Challenge Accepted!


January 16, 2013 by Heidi

Challenge Accepted Barney

So if there’s one thing I can assert from blogging in 2012, it’s that I’m not a huge fan of reading challenges.  This time last year I was all gung-ho and about participating, and then I grew completely apathetic.  I’m not great about arranging my reading habits to fit needs.  I read what I want when I want to, and that’s that.  PLUS I just don’t see the point of most of these challenges.  I mean…some didn’t do anything with them, and some completely fell apart midway through the year (some for very justifiable reasons, I will say…others, not so much).  To me, a challenge is something you do to better yourself or achieve something.  Do I feel like I did that here?  Not really, no.  Nevertheless, considering how after about a month or two I didn’t actively try to complete the challenges, I didn’t do too poorly:

The Debut Author Challenge

I challenged myself to read 10 MG/YA 2012 debuts.  I actually read: 30

Easy peasey lemon squeezey.

Sophomore Reading Challenge

I challenged myself to read 10 MG/YA 2012 sophomore books.  I actually read:5?

Hey…you know what’s a pain in the ass?  Figuring out if a book’s a sophomore book!  This challenge would be easy for me this year since I read so many debuts and series starts last year, but in 2011 I was still in grad school and barely reading for fun, and certainly didn’t read enough series starts to put me in a good position for this challenge in 2012.  It was hard.  Particularly as a reader who just doesn’t start most series until they’re finished.  Maybe I read more, but quite frankly I cbf to comb through my books and figure it out.

I challenged myself to read contemporary MG/YA books from 2010, 2011, and 2012…each (har har).  I’m too lazy, so let’s just count all the contemp I read total: 21

That’s right, I threw out the year published requirement and still didn’t hit 24 books.  El oh el.  Let’s just say, contemporary is so not my genre, and pushing myself out of my comfort zone as often as I did is pretty good.  I do feel like I did something here.

Award Winning Reads Challenge

I challenged myself to read 10 Printz/Newberry books in 2012.  I actually read: 9

Still fell short, but you know, I actually put some effort into this one, and if we use the ambiguous ‘award winning’ to its full potential, I read many more books that won wonderful awards.

YA/MG Fantasy Challenge

I challenged myself to read 10 MG/YA fantasy from 2012.  I actually read: 38

Yay for “challenging” yourself to just read what you normally read so that you can then pat yourself on the back like you achieved something after all.

New Year, New Outlook

So it shouldn’t surprise most of you that going into 2013, I wasn’t planning on doing any reading challenges.  I’ve found that they just don’t work great for me.  I love participating in events and read alongs where I feel as if I get good interaction with other readers, but felt this was lacking in my challenge experience.  Then, Mandee mentioned this one to me, and I decided, what the heck?  The community surrounding this one seems fantastic (and the gorgeous logo doesn’t hurt), I’ll give it a go:

Australian Women Writers Challenge 2013The Aussie Women Writers Challenge!

Why this challenge?  Well, the blogoshpere has helped me to discover the sheer awesomeness that is Aussie lit.  I say I don’t like contemporaries, but those Aussie women?  They pump out the best of them.  I’d like to make a conscious effort to read more Australian literature this year.

I challenge myself to read 10 books by Australian Women Writers in 2013.

This is a challenge for me, as many Aussie books are very hard to come by.  I was going to shoot lower, but decided that I’ll probably be counting Juliet Marillier books, so I needed to push myself a bit more.  Marillier was born in New Zealand, but has lived in Australia long enough that all of her children and grandchildren reside there, so I do believe she counts, and Mandee said they like to adopt people who live there. =)

So, between Marchetta, Marillier, Eagar, and Höst, I should be able to nail this one!

The Emperor's New Groove


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  1. Marillier is Australian? Gosh, that explains her genius! I’m participating in the same challenge this year, only I’ve already read all of Marchetta’s books, so it’s going to be a little harder for me this year, but now I have Marillier!(;

    Also, I totally agree with you about challenges – it’s tough to force yourself to read books that you’re not necessarily in the mood for at times. I found that my reading tastes actually expanded because of the challenges I did last year, though, and you did a fantastic job at least attempting them! I only did three, so it was a tiny bit easier.

    Good luck this year, Heidi! I’m sure you can do it (and discover some amazing new books as well!)

    • Heidi says:

      I’m glad you’re doing this challenge too, Keertana! Glad you have Marillier to make the count go up. 😛

      I know I wouldn’t have read as much contemp as I did last year if it weren’t for that challenge, and I read enough to prove to myself that there are some absolutely amazing contemp books out there. It made me not shy away from that genre anymore.

  2. I’m not one for memes or challenges…I guess it’s a way to participate in the community, but it seems like wasted effort. I have challenges for myself…more audiobooks, more graphic novels, more books for younger readers…I’m trying to do 5 new releases each month, and I don’t have a problem branching out into different genres (I like everything!) After I saw the huge post on Readventurer on Aussie authors, I knew I wanted to read more of them though!

    • Heidi says:

      I think reading goals like that are fantastic, and I plan to lean more towards completing my own goals this year (which also include more audiobooks and more graphic novels!). Read more Aussie books was definitely going to be one of my personal goals anyway. :)

  3. […] Challenge Accepted! // Bunbury in the […]

  4. Woo hoo, look at all those awesome challenges! Very nice! I’m definitely going to do that Aussie Women Writers challenge next year:)

  5. I am usually not one for a lot of challenges either. I did sign up for the DAC. I will see how I do. Just one debut a month can’t be too difficult, right :)

    Anyway, good luck on your Aussie Women Writers Challenge!

    • Heidi says:

      Not at all! As you can see, the debut challenge was easy for me to meet last year, I’m sure you’ll have no problem!

  6. Charlotte says:

    Justine Larbalestier counts too, so if you haven’t read Magic or Madness, or How to Ditch Your Fairy, they might come in useful….

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While the source for each book I review is posted within its review, please assume unless otherwise stated that books reviewed on Bunbury in the Stacks were received free from the author or publisher in exchange for an honest review.