CHALLENGE: Mixing It Up Challenge 2012

Sorry if you read this all already, but my blog hit Bizarro-world after I originally posted this, so I had to repost … Weird.

Wheeeee! Who doesn’t love a new challenge? I feel like I’m loading up on too many of them (this is my 3rd) and 2012 hasn’t even started yet! Oh well, they all seem manageable, I think. :)

Mixing It Up Challenge 2012 was created by Musings of a Bookshop Girl. The premise is for us book bloggers to branch out and read something that we wouldn’t normally read. I usually stick to some of the same genres, so this challenge is perfect for me! I decided to sign up for the 9-12 category, though I’m hoping I can FIND a book for each category!

I’ve decided to sign up for the ALL THE TRIMMINGS AND A CHERRY ON TOP category, all 16 of them, and found some great ideas over at Musings of a Bookshop Girl. Finding those changed my mind!

Here are the categories I chose (all info below is from Musings of a Bookshop Girl’s blog):

1. CLASSICS
This can be any classic work, from Alcott to Zola.  Always fancied trying Great Expectations, or finally feel like tackling Jane Eyre?  Now’s your chance!  From the fun to the frightening, the gentle satire to the all-out swashbuckling epic, there are hundreds of years’ worth of books to choose from.
2. BIOGRAPHY
This can be modern or historical, biography or autobiography.  From the latest celebrity autobiography to an academic biography of Henry VIII – it all counts!  Perhaps you fancy a book on your favourite classic movie star, athlete or musician?
3. COOKERY, FOOD AND WINE
Ideas for this one range from a delectable cookery book to a food memoir (like Nigel Slater’s Toast or Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential), a book on wine to the history of marmalade.
4. HISTORY
More scope to indulge a whole range of interests here, including local history, military history or world history.  It might be a biography of Anne Boleyn, a book on World War II aircraft, a study of the American civil war, or something with a much smaller focus, like Bill Bryson’s At Home or Mark Kurlansky’s Salt: A World History.  Whatever floats your boat!
5. MODERN FICTION
This covers literary and popular fiction, so you can’t really go wrong with this one.  From Sophie Kinsella to Haruki Murakami, Wilbur Smith to Isabel Allende, Jenny Colgan to Kate Mosse, you should be able to find something to fit your tastes!
6. GRAPHIC NOVELS AND MANGA
This will be an entirely new genre for me, but I’m looking forward to hitting the library to see what all the fuss is about!  First on my ‘to check out’ list will be Neil Gaiman’s Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes and Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta.
7. CRIME AND MYSTERY
This category will cover everything from the genteel Agatha Christie and the scrummy Hannah Swensen Mysteries by Joanne Fluke, through Henning Mankell and Stieg Larsson, to the gruesome forensics of Martina Cole and Val McDermid.  You could even delve into some gritty true crime if that’s more your style.
8. HORROR
One for Hallowe’en, perhaps!  Maybe a modern writer like Stephen King or James Herbert, or you could turn to the classics with Edgar Allen Poe or the ghostly writings of M.R. James?  Some YA novels would also fit into this category – Darren Shan, or Lindsey Barraclough’s Long Lankin – but no paranormal romance!
9. ROMANCE
I’d say the cheesier the better for this one, but it’s up to you!  Mills and Boon, paranormal romance, chick lit fluff, whatever.  Personally I’ll be browsing our Mills and Boon shelf at the shop and pulling out the trashiest title I can find!  :)
10. SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY
Again, plenty of scope here.  From the hilarious characters of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld to Tolkien’s epic Lord of the Rings, Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampire Mysteries to Frank Herbert’s Dune, you can go modern or classic, and pick from any number of sub-genres.
11. TRAVEL
The world is your oyster, as it were!  Maybe you’re going somewhere interesting on holiday and want to read up on it first?  Rough Guides, Lonely Planet guides, that kind of thing.  You could pick a Bill Bryson (always popular) or choose a book on a particular city, country or continent, like Francesco da Mosto’s Venice or one of Michael Palin’s books.  Then there are all the delectable memoirs by people who’ve moved abroad and opened a taverna/olive farm/vineyard!
12. POETRY AND DRAMA
This could be a novelty collection of limericks, a collection by a particular poet, or if that sounds a bit daunting, a single, longer narrative poem.  How about ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’, ‘Hiawatha’ or ‘The Waste Land’?  My particular favourite is probably Christina Rossetti’s ‘Goblin Market’, which is more like a simple fairytale that just happens to rhyme.  Or you could choose a play – how about Ibsen, Miller, Shakespeare or the brilliantly witty Wilde?
13. JOURNALISM AND HUMOUR
This one might take a little more thinking about, but it should be a bit of fun!  Journalism collections can range from Nick Hornby’s Shakespeare Wrote for Money to Marian Keyes’s Under the Duvet, Jeremy Clarkson’s The World According to Clarkson to Bill Bryson’s Notes from a Big Country.  Anything that’s been published in a newspaper or magazine first!  Humour could be a book of cartoons, a novelty joke book or The Wicked Wit of Oscar Wilde!
14. SCIENCE AND NATURAL HISTORY
Again, this one throws the doors wide open for you to follow your interests.  Always fancied learning more about space?  Are you curious about the life of Charles Darwin?  Or got a lifelong love for a particular animal?  There are some wonderful ‘popular science’ books around too, including things like The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, David Attenborough’s natural history books, and the entire works of the brilliantly funny Mary Roach.
15. CHILDREN’S AND YOUNG ADULT
This leaves the way open for pretty much anything, whether it’s reading The Hungry Caterpillar or The Magical Faraway Tree to your kids, revisiting the joys of The Secret Garden or Treasure Island, or devouring something from the modern tide of YA.  Lots of dystopian fiction, coming-of-age novels and supernatural shenanigans to choose from!
16. SOCIAL SCIENCES AND PHILOSOPHY
Another wide area!  Books on society and women (Female Chauvinist Pigs, Living Dolls), books on society and children (Toxic Childhood, Nurtureshock), books on how television and the internet are affecting our lives, Jostein Gaarder’s Sophie’s World, books on Freud or Marx…
So what do you think? Can I do it? I actually have a few books in mind that have been on my TBR shelf for a long time that would fit some of these categories!
1. CLASSICS -
2. BIOGRAPHY –
Happy Accidents, by Jane Lynch
3. COOKERY, FOOD AND WINE – 
Chocolat, by Joanne Harris
4. HISTORY -
5. MODERN FICTION –
Forgotten, by Catherine McKenzie
6. GRAPHIC NOVELS AND MANGA -
The Tragical Comedy and the Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch, by Neil Gaiman
7. CRIME AND MYSTERY -
8. HORROR -
9. ROMANCE -
10. SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY -
A Million Suns (Across the Universe #1), by Beth Revis
11. TRAVEL – 
12. POETRY AND DRAMA -
The Door (POEMS), by Margaret Atwood
13. JOURNALISM AND HUMOUR -
Damn You Autocorrect!, by Jillian Madison
14. SCIENCE AND NATURAL HISTORY -
15. CHILDREN’S AND YOUNG ADULT -
The Cupcake Queen, by Heather Hepler
16. SOCIAL SCIENCES AND PHILOSOPHY – 
Are you planning to sign up for this challenge? 

© 2011-2012, Reading In Winter. All rights reserved.

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3 thoughts on “CHALLENGE: Mixing It Up Challenge 2012

  1. Thanks for signing up! Lots of people choosing to go all out and try for the full 16, which is amazing! That’s one of the reasons I created the challenge – no matter how good my intentions, I always seem to end up drifting back to the same genres and leaving the rest unloved on the shelf. Good luck! :)
    Ellie @ Musings of a Bookshop Girl

  2. Wow, you’re doing great so far! Better than me in fact… I really need to start paying attention to my challenges, I’m doing rubbish on them at the moment! I adored ‘Chocolat’ when I read it – it made me so HUNGRY – and my sister’s hooked on the Damn You, AutoCorrect website!

My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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