Reading Challenge: Deal Me In

My intention was not to make any big reading commitments this year.  However….  😉  when I saw this intriguing challenge over at Behold the Stars and Classical Carousel, it just looked too fun (and feasible) not to join!

The challenge is hosted at Bibliophilica, and it’s quite simple.  You create a list of 52 short stories and assign each to a playing card.  Then, every week of 2015, draw a card randomly and read the story that corresponds.

Here is the master list, which is 1/4 essays and includes one or two poems.  When building this list, I was a little shocked at how many short stories I had already read, and at how many classics I should have read but never did.  In the end, I had to consult some “top 10” types of lists online, to fill all the places, and some of these choices I know next to nothing about…  I made myself refrain from adding re-reads (apart from a few, like Poe’s Dupin stories), so hopefully this will be a good foray into new authors, eras, and ideas.

A – Snow White – Grimm
2 – The Minotaur – Hawthorne
3 – The Tale of the Dead Princess and the Seven Knights – Pushkin
4The Golden Fleece – Hawthorne
5The Little Mermaid – Andersen
6 – The Shadow – Andersen
7 – Hansel and Gretel – Grimm
8Ashputtle (Cinderella) – Grimm
9 – The Fir Tree – Andersen
10Beauty and the Beast – Beaumont
J – The Prince Who Feared Nothing – Grimm
Q – The Snow Queen – Andersen
K – King Thrushbeard – Grimm

A – The Argonauts of the Air – Wells
2 – A Country Doctor – Kafka
3 – The Adventure of the German Student – Irving
4The Mystery of Marie Roget – Poe
5 – The Artist of the Beautiful – Hawthorne
6 – The Purloined Letter – Poe
7 – The Country of the Blind – Wells
8The Murders in the Rue Morgue – Poe
9A Sound of Thunder – Bradbury
10 – My Kinsman, Major Molineux – Hawthorne
J – The Masque of Red Death – Poe
Q – The Last Question – Asimov
K – William Wilson – Poe

A – The Old Manse – Hawthorne
2 – A Little Woman – Kafka
3 – The Nightingale and the Rose – Wilde
4 – Eleonora – Poe
5 – A Virtuoso’s Collection – Hawthorne
6 – Wedding Preparations in the Country – Kafka
7 – The Lady with the Dog – Chekhov
8 – Regret – Kate Chopin
9 – The Necklace – Maupassant
10 – The Looking-Glass – Chekhov
J – The Snow-Image – Hawthorne
Q – The Cherry Orchard – Chekhov
K – An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge – Bierce

A – Symposium – Plato
2 – Nature – Emerson
3 – On Heroes and Hero-Worship – Carlyle
4 – In Defense of Sanity – Chesterton
5 – On the Duty of Civil Disobedience – Thoreau
6 – Common Sense – Paine
7 – On Evil Euphemisms – Chesterton
8 – The Twelve Men – Chesterton
9 – The Death of a Moth – Woolf
10 – Self-Reliance – Emerson
J – Camping Out – Hemingway
Q – Circles – Emerson
K – The Snows of Kilimanjaro – Hemingway

Some of these are a bit long, and others are extremely short.  It will be interesting to see how this goes. I should also mention that, for convenience, these are all stories I own or are instantly available, else I would have included some Louis L’Amour and other to-reads.  😉


  1. cleopatra Avatar

    Oh, I'm so glad that you decided to join, Marian! Yahoo! I must say that I'm so thrilled to see everyone's lists. There are giving me so many wonderful ideas and plans. I was thinking of doing this challenge next year, but only with fairy tales. But we'll see …Best of luck and I hope you discover many lovely treasures! 🙂


  2. Anonymous Avatar

    What a great list! So happy to see so many classic authors too. I'm a huge Hawthorne fan, e.g., and thought I'd read all of his stories but I don't remember the title \”The Minotaur.\” Like Cleo says above, it's great fun to look at the lists everyone's assembled too. If everyone participates actually reads all their stories, we'll cover more than one thousand this year. Wow.Good luck with the challenge!-Jay


  3. Marianne Avatar

    I love that you've added some Grimm's stories! I didn't think of that. It'd be great to read those! Best wishes. 🙂


  4. Marian Avatar

    Thanks, and good luck to you, too! 🙂 I have a giant book of Grimms' Complete, so I'm eager to make something of a dent in it.


  5. Marian Avatar

    A thousand – that would be amazing! Thanks again for hosting the challenge. 🙂


  6. Marian Avatar

    Thanks, Cleo! I might have to start my list for next year, as I start reading about other participants'. Even now, I'm starting to see titles I wish I had included!


  7. o Avatar

    Great list! You've made me realise I missed Pushkin, though!Good luck, and I'm particularly looking forward to seeing how you do with Thoreau – Civil Disobedience is an essay I'm wanting to get to (though it's not on my Deal me In list) – I'm going to read it after Walden 🙂


  8. Marian Avatar

    Thanks, o! 🙂 I know some people find Thoreau challenging, aggravating and/or inspiring, so I think I'm looking forward to it.


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