My Dewey Decimal Challenge

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I’ve been looking for a simple, general non-fiction challenge. I can’t find one, so I decided to host my own. I am very much a fiction reader, but I did pick up several non-fiction books last year and I mostly enjoyed them. I need a little push to keep reading them, and I thought some of you might as well. So here’s my Dewey Decimal Challenge.

Dewey Decimal Challenge 2011 Challenge Button

Read any non-fiction book(s), adult or young adult. That’s it. You can choose anything. Poetry? Yes. Memoirs? Yes. History? Yes. Travel? Yes. You get the idea? Absolutely anything that is classified as non-fiction counts for this challenge.

I always like levels in my challenges, so here are mine:

Dilettante–Read 1 non-fiction book.

Explorer–Read 2

Seeker–Read 3

Master–Read 4

This challenge will last from January 1 to December 31, 2011. You can sign up anytime throughout the year.

I am not limiting the challenge to bloggers. You can also link to a review you wrote on another site, such as GoodReads or LibraryThing.

My Personal Progress: I’m shooting for the Master level. I’ll track my progress right here.

  1. Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
  2. The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman
  3. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
  4. The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop by Lewis Buzbee
  5. Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman by Alice Steinbach
  6. Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi, translated by Stuart Woolf
  7. Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America by John M. Barry
  8. Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand
  9. The Lost City of Z by David Grann, read by Mark Deakins
  10. 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
  11. Travels With Charley: In Search of Americ by John Steinbeck
  12. The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson, read by the author
  13. When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris, read by the author
  14. Ballad of the Whiskey Robber: A True Story of Bank Heists, Ice Hockey, Transylvanian Pelt Smuggling, Moonlighting Detectives, and Broken Hearts by Julian Rubinstein
  15. The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw

Link your sign-up posts and your reviews here using Mr. Linky. Please enter the url that will take us directly to your post, not your home page. You can enter your name or your blog name and the title of the book you reviewed in parentheses. Example: The Introverted Reader (Into Thin Air)

I have an affiliate relationship with Malaprop’s, my local independent bookstore located in downtown Asheville, NC; and Better World Books. I will receive a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase books through links on my site.

Other Posts You May Enjoy:


  1. I completed the challenge! Here's the link to my post at my challenge blog with the list of books completed and the review links. thanks for hosting!

  2. Just wanted to stop in and say that I completed the challenge! Thanks so much for hosting! I added a few direct links, but a couple will not post until after the new year. Here's the link to the final list:

  3. your Mr Linky does not seem to work today. I wanted to add this new non-fiction link:
    Thanks Emma @ Words And Peace

  4. just posted my book #22 for this challenge: Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives:
    and looks like I forgot to put a note after I posted the previous one on Fire Season.

  5. Just posted my 2oth review for this challenge: on the place of nature in our lives: Settled in The Wild:
    Hmm, I don't see my yesterday post on Being As Communion.
    Emma @ Words And Peace

  6. Hello just posted my review #19 for this Challenge, this time on Christian theology. Emma @ Words And Peace

  7. Hello just posted my review #18 for this Challenge, on The Pun Also Rises:
    Emma @ Words And Peace

  8. Hello Just posted my review #17 for this Challenge
    #78 here. on Spanish poetry by Pablo Neruda!
    Emma @ Words And Peace

  9. Hi, just posted another non-fiction review, on The Greater Journey by McCullough. excellent book!
    Emma @ Words And Peace

  10. Here is a 2nd review for today, this one on Bach:
    Emma @ Words And Peace

  11. Hi there, I just posted my review #14 for this Challenge: The Lost Cyclist, by Herlihy:
    Emma @ Words And Peace

  12. Just left a link on The Worst Hard Time, on the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl – incredible, but true!

  13. Just posted another non-fiction book I read in April: Atlantic, by Winchester, a great great read! full review here:

  14. Just posted another review, this time on the 14th century:
    More reviews to come tomorrow, hopefully!
    Emma @ Words And Peace

  15. Here is another book I finished a month ago, on geology!

  16. Finally having a bit of time post reviews again – am 9 behind… This last one was on art in religion:

  17. Hello, just posted my 8th non-fiction review of the year, on I And Thou, by Martin Buber. I am ONLY 5 more non-fiction reviews behind LOL
    Emma @ Words And Peace

  18. Wordsandpeace, I haven't rewarded anyone for finishing this challenge. I believe I congratulated Col Reads for being the first to complete the challenge, but that's it. Congratulations to you on finishing so many books.

  19. oops, I went to quickly, and did not correct the link that was automatically displayed. the target is correct, but the title of the link is wrong, it should have shown:
    My book is REALLY a non-fiction, about cooking and India, a fascinating read!
    By the way, I read that one of us was rewarded for already finishing the challenge, I have to say this is my 7th review posted here! I'm late in review writing, I have 4 more on-fiction reviews to write, and I am currently reading my 12th non-fiction book of the year, so I have almost accomplished the challenge 3 times.

  20. Sorry, Jen. I made a mistake on the link for #51. #52 is the right link! Thanks — I love this challenge!

  21. I just completed two more reviews, making 4 non-fiction books read! Master level achieved.

    Here's the link to one:

    and another:

    The other two book reviews were linked previously.

  22. I've linked up all four of my reviews. Master's Level Complete! But I'm still reading…I have a few more non-fiction books slated for this year's TBR pile.

  23. And so here's my 2nd review of non-fiction books read this year:

  24. Hello, thanks for hosting this great challenge. I was just surprised there were just 4 levels, with so few books to read. last year, out of 62 books, I read 23 non-fiction books. So far I have read 2 since the beginning of 2011. I always try to read to alternate as much as possible a fiction and a non-fiction book.
    The Lost City of Z is an incredible read, full of adventure, history, geography, archeology, etc!
    Emma @ Words And Peace

  25. Here's my second book review towards the Challenge: ENSLAVED BY DUCKS by Bob Tarte. Hope you'll take a look. 🙂

  26. Great idea. Count me in on the Master level. I want to read at least 4 non-fiction books this year!

  27. I'm in! I hope to read more of the nonfiction on my shelves this year, and thought your challenge would be just the ticket. Thanks for offering it.

  28. Okay, I've linked my first non-fiction challenge review to my blog today. I'm hoping this is the right place, Jen. (I don't see a separate page to link the actual reviews.)

    My first book towards the challenge is HOWARDS END IS ON THE LANDING by Susan Hill.

  29. Count me in! I love interspersing my regular fiction with some good nonfiction now and then. I'm going for Master class – 4 or more!

  30. Jen, I'm joining up. I'd like to post your challenge logo on my blog but I can't lift it out. I don't do html, primarily because I can't get the hang of it.

    I'll just post something on my blog and send everyone here.

    Great idea to have a non-fiction challenge. 😉

  31. I'm really looking forward to this challenge! I need some motivation to get away from the fiction shelves!

  32. This is great. I already had some non-fiction on my TBR list for 2011. Nice to get challenge credit for it (and to feed my challenge addiction….)! Thanks for hosting!

  33. I love this idea — I read a lot of non-fiction, and also haven't found a challenge for it. I linked both my sign-up and my first review today. Thanks, Jen

  34. Great idea! I was planning on reading more than four nonfiction this year anyway…I may have to sign up soon.

  35. Great idea for a challenge! I was planning to read a few non-fiction books this year anyway–this will be a good way to make sure I don't put it off! 🙂

  36. I agree that I always enjoy some non fiction but get easily distracted by fiction titles. So hoping to refocus a little.

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