Semi-Charmed Winter 2016 Book Challenge

The Semi-Charmed Winter 2016 Book Challenge categories have been announced and I almost missed it! Here are the rules and my preliminary list:

General Guidelines:

  • The challenge will run from November 1, 2016, to January 31, 2017. No books started before 12 a.m. on November 1 or finished after 11:59 p.m. on January 31 will count.
  • Each book must be at least 150 pages long. Audiobooks and large-print books are fine, as long as the regular print version meets the length requirement.
  • A book can only be used for one category, and each category can only be completed once.
  • The highest possible total is 200 points, and the first five people who finish the challenge will be invited to contribute a category for the summer 2017 challenge.
  • Have fun! Read some books you might not have read otherwise. Discover new authors and make new bookworm friends. (Yes, these are the most important rules!)

Challenge Categories:
5 points: Freebie! Read any book that is at least 150 pages long. Whichever book I happen to read that doesn’t fit in any of the categories will go here.

10 points: Read a 2016 finalist (longlist or shortlist) for one of the following literary prizes: National Book Award, Man Booker or Man Booker International. Uh, yeah. Let me think about that one. After a click glance I see nothing that looks appealing.

10 points: Read a brand-new release (something published between November 1, 2016, and January 31, 2017). Ugh, that’s two categories that want me to get a new book. I hate buying books before they’re available second hand! Well, there’s a new Cecelia Ahern book coming out in November, so maybe that?

15 points: Read a book by an author of a different race or religion than you. As an atheist, isn’t every religion different to mine? I suppose the category wants something more drastic than Christian though, so I will either read The Color Purple by Alice Walker or Midnight’s Children by Salmen Rushdie.

15 points: Read a book featuring a main character who is of a different race or religion than you. River God by Wilbur Smith is an option. Maybe.

20 points: Read a modern retelling of a classic (e.g. an Austen Project novel, Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler, etc.) — Submitted by SCSBC16 winner Kaity. Maybe Splintered by A.G. Howard since I want to read it anyway. (Man, these categories are not making it easy for me to progress with the BBC Big Read!)

25 points: Read a book with an alcoholic beverage (neat or cocktail) in the title. — Submitted by SCSBC16 winner Kerry. (And she was nice enough to come up with a long list of suggestions for you!) I am going to read Cider With Rosie by Laurie Lee for the simple reason that I already own it but haven’t read it.

30 points: Read a book with a character that shares your first or last name. (Alternate spellings are okay, e.g. Megan and Meghan or Smith and Smyth.) — Submitted by SCSBC16 winner Ericka. Well, obviously I am going for first name since I don’t want to tell you all my full name, but the only book I can think of with a character named Beverly is It by Stephen King, so that’s tentatively my choice. But if anyone can think of a shorter book with a Beverly (or, better, the correct spelling of Beverley) in it please let me know!

30 points: Read two books: a nonfiction book and a fiction book with which it connects. For example: A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie and one of Christie‘s mystery novels that features poison, or The Monuments Men and All the Light We Cannot See. The possibilities are endless, so have fun with this one! — Submitted by SCSBC16 winner Bev. (And remember you must finish both books to get the 30 points! No partial points will be awarded.) If I read Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder, then maybe my non-fiction book can be something on the history of philosophy? Or there’s The Once and Future King, which is about King Arthur, then a factual book looking into the reality of the myth? Hmm, I’ll have to think more about this category.

40 points: Read two books: one by an author whose first name is the same as the last name of the author of the other book. For example: You may read a book by Martin Cruz Smith and a book by George R.R. Martin, or a book by James Joyce and a book by Joyce Carol Oates. The shared name must be spelled exactly the same, no variations. — Submitted by SCSBC16 winner Jamie. (And remember you must finish both books to get the 40 points! No partial points will be awarded.)
Very, very tentatively: The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye and Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons.

Are you taking part in the challenge? What are you reading?
Any suggestions for the categories I’m not sure on?


19 thoughts on “Semi-Charmed Winter 2016 Book Challenge

  1. That’s a very challenging challenge! There is a book called Dead Ringers by Christopher Golden in which there is a male character called Beverly. It’s a horror story, and was made into a film with Jeremy Irons. I’ve seen the film, but it was such a long time ago and cannot remember how horrifying it was!

    1. Here are some suggestions: There is a book called “The Lonely Polygamist” by Brady Udall–a man with four wives, one of who is named Beverly. And earlier this year I read “Enchanted August” by Brenda Bowen, which has a man named Beverly.

    1. I am wondering what people with totally made up names would do! Although there’s always the surname if you’re willing to tell everyone your real name. The category is hard to Google though as it mainly comes up with characters in books by a person with that name. Or in my case book characters who live in Beverly Hills!

  2. I too, am struggling with the name one. I’m pretty sure no book character has my last name, even one written by someone from Italy or of Italian descent 😉 My first name, though–well the male in the “Outlander” books is named Jamie, so that’s a possibility. (So far I have only read the first one). There’s also a series of kids’ books called “Dear Dumb Diary,” in which the character is a girl named Jamie. These books are under 150 pages, however, so they are too short for the challenge’s page requirement. I’ve rarely met others with my name and rarely found it on souvenirs. I too have had trouble Googling book characters with my name, mostly getting authors’ names.

      1. And on an entirely different note, there is a Stephen King book called Revival with a character called Jamie. Nicholas Sparks and Stephen King… basically opposite ends of the spectrum! LOL.

  3. ooooh a new Cecelia Ahern book?!
    i really struggled with the categories for this one and i don’t think i will be doing it. i’m with you, i couldn’t find or think of any characters with the name Kristen/Kristin, and if I did, they didn’t sound like books I wanted to read. There might have been more with my last name, but like you, didn’t want to put it out there. oh well. maybe i’ll focus more on Erin’s next challenge lol.

    1. I was thinking there was a Kristen in Station Eleven but I just went back and looked at it on Goodreads and it turns out it’s Kirsten. Oh well!
      There is a Norwegian series about a Kristin Lavransdatter. No idea whether it’s any good though!

  4. For the award-winning category, I will say that Another Brooklyn is a VERY short read, so even if you don’t love it, you can probably finish it in one or two sittings and get that category out of the way. 😉 Good luck!

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