Welcome to the European Reading Challenge – where participants tour Europe through books. And win prizes. 2012 is the first year for this challenge. Please join me for the Grand Tour!
The gist: The idea is to read books by European authors or books set in European countries (no matter where the author comes from). The books can be anything – novels, short stories, memoirs, travel guides, cookbooks, biography, poetry, or any other genre. You can participate at different levels, but each book must be by a different author and set in a different country – it’s supposed to be a tour.
What counts as “Europe”? For this challenge, we will use the list of 50 sovereign states that fall (at least partially) within the geographic territory of the continent of Europe and/or enjoy membership in international European organizations such as the Council of Europe. This list includes the obvious (Great Britain, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy), the really huge Russia, the tiny Vatican City, and the mixed bag of Baltic, Balkan, and former Soviet states.
Here is the list, in alphabetical order: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Vatican City.
Five Star (Deluxe Entourage): Read at least five books by different European authors or books set in different European countries.
Four Star (Honeymooner): Read four qualifying books.
Three Star (Business Traveler): Read three qualifying books.
Two Star (Adventurer): Read two qualifying books.
One Star (Pensione Weekender): Read just one qualifying book.
Agritourisimo: For foodie readers – read a selected number (your choice) of food-related books written by European authors or about European food, cooking, restaurants, culinary traditions, farming, winemaking, etc. Again, each book must be by a different author and set in a different country.
Youth Hostel: For participants under 18 only – read a selected number of books (your choice), by European authors or set in a country of Europe. (Adults reading YA books still participate as adults, not in this sub-category).
Culture Vulture: For those obsessed with prize-winners – read a selected number of books (your choice) that won a major literary prize in its original country. Any of the following literary prizes would count, but there may be others: Anton Wildgans (Austria), Magnesia Litera (Czech Republic), Finlandia (Finland), Le Grand Prix du Roman (France), German Book Prize (Germany), Balint Balassi Memorial Sword (Hungary), Icelandic Literary Prize (Iceland), Bagutta (Italy), Batty Weber (Luxembourg), Norwegian Critics (Norway), NIKE (Poland), Camões (Portugal), Russian Booker (Russia), Prešeren (Slovakia), Premio Planeta de Novela (Spain), August (Sweden), Swiss Book Prize (Switzerland), Sedat Simavi (Turkey), Shevchenko National (Ukraine), Booker (United Kingdom).
Only books reviewed count towards prizes. Challenge participants are encouraged to write reviews, but are not required to do so except to qualify for a prize.
Jet Setter Grand Prize: The participant who reads and reviews the greatest number of qualifying books (more than five) will get a $25 gift card to Powell’s Books (can be used in store or on line). Participants living in Europe (or anywhere else Book Depository goes) will get a $25-equivalent gift card to Book Depository. Each book must be by a different author and set in a different country.
Agritourisimo: In addition to qualifying for the Jet Setter Grand Prize, the participant who reads and reviews the greatest number of qualifying books in the Agritourisimo category will receive a $10 gift card to Powell’s Books.
Youth Hostel: In addition to qualifying for the Jet Setter Grand Prize, the under 18 participant who reads and reviews the greatest number of qualifying books in the Youth Hostel category will receive a $10 gift card to Powell’s Books.
Culture Vulture: In addition to qualifying for the Jet Setter Grand Prize, the participant who reads and reviews the greatest number of qualifying books in the Culture Vulture category will receive a $10 gift card to Powell’s Books.
- Read all books between January 1, 2012 and January 31, 2013. I like having 13 months so there is extra time to finish after the holidays.
- Sign up here using Mr. Linky under the “PARTICIPANTS” heading below. If Mr. Linky isn’t working, please leave your link in a comment and I will make a list myself. Please use a link to your challenge post, not your blog home page. If you do not have a blog, please list your choices in a comment below and I will add you to the list.
- You do not have to commit to your choices now; you can change your mind about books at any time.
- Overlap with other challenges is allowed — and encouraged! The Venice in February Challenge is just one idea. Others? Please leave links in comments and I will add them.
- Re-reads count. Audiobooks count. E-books count. Self-published books count.
- As you progress, please let us know by leaving comments with links to progress reports and reviews. Reviews are not necessary, unless you are going for one of the prizes, in which case only books reviewed count. If you do not have a blog, put your reviews or reports in a comment on this post.
- You can copy and paste the button. Or, if you want me to send you the code, please leave a comment with an email and I will. I cannot figure out the fancy ways of giving button instructions.
I think I can manage to read Books from at least 3 Countries so I will go for the Three Star (Business Traveler) and upgrade if I find more.
Here will be my List:
- Der Junge im gestreiften Pyjama (The Boy in the striped Pyjamas) by John Boyne – Ireland (Book setting Germany/Poland)
- Die purpurrote Schleife by Carla Miller, Isabelle Metzen & Kathleen Weise – Germany (Authors)
- Life on the Refrigerator Door by Alice Kuipers – England (Author born and raised)