
Last but not least - no large print editions of a book, please!

Here are the levels to strive for:
2 Books - Chamomile Lover

4 Books - Berry Tea Devotee
6 Books - Earl Grey Aficionado
8 or more Books - Sencha Connoisseur
I am going for the 6 books level.

Books Read:
  1. New York by Edward Rutherfurd (1026 pages) Finished October 10
7th Canadian Reading Challenge
This challenge runs July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014

The Canadian Book Challenge is an annual online reading challenge in which participants from Canada and around the world aim to read and review 13 or more Canadian books in a one year span: Canada Day to Canada Day. Reviews must be posted online and participants are asked to share links to their reviews with other participants. More on reviews below.(It's also a lot of fun and collectively we've read and reviewed thousands of Canadian titles! Actually, the whole books, not just the titles.)

Books read:
  1. Chanda's Secrets by Allan Stratton. Finished July 4
  2. Ru by Kim Thúy. Finished July 9
  3. Evil in All Its Disguises by Hilary Davidson. Finished August 5
  4. The Lonely Doll by Dare Wright. Finished August 15
  5. Edith and Mr. Bear by Dare Wright. Finished August 15
  6. Edith and Midnight by Dare Wright. Finished August 15
  7. Edith and the Duckling by Dare Wright. Finished August 15
  8. The Doll and the Kitten by Dare Wright. Finished August 15
  9. Holiday for Edith and the Bears by Dare Wright. Finished August 15
  10. Barnacle Love by Anthony De Sa. Finished October 11
  11. Kicking the Sky by Anthony De Sa. Finished October 16
  12. How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny. Finished November 22
  13. Gwynneth Ever After by Linda Poitevin. Finished December 1
  14. The Whirlpool by Jane Urquhart. Finished December 3
  15. The Walker on the Cape by Mike Martin. Finished December 7
  16. An Irish Country Wedding by Patrick Taylor. Finished December 23
  17. Lona by Dare Wright. Finished December 23

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