Mrs. Peabody’s 2013 reading challenges

A little late in the day, I’ve been thinking about my reading goals for 2013, and have decided to take part in two challenges.

I’m not normally one for reading challenges, because I already have plenty of ‘performance enabling’ and research targets to meet in my professional life. Adding yet more items to tick off the list hasn’t seemed like a particularly good idea.

However, a combination of factors has drawn me to these challenges:

  1. They will help me broaden my reading in a more directed way.
  2. There are ‘easy’ levels, which look invitingly…easy.
  3. They both look like great fun.

The first is the 2013 Global Reading Challenge

The ‘Easy Challenge’ involves ‘reading one novel from each of these continents in the course of 2013: Africa, Asia, Australasia/Oceania, Europe, North America, South America, and The Seventh Continent (Antarctica or your own ‘seventh’ setting, e.g. the sea, the space, a supernatural/paranormal world, history, the future)’.

You’re also asked to ‘find a country, state or author that is new to you from your own continent’.

If you fancy joining me, you can sign up here via the host blog, Kerrie’s ‘Mysteries in Paradise’. There are links to challenges from past years, so that you can get ideas for reading; other wonderful posts out there will also provide inspiration. For example, there’s a great list of Latin American crime fiction over at ‘Ms. Wordopolis Reads’.

The second is the 2013 Translation Challenge

Hosted by ‘Curiosity Killed the Bookworm’, this challenge is a simple one: you’re asked to read one translated book a month.

You can sign up here. There’s also a handy set of links to publishing houses known for their support of translated crime fiction, to help create a reading list.

Those of you with eagle eyes may have noticed that the challenges overlap – books read for one could very well also be submitted for the other. This is a deliberate strategy on my part: if the nineteen-book total begins to feel unmanagable, I can double up where necessary and still complete them both. This could be viewed as a subtle bit of cheating or as a cunning back-up plan. I prefer the latter interpretation… 🙂

My January book for the Translation Challenge was Fred Vargas’ An Uncertain Place (France) and February’s will be Hakan Nesser’s The Return (Sweden), sequel to the wonderful Borkmann’s Point. I probably won’t be submitting these to the Global challenge though, as I’m on the hunt for something a bit more exotic from Europe. Suggestions welcome!

I’ll be building lists of the books I’ve read for my 2013 challenges here.