Two More Challenges Added: Africa Reading Challenge and The 2012 Chunkster Challenge

I have already blogged on the challenges I would be participating in this year. Most of my challenges have been self developed and I hardly join in other challenges except the Ghanaian Literature Week and the Nigerian Independence Book Reading Challenge hosted by Kinna and Amy respectively. This year, I am taking a step away from my comfort zone and participating, formally, in external reading challenges whilst making sure that all books I read also meet other reading challenges such as the Top 100 Books Reading Challenge. 

When I blogged about my challenges for this year, I mentioned the Africa Reading Challenge to be hosted by Kinna. After days of deliberation, Kinna has finally put up the rules for this challenge. The rules are simple. The reader is supposed to have fun and get to explore Africa. He/She at the end would have actually visited several African countries through books. The rules are:

REGION: The entire African continent, including its island-states, which are often overlooked. (Visit Kinna's blog for more).

READING GOAL: 5 books. There are no levels and participants are encouraged to read more than 5 books. Eligible books include those which are written by African writers, or take place in Africa, or are concerned with Africans and with the historical and contemporary African issues. Note that at least 3 books must be written by African writers.

  1. Fiction - novels, short stories, poetry, drama, children's books. Note: You can choose to read a number of individual and uncollected short stories. In this case, 12 such stories would constitute 1 book. Individual poems do not count.
  2. Non-Fiction - memoirs, autobiographies, history and current events.
  1. Cover at least two regions, pick from North Africa, Southern Africa, East Africa, West Africa and Central Africa
  2. Include translated fiction from Arabic, Francophone and Lusophone literature
  3. You can mix classic and contemporary fiction
  4. If you intend to read mostly non-fiction, then please include at least one book (out of the five) of fiction.
MY BOOKS: I have selected books that I think meet the above criteria. Though I do not as yet have a book from East Africa on my shelf, I would be visiting bookshops to meet this target. Though currently, I am only listing five books, ImageNations itself is an African Literature blog and therefore throughout the year I would be bringing you more African books. 
  1. As the Crow Flies by Veronique Tadjo (Translation (French); West Africa (Cote d'Ivoire))
  2. Palace Walk by Naguib Mahfouz (Translation (Arabic); North Africa (Egypt))
  3. Writing Free edited by Irene Staunton (Southern Africa (Zimbabwe); Anthology)
  4. Burger's Daughter by Nadine Gordimer (Southern Africa (South Africa))
  5. Madmen and Specialists by Wole Soyinka (West Africa (Nigeria); Drama)
Read more about this reading challenge here. There is a link to sign up.

This reading challenge has several levels. I am opting for the Chubby Chunkster which is for "readers who want to dabble in large tomes, but really doesn't want to commit to much more than that. Four Chunksters is all you need to finish this challenge."

Note that a chunkster is a book of 450 pages or more. Again, I'm using this challenge to reduce the large books on my Top 100 Books Reading Challenge, though I might deviate based on the mood. Selected books I would be choosing from include:
  1. Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner (483 pages)
  2. White Teeth by Zadie Smith (542 pages)
  3. Famished Road by Ben Okri (500 pages)
  4. Palace Walk by Naguib Mahfouz (498 pages)
  5. Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie (463 pages)
  6. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood (523 pages)
  7. Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey (581 pages)
  8. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (489 pages)
  9. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen (562 pages)
The first six books are on my Top 100 Reading Challenge. Read more about this reading challenge here.
Update (March 23, 2012): Those read are linked to the review


  1. Looks like you've a busy year of reading, I've cut back my challenges this year to I think about 5 including a sci fi & an eclectic one to take me out of my comfortable reading space.

    1. I want to make this year a hectic year of reading. My involvement in challenges not started by me have been minimal. This year I'm involved in five challenges and that's the maximum.

  2. Challenges are sometimes difficult to embark on and so for me, this is, I will be staying on the fringes but would definitely be cheering you guys up. Hey! I see those super chunksters: Rushdie, Okri, Jonathan etc. All best, brother.

    1. I hope I'm able to make it. Most of the books on the challenges are almost all on my Top 100 Books Reading Challenge, which is a challenge I'm committed to.

  3. Great ideia about an African literature reading challenge. I'll start with Portuguese-speaking literature: Mia Couto, Pepetela, Ondjaki and José Eduardo Agualusa for starters.

    1. That's great Miguel. I've read two of Mia Couto, one of both Pepetela and Agualusa. Ondjaki is new to me. Welcome aboard and let's have fun.

    2. Ondjaki is the youngest of the four, but I think he's quite good. He writes very well of growing up in independent Angola. Try "Good Morning Comrades." It's a lovely book.

    3. Thanks Miguel. I hope to find copies in stores in Ghana. Such books are difficult to come by.

  4. Wow, fantastic book lists for both challenges! Can't wait to read your thoughts on them.

  5. Oh the africa literature reading challenge is one I will participate.

  6. I thought that I had left a comment here earlier. I bet Blogger ate the comment! Anyway, you've selected very good books and I'm sure will met and exceed the 5 for the Africa Reading Challenge. As for Chunkster, I'm signed up to and I will begin mine with Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham.

    1. Blogger? lol. Didn't know Maugham's book is a chunkster. The one I've is medium.

  7. I've seen you'll be reading Soyinka soon. There'll be a whole literature festival dedicated to him here in the north of Italy, so I hope to read something he has written before or just after that. Also I hope there will be many other West African authors involved. I can't wait.

    1. That's great. I wish something of similar nature could be done on the continent itself. Definitely, this is a platform for other writers to showcase their works. Hope you enjoy reading him.


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