Saturday, January 2, 2010


In an effort to read more this year, I have decided to start the year off with a bang by collecting recommendations from other sources, and "challenging" myself a bit.  Not that I don't already have a list about a mile long of books I want to read, but listening to/reading what others have to say about their favorite books is really a great motivator to actually sit down and get some reading done myself!

It is in that spirit that I began listening to a great podcast called "Books on the Nightstand." The podcast (subscribe via iTunes or enjoy the feed directly from their site) is put out by two passionate and well read book reps working for Random House.  However, don't let that lead you to believe that they are biased or untrustworthy.  They are highly objective and consider books by any publisher.  But, one cool perk of their inside connection is that you often get the scoop on books before they are published.

One side-effect of listening to their podcast and reading their blog is the discovery of a new concept (for me) known as the Reading Challenge. If you (like me) are new to the world of book blogging, you may also be scratching your head right now trying to figure out what this is... well prepare to be wowed my friend:

A reading challenge is an "competition" (for lack of a better term) that encourages, inspires, and motivates people to flex their mental muscles a bit by reading books in a certain category.  So, for example, one challenge might ask you to read 4 books, each with a different season as their theme (i.e. read a winter themed book in winter...) others might challenge you to read books from different centuries, countries, genres, etc.

So this sounds like a great way to get started on my own reading.  As per the recommendation of BOTN podcast, I went to "A Novel Challenge" and picked a challenge.  The site has a HUGE list of ongoing challenges, and a list of previous/perpetual challenges. I've always loved reading international authors, so a natural choice was the 2010 Global Challenge. This challenge asks you to read at least one book from 6 different continents. I'm posting a separate entry with my picks, which you can follow throughout the year as I update it.  Please feel free to recommend your favorites too (especially if it's from a continent I haven't hit yet!!)

Ok, off to the races...

Blogging Day: 2         Days to go: 363

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