War Through The Generations challenge: The Great War

I didn’t really anticipate signing up to any book challenges next year, it’s something I’ve never participated in previously and I hate committing myself to things I can’t finish.

But as I started to read more and more into this challenge something sparked my interest and with the added incentive of spicing up my reading habits I decided to get involved and give the challenge ago.

Here’s a brief idea of what the challenge consists off;

“In 2012, Anna and I could not pass up the opportunity to delve into WWI, often considered The Great War, which occurred roughly between 1914 to 1918 and started roughly with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary.

The WWI Reading Challenge will be held between Jan. 1, 2012, through Dec. 31, 2012.

Books must have WWI as a primary or secondary theme and occur before, during, or after the war.

Here are the reading levels:

  • Dip: Read 1-3 books in any genre with WWI as a primary or secondary theme.
  • Wade: Read 4-10 books in any genre with WWI as a primary or secondary theme.
  • Swim: Read 11 or more books in any genre with WWI as a primary or secondary theme”

I’m going to place myself in the wade category because I believe four books is manageable for me but I really don’t want to say I’ll read more than 11…not just yet anyway.

The hosts of this challenge have kindly provided a suggested reading list which has already given me some great idea’s. I’ve read the first two books in the Pat Barker Regeneration Trilogy but still need to read The Ghost Road. I’ve also professed that I would read Birdsong at some point and yet I’ve never got round to it. Well I now have no more excuses. So these book will form the beginning of my list.

After that I don’t have any solid plans. I don’t want to make my list now and then kick myself later when another great idea’s pop into my head. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated though.

So who else is taking part in the challenge? If so what books are you thinking of reading? And finally thanks to the creators of this challenge for inspiring me to mix up my reading habits in 2012, I can’t wait.


10 thoughts on “War Through The Generations challenge: The Great War

  1. hmm. What a strange challenge. Why did you decide to do it?
    I did History BA at uni, before I studied art, and I wrote my dissertation on the First World War so I thought I would have read them all, but it seems i haven’t. I’ve read storm of steel – which is as good as All Quiet on the Western Front – two classics. under Fire, Birdsong, Pat Barkers trilogy and several others are also good. I’d be up for a couple, there’s plenty I haven’t read. There’s some dreadful stuff from that period though!! 😉

    • Mainly because I seem to have particular reading habits and I want to shake things up. There’s a few books on there that I’ve being meaning to read but kept dismissing for one reason or another so hopefully this challenge will force me to read a bigger variety of books.

      Also I do like the interaction of taking part in a book challenge. Did you enjoy doing your disseratation on that subject?

      Yeah I’ve heard All Quiet is good, might put that on the list too, and maybe Storm of Steel too.

      Are you going to read any of them? Tempted to join in?

  2. I’m so glad that you joined the challenge. It will be fun. Plus we’ll have a mid-year read-a-long of A Farewell to Arms if you are interested in that! We’ve added you to the participants page and feel free to grab any of the new WWI reading challenge buttons!

    • I can’t wait for the challenge to begin! Roll on 2012 : )

      I’m defintely game for the mid-year read a long too. Another book I should have read but haven’t.

      Thanks again for coming up with the idea. Any idea what your going to begin with? I think I’ll start with The Eye in the Door.

  3. I’ve also signe up. It sounds a really good challenge for me to further explore the background to a relative who died in France in Sept 1918. I also did a BA in history and didn’t choose this for my disertation, but often wished I had!

    • Hi Julie, thanks for getting in touch : ) It’s nice to hear from more someone else who has decided to get involved.

      It sounds like you have special motivation for starting the challenge, I’m looking forward to seeing how you get on. Any idea what your going to start with?

      • I have a book, although I can’t locate it in the chaos that exits in my study, of Great War poems, & a book, Voices of the Great War. I want to discipher his war record & then see if I can find reading around that. He spent time in the Cheshire Regiment & there is a book about the Regiment, so that is high on the list. What are you planning to start with?

  4. That sounds really interesting, I’ll keep an eye out for the Voices of The Great War. I was thinking of looking into some poetry myself as there were some brilliant poets around at that time and I’ve always said I would read more poetry from that time. I’m going to start with The Eye in the Door by Pat Barker, I read the other two books in the trilogy but just never got round to this one for some reason.
    Have you read any of them? If you haven’t I would strongly recommend them. Barker is an amazing writer.

    • I’ll do it sure, where do I sign up?
      I don’t know what I’d read, there’s a French book by Barbusse I’d start with. Farewell to arms is nice, bit less war bit more romance. Storm of Steel is defo for the hardcore war-fans. There’s also a nice look called A very long engagement by Sebastian Japrisot which I think I own and is lovely and sad. Lou you have to read birdsong if you haven’t. But your new years resolution has to be to read fingersmith so I can stop badgering you.

      • Hey dave,

        Check out the link below, you need to sign up by leaving a comment stating which level you want to do;


        Which level do you reckon you’ll do?

        A very Long Engagment sounds good, I’ll keep an eye out for that. I know, I should have read them both. I promise to read Fingersmith next, it’s at the top of a very prominent pile of books in my room and it’s making me feel very guilty everytime I pass it. Then I think I’ll read Birdsong.

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