2018 Ultimate Read and Release Challenge--Rules and list of themes for the year

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Welcome to the 2018 Ultimate Read/Release Challenge! I am the latest in a long line of hosts for this challenge, which started out as a TBR reading challenge and has changed to include releases and themes.

This challenge is for readers and/or releasers. Each book can earn up to three points:

Read = 1 point. All books count, including registered books, audiobooks, e-books, library books, and non-registered books.

Release = 1 point. Books must be registered. Both wild and controlled releases count and you can count releases from other challenges.

Theme = 1 point. If the book you read and/or release fits the monthly theme, you get another point. Each book can receive a theme point only once. Embedded words are allowed, and theme words can occur in the title or in the author’s name (except in December, when the theme is names).

You can read a book one month and release it during another month, or release books you’ve read in the past or haven’t read at all. Just remember that a book can receive a theme point in only one month.

Book titles can be in any language.

Join us at any time! I will post a new thread each month where you will list your books and the points you’ve accumulated. For BC books, please include the BC link in your post.

This is not meant to be an ultra-competitive challenge. The goal of the original challenge was simply to read more TBRs. For me, the main goals are to read more, to release books rather than hanging on to them, and to have fun choosing what I’ll read next.

Because I’m one of the least competitive people in the world, I will not be keeping a master points tally or awarding prizes for the most points. You can tailor this challenge to make it more difficult or competitive. For example, set a points goal at the beginning of the year, count only books that fit the theme, don’t use embedded words, or challenge a BC friend to a competition.

Some participants like genre-related themes and others don’t. I’ve included genres or general topics in some months. If you don’t like them, just stick with the word themes. I’ve also incorporated themes from established release challenges, ideas from participants and themes that appeared in past years. Thanks for your ideas! I’ve saved any I didn’t have room for as possibilities for next year.

Here are the themes for 2018 and some examples of acceptable books.

January: Home—types of homes (e.g., house, hut, flat, apartment), parts of homes (e.g., window, door, room, key), and words related to moving from one home to another (e.g., pack, truck, box).
Examples: The Buddha in the Attic, Room, Blackbird House

February: By air or by sea—things you would find in the air (e.g., kite, plane, bird, wind) or on or in a body of water (e.g., fish, boat, shell) and words associated with those things (e.g., egg, fin, feather, soar, float). Also words for bodies of water and for the sky (e.g., lake, river, atmosphere). Some of these will also work for the Great Backyard Bird Count Challenge. Last year’s thread is here: http://www.bookcrossing.com/forum/23/538561.
Examples: The Flying Troutmans, Black Rainbow, The Peppered Moth

March: Colours—names of colours and related words (e.g., hue, shade, rainbow). Some colours are included in this month’s Celebrate the Irish Challenge, if you’re participating in that one too. See last year’s post here: http://www.bookcrossing.com/forum/23/539497.
Examples: A Beautiful Blue Death, Shades of Earl Grey, Red Sky at Morning

April: Numbers—words related to numbers and math (e.g., one, twice, first, add). Also, biographies of or stories featuring mathematicians or scientists, even without a theme word in the title. Books in a series if the number is included in the title or on the front cover.
Examples: Six Feet Under, Her Royal Spyness Solves Her First Case, Hidden Figures

May: Gardening and plants—words related to gardens and plants, including names of flowers, trees, fruits and vegetables (e.g., dig, spade, rose). Some of these words will work for two other challenges this month: Mother’s Day Challenge (last year’s thread at http://www.bookcrossing.com/forum/23/540163) and April Showers/May Flowers Challenge (last year’s thread at http://www.bookcrossing.com/forum/23/540909).
Examples: Spadework, Cold Sassy Tree, The Apothecary Rose

June: Sounds—things you can hear and words related to noise and hearing (e.g., crash, loud, listen, thunder, quiet, loud).
Examples: Hard Laughter, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Silence of the Songbirds

July: Verbs—any title that contains a verb. This can involve a physical action (e.g., run, jump), but can also include verbs that aren’t physical (e.g., think, read). The word doesn’t have to be used as a verb in the title (see “hunt” example below)
Examples: Our Story Begins, The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters, Walking to Camelot

August: Clothing—words related to clothing, including articles of clothing (e.g., shirt, pants, shoes, purse), the act of making clothing (e.g., sew, thread, cloth, size), and the field of fashion (e.g., design, model, shop). Also stories in which the main character is involved with clothing or fashion (working in a clothing shop, dressmaker, designer, etc.).
Examples: The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag, Iron and Silk, The Dressmaker of Khair Khana

September: Pets and farm animals—any animal that is kept as a pet or on a farm (e.g., dog, snake, emu, cow). Also, books where the main character is one of these animals or books that are largely about one of these animals, even without a theme word in the title. This theme coincides with the You’re Such an Animal Challenge. See last year’s thread here: http://www.bookcrossing.com/forum/23/544095.
Examples: Casper the Commuting Cat, To Say Nothing of the Dog, Alex and Me (about a parrot)

October: Seasons and holidays—words that can be related to a season, as well as the names of holidays (e.g., summer, cold, snow, Halloween). This theme coincides with the Tick Tock challenge and some words will work for that challenge as well. Last year’s thread: http://www.bookcrossing.com/forum/23/545892.
Examples: The Winter of Our Discontent, HOT Fudge Sundae Blues, A Christmas Memory

November: All the world’s a stage—words related to performances and shows (e.g., theatre, costume, play, music, magic, set, film). Also, books that are based on or have been turned into movies, plays, or TV shows; biographies of performers; and books where the main character is a performer, even without a theme word in the title.
Examples: Orange Is the New Black (book turned into a TV series), Dancing in a Distant Place, The Colour of Magic

December: Light and dark—words related to light and darkness, including adjectives and sources of light and dark (e.g., bright, shine, shade, blind, white, black, day, night, lamp).
Examples: The Night She Died, Rise and Shine, A Star Called Henry


wingcally-cwing 11 mos ago
thank you
thanks so much for running this challenge again this year, it really helps me to decide what to read next.


I'll play, but as in the past, I'll count only books I've released. I don't keep track of books read.


wingsakirmowing 11 mos ago
I've never
joined this one before but I'll give it a try this year! I'll probably list mainly themed releases, but we'll see how it goes after a couple of months.


JPix 11 mos ago
Thanks jumpingin
Thanks for running this challenge again! I'm looking forward to working out which of my books fit the themes.


I was part of this once and enjoyed it. But can't do each year every lovely challenge that is going. But would love to do this again.


I was part of this once and enjoyed it. But can't do each year every lovely challenge that is going. But would love to do this again.

I was going to post the link to the January Ultimate Challenge, but I see you found it!


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