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Reading Challenge 2013 (Am I sure about this?)

I haven’t done very well for 2012 challenge, as I did not achieve the TBR challenge. See my results: 2012 Reading Challenge. I still hope to finish up the TBR list for the next year.

The Japanese Literature 6 challenge is still on-going so there is another month for me to complete a few more books in Japan.

I have been putting off the whole idea on signing-up to reading challenges for next year but I am interested in the following four, including the next Japanese Literature 7, if Dolce Bellezza is hosting it next year again.

January in Japan (only for January 2013)

January in JapanHere’s my list for January:

  1. Out by Natsuo Kirino
  2. The Lake by Banana Yoshimoto
  3. Amrita by Banana Yoshimoto
  4. Pinball 1973 by Haruki Murakami
  5. Blind Willow, Sleeping Women by Haruki Murakami

See post: January in Japan

2013 Middle East Reading challenge (1 Jan to 31 Dec 2013)

Middle Eastern 2013Maphead has taken over Helen to host the next Middle East challenge. As I will be visiting Jerusalem and Jordan in the coming months I may as well sign up to this challenge! Hope to sign-up to Diplomat level of 5 books.

  1. Sleeping on a wire by David Grossman
  2. Jerusalem by Simon Sebag Montefiore
  3. No God but God by Reza Aslan
  4. Dreams and Shadow by Robin Wright
  5. Nine Part of Desire by Geraldine Brooks
  6. Inside the Kingdom by Robert Lacey

See sign-up post at : 2013 Middle East Reading Challenge

Books on France (1 Jan to 31 Dec 2013)

    • books-on-france3

It is rather embarrassing that I haven’t read any classics in French language before. So I am targetting level 1, “un peu” = 3 books (one per quarter for instance), elevate to level 2, “beaucoup”= 6 books if there is appetite for more, to include some classics that Hollywood have decided to adapt them to big screen recently.

  1. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  2. Bel Ami by Guy de Maupassant
  3. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
  4. Eugenie Grandet by Honoré de Balzac
  5. Catherine De Medici by Honoré de Balzac

See : Sign-up post

Historical challenge 2013 (1 Jan to 31 Dec 2013)


It was the button that made me want to join in to this challenge! I will be targeting “Victorian reader” level at 5 books.

  • Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
  • The Pillars of Earth by Ken Follett
  • Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
  • Nightwatch by Sarah waters
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  • Baudolino by Umberto Eco (Middle ages)
  • My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk (Byzantine)

and great many classic books I will be reading from my : A Five Year Challenge: The Classic Club challenge.

See: Sign-up post

classic clubA Five Year Challenge: The Classic Club (1 January 2013 – 31 December 2017)

Yes, for the next 5 years I will be reading from these 50 classics. I hope I wouldn’t take that long to finish all of them!

See page: A Five Year Challenge: The Classic Club


About JoV

A bookaholic that went out of control.... I eat, sleep and breathe books. Well, lately I do other stuff.


41 thoughts on “Reading Challenge 2013 (Am I sure about this?)

  1. good luck on all these, there are some big books in there

    Posted by WordsAndPeace | December 27, 2012, 1:52 am
  2. In such admiration of your challenges, and love that to follow and read about them is allowed 🙂 think I can only manage the same one I did this year to try and read a book a week, but in order to do that I need to maintain the right to choose at the end of each one, love the new historical fiction challenge.

    Posted by Claire 'Word by Word' | December 27, 2012, 8:04 am
  3. Good Luck Jo !! I admire people so much for doing reading challenges. I set off with good intentions but it quickly turns into a ‘see how fast I can get through all these books challenge.!’ I totally miss the point. In 2013 I shall be doing only one, the War and Peace readalong which I am going to try really hard to stick to!!

    Posted by Julie | December 27, 2012, 1:06 pm
    • Julie,
      Interesting Julie. When are you planning to do the War and Peace challenge. Just wondering if it could fit into my schedule. Always good to have company on such a big tome. 🙂

      Posted by JoV | December 27, 2012, 7:53 pm
      • Jo
        Its a year long read starting Jan 1 and divided up through the 12 months. Ive even splashed out on a lovely new Pevear & Volokhonsky translation!

        Posted by Julie | December 28, 2012, 3:39 pm
        • Julie,
          That’s the way to go when it comes to War and Peace. I’m not sure I’ll be that discipline but how amazing it is to read a few pages at a time and discover you have finished the entire book in due time! (I didn’t A Suitable Boy in 3 months, but I think A Suitable Boy was an easier read than War and Peace!)

          Posted by JoV | December 30, 2012, 1:11 pm
  4. This is an ambitious list, J! Do enjoy your reading!

    Posted by Debbie Rodgers @Exurbanis | December 27, 2012, 6:51 pm
  5. Ooh, I hadn’t seen the Middle Eastern challenge before, it looks interesting. I hope you enjoy No God But God as much as I did.

    Happy reading in 2013!

    Posted by Sam (Tiny Library) | December 27, 2012, 7:38 pm
  6. Glad you are signing up for the Middle East Reading Challenge! Can’t wait to hear about your trip! By they way, I loved No God but God and Dreams and Shadows. Here’s a link to my review of Dreams and Shadows:

    Posted by maphead | December 28, 2012, 2:36 am
  7. I am glad you’re going to do the Middle East Challenge!

    Posted by Helen Murdoch | December 28, 2012, 3:08 am
  8. Good luck with the challenges, Jo.

    Posted by Leeswammes | December 28, 2012, 9:14 pm
  9. Yay, I’m really looking forward to January in Japan and hurrah for you taking part in the Classics Club. 🙂

    Posted by Alex in Leeds | December 29, 2012, 6:02 pm
  10. Oh you have such wonderful reads ahead of you! I loved Out, and I loved Eugenie Grandet, Les Mis, and Madame Bovary. I’ll be hosting the JLC7 this June, and I too am joining Tony’s January in Japan because I have a lot more Japanese books I want to read before the JLC6 ends. My very own challenge, and I’m behind. Does that bode well for me? 😉

    Posted by Bellezza | December 30, 2012, 1:21 am
  11. Whoaa…you have tough challenges there. I only joined Japlit…and so far, have only read one book 😉

    Good luck with your challenge

    Posted by Novroz | December 30, 2012, 3:30 pm
  12. Good luck for all your 2013 challenges! You’ve taken on more than I think I could handle 🙂

    Posted by jessicabookworm | January 1, 2013, 4:02 pm
  13. good luck Jov I m just doing months and weeks this year joining in Tony’s challenge and my own for Maclehose press this month ,all the best stu

    Posted by winstonsdad | January 1, 2013, 4:34 pm
  14. Ahaha love the title, this really captures my feelings as well! Hope you have lost of fun with these and they never feel like a chore! I think I’ll give the January in japan challenge a shot 🙂

    Posted by Bina | January 2, 2013, 12:10 pm
  15. Happy new year, Jo 🙂 I really like the diversity in the challenges that you chose! Am actually listening to the Wolf Hall audiobook version right now. But part of me wants to pause and first read up on the Plantagenets. Oh, British royal history, there is still so much I don’t know about you… and I would love to hear your thoughts on My Name is Red!

    Posted by Chinoiseries | January 2, 2013, 2:30 pm
  16. Have fun in participating in these challenges, Jo! I haven’t signed up for any challenges this year, yet. The French and Middle Eastern lit challenges that you have written about sound quite tempting to me 🙂 Happy reading!

    Posted by Vishy | January 9, 2013, 5:04 am
  17. I am especially curious about the Middle East books. I have “Jerusalem” on my wishlist as well and am currently reading “No God but God” which seems to be a very understandable and well-written introduction into Islam.

    Enjoy Jerusalem, the most interesting city in the world!

    Posted by Andreas Moser | January 19, 2013, 8:44 am
    • Andreas,
      I am currently half way through “Jerusalem” and loving it. So much research has gone into this book and it’s one of those book that reader will come out the other end wiser, enlightened and more informed about the world affairs. Highly recommended! Jerusalem is indeed the most interesting city in the world.

      Posted by JoV | January 20, 2013, 3:36 pm


  1. Pingback: 2012 Year End Reading (and Purchase) Analysis! « JoV's Book Pyramid - December 30, 2012

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Ratings Defined

0 = Abandon the book after first chapter

1 = Waste of paper, we will see what the environmentalist say about this!

2 = Skip it, read the book if you have got nothing better to do

2.5 = An average book, easily forgettable.

3 = A good read.

3.5 = A good entertaining read, a page-turner

4 = So glad that I read the book, a book with substance and invaluable for future reference

4.5 = So glad that I read the book, would pester everyone to read it, invaluable, I would want to own it and wouldn't mind a second read (something that I seldom do)

5 = The book is so good that I feel like I am on scale 4 and 4.5, and more, it blew me away and lingers on my head for weeks!

Books Read

JoV's bookshelf: read
Hold Tight
The Fault in Our Stars
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
The Thief
Catching Fire
A Tale for the Time Being
Into the Darkest Corner
The Liars' Gospel
Goat Mountain
Strange Weather In Tokyo
Strange Shores
And the Mountains Echoed
Ten White Geese
One Step Too Far
The Innocents
The General: The ordinary man who became one of the bravest prisoners in Guantanamo
White Dog Fell from the Sky
A Virtual Love
The Fall of the Stone City

JoV's favorite books »
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Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

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