Challenges For 2011

Challenge: A test of one’s abilities or resources in a demanding but stimulating undertaking.

I want to challenge myself in my reading this year. I want to read books that will take me outside of my normal realm of reading. I want books that will bring a different perspective to my life and help bring about new thought. I want to find new areas of interest that I never knew I had. I want to think. I want to grow. I want a new perspective.  All of these challenges I’m stating my participation in will satiate these desires of mine—whether I’m reading more of a genre I’m still new to (YA) or learning about different cultures, or reading something that requires a bit more mind power. My reading will, as always, be fun and entertaining but I really want to focus on flexing my mind and interacting with new ideas.

There were a ton of really great challenges out there but for my first year in participating in challenges I just wanted to do a handful of them. I hope to focus on a new country next year and find challenges for genres I don’t typically read (maybe poetry or fantasy?).  I’m excited!!

 This one is hosted at my other blog — The Broke and the Bookish! I want to read more non-fiction this year. I slacked this year!

I’m really excited to do this challenge! I don’t think I’ve ever read any South Asian literature! Books need to be either BY a South Asian author OR set in South Asia (or about it). This is definitely going to be a challenge for me and I’m excited because she has a whole database set up that helps you find books and authors! I’m going for 5 books which would make me a South Asian Explorer!

I’m excited to participate in this challenge that Kristi set up! Up until this past year I never really read too much YA so I’m thinking this will be a good challenge for me to introduce me to some of the up-and-coming YA authors!

I’m joining this challenge because I really haven’t read any YA Historical fiction so I’d like to figure out how YA Historical Fiction compares to the adult historical fiction I’ve read (which isn’t too much, hence my participation in another Historical Fiction challenge). I’m going for a Level 1 on this one.

As I mentioned before, I haven’t really read too much Historical Fiction so I’m going to try and read more this year. This one will be a nice overlap with the YA Historical Fiction challenge because this one includes all sorts of Historical Fiction. I’m going to go for 10 books for this challenge which is pretty ballsy of me but I need a challenge.

I think this is an AWESOME challenge. This will be a challenge for me because looking back over my list of what I’ve read, I really have NO diversity in my reading. I’d love to read some books with POC authors & main characters. I’m appalled at myself for my lack of diversity. I’m going for a Level 3. Read 7-9 POC books

I love reading the classics…in theory. I’ve loved the ones I’ve read but I keep putting them off. More classics this year thanks to Sarah.

And lastly, while this isn’t really so much to challenge me, I’m doing this one to give me a kick in the pants to read the Harry Potter series since I have not yet done so!

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. Great Challenges Jamie! I'm also participating in the Historical Fiction Challenge. I love challenges because they help me clear off my TBR piles.

  2. the story siren says:

    thanks so much for joining the Debut Author Challenge, Jamie!! So glad to have you! And good luck on all of your challenges… looks like you've got a lot of good reading ahead of you!

  3. TNBBC Super Mod says:

    good god woman! You are not going to leave yourself much time to read non-challenge books this year! More power to ya!

    I can't ever stick to a challenge but I love watching others as they do. There's one group that I'm a part of that created a BEATLES challenge. Every song on every album is listed, and the book for the challenge corresponds to the song title. I thought that was incredibly creative!

  4. Jessica (Firefly Book Loft) says:

    Those are some really awesome challenges. I'm doing the debut author challenge too.

    Good luck with all of them!

  5. thebookwurrm says:

    For the YA historical fiction series, I would recommend Bloody Jack by L. A. Meyer and the Cat Royale series by Julia Golding. Both series are just so good and underrated (which is a crime in my book).

  6. Thanks for joining the Back to the Classics Challenge! You've picked out some great and diverse challenges… I think your year-end stats will differ greatly this year from last!

  7. I didn't want to join many challenges this year because I never stick to them! I did join the debut author challenge because I love to support debut authors. And I have a personal classics monthly challenge – I just posted my first classic review today (The House of the Seven Gables).

  8. OK, I looked through my Historical Fiction shelf and have some recommendations for you! They are all pretty spread out through time, so there's some variety.

    The Vestpertine by Saundra Mitchell (1890s Baltimore)…this one is on NetGalley, so it's free!

    Washington's Lady by Diane Haeger…good book about Martha Washington, may count as YA.

    The Autobiography of Henry VIII by Margaret George..obviously! 🙂

    Katherine by Anya Seton (14th century England)

    The Red Tent by Anita Diamant (Biblical)

    The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant (15th century Italy, artsy)

    The Lady Julia series by Deanna Raybourn (Victorian England, mystery)

    Stone from the River by Ursula Hegi (WWII Germany)

    Mistress Shakespeare by Karen Harper (deals with a close friend of Shakespeare)

    Also, any books by Diane Haeger and Jean Plaidy are excellent (and vary in time/characters). Philippa Gregory is good for a light, fluffy HF book.

    Also, a big yes to A Northern Light! 🙂 Hopes this helps!

  9. Christina T says:

    This is a great list of challenges! I love the Debut Author Challenge and POC Challenge. I am also participating in the South Asian Author Challenge again. I hope you meet your reading goals and enjoy participating in the challenges!

  10. Stephanie :) (Books Are A Girl's Best Friend) says:

    Fntastic challenges! I love YA historical fiction. You mentioned that you were looking to read a bit out of your normal realm. I'm taking part in the Read Out Of Your Comfort Zone Challenge held by, which I guess would overlap in many of your 2011 challenges 🙂

  11. You should try Ann Rinaldi for you YA Historical Fiction. She is the reason that I started reading HF at all. I loved her books in jr.high/HS, and I still enjoy them now.

    My favorites are/were Time Enough for Drums (Am. Revolution), The Last Silk Dress (Civil War), and A Break with Charity (Salem Witch Trials). There are more, but those are probably my top 3. Good luck! 🙂

  12. How have you not read the Harry Potter books yet? 😉

  13. I'm doing the Debut Author Challange and YA Hist Fic challenge as well.

    Good luck on all! 🙂

  14. I'm also doing the historical fiction challenge… looks like fun. 🙂

  15. Awesome challenges! I am sort of addicted to reading challenges. Best of luck with all of them! I have only read adult historical fiction, but I love this genre. I would recommend:
    The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant
    The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
    Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir
    Claude and Camille by Stephanie Cowell

  16. April (BooksandWine) says:

    Oooo A Northern Light is fabulous, I second whoever recommended it.

    ALSO, I recommend Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir for your historical fiction challenge. If possible, audio it, the multiple narrators really add something special to the story.

    Hm, and for the PoC challenge you should look into:
    The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
    anything by Amy Tan
    Monster by Walter Dean Myers
    I don't know how much you like fantasy but The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by NK Jemison is awesome, and she is a PoC author
    Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidler
    The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hossani
    The God Of Small Things by Arundhati Roy is right up your alley
    … and there are plenty more I could rec you, but I also recommend checking out Ari from Reading In Color's blog for some great PoC recs.

  17. Thanks to your post and google, I found some really awesome challenges. The book count comes to about 80 books I'll be reading this year.
    Matt thinks I'm insane for getting so excited about book challenges. But I am, in fact, I'm downright giddy!

  18. Good luck with your challenges!

  19. Thanks for joining the YAHF Challenge! Great recommendations you got! Good luck and dont forget to link your reviews each month to be eligible for the prices 😉