I'm spilling the beans earlier than I'd normally planned because preparation takes time. You may have read about the upcoming reading challenge I have been planning for JRT either from hints here or at Book Love Affair (thank you, TJ!). It's not just a rumor--I really do plan on hosting an epic challenge that spans the months of May through August (when JRT will have its one year anniversary!). In light of the season and inspired by the amount of new book series I found myself in possession of, JRT's first reading challenge will be called: Summer of Series!
Here is a logo to give you a visual:
MAY CHALLENGE: The Long Price Quartet by Daniel Abraham
- A Shadow in Summer
- A Betrayal in Winter
- An Autumn War
- The Price of Spring
JUNE CHALLENGE: The Earthsea Cycle by Ursula K. Le Guin
- Wizard of Earthsea
- The Tombs of Atua
- The Farthest Shore
JULY CHALLENGE: Vatta's War by Elizabeth Moon
- Trading in Danger
- Marque and Reprisal
- Engaging the Enemy
- Command Decision
- Victory Conditions
AUGUST CHALLENGE: Inda Quartet by Sherwood Smith
- King's Shield
- Treason's Shore
Now, I know what you're thinking--some of these series are 4 or even, yes, 5 books long. And yes, two of these books are currently only available in hardcover (The Price of Spring and Treason's Shore). The rest are available in mass market or trade format (here in particular, I am thinking of the Le Guin trilogy). I do, however, have a reason behind choosing the order each series will be read.
Since I'm not exactly sure the Inda series will only span four books, I've left it for last. This is so that the challenge can leave you aching for more fantasy! You'll leave on a good note (hopefully), having read 3 fantastic series and perhaps a fourth (although, if unfinished, you'll be all caught up). Coincidentally, Treason's Shore should be out in mass market by the end of August.
Vatta's War is scheduled for July because it seems to be the safest place to place a 5-book series. Summer school aside, July always seems the longest summer month to me. Everyone goes back to classes in August (or September) and so, placing it there would make it more stressful than fun to read.
And lastly, I may have preempted it a little, but there is a giveaway (FREE stuff, yay!) involved for The Long Price Quartet to kick off the challenge. As a promotion, that series then had to go first. Also: the first book has a title that matches the challenge well, yes?
Now: I have 4 series, 4 months, and 36 books total. That averages out to a book per week! Sounds like a lot, doesn't it? Don't worry, I don't want you to be overwhelmed. Here are the basic rules for the challenge:
1. You can choose to participate in as many months as you want. One, two, or the entire Summer--it's up to you!
2. In the spirit of reading Fantasy and SF series, I want everyone who's willing to take up the challenge to try their best for at least one of the months.
3. Pick whichever series looks most interesting to you, pick them all, it doesn't matter. In the end it boils down to your willingness to tuck in for the long haul.
4. There will be a sign-up sheet closer to May for participants to put their names to be featured on JRT.
5. Take your time reading each series in the month(s) you've chosen, but remember: there will be a Review & Discussion post for each book throughout its corresponding month.
For example: In May I will be reading The Long Price Quartet. Each week I will post a Review & Discussion entry chronologically for each book in that series. The first full week of May will have a Review & Discussion for A Shadow in Summer; the second week will have a Review & Discussion for A Betrayal In Winter, etc... This will be adjusted slightly for The Earthsea Cycle (with only 3 books) and Vatta's War (with 5 books).
If you noted the colors assigned to each month, there's a reason for that, too! I'm making some handy-dandy graphics to correspond with each series/month. This makes it easier for folks participating in one or two challenges to place the corresponding button proudly on their blog (if they have one) for whichever month(s) they're participating.
Remember: this is a Reading Challenge. Part of the fun comes from challenging yourself to read like there's no tomorrow. This is going to be tough for me, too. I'm not used to plowing through four books in series without a break in the middle. If I want to keep up this rigorous schedule, I'm going to have to do my best!
Spread the word if you can. I'll be posting reminders periodically until May to make sure you don't forget.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments section. I'm more than happy to answer or clarify any concerns you may have regarding the challenge. Since this is my first challenge, there will probably be lots of bumps along the way. Bear with me: I want this to be as much fun and stress-free on myself as it should be for you. :)
EDIT: Sign-up sheet located here.