Reading England 2015

Anglophiles won't be able to resist this challenge: o's Reading England 2015.  The explanation is extensive, so be sure to check out her post, but here are the basics from o:

The Goal: To travel England by reading, and read at least one book per however many counties of England you decide to read.

Example: You aim to read three books set in three different counties, and you read Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy, Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, and The Darling Buds of May by H. E. Bates. Reading these means you have read a book from Dorset (Far From the Madding Crowd), London (Mrs Dalloway), and Kent (The Darling Buds of May).
I think I will not get too ambitious, and join the Level Two group of 4-6 books.  That seems like plenty. :)

This requires that when I read a book set in England, I figure out what county it is set in.  Oh dear.  And, as o says, counting English counties isn't as simple as you'd think.  Not to mention the fictional counties; Hardy's fictional Wessex would count as the closest real-life place, and what about Barsetshire?  It's a bit tricky, but I think this will be quite fun.

I don't yet know what books I will read, except that I will certainly want to read The Last Chronicle of Barsetshire.  I will probably use this to knock off a bunch of the English titles on my CC list that I've been putting off in favor of Russians and Africans.  (If I read the Venerable Bede, that will take care of Northumberland, right?)

 Note that this project only covers England.  You could probably have other challenges dedicated to Scotland, Wales, and all sorts of other pieces of the UK/Ireland, and I would be happy to join those too!  One year at a time, though.


  1. Looking at some of the books on my shelves I am tempted to start one on India! Heheh...

    As regards Hardy's Wessex... in trying to figure out which place The Return of the Native setting is, well, set, I understood, for the first time, that the various parts of Wessex refer to about seven or eight places!! It was quite interesting...

    -- Saari

  2. I discovered that too! I'd never realized.

    PLEASE do an India challenge. I would love that!!

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  4. A short-term challenge, perhaps. I shall keep it in mind for some time during the middle of 2015...if I'm having a decent to good year of reading by then. :D

  5. A short-term challenge, perhaps. I shall keep it in mind for some time during the middle of 2015...if I'm having a decent to good year of reading by then. :D

  6. I've kept my reading list short too so I have room to explore. I'm really looking forward to learning more about the counties. This will be a fun challenge!

  7. So glad you're joining!

    Someone should definitely do a Welsh, Irish, and Scottish version - hopefully they're all more sensible with their counties as well! I was saying to Cleo keeping track of English counties is ridiculous :)

    I've updated my post with more suggestions, if you want to take a look.

    Oh, and Barsetshire is most likely Wiltshire :)

  8. Fun! I'll have to see if I can rustle up some books that'll fit with this. And I hope mangoesandcherryblossoms invents an India challenge -- I'd love that too!

  9. I'm looking forward to this challenge!

    Joy's Book Blog


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