Dystopian Challenge

Although it’s already May, when I came across this challenge, that runs from January 1st to August 24th, I wanted to join in anyway. I’ve already read a few dystopian books this year, which I can count towards the total.

In this challenge, you are asked to read 5, 10, or 20 dystopian books. A dystopia is a society after some great disaster or change has taken place (post-apocalyptic), life is not as easy as it was. The main character in a dystopian book generally does not accept society as easily as most other people do and joins up with like-minded people to try and change their situation.

Good examples of dystopian fiction are:

The Road by Cormac McCarthy
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Let’s see how far I’ll get. Am I an Experimental dystopian reader (5 books), an Addict (10 books), or a Junkee (20 books)? This is what I’ve read this year and what I still plan to read:

  1. The Stand by Stephen King (Finished January, 30th, 2010)
  2. Gone by Michael Grant (Finished March 13th, 2010)
  3. Hunger by Michael Grant (Finished April 5th, 2010)
  4. The Carhullan Army by Sarah Hall (Finished April 6th, 2010)
  5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Finished April 22, 2010)
  6. Sulphuric Acid by Amelie Nothomb (Finished May 2nd, 2010)
  7. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (Finished May 12th, 2010)
  8. The Possibility of an Island by Michel Houellebecq (Finished June 13th, 2010)
  9. Feed by M. T. Anderson (Finished July 24th, 2010)
  10. The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson (Finished June 24th, 2010)
  11. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (Finished July 12th, 2010)
  12. The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood (Finished July 21st, 2010)
  13. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (Finished June 6th, 2010)
  14. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (Finished June 9th, 2010)
  15. The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist (Finished June 28th, 2010)
  16. The Crysalids by John Wyndham (Finished July 19th, 2010)
  17. Blindness by Jose Saramago (Finished August 9th, 2010)
  18. Jennifer Government by Max Barry (Finished July 30th, 2010)
  19. The Traveler by John Twelve Hakws (Finished August 18, 2010)
  20. The Running Man by Stephen King (Finished July 5th, 2010)

READ: ALL 20 books

Finished this challenge onAugust, 18, 2010.

About Judith
I'm owner and editor at bookhelpline.com and bookhelpline.nl. We edit books and articles for independent writers.

18 Responses to Dystopian Challenge

  1. gnoegnoe says:

    I’m going to see the movie The Road tonight! I’m not sure if I’m looking forward to it though… I read the book in 2007 and it was special but a little depressing. Still, I like Viggo Mortensen as an actor 😉

  2. Pingback: Summer Break Reading Challenge Activity #1 « Leeswammes's Blog

  3. Joachim Boaz says:

    What a cool idea!

    I love dystopian lit. However, I find that it get’s quite redundant — so new authors and fresh ideas are a must.

    Any must reads (in terms of SHEER NEWNESS for a genre which you definitely seem familiar with)?

    • leeswammes says:

      I’m not too familiar with the genre but I love dystopian books so that’s why I’m doing the challenge. I am reading The Unit (Ninni Holmqvist) at the moment, which is an almost-like-now society but slightly different (which is different from all the post-apocalyptic stuff), which focuses on medical ethics – just like The Adoration of Jenna Fox. The Unit is definitely an adult book, but Jenna Fox is YA. Never Let Me Go is in the same vein.

      I’ve also heard good things about The Passage but I haven’t read it yet.

      You can find these and other books on this post https://leeswammes.wordpress.com/2010/06/19/dystopia-for-adults-a-reading-list/ which is a list of dystopian literature. Please add if you know other books!

  4. Joachim Boaz says:

    Have you read Zamyatin’s 1922 classic ‘We’? Orwell utilized the same plot for ‘1984’. The triad of ‘We”, ‘Brave New World’, and ‘1984’ were SO formative for the genre of dystopic fiction (ad sci-fi). ‘We’ is one of the best — and one of the only really famous classics to be written in the diary format.

    • leeswammes says:

      I’ve never heard of it, Joachim! My library does not have it either (nor the wider area reservations system). But thanks for the recommendation.

  5. Joachim Boaz says:

    I’m quite surprised actually that your library doesn’t have it…. Well, it’s dirt cheap on amazon or abebooks.

    But maybe ’cause I have one of the largest university libraries in the country in the same town 😉 (i.e. which has everything — or, if it doesn’t have it, interlibrary loan will get it for me in a few minutes)

    • leeswammes says:

      I see, where is that, Joachim (if you’re somewhere interesting, you could do a guest post for me in the Book Bloggers abroad series!!)?

      I’m thinking gutenberg.org may have it, they have lots of old books. Joachim, our library has a good mix of literary works, thrillers, and books for older ladies; it has to try to cater for everyone so can’t have all the books that I am interested in.

  6. Joachim Boaz says:

    I’m in Bloomington Indiana (Indiana University PhD student) — the library just got ranked number 1 university library in the country (however, this ranking is also incorporating resources, inter library services, etc). before that i was an undergrad at the University of Texas in Austin which has the 5th larges university library in terms of amount of books — approx. 7.5 million. I dunno if these places are “interesting.” Austin, TX certainly was! but, Bloomington IN? not really — haha. The libraries are great however!

    • leeswammes says:

      You are very lucky with those libraries, Joachim. Just trying now: would it have Catherine Alliott (see recent review)? Maybe not. What are you studying?

  7. Novroz says:

    You should read Battle Royale…I haven’t read Hunger Game and have no intention of ever reading it…to people who had read both, Battle Royale is way better than HG.

    • leeswammes says:

      Thanks for that suggestion, Novroz. I checked it out and Battle Royale is by a Japanese writer called Koushun Takami.

      I need to check whether my library has it. It sounds a bit like The Hunger Games (I checked on wikipedia).

      For my challenge, I have enough books now (one more already waiting for me), but I will of course read more dystopia in the future! 🙂

      • Novroz says:

        IT IS the same…that’s why I don’t want to read hunger game…she is copycating Koushun Takami’s work. I love Battle Royale TOO much. I recommend this book to everyone who like dystopian books.

  8. Joachim Boaz says:

    The list is missing some of the best! 1984, Brave New World, Yvengy Yamyatin’s We, Nabokov’s ‘Bend Sinister’….

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