Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Challenging Reading

Anyone reading this blog probably knows that I don't really need to be challenged to read more. I had already decided to track my reading more this year (thanks for the inspiration, Janssen!) just out of curiosity. This Salon article suggested quite a few challenges on everything from thick books to zombie books. I may not need help reading more, but thanks to the internet, joining a reading challenge can be a social experience as well as an intellectual one. I'm hoping joining these challenges will bring me great discussions, new reading suggestions, and interesting blogs to read.

Without further ado, here are my choices:
1) Chunkster Challenge 2011 (
I love digging into big books so this is a great challenge! My only debate on this is which level to sign up for of the 4 offered. Should I go for the Do These Books Make my Butt Look Big? (description: This option is for the reader who can't resist bigger and bigger books and wants to commit to SIX Chunksters from the following categories: 2 books which are between 450 - 550 pages in length; 2 books which are 551 - 750 pages in length; 2 books which are GREATER than 750 pages in length)
...or risk failing and sign up for the Mor-book-ly Obese (description: For the truly out of control chunkster. For this level of challenge you must commit to EIGHT or more Chunksters of which three tomes MUST be 750 pages or more)
Thoughts anyone?

2) 2011 Young Adult Reading Challenge (
2010 was definitely a year of young adult books for me. I had no idea how much great YA reading is out there. These books are usually quick to read as well, which is great when time is limited. I'm going to wuss out here and do the "Mini YA Reading Challenge" which is 12 YA novels. I think I can easily read one per month, although since so many great series are out there I expect I'll be more likely to complete this in clumps. In fact, I'm already well on my way with this challenge as I read one YA book over vacation (and completely during 2011, not to worry!). I'll have a review up soon.

3) (sort of) I like the idea of the TBR challenge ( but I don't know how many of the books in my pile have been there more than a year...I'm hoping not too many! I'm not signing up formally, but working through my big to be read basket in the library and the piles throughout the house is definitely a personal goal.

I know some of you have already committed to reading more or reading a different type of genre this year; is anyone else going to join a challenge?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Hello My Deer!

My friends come from all over the United States and most of us believe that our state is the best. If we want some data to back it up, this link should be shows something that each state is the best at. No surprise that Pennsylvania wins for most deer collisions, but would you have guessed that Colorado is #1 for beer production? Expect lots of new residents next year, Colorado!

Some other highlights: My engineer friends may want to consider a move to Delaware, since they have the greatest percentage of PhD level scientists and engineers. Illinois has the highest rate of gang, thanks, Chicago. If you have a lead foot, avoid Massachusetts since that state has the highest level of speeding tickets. Nevada is a triple winner with the lead in teen pregnancies, foreclosures, and meth use. Way to go Nevada! I would never have guessed that Ohio ranks first in swiss cheese production.

Check it out!

What's your state the best at?