about       archive       goodreads

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Literary Exploration Challenge 2013

I don't tend to do too many reading challenges and in fact I was actively trying to avoid signing up to any for 2013. I'm no good at trying to read 'on demand' and I feel like they can put too much pressure on the reader and take some of the fun away. But when I saw this challenge over at the Literary Exploration group on Goodreads (, I couldn't resist signing up. It seems like the perfect way to broaden my reading horizons as well as allowing me to get through plenty of the books already sitting waiting on my TBR pile.

"Interesting in becoming a Literary Explorer? In 2013 Literary Exploration is challenging you to try out new genres; with a 12 book, 24 book and 36 book challenge. We give you a list of genres and anyone participating in the challenge has to complete one book from each genre over the course of the year."

There are three levels of participation - you could go for Easy, Hard, or go the whole hog like me and go for the Insane Challenge, which involved reading a book from each of the following genres over the next 12 months:

Insane Challenge

Adventure - The Song Of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Chick-Lit - Rachel's Holiday by Marian Keyes
Childrens Book
Classics - Breakfast At Tiffany's by Truman Capote
Fantasy - Alif The Unseen by G. Willow Wilson
Graphic Novels
Gothic - The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Hard-Boiled - The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
Historical Fiction
Horror - The Woman In Black by Susan Hill
Literary Fiction
Magical Realism
Mystery - Raven Black by Ann Cleeves
Noir - Strangers On A Train by Patricia Highsmith
Non Fiction
Post-Apocalyptic - Wool by Hugh Howey
Romance - Emotional Geology by Linda Gillard
Science Fiction
True Crime - Forty Years Of Murder by Prof. Keith Simpson
Urban Fantasy - Rivers Of London by Ben Aaronovitch
Victorian - Gillespie & I by Jane Harris
Young Adult - The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Some of these will be easy for me and I can already think of several books on my shelf that will fit the bill. There are some genres that I'm feeling more apprehensive about, though. Fantasy, for example, is a genre that I usually avoid like the plague. I wouldn't have a clue where to start with poetry as it isn't really something I've ever tried to read before (unless John Cooper Clarke counts!). And I'm a little confused as to what counts as Educational rather than Non-Fiction. So I'll have a little think and prepare myself to launch into this challenge in the New Year. You can probably expect to see some requests for recommendations in some of these categories in the near future!

What are your thoughts on reading challenges/readalongs? Some bloggers seem to participate in so many, I don't know how you'd be able to keep up the pace. I enjoyed hearing other thoughts on this topic over at The Readers podcast.


  1. OMG! This is quite difficult!
    But I like it, actually, and I'll take a look around to see if I feel prepared for the easier level.
    Thanks for the information, and good luck!! :)

    1. It looks difficult at first but actually there's quite a lot of freedom to read what you want still, unlike a lot of these challenges. Good luck if you go for it!

  2. wow good luck with the challenge, think I would go for the easy. Look forward to seeing how you get on.

    Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

  3. I'm so happy with the response we are getting for this challenge. I'll be doing the insane challenge too, I can't wait to start :D

    1. It's a really good idea - challenging in a nice 'broadening your horizons' way rather than 'you must read all these by this date OR ELSE!' kind of way! I'm going to start making up a list in the next few days - I'm trying to take as many of them as possible from my existing TBR. Will be sure to post it to the group!

  4. Good luck with the challenge Marie. I'm not doing any next year as I intend to read what I want to but I do like reading about other people's endeavours. I'll look forward to your posts.

    1. I had sworn off challenges for the year as well but couldn't resist this one!

  5. Good luck with the challenge! It's a fun challenge - I'm actually doing a similar one organised by Book'd Out. Only there you get just 12 genres and are expected to read them all.

  6. Utter madness! I admire your ambitions I really do because I avoid these challenges like the plague (and have enjoyed hearing Simon and Gav's thoughts on these too!) And...more to the point....what is Steampunk!!??

    1. Haha! So Steampunk is a kind of sci-fi/fantasy subgenre that takes elements of sci-fi and puts them in a Victorian setting (I think), pre-electricity etc hence the 'steam', not sure where the punk comes in. Except on Goodreads under 'Most read this week' for Steampunk, number 2 on the list is The Night Circus so I may be completely wrong. But I enjoyed The Night Circus so maybe 2013 will be the year Marie becomes addicted to Steampunk! Watch this space...

  7. I do love reading challenges but tend to stick to the ones that I can complete just by reading. I don't select books for challenges. I see which challenges the books I have read fit. That's my secret to success, for what it's worth! That being said, I have drastically reduced how many challenges in which I participate each year. I have my favorites and tend to stick to them. Still, they are fun and addicting.

    Good luck with yours! That is quite the challenge.

    1. That's why I chose this one really, because I read books in a lot of these categories in 2012 without trying for a challenge so I'm hoping I can shop from my existing TBR to fulfil most of them and it won't feel too...challenging :-) I'll have to check out which ones you are doing - they must be good if you can stick with them for successive years.