2012 Topical Reading Challenges

With all of the great reading genres available, it’s easy to skip over some of them. Check out these great topical reading challenges for 2012. Perhaps you’ll join me for some.
Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf

When Melissa at Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf didn’t see any witchy reading challenges for 2012, she decided to make her own.  The 2012 Witches and Witchcraft Reading challenge is for all books witchy, whether fiction or non-fiction. Anyone can read just one book, and all particpants will be entered to win a $10 gift certificate to The Book Depository! I’m starting with one and will see if I don’t bump up a level.


Do you like mystery and suspense? Join in Book City Chick’s 2012 Mystery and Suspense Reading Challenge. There are so many sub-genres in the larger mystery category that I don’t think I will have any difficulty reading 12 novels for this challenge.

Feeling romantic? Check oy the Harlequin Silhouette 2012 Reading Challenge hosted Islandgirl Reads Romance. This challenge requires that you read one Harlequin book in each of 6 categories. This will probably be my most difficult challenge.

With books you can travel through time. Join Library of Clean Reads with the 2012 Time Travel Reading Challenge. I’m keeping it simple with a Surprise Trip (minimum of 1-3 books) and will see what else I read from there.

Do you have any earth based leanings or just want to learn more about earth-centered celebrations or history? Check out the 2012 Pagan Reading Challenge hosted by The Domestic Pagan. Just by celebrating the scientifically-based changes in our world during the year, our family reads several pagan books every year. You don’t have to be pagan to read pagan books or appreciate a large part of our history.

Looking toward the future, you could join The Dystopia 2012 Challenge at Bookish Ardour. Admittedly, this hasn’t been my favorite genre, but I was pleasantly surpirsed by some of the dystopian novels I read last year, stretching myself just a bit.

Finally, for those of you who love cogs and clocks, head over to Oh, The Places You’ll Go! for the Cogs, Clocks, and Mechanisms Reading Challenge 2012. Haven’t tried steampunk? Challenge yourself!

2011 Debut Author Challenge

I wasn’t going to sign up for The Story Siren’s 2011 Debut Author Challenge. Granted, it sounded like fun and would easily fit with some of the other reading challenges we are doing. However, we constantly have a list of books waiting to be read, and my children already have quite a list for us to read. Then, merely perusing the list of young adult authors debuting this year, my daughter and I spied her first name among the list.

Our children have traditional Irish names, and my daughter’s name is rarely heard in the States. The only person we have ever met who shared her name was another little girl visiting from Ireland and who used the alternative pronunciation. Needless to say, she was a bit excited. Hence, we are now signed up. We’ll see if we can fit in this many new authors along with the que of young adult literature my children already have.

Chick Lit Challenge

And in my newly found attempts to relax and take care of myself better, I will be adding yet one more challenge to my life. Oxymoronic, no? A little fluff adult reading might be just what I need. My reading tends to lean towards children’s books with the kids, parenting books, reference books, and scientific literature. The Chick Lit Challenge sponsored by Debi at Journey to the End of the TBR (to be read) Pile should be fun. I can manage to squeeze in some fluff.

bedtime is no longer a one person job…

For 7 1/2 years, I was exclusively in charge of bedtime. Bedtime at our house is a relative term. It describes the time we go to bed, rather than describing a certain time of the day. There is no set bedtime at our house. When little people start to get tired, we start getting ready for bed. We generally brush teeth, get the last drinks for the day, nurse, snuggle, and read chapter books. For the past 7 1/2 years, I’ve been the one to help get the last drinks, help with any toothbrushing, nurse and snuggle, and read the books.

I can’t say that I’ve really ever resented the fact that my husband hasn’t been involved with bedtime. I’m certain there was a time or two when I was drained and wished he would take over. However, I honestly just accepted it. My husband doesn’t nurse the kids, and his needs haven’t seemed in line with ours. While he likes to relax while watching the television, the kids and I need quiet and prefer to enjoy a good book. Bedtime by myself was easier.

In the past month, something changed. My husband suggested changing something about bedtime, and I think I went off on him. I told him he couldn’t have any say in our bedtime routine because he wasn’t involved with it. I pointed out that in 7 1/2 years, he had never been in charge of helping the kids at bedtime and if he wanted to watch television, he was welcome to go downstairs and stay out of bedtime.

That night, he picked up a book and began reading at bedtime. He has read every night since then. Sometimes we trade off after chapters. It’s nice to have a partner at bedtime while the kids are still young. The kids get to listen to another voice reading besides my own. They get to see their loving, involved father at bedtime. When my hands are full nursing a baby and toddler, we still get to listen to someone reading. Best of all, my husband seems more peaceful at bedtime now. He has gone from groaning at hearing us read at bedtime, to looking forward to reading for an hour or more with us each evening. Where I think he used to feel left out of part of our lives, he is now joining in.