The 2011 "666" Challenge

At the beginning of 2010 I set myself two book-related challenges: to book-blog for a year - barring being run over by a snow-plough in the next couple of weeks, I've done it! Yippee!, and to take part in the Flashback Challenge.

When setting out as a novice blogger it seemed useful to have a book-challenge for a bit of focus. Not that it happens often, but if I was ever unsure of what to read next, I could just pick up something that fitted in with the Challenge. Flashback was quite straightforward, re-read something you hadn't read for a while and blog about it. I enjoyed having a challenge to work on, as well as my usual reading, so I decided this year to take part in something a bit more ambitious - the 666 Challenge.

The 666 Challenge is to read 6 books set in 6 countries on 6 continents (Europe, Asia, Africa, N. America, S. America, Oceania)AND/OR 6 books written by authors of 6 different nationalities from 6 countries on 6 continents - you can only count one or the other (although you can use combinations), and if a book spans more than one country you've got to select one country. So for example - A tale of two cities could be either England or France (set in both places, and author is English) but not both. I'm happy to accept separate countries within the UK, and to make life a little easier - the Arctic and Antarctic can both be included - although you'll have to make your mind up which continent they're going in. Any reading medium is fine - fiction, non-fiction, plays and poetry.

Although this is my own personal challenge, I'd love to invite anyone out there to join in - a map will be going up on the blog in the New Year to track my own reading journeys - both 666 and others, and I'll add other reading journeys for anyone who'd like to join. If you don't have a blog of your own but would like to join in, leave me a comment with your name (doesn't have to be your real one!), book title, and place, and I'll add you to the map. Challenge will run January 1st 2011 - 31st December 2011. There's a useful link if you're not sure which countries are included in each continent. Click on the penguin to the right to link. I'm going to aim for setting rather than nationality of author, and for new reads, or books I first read a long time ago. Current list (although it may change over the year) looks like this:

England - The Pickwick Papers
France - Germinal
Norway - We'll meet in England (One that got away in the Flashback Challenge)
Sweden - The girl who kicked the hornet's nest
Italy - The leopard
Russia - Devils (or possibly Brothers Karamazov - if I'm feeling ambitious)

Syria - Last seen in Palmyra
Jordan - Appointment with death
India - Kim
Singapore - The Singapore grip
Japan - Silence
China - Nanjing 1937

Botswana - The Kalahari typing school for men
Zimbabwe - The grass is singing
Egypt - The curse of the pharaohs
Kenya - Out of Africa
Morocco - Hideous Kinky
Tanzania - The African Queen

N. America
Canada - Anne of Ingleside
USA - Farewell my lovely
Mexico - The power and the glory
Dominican Republic - The Feast of the Goat
Haiti - Strange conflict
Jamaica - The long song

S. America
Chile - Alive
Colombia - Love in the time of cholera
Argentina - In Patagonia
Galapagos Islands (Ecuador) - This thing of darkness
Brazil - A handful of dust
Peru - The royal hunt of the sun

The Antarctic - The worst journey in the world
Australia - English passengers
New Zealand - The colour
Tahiti - The moon & sixpence
Samoa - Maiden voyage


I like your idea of the 666 Challenge - it will get me out of my comfort zone, and it's much more imaginative than the bog-standard Book A Week For A Year, Whatever Comes To Hand.

I'm currently reading P. G. Wodehouse, Thank You, Jeeves, as an antidote to the dreich weather here in Scotland. But I'll be finished by Jan 1, so I'll start with something else. Library's open again tomorrow for a good ratch.

If you were wondering about Beautiful Railway Bridge, I moved it to Word Press (see url).

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