Sunday, 13 November 2011

Ellie's Mixing It Up Challenge

With Christmas approaching - it's not just retail people who are preparing for the festive season, now, but normal people too - and the new year following on its heels, I've started thinking about blogging challenges for 2012. Now, I'm well aware of how I've neglected the challenges I set myself this year, but, hey, a new year means a new start, doesn't it? One challenge that has really caught my eye is the Mixing It Up challenge, the brainchild of Ellie the Bookshop Girl. (If you haven't come across her blog before, check it out!)



Ellie explains:

"It's all about mixing up your reading, pushing your boundaries and exploring new genres.  Take a look at the categories below, and choose one book for each category.  It's that easy!  You can choose to try anything from a gentle 4 to the full 16 different genres, and the book you pick for each is entirely up to you!"


I am going to be ambitious and go for ALL THE TRIMMINGS AND A CHERRY ON TOP, aiming to read something of every category listed. Many won't prove much of a challenge as I'm quite a wide reader anyway - at least in the realms of fiction. Other categories, such as science, both the natural and social varieties will be nearly new to me, and reading something of everything in the twelve months could be a challenge. I'm putting a few ideas down here, though they are subject to change.


So, the categories:



1. CLASSICS
Initial ideas: Dombey and Son or Our Mutual Friend - Dickens
Vanity Fair - Thackeray

2. BIOGRAPHY
The Brontes - Patricia Ingham
The Fry Chronicles - Stephen Fry
Confessions of a Conjuror - Derren Brown


3. COOKERY, FOOD AND WINE
I saw something about The Real Mrs Beeton in the stockroom at work that caught my interest. Any other suggestions would be welcome.

4. HISTORY
The Battle of Britain - Patrick Bishop
Wedlock - Wendy Moore

5. MODERN FICTION
As this is my most-read genre, I think I won't have much trouble finding something that fits this category.

6. GRAPHIC NOVELS AND MANGA
I plan to continue Neil Gaiman's Sandman series.
Scott Pilgrim

7.  CRIME AND MYSTERY
Dexter in the Dark - Jeff Lindsey
Anything in the Dalziel and Pascoe series by Reginald Hill

8. HORROR
I'm sure I can find something about werewolves or suchlike, although there is less of the outright horror in the shops now, and more "urban fantasy" or "paranormal romance." Maybe I'll reread Sarah Waters' The Little Stranger. That scared me all right!
Any suggestions or recommendations welcome.

9. ROMANCE
Oh gosh. I watched Love Actually recently and enjoyed it - isn't that enough of the mushy stuff for the next thirteen and a half months? No?
Well, I might be able to find something.
Duchess By Night by Eloisa James, perhaps? That looks fun!

10. SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY
It seems a safe bet I will be rereading some Pratchett and Gaiman at some point during the year, as well as Harry Potter. Possibly Tolkien, too. 
Maybe I'll venture into some science fiction, to take me out of my comfort zone. Or Game of Thrones, or Terry Goodkind. 



11. TRAVEL
Bill Bryson, probably. 

12. POETRY AND DRAMA
So much Shakespeare, so little time! Perhaps I will venture away from my favourite tragedies and read one of the historical plays - I've never read any of them, to my shame.

13. JOURNALISM AND HUMOUR
Weird Things Customers Say In Bookshops, Jen Campbell.

14. SCIENCE AND NATURAL HISTORY
The only scientist who's been able to hold my attention since I did the coloured-flame experiment about ten years ago at school, is Professor Brian Cox. It's got to be him.

15. CHILDREN'S AND YOUNG ADULT
I have a whole bookshelf just of the classic kids' books - Enid Blyton, L. M. Montgomery, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Elinor M. Brent-Dyer, Lois Lowry, etc. etc. Plenty of scope for rereads.

16. SOCIAL SCIENCES AND PHILOSOPHY
Hmmm... another fairly new genre for me. Maybe that Delusions of Gender thing I saw in the shop recently, or The Invisible Gorilla.

I welcome any suggestions and recommendations for all of these genres. For more info on the challenge and its rules, see Ellie's post.

6 comments:

  1. I'm thinking about using The Fry Chronicles for my Biography pick too. And Delusions of Gender for the Social Sciences Pick! Haha, way too similar!

    I've avoided picking my books in advance though - I just know I'd end up changing my mind!

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  2. I love the fact that you have already picked out possibles for each category. The Fry Chronicles is fantastic but recommend his first one if you haven't read it already. I was considering Bryson for travel too but I added the twist of only authors I haven't read before so going to have to think of something else.

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  3. They're all only very vague ideas of "maybe-reads," some of which have been sitting on my to-read pile for ages. I have read Moab Is My Washpot, so I'm all up to date with Mr Fry's early years. :)

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  4. I'm considering 'Moab is my Washpot' for my biography section - I've had it on my shelves far too long! Brian Cox is definitely up there for my science section, too! My only problem with THAT is the size of his two 'Wonders' books. I don't fancy trying to lug one to work every day, especially while I'm on crutches and carrying a little rucksack instead of my book bag! Hmmm.... Good luck anyway, I hope you find something amazing in your new categories!

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  5. Weird Things Customers Say In Bookshops sounds intriguing! I may have to check that one out... thanks for sharing!

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  6. sharingclosetspace - Have you seen Jen's blog yet? Very funny... One of our favourite clangers is going to be in that book, in the 'Weird Things Customers Say In Other People's Bookshops' at the back! :)

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