Last year around this time I decided to do two reading challenges. One was to read essays, and the other to read books that had been turned into movies and then watch the movies. In the great tradition of failing to follow through on what I say I will do, I read zero essays all year, and wrote one review of a book/movie (I think I signed up to do ten). Curiously though I regard this as a success because I did actually get something out of it; I found a good blog called Ready When You Are, C.B. which I have enjoyed checking in on all year.
In the spirit of never admitting personal failings but pretending that you can fundamentally change aspects of your personality because the calendar has gone from 31 December to 1 January, I am going to embark on a new reading challenge for 2011. This challenge is of my own devising. Here’s how it works:
- I will start by reading a book written by someone from my hometown
- When I finish I will go to the website for my town’s airport, look up international departures, and then (metaphorically) get on the next plane out. When I did this today to see how it would work I got Sydney.
- Landing in Sydney (for example) I then type in this search to Google: “The great Australian novel”
- Using only the links from the first page that comes up I pick a book and I read it
- When I am finished I go back to the airport, and take the next international flight out
- I do this until I get home again.
I can only think of one rule:
- You can’t go to the same place twice
Except for your hometown obviously (which you can’t return to directly).
This challenge fulfills various things for me:
- It’s random
- It’s diverse
- It panders to my desire to read “great” literature, which
- panders to my desire to be annoying at social gatherings: “You haven’t read the great Namibian novel?”
I think in these challenges dozens of people are supposed to sign on, but I imagine I will be going on this journey alone. If you feel like joining in you can leave a comment below telling me where your hometown is and what book you will start with. No one is allowed to catch their first flight until 1 January, but you can start your hometown book now.
I have my hometown book selected: The 10PM Question, by Kate DeGoldi.