Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Edgar Awards Reading Challenge

There are some great reading challenges out there in 2011. I have of course once again signed up for one of the very best out there - the excellent Global Reading Challenge, created by crime fiction writer, reviewer, and blogger Dorte Jakobsen of DJ's Krimiblog. But there are other great reading challenges too, that may be worth joining.

The cool thing about reading challenges is they encourage people to widen their reading beyond their favourite 'go-to' authors and locales - they inspire them to think of new authors, settings, etc - and quite often we might find we really enjoy some of these new reads, and wonder why we didn't come across them or give them a go before. That's the beauty of a good reading challenge.

I came across another one today, that I decided to sign up for. Some of you may want to join me. It's called the Edgar Awards Reading Challenge, and involves reading some of the Edgar Award winners from days gone by. It has been created by iubookgirl at the Reader for Life blog.

Some terrific authors and great books have won Edgar Awards over the years, so it's not a bad way to introduce yourself to some high quality crime writing. Skimming over the winners from the past couple of decades, I realised I had actually read a few - James Lee Burke's CIMARRON ROSE, John Hart's THE LAST CHILD and DOWN RIVER, and CJ Box's BLUE HEAVEN. All were excellent, which inspires me to read more of the other Edgar Award winners.

Here are some challenge parameters, from the Reader for Life website:

What books are eligible for the Edgar Awards Reading Challenge?
Any Edgar Award winning books counts. Check out the possibilities here. Click on the banner at the top to access the database.

Do I have to choose what books to read before I sign up?
No, you can choose as you go.

What are the levels of participation?
Patrolman = 1-3 books
Sergeant = 4-6 books
Detective = 7-9 books
Lieutenant = 10+ books

If you achieve your goal, you'll be eligible to win a prize at the end of the challenge.

What are the dates of the challenge?January 1, 2001 through December 31, 2011

When can I sign up to participate?Feel free to enter anytime during the course of the year

You can sign up for the challenge here. I've signed up, and decided to aim for the Sergeant level. Normally I'd be keen to go for the highest level possible, but being that I've already read a few Edgar Award winners, and have so many new and recent books to read that I don't get a lot of time to go back and read many from days gone by (I'd like to do this more), I thought I would be a bit more realistic with this one. Can always upgrade as the year goes on, I guess.

So, what do you think of this challenge? Keen to join me? Have you enjoyed any Edgar Award winning crime novels over the years? Comments welcome.


  1. Craig - This is an interesting challenge. One of the things that this kind of challenges do is introduce one to writers one wouldn't have tried before.

  2. There are far too many great reading challenges out there - just like there are too many great books.