Back to the Classics Challenge 2021

The end of the so-called terrible year is almost here and it’s time to start making plans for the next one. I skipped the Back to the Classics Challenge 2020 but I feel it’s something I want to pick up again for the next year. So, this is my sign-up post for the Back to the Classics Challenge 2021 hosted by Karen K. on her Books and Chocolate blog. It’s a year-long challenge in which I will try to read at least six classics that are already sitting on my shelf or will be in the near future (the ultimate goal is 12 but that usually doesn’t happen). I like to put together a preliminary list of reading material for this challenge to make it more fun.

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European Book Challenge: Round I

It’s been an interesting and challenging year so far. I know that many have struggled with their reading in times of COVID-19 but I’ve had the opposite experience. I’ve managed to read more even when many of my workdays have been filled with scientific reading. As a result, I’m way ahead with all my reading challenges (not that there’s many of those this year). So I’m happy to report 6 months early that I’m done with my first round of the European Book Challenge. I’ve read books from all 5 countries (Spain, Portugal, Greece, Estonia, and Lithuania) and I’m looking forward to continuing my literary journey.


My literary map of Europe on 20.06.2020 (source of the base map)


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European Book Challenge

For the last two years, I participated in the ‘Back to the Classics Challenge’ that gave me an extra incentive to catch up with some good old classics and discover new favorites. This year I wanted to do something different. I have been wondering what is my geographical reading footprint for a while now. So, I decided to analyze my ‘read books’ list on Goodreads and see what comes out. As I mostly read in English or Latvian (my native language), it was unsurprising that I’ve generally focused on English, American or Australian authors as well as Latvian and Russian literature. My Goodreads record starts in 2012 and it’s only really accurate from 2016 but it still draws a pretty good picture of my current geographical preferences. According to the UN, there are 44 countries in Europe but I have read books only from 12 countries. So, I figured it’s time to make some changes. For the next 5 years, I’ll try to cover as many European countries as I can and post an update at the end of each year. I hope to add at least 5 new countries to my European reading map every year (even the difficult ones) and I’m really looking forward to my literary journey!

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My European Film Challenge: Winter 2017/2018

Another season, another 10 great European movies – that’s all it took for me to win a chance to go to Berlinale – Berlin International Film Festival. I know that the festival will be amazing (and I promise to write a short overview of my highlights afterward), but winner or not – the best thing about this challenge is the additional motivation to watch good movies from different European countries. I think everyone should do it, and I hope the challenge will include new participating countries with each season! In this post, I just want to briefly reflect on my 10 winning movies, so read on if you’re interested.


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Back to the Classics Challenge 2018

Since I started this blog, I have been following other book-loving bloggers that actually write posts about books. With some envy, I have noticed that many of them participate in different challenges, readathons, and whatnot. It looked like fun! So this year, I’ll try out my own strength at reading challenges. I have chosen ‘Back to the Classics Challenge 2018’ organized by Continue reading “Back to the Classics Challenge 2018”

Short story: Super Bright

At the beginning of April, I participated in the SCI-FI-LONDON 48hr Flash Fiction Challenge. It’s basically a competition where you need to write a short story of 2000 words in about 48 hours. It has to be a sci-fi themed story, and the organizers provide you with a title and a dialogue line that you must integrate into the story. You also get a science fact (or something the organizers call a ‘science fact’) that you can also use for the story if you like. Well, I don’t really know what devil led me to sign up for this challenge as sci-fi genre is a bit outside my comfort zone (I did prepare a bit by reading and watching some stuff) and I am a total novice at writing fiction of any kind. But I’m glad that I did because it was thoroughly interesting experience: from the moment I read my story title till the last minutes before submission when I couldn’t care less about my commas and wording. You can find the winners (or the well written stories) on the SFL Awards 2017 page, but read on to check-out mine! Continue reading “Short story: Super Bright”