2012 Reading Challenge

All challenges run from January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012. 

Challenge 1: TBR challenges in different guises

Unread Book Challenge 2012

It is with sheer trepidation that I am signing up to two challenges of reading off my shelves again. This madness of acquiring books without reading them cannot go on and I agree with the host that the purpose of this challenge is to:

“decrease the size of the stack, not let it metastasize all over your bookshelves like some kind of fascinating but ultimately dangerous literary cancer.”

So that’s what I wanted to do. For Off the shelf challenge, I’ll be aiming for 30 books to read.

Making A Dint – Choose 30 books to read

At Christmas day 2011, I have 240 unread books at home, I aim to read about 15 % (about 35 books) of the total unread books. If at weak resolve I acquire more books in 2012, that will skew my 15% target and I’ll never be able to achieve it. 😦

Roof Beam Reader 2012 tbr pile challenge : I’m also joining Roof Beam Reader’s TBR challenge. They are all one of the same challenge why sign-up for more you’d say? Well, the more pressure the better. This madness of not reading from my own shelf is going too far!!! 😦

So here’s another try for the 12 next year and two alternates:

  1. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
  2. The Bird Song – Sebastian Faulk
  3. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  4. My Name is Red – Orhan Pamuk
  5. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
  6. Fingersmith – Sarah Waters
  7. The Dark Side of Love – Rafik Schami
  8. Enduring Love by Ian Mcewan
  9. A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
  10. The Moor’s Last Sigh – Salman Rushdie
  11. Wolf Totem – Jiang Rong
  12. The Poisonwood’s Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
Two alternates, just in case:
  1. White Teeth – Zadie Smith
  2. Small Island by Andrea Levy

2. Middle Eastern Challenge 2012

  1. Desert by JMG Le Clezio
  2. The House of Mosque by Kader Abdolah
  3. Freedom : the Story of My Second Life by Malika Oufkir

3. Tea and Books reading challenge 

I will be trying out for the Chamomile Tea level at 2 books (of chunksters) and achieve it I may feel motivated enough to drink Earl Grey after that!

  1. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
  2. A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth

4. Non-fiction non memoir challenge

I can’t see the year goes by without reading any non-fiction. They are my guilty pleasure and I will endeavour to read more in the new year than what I read this year.

  1. Banker to the poor by Muhammad Yunus
  2. So you think you know about Britain? by Danny Dorling
  3. Meeting Mr Kim by Jennifer Barclay
  4. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
  5. The Shadow of the Sun (My African Life) by Ryszard Kapuscinski

5. Graham Greene Reading Challenge

Like Carrie I’m reminded how I love The Quiet American, when I first introduced to Graham Greene, since then I read another 3 of his novels.

The Quiet American by Graham Greene

The End of the Affair By Graham Greene
The Heart of the Matter By Graham Greene
The Power and The Glory, Graham Greene

For this challenge, I’m getting my feet wet (level title) with 2 Graham Greene books read for 2012. I’ll join in on the Brighton Rock readalong and maybe read “The Man in Havana” or “The Comedian” or “The General’s consul”. There are so many to choose from!

  1. Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene
  2. – did not finish the challenge –

6. South asian challenge

Over 2 years I have accummulated a lot of books written by Indian Authors and this year I’ll be taking this opportunity to participate in the South asian challenge!

These are some of the books I have in my shelf which qualifies:

  1. Fasting, feasting by Anita Desai
  2. A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
  3. The Immigrant by Manju Kapur
  4. The Glass Palace by Amitav Ghosh
  5. Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai
  6. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
  7. Tiger Hills by Sarita Mandanna
  8. Mr. Sampath – The Printer of Malgudi, The Financial Expert, Waiting for the Mahatma by R.K. Narayan
  9. and a few Salman Rushdie’s books (Satanic Verses, The Moor’s Last Sigh and Enchantress of Florence)
7. Immigrant stories challenge
Like the host, I’m drawn to immigration stories. I find hidden gems of stories of pain, courage and triumph that go with these stories which celebrates human resilience and love. So I’m signing up to the Just off the Boat level in Immigrant stories challenge next year.
The levels of challenge are:

Just off the boat: 1-3 books  
This land is my land?: 4-6 books  
Fully assimilated: 6+ books 

  1. Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
  2. The Immigrant by Manju Kapur
  3. Small Island by Andrea Levy

8. 1001 books you must read before you die challenge

I’m choosing the level in bold:

Got to trials:  5 books from the list
Made the Olympic team: 6-10 books from the list
Bronze medal: 11-15 books from the list
Silver Medal: 16-20  books from the list:
Gold Medal: 21+ books from the list

  1. The Remains of the Day Kazuo Ishiguro
  2. Pereira Maintains (Declares) by Antonio Tabucchi
  3. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  4. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
  5. Arrow of God by Chinua Achebe
  6. A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth

9. Japanese Literature 6

The challenge will begin in June 2012 and ends in January 2013.

  1. South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami
  2. The Sound of Waves By Yukio Mishimad
  3. Thousand Cranes by Yasunari Kawabata

10. Murakami Challenge 2012

  1. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
  2. South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami


5 thoughts on “2012 Reading Challenge

  1. if you’re up for the 1001 books challenge, you might also be interested in the spreadsheet or iPhone app which help you track your progress with the list.

    Head on over to my book blog for more.

    Good luck with the challenge, and if you’re interested in a free coupon for that iPhone app in exchange for a review… let’s talk!

    Posted by Arukiyomi | March 31, 2012, 9:41 am
  2. Looks like you are doing great with the 1001 Books Challenge! Share your progress at http://caitieflum.wordpress.com/2012/06/30/1001-books-you-must-read-before-you-die-2012-check-in/

    Posted by Caitie F | June 30, 2012, 6:01 pm
  3. Wow, what a wonderful (and ambitious) set of challenges! I’ve never tried a reading challenge, but think that’s going to be a new experience of mine for 2013. I hope they’re going well!

    Posted by SarahWoo | September 10, 2012, 4:24 pm


  1. Pingback: Reading Challenge 2013 (Am I sure about this?) « JoV's Book Pyramid - December 27, 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 »
Share book reviews and ratings with JoV, and even join a book club on Goodreads.

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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