Magical March Challenge (Sign Up)

First, Happy March! It’s gloomy and chilly and I know the weather is even worse elsewhere, but the crocus have been in bloom for over a week, so I’m happy to meet the first month of Spring! (Cue news of impending blizzard…)

I’ve acknowledged running behind all year, yet here I am, declaring that I am joining yet another month-long challenge. Simple reason: I had already planned to dedicate March to some fantasy reading that’s on my list for this year. Maybe this will be the month I catch up! (And if not, I’ve also allocated April for fantasy reading—see how I work the system?)

Adam from Roof Beam Reader is holding this challenge, and his rules are as follows:

  1. You must register with the Mister Linky below prior to March 5th in order to be eligible to participate.
  2. You must read only “new” books – meaning, no re-reads are allowed.  Books for other challenges can be cross-used for this one, but you must read the book and review it in the month of March (previously completed books for other challenges do not qualify).
  3. You must link up each book review to a separate Mister Linky, which will be available on March 5th (once registrations close).
  4. Challengers must post on their blog an “Announcement” post, indicating they are participating in this challenge and which level they hope to attain. One completer from each “Class” will be randomly selected to win the corresponding prize for that level.
    1. You do not need to meet your level in order to win a prize.  If you aim for “Grand Merlin Class” but only achieve “Magician’s Class,” you will still be entered into the Magician’s Prize Pool!
    2. You do not need to list your books in advance, but I plan on doing so (to keep me motivated and to help me stay organized).
  5. Any Fantasy, Science Fiction, or Magical Realism books will qualify.  This means you can read Young Adult, Dystopian, Steampunk, or Alternative Histories.

I’ll be aiming for Magician’s Class (1-2 books) read, mostly because a) I’m not sure I’ll get through more than my main book  and b) if I do, any others might be rereads (disqualified under #2).

The book I’m most hoping to complete in March is a 2012 TBR Pile selection, The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien. After that I will most likely move on to rereads of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, but if time allows I might try to read Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell by Susanna Clarke first. But first I need to finish my “currently readings”—they’re due at the library Tuesday so I’m down to the wire now!

14 thoughts on “Magical March Challenge (Sign Up)”

  1. Glad you’re joining us!!

    I will definitely be readnig Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell sometime this year – but I can’t read it for this challenge because, well, the book is too freaking long! I know I wuoldn’t be able to finish it (or, if I did, it wouldn’t leave me time for anything else this month). I’m excited to finally get to it this year, though – it’s been on my “pile” for a long time.

    Good luck! Don’t forget to stop by on Saturday for the first Weekly Wand mini-challenge!

    1. Thanks! I don’t know that I’ll be able to read Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell in a month either, so it’s a “if I have time” sort of book, but I WILL read it this year, finally.

      I’ll try to remember to stop by on Saturday!

  2. I intend to eventually read The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, but I’m really dreading it. I strongly dislike fantasy literature, though my reading of A Wrinkle in time (which I loved) last year makes me think I (might) eventually come to like it. (*shudder*)

    Ha – anyway, enjoy. 😀

    1. Well, if it makes you feel any better, I always find the things I’m most dreading are never as bad as I expect! (Errr…other than maybe dental appointments…)

      I think there’s a general perception of what fantasy literature is, some of it justified. For example, there are a lot of books that essentially are knock-offs of Lord of the Rings—and usually not that well written. But on the other hand, A Wrinkle in Time is its own thing entirely: strong female protagonist, no elves or dwarves, set in the (then) present day. Or in other words, you might find you like some fantasy novels but not others.

      Tolkien’s books probably are along the line of what most people think of with fantasy: made up world, elves, dwarves, humans, battles. I’ve always felt more as if they seemed like history rather than fantasy, which is perhaps why I like them so much! I hope when you eventually get to these books they turn out to be more enjoyable for you than you expect.

      1. Thanks, Amanda. That helps a lot. Maybe I’ll make these a year-long project in 2013, and invite folks to join me…

        1. That might be a good project—I’ll bet you’ll find a lot of people to join in!

          After I posted my last comment, it occurred to me to mention that Tolkien’s interest was, in part, fashioning a mythology for England. All England really has are the Arthurian legends which are actually primarily French in origin. (If I recall correctly.) So in that sense, you could approach the novels as if they are a mythology—especially Lord of the Rings. The Hobbit has a bit more of a feel of children’s literature in its style. (Also known as, don’t judge one by the other!) I don’t know if that would help you or not, but it does provide a different framework for approaching the books. (Also, interestingly, the only fantasy my dad likes. Period. He doesn’t even like mythology.)

          1. Such a great perspective — fashioning a mythology for England. I LIKE that. Also, the bit about your dad: definitely helpful!

            I LOVE children’s classics, so it’ll be interesting to see if I prefer The Hobbit when it’s all over with.

            Definitely considering the project idea…

            Thanks! 😀

  3. This sounds like fun! I can’t join right now, otherwise I’d be reading Lord of the Rings along with you (maybe my uncle would be less horrified by my lack of culture if I finally tackle his favorite book ;)) Have a great time with this!

    1. I hope it will be! I’m a big fan of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings (I’ve read them at least four times already), so I heartily recommend them.

  4. Good luck with the challenge. I read Lord of the Rings a couple of years ago when I was in high school, and I don’t think I fully appreciated the series back then. I intend to reread The Hobbit some time this March, and I’m really looking forward to your thoughts. 🙂

    1. Thanks! I’ve read and loved The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings several times, so I’m really looking forward to getting back to them as soon as I (finally) read The Silmarillion for the first time. Can’t wait to read what you think about The Hobbit the second time around!

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