Hello, one and all! We have a very special treat for you here at Estella's Revenge. We've decided to host our very first reading challenge!
"My Year of Reading Dangerously: A Challenge" will begin on January 1, 2008 and consist of some very simple rules. Namely, read authors or genres that intimidate you.
Heather and I particularly enjoy flexibility since we're so bad with reading deadlines, so we've laid out a few ways that you can participate in this challenge.
1. Read along with the "official" Estella's Revenge "Dangerous" novels. We've proposed twelve months of truly worthwhile and somewhat intimidating books. We've carefully polled the Estella's Revenge writers for titles that stand out, and Heather and I chose to delve into some oft-poo-pooed genres to mix things up a bit. There's nothing like branching out, right?
The Twelve "Official" Novels by month
January: Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens (since Estella is our namesake)
February: The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison (African American)
March: Cat's Eye, by Margaret Atwood (Atwood for Atwood's sake)
April: Transformations, by Anne Sexton (Poetry)
May: Other Voices, Other Rooms, by Truman Capote (Southern)
June: Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov (Russian)
July: The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier (adolescent)
August: Maus I and II, by Art Spiegelman (Graphic Novel, Pulitzer winner)
September: The Secret Lives of People in Love, by Simon Van Booy (Independent)
October: The Human Stain, by Philip Roth (Contemporary/Jewish)
November: A Month of Classic Short Stories, Various - watch for a list
December: The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck (Dusty)
At the beginning of every month Heather and myself will post a list of discussion questions at the My Year of Reading Dangerously blog (click link to visit). Each question will have its own comment area and readers can feel free to discuss at their leisure as they read through the book or when they have finished completely.
The kicker: By participating in "official" discussions, you will automatically enter yourself to win fabulous prizes. Books, bookmarks, signed copies of novels and other tantalizing treats. Heather and I are working our little heinies off collection loot as we speak.
2. Your other choice is to simply to complete 12 books that you deem "dangerous" and intimidating. You can do it in a year, in a month or in a week. It's up to you!
And, of course, a combination of numbers 1 and 2 is also possible. Be creative. We welcome it.