You may have seen on Twitter and Facebook that Bloomin’ Brilliant Books is teaming up with Jenna at Jen Med’s Book Reviews and Rachel at Rachels Random Reads to complete an epic (crazy??) challenge. We aim to read a book set in every county in the UK. Are we mad? Probably, but it should be great fun and we hope you will join in along the way. Jenna put out a post last week explaining the idea and ‘the rules’.
Here is what she said…
So. Since yesterday when I introduced the idea of the Read the UK challenge, it has taken on a personality all of its own. It seems to be a very popular idea and I guess I can understand why. It also led to some debate over definition of a county and, if you take modern definition or current county boundaries, then the list is longer. A lot longer. Like an extra 58 books.
Never ones to run from a challenge though, Abbie and I are quite happy to redefine boundaries but it does mean that the challenge will take a little longer to complete. That’s okay. We have no time scales, we just want to know if it is possible. That said, it gets awful lonely on a long trip and while one of us is ‘driving’ the other will be sleeping (fat chance with two insomniacs on board lol) so we need a little company along the way.
And we found it. Joining us on this now epic 144-book challenge is none other than Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Reads. As Rachel reads different genres to me and Abbie we stand a much greater chance of completing so we are going to tackle all 144 counties, metropolitan boroughs or whatever the heck they are called these days in the UK and NI including all of the islands. Yep. Epic challenge indeed.
Our plan is thus:
1. No timescales. We read as we always intended to but we will endeavour to cross off all counties along the way. We may come looking for help i.e. book suggestions, and we’ll certainly be looking up all suggestions made so far – thanks for those.
2. We will post our review as and when the book is read and tag all posts #AroundTheUkIn144Books. Hopefully with your support we can get it trending on Twitter too – wouldn’t that be a hoot.
3. At least once a month we will try and ‘meet up’, perhaps reading a book from the same county but certainly delighting all you lovely bookish folk with a group update.
As for the rest… we’re winging it. This has to be a fun journey and it can’t interfere with the normal running of our blogs or it just won’t work. That said, it will be great to take stock this time next year and see how many counties we have visited between us. I’ll even try and find someone to map it for us because lord knows, I’ll be no good at that.
The new list of counties we are attempting to visit is below (note we are including London as one big lump as I’m too old and tired to try and separate books into the relevant boroughs and there will be much crossover anyway):
Aberdeen City Luton
Antrim Merthyr Tydfi
Argyll and Bute Middlesbrough
Bath and North East Somerset Milton Keynes
Blackburn with Darwen Na h-Eileanan Siar
Blackpool Neath Port Talbot
Blaenau Gwent Newport
Bridgend North Ayrshire
Brighton and Hove North East Lincolnshire
Bristol North Lanarkshire
Buckinghamshire North Lincolnshire
Caerphilly North Somerset
Cambridgeshire North Yorkshire
Central Bedfordshire Nottingham
Cheshire East Orkney Islands
Cheshire West and Chester Oxfordshire
City of Edinburgh Pembrokeshire
Clackmannanshire Perth and Kinross
Derby Redcar and Cleveland
Devon Rhondda Cynon Taf
Down Scottish Borders
Dumfries and Galloway Shetland Islands
Dundee City Shropshire
East Ayrshire South Ayrshire
East Dunbartonshire South Gloucestershire
East Lothian South Lanarkshire
East Renfrewshire South Yorkshire
East Riding of Yorkshire Southampton
East Sussex Southend-on-Sea
GL: Greater London Surrey
Glasgow City Swansea
Greater Manchester Telford and Wrekin
Hartlepool Tyne and Wear
Hertfordshire Vale of Glamorgan
Isle of Anglesey West Dunbartonshire
Isle of Wight West Lothian
Kent West Midlands
Kingston upon Hull West Sussex
Lancashire West Yorkshire
So – where can you follow us on our epic UK ‘road trip’? Well here of course (Jen Med’s Book Reviews). It was my daft idea – can’t abandon the team now. I’m the designated driver – just call me Jennie Sat Nav.
You can also follow Tour Director – Abbie Rutherford over on www.bloominbrilliantbooks.com
Entertainment Director – Rachel Gilbey over on rachelsrandomreads.blogspot.co.uk
The adventure starts here. Wish us luck. Alternatively it you want to get on the ‘library bus’ and travel with us, let us know. The more the merrier.
Happy Reading All
Given that anything below Hull is merely ‘somewhere down south’ to me this should be an interesting journey! As Jen says, feel free to join in it should be a lot of fun.