Around two years ago, I started seeing mention of reading challenges on book blogs. It took me a while to catch on to what they were, as well as what their appeal was. They hadn't really penetrated to the historical fiction corner of the blogosphere until recently, it seemed. Later, I finally understood - they're about setting reading goals for yourself while participating in an online community of readers with similar goals and interests.
During 2010, I've been participating in Historical Tapestry's Alphabet in Historical Fiction challenge and having a great time, both picking out the books that fit the letter of the fortnight as well as seeing what all the other participants had chosen. I'm eagerly anticipating seeing what the possibilities are for the letter X! (I have a good one...)
For 2011, I've chosen two new challenges that look both interesting and doable - plus they cover topics with which I'd like to become more familiar.
Audra from Unabridged Chick is hosting the Nautical Fiction Reading Challenge. The criteria: "If the book involves a boat, or sailing, or sailors, or Navy life -- it counts!" I'm aiming for Dinghy level, which is up to 5 books, though if I find my sea legs easily, I may make it up to Sloop or higher.
The YA Historical Fiction Challenge is hosted by Sabrina at YA Bliss, a blog that's new to me. Young adult historicals have been growing in popularity over the last few years; I haven't reviewed any here before, though that's not for lack of interest. Participating in the challenge should help me focus on my ever-growing TBR of YA historicals and help me get to know the genre a little better. The library where I work has a sizable collection, too, so I shouldn't lack for choices. I'm aiming for Level 1, five books.
I've got a large shelf of review books to cover for Jan and Feb already, but these two challenges should be both manageable and fun. I look forward to meeting my fellow participants!