04 January 2011


Life As a Reading Challenge

Last year, I was fond of saying that I don't join Reading Challenges because my life is already a reading challenge. Then the R.I.P. V Challenge reared its Gothic head--with a "Peril of the Screen" portion for movies--and I just "sold out." =P

But I'm still pretty picky, which is why I have only three challenges lined up for this year:

YA of the 80s and 90s Reading Challenge

The first one came out of nowhere. (I still think Birdie has mysterious powers.) But the second and third are kind of meaningful to me in a special way I'll tell you about the next time I do a random post about nothing at all. This post's proper focus is the challenge which would have been my fourth . . . had it not come with a rule I just couldn't live with.

Even after you read why I'm not signing up for it,
you might decide it's totally for you.
So I'm linking to it, anyway! =)

If you like unusual challenges that are also unusually challenging, then the A-Z Mystery Authors Challenge is just what you want! The object is to read one Mystery novel by every writer whose last name begins with one of the letters on your alphabetical checklist. (You can do A-I, J-P or Q-Z--or a combination.) It's such a great idea that I would have joined immediately if it hadn't been for one minor rule: "Adult novels only please."

Oh, come on . . .

Young Adult and Middle Grade novels are certainly not the most grown up reading there is, but they have their share of great Mystery stories. On my "TBR" shelf right now are Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator by Jennifer Allison and The Christopher Killer (LOL!) by Alane Ferguson. And it would be so easy for me to go out and get Half-Moon Investigations by Eoin Colfer, The Falcon's Malteaser by Anthony Horowitz, and Encyclopedia Brown Gets His Man by Donald J. Sobol as well. (Except that the last book is a Q-Z one.) The Gothic mysteries of John Bellairs have recently been brought to my attention, with a strong recommendation from a reader I respect. And if I wanted to look up the list of writers whose YA novels have won Edgar Awards, I'd have the rest of my reading list in a jiffy.

I'm sure the hostess has good reasons for this rule and I don't mean to bash her at all. In fact, this "snub" is inspiring me to start a personal reading challenge . . .

A few months ago, I started toying with the idea of reading one "Girl Detective" book a month, after seeing so many young female sleuths on the bookstore shelves. I wanted to make it a proper feature, with a badge and everything. (Remind me to tell you about my graphic design woes . . . in yet another post.)

Of course, I'm as much for "Boys and Adventures" as I am for "Girls and Adventures"--so this planned feature is better called "Young Detectives." (If you can think of a better name, I'll be totally grateful!)

But yes, I've already commissioned a badge.

And I want to do something alphabetical, too.

Just because I can, you know?


Birdie said...

Why am I getting the blame everywhere? Just kidding! I'm so glad to have you along with me on the Foodie challenge, and I will definitely be keeping up with your Underage Private Eye reports. I'm glad you are taking the A to Z and making it your own!!!

Sorry I didn't Locus Focus this weekend--my brain just quit on me and I couldn't think of ANYTHING, which is unusual.

Ashley (Ashley's Bookshelf) said...

Hi. I emailed you about the button you were wanting! Just wanted to give you a heads up in case it didn't go through. I also sell complete blog designs in case you were wanting one!

Lesa said...

Well, if Birdie is the instigator then she got two with one stone cause I'm still planning to join the Foodie one as my first challenge ever. Too exciting! And I remembered another quirky little vintage foodie book I found at a bookfair!

Oh, you are commissioning a badge-- I was about to pick your brain on how to make one! Just what you need, eh, me asking more questions. Thanks again for all your help.

Your feature is a great idea-- I'm with you on the MG/YA issue!

Enbrethiliel said...


Birdie: You know I really love your psychic powers! ;-)

Ashley: Thanks so much! I've already replied. =)

Lesa: Yay! I love having company! =D

I've actually helped a couple of people make their own badges. One of them is the Victorian Literature Challenge button you see on this very post! =P I'm hardly a graphics designer, though: I just downloaded the image, fiddled around with Paint, and then sent it back. This was easy because the background images were already available and I just added the text.

But you know I like my blog interactive, which is why when I want graphics, I contact other designers to help me realise my visions! LOL! ;-)