Anyone who knows me knows I like a good reading challenge and I know that a few of you do to!
It’s always a crowded calendar in the book-blogging world, but the busiest month is undoubtedly November, which, at my latest count has no less than FIVE reading challenges on the go!
- German Literature Month
- Novella November
- Non-Fiction in November
- Australia Literature Month
- Margaret Atwood Reading
I’ve decided to plan some of my reading around these challenges, and like any good participant, I’ve worked out how to kill two challenges – and in one case, three! – with one book.
It all started to get so complicated that I’ve devised a nifty little Venn diagram to keep my plans on track 🤣🤣
I can’t promise I’ll read all of these of course, but I do like to have a plan, so I’ll do my best!
GERMAN LITERATURE MONTH
This will be the first time that I have participated in German Literature Month, hosted by Caroline (Beauty is a Sleeping Cat) and Lizzy (Lizzy’s Literary Life) which is now in its tenth year! I was delighted to come across two books in the 746 by Patrick Suskind which I have yet to read – The Double Bass and The Pigeon and they have the added bonus of being novellas which means I can also read them for Novella November! I have been meaning to read Stefan Zweig for a long time, so have his novella Chess lined up next.
Lizzy and Caroline are focusing on four German authors during November as follows:
1st – 7th – Sophie von La Roche
8th – 14th – Max Frisch
15th – 21st – Ingeborg Bachmann
22nd – 28th – Siegfried Lenz
I also hope to read Homo Faber by Max Frisch. I became interested in Max Frisch after performing in a production of his play The Fire Raisers, so although I have read a few of his plays, I have yet to read any of his fiction.
Finally, last year I read and LOVED Visitation by Jenny Erpenbeck and have her new non-fiction book Not A Novel on pre-order, so if I can get my hands on that one on time then it will cover German Literature Month and Non-Fiction November.
Novella November seems to have been around in various guises over the last few years, but I am not completely sure where it has originated from. Laura from Reading in Bed has hosted the challenge in the past and in 2018 put together a very interesting history of the challenge but it doesn’t seem to have ever had a regular home! I’m not sure if Laura is hosting this year, but I’ve pulled together a little list of possibilities which happily work with some of November’s other challenges.
Three of my German reads fit in with Novella November, and I have a couple of others in the 746. The Day of the Locust by Nathaniel West is well overdue a read as it The Spare Room by Helen Garner, which didn’t quite win last month’s Reading Roulette, but is a perfect choice because it will also tick the Australian Literature Month box as well! I purchased Territory of Light by Yuko Tsushima on the back of Jacqui’s wonderful review and I have a feeling I am going to love it!
I really enjoy NonFiction November, hosted by Rennie over at What’s Non-Fiction (if you aren’t following her brilliant blog, you really should!), as it spurs me to read more non-fiction and highlights some great books I hadn’t heard of before. Rennie hosts alongside Katie at Doing Dewey, Julie at Julz Reads and Leann at Shelf Aware and they have different weekly themes, along with an Instagram challenge. It’s well worth following along, although, be warned, your reading wish list will be groaning by the end of the month!
I have a few books lined up for this challenge. My recent read of The Nothing Man by Catherine Ann Howard has led me to dig out The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule, her account of working alongside notorious serial killer Ted Bundy.
Cathy Rentzenbrink’s Dear Reader sounds like just the kind of book for cold autumn nights in front of the fire and Jia Tolentino’s collection of essays Trick Mirror sounds entertaining and timely.
Helen Garner pops up again this month with True Stories: Selected Non-Fiction which I’m very much looking forward to. I have only read This House of Grief by Garner but I thought it was a stunning and sensitively written book.
Anna Funder’s Stasiland is a real winner this month as it covers three of these reading challenges – albeit a little tenuously! Funder is an Australian author (tick one!) who has written a non-fiction book (tick two!) about East Germany (tick three!) – how could it not be on my list? Thanks to Kate over at Books Are My Favourite and Best, who brought this to my attention when Stasiland began a recent Six Degrees of Separation chain.
AUSTRALIAN LITERATURE MONTH
This year, Brona is doing AusMonth Reading Bingo – which looks like it will be great fun – but with so much else on, I think I will stick to just trying to read a couple of books.
As mentioned before, Stasiland, The Spare Room and Helen Garner’s True Stories all qualify for this challenge, but I’m adding The Yield by Tara June Winch to the list as I’ve been hearing some great things about it from my favourite Australian bloggers.
MARGARET ATWOOD READING MONTH
Margaret Atwood Reading Month is hosted by two of my favourite bloggers, Naomi at Consumed by Ink and Marcie at Buried in Print. They have been celebrating the work of Canada’s finest since 2018 and have a host of great reading tips plus a Bingo Card coming soon.
I have been threatening to take part in this challenge since it started and my unread copy of Maddaddam is lurking, unloved and unread on my shelf, so hopefully this will be the year I get it read!
So there we have it! A packed month awaits. If I get even half of these read I’ll be delighted, but my plan is to read at least one book for each challenge. Are you taking part in any of these challenges this November? Or do you know of any other reading challenges that I’ve left out? I’d love to hear!
I am a 40 something book buying addict trying to reduce the backlog one book at a time!