Friday, January 10, 2014

A Challenging 2014

I have taken part in reading challenges before, usually as part of the Dead Writers Society, a private Goodreads group. I signed up for two challenges for 2014 before realizing that they were actually being organized somewhere else on the Web. When I investigated, I found this site: I wasn’t sure I wanted to sign up, but then I figured, why not? All I had to do was write this post and link to it, then post updates from time to time. (There are also questions about each book, but I am not answering questions. You’ll just have to take my word that I read the books.)

So I hereby sign up for the History Reading Challenge 2014. Because I am a historian who is busy researching her current novel as well as planning to work on a new one before the year is out, I figure I will have no difficulty attaining the Historian level of seven books. Here are ten titles that I must read before December 31, 2013.

1. Russia’s People of Empire: Life Stories from Eurasia, 1500 to the Present
2. Crime and Punishment in Early Modern Russia
3. Medieval and Early Renaissance Medicine: An Introduction to Knowledge and Practice
4. Medieval Islamic Medicine
5. The Time Traveller's Guide to Elizabethan England
6. The Silk Road: Two Thousand Years in the Heart of Asia
7. Balanchine and the Lost Muse: Revolution and the Making of a Choreographer
8. Swans of the Kremlin: Ballet and Power in Soviet Russia
9. Soldiers: A History of Men In Battle
10. Women, Armies, and Warfare in Early Modern Europe

Since January 1, I have finished Balanchine and the Lost Muse and read a quarter of Swans of the Kremlin, as well as one-third of The Time Traveller’s Guide to Elizabethan England. Stay tuned for updates on the rest.

If you’re a member of Goodreads, you can find my review of Elizabeth Kendall’s Balanchine and the Lost Muse here: I also tore through Crime and Punishment in Early Modern Russia (#2), because it was due back at the library. That review is here:

I also plan to participate in the Reduce the TBR Challenge, although I have listed those books only on Goodreads. My to-be-read pile has become indecently large and grows every day (are they multiplying in the dark, like bunnies?). I’m  aiming to reduce the unread books (print and Kindle) by 24–36 before the end of the year.


  1. Yay! I'm glad you decided to join us. Good luck with your ambitious 10 books (and they are interesting ones too!). Look forward to your updates :)

  2. Very ambitious Carolyn! I'm very impressed! How do you find the time with all your other commitments? Best of luck with your project!

  3. You're crazy, woman! But if anyone can do it, you can. Good luck! See you Saturday :-)


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