Wild Wild West Reading Challenge 2018

As I was looking at my TBR pile I noticed I have quite a few unread westerns. I started looking around for a reading challenge that focused on the American West, but I came up empty. I checked three lists of 2017 challenges from Feed Your Fiction, Girlxoxo, and Xxertz, and aside from a few choose-your-own-genre challenges, I didn’t see any that were specifically aimed at reading westerns. So, I thought, why not create my own challenge for next year? Thus, the Wild Wild West 2018 Reading Challenge was born.

My aim in hosting this challenge is to encourage readers to explore a genre that has a lot to offer but that is often overlooked. While I’m certainly no expert in westerns, I have read a few over the years and several of them have become favorites of mine: ShaneLonesome Dove, The Ox-Bow Incident, and The Searchers to name but a few. So whether you love westerns or are simply looking to broaden your reading tastes, I invite you to lasso a few books and give the Wild Wild West Challenge a try.

Wild Wild West Challenge 2018Challenge Levels:

  • Lasso and Chaps: Read 2 westerns
  • Bandana and Vest: Read 4 westerns
  • Saddle and Horse: Read 6 westerns
  • Boots and Spurs: Read 8 westerns
  • Six-guns and Stetson: Read 10 or more westerns

The Fine Print

  • The challenge runs from January 1 to December 31, 2018. Choose your challenge level from the list above and commit to reading that number of westerns. You can always move up a level if you get a hankerin’ fer more.
  • For the purposes of this challenge, a western is defined as “a book set in the American Old West frontier and typically set from the late eighteenth to the late nineteenth century.” That definition can be stretched a bit to include books like Eowyn Ivey’s To the Bright Edge of the World about the Alaskan frontier, or even books like Sackett’s Land, the first of Louis L’Amour’s western series about the Sackett family, even though it begins in 17th century England. If you’re unfamiliar with the western genre, a good place to begin looking for books is the list of Spur Award winners. And here’s a list of the best western novels of the 20th century, according to the Western Writers of America.
  • Nonfiction books are fine, too, as long they make up no more than half of the western books you read for your level.
  • You can sign up anytime from now until November 1, 2018.
  • Re-reads are good, as are ebooks and audiobooks. Books you read for this challenge can also cross over to other challenges and vice-versa.
  • You can list your books in advance or you can list them as you read them. If you list them in advance feel free to edit the list at any time but try to reach your committed level of books.
  • You don’t have to have a blog to participate, but if you do then please use the linkup button below to share your sign-up post. If you don’t have a blog then please leave a comment below stating your committed level.

I’ll be posting monthly check-ins to allow you to share your progress and any book reviews you write. Writing reviews is not necessary, but I for one would love to know what you think of the books you’ve read.

So saddle up, pardner! Let’s get this wagon train movin’ and explore the Wild Wild West!

Deacon Nick

Nick Senger is a husband, a father of four, and a Catholic school teacher, vice principal and technology coordinator. He taught junior high literature and writing for over 25 years, and has been a Catholic school educator since 1990. In 2001 he was named a Distinguished Teacher of the Year by the National Catholic Education Association.

7 Responses

  1. One of my favorite genres that I haven’t read enough of!

  2. Western Writers of America Spur Awards include the latest novel in the Joe Pickett series by C.J. Box, a contemporary western. I’m reading the Joe Pickett series. It’s not in the late 18th to late 19th century time span. Is it acceptable to read Joe Pickett novels for this challenge?

  3. Jamie says:

    Would western-themed romances count, too? I just read one of those.

  1. December 6, 2017

    […] Wild Wild West Reading Challenge @ One Catholic Life […]

  2. December 13, 2017

    […] Wild West Reading Challenge. Explore books in the western genre. These are “books set in the American Old West frontier and typically set from the late eighteenth to the late nineteenth century.” ✔ […]

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