The Perpetual South Asian Challenge

The South Asian Challenge is something I’ve been running since 2010 in an effort to promote the reading of South Asian authors and books about South Asia. (For more information on the challenge, or if you don’t know what challenges are, visit the South Asian Challenge F.A.Q.) That was a time when reading challenges were at their height; everyone wanted to join a new challenge and explore books they wouldn’t normally pick up.

But since then, the reading landscape has changed. People are still reading, but challenges have been less popular in recent years. I myself am one of many that have contributed to this: I joined zero challenges in 2013. I wanted the freedom to read what I wanted when I wanted, and others felt the same way. Challenges seemed to be on their way out as quickly as they’d burst onto the scene.

I was surprised, then, that in late 2012, people started asking me about the South Asian Challenge for 2013. “Where is it?” they’d ask. So I dutifully put up another challenge post and was surprised that people were still interested in it. Though I’d seen the decline of challenges firsthand, there were those that were still engaged and interested in the South Asian Challenge. I’ve always said that as long as people were interested in participating, I would keep hosting. But for 2014, I wanted to do something different. I thought long and hard about how to change the South Asian Challenge, to preserve the aspects that people like, but to perhaps make it more appealing. And I think I’ve got it.

For 2014, I’d like to introduce you to The Perpetual South Asian Challenge.

What does this mean? Well, instead of having a new challenge every year, this is an ongoing challenge. As long as you’re reading, I’m challenging you to read books by South Asian authors and about South Asia. Beyond that, you can set your own goals. There’s no minimum or maximum, and no obligation to review books or post about the challenge; this challenge gives you the flexibility to read whatever you want while still encouraging you to diversify.

If you’re confused about how to participate, the answer is “any way you want.” If you want to post about it, go ahead. If you don’t, but want to read books that fulfill the challenge, that’s fine too—it’s all about doing as much or as little as you want.

I’m taking a bit of a blogging break at the end of this year, so I won’t be around to answer your questions right away. Leave them on this post, though, and I’ll make sure to get to them early in the new year. I’ll also be waiting until the new year to update the F.A.Q. and information on the new challenge.

If you’d like to sign up for The Perpetual South Asian Challenge with a post on your own blog, you can do so below. But you don’t have to—this is all about making this challenge work for you. My goal with this is to spread the word about South Asian authors and books about the region; I hope you’ll pick up a book or two soon!

 

South Asian Challenge 2013

Yes, it’s that time again! The South Asian Challenge for 2013 is here (albeit a bit late – I apologize). This year, the challenge is going to be a bit more informal. You don’t need to set a goal unless you want to. You don’t even have to blog about it; just read books that qualify and review them somewhere (a blog, Amazon.com, Goodreads) in order to spread the word.

If you need more information on how the challenge operates or which books qualify, check out this FAQ from 2012.

You don’t have to do a sign up post, but for those who want to, you can link them up here. Additionally, you can link up blog reviews in the South Asian Review Database, if you so desire.

The 2012 South Asian Challenge – FAQ and Sign-Ups

Here it is – the moment you’ve all been waiting for (yeah, right!) – South Asian Challenge information and sign-ups for 2012!  Most of the information and requirements for the challenge have not changed from last year, so if you participated last year, you can skip the F.A.Q.  All you need to know is that you can set your own goal for the number of books to read next year – there are no longer different levels. You can scroll down to the bottom of the post for the buttons and sign-up area.

What books are eligible for the 2011 South Asian Challenge?

There are two ways for a book to qualify for the South Asian Challenge
(1) A book must be by a South Asian author.  For these purposes, South Asia includes the following countries: India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, and the Maldives.  There are no limitations on what the book can be about.  Some examples:

(2) A book must be about South Asia or South Asians.  In this case, it can be set in a South Asian country or be about South Asians living abroad.  It can also be a biography or memoir of a South Asian, or of a non-South Asian traveling or working in South Asia.  In this case, the author does not need to be South Asian, as long as the subject matter focuses on the region, peoples, or cultures in some way

If you need some suggestions on books to read, please feel free to look at the South Asian sections of my fiction and non-fiction review databases.

Any type book qualifies, as long as it meets one of the two guidelines above – a cookbook, short story or essay collection, travel guide – feel free to be creative!

Do I need a blog to participate?

No!  Everyone is encouraged to participate.  There will be instructions on how to participate on each related post if you don’t have a blog.

Do we have to write reviews of what we read for the challenge?

No, though I’d love it if you did.  The South Asian Review Database is my attempt to collect reviews of South Asian authors from across the web – I’d love new reviews for it! 

I’m not sure whether this book qualifies or not.  How can I tell?

If you can make a case for it, then it qualifies.  This challenge isn’t meant to be strict or difficult; it’s meant to broaden your reading worldview!

Additionally, sometimes it is difficult to tell whether an author is from a South Asian country because that information isn’t publicly available.  In this case, I go on instinct – if their name sounds pretty South Asian, I’d count it.

If only part of a book is about South Asia (for example, Geoff Dyer’s Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi), it still qualifies.

What dates does the challenge run?

January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012

How many books should I read for the challenge?

This is up to you! If you’ve never read about the region, you may only want to read one or two books.  If you’re very familiar with the literature or you read quickly, your goal may be higher.  All I ask is that you state your goal in your sign-up post or comment; you can feel free to change it over the course of the year.

Are crossovers with other challenges allowed?

Definitely!

Are there buttons for the challenge?

But of course! You have four buttons to choose from this year.  Please feel free to use these on your own blogs!


Okay, you’ve convinced me. How do I sign up?

There is a sign up linky below. Both bloggers and non-bloggers alike are welcome to participate.

Bloggers: Write a post on your blog saying you are signing up for the challenge and include the number of books you are planning on reading.  Type your name or the name of your blog in the Name field of Mr. Linky and a permalink to your post in the URL field. Please make sure you link directly to your sign-up post and not to your overall blog address.  If you’re having trouble with the Linky, just leave a comment with a link to your post on this page and I’ll take care of it!

Non-Bloggers: Leave a comment on this post stating that you are signing up for the challenge and state your desired number of books.  I’ll take care of linking your comment up to the challenge.

PLEASE NOTE: I moderate comments older than 14 days, so if you sign up after that, you will not be able to immediately see your comment. Don’t worry, I’ll approve it quickly and you will be signed up!

Any other comments/questions/etc.? Leave them in the comments and I’ll respond.

All reviews and posts are © S. Krishna’s Books. Please do not use or reprint them without written permission.

South Asian Challenge 2011 – Wrap-Up Posts


It’s hard to believe that 2011 is almost over, isn’t it?  This year has flown by, so much so that I’ve been scrambling to get everything done that I need to do before the year’s end.  Once very important thing that needs to be done is to provide a location for all South Asian Challenge participants to post their wrap-ups!

You can say anything you want in your wrap-up posts – list the books you read, reflect on the challenge, talk about the books you enjoyed and those you didn’t – you can be as creative as you want!  Of course, you don’t have to write a wrap-up if you don’t want to – but if you do, please link it below!  If you’re having trouble with the linky, feel free to leave the link in the comments.  Also, if you don’t have a blog and you’d still like to discuss how the challenge went for you, please feel free to leave it in a comment!  I’ll be doing my own wrap-up post at some point soon.

Keep an eye out for the sign-up post for the South Asian Challenge 2012 – that should be going up this week or next!

Best of 2010: South Asian Edition

When I was going through the books I read in 2010 in order to compile a “best of” list, I noticed a trend – an inordinate number of the books I was picking were by South Asian authors.  I swear I didn’t do this on purpose, just to get all of you to read more […]

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South Asian Author Challenge 2011: Wrap-Up Posts

  This post is a place for participants in the 2010 South Asian Author Challenge to link up their wrap-up posts.  Whether you were successful in completing the challenge or not, feel free to add your link (but it is by no means required).  Including the South Asian Author Challenge in a comprehensive wrap-up post […]

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Challenge: South Asian Challenge 2011 Sign-Up Post

It shouldn’t come as any surprise that I’m signing up for the challenge I’m hosting in 2011, the South Asian Challenge.  If you’re interested in this challenge and would like more information, please see this post.  You can sign up here.  I’m signing up at the South Asian Guru level, which means I will read […]

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2011 South Asian Challenge – Sign-Ups

This is the sign-up post for the 2011 South Asian Challenge, hosted here at S. Krishna’s Books. Not sure what the South Asian Challenge is? Here is an F.A.Q. about the challenge, (hopefully) covering all aspects. If you have any questions, feel free to comment on the F.A.Q. post and I will answer them to […]

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