January 1, 2012

Tea & Books Reading Challenge

A warm welcome to everyone who's signed up for the Tea & Books Reading Challenge! I was pleasantly surprised to see just how many of you love the wonderful combination of tea and books. While most will be nipping some Chamomile Tea while plowing through some heavy tomes, we have a handful of folks who'd rather sip Berry Tea or Earl Grey, and *drumroll please* we also have a few daring readers who're aiming for the Sencha! I'm impressed, I really am.

Here's the list of participants so far (and yes, you may still sign up if you want to):
Birgit / The Book Garden / Earl Grey Aficionado
Ally / Snow Feathers / Chamomile Lover
Debbie / Exurbanis / Chamomile Lover
Risa / Breadcrumb Reads / Berry Tea Devotee
Amy Rea / New Century Reading / Berry Tea Devotee
Jessie / Jessie's Book Place / Chamomile Lover
Grace / Books Without Any Pictures / Early Grey Aficionado
San / blue paper cranes / Chamomile Lover
Fiona / The Book Coop / Sencha Connoisseur
L.S. Engler / L.S. Engler / Sencha Connoisseur
Vasilly / 1330V / Chamomile Lover
Psique / Book Travels / Chamomile Lover
Geoff / The Oddness of Moving Things / Earl Grey Aficionado
Prangon / Smutty Dirty Bitch / Chamomile Lover
JoV / Bibliojunkie / Chamomile Lover
snoelr / Anecdotal Musings / Chamomile Lover
Sandra / Fresh Ink Books / Chamomile Lover
Jane / Fleur Fisher in her world / Berry Tea Devotee
Rubina / Be my knife / Chamomile Lover
B.C. / Book Snob Wannabe / Chamomile Lover
Robin / My Two Blessings / Earl Grey Aficionado
digitalangel3 / Chamomile Lover
Alicia / Room To Read / Chamomile Lover
Her Royal Orangeness / Only Orangery / Chamomile Lover
Margaret / Books Please / Earl Grey Aficionado
TBM / 50 Year Project / Berry Tea Devotee
Chris / The Book Trunk / Berry Tea Devotee
Cathy / Cathy's Book Reviews / Chamomile Lover
Jenn / Simply ... Challenging / Chamomile Lover
Cath / read_warbler / Berry Tea Devotee
Deseree / Dusky Literati / Sencha Connoisseur
Melissa / Jayne's Books / Berry Tea Devotee
Regina / Chamomile Lover
Akilha / The Englishist / Chamomile Lover
Sissy / Cryptographic Romance / Chamomile Lover
Agata / The One Who Reads / Chamomile Lover
LeAnn / Chamomile Lover
Laurie / In Laurie's Mind / Chamomile Lover
Nancy / Silver Threads / Chamomile Lover
Melwyk / Indextrious Reader / Berry Tea Devotee
Lindsey / Musings of A Frustrated Lady Writer / Chamomile Lover
Daisy Chain / Chocolate-Covered Books / Chamomile Lover
Amanda R. / Fig and Thistle / Chamomile Lover
Meaghan / A Cineaste's Bookshelf / Chamomile Lover
Chantel / Books, Books & Books / Berry Tea Devotee
Alberta / Alberta Reads / Berry Tea Devotee
Ted / Bookeywookey / Berry Tea Devotee
Carolina / Eclectic Book Readings / Berry Tea Devotee
Amanda / the one woman book club / Sencha Connoisseur
Eva / A Striped Armchair / Berry Tea Devotee
Rose City Reader / Rose City Reader / Berry Tea Devotee
Kah Woei / The Books of My Life / Earl Grey Aficionado
Honorary Reader: Silver Thistle

As the list is rather long, and despite checking it twice, I cannot rule out that I might have overlooked someone. In case I did, please accept my apologies and let me know so I can add you! And those of you who marvel at the Honorary Reader, well, re-reads are not allowed for the challenge, but Silver Thistle will still be reading along with some Diana Gabaldon! That's dedication! And it's much appreciated!!

Apropos re-reads. I realize (and I heard some participants voice this) that not everyone agrees on re-reads not being allowed. Well, my challenge, my rules! Ha. But seriously - the main point of this challenge is to dust off the chunksters on our shelves and finally read them! If you generally love to read heavy tomes you're obviously also very welcome to this challenge, but you'll need some new books on your bedside table for it. Look at the bright side - you will surely find some inspiration when others share what they plan to read!

Another little reminder - no omnibus editions, short story collections, or audio books, yet you may pick both fiction and non fiction! One or two of you asked about audio books, and well, it's a reading and not a listening challenge.

I've also been asked about books that have almost, but not quite, 700 pages. Let's put it like that - if you've got one book with 680 pages and another with 820 then you may read both for the challenge. These "shorter" books (which have to be very close to 700 pages as I'd like to point out) should be more the exception than the rule though!

Alright then ... having a whole year ahead of us, and depending on the level you picked, you'll need to make your choice on which tomes you want to read rather sooner than later. Especially if you're aiming for one of the higher levels.

As a little reminder - Chamomile Lovers have to read 2 books, Berry Tea Devotees 4 books, Earl Grey Aficionados 6 books, and finally, Sencha Connoisseurs 8 or more books. And remember, you may always upgrade to the next level!

I'm going for Earl Grey Aficionado and my books for this challenge are:
The Passage (Justin Cronin) 964 pages
Under the Dome (Stephen King) 878 pages
I haven't quite made up my mind about the rest yet, but candidates are the following books:
Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber and Voyager (Diana Gabaldon)
Eine Billion Dollar and Ausgebrannt (Andreas Eschbach)
Der Schwarm and Lautlos (Frank Sch├Ątzing)
All of these are either German translation or German Originals, so in case you've been wondering whether other languages are allowed in this challenge - the answer is yes!

With six books on my plate I will have to read at least one within two months. Should be doable. I'm usually not a person who'll read several books at once, so the idea of being "stuck" with one book for more than a week is a bit scary, but maybe I'm going to take a break, read something else in between, and then continue.

How about you? Have you already decided on which books to read? Do you have an action plan on how to tackle your books? Let me know!


  1. I have already stated my options: Murakami's 1q84 and Pamuk's The Museum of innocence. I don't know when and how I will start them, but that will happen soon, I guess :)

  2. I already have my list down in my post.:) I'm looking at reading one book a month. If I can manage that I would LOVE to add a couple more or so!...

  3. Hi, just discovered this blog (and challenge) - I'd love to join! My hobby is reading really, really long French novels so this works out quite well for me. I think I'll go for the Earl Grey level of the challenge.

    My blog (I've started it a couple weeks ago) is The Itinerant Bookworm: http://bookwormhermy.blogspot.com I'll put up a challenge post later today.

  4. Hun. First, thank you so much for your comment on my blog! I'm just getting it started but blogs like yours make me so excited! Second, I love love love this challenge!! I buy the big books because I love them so, they hold such great stories. But they are also daunting and get left on the shelve. So I'm happy you inspired this.
    Question for you though, the Narnia Chronicals, technically of course a bundle of more short stories, yay or nay? Let me know, because I have plenty of these big pills on my shelves so, no worries to switch one.
    Thank again for the inspiration! If you have a blog button just link it to me and I’ll put you up on my page!
    - Jo

  5. Oh, and I almost forgot! "Under the dome" is awesome, I read the beginning but somehow it got away from me, but I've heard nothing but good about it. And Outlander is only my favorite book ever, so! Great books!!

  6. The upcoming Dickens anniversary forced my hand with the initial choice of Our Mutual Friend, which I am loving. I have to read 120 pages per week to complete it by his Birthday on Feb 7th. Then I will probably turn my attention to "In Europe," because, having glanced at the opening pages, it really has my interest.

  7. Ashlerose
    chamomile lover!

    1. Thanks for joining! My next update will be posted next Sunday - hope you'll stop by!

  8. It's February 1st and I just finished my first book in the challenge. It sucked me in and somehow I finished it in about 5 days. Are we supposed to link our 'reviews' or check in anywhere once we've read a book?

    1. That's great! I also finished my first in January and I was amazed that I barely needed a week for it :-)!

      Linking of reviews is not required, in fact reviews aren't even mandatory! Though you may share what book(s) you read in my monthly update posts - next one will be posted this Sunday!

    2. Awesome - thanks for the info and I'll keep an eye out for this weekends post!

  9. Hi Birgit!
    I can't find my name in the list, but I joined your challenge a lot of time ago (chamomile lover), and my name is in the main page of "Tea & Books reading chellenge" :)
    I'm Valentina and my blog is www.peekabook.it
    You can find my post about your challenge here: www.peekabook.it/2012/01/tea-books-reading-challenge-2012.html

    I haven't decided what to read yet, but I'm thinking about these titles:
    "The Pickwick Papers" by Dickens
    "The Three Musketeers" by Dumas
    "Vanity Fair" by Thackeray
    ...and many other! ^_^
    I will read my choices in my mother tongue, italian.
    Bye! And thanks for hosting the challenge! :)


    1. You're all set, don't worry!
      I now only update the main page of the challenge and this one is from early January which explains why not everyone shows up in this post too.

      P.S.: Great classics you've picked!