2013 Reading Challenge: “Out Of The Genre Box”

Sooooooo… last year I didn’t do so hot with my *own* reading challenge. I only made it through about 75% of the color themed books. I still plan to read the others, they’re on my TBR list… but my goal to read them each month didn’t work out too well. I’m hoping to dedicate myself better to this year’s challenge.

We did have ONE blog reader that completed the challenge!!! ANGIE!!! Click HERE to read her wrap up of the 2012 Rainbow Reading Challenge. I’ll be putting together her bracelet and sending it out in a few days. So… now it’s time for THIS YEAR’S reading challenge…


2013’s challenge is “Out Of The Genre Box”. The idea is to read one book each month that is NOT something you’d normally read. (Or, in *MY* case, not something *I’d* normally read, as a pretty dedicated paranormal romance reader.) Each month will be assigned to a different subject. Some months will be fiction, some months non-fiction. I’m really excited to expand my reading horizons a bit! (Keep in mind… you don’t have to buy books that are out of your genre box… you can check them out from your local library.)

Those of you who already venture away from the magic, creatures, and sizzling storylines of UF/PNR might find this challenge easier to complete than others. I’m hoping that this not only gives me a few fun options for casual reading, but that I can learn a few things while I’m at it.

  • January – Comedy (Any book that you’d find in a bookstore humor section. Could include something written by a comedian, a parody of some other book, funny lists or facts. Excludes standard joke books or picture books.)
  • February – NON Paranormal Romance (Can be historical or contemporary, but can NOT include any paranormal aspects. This should be pretty easy for a lot of you. A bit more of a challenge for me.)
  • March – Science (Any book that explores any aspect of science. And don’t look at me like that, lol… check out your local bookstore’s science section… there are some REALLY interesting looking books back there!! Weather, nature, biology, astronomy, etc…. trust me… it’ll be good for us.)
  • April – Poetry
  • May – History (Can be any non-fiction book that explores world or American history. Interestingly enough… if you really look… you can find historical counterparts or relationships to some of our favorite paranormal stories.)
  • June – Self Help/Personal Growth (Serious or funny, there are tons of interesting looking books available in a huge variety of areas. Health, relationships, self-confidence, inspiration, time management, etc… there really is something for everyone.)
  • July – Kids Book (That’s right… any kids book. If you haven’t been in the kids section of a bookstore lately, you’re going to be VERY surprised at the selection. I really can’t wait for this one, actually. I’d love for everyone to go back as far as middle grade, but young YA would work, as well. Keep in mind, both Harry Potter and The Hobbit are considered middle grade!)
  • August – Biography (Any biography or autobiography)
  • September – M/M, F/F, or Menage Romance (The growing popularity of M/M fiction has created an influx of awesome stories available. For some ideas and a little direction based on your mainstream story preferences, check out MANtastic Fiction.)
  • October – Fairy Tales / Mythology (Considering how many of the UF/PNR stories we read have basis in, or mention some form of fairy tale or mythology… this should be an easy one for us all to get into.)
  • November – Holiday (Any book, fiction or nonfiction, in which a holiday is the main subject, or plays a major roll.)
  • December – Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance (Ok… Ok… I had to put one in just as a breather. All this “out of the genre box” is exhausting, lol.)

So… is everyone ready to read out of their genre box?? Here are a couple of rules for the challenge… and the prize 🙂

  • You must post EACH MONTH on the main reading challenge page. It’s in the tabs above, or you can CLICK HERE to go there. Please include the title/author of the book you read, and a link to your review. Can be reviewed on your own blogsite, or simply on goodreads.
  • The book must be at least 150 pages. Exception is for poetry in April, since poetry books range so much in page count. Please be reasonable.
  • If you have a blog or website, please include the reading challenge button, linked to this page.

Those of you who finish the challenge… will get a GENRE BOX!!! Most of you who are reading this are UF/PNR fans like me… so as a reward for reading so many books OUT of the genre box, I’ll send you a box with some of the hottest UF/PNR titles from this year. I’ll divide up the titles available (which I’ll be collecting through the year, I’m hoping many of them will be signed or will come with bookplates) between all those who complete the challenge.

Here’s what I’m planning to read so far: (titles subject to change)

  • January – Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk – David Sedaris
  • February – No Flowers Required – Cari Quinn
  • March – Death By Black Hole (and Other Cosmic Quandries) – Neil deGrasse Tyson
  • April – A Night Without Armor – Jewel Kilcher
  • May – In Small Things Forgotten: An Archaeology of Early American Life – James Deetz
  • June – The Tao of Pooh (The Wisdom of Pooh) – Benjamin Hoff
  • July – Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King – William Joyce
  • August – J. R. R. Tolkien: The Making of a Legend – Colin Duriez
  • September – Happy World – Kiernan Kelly & Tory Temple
  • October – A Cavalcade of Dragons – Roger Lancelyn Green
  • November – Kiss and Tell – Suzanne Brockmann

So… there we have it. As a bookstore employee, I can PROMISE you that there are fun, interesting, entertaining reads in all these categories. Trust me… it’ll be good for you!! So… go forth… and bust open that box!! Happy reading!!


  1. Comment by Lisa Kessler:

    Oh I’m not a huge fan of reading out of my paranormal/UF genre! LOL

    BUT, I absolutely loved Goodnight Tweetheart!!! I think you will too… 🙂

    Good luck on the challenge!

    Lisa 🙂

  2. Comment by Jennifer:

    That’s part of the idea, though. I’ve SEEN some of the cool stuff out there that isn’t UF/PNR… but I always pass it up, because the paranormals are what draw me in. This will be a concerted effort to pick up some of those other cool things and give them a try. It might totally suck, lol, but I don’t think it will. 🙂 You should give it a shot!!

  3. Comment by Lisa Kessler:

    Hee! I’ll think about it… But comedy? Poetry? Oh I’m scared! LOL

    I’m sure you’ll find great stuff to read… I did read a science book that blew me away! You should read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks… SUPER amazing read. It’s like a novel only all true… 🙂


  4. Ping from Out of the Box Reading Challenge! « The Staab Blog:

    […] Books Make Me Happy Reviews (Host of the Olde City New Blood Paranormal Con–registration ends soon, will I see you at the ghost tour?) is doing an Out of The Box Reading Challenge for 2013 […]

  5. Comment by heathercm2001:

    I love this idea! Count me in! I’ve never done anything like this before, but I’m going to give it a try! 🙂

  6. Ping from Out of the Box Reading Challenge, part deux | Elisabeth Staab:

    […] Books Make Me Happy Reviews is doing an Out of The Box Reading Challenge for 2013!! I figured it was time I check in and see how I’ve been doing. I can tell I had great […]

  7. Comment by マタニティ 服 本:

    「落ち着いたら連絡して。直雇用で来てほしい」と声をかけてもらえました。 マタニティウエアおしゃれ だんだん、パンツスタイルの洋服のウェストがきつくなりはじめて、ワンピース、チュニックを着る機会が多くなりました。

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