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Friday, 20 December 2013

Literary Exploration Challenge 2013 Wrap-Up

Well, as the end of the year is fast approaching I am reaching for more and more ideas to put off doing my Christmas shopping and distract myself from doing any work. So let me pour myself a mug of mulled wine and reflect back upon the reading challenge that I set myself twelve months ago; the Literary Exploration Challenge.

I set out in January with good intentions but sadly I didn't manage to succeed in reading one book from all the categories in the insane challenge. Nevertheless, given the massive reading slump and blogging hiatus I had for a few months there, I don't think I did all that badly. Here's a list of all the books I read for the challenge, along with links to my reviews where available:

Insane Challenge

Adventure - The Song Of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Auto-Biography/Biography - Autobiography by Morrissey
Chick-Lit - Rachel's Holiday by Marian Keyes
Childrens Book
Classics - Breakfast At Tiffany's by Truman Capote
Dystopian - The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Fantasy - Alif The Unseen by G. Willow Wilson
Graphic Novels - Ghost World by Daniel Clowes (re-read)
Gothic - The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Hard-Boiled - The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
Historical Fiction - The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan
Horror - The Woman In Black by Susan Hill
Humour - Scoop by Evelyn Waugh
Literary Fiction - Rites by Sophie Coulombeau
Magical Realism
Mystery - Raven Black by Ann Cleeves
Noir - Strangers On A Train by Patricia Highsmith
Non Fiction - What Is Madness? by Darian Leader
Paranormal - The Twelve by Justin Cronin
Post-Apocalyptic - Wool by Hugh Howey
Romance - Emotional Geology by Linda Gillard
Science Fiction
Steampunk - The Glass Books Of The Dream Eaters by G.W. Dahlquist
Supernatural - Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Thriller - Dark Matter by RD Cain  
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

So all this gives me a final score of 26/36 which is OK, I guess. Of the genres I missed, I had specific books lined up for a few of them but just never got round to them or didn't find myself in the mood (Children's fiction, Cyberpunk, Espionage). There were some that I am kicking myself about not getting, ones that should have been really easy but slipped by as I wasn't keeping a close enough eye on my progress (Magical Realism, Science Fiction). And the rest are categories that were always going to be a struggle.

I definitely think taking part in this challenge has encouraged variety in my reading habits over the past year. I have really enjoyed taking part and am considering doing the whole thing again next year. Those of you who are interested can take a look at the updated guidelines for the 2014 challenge here on Goodreads. There are some new categories, bonus challenges, and a range of entry points if the Insane Challenge feels a little overwhelming. Do let me know if you'll be participating!


  1. I only got 20/36 :)
    But I enjoy the challenges anyway!! :D

    This year I'm also participating, so let's see if I get more books than last year.

  2. Bravo to you for attempting this challenge. And some really good books listed there.

    There are some genres I would like to read, besides my favorite, mystery, but... I am just not willing to take much time from my mystery reading. Maybe another year my goals will change.

  3. I'm sure there are plenty of books that would of fit the missing genres, Erotica for sure, *cough The Original Sinners cough*