The Eclectic Reader Challenge 2012

I came across The Eclectic Reader 2012 Challenge whilst reading Blogs-Of-A-Bookaholic and thought it sounded like a great idea.

The aim is to push you a little outside your comfort zone by reading up to 12 books during the year from 12 different genres.

I like to set goals. I find this the best way to achieve anything. I know that I don’t read enough and what I do read is limited in the genre field so I decided to go for this in 2012.


  1. Literary Fiction
  2. Crime/Mystery Fiction
  3. Romantic Fiction
  4. Historical Fiction
  5. Young Adult
  6. Fantasy
  7. Science Fiction
  8. Non Fiction
  9. Horror
  10. Thriller /Suspense
  11. Classic
  12. Your favourite genre
I thought this would be a great way for YOU to influence my reading.
I welcome any suggestions for books you think I should consider for the twelve genres, please include a link if available. I can’t promise to read your suggestion, but I will give it serious thought.

I’ll create a new page with the books that I’m going to read as we go.

Happy reading.

About Pete Denton

I'm a writer working my way through the redrafts of a British crime novel. I also write short stories, flash fiction and some screen writing. Check out my blog for more.
This entry was posted in Reading, Recommended Books, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

59 Responses to The Eclectic Reader Challenge 2012

  1. Pingback: New Year Challenges: 2012 Here We Come! | Inspired Vision

  2. Donna Brown says:

    I’ve got my novel to finish writing, and I am also working on 366 articles that I am writing during the next year on various subjects, on top of that, I’ve got a part time job and am going to school full time. I got three books on writing to read this coming year and one of them is The Daily Reader by Fred White. It contains 366 selections of prose and poetry to inspire a productive and meaningful writing life. It contains prose from a all the genres that you suggest, so even though I’m not going to do the twelve books, I believe I will be able to meet the genre quota.

  3. Shen Hart says:

    This sounds like a great plan!
    As for suggestions on books, perhaps Michael Chrichton’s Timeline? Not entirely sure which genre it would fall under. Historical sci-fi…?
    Philip Pullman’s dark materials trilogy (ok it’s 3 not 1..) is also great for the YA genre.

  4. shelleyrae @ Book'd Out says:

    Glad you joining me for the Eclectic Reader Challenge Peter!
    I look forward to seeing what you choose to read!

    Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out

  5. Rob Adams says:

    Great idea! I just signed up myself.

  6. Hi Pete,

    We are now following each other on twitter.

    I am not an author just writing a story about a true event. Would love your comments on it, the story is not complete and is being updated and editing. Please follow as well.

    You have a great blog and great content.

    My blog is

    Thanks and heres to a great 2012.

    Dave Perlmutter

  7. belleofmountains says:

    I love this idea! I’m definitely going to try it…I usually get stuck in a rut reading the same fantasy novels over and over again. 🙂

  8. craig hallam says:

    Ooooh…suggestions ahoy!

    Crime/thriller – Jar City by (somebody) Indridason.
    Fantasy/gothic – Titus Groan and Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake.
    Science Fiction – A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess.
    Fantasy (again) – Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susannah Clarke
    Horror – Anything by M.R. James or H.P. Lovecraft
    Romance – Wuthering Heights (also great gothic novel)

    Hope that helps! 🙂

  9. I just started reading “The Sword” and I am loving it. Great pacing, and it gripped me from the first page.

  10. Pingback: Time to set the 2012 goals « Pete Denton – Writer

  11. I love horror and psychological fiction. I love your idea to get info from others–I may do the same 🙂
    May I recommend Let the Right One In, a dark take on vampirism.

    I hope you like it. 🙂

  12. May I suggest for your Non Fiction Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang. I read it many years ago whilst in hospital, it was fantastic, sad and very interesting.

  13. Libby O says:

    Hey Pete, how do you feel about genre-bending? A great book which would straddle both Crime and Literary Fiction categories is ‘The Broken Shore’ by Aussie writer Peter Temple.

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks for the comment.

      genre-bending (I had to be careful typing that) is strictly forbidden 🙂

      I’ll check out the book though, even if it only ticks one of the categories.

  14. This is a dangerous post for an author to read – you know we all want to mention our own books!

    nonfiction: The End of Boys by Peter Brown Hoffmeister (I know him!)
    scifi – Hyperion by Dan Simmons (my dtr and my dh geeked out over this)
    YA – The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
    Classic – The House of Mirth
    romantic – Fifty Shades of Grey (fans self)
    literary: The Local News by Miriam Gershow (I know her!)
    historical: oh come on, I have to put my book here: River in the Sea
    thriller: A Small Fortune by Audrey Braun

    As for the others, I just don’t have the knowledge to suggest. This is fun – I might have to do this myself!

  15. belleofmountains says:

    Ursula K. Le Guin’s fantasy and scifi novels are stellar.

  16. Crime/Mystery Fiction, Pete, is HUGE!
    It might be easier to tackle if you broke it down into sub-categories.
    Cozies, Police Procedurals, Noir, etc.
    And then, if you’re an armchair traveler, you might like the “international” mysteries.
    I’d be most pleased if you and your readers checked out our blog:

    There are seven of us, and we all write them.
    But, in the blog, we leave the books aside and concentrate on items of cultural, human or historical interest in the countries in which we set our stories.

    And there’s a new post every day of the week.

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks for your visit.

      For the challenge I only need one for each of the listed genres. I do read a lot of different crime novels. I’ll check out your blog and take a closer look.

  17. In the non fiction genre I would reccomend Leadership and Self Deception. Don’t let the title fool you, it is a book about communication. It will make you a better communciation in your personal and professional life.

  18. Couple of my suggestions:
    Classic: The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
    Sci-Fi: Probability Angels by Joseph Devon (he’s on twitter too)

    I blog as well at – just getting started 🙂

  19. LindseyJoy says:

    Thanks for the “like” & this is a great idea! 🙂 I would recommend:

    Classic: Bleak House
    Fantasy: any of the Game of Thrones books
    YA: A Wrinkle in Time
    Fiction: The Poisonwood Bible

    Happy reading 🙂

  20. SarahAlice says:

    I’d suggest Crime and Punishment for the crime genre; it’s a classic basis of a murder novel, as well as being a beautiful example of Russian literature. It’s not quite as easy going as Philip Pullman, but worth the extra effort!


  21. My next science fiction book will either be After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall by Nancy Kress due out in March or an oldie, A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller. In fantasy, I am waiting for Deborah Harkness, Shadow of Night due out in mid summer. If you haven’t read the first one. Discovery of Witches, start with it.

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Bruce.

      I will add those books to my list for checking out. I haven’t really read any sci-fi for nearly 30 years. I’m looking forward to it.

  22. Jane Gorman says:

    I notice you don’t list Nursery Crime as a genre … I’d still recommend Jasper Fforde anyway! I almost always read either mysteries or sci fi, but a little literary humor makes for a great interlude.

  23. Pingback: January 2012 – Update « Pete Denton – Writer

  24. Ray says:

    Pete-thanks for liking my blog. This sounds great, and I’ll keep it in mind, but I’m soooo far behind my reading of the few genres I read, I don’t know when I’ll be able/willing to branch out.

  25. Pingback: Recommended Book – Hell’s Corner by David Baldacci « Pete Denton – Writer

  26. What a great idea! I just found your blog, so don’t know what you typically read. But I’d recommend anything by Dean Koontz (especially the Odd Thomas series). Also, Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series. If you want to try something futuristic that still kicks butt, I’d go for J.D. Robb’s In Death Series.

    I already read a lot of different genres, so I’ve challenged myself to read one classic a month. Didn’t realize there were so many I hadn’t read until I started making a list. 🙂

  27. Pingback: The 7 x 7 Award « Pete Denton – Writer

  28. Beth says:

    Have you read, “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien. Literary Fiction.

  29. Here’s what I’d pick based on your genres:
    Literary Fiction–To Kill a Mockingbird or The Secret Life of Bees
    Crime/Mystery Fiction–Laurie R. King Sherlock Holmes series
    Romantic Fiction–Spring of the Tiger – Victoria Holt
    Historical Fiction–Gone with the Wind
    Young Adult–The Rose Round
    Fantasy–Mists of Avalon
    Science Fiction–2001: A Space Odyssey
    Non Fiction–Anything by Marianne Williamson
    Horror–Anything by Stephen King
    Thriller /Suspense–The Interpretation of Murder or Rebecca
    Classic–Wuthering Heights

    This was fun–let me know if you need any of the authors! Would love to see your list!

  30. Pingback: The Eclectic Reader Challenge 2012 | Supernatural Suspense

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