My 2013 Reading Challenges

“If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?” –T.S. Eliot

Since I am still relatively new to blogging, I wasn’t aware of the vast array of Reading Challenges (hosted by other book bloggers) that were available to me  until a few months ago. By then it was too late to join most of them, so I decided to make up for it in 2013 by joining several challenges! After combing through the interwebs for several days (whew…so many challenges so little time!), I’ve finally settled on 6 different challenges. I think these 6 challenges allow for good variety in my reading, and will expose me to new and different things. So without further ado…

My 2013 Reading Challenges:

Challenge #1Back to the Classics Challenge, hosted by Sarah Reads Too Much


Requirements to complete the challenge:

  1. A 19th Century Classic
  2. A 20th Century Classic
  3. A Pre-18th or 18th Century Classic
  4. A Classic that relates to the African-American Experience – This can be an African-American author, or a book relating to slavery, civil rights, or African-American culture.
  5. A Classic Adventure
  6. A Classic that prominently features an Animal This can feature animal characters or animals in the title (real or imagined)

I’m participating in this challenge to continue my efforts to read more classic literature. Also, completing this challenge will help me knock off a few more books from The Big Read list that I’ve been working through for a long (long) time.

Challenge #2Book Blogger Recommendation Challenge, hosted by Reading with Tequila


To complete this challenge, you must choose your “level” and read the specified amount of books from the Book Blogger Recommendation List.  I am signing up for Level II, or I hope to read 10 books from the list.

The Levels:
Level I – Read 5 books from the 2012 Book Blogger Recommendation List
Level II – Read 10 books
Level III – Read 15 books
Level IV – Read 20 books
Level V – Read 20+ books

I am participating in this challenge because book bloggers are one of my favorite sources for new books and authors. Most of the books on this list have been on my TBR list for awhile, but I plan to check out some of the titles I haven’t heard of before!

Challenge #3What’s in a Name, hosted by Beth Fish Reads


Requirements to complete this challenge:

  1. A book with up or down (or equivalent) in the title–example: Deep down True, The Girl Below, The Diva Digs up the Dirt
  2. A book with something you’d find in your kitchen in the title–example: Loose Lips Sink Ships, The Knife of Never Letting Go, Breadcrumbs
  3. A book with a party or celebration in the title–example: A Feast for Crows, A Wedding in Haiti, Cocktail Hour under the Tree of Forgetfulness
  4. A book with fire (or equivalent) in the title–example: Burning for Revenge, Fireworks over Toccoa, Catching Fire
  5. A book with an emotion in the title–example: Baltimore Blues, Say You’re Sorry, Dreams of Joy
  6. A book with lost or found (or equivalent) in the title–example: The Book of Lost Fragrances, The World We Found, A Discovery of Witches

I think this challenge is really unique, and I’m looking forward to trying to finish it!

Challenge #4Audio Book Challenge, hosted by Teresa’s Reading Corner


To complete this challenge, you must choose your “level” and read/listen to the specified number of Audio Books. I am signing up for Lover, or I hope to listen to 25 Audio Books.

There are five levels to the challenge

  1. Flirting-Listen to 6 Audio Books
  2. Going Steady- Listen to 12 Audio Books
  3. Lover- Listen to 25 Audio Books
  4. Married-Listen to more than 25 Audio Books
  5. You Define the Relationship- Create your own challenge (choose your own name and level starting as low or going as high as you’d like)

I really got into Audio Books this year! If I listen to Audio Books with about the same pace as I did in 2012, I should be able to complete this challenge!

Challenge #5New Authors Challenge, hosted by Literary Escapism


I am signing up to read books from 25 new authors.

Requirements for completing the challenge:

  1. The authors must be new to you and, preferably from novels.
  2. Pick to read either 15, 25 or 50 new authors. It all depends on how fast you read and how adventurous you want to be.

I think this challenge is interesting because it will expose me to new authors. It should also dovetail nicely with some of the other challenges I’m attempting to complete.

Challenge #6This Isn’t Fiction, hosted by The Book Garden

This isn't Fiction Reading Challenge Button

Qualifying books for this challenge include any non-fiction book that is over 100 pages. I am signing up for the elementary school level, or  I hope to read 10 books. There are 5 levels to this challenge:

  1. 5 Books – Kindergarden
  2. 10 Books – Elementary School
  3. 15 Books – High School
  4. 20 or more Books – College

Fiction is my one true reading love, but I really like to branch out and broaden my horizons. I find I learn more from non-fiction books, and they give me a different perspective on the world. Looking back at my reading lists from the past several years, I think 10 non-fiction books should be manageable.

Personal Reading Goals:

In 2012 I read 45 books, so for 2013 I will try to read 52 books. Since I’m done with my Ph.D. qualifying examination, it seems like I might actually be able to accomplish this. Of these 52 books, I would like at least 8 of them (one more than in 2012) to count toward The Big Read List. I’ve certainly set the bar high for 2013. Wish me luck!


What are your personal reading goals or challenges for next year?


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Geoff W
    Dec 29, 2012 @ 21:21:59

    That is a lot of challenges! Good luck 😀


  2. Sarah S (@SarahReads2Much)
    Dec 29, 2012 @ 21:44:39

    Thanks for joining the Back to the Classics Challenge, and I hope it does help you reach your other goals. You’ve chosen some great challenges – a nice wide selection! I love the Whats in a Name Challenge – its been one of my favorites for the past couple of years actually. Good Luck! Happy Reading!


    • exlibrisheather
      Dec 30, 2012 @ 11:34:18

      Thanks for hosting! Like I said, I love reading classic literature so I knew I was signing up for this challenge for sure! Is that a big job hosting a challenge like that? I imagine it must be!


  3. Birgit
    Dec 30, 2012 @ 06:24:57

    Let me extend a warm welcome to the “This isn’t Fiction” Reading Challenge! Happy reading!


  4. Tanya @ Mom's Small Victories
    Jan 03, 2013 @ 20:38:26

    I am participating in the Back to the Classics Challenge and the Book Blogger Recommendation Challenge too. I look forward to seeing what you read and reading your reviews! Good luck and happy reading!


  5. Trackback: Top Ten Books Bookish Goals for 2013 « Ex Libris

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