Oddity Odyssey Reading Challenge 2015


Welcome to the Oddity Odyssey Reading Challenge 2015 hosted by The Bookshelf Gargoyle!

This challenge is all about embracing the out-of-the-ordinary and all that is unusual to your regular reading choices.  If you’re ready to take a walk on the slightly strange and unexpected side, read on for the rules and categories!


* The Challenge will run from January 1st to December 31st 2015

*Challenge participants will select a challenge level and attempt to read a particular number of books within the oddity categories listed below.

* Challenge participants can decide how they will attack the challenge.  Participants can try and read books across all categories, or they can pick just one (or a small selection) of categories to focus on.  It’s up to you how you want to indulge the oddity.

*Challenge books can include any genre and any age-range.  So any books, from picture book to adult fiction are perfectly fine.  Non-fiction is fine also.  Audio books? No worries!

*Creative interpretation of the categories is encouraged.  This challenge is all about finding books that are odd FOR YOU!

*To join this challenge, simply comment with “I’m in!” and what level you would like to aim for.  Feel free to create a post on your blog, twitter, Facebook or wherever telling everyone what level you’ve chosen and include  link back to this page so others can join in!

* Challenge participants can add the challenge button to their blogs if they wish.  The code is available in the sidebar of this blog.


1. Books with an odd TITLE:

Perhaps the book has the word “odd” (or “strange”, “weird” “unusual” or any other odd synonym) in the title.  Perhaps the title is really unexpected (“Christmas Trees for Pleasure and Profit” for example).  Perhaps the title is in a foreign language.  Maybe the title has an odd number in it.  However you want to interpret it, select a book with some sort of titular oddity.

2. Books with an odd AUTHOR:

Maybe the author is writing under a pen name.   Maybe the author used to be a tour guide in the Amazon before taking up writing.   Maybe the author is writing out of their genre or age-range for the book you’ve chosen.  Maybe the author has the word “odd” (or strange or weird or any other odd synonym) in their name.  This category is ripe with opportunity for those prepared to do a little research.

3. Books with an odd SUBJECT MATTER:

This could be as simple as reading some books in a genre you don’t normally read, or haven’t tried before.  Or you could really branch out and use this category to explore some brave new literary worlds.  This category could include new twists on familiar themes such as retellings, or books based on genre mash-ups.

4. Books with an odd LANGUAGE ELEMENT:

Here we’re talking about anything to do with language.  Books that are written in languages that are not your own (including translations), books written in verse or stream of consciousness, wordless books, books heavy on wordplay…basically anything language-related that sets the book apart from the ordinary herd.

5. Books with an odd SETTING:

Again, this can be as broad as you like.  It may be an odd setting in that it’s a real setting you’ve never visited, or it could be a setting that’s totally imaginary.  Maybe it’s our world but not as we know it. Perhaps it’s set in a time not our own. However you choose to interpret it, this is all about time and space that’s slightly left of centre.

6. Books with an odd CHARACTER:

Guinea pigs that fly stunt planes.  Librarians with werewolf-ism.  Bearded ladies.  Conservative politicians. This category probably provides the most fertile ground for successfully embracing oddity.

Remember, participants are free to work with books across categories, or to restrict themselves to one or a few categories. It’s up to you how deeply or broadly you wish to immerse yourself in the odd.


1 – 3 Books : Occasionally Offbeat

4 – 6 Books: Common-or-Garden Weirdie

7 – 10 Books: Strikingly Strange

11 – 15 Books: Freakishly Fervent

16+ Books: Audaciously Odd

So choose your level, choose your method of attack and lets get a little bit unconventional!

45 thoughts on “Oddity Odyssey Reading Challenge 2015

  1. Pingback: A Small Fry Safari Wrap Up and….The Shelf’s NEW Reading Challenge for 2015! | thebookshelfgargoyle

  2. Oh, your Challenges are SOOO difficult!! Hang on… guinea pigs that fly stunt planes? Do you mean biplanes – running on strawberry juice, perhaps? Or flying boats? I’m in!

    I think I’ll go for comon-or-garden weirdie (to balance out my Local Heroes Challenge, where you read books set in your local area)

    (and I’m afraid I failed to complete two categories of the Safari 😦 )

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, hmmmmmm. I suppose I’m in. That’s maybe odd in and of itself. And I might as well dream big and be Audaciously Odd. If you’re going for Odd, you might as well be audacious about it. Audacious is a good word.


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  14. Just wondered if I’m supposed to tell you what I’ve read at all, Bruce? I think I’ve got three so far…


    • You certainly can but there’s no obligation! I didn’t go with a linky for categories this year because the free one that I use changed its free usage links, limiting the opening time to one month when it was previously one year, and I am too cheap to spend the $10 or whatever it was for yearly access. Three already? Great work, weirdie!

      Liked by 1 person

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    • Well done! I just suddenly realised that I haven’t completed my challenge and hastily had to scrounge up an odd contender for December! Keep your eyes peeled for my 2016 challenge – it’s coming soon 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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