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2013 Challenges: Wrap Up

As we’re fast approaching the end of 2013 and many bloggers are already looking ahead to 2014 challenges, it seems like a good time to reflect on the challenges I set for myself a year or so ago.

I set four goals for the year. How did I do? I suppose if this was my school report card the teacher’s comment would be along the lines of ‘a good effort but really must try harder.’

1. Discover more about the origins and development of the novel genre

I started with great enthusiasm on this and did in fact write 4 posts under the theme of ‘Life and Times of the Novel’ . They took longer to research and write than I first imagined so the enthusiasm waned a bit. I haven’t given up on it yet though – so look out for some occasional pieces in the coming year.

2. Stretch my reading horizons by discovering new-to-me authors from different countries of the world. 

I think I did quite well on this one. My World Literature challenge is to read 50 books from different countries in the world by end of 2018 – I’ve read 10 so far from Japan, Pakistan and a number of the African nations. All the authors have been people I had never heard of previously and some I will definitely want to read more of in the future like Kenya’s Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o. Finding books  in English at a reasonable price from all the countries along the Equator or the Prime Meridian is a challenge in itself but I’m gradually acquiring them though Sao Tome could be the one country that eludes me.

3. Get more connected with other bloggers

I got more involved with BEA this year and met some new bloggers as a result. Just keeping up with everyone is almost a full time job but it’s great fun. Through the series A View From Here, in which I invite bloggers from different parts of the world to talk about literature from their country, I’ve ‘met’ some new friends like MarieChen at Whispers of a Barefoot Medical Student and also keep in touch with ‘old’ friends like Miranda at Book Rhapsody, Emma at Words and Peace and Tanya of 52 books or bust. If you have any interest in world literature, you’ll want check out their recommendations.

4. Try not to get distracted by too many new challenges 

Oh dear, this goal didn’t quite work out. Despite my best intentions I did get easily led off the straight and narrow.  Not only did I enrol for an on-line historical fiction course offered by Coursera (which involved rather more reading than anticipated) but I also got sucked in by the Booker titles longlisted for this year’s prize instead of reading the actual prize winners.  Consequently I read nine books from my Classics Club challenge (less than I would have liked) but only four Booker winners. Seems like I really do need to pull my socks up on these challenges next year.

That’s 2013 done – what about 2014 challenges? I’m at that stage when my head tells me I don’t the energy or capacity for anything new but my heart beats that little bit faster when I see some of the new challenges being set up on other blogs. Oh decisions, decisions……..Anyone else having the same problem??

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