Thursday, 15 December 2011

Tea and Books reading challenge

Well, ever a glutton for punishment, I've found a second book challenge for 2012. As with the WW1 challenge, I saw it first on Margaret's blog at Booksplease and it's the Tea and Books Reading Challenge. It's being hosted by The Book Garden and the details are as follows:

This challenge was inspired by C.S. Lewis' famous words, "You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me."

You better settle in with a large cup of tea, because in this challenge you will only get to read ... wait for it ... books with more than 700 pages. I'm deadly serious. We all have a few of those tomes on our shelves and somehow the amount of pages often prevents us from finally picking them up. You may choose novels only, no short story collections or anthologies, and in case you're trying a short cut by picking large print editions of a book, well I'm sorry, those do not qualify for this challenge! Let's battle those tomes that have been collecting dust on our shelves, so no re-reads, please!

2 Books - Chamomile Lover

4 Books - Berry Tea Devotee

6 Books - Earl Grey Aficionado (this will be the one I'll try)

8 or more Books - Sencha Connoisseur

To sign up, please read the general rules below! Then post about the challenge on your blog, including the button above, and don't forget to link back to the Tea & Books Reading Challenge page on my blog!

The challenge will take place between January 1st and December 31st 2012.


Okay. So, the level I'm going to aim for is 'Berry tea devotee' which is four books. Partly because I like berry tea *g* but also four seems just about attainable. This is the pool of books I want to choose from:

Drood by Dan Simmons
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clark
Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
No Name by Wilkie Collins
Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb

The thing that surprised me was how many books are not quite 700 pages long. I had several others to add - The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, a biography of Gerald Durrell for instance, but when I checked they were 'only' 650 - 690 pages. Very frustrating.

Several other books I might choose from are:

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Bradley
The Kingdom of Shadows by Barbara Erskine
Bleak House by Charles Dickens
The Last Chronicle of Barset by Anthony Trollope *if* I manage to read the intervening three Barsetshire books before the end of next year... which I would actually rather like to do.

This challenge will suit perfectly my reading plans for next year which are to read a few longer, more absorbing, books than I have this year *and* to get more books off my tbr pile. Looking forward to starting.


DesLily said...

HOORAY FOR DROOD!!!! lol I bet you knew I'd say that lol (I have The Terror by Simmons that I really need to read)
Jonathan Strange I read 250 pgs and put it aside but I KNOW I will get to it one day!
No Name is somewhere on my wish list LOL... I keep hoping I will find an old Hard back copy at that used book store...I can find some Trollope there and some Dickens in Hard back but not Wilke! grrrr and I like his writing quite a bit

I wish you luck with the challenge I should make myself read the "big books" too...If they are really good I am always happy they are so long! Can't get enough of a good thing!

My Gallery of Worlds said...

Oh, what great fun!!! Enjoy Cath :D

Birgit said...

Welcome to the challenge! I already added you to the list of participants and ohhh that's a nice stack of heavy tomes :-) !

Kailana said...

Good luck! I know even with a challenge I still would have a hard time getting to those larger books...

Margaret @ BooksPlease said...

Glad you're joining in too, Cath.

I hope you enjoy Drood more than I did! I liked Jonathan Strange etc much more than Drood and I loved the Mists of Avalon when I read it many years ago.

Our Mutual Friend is one of my choices and I also have No Name, which I may read. It'll be good to exchange views.

Susan said...

OOOH, you had me at 'tea and books'!!! lol and I have Drood sitting right here waiting to be read! I'll think about joining this one. I have Bleak House waiting to be read too, after searching for it for a year. And the ever-present War and Peace. :-D What a fun challenge!!!

Cath said...

Pat: yeah, I did know you'd say that. ;-) *This* year I really do plan to read it. I might wait until RIP as it would suit that, but I might not wait. We'll see. It seems No Name in hardback is not easy to find... I had a look but there aren't many and what there is is quite expensive.

Kelly: Thanks, I'm sure I will.

Birgit: Thank you. And thank you too for your help with adding my name to the list.

Kelly: These huge books *are* daunting so I thought this challenge would really help me get to them.

Margaret: We do seem to have a couple of choices in common. I'll bear in mind that Mists of Avalon might be one to try and get to if I can. As to Drood, people seem to either love it or hate it... I'm curious to see which category I'll fall into. Of all of them the one I really want to read is Our Mutual Friend.

Susan: I do hope you'll decide to join this challenge. Would be great to read your posts.

I saw the 'wonderful' BBC drama of Bleak House a few years back and ever since have wanted to read it. If you've never seen it I highly recommend it. I think this year the BBC has done Great Expectations which I read as a teen and would love to read again. War and Peace is something I've never been tempted by... all those unpronouncable Russian names. LOL.

Jodie Robson said...

I'm afraid I abandoned Drood quite fast, I couldn't get on with it all! I don't know the Erskine book, but I can get quite enthusiastic about the others - Bleak House is wonderful and the Liveship trilogy provides lots of lovely reading, it's Hobb at her best.

Yvonne @ Fiction Books Reviews said...

Hi Cath,

Good for you, is all I can say!

This really would be one challenge too far for me.

I seem to get so little time to read these days, that if I were to start contemplating books over 700 pages, I would only probably achieve the four books from your selection in the entire year!!

You really are lining yourself up for some serious reading, with your ongoing US challenge as well.

Just so long as you don't forget the reviews every so often, as I do love to read them.


Vintage Reading said...

I absolutely loved Jonathan Strange. It's dark and fabulous. Hope you enjoy it.

Cath said...

GeraniumCat: I didn't know you were a Robin Hobb fan too. So far I've just read the first three Farseer books. I loved them to bits (she's probably my favourite fantasy auhtor) and plan to read the Ship of Magic books next year if I can.

Drood... well we'll see. LOL.

Yvonne: Yes, some serious reading next year. 'Serious' as in I really need to get some books off my tbr pile and I'm hoping that doing a few challenges will achieve that aim for me. Gosh yes, I shall be plaguing you all with reviews as usual. I hope you'll be around a bit too!

Nicola: I really want to read Jonathan Strange this year. It's huge so this is the pefect challenge to make me do it. I loved her books of short stories so hopefully I'll like JS as well.