Hmmm. Apparently there are contests or challenges on the Internet devoted to reading. Some are created by bloggers issuing throwdowns to other bloggers and readers.
For example, a site called Roof Beam Reader has a contest called the 2011 To Be Read Pile Challenge. The idea is to take 12 books that have been on your bookshelf or "to be read" list for more than a year and actually read those books in 2011.
Curious, I'm always noodling with such a list. Might as well take up the challenge. The extra motivation is welcome.
Here's my list of 12 with two alternates:
1. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
2. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
3. War and Peace by Mr. Tolstoy
4. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
5. The Darkness That Comes Before by R. Scott Bakker
6. Under the Dome by Stephen King
7. White Noise by Don Delillo
8. Yogi Berra Eternal Yankee by Allen Barra
9. The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies
10. Winter in the Blood by James Welch
11. Human Croquet by Kate Atkinson
12. Emotionally Weird by Kate Atkinson
Reservation Road by John Burnham Schwartz
Tales of Burning Love by Louise Erdrich
You can read all the rules at the Roof Beam Reader website, but the list must be comprised of books you have not read. It's an especially great challenge for me because I always try to read books that have been lingering on the list (entirely mental) or in the actual pile for years.
Should be fun. I'll keep you posted.