Thursday 1 January 2015

2015 Challenges

For a few years now, I've set myself some fun challenges at the start of the year. It's a great alternative to new year's resolutions which are usually things you're not really looking forward to doing and which get broken before the end of January.

A Kindle was at the top of my Christmas wish list and I was lucky enough to receive one as a gift from Mick so my first challenge is going to be a reading challenge. I'm quite a slow reader, though I'm hoping that I'll read more now that I've got a Kindle as I'll be able to read when I'm awake through the night, so my first challenge is to read one book each month.

Running alongside this first challenge is a secondary reading challenge. I used to read Agatha Christie when I was in my teens and enjoyed them but I haven't read one of her books since. When I saw twelve Agatha Christie books in The Book People sale for £10 I couldn't resist. There are 66 detective or mystery novels to work my way through and I'd like to do this in chronological order. I'll start with book number one, The Mysterious Affair At Styles, which is one of the twelve books I've already got, and see how far I can get this year, bearing in mind that I'll be reading other books too. This will be an ongoing challenge until I've read the lot.

One of my challenges in 2013 was to watch an old film each month. This year, I'm setting myself another film challenge but this is one which will carry on in to subsequent years. I want to work my way through The Top 100 Greatest Movies Of All Time as voted for by regular IMDb users. I shall watch the films I've already seen again so that I'm starting from scratch.

1. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
2. The Godfather (1972)
3. The Godfather: Part II (1974)
4. The Dark Knight (2008)
5. Pulp Fiction (1994)
6. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
7. 12 Angry Men (1957)
8. Schindler's List (1993)
9. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
10. Fight Club (1999)
11. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
12. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
13. Inception (2010)
14. Forrest Gump (1994)
15. Interstellar (2014)
16. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
17. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
18. Goodfellas (1990)
19. The Matrix (1999)
20. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)
21. Seven Samurai (1954)
22. City of God (2002)
23. Se7en (1995)
24. The Usual Suspects (1995)
25. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
26. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
27. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
28. Leon (1994)
29. Life Is Beautiful (1997)
30. Casablanca (1942)
31. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
32. American History X (1998)
33. Psycho (1960)
34. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
35. City Lights (1931)
36. Spirited Away (2001)
37. Rear Window (1954)
38. Untouchable (2011)
39. Modern Times (1936)
40. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
41. Memento (2000)
42. The Green Mile (1999)
43. The Pianist (2002)
44. Sunset Boulevard (1950)
45. Apocalypse Now (1979)
46. The Departed (2006)
47. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
48. Gladiator (2000)
49. Back to the Future (1985)
50. Alien (1979)
51. The Prestige (2006)
52. The Great Dictator (1940)
53. The Lives of Others (2006)
54. The Lion King (1994)
55. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
56. Django Unchained (2012)
57. Cinema Paradiso (1988)
58. The Shining (1980)
59. Paths of Glory (1957)
60. American Beauty (1999)
61. WALL E (2008)
62. North by Northwest (1959)
63. Aliens (1986)
64. Citizen Kane (1941)
65. Amelie (2001)
66. Vertigo (1958)
67. M (1931)
68. Toy Story 3 (2010)
69. Das Boot (1981)
70. Oldboy (2003)
71. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
72. Princess Mononoke (1997)
73. Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983)
74. Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
75. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
76. Taxi Driver (1976)
77. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
78. Double Indemnity (1944)
79. Braveheart (1995)
80. Requiem for a Dream (2000)
81. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
82. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
83. Witness for the Prosecution (1957)
84. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
85. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
86. Singin' in the Rain (1952)
87. The Sting (1973)
88. Bicycle Thieves (1948)
89. Amadeus (1984)
90. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
91. Snatch. (2000)
92. Boyhood (2014)
93. Rashomon (1950)
94. L.A. Confidential (1997)
95. For a Few Dollars More (1965)
96. All About Eve (1950)
97. The Apartment (1960)
98. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
99. The Kid (1921)
100. Some Like It Hot (1959)

I wonder how many of those I'll manage to get through this year.

My last challenge is to support a variety of charities. I enjoyed taking part in The Big Knit as one of my challenges last year. There's so many deserving charities out there and they're all crying out for our help so I want to support some of them and I'll be doing that in a number of different ways. Some charities advertise certain appeals and I'll be joining in with some of them as well as trying to help in other ways too.

So those are the challenges I'm setting myself this year. Would any of you like to join in with any of the challenges here, or perhaps you've set yourself some challenges of your own? I'd love to know.


  1. Good challenges. I'd like to join in the film challenge, if that's OK? I've seen a lot of the films (and, indeed, own quite a few!) so the first 6 months should be a doozy, but then finding the more.... niche films will be fun.
    Good luck, and I'm already looking forward to regular updates!

    1. I'm really pleased that you're going to join me in my film challenge. When I set myself this sort of challenge before, I watched one film each month but I'm just going to go with it this time and see how many I get through. I won't do them in any particular order, just however I find them. The Godfather is on Channel 4 tonight so I'm recording that to watch later.

  2. I've had a reading challenge last year but no one old movie a month challenge. This is a great idea though. Mind if I emulate you?

    Happy 2015 and good luck on all the challenges. :)

    1. It will be lovely to have you join in. Thank you. Happy new year to you too.

  3. I read through the film list but there are many on there that I would not watch, and I usually have to watch in short bites as I get restless sitting still. I used to be a 2 books a week at least reader but now I hardly manage 5 a month. What I am thinking about is to go through my cook books and cook a weeks worth of meals from each in turn, Similarly I want to go through all my craft books and magazines and make at least 1 item from each every week. I will have to mull it over and decide.

    1. I have to admit that many of the films don't grab me either, but I often find that I enjoy films which I have low expectations of so I'm hoping it all comes good. I think the challenges you're considering are great ones, I shall wait and see what you decide.

  4. Enjoy your e-reader. One of the first books I read on mine was The Mysterious Affair at Styles. My mum had all the Agatha Christie books and I read them all, and many again since.
    Enjoy the films, there are plenty there that I've seen and would enjoy watching again.
    Good for you with the charities. As you say there are various ways of supporting them. Flighty xx

    1. I haven't downloaded any books to my Kindle yet but there's a few I'm waiting to read so I shall be purchasing them shortly. I'm looking forward to getting stuck in to the Agatha Christie books too. There's lots of films on the list which I've never heard of so I'm looking forward to finding out more about them, and I'm sure I'll find some good ones amongst them. Charities rely so much on people supporting them so I shall do my bit in various ways.

    2. I have to say that looking at that list of films again there are some that I wouldn't want to watch. I think that if I was doing the challenge it would be to watch films from the list rather all of them. Flighty xx

    3. I think you're right and that is the way I'll actually go with this challenge. I do want to watch some which I don't fancy as I often enjoy films which don't immediately take my fancy, but I hope this challenge will encourage me to watch some classics such as The Godfather which I've never seen before. I often enjoy films which haven't immediately caught my attention.

  5. I like your challenges. Have to say the list of films surprised me. I've seen 59 of them, but I'm not sure I'd call them great, except for The Godfathers.

    1. Wow, 59? You must be a bit of a film buff. I've never seen The Godfathers so I'm looking forward to watching those.

  6. While you are on the Agatha Christie trail, I just read a lovely nonfiction book about her archaeological work with her second husband. It's called come tell me how you live. I was led to it by another great book about her life, the 8.55 to Bagdad. I loved them both. Happy reading and watching. xx

    1. Thank you for the recommendations, they sound interesting and I like to hear what other people think about books before I read them myself. I shall look out for those two.

  7. Great challenges and it will be very interesting to see what you think of the films and the Agatha Christie books. This year I really need to read more as I have loads of books to read, including a massive pile of - very well used and passed on to me about 20th hand - Agatha Christies, so we can both take part in posting about those books! I hope that all of your challenges go well and that you find them interesting. Happy 2015! xx

    1. I'm looking forward to starting all my new challenges. It will be interesting to compare our thoughts on the Agatha Christie books, I enjoyed them when I was in my teens, I hope I still do. Thank you. Happy new year to you too.

  8. Happy New Year! looking forward to reading about your progress with the challenges :)

    1. Thank you. Happy new year to you too. I shall keep you updated on my challenges.

  9. I'm still working on mine, but reading is one of them and of course finishing some WIP's along with one that has been on my list for years and I'm hoping some blogging friends will spur me on with that one. Yours are definitely interesting, though I'm not good at watching movies as I've got to be doing something with my hands whilst sitting and then miss bits (especially the important ones). I'll post about mine soon. The charity bit sounds good and I've done a lot over the years, but not since we've been "here". I did donate two quilts last year, but that was all. Take care.

    1. I'm not a great movie watcher, I rarely go to the cinema, but I'm hoping that this challenge will spur me on to watch some great films which I've so far missed. Looking forward to hearing more about your challenges for the year.

  10. Good luck with your challenges, Jo. I'm so glad that Santa - aka Mick - got you your Kindle. :o)

    1. I'm really pleased with my Kindle. I've just downloaded my first book on to it, the fifth book in The Nightingales series so I'm looking forward to starting that.

  11. I like your challenges. I don't do resolutions, either. I usually do intentions. I've seen 40 of the movies and enjoyed the ones I saw. I usually read 3-4 books per month and plan to continue that. My biggest intention this year is to watch less TV and do more counted cross stitch. I'm looking forward to hearing how well you enjoy the Kindle.
    Hugs, Sharon

    1. I haven't counted how many films on the list I've already seen but it won't be anywhere near 40. I've got a cross stitch kit which Mick bought me for Christmas 2013 so I must get started on that. I used my Kindle last night and I love it, I can see that it will get plenty of use.

  12. Happy New Year Jo. I too am planning on reading more this year. Any spare time I have is spent knitting so I'm hoping to divide my time between books and knitting needles more equally. The trouble is that I've already got a list of knitted things that I've promised people!

    1. Thank you. Happy new year to you too. There just isn't enough hours in the day for everything I want to do, goodness knows how I'd manage if I were still working. I think we both need to find a happy medium so that we can manage a bit of everything we want to do.

  13. Great challenges and lovely that you received your kindle, such a boon when sleep evades in the night. Its also good when waiting for appointments and certainly lighter than a book. Enjoy xcx

    1. I used my Kindle for the first time last night and I love it. I intend to carry it around with me, as you say, it's definitely lighter than a book. Perhaps I'll manage to read more than I already do now that I have it.

  14. That's quite a variety of films on the list, let us know how you get on. I'm glad you got your Kindle, I do think they're useful, on holiday etc as well as for reading indoors.

    1. It is, there's lots of films I wouldn't really choose to watch so perhaps I'll find some good ones amongst them. I'm really loving my Kindle, I think I'll find it very useful.

  15. That sounds like a great set of challenges. I'm looking forward to your reports on the films! Jx

    1. I'm sure I'll find these challenges as fun as I've found the ones I've set myself in previous years.

  16. Hi Jo and a Very Happy New Year to you and yours. You have certainly set yourself some good challenges again this year. Glad to see you got your longed for Kindle. You will have such fun with it. I haven't read Agatha Christie in years but I do love her writing. I wonder how many of the 100 films you will get through this year that's quite a challenge in itself. I'm off to write my first blog of 2015.

    1. Thank you. A very happy new year to you and yours too. I'm a convert to Kindle already, I love it and I'm sure I'll get through more books with than I would have done without it. I'm not going to rush through the list of films, it's a challenge which can carry through to other years.

  17. I've seen about a quarter of those movies, what a good challenge this is.
    I bet the AC reads will be a really good challenge too.
    Lisa x

    1. I haven't totalled up how many films from the list I've already seen, I'll have to do that. I think the Agatha Christie challenge may last some time, there's lots to get through.

  18. I use my Kindle in the middle of the night too, just be careful you don't do what I did and send it crashing to the floor as you nod off! Luckily no harm was done.

    Belatedly, Happy New Year!

    1. Glad to hear your Kindle was ok after your little mishap, I'll be sure to be on my guard. Thank you. Happy new year to you too.