Wednesday 21 December 2016

Deal-Me-In Challenge 2017

Woo hoo!  Jay at Bibliophilopolis has launched the 7th annual Deal Me In Challenge for 2017 and I'm can hardly contain myself!  It is one of my favourite challenges of the year. Why, you say, when I barely seem to be able to complete 25% of it? Well, it "encourages" me to read works that I otherwise would never get to, so even if I complete 10 off the list, I'm happy.

Holding the Cards (1876)
Mary Cassatt
source Wikiart

Of course, I change the challenge up to include short stories and essays, poetry and children's classics to give me a smorgasbord of choices.

Last year, I compiled a new list with only a few of the works I didn't complete in the previous year, but this year I'll be boring and simply keep my old unfinished list, adding new titles in the open spaces.

Clubs – Short Stories
A –  Cabbages and Kings - O’Henry
2 –  Excellent People - Anton Chekhov
3 –  The Queen of Spades – Alexander Pushkin
4 –  Le Horla – Guy de Maupassant
5 –  The Tell-Tale Heart - Edgar Allan Poe
6 –  The Life You Save Might Be Your Own- Flannery O'Connor
7 –  The Honest Thief – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
8 –  A Little Woman - Franz Kafka
9 –  A Haunted House - Virginia Woolf
10 – The Birds - Anton Chekhov
J –  The Yellow Wallpaper - Charlotte Gilman
Q -  Love - Leo Tolstoy 
K -  Signs and Symbols - Vladimir Nabakov

Spades – Essays
A – Milton - Charles Williams
2 – Doodles in the Dictionary - Aldous Huxley
3 – A Midsummer Night’s Dream - G.K. Chesterton
4 – On A Faithful Friend – Virginia Woolf
5 – A Note on Jane Austen - C.S. Lewis
6 –  In Defence of Literacy - Wendell Berry
7 –  The Tyranny of Bad Journalism - G.K. Chesterton
8 – Politics and the English Language - George Orwell
9 –  An Apology for Idlers - Robert Louis Stevenson
10 – Sense - C.S. Lewis
J – Sex, Economy, Freedom & Community - Wendell Berry
Q – What I Demand of Life - Frank Swinnerton
K – Vulgarity - G.K. Chesterton

Diamonds – Poetry
A – A Sea Dirge - Lewis Carroll
2 –  Gesang Der Geister Über Den Wassern - Johann Wolfgang
               von Goethe
3 – Nothing But Death - Pablo Neruda (from Poetry Soup)
4 – Sonnett XXIII - Garcilaso de la Vega
5 – Love Sonnet XIII - Pablo Neruda
6 – Resolution and Independence – William Wordsworth
7 – Ode III – Fray Luis de León
8 – Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night - Dylan Thomas
9 – To A Mouse – Robert Burns
10 – Tears, Idle Tears - Alfred LordTennyson
J –  Easter Wings – George Hebert
Q – On His Blindness - John Milton
K – Phoenix and the Turtle - William Shakespeare

Hearts – Children’s Classic
A – A Triumph for Flavius – Caroline Dale Snedeker
2 – Three Greek Children - Alfred Church
3 –  The Story of the Treasure Seekers – E. Nesbit
4 – Detectives in Togas – Henry Winterfeld
5 – Finn Family Moomintroll - Tove Jansson
6 – The Tanglewood’s Secret – Patricia St. John
7 – The Wolves of Willoughy Chase - Joan Aiken
8 – Red Sails to Capri – Ann Weil
9 – Sprig of Broom - Barbara Willard
10 – Teddy’s Button - Amy LeFeuvre
J –  Call It Courage – Armstrong Sperry
Q – Just David - Eleanor H. Porter
K – Beyond the Desert Gate – Mary Ray 

A Young Man and a Girl Playing Cards
source Wikiart

Can I make a confession?  The problem I have is that when I draw a card during the year, sometimes I can't find the book that contains the short story, poem, or essay. Does anyone else have this problem, or it is just me?  Perhaps a more practical resolution is needed for the new year: to be more organized.

In any case, I'm excited to start this challenge and thanks to Jay for hosting again.  This year I'll try to do better ..... really I will!


  1. Without realizing have inspired me to keep on reading and reviewing. Your massive number of challenges and determination is amazing. I have had a few days to think and have decided to take a few weeks of needed rest....and start reviewing again in 2107. We all need a break every now and then. I'm reading the histories with you and Ruth. This challenge 'Deal Me In' sounds like fun. My only problem is I don't have a pack of cards! Have a great holiday season and see you in 2017!

    1. There are many random card generators on line that you could use - here's one:

    2. Wow, I'm soooo happy, Nancy! We all get burned out sometimes, but a little rest can work wonders. I like this challenge because the reading is easier and generally the reviewing too. Have a Merry Christmas and all the best for the new year!

    3. I think I just need some sunshine...
      Waiting for the sun to rise in the morning before I do! Have a very Merry Christmas too!
      PS: Jay, thanks for the link for a card generator!

    4. Sunshine is EXACTLY what we need! We've had snow and now we have rain. Yuck! Looking forward to spring .... sad, isn't it when winter has just begun ....

  2. I would love to make a card gambling joke here, but since I don't know enough about said subject, I can't.

    It is quite interesting watching you get all revved up with all these challenges. More power to you...

    1. Aw, I rather enjoy your jokes! ;-)

      In any case, in my usual haphazard fashion, I load myself up knowing that this way I'll read more than if I did a detailed and organized plan. I don't expect to finish everything and it takes the pressure off. My approach probably wouldn't work for most but it seems to with me. One year, I should challenge myself with an organized plan. That would be a challenge indeed! ;-)

  3. Glad to see you are dealing yourself in again! Enjoy the challenge!

    1. Thanks for hosting this great challenge again, Jay! I'm looking forward to getting started!

  4. Awesome list! I think it need not be mentioned YET AGAIN, that i will join you for a couple of reads! :D

    1. Now why doesn't that surprise me? I'll wait and see which ones ....

  5. Ohhhhh so exciting! I am positively beaming to see so many great titles on your list! Signs and Symbols by Nabokov is a personal favorite but I like that you have included poetry as well. Wordsworth, Tennyson, Dylan Thomas, Herbert ahhhhhhh! Too much good stuff here.

    Does this mean you might actually be interested in my little poetry challenge?? *nudge *nudge

    1. I love your excitement and it's catching! I really need to read poetry in 2017. Even if the theme is inspiring or depressing, somehow it's always calming.

      Of course, I'd be interested in your poetry challenge. We must support each other right, and since you have such an aptitude for poetry, it wouldn't be the blind leading the blind. I am in the middle of drafting an answer to your e-mail, BTW, but life is getting in the way. Drat that life! In any case, Merry Merry Christmas!

  6. Oh, I am so terrible at this challenge, but seeing your post makes me want to try again. Re: finding the source text - that was the biggest problem for me as well. If I pick this up again, I'll try to gather all the texts *before* January so I don't have any excuse. :)

    1. I was terrible at it too, so you're not alone. Ah, I'm glad to hear you had the same problem as I had; I even tried to take out the texts some were valuable books I wanted to leave in the book shelves and some just seemed to disappear. Sigh! I'm thinking of picking the choices for the month all at the beginning, so then I'll have time to find them.

  7. P.S. (re not being able to find the story when its turn comes up) I do that every year with this challenge too. I've thought about restricting it to only anthologies I have on my kindle or nook readers (so I'll always have access via my ipad or readers) but I can't bring myself to restrict it. I finalized my 2017 list today. Coming up with the list is half the fun for me. :-)

    1. If I'm honest, I do have fun searching for the works, and it's only really frustrating the odd time when I have two or three books from a writer and can't find the one I chose the essay from.

      I agree; making the list is one part of the challenge that's the most fun!

  8. Every year I see this challenge listed and every year I consider it. Maybe if I can get a list together before the end of the year I'll try it--like you I wouldn't expect to complete the list, but it would be a way to get through stories I might not otherwise get around to. (And I do keep telling myself I need to read more short stores.) Cleo--you're a bad influence! ;) I do like the idea of including poetry as well as stories, too--another area I'm lacking in.

    Looking over your list--I loved Finn Family Moomintroll. And yay for Spanish Baroque poetry! Good luck!

    1. Oh yes, do join! It's so much fun! And I would absolutely LOVE to see your list because you have such interesting choices in reading.

      Finn Family Moomintroll is delightful, isn't it? It's no. 1 or 2 for my favourite children's classic. The Spanish Baroque is thanks to you and I'm really enjoying it! :-)

    2. Well, I did just pull a couple books off the shelf to look through--so maybe... I'm happy to hear you're enjoying the Spanish poems; I'm sure if I do make a list there will be some on it.

  9. Wow! What an original challenge. It looks like a tough one though. No wonder you only get about a quarter of the way through. I think that is the purpose of challenges though, to encourage us, not to push us into a corner where we no longer have the choice to read freely.

    1. That's an excellent point. I always feel free in my challenges to change it up if I need to but luckily with this one I've loved everything I've read. Oh, actually, except one but I'll keep it a secret until I post. I've been trying to get a head start on this challenge and have some draft posts ready to go. See, I'm becoming more clever in trying to be successful with this one! ;-)

  10. What a great list, Cleo! I have Signs and Symbols on mine this year as well. And the Flannery O'Connor story you have in a good one (as they all are). Looking forward to your posts this year!

    1. That's so funny that we have one story in common. I haven't seen a list yet that has a common title. And I haven't read any of O'Connor's works yet but I've been meaning to; I've heard that she's a wonderful writer. I've already read my first essay, a Chesterton. It's fun to get started.

  11. Re: finding the book that contains the story. On my roster entry I made a note of which anthology the story is in.
    example: It's me! by Ekaterina Togonidze (in Best European fiction 2015)
    Then I stacked all the anthologies together so I can find the right one when I pull the card.

    For the online ones (including the ones on Project Gutenberg)I made a link

    1. Thanks for the tips, MG. I do try to stack the book together but people sometimes move them and then it gets confusing. Making a list though is a great idea!