The What’s in a Name 5 Challenge

>> Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I stopped participating in nearly all blogger reading challenges a couple of years ago. There is one exception to my ‘no challenges’ rule. It’s the What’s in a Name Challenge. Originally hosted by Annie, it’s been hosted for the past couple of years by the wonderful Beth Fish Reads. It’s now the one and only blog reading challenge I join. The reason is that it’s just a ton of fun.


Here’s how it works.
Between January 1 and December 31, 2012, read one book in each of the following categories:
  1. A book with a topographical feature (land formation) in the title: Black Hills, Purgatory Ridge, Emily of Deep Valley
  2. A book with something you'd see in the sky in the title: Moon Called, Seeing Stars, Cloud Atlas
  3. A book with a creepy crawly in the title: Little Bee, Spider Bones, The Witches of Worm
  4. A book with a type of house in the title: The Glass Castle, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, Ape House
  5. A book with something you'd carry in your pocket, purse, or backpack in the title: Sarah's Key, The Scarlet Letter, Devlin Diary
  6. A book with a something you'd find on a calendar in the title: Day of the Jackal, Elegy for April, Freaky Friday, Year of Magical Thinking
The book titles are just suggestions, you can read whatever book you want to fit the category.

Other Things to Know
  • Books may be any form (audio, print, e-book).
  • Books may overlap other challenges.
  • Books may not overlap categories; you need a different book for each category.
  • Creativity for matching the categories is not only allowed but encouraged.
  • You do not have to make a list of books before hand.
  • You do not have to read through the categories in any particular order.


I’ve already been scanning my To Be Read list and have several options for most of the categories. I’m not committing to anything yet. In fact, I still have two books to read to complete this year’s What’s in a Name Challenge. Nevertheless, I’m already looking forward to next year.

Here are some of the books I'm considering for each category.

Topographical Feature
Pig Island by Mo Hayder
Holmes on the Range by Steve Hockensmith
Island of the Lost by Joan Druett
Those Across the River by Christopher Buehlman edited because a river is a water feature not a land formation . . . duh!

Something in the Sky
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khalid Hosseini
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

Creepy Crawly (this will likely be my toughest category, I might have to break my never read a series book out of order rule)
The Serpent's Tale by Ariana Franklin
The Golden Spiders by Rex Stout

Type of House
The Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak
Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie

Something in a Pocket
Hannah's List by Debbie Macomber

Something on a Calendar
Murder on a Bad Hair Day by Anne George
A Cold Day in Paradise by Steve Hamilton

One of the great things about this challenge is the flexibility. The categories are interesting, yet they are designed to allow some flexibility and creativity in choosing book titles that fit.

If you’re interested in joining the fun, head on over to Beth Fish Reads and sign up.

5 comments:

Beth F 11/15/2011 8:45 AM  

Ha!! I love Hannah's List for the Pocket category. Good one. I think the hardest will be Creepy Crawly for most people.

Jen - Devourer of Books 11/15/2011 9:14 AM  

Oh, I have THE WINTER PALACE on my TBR too, I didn't even think to add it to my list.

raidergirl3 11/15/2011 2:32 PM  

It is one of the most fun for finding titles to fit the categories, especially when it feels really imaginative.

thanks for the ideas!

Kailana 11/17/2011 10:45 AM  

I am thinking I might join in this year. I always want to, but I try to avoid challenges because I am terrible at them!

SuziQoregon 12/03/2011 10:07 AM  

Beth F: Thanks so much for hosting this one again. It's the one challenge I do and I love the categories you came up with for 2012!!

Jen: That was definitely my first choice for that category. I want to read it before I read the Massie biography of Catherine.

RaiderGirl: I agree - this one is so much fun to look for books that qualify.

Kailana: Oh you should definitely join - it's a fun one.

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