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Day 301: Challenge Yourself

Reading challenges invite questions. Don't they? They are like a microcosm of debates pertaining to the meaning of life, or God(s). They probe moralities and philosophies that affect the true core that speaks to who we are as humans. Well, sort of. For example, how many reading challenges are too many? Which books? Which format? Why can't I read more? Should I make up my own reading challenge? But this one is the most pressing question for which I am seeking an answer: Should you be able to count one book towards more than one reading challenge? It's a doozy, isn't it? Personally, I am in the 'no' school on that one. It seems like, and this is not said judgementally towards the people of the world who are obviously in the 'yes' camp, but it seems like, well, cheating. I said it. It's out there now. Ultimately, challenges I set myself—like the high standards I expect of myself in things like playing Scrabble and walking across the UK—are challenges against myself, not others. If you finish twenty-three reading challenges and a half marathon this year, with or without using one book for multiple reading challenges, then yay you, but I don't feel secondary to you because I've finished, oh, say, none. Maybe I would have more finished challenges if I did multi-list my books, but I wouldn't feel good about it. What do you do? Are you 'no' or 'yes' school on this major life decision?

Irene               List_Addict

Speaking of reading challenges, I have added myself to a couple of more since I last spoke to you about them. I don't mean since the last paragraph. I mean here when I joined up to the Eclectic Reader Challenge 2014. One is the easy-to-keep-track-of and no-rules Goodreads Reading Challenge. My goal is one hundred and one books (because I didn't get to one hundred last year, but I have to up the ante this year). Ironically, this includes every book from every challenge, but that is pretty much how it works. I feel morally okay in this instance. I have made my own little Scribd challenge as well—which is actually more like tagging a new wrestler into the ring than making a list of books to read with a common or disparate theme holding them together. How it works is that I start with a book at the beginning of the year that interests me (in this case Douglas Coupland's Girl in a Coma), and then the next book has to come from the recommendations Scribd makes based on that book. And Scribd seems to have a strange matrix for recommendations. I finished Girl in a Coma today, and the recommended replacement I chose is Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire. Like most challenges, this still has the best feature: making you read books you may not ordinarily have picked up. So, in fact, there is only one 'real' challenge that I am adding myself to: Giraffe Days' Around the World in Twelve Books Challenge 2014.

Because I don't like to under-challenge myself, I am going for Level 4: The Seasoned Traveller. Twelve Books—each set in a different country. At least one in each of the big six continents (I managed to find a book for the seventh, Antarctica, too). And in the interest of frugality, I will once again minimise buying books, and turn to my Kindle, my Scribd, and my bookshelf to fill the quota. Here's what I have in mind:

  • Africa
    • Nigeria: Kabu Kabu by Nnedi Okorafor
    • Egypt: The Yacoubian Building by Alaa Al Aswany
  • Antarctica (my optional continent)
    • Antarctica (and the other Pole): North Pole, South Pole: The Epic Quest to Solve the Great Mystery of the Earth's Magnetism by Gilliam Turner
  • Asia
    • Pakistan: Dizzy in Karachi: A Journey to Pakistan by Maliha Masood
    • Japan: Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
  • Australasia
    • Australia: Verandah People by Jonathan Bennett
  • Europe
    • Russia: The Secret History of Moscow by Ekaterina Sedia
    • Ukraine: The Sky Unwashed by Irene Zabytko
  • North America
    • Texas-Mexico Border: The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans by Carmen Tafolla
    • Canada: The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
  • South America
    • Amazon Jungle: Conquest of the Useless: Reflections from the Making of Fitzcarraldo by Werner Herzog
  • The World, or No-Place
    • Charles de Gaulle Airport: The Terminal Man by Mehran Karimi Nasseri and Andrew Donkin

The Outfit
Clearing the Closet: It’s time to go sloppy joe windcheater that I never wear unless to go to Boxfit, and I never go to Boxfit
Top: Op-shopped (whoo, makes the chest area look rather large!)
Windcheather: Cotton-On
Skirt: Op-shopped
Belt: Op-shopped
Necklace: Lovisa
Shoes: Irregular Choice 'Cheeky Moose'

Photographer de Jour: Moi

Who Wore It Better?

Putting a link on with:

Around the World in Twelve Books Challenge 2014

Join us! Click the Spotlight

Thrifters Anonymous


  1. "Why can't I read more?" is something I often ask myself. Love this hot pink look - Thanks for sharing with Visible Monday.

  2. Reading is fantastic and great for the soul, much akin to Meditation. Target 101 Full Steam Ahead!


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