Reading New England: Preview and Sign-up Post

Posted December 1, 2015 by Lory in challenges, events / 52 Comments

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For the link-up page for state posts, click here.

For the link-up page for genre posts, click here.

For a New England Book List, click here.

Welcome to the official sign-up post for Reading New England, a 2016 challenge hosted here at The Emerald City Book Review. I’ve chosen twelve focus areas — the six New England states and six thematic/genre groups — to help us diversify our reading, but please feel free to pick and choose in your explorations of this wonderful region. Use the links above for linking your posts. Linking up will earn you extra points in the event giveaway(s) along the way, along with being a great way to share your discoveries with others.

What books qualify for this challenge? My idea is to include authors and books that represent the region in some way, bringing out its special qualities and characteristics. (For this purpose, books should be actually set in New England; books written by a New England author but set elsewhere would not qualify.) Classic authors to explore include Louisa May Alcott, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, and many more; contemporary possibilities could include Stephen King, Jane Langton, John Irving, Alice Hoffman…reader suggestions are very welcome. Here’s a list of books to help us get started.

Here are the twelve categories, with the months when I’m planning to focus on them here on ECBR (though you may read from any category at any time):

January: New Hampshire
February: Fiction
March: Maine
April: Poetry and Drama
May: Vermont
June: Nonfiction
July: Massachusetts
August: Children’s Books
September: Rhode Island
October: Speculative Fiction and Mystery
November: Connecticut
December: Readalong or free choice

Challenge levels:

To qualify, books must be read between January 1 and December 31, 2016, and must be posted about publicly in some way (blog post, Goodreads, Amazon, etc.). A substantial part of the book must take place in at least one of the six New England states. In the case of poetry, the poet should be strongly associated with or draw inspiration from the region.

Link up your posts here. Posts that qualify for multiple categories should only be linked in one.

A Single Leaf: 1+
Read at least one book from any of the challenge categories

Roots and Branches: 3-6+
Read at least 3-6 books from any of the challenge categories

Six State Challenge: 6+
Read at least one book representing each New England state

Genre Challenge: 6+
Read at least one book from each of the six genre categories (fiction, nonfiction, poetry/drama, children’s books, speculative fiction/mystery, freebie/readalong)

A New England Forest: 12+
Read at least one book from each of the twelve challenge categories

Will you participate? Link up below to let us know your plans!

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52 responses to “Reading New England: Preview and Sign-up Post

  1. Oh, this is a great way to structure this challenge, flexible but with a degree of commitment that’s up my street! I have a number of different but achievable challenges provisionally decided on for 2016, and this will definitely be one of them, one that will dovetail neatly into some of my choices for other categories. Thanks for prior notice, giving us a chance to plan what we go for.

    • That’s what I hoped, that it would accommodate different reading interests and wishes. So glad you’ll be joining us!

  2. Count me in! I’m looking forward to participating in Reading New England! For now, I know that one book I’ll be reading for the New Hampshire part of the challenge is Peyton Place.

    • Welcome, Monica! Peyton Place is a great choice — I’ve heard the name forever (mostly due to the soapy TV adaptation I think) but had no idea it was set in New Hampshire.

  3. Love this challenge. I’m shooting for the Six State Challenge…and am so glad you included a list of possible books to read. This should be fun. 🙂

  4. What a great list! A few of those books are sitting on my shelves. I’m really hoping to join in for some of this!

  5. I really love this challenge idea! I grew up in Maine (with a little bit of New Hampshire), and now live in Virginia, so I like connecting with my home landscape throughout the year via books!

  6. This is a really interesting event. I am chalking in advance tne title of event participant who lives furthest from New England at 13,554 measured from Boston to Manila. Indian book bloggers could beat this and I challenge this to join us.

  7. Hi Lori, as a New England blogger of course I love your challenge! 🙂
    Thanks for hosting it! 🙂
    I’m looking forward to participating. Since I my blog is about speculative fiction I may missed a few categories, though.

    • That’s great, Daniela. I’ve found SF choices from nearly every state, but I’m sure there are more to be discovered. I wish you a wonderful year of reading and blogging!

    • Welcome Rory! I also have some books on my shelves I’m hoping to finally crack open for this challenge.

  8. Great Challenge! I’ve been meaning to read A Prayer for Owen Meany so this is great reason to push it to the top of the list 🙂

  9. Can’t wait to get reading on this challenge and learn more about my new region! What a great challenge. I appreciate all the suggestions. One book that has been staring at me from my TBR pile is Robert Thorson’s Stone By Stone: The Magnificent History in New England’s Stone Walls. And A Prayer for Owen Meany is also at the top of my list.

  10. […] Like many other adolescents, I was assigned A Separate Peace to read when I was in my early teens. Adults seem to think that a novel about teenagers in a school must necessarily be good for teenagers to read in school. For me, however, the plan backfired — I retained almost no impression of the book other than that I found reading it an unpleasant experience, and certainly was left with no lasting sense of lessons learned. I might never have picked it up again, except that I knew it had a New Hampshire setting (based on Phillips Exeter Academy) and was curious to revisit it as part of my Reading New England Challenge. […]

  11. […] Now seems like a good time to check in on my reading challenges, too. I’m on track to finish 55 books this year so far. I have completed nine books. I haven’t done much with a few of the challenges, so I need to get going. I have made little progress on the Reading England Challenge (which is very unusual for me, as I typically read quite a lot of books set in England—though this ninth book I mentioned a moment ago is book number one for this challenge). I have made zero progress with the Reading New England Challenge. […]

      • Awesome! I wish I had found this sooner though. I am fascinated with Maine. Last September my bff and I went on a New England/Canadian cruise so that I could see Maine LOL. It was beautiful and everything I had hoped it would be. I want to go back to Maine for a whole trip one day.

          • It’s not too late to read books set in Maine. The monthly focus is just what I’m doing on my blog. You can read any New England book at any time and count it for the challenge.

            To sign up, write a post about your plans, and enter the URL of the post in the “Mister Linky” widget just above the comments. In the “Your Name” field enter your blog name. It will be great to have you with us!