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Sunday, 6 November 2011

Introducing my Mixing It Up Challenge 2012!


Feel like branching out a little for 2012?  Then this challenge might just be for you!

Welcome to my first challenge!  The premise is really very simple.  It's all about mixing up your reading, pushing your boundaries and exploring new genres.  Take a look at the categories below, and choose one book for each category.  It's that easy!  You can choose to try anything from a gentle 4 to the full 16 different genres, and the book you pick for each is entirely up to you! 

Before we look at the boring stuff like Rules and How to Join In, check out...

~ THE CATEGORIES ~

1. CLASSICS
This can be any classic work, from Alcott to Zola.  Always fancied trying Great Expectations, or finally feel like tackling Jane Eyre?  Now's your chance!  From the fun to the frightening, the gentle satire to the all-out swashbuckling epic, there are hundreds of years' worth of books to choose from.

2. BIOGRAPHY
This can be modern or historical, biography or autobiography.  From the latest celebrity autobiography to an academic biography of Henry VIII - it all counts!  Perhaps you fancy a book on your favourite classic movie star, athlete or musician? 

3. COOKERY, FOOD AND WINE
Ideas for this one range from a delectable cookery book to a food memoir (like Nigel Slater's Toast or Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential), a book on wine to the history of marmalade.

4. HISTORY
More scope to indulge a whole range of interests here, including local history, military history or world history.  It might be a biography of Anne Boleyn, a book on World War II aircraft, a study of the American civil war, or something with a much smaller focus, like Bill Bryson's At Home or Mark Kurlansky's Salt: A World History.  Whatever floats your boat!

5. MODERN FICTION
This covers literary and popular fiction, so you can't really go wrong with this one.  From Sophie Kinsella to Haruki Murakami, Wilbur Smith to Isabel Allende, Jenny Colgan to Kate Mosse, you should be able to find something to fit your tastes! 

6. GRAPHIC NOVELS AND MANGA
This will be an entirely new genre for me, but I'm looking forward to hitting the library to see what all the fuss is about!  First on my 'to check out' list will be Neil Gaiman's Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes and Alan Moore's V for Vendetta.

7.  CRIME AND MYSTERY
This category will cover everything from the genteel Agatha Christie and the scrummy Hannah Swensen Mysteries by Joanne Fluke, through Henning Mankell and Stieg Larsson, to the gruesome forensics of Martina Cole and Val McDermid.  You could even delve into some gritty true crime if that's more your style. 

8. HORROR
One for Hallowe'en, perhaps!  Maybe a modern writer like Stephen King or James Herbert, or you could turn to the classics with Edgar Allen Poe or the ghostly writings of M.R. James?  Some YA novels would also fit into this category - Darren Shan, or Lindsey Barraclough's Long Lankin - but no paranormal romance!

9. ROMANCE
I'd say the cheesier the better for this one, but it's up to you!  Mills and Boon, paranormal romance, chick lit fluff, whatever.  Personally I'll be browsing our Mills and Boon shelf at the shop and pulling out the trashiest title I can find!  :)

10. SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY
Again, plenty of scope here.  From the hilarious characters of Terry Pratchett's Discworld to Tolkien's epic Lord of the Rings, Charlaine Harris's Southern Vampire Mysteries to Frank Herbert's Dune, you can go modern or classic, and pick from any number of sub-genres.

11. TRAVEL
The world is your oyster, as it were!  Maybe you're going somewhere interesting on holiday and want to read up on it first?  Rough Guides, Lonely Planet guides, that kind of thing.  You could pick a Bill Bryson (always popular) or choose a book on a particular city, country or continent, like Francesco da Mosto's Venice or one of Michael Palin's books.  Then there are all the delectable memoirs by people who've moved abroad and opened a taverna/olive farm/vineyard!

12. POETRY AND DRAMA
This could be a novelty collection of limericks, a collection by a particular poet, or if that sounds a bit daunting, a single, longer narrative poem.  How about 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner', 'Hiawatha' or 'The Waste Land'?  My particular favourite is probably Christina Rossetti's 'Goblin Market', which is more like a simple fairytale that just happens to rhyme.  Or you could choose a play - how about Ibsen, Miller, Shakespeare or the brilliantly witty Wilde?

13. JOURNALISM AND HUMOUR
This one might take a little more thinking about, but it should be a bit of fun!  Journalism collections can range from Nick Hornby's Shakespeare Wrote for Money to Marian Keyes's Under the Duvet, Jeremy Clarkson's The World According to Clarkson to Bill Bryson's Notes from a Big Country.  Anything that's been published in a newspaper or magazine first!  Humour could be a book of cartoons, a novelty joke book or The Wicked Wit of Oscar Wilde 

14. SCIENCE AND NATURAL HISTORY
Again, this one throws the doors wide open for you to follow your interests.  Always fancied learning more about space?  Are you curious about the life of Charles Darwin?  Or got a lifelong love for a particular animal?  There are some wonderful 'popular science' books around too, including things like The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, David Attenborough's natural history books, and the entire works of the brilliantly funny Mary Roach.

15. CHILDREN'S AND YOUNG ADULT
This leaves the way open for pretty much anything, whether it's reading The Hungry Caterpillar or The Magical Faraway Tree to your kids, revisiting the joys of The Secret Garden or Treasure Island, or devouring something from the modern tide of YA.  Lots of dystopian fiction, coming-of-age novels and supernatural shenanigans to choose from!

16. SOCIAL SCIENCES AND PHILOSOPHY
Another wide area!  Books on society and women (Female Chauvinist Pigs, Living Dolls), books on society and children (Toxic Childhood, Nurtureshock), books on how television and the internet are affecting our lives, Jostein Gaarder's Sophie's World, books on Freud or Marx...

Hopefully that's started a few ideas bouncing around and whetted your appetite for 2012!

~ LEVELS OF PARTICIPATION ~

MEASURING JUG: Playing it safe with 1-4 categories
CUPCAKE MIX: Livening things up with 5-8 categories
MIXING BOWL: Branching out with 9-12 categories
TWO-TIER CAKE: Getting ambitious with 13-15 categories
ALL THE TRIMMINGS AND A CHERRY ON TOP: Going for gold with the full 16!

~ HOW TO PARTICIPATE ~
  1. Read one book from each of the challenge categories, using the guidelines above.  Don't use the same book for more than one category!
  2. The challenge will run until December 31st 2012, so you can sign up any time during the year.
  3. Create a blog post for the challenge, to keep track of what you've read.  Add review links for each completed book so we can see how you're getting on.  My post, for example, looks like THIS.
  4. The URL you leave in the Mr Linky MUST be a direct link to your challenge post, not to your blog homepage - I don't have time to comb through several months' worth of posts searching for it as the year wears on!
  5. Leave a comment on this post with your blog name (so I can match you to your Linky entry) and your chosen level of participation.
  6. Bookmark this post so you can come back later!  I'll be adding links to update posts over the year, plus you'll have the category guidelines handy if you need them!
  7. At the end of the year, everyone who has read along and hit their chosen target will be entered into a bookish giveaway.  Prizes to be determined!
** Update Posts!**

Update post #1:  February 2012
Update post #2:  October 2012


111 comments:

  1. SNAP! I'm doing a challenge this year too!

    I'll definitely sign up for this - I have a book from every category on my TBR already apart from Poetry so this is a great idea!

    I'll put my post up this afternoon and join the linky then - I'm still in bed right now and way too groggy to think about things like post writing :)

    Oh, I'll go for the full 16. May as well!

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  2. Hi Hanna! I'll make sure I come and check yours out then... I'm going for the full 16 too, I'll have to look a little harder for one or two of them, maybe hit the library, but it'll be fun!

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  3. Gosh, I can't believe it's time to sign up for challenges already!!!

    I'll join and I'm going full in, for the full 16.

    Shan
    http://goodbooksandacupoftea.blogspot.com

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  4. Yay for another challenge-ee(?!)! I'm already catching myself eyeing up my bookshelves thinking, 'Ooooh, that'd be great for X category!' Can't wait to get started, there's nothing like the start of a new year of reading and a new challenge to really up my motivation! I'm off to make my own challenge post now so I can add myself to the Linky. :)

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  5. Welcome Debbie and Karen! Good luck...

    Karen - Let me know when your challenge post goes up, and I'll change your Linky entry to a direct link for you. Any idea how many categories you're going to go for? :)

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  6. Hi,

    Thank you. I will probably post tomorrow. I think I am going for 12 categories. I am on the fence for a 13th but will make my mind up by the time I post tomorrow. Apologies for linking straight away.

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  7. No worries - it's dead easy to change the link from my end so just drop me a line when you're ready and I'll do the rest. :)

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  8. Thanks for that. Glad it's not causing you too much trouble. I have finally put my post up and the link is here: http://bookworldinmyhead.blogspot.com/2011/11/mixing-it-up-challenge-2012.html

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  9. All changed! Thanks Karen. :)

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  10. I love this challenge! It'll be a great way to read those books on my TBR list that I've been putting off (BECAUSE they're out of my usual reading genres). Thanks for this. :)

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  11. I'm so excited for this challenge!!!

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  12. Count me in, this sounds like a lot of fun!

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  13. Just a question about the History section - could that include historical novels like The Pillars of the Earth or The Historian?

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  14. Ummm... Well, I'm not sure 'The Historian' counts - isn't it ABOUT a historian rather than being a historical novel?

    On balance I'd accept 'Pillars of the Earth' though, because the amount of history and architecture in there is incredible! How about this: if it's well-researched literary historical fiction where you're really going to learn something, you're good to go. I'd count Michelle Moran's Ancient Egyptian novels ('Nefertiti', 'The Heretic Queen' etc), for example. If it's a bodice-ripper that takes a rather more relaxed approach to the 'fact vs fiction' line, leave it in fiction or romance.

    Does that help?

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  15. Great idea for a challenge. I'm in! Going for all the trimmings with a cherry on top. I'd probably read something of most genres anyway, but I'm not very good with non-fiction, especially sciences, but there have been plenty of books that I've put onto my "maybe" list.

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  16. Hi Katie! That's my problem too - I have books from all but one of the genres, but somehow I always seem to skip over the more 'difficult' ones in favour of something else. It's a very bad habit! Hence the challenge... The 'maybe' lists are my favourite part. :)

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  17. http://inmybooknook.blogspot.com/2011/11/my-book-choies-for-miu-2012.html?showComment=1321191973343#c2753485436258537614

    Let's use this one as the link...sorry about that!

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  18. Cheers m'dears - all fixed!

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  19. What a great challenge! I'm glad to have another incentive to branch out.

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  20. Awesome idea! I love the variety of genres. It will really allow me to step outside my reading comfort zone. I'm in for all 16 :)

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  21. Welcome both! I guess I'd better get making a list now, keep you all together so I can keep up in 2012... Good luck to everyone that's joined up so far, I can't wait to get started!

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  22. Looking forward to this challenge. I'm aiming for all 16 categories! going to be a busy 2012 :) Rach @ Books In The Sun

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  23. So, so excited for this! :) I'm aiming for the full 16.

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  24. Yay, more newbies! I can feel a spreadsheet coming on, keep everything together and orderly so I can keep up with you all! Any excuse... ;)

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  25. Thanks for stopping by, Ellie. Sorry for signing up prematurely. I'll write up my challenge post and re-link.

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  26. Thanks for hosting the challenge, Ellie. I'm signing up for 9 categories. Here's my challenge post:

    http://nerfreader.blogspot.com/2011/11/mix-it-up-challenge-post.html

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  27. Great challenge! I'm signing up for the Mixing Bowl category; I know how terrible I am at following reading lists. ;)

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  28. Dessa - Is your blog working okay? All I'm seeing is the challenge logo, and my comments say they're posted but all I can see is the date and my thumbnail photo!

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  29. I'm shooting for the full 16!

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  30. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  31. Thanks Savannah - I've had to create a spreadsheet to keep track of everybody, so I've added your target to my list! I'm getting impatient to get started now, even though I haven't finished my challenge reading for 2011 yet!

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  32. What a fun challenge! I'm still contemplating if I want to sign up for challenges next year & how many, but yours is a strong contender :)

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  33. Hi, I just found this challenge and sounds like fun. I will be signing up to this but won't do my start up post for a little while yet.

    Thanks

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  34. This is a totally fun challenge, thanks for hosting this! I look forward to it!

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  35. Welcome newbies!

    Iris - I feel rather honoured that you're even CONSIDERING it! :)

    Adam - No probs! You can sign up anytime into the New Year anyway, so just drop back and add yourself to the Linky when you're ready...

    Anja - Me too! I just want to get started now, it's so frustrating having another whole month to wait!

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  36. Planning on the Mixing Bowl Level. Hopefully 12 :)

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  37. Welcome both! Good luck, and happy reading! :)

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  38. Not sure what I'm reading yet, but this one sounds like a lot of fun. http://www.danahuff.net/?p=3519

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  39. I cannot resist. I'm definitely in!

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  40. Hi. This sounds like fun but are cross-overs with other challenges allowed?

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  41. Very excited to expand my reading world!!

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  42. I'm really glad I stumbled across this challenge - there are some really interesting categories here. Count me in! I'm a new follower :-)

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  43. Ooh fun! I thought I was full up of challenges but I need this one too.

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  44. This looks fun. Think I'll go for the full 16.

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  45. Wow, this has taken off again recently! Welcome newbies - I'm slowly working my way down the Linky saying hi to everyone and plugging you all into my Master Spreadsheet (*mwahahaha*) but in the meantime - hello and good luck!

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  46. Yay. A challenge which features non-fiction books.

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  47. Jumping onto this challenge. : ) Sounds awesome. Unfortunately, I'm too much of a scaredy-cat to try too far outside my comfort zone but I managed to get together a Cupcake Mix size list. :) Pretty excited to get it going.

    Thanks for hosting!

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  48. Oh, this sounds fun! Count me in.

    Thanks for hosting!

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  49. What a fun looking challenge! I'm in! :)

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  50. So excited about taking on this challenge, and hoping to get some of my friends in on the action. Thanks for posting such a great idea!

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  51. Well I just signed up! You can read my post here: http://wp.me/p18e69-b9.
    I could really do with any or everybody's help, as I am a bit stumped for books in a few categories, so I would love your suggestions :)

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  52. Melanie Griffin - Could you drop me a line here or by email (address on my Review Policy page) to let me know what level you're aiming for, and how you're going to be updating your challenge page? If you're creating a challenge post I can change the Linky for you, or you can update under the challenge image on your current link. As long as I know where to find you through the year!

    Welcome again everyone else - and we're in 2012 already! Everyone raring to go? I know I am! :)

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  53. neer - Ooops, I didn't see your comment tucked away up there, sorry! Yes, overlaps with any of your other challenges are fine and dandy. I'm doing all sorts this year and they're all going to be criss-crossing over each other!

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  54. Kristin - Are you going to be posting anywhere in particular, and what level are you trying for? I've currently only got the general link to your website... Drop me a line and let me know so I can find you throughout the year!

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  55. Hi, and happy new year! I'm joining in with ten categories.

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  56. I finally got my intro post up over at Brilliant Disguise Books. I'm going for "All the Trimmings" but I'm going to need some help with suggestions for some of the categories, for sure! Thanks for creating such a fun challenge, Ellie!

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  57. All right, my intro post should be up by now. I'm going for "All the Trimmings"

    This should be a really good challenge for me! Thank you!

    Just in case you need it: http://thesnarkingofthehunt.wordpress.com/2012/01/02/mixing-it-up/

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  58. I'm dipping my toes in with the Cupcake Mix level :) Looking forward to it! Patti Smith @ Peppermint PhD

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  59. I'm in, all the way in - All the Trimmings and a Cherry on Top! This looks like a great chance to clear out my TBR pile.

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  60. I'll try 4-8 categories. I know I can accomplish that. I might decide to upgrade to more categories after that. I will look forward to stretching my reading wings.

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  61. Hello! I'm excited for this reading challenge. Not certain which category I will choose but I will figure that out soon! Thank you!

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  62. Hi,

    I have read and reviewed the book for my first category. I've linked it to my original sign up post. Is that the right way of doing it?

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  63. YAHOO! I'm excited about another reading challenge!
    I'll probably give myself the goal of Mixing Bowl, but might expand as the year progresses!

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  64. Yay, more newbies! Welcome and good luck! I'll be round you all in the next few days to say hi and get all your links set up on my spreadsheet... I think it's the only way I'll be able to keep track of you all by December! :)

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  65. I am signing up for this too. Commenting after completing my first book of the year.
    Hopeful to complete the challenge by the end of the year.
    For the beginning i chose Thriller. Next will be a biography.

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  66. commenting again because forgot to click for the followup emails.:D

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  67. I'm in...and very excited!

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  68. Just posted the first review for this challenge :) You can read it here: http://wp.me/p18e69-cg

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  69. This is a great challenge. I'm having a great time just selecting books in each category. Thanks for hosting.

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  70. I finished two categories:

    1. Children's and YA: review linked here: http://angiesangelsrkids-furkids.blogspot.com/2012/01/book-review-zahrah-windseeker.html

    2. Crime and Mystery: review linked here: http://angiesangelsrkids-furkids.blogspot.com/2012/01/book-review-i-is-for-innocent.html

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  71. I'm so excited about this challenge. I'm trying for the mixing bowl level. Wish me luck!

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  72. I thought I signed up already but it's not showing. Ah well. I'm going for the gold and all 16 categories!

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  73. Completed my second book in the list.

    Biography : Princess by Jean Sasson

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  74. Welcome new Mixers - and congratulations to those of you who have already toppled a category or two!

    I'll be linking to update posts throughout the year so you don't always have to come back to this initial post to link up if you don't want to - you can link up on the update posts or just on your own challenge post if you prefer. As long as the review links are somewhere you're good! :)

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  75. I cannot resist this, especially as I'm already reading a bio and a classic at the moment. I'm going for all 16 :).

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  76. I'm playing it safe because of the review requirement and added this challenge to the post with similar ones "A Little Bit of Everything"

    I've already read several but one only has a review posted.

    one down...three to go!

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  77. Completed my Third book.
    Genre: Fiction
    Book: Can Love Happen Twice? by Ravinder Singh

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  78. Have finished and linked two books to my challenge post. One under classics and the other biography.

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  79. Wow, everyone's doing so well already! I'm having a total reading slump myself and I've only finished one - but it's great to see so many people attacking this challenge before January's out!

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  80. I've finished two thus far and linked reviews up to my challenge post here

    Category 10: SciFi and Fantasy
    Divergent by Veronica Roth Review here

    Category 15: Children's and Young Adult
    Nightshade (The Poison Diaries, #2) by Maryrose Wood Review here

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  81. I have completed 4 categories so far:

    Horror: The Black Witch by Micheal Rivers (Curse of the Black Witch, Book 1) http://darlenesbooknook.blogspot.com/2012/01/book-review-black-witch-by-michael.html

    Children's and Young Adult: Crossed by Ally Condie (Matched, Book 2) http://darlenesbooknook.blogspot.com/2012/01/audiobook-review-crossed-by-ally-condie.html

    Science Fiction and Fantasy: Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan (Sky Chasers, Book 1) http://darlenesbooknook.blogspot.com/2012/01/book-review-glow-by-amy-kathleen-ryan.html

    Classics: The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare http://darlenesbooknook.blogspot.com/2012/02/book-review-witch-of-blackbird-pond-by.html

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  82. Hi Ellie,

    I am trying my hand at "Mixing Bowl" (9-12) categories :)
    Hope I am able to complete it.

    This is my first post of Book Review - http://wp.me/pj0L2-i1 (The Thirty Nine Steps by John Buchan)

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  83. Just posted a review for the third book completed for the challenge!
    http://wp.me/p18e69-dO
    :)

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  84. Posted a review for my first completed book at newpillowbook.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/mixing-it-up-un-lun-dun/. One down, several others well under way. (What? Doesn't everybody read several books at once?)

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  85. Hi Ellie,

    I have created one new page to keep track of my "Mixing It Up Challenge 2012" book reviews and the link is as below...

    http://prasadkulkarni.wordpress.com/readathon-2012/

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  86. 5th Category done:

    Romance: http://darlenesbooknook.blogspot.com/2012/02/audiobook-review-water-bound-by.html

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  87. 4th category completed.
    Romance: PS I Love You by Cecelia Ahern
    http://wowwhatabook.blogspot.in/2012/02/ps-i-love-you-by-cecelia-ahern.html

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  88. I finished my Science and Natural History selection! Endless Forms Most Beautiful, or how to build all sorts of creatures with a handful (cellful?) of interchangeable parts.

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  89. I just finished my fourth category, Science and Natural History; The Brain that Changes Itself.
    Loving this challenge!

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  90. Wow, you're all doing great so far! I'll be visiting everyone again at the end of the month (ish) and creating the first update post for you to drop by, check in with each other and discuss how you're doing, so make sure you check back then!

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  91. 6th Category done - Biography:

    http://darlenesbooknook.blogspot.com/2012/02/book-review-claudette-colvin-twice.html

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  92. 7th category done:

    Crime & Mystery
    http://darlenesbooknook.blogspot.com/2011/12/mixing-it-up-challenge-2012.html

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  93. Five categories done--Reviews can be found at my original post: http://myreadersblock.blogspot.com/2011/12/mixing-it-up-challenge.html

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  94. One more category (Biography) done: links to review at the original post--http://myreadersblock.blogspot.com/2011/12/mixing-it-up-challenge.html

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  95. 8th Category done! (History)

    http://darlenesbooknook.blogspot.com/2012/03/book-review-incans-aztecs-mayans-by.html

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  96. 9th Category done (Science & Natural History)

    http://darlenesbooknook.blogspot.com/2012/03/book-review-listening-to-crickets-story.html

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  97. Next category done: Biography. (Steve Jobs) Check it here if you'd like: http://wp.me/p18e69-jF

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  98. Just found the challenge today. Neat idea. :)

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  99. category 6: Modern Fiction completed.

    http://wowwhatabook.blogspot.com/2012/04/immortals-of-meluha-by-amish-tripathi.html?spref=fb

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  100. Well, I've now visited everyone for the quarter-way point, ticking off categories on my challenge uber-list as I went, so if I didn't leave a comment for some reason NEVER FEAR, I WAS THERE! Hello, happy reading, and I'll be back around again before you know it! :)

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  101. Wow I have joined this late! I am going to go for the Measuring Jug level and have written my introduction post - hope i am not too late!

    The link is http://blogabooketc.wordpress.com/2012/05/07/a-new-bookish-challenge/

    Great challenge! x

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  102. 10th category done - MODERN FICTION: Surprisingly, this was the hardest category for me!!

    http://darlenesbooknook.blogspot.ca/2012/07/audiobook-review-prayer-for-owen-meany.html

    CHALLENGE COMPLETED!! THANKS SO MUCH FOR HOSTING!

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  103. Here's is my Challenge Wrap-up Post:

    http://darlenesbooknook.blogspot.ca/2012/07/mixing-it-up-challenge-2012-wrap-up.html

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  104. I'm in :)

    For now I'm signing up for the Mixing bowl category, though I may upgrade later if that's possible?

    My post

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  105. I'm very late to start the challenge. I'm going for 11/16. :)

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  106. Woot, I finished! All 16! That cooking category nearly defeated me. http://howlingfrog.blogspot.com/2011/12/mixing-it-up-challenge.html

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  107. All done--all 16 categories! Here's my Wrap-Up Post.

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