12 Months; 12 Challenges

In an attempt to broaden my reading horizons I’m setting myself a book related challenge every month throughout 2012 and I’m hoping that blogging about my challenges will give me an incentive to fulfill them. So, beginning with January, here goes:

JANUARY: In January I am burdening myself with the task of writing a book review for every day of the month. All books reviewed must have been read in full and can include the BBC’s Big Read and be either fact or fiction.

FEBRUARY: As I’m hoping to make an sizable dent on the BBC’s Big Read in 2012, this month I’m setting myself the challenge to read and review five books from the top 100, taking my total number read to 45.

MARCH: Having attempted to read a number of Jane Austen’s books on numerous occasions, and thus far failed miserably, March 2012 will see me attempt to read one of her novels from start to finish.

APRIL: As I invariably tend to read fiction, in April this year I am going to experiment more and will only read non-fiction books, all of which must be reviewed on The Unlikely Bookworm.

MAY: I’m setting myself this challenge with an overwhelming sense of trepidation, and it is thus: to read Catch 22. I attempted to do so previously while on holiday in Cuba in 2010, but after 300 pages, with not a clue what was going on, I threw the metaphoric towel in. To me, there is little worse than struggling with a novel the way I did with Joseph Seller’s most celebrated work and I am determined to read this famous novel.

JUNE: In June I want to finish the first chapter of my book. As unforgivably clichéd as it sounds that as fanatical a reader as I will have an ‘undiscovered’ book inside them, I have done for years. Having written the first thirty-thousand words of what I hope one day will be a novel, it needs an incredible amount of both editing and honing; a task I will set myself to complete in June.

JULY: As well as broadening my reading horizons this year, I would also like to learn a new skill, thus in July I am setting myself the mission to find a cookbook I like and cook a recipe taken from said book each week throughout the month of July.

AUGUST: In August I am repeating the challenge I set myself in February, and that is to read another five books taken from the BBC’s Big Read which will take me past the half-way mark.

SEPTEMBER: Having spent much of my life reading classics, books recommended by friends and those assigned to me at school, college or university, the current best-sellers often pass me by and I can’t help but think I’m missing out on a good thing. Thus, my task throughout September will be to read whichever books are the top five bestsellers at Waterstones during the first week of the month.

OCTOBER: This month will see me complete The Unread Book Challenge. I am the proud owner of at least a couple of hundred of books, scattered around both mine and my parents’ houses. Many of these books have remained unread – purely down to the sheer volume I buy. In October I am setting myself the task of reading and reviewing five of my unread books, a worthy challenge indeed.

NOVEMBER: I adored Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet and have been wanting to read the sequel ever since I finished it. A World Without End, much like its prequel, is over a thousand pages long, and I am committing myself to finishing the book by the time November is over.

DECEMBER: In 2007 the website Listverse compiled the Top 10 Christmas Books. They were as follows: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss, Twas The Night Before Christmas by ClementMoore, One Wintry Night by Ruth Bell Graham, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson, The Christmas Box by Richrd Paul Evans The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado, The Christmas Tree by Judy Salamon, The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg, The Greatest Story Ever Told by Furton Oursler. My challenge for December is, in the name of all things festive, to read and review each of the above books and to sprinkle a bit of Christmas Cheer upon this blog.

So, whether you think me deluded or over-ambitious, I’m ready for a serious book-fest in 2012 and look forward to charting my progress on The Unlikely Bookworm over the coming months.