A challenge of relative ease and merriment 2017 discussion

Looking to 2018

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message 1: by Pocki (new)

Pocki | 61 comments Mod
Hi guys!
We have two and a half months left of the year (where did all that time go? Seriously...) and good job on this year's challenge! I know several of you are finished already, and the rest are still going strong. I myself am struggling with my last few categories but I'll get it done.

Anyway, I plan on continuing this challenge next year, with some changed categories of course. It will be a new group, and I will send out a mass message to all members of this year's challenge so you don't miss it if you want to join again. I hope to see you all there of course!

So far I have decided on 15 categories (of our usual 20), and thought I'd share with you:

a book released in 2018
a non-fiction book
a kids book
a YA novel
an LGBTQIA+ book
a book set in the future
a book set (or about a time) before 1940
a how-to book
a graphic novel
a book with mythological creatures
a book set on or by the sea
a book about a death
a book with a predominantly yellow cover (colour may change!)
a book written by more than one author
the first book in an existing series (of at least two released books)

I have some ideas for the last five but none I'm super happy with yet, so I thought I'd let you all have a say as well. What would you like to see as a category for the 2018 challenge? Is there one you've been missing from 2016 if you were with us then, or one you really liked this year? Or something you really wish would've been on the list for this year?

And yes, since you get a nice lil sneak peek of categories for next year you can already start planning! Personally I just tend to wing it most of the year, but I know there are some of you who really like to plan things out. So this is for you ;)

So hit me with your suggestions, comments, wishes, or what have you!
And good luck with your last few books!

message 2: by Pernilla (new)

Pernilla (saffran) | 11 comments How about a book that was adapted into a TV series? And a book with a protagonist that has some degree of disability or functional variation (physical, cognitive or neural -- whatever the correct English term is)?

Also, I am nowhere near finishing this year's challenge, haha, although I will try to fill as many of the categories as I can.

message 3: by Carly (new)

Carly Friedman (carlykayreads) I love the idea of a book with a character with a disability of some sort AND a how-to book. Both of these will make me stretch a bit.

How about a book suggested by a family member or friend?

message 4: by Bunny (last edited Oct 19, 2017 10:28PM) (new)

Bunny McFoo (bunnymcfoo) | 20 comments Oh hey, I was totally thinking about this the other day!

- A book with a non-human narrator
- A book published in the year of your birth
- A book with an elderly protagonist
- A book that has been translated into your native language
- A book previously read by someone else doing this challenge (all years)
- An epistolary novel (I think this one would be very interesting)
- A collection of short stories
- A book about music
- A book with a six word title
- A retelling of a fairy tale, fable, or myth

I'm looking forward to seeing the final list!

message 5: by Pernilla (new)

Pernilla (saffran) | 11 comments Oh, good suggestions, there, Bunny!

message 6: by Thomas (last edited Oct 19, 2017 04:48AM) (new)

Thomas | 8 comments - A book relesed after the authors death. Bonus if the author did not ask for it to be published. Double bonus if the release went against the expressed wishes of the author.
- A book you claim to have read, or discuss like you did, but never have.

message 7: by Laura (new)

Laura (kittennuisance) | 18 comments These are really great and creative suggestions!! I look forward to geeking out over the chosen ones soon. <3

message 8: by Bunny (new)

Bunny McFoo (bunnymcfoo) | 20 comments Thomas wrote: "- - A book you claim to have read, or discuss like you did, but never have.

That's an impossible one to fill for some of us - I don't think I've ever done that in my life!

message 9: by Laura (new)

Laura (kittennuisance) | 18 comments Bunny wrote: "Thomas wrote: "- - A book you claim to have read, or discuss like you did, but never have.

That's an impossible one to fill for some of us - I don't think I've ever done that in my life!"

I think that one should have an alternative, if chosen. . . I've done it, but the only time I can think of now is with the final book in the Twilight series!
Maybe a book that you've pretended to have read, a book you were assigned in school and actually skipped, or a book you've always meant to read?

message 10: by Pernilla (last edited Oct 20, 2017 11:21AM) (new)

Pernilla (saffran) | 11 comments Laura wrote: "Bunny wrote: "Thomas wrote: "- - A book you claim to have read, or discuss like you did, but never have.

I think that one should have an alternative, if chosen. . . I've done it, but the only time I can think of now is with the final book in the Twilight series!
Maybe a book that you've pretended to have read, a book you were assigned in school and actually skipped, or a book you've always meant to read?

I have actually done precisely that, with a book assigned in school. I just asked my classmates about it before the test, and then I went in and bullshitted through the whole test. The truly and deeply embarrassing thing was that when we got the test back, the teacher held me up as the only person who seemed to have actually read the book, judging by the test...

message 11: by Laura (new)

Laura (kittennuisance) | 18 comments That worked out for me in school, too... honestly, if I bought the Cliff's Notes (I'm too old to have had SparkNotes access, sadly), I understood most of the books better than if I'd actually read them. I got better at critical reading as an adult!

message 12: by Thomas (new)

Thomas | 8 comments Yeah, I bullshitted alot of unappealing books in school. Also I do talk about some books like I've read them even though I've only seen the movies. Or sometimes make comparisons to 1984 or Animal Farm without having read either :)

message 13: by Pocki (new)

Pocki | 61 comments Mod
I have never done either actually. Whatever they assigned us in school was always easy enough for me to breeze through and then get back to my normal reading, even if I found the book boring. But I have definitely cut some corners in analysis. Like when we in English class in high school had to compare movie and book version of About A Boy, and one question was something like "the protagonist is portrayed very differently in the movie. Discuss" and I just went "he was exactly as I imagined" and didn't elaborate. She liked my assignment (or me?) so much she missed a whole bunch of typos and lazy grammatical errors (pretty sure we wrote it by hand and I didn't proofread it when I was done)

But yes, great suggestions everyone!
Should be no problem completing the list closer to the new year :D

message 14: by Laura (new)

Laura (kittennuisance) | 18 comments What's mysterious to me is how I managed to BS reading in elementary school, before I could have read anything about the book. . . I know for a fact that I never read Island Of The Blue Dolphins until a couple years ago, but it was assigned in fifth grade, and I somehow got through the schoolwork. It must have been "what do you think" type questions, more than "what actually happened"!!

But anyway, if you use the category, I definitely think there should be an alternative for people who have never done this, or don't want to admit it! "A book on your to-read for over a year [or more!]" could work, maybe. :-)

message 15: by Pocki (new)

Pocki | 61 comments Mod
Yeah I've been considering a kind of "meant to read" category, which we had last year. But we'll see... Lots to choose from!

message 16: by Laura (new)

Laura (kittennuisance) | 18 comments If it helps, I took last year's wording very literally. . .

"a book you bought before the start of 2016 but never got around to reading"
So, a book that I personally purchased and paid for, meaning not any gifts or books bought on gift cards or unread library books, and not books in my to-read that I didn't buy at all.

I'm not trying to quibble, and I bet a lot of people did interpret it (quite fairly!) as "meant to read"! I just wanted to explain how it would be a new category for me. :-)

And we do have lots to choose from; that's for sure!!

message 17: by Pocki (new)

Pocki | 61 comments Mod
Ah yes that was how I put it last year! No wait, I did write "acquired" not bought. So gifts would've been fine! But yeah it was an ownership thing as well as a meaning to read thing.

message 18: by Bunny (new)

Bunny McFoo (bunnymcfoo) | 20 comments For what it's worth, I think that "a book you've been meaning to read" would be the better wording!

(I'm biased as heck though because I mostly get my books from the library ;))

message 19: by B. (new)

B. Bunny wrote:
- A book with a non-human narrator
- A book published in the year of your birth
- A book with an elderly protagonist
- A book that has been..."

About half of these feel too specific to me, like it'd be more of a treasure-hunt than a "relatively easy" reading challenge. (I don't want to read a book the author didn't want published, either. :( I'd hate if someone published something of mine against my wishes...) Tho I do like the "previously read by someone else in the challenge idea"--it would be fun to rec stuff.

And "A book you've been meaning to read" would be cool for me b/c that's literally what most of this year's were for me, lol! (I have a lot of books I've been meaning to read.)

How-to book sounds like one of those that'd cause a lot of...discussion on what fits the category. :-/

I did write down a few ideas I'd had when thinking about it earlier this year.... I also had graphic novel, but I added that it not be published by the "big two" (DC or Marvel) just to make it a little harder, while still totally doable since Image, etc. all have so much great stuff out there. But I guess that could just be a personal restriction...
I also basically had "a book set on or by the sea" tho mine said "primarily set on an island or the ocean". I don't mind all beaches being included at all, tho! :D Nautical books seem like a natural replacement for the desert category, I guess...

One of mine I rather liked was "a book of any genre written by a female author whose work you have not read previously"--it felt easy to me while still asking ppl to expand their horizon a bit.

message 20: by Laura (new)

Laura (kittennuisance) | 18 comments To me, the treasure-hunting is part of the merriment, and the ease comes up when I realize how many books cross into different categories, and discover new things! Which isn't to say you're wrong; I just feel differently, and maybe the final list could have a blend of specificity level, or optional categories. I really like your category idea about a female author not read previously, and I would tend to agree that a book that the author didn't want published would be a category I probably would abstain from, if chosen.

One of the great things about this challenge, IMO, is that we don't seem to be calling each other out on our picks, so I think a how-to book could be personally defined by each of us with little fuss. . . if anyone is nitpicking, it's probably me just begging for a very specific definition so I can be very strict with myself. XD I think I went a little bit nuts about what EXACTLY a cozy mystery is, so I could be sure to find one, but it was just for fun!

All just my opinions. I love obsessing over this challenge every year. ^_^

message 21: by Nancy (new)

Nancy (nbaker) I like the suggestions so far also. While some do sound daunting and would make me really work hard to fill the category. But after all it is a "challenge" lol

As for the how-to book... I would agree that a little bit of defining should be done. Only for instance I would not agree that a cookbook should be considered.

Am looking forward to whatever is developed tho. I have had lots of fun this year with the challenge.

message 22: by Pocki (new)

Pocki | 61 comments Mod
You guys should know by now that I always write a little bit about the more fuzzy categories to explain. I have actually prepped for when I set up the new group but since we're discussing it, this is what I wrote for How-To:

How-to can be any book telling you how to do, or deal with, something. It can be your classic DIY books, cookbooks, crafting, how to survive in nature, taking care of exotic birds, travelling on a budget etc etc. But it doesn’t actually have to be properly factual. Guides on how to survive your first year as a werewolf, how to conduct yourself when travelling through time etc, or how to best prep for the impending zombie apocalypse (or any apocalypse really, some of those might be more factual than others).

So I DID include cookbooks in that. But who reads a regular cookbook from cover to cover? I'd only do that if it really is a how-to type cookbook. Like how to ferment vegetables or something.

Also, the reason I didn't include female writer this year (unlike last year) was that I thought it was WAY too easy.
And hey, cozy mystery is an actual genre! :P (I'm still waiting to read mine cause I have a series I like and a new book is being released super soon)

I think maybe if we do "meaning to read" making it something like "for at least a year" might be good. Cause I mean to read books all the time it just takes me a while to get around to them.

message 23: by Laura (new)

Laura (kittennuisance) | 18 comments This is why I love you and your challenge, Pocki!! You feed the very part of me that craves a reading challenge in the first place. <3

I do sometimes read a cookbook from cover to cover, but I'm aware that it's weird behavior when I do! Usually it's a bread-baking cookbook, or has some kind of theme (like recipes from a certain era or inspired by certain media or something). I did this as a kid, and it's kind of a holdover behavior, I think.

Once I stopped struggling and found cozy mysteries, I discovered that it very much is an actual genre, and it's honestly not my least-favorite genre! ^_^

And yes; I agree with a time being specified for "meaning to read." Technically, I'm meaning to read things right now, but things I only just heard about. ^_^

message 24: by B. (last edited Oct 29, 2017 08:55PM) (new)

B. Well, finding a new female author could be challenging you've read a LOT of different ones, or never read very many at all... (Tho I doubt the latter would come up for anyone here, heh.) But yeah it's def on the easy side.

And yeeeeah, I did see some calling out (on cozy mystery and on novelization) and I can't get into a rly specific treasure hunt b/c I don't rly like my local library much* and don't want to buy a book just for a challenge...either way I'll get resentful if it's a waste of my time /and money. I have so many other books on my looooong TBR list. (All that's basically why I've lost interest in finding anything to fit cozy mystery for this year... (I had something that fit the words TO ME, but not the "official definition of the genre" so yeah...w/e.))

I could do "meaning to read" for over, like, FIVE years--easy! LOL!

(*Workers have treated me poorly, the air is so dry it makes my eyes burn, meh selection, long wait lists for the good stuff...loud teenagers, dodgy bathrooms, etc. etc. etc.. I have a card but I barely use it. I have a bunch of books I'm interested in test driving (tho I do tend to DNF library books more easily anyway) so I should go more. But ugh.)

message 25: by Rebecka (last edited Oct 30, 2017 06:26AM) (new)

Rebecka | 14 comments There are lots of interesting suggestions for next year's challenge. I personally wouldn't feel comfortable reading a book that was published after an author's death, if said author didn't expressly asked for it to be published. I definitely wouldn't read a book that has been published against the expressed wishes of an author.

I'd like to suggest a category for reading a book written by a POC (person of colour).

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