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Joy's 17-for-17 Category Challenge

2017 Category Challenge

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1jlshall
Edited: Dec 29, 2016, 7:15pm Top

Hi, everyone! My name is Joy and I’m a challenge addict.

This will be my 6th Category Challenge here at LibraryThing. I had a hard time keeping up with my 2016 challenge - well, actually I had a hard time keeping up with just about everything in 2016; but that’s a long, annoying story for another time and place. Anyway, I was so swamped, I considered just not doing a Category Challenge for 2017. But I do like the way these challenges nudge me into reading things I might not ordinarily read (ordinarily, I’m a very inside-the-box sort of reader) and allow me to track my bookish tendencies and preferences.

So here I am, back for another go-round.

I’ve noticed that for the last couple of years, I’ve been trying to fit everything I read into one or another of my categories. But the problem with that approach is that it really sort of does away with the concept of this being a challenge. My idea of a reading challenge is that it should do just that - challenge me to read things that I probably wouldn’t normally read.

That’s why I’m trying to make a few adjustments for 2017. For the new challenge, I’ve come up with 17 categories representing areas I really want to explore (or continue exploring), and I’m setting myself a goal of at least two or three books in each. That makes it challenging enough to be interesting, motivates me to read some things I’ve been meaning to get to for a long time, but still allows me to continue enjoying my favorite genres and making new discoveries. Or at least, that’s how it’s supposed to work. Also, I don’t really have a theme for the 2017 challenge - I thought about maybe “exploration,” but that was taking too long to figure out. And again, I’d be trying to fit categories to books. So… just 17 categories with no overarching theme.

OK - I’ll shut up now and start reading. Happy New Year, everyone. And happy reading in 2017!

2jlshall
Edited: Jan 4, 12:11pm Top

The Categories:

1. 19th Century Classics
2. 20th Century Classics
3. Advance books (ARCs, Early Reviewer books, etc.)
4. Award Winners
5. Banned/Challenged Books
6. Children’s and YA
7. Debut Authors
8. Historical Fiction
9. Horror/Gothic/Weird Fiction
10. International Fiction (non-USA)
11. Mysteries from the “Golden Age” (published before 1960)
12. Mysteries from the “Silver Age” (1960-1990)
13. Mystery Series I want to finish
14. New Discoveries
15. Nonfiction
16. Sci-Fi and SF/Fantasy
17. Short Stories

I realize many books will fit in several of my categories - but I’ll try to avoid overlapping. I’ve pretty much finished my reading for 2016, so any books I read between now and the 1st of the year will count for the 2017 challenge.

I’m not sure what I’ll do about reviews. This year I really didn’t review many of the books I read, but I hope to do more reviewing in 2017. I usually do a 50-Book Challenge every year, and post any reviews over there, but I might start posting them here too. We’ll see what emerges.

3jlshall
Edited: Jan 25, 12:37pm Top

Master List of All Books Read for the Category Challenge and BingoDOG

1. The Ballad of Peckham Rye. Muriel Spark (Category #10 / Bingo Dog Sq.#8 )
2. The Fur Person. May Sarton (Category #14 / Bingo Dog Sq.#9)
3. Smooth Talker: Trail of Death. Steve Jackson (Category #15)
4.

************

I know this is madness, but I'm also thinking of trying Bingo Dog this year. Maybe unofficially. Not sure how it works exactly, since I've never done any of the CATs/KITs/Bingo cards before. But it looks like fun, so.... Oh, and some of the books will inevitably overlap with my Categories.



The 2017 BingoDOG squares:

1. Author shares your first and last initials
2. Set in a time before you were born
3. Author was born in 1930s
4. Debut work
5. Book about books
6. Author abroad*
7. Science-related
8. Place name in title: The Ballad of Peckham Rye. Muriel Spark
9. About an animal/animal in title: The Fur Person. May Sarton
10. Set in a beach community/resort
11. Next book in a series you've started
12. Owned for more than 5 years
13. Read a CAT (this is usually the center/free square)
14. A satire
15. Set in a place you want to visit
16. Author born/book published in 1917
17. One-word title: Faithful. Alice Hoffman
18. Color in the title
19. Published in the 1940s-1960s
20. Author uses initials
21. Made into a movie
22. Collection of short stories
23. Title refers to another literary work (for example, the title is a quote from another book)
24. Set in a country you've never been to
25. Appeals to the senses

4jlshall
Edited: Dec 29, 2016, 7:22pm Top

Category 1: 19th Century Classics.

Hoping to knock a few books off the TBR pile with this category.

Possible choices for this category:

1. Cranford. Elizabeth Gaskell
2. Jane Eyre. Charlotte Bronte
3. Persuasion. Jane Austen

5jlshall
Edited: Dec 29, 2016, 7:24pm Top

Category 2: 20th Century Classics.

Another opportunity to trim the ridiculously long TBR list.

Possible choices for this category:

1. Appointment in Samarra. John O’Hara
2. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Anita Loos
3. The Murder at the Vicarage. Agatha Christie

6jlshall
Edited: Dec 29, 2016, 11:30pm Top

Category 3: Advance Books. (ARCs, Early Reviewer books, NetGalley, etc.)

I’ve been very lazy about my reviewing obligations in this area. Must do better next year!

Books read for this category:

1.
2.
3.

7jlshall
Edited: Dec 29, 2016, 7:28pm Top

Category 4: Award Winners.

These could be any genre, published any year, from any country.

Books read for this category:

1.
2.
3.

8jlshall
Edited: Dec 29, 2016, 7:30pm Top

Category 5: Banned/Challenged Books.

I’ve actually read most of the books that usually appear on the lists of most-often banned/challenged books. So for this category, I might do some re-reads.

Possible choices for this category:

1. The Bostonians. Henry James
2. BUtterfield 8. John O’Hara
3. The Giver. Lois Lowry

9jlshall
Edited: Dec 29, 2016, 10:50pm Top

Category 6: Children’s and YA.

I’m (very slowly) trying to read my way through all the Newbery and Caldecott winners/honor books. I love kiddie lit, so this category shouldn’t give me any trouble.

Possible choices for this category:

1. The Cricket in Times Square. George Selden
2. Many Moons. James Thurber
3. When You Reach Me. Rebecca Stead

10jlshall
Edited: Dec 29, 2016, 10:51pm Top

Category 7: Debut Authors.

My first tendency is always to keep going back to favorite authors, so I’m trying to make a real effort to read the newbies.

Books read for this category:

1.
2.
3.

11jlshall
Edited: Dec 29, 2016, 10:52pm Top

Category 8: Historical Fiction.

One of my favorite areas. Shouldn’t have any trouble at all with this one.

Books read for this category:

1.
2.
3.

12jlshall
Edited: Dec 29, 2016, 10:55pm Top

Category 9: Horror/Gothic/Weird Fiction.

Again, a fave - I’ll fill this category pretty quickly.

Books read for this category:

1.
2.
3.

13jlshall
Edited: Jan 4, 12:15pm Top

Category 10: International Fiction (non-USA).

Over the last few years, I’ve really enjoyed discovering literary works from non-English-speaking parts of the world. Hope to continue doing that in 2017. But I'll be including books from the UK here as well.

Books Read for this Category
1. The Ballad of Peckham Rye. Muriel Spark (UK)
2.
3.

Possible choices for this category:

1. After Dark. Haruki Murakami
2. Identity. Milan Kundera
3. Steppenwolf. Hermann Hesse

14jlshall
Edited: Dec 29, 2016, 10:59pm Top

Category 11: Mysteries from the “Golden Age” (published before 1960).

I’m participating in the Vintage Mystery Cover Scavenger Hunt reading challenge (hosted by Bev @ her My Reader’s Block blog), so I’m hoping to read quite a few books that would fit here.

Possible choices for this category:

1.
2.
3.

15jlshall
Edited: Dec 29, 2016, 11:01pm Top

Category 12: Mysteries from the “Silver Age” (1960-1990).

Ah, I do love a mystery.

Possible choices for this category:

1.
2.
3.

16jlshall
Edited: Dec 29, 2016, 11:03pm Top

Category 13: Mystery Series I want to finish.

I’ve got a bunch of these going, but will probably concentrate on the Sheila Malory series by Hazel Holt (three more to read), and then maybe Poirot and Marple.

Books to read for this category:

1. Mrs. Malory and a Death in the Family. Hazel Holt
2. Mrs. Malory and a Necessary End. Hazel Holt
3. Death Is a Word (A Mrs. Malory mystery). Hazel Holt

17jlshall
Edited: Jan 4, 12:18pm Top

Category 14: New Discoveries.

These could also fit into the Debut Author or International categories. Will have to do some fine-tuning I suppose.

Books read for this category:
1. The Fur Person. May Sarton (first time reading Sarton's fiction)
2.
3.

18jlshall
Edited: Jan 25, 12:35pm Top

Category 15: Nonfiction.

I really want to get back to reading a little nonfiction in 2017. Didn’t read any at all in 2016, and that’s not good.

Books read for this category:
1. Smooth Talker: Trail of Death. Steve Jackson (sub-genre: True Crime)
2.

Possible choices for this category:
1. Just Kids. Patti Smith
2. Leonard: My 50-Year Friendship…. William Shatner, David Fisher
3. The Pattern in the Carpet: A Personal History with Jigsaws. Margaret Drabble

19jlshall
Edited: Dec 29, 2016, 11:08pm Top

Category 16: Sci-Fi and SF/Fantasy.

Possible choices for this category:

1. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Philip K. Dick
2. Foundation. Isaac Asimov
3. Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang. Kate Wilhelm

20jlshall
Edited: Dec 29, 2016, 11:11pm Top

Category 17: Short Stories.

Another area I’ve really been neglecting in recent years. These might be just individual stories (maybe some from those stacks of New Yorker magazines I’ve been saving), or whole volumes full.

Possible choices for this category:

1. The Empty House and Other Ghost Stories. Algernon Blackwood
2. Goodbye to Berlin. Christopher Isherwood
3. Nocturnes. John Connolly

21tess_schoolmarm
Dec 30, 2016, 6:49pm Top

Very interesting categories! Good luck with your reading!

22jlshall
Dec 31, 2016, 11:35am Top

>21 tess_schoolmarm: Thank you. And good luck with your reading in the New Year, as well! New beginnings are always so exciting.

23mamzel
Dec 31, 2016, 12:24pm Top

Welcome back and good luck meeting your challenges for 2017! I look forward to see what weird fiction you read.

24rabbitprincess
Dec 31, 2016, 2:37pm Top

Looks like a good variety of categories! I will be particularly interested in your Golden and Silver Age mystery categories. Have a great reading year!

25jlshall
Edited: Dec 31, 2016, 5:14pm Top

>23 mamzel: Hi, and thank you! Yes, I'm looking forward to seeing what weird fiction I can come up with, too. It's sort of a guilty pleasure for me. Good luck with your reading challenges in 2017, too!

>24 rabbitprincess: I'm just hoping I don't have TOO much variety! But I read mostly mysteries, and I'm trying to branch out a little next year. Thanks for dropping by, and happy reading in 2017!

26christina_reads
Dec 31, 2016, 11:58pm Top

>14 jlshall: I'm also doing the Vintage Mystery Challenge at My Reader's Block! I look forward to seeing which Golden Age mysteries you read. :)

27The_Hibernator
Jan 1, 8:54am Top

28jlshall
Jan 1, 11:53am Top

>26 christina_reads: Hi, Christina! I love Bev's vintage mystery challenges, although I don't always do as well as I'd like with them. In 2016 I tried the Silver Mystery category and only read a few books. Hoping to do better with Golden Age. Looking forward to reading some Ngaio Marsh and Agatha Christie.

Happy New Year! Hope you enjoy all your reading in 2017!

29jlshall
Jan 1, 11:54am Top

>27 The_Hibernator: Thank you! And a Happy New Year to you, too! Enjoy your reading in 2017.

30MissWatson
Jan 2, 5:44pm Top

Happy reading!

31jlshall
Jan 3, 12:22am Top

>30 MissWatson: Thank you! Hope you have a great year of reading, too.

32DeltaQueen50
Jan 5, 3:41pm Top

Great categories here and I am looking forward to following along.

33lkernagh
Jan 8, 5:41pm Top

Love your challenge setup and kudos on already having finished 3 Bingo reads!

34VivienneR
Jan 9, 10:08pm Top

Excellent categories! I'll look forward to following along, especially with the Golden Age and Silver Age mysteries!

35jlshall
Jan 11, 9:21am Top

>32 DeltaQueen50: Thank you! I'll be following your thread, too. Happy reading!

36jlshall
Jan 11, 9:23am Top

>33 lkernagh: Thanks! I typically start out with some really quick reads in January, but then slow down with longer works after that. Trying to keep a better pace this year. Happy reading to you in 2017!

37jlshall
Jan 11, 9:25am Top

>34 VivienneR: Thank you! Last year I read a lot of mysteries, but really neglected the vintage and classic works. Hoping to make up for that this year. I love a mystery! And happy reading to you, too!

38LisaMorr
Jan 19, 1:15pm Top

Looks like a good challenge for you this year! I'm planning on reading all the Foundation books this year, which will include a re-read of the first three. I'll be interested to hear what you think!

39staci426
Jan 19, 1:46pm Top

Great group of categories! Some of your possibilities look interesting. I read Where Late the Sweet Bird Sang several years ago, and really enjoyed it. I'll be interested to see what you think of The Pattern in the Carpet if you decide to read that one. I used to be a big fan of doing jigsaw puzzles.

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