In short, participants sign up on the website - here - and then attempt one of three levels of reading challenge over the next 12 months;
- Easy Challenge: read one novel from each of six continents (Africa, Asia, North/Central America, South America, Europe, Australasia) in 2010 - trying to find novels/countries/authors that are new to the reader;
- Medium Challenge: read two novels from each of the six continents, trying to read and review novels from 12 different countries if possible; and
- Expert Challenge: as above, plus two novels set in Antarctica - and try for novels from 14 different countries/states (assuming the two Antarctica-set novels aren't actually written by people based there, I guess).
To me this seems like a great way for keen crime fiction fans (as well as readers of other genres) to challenge themselves and expand their reading horizons over the course of the year. I would of course hope that any blog readers will find some space for some Kiwi crime fiction in amongst their 2010 reading - and I'm happy to give advice on appropriate books etc, if you'd care to ask.
I will of course be joining in the challenge, which is being administered by Dorte and fellow antipodean crime fiction blogger Kerrie of Mysteries in Paradise (who is also running the Crime Fiction Alphabet meme), and adding my reviews of global crime fiction to the Crime Watch blog over the coming weeks and months.
I've had a good start, reading German-set and Ancient Egypt-set crime novels already this year, and being part-way through a Thailand-set thriller now. I already have another African (Botswana)-written and set novel, and more Asian, Egyptian and non-UK European crime novels near the top of my TBR pile, so things are looking good already. South America and Antarctica will be the real challenges for me - in terms of sourcing good crime novels.
What do you think of the challenge? Is it something you are participating in already, or might be interested in participating in? What do you think about reading novels from a wide variety of countries? How important do you think it is to continually expose yourself to new authors etc, along with reading 'old favourites'? How many new authors did you try last year? Thoughts and comments welcome.