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message 1: by Rinn, Captain of the SSV Normandy (last edited Nov 30, 2013 08:06AM) (new)

Rinn (rinnsohma) | 3456 comments Mod
Nic made some great suggestions for challenges/themed months, and Kirsty recently posted the Top 50 SF Books You Must Read as chosen by Forbidden Planet. And now I've finally enabled challenges for the group, it's time to get started!

What I want to know is:
- what sort of challenges you're interested in (Nic suggested 'classic' books ie. 50+ years old, or unknown treasures ie. books with <1000/2000 ratings)
- how long you'd like challenges to last (a month, quarter of a year, half a year, a year etc)
- how often you'd like challenges (once a month? once every few months? whenever a good idea comes up?)
- and finally, what sorts of challenges? ('top lists' books? classics? 2013 debuts? etc)

Current ideas:
- 'classic' books (50+ years old)
- unknown treasures (<1000/2000 ratings)
- 'big brick' (books over 500 pages)
- series challenge (finishing series? specific series? reading a certain no of series?)
- Dragons and Jetpacks suggests
- 'Twothousandfourteen' challenge
- 'Avengers vs. Xmen'

message 2: by John (new)

John (johnred) How do we register when we've read a qualifying book? Or is there a pre-established list of titles? (I'm on mobile, i can't seem to find these answers at the moment)

If it's doable, I would suggest a "Big Brick" challenge: Books over 500 pages. Single_-volume omnibusses count. timeline would probably have to be a year :)

message 3: by Rinn, Captain of the SSV Normandy (new)

Rinn (rinnsohma) | 3456 comments Mod
I can create challenges for the group, and you have to make a special bookshelf for it. (So perhaps a big-brick shelf?) Then when you read something from that shelf, it counts towards the challenge on the little counter.

message 4: by Paul (new)

Paul (halfmanhalfbook) | 440 comments a series challenge perhaps?

message 5: by Kirsty, Jedi Master (new)

Kirsty Cabot (kirstycabot) | 1902 comments Mod
What about a "Dragons and Jetpacks Suggests" challenge. Each person gets X suggestions each, it can cover both sci-fi and fantasy, and means we will probs be able to tick some off as we go along with the books of the month.

This gives everyone the opportunity to suggest to everyone else books they've enjoyed across both genres etc.

We could do multiple challenges - e.g. still have a "big brick", or a series challenge. But maybe this could be an ongoing book challenge for the group?

message 6: by Mpauli, Bitten by a radioactive book (new)

Mpauli | 769 comments Mod
Challenges or themed challenges are a great idea. I'm trying to do a little theme each month (this month it was Steampunk, next month will be sequels to series I started but didn't finish yet, January is for debut authors and February for SF).

In my german group we're also doing 2 challenges spanning the whole year.
One is called the "serial killer", where we try to finish 12 series that we have started.
The second is called "find the cover 2014". You take the word "Twothousandfourteen", which has 19 letters. Now for each letter in the word you look for a book you want to read, which has an item on the cover starting with the letter.

T - Throne
King of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #2) by Mark Lawrence

I'm also thinking about a chain challenges, where you're nect book has to start with the last letter of your previous book.
And of course, you can do themed challenges inspired by a book.

Example: Harry Potter challenge. You take characters from the books, look for three defining traits and formulate tasks from those traits to find in other books.

Harry Potter

Glasses: Read a book, where the main character wears glasses or some sort of sight enhancing device.

Hedwig: Read a book with an owl on the cover or with a bird playing a significant role.

Wand: Read a book about a wizard.

message 7: by Rinn, Captain of the SSV Normandy (last edited Nov 29, 2013 05:19AM) (new)

Rinn (rinnsohma) | 3456 comments Mod
Personally I feel we could just add as many challenges as we want - no one needs to feel obligated to take part in any of them, and anyone can do as many as they want.

Paul - for a series challenge, do you mean finishing series, starting series, or trying out new series?

Kirsty - I like that idea! Perhaps everyone could nominate their favourite book in both genres (so two each), and it could be like our group's 'ultimate' reading challenge/top books list. If I set that up soon, we could start it on January 1st, and have it run for the year perhaps?

I'm going to be running a re-read challenge on my blog next year, so I might add that purely for the counter widget - anyone else is welcome to join.

EDIT: Me and Mpauli posted at the same time!

Mpauli: Not zweitausendundvierzehn? ;D Those are some pretty cool ideas for a challenge, not heard of them before!

message 8: by Paul (new)

Paul (halfmanhalfbook) | 440 comments Reading a complete series

message 9: by Antonis (new)

Antonis (antonakis) | 62 comments Paul wrote: "Reading a complete series"

That's actually one of the most practical challenges and one I would be really interested in taking part in. Especially if the series is longer than the typical trilogy (and yes I'm thinking about The Malazan Book of the Fallen).

message 10: by Mpauli, Bitten by a radioactive book (new)

Mpauli | 769 comments Mod
Rinn wrote: "Mpauli: Not zweitausendundvierzehn? ;D"

Haha, of course we're doing the german word. And -a little insight into common german- we normally leave out the "und" part, although it is technically correct. So we're doing "Zweitausendvierzehn", which magically adds up to 19 letters, just as "Twothousandfourteen" does.^^

message 11: by Soila (new)

Soila | 135 comments I'd be interested in a list challenge, like NPR top 100 or Hugo/Nebula winners.

I've got my own challenge going on at the moment, reading a new (for me) female author for every letter of the alphabet. It would be fun if someone else wanted to do that one as well.

message 12: by Nic, Wormhole Technician (new)

Nic Margett (enn_eye_cee) | 353 comments Mod
I like the "Dragons and Jetpacks Suggests" suggestion, it'll give us all chance to add those had-for-ages-and-not-got-round-to books, i'm sure we all have them!

message 13: by Mpauli, Bitten by a radioactive book (last edited Nov 29, 2013 04:52PM) (new)

Mpauli | 769 comments Mod
Okay, I thought a lot about challenges today and came up with an idea, that we could play a challenge over the upcoming year.

I don't know how many super heroes fans we have here, but they would suit the idea perfectly.
I call it the Avengers vs. X-Men challenge. Each participant would choose, if he'd like to play on the Avengers or X-Men team.

During december the roster would be revealed by me, consisting of 12 X-Men and 12 Avengers. The characters would be described as in my Harry Potter example in post 6, having 3 traits.

For each trait, the player would need to read a book according to the trait-challenge. Each successful read earns a point for your team.
X-Men players get points for X-Men, Avengers players for Avengers.
If you unlock all three traits of one hero, your score is doubled, so you get an additional 3 points.
So with 12 heroes, 3 traits and double scores a player could achieve a maximum of 72 points for his team. This would start in January and would last a whole year, so you have plenty of time for your 36 books.

At the end of the year, the team with the most points wins and has enormous bragging rights in the group.

To spice things up, each month a villain is revealed. The villain also has 3 traits, but those can only be completed within the month the villain is active.
Again, a completed trait gives one point for your team and if you beat a villain by completing all 3 traits within the month, you get an additional 3 points.
Villains could also tie-in to our group reads, maybe having one trait, that might easily be achieved with one of our monthly books.

So with recruiting your heroes the challenge would consist of 36 books and by fighting all the villains it would be another 36 books.

So, let me know what you think. If there is enough interest, I would volunteer to set up and manage the challenge. :)

Oh, and maybe we could create a specific sub-forum for challenges, where all our challenges could be found.

message 14: by Lauren (new)

Lauren hooray for competitive reading! Sounds fun to me!

message 15: by Sinead (new)

Sinead | 49 comments Wow some great ideas here and some would take me years but I like the idea of the separate shelves for challenges and the 'brick' challenge. I'm assuming they would be along side the Book of the Month suggestions!

message 16: by Rinn, Captain of the SSV Normandy (new)

Rinn (rinnsohma) | 3456 comments Mod
Mpauli - I love that idea! And you're more than welcome to get that one up and running - I think I know which side I would pick ;D

I've created a challenges sub-forum, and moved this topic there.

message 17: by Kirsty, Jedi Master (new)

Kirsty Cabot (kirstycabot) | 1902 comments Mod
Are there any bloggers who are getting involved in reading challenges for 2014? or anyone else for that matter!

I'm involving myself in the Avengers V Xmen challenge, and will continue with the NPR Top 100 Sci-fi & Fantasy Books challenge, but was just looking for some inspiration! Have you see any other bloggers posting about challenges they are involved in?

message 18: by Freya, Dragon Rider (new)

Freya (flamecat) | 1832 comments Mod
I am going to be involved in the X-Men/Avengers one and I want to do our Ultimate Booklist one, however I think the first one and the BotM is going to keep me very occupied between that and life so I am going to see how I go :)

message 19: by Rinn, Captain of the SSV Normandy (new)

Rinn (rinnsohma) | 3456 comments Mod
Me and my friend Kelley are co-hosting Re-read January =)

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