Recently I’ve started a new series called Sunday Shout Out where I can provide links to news stories, blog posts, and other things that I think are interesting and noteworthy. If you’re interested in participating or being featured in my next Sunday Shout Out, just drop me an e-mail.

This Sunday Shout Out will be all about challenges! I will be posting this as an updatable page as well (just like the last two years), but I thought I’d spend some time spreading the word regarding challenges. A Challenge asks participants to read a certain number of books fitting a certain criteria.

The Story Siren is hosting a debut author challenge for the third year in a row. I really admire The Story Siren’s challenges because she takes all the leg work out of it for you. She compiles a list of debut authors and titles and the provides everyone easy access to it through her blog and through GoodReads.com. She only asks that participants complete 12 debut novels over the course of the year. Since I’m not going to be on a committee next year (taking a breather, thank goodness!) I’m hoping to have at least that. Here’s the ones I’m putting on my list though (in no particular order):
1. Divergent by Veronica Roth (published May 3rd, 2011)
2. Entangled by Cat Clarke (published Jan. 6th, 2011)
3. Rival by Sara Bennett Wealer (published February 15th, 2011)
4. Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky (published May 23rd, 2011)
5. The Trouble with Half a Moon by Danette Vigilante (published January 6th, 2011)
6. Leverage byJoshua C. Cohen (published February 17th, 2011)
7. Enclave by Ann Aguirre (published April 12th, 2011)
8. Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach (published June 1st, 2011)
9. What Can’t Wait by Ashley Hope Perez (published March 28th, 2011)
10. 10 Miles Past Normal by Frances O’Roark Dowell (published March 22nd, 2011)
11. Exposed by Kimberly Marcus (published February 22nd, 2011)
12. Clarity by Kim Harrington (published March 1st, 2011)

Another Challenge that I’m going to continue participating in is What’s in a Name hosted by Beth Fish Reads. Each year, she posts six categories, which participants try to match up with book titles. For 2011, the categories are:
A book with a number in the title:
A book with jewelry or a gem in the title:
A book with a size in the title:
A book with travel or movement in the title:
A book with evil in the title:
A book with a life stage in the title:

Another challenge I’ve been struggling to complete is my goal to read 200 books in a year. I’ve made over 100 two years in a row now, but have yet to reach that 200 mark. Maybe this will be the year for success…

I’m sure there will be one or two more that I want to participate in, and once I find them I’ll add them. Honestly though, after two years of having my reading stipulated by a predetermined list, I’m looking forward to checking out whatever I want to whenever I want to read.

Another “challenge” I’m going to bring to your attention is the Ypsilanti District Library is looking for votes for a Pepsi Refresh Project Grant. You have from now through the end of the month to register your e-mail address and cast your vote. You actually get ten votes a day, so you can spread the wealth amongst ten projects everyday. But for me, I’ve been voting and campaigning for the Ypsilanti District Library. They’re trying to raise the money to redo their teen area, which needs the help. So, please, consider voting. You can also Text* 104359 to Pepsi (73774). Thank you.

What about you? What challenges are you looking at completing in 2011?

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