Happy New Year!

Call me crazy, but I just signed up for a challenge to end all challenges:

To read 50 books (yikes!) and see 50 films (easy peasy, I think) in 2012. In only one year! That’s 12 months, for those counting.

Why, that’s only 365 days!

Can I do it? Time will tell (though, given how busy I am, the odds are against me). Will it be exciting to try? You betcha!

The fifty/fifty challenge is the brainchild of Lilly and Jon, a couple of friends with a passion for the written word. I can give you all the particulars myself, but why bother, when you can read all about it in an email message I received last week from Lilly:

As the year comes to an end, I’m thinking of my New Year’s resolutions, and you are probably thinking about yours.

Well, forget working out more, trying to be a nicer person, dropping your bad habits.  BLAH BLAH BLAH.
In fact, forget all the boring resolutions we’ve halfheartedly committed to in the past… because I have a fun one to propose for 2012: fifty/

Here’s the challenge: 50 books, 50 movies, 1 year, 1 you. 

Why would you possibly do this?  Because, you’re up for a challenge.  Maybe you haven’t read 50 books in your life.  
Maybe you can’t fathom sitting through 50 movies.  Maybe you just need a reason to justify sitting on your couch for the duration of 2012.
My friend, Jon and I got this crazy idea that it would be fun to do, and we’re inviting you to join us—please visit our website ( to determine if you think we’re absolutely insane…or if you want in.   Flip through the FAQs, read about why we are inspired to take this on, and if you’re equally inspired, we hope you will put your name down.  The more the merrier—this is a great family activity (sign up your kids!), tell your friends, tell your co-workers. Heck, tell the dude in the bathroom stall next to you about it.  There really are no limits (Just don’t peer over. Really. Don’t do that.)
You’re not competing against anyone except yourself and your concept of what you can do in a year.  Because we think you can do it.
And before you know it, the year will be over (the world may too, so let’s go for the gold, shall we?) and you will be smarter, better looking, and will have watched slightly less Man vs. Food. Win. Win. Win.
To an adventurous 2012!

Lilly —   

So, I hope you’ll join me in this exciting, and insane challenge, and by signing today.  In the words of Bette Davis, who said, in All About Eve, (which is a classic film, that could count toward your goal of 50 flicks):

“Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night!” – And a whole lot of fun, too!

46 thoughts on “Fifty/Fifty

  1. Thank you for spreading the love! We’re so excited to have you doing this alongside us. It’s definitely a challenge, and hopefully we’ll all find movies and books that absorb us enough that it becomes a pleasure rather than a duty. That’s the goal, anyhow! Looking forward to hearing what you read/watch! L

    • So far, so good. I didn’t think I would but I’m actually enjoying the challenge. I plan to post at the end of each month what movies I’ve seen and what books I’ve read for that month. I’ll let you know when I do, but you can also subscribe to this blog and get instantly notified of my posts. 🙂

  2. At first I didn’t think that sounded so bad – fifty books and movies among the colossal numbers we’ve read and watched. And then I thought – that’s one a week, while she works and blogs and takes care of her life. Geez. Suddenly it sounds HUGE. Good luck!

    • Yeah, one a week. I’m off to a good start, and now have two under my belt. But I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to keep this up.

  3. Monica, I just visited the 50/50 website and I love this idea. This was going to be my year to get back into the seriously reading game already. And since I’m addicted to the TCM channel I could easily watch 50 movies made before 1950 in a week. I think I’m on for this one! The real channel will be keeping up with the movie portion while out of the country this year. My French town gets one or two movies in English. Does a movie count if I don’t understand a third of the words? What fun!

    • Cool! Glad to have you on board! I hope you keep us posted on how it’s going for you. And, btw, I too LOVE the TCM channel. It’s got the best films, so that’ll be one of my key resources. 😉

  4. Not sure I can. I got dizzy reading the post. I feel failure in my chest. I know without a doubt that I will watch more than 50 movies because that is the only bad habit I have, watching movies. As for reading … yes, maybe not. Before picking up the pen to write I read more books that I care to admit, but time is not what it used to be since writing took over control of my senses. I’ll ponder the challenge, but if I chicken out and you find you need a champion come knocking on my door and I will nudge you along.

    • Brenda, I am like you. Reading fell by the wayside since I took up writing (with a vengeance). There’s just not enough hours in the day! My biggest complaint in life.

      I’m a big movie fan, too, so I know I can do that part. You’ll be among the first to know when I start to chicken out. Cluck, cluck. 😉

  5. I love to read and there is nothing more stress-relieving than a good book or a good movie. I wish you success! I hope you’ll post reviews of some of your books and movies because book abstracts and movie trailers are sometimes soooooo misleading! Happy new year and good luck with your Kilimanjaro

    • Yes, absolutely. I plan to keep track of movies and books, right here on this blog. 😉 Happy New Year, to you, too. Feel free to join my on Kilimanjaro anytime!

    • I know, I know. But I’m not going to sweat it if I don’t make it. We’ll see how it goes. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, in any case. 😉

  6. Okay woman, color me confused. I thought you were up to your eyeballs in work, stress, and drafting. Are you kidding me? My hat comes off to you, for your energetic spirit and for rising to the challenge. We should all be like you! And because I’m still a work in progress, I shall live vicariously through you. I request, no, demand, updates on how you are carrying on. Why? Because I’ve decided to self appoint as your personal cheerleader! Give me an M! Roxy wants to know how Henry feels about all this. hee hee! Good luck, mi’ja, and may you reach the finish line! Give me an O! 🙂

    • Well, when I told Henry about this, he just rolled his eyes and muttered something under his breath like, “We’ll see how long this lasts…”

      But the way I look at it is, I’ll never climb Kilimanjaro or do anything crazy like parachute from a plane or bungee jumping. So this is my Kilimanjaro. It’s crazy, I know, but at least I’m not risking my life doing it! 😉

      And, Bells, I will DEFINITELY keep you posted!

    • Thanks, Wendy. I need all the luck and pluck I can get. I’ve already finished my first book, but, strangely, have yet to see a film in 2012.

  7. So you’re going to do it? I can see you easily hitting the 50 movie mark. I may be able to do the books. But there’s no way I’d get 50 movies in. Can we split the challenge? I’ll take books and you take the movies.

    • Deal! But I think I can handle a dozen of the books and you can see a dozen films. Sound more doable? Hope so! That way, we each get a bit of the challenging part, too. I’m in!

  8. Question: Do picture books count, ’cause I can totally blow this outta the water if so!! Great challenge! I think I can – I think I can – I think I can…

  9. –Monica,
    what a Great challenge. WOW.
    Do you have your list yet? I have lots of suggestions for you!!

    Now that’s the sort of New Year’s Resolution that sounds realistic & fun.

    Xx H::A::P::P::Y 2012!

    • An ENORMOUS challenge if I say so myself. Don’t know about realistic but I’m counting on it being fun. Happy New Year to you, too, Kim! 🙂

      • My person really likes Madeleine L’Engle’s Wrinkle in Time series – and Ursula K LeGuin has some good YA books if you like SciFi/Fantasy.

      • We’re working on a “Lifesavers” list — books that will get you through a dry spell and keep you up at night. I’m sure you’ve already read The Hunger Games. I swear by the first book in the series (not so much the rest of it). I have millions of recommendations! Let’s get connected on Goodreads if we’re not already 🙂

  10. Ahh, now you’ve done it: I’m going to be compelled to write a post about those obnoxious Fifty/Fifty-ers, huh? Just like NaNoWriMo and marathon runners…only slightly less annoying, because you’re doing it…

    Crazy girl…

    (You told us we could call you “crazy.” I’m just obliging.)

    I’m impressed. Have fun, and I’ll look forward to the obnoxious updates.

    (JUST kidding, of course…)


    • Now I’ve never been one for the NaNoWriMo or any marathons. And when I heard about this one my initial reaction was, “WTF??!! I can’t do this, I’m way too busy.” But, I’ve never committed to anything like this and what I like about this one is there’s no penalty for not making it. No one’s going to arrest me or anything if I FAIL. So, might as well try.

      And yes. You should write about it because you are so funny and wry and I would love to read your take on this or anything like it. If anyone can find a way to mine this for what it’s worth, you can, my friend. 😉

    • I would love your take on this little project of ours too! Oh, and we KNOW we’re crazy- but crazy people are where the fun is 😉

  11. My money’s on you, Monica! I’m not up for this stiff a challenge right now — shoot, I’m barely keeping my head above water as it is — but I wish you all the best and know you’ve got what it takes to make it! Let us hear from you once in a while to learn how it’s going!

  12. I already signed up for the FiftyFifty challenge, but to me, the 50 books is the easy-peasy part. I’m going to have trouble with the 50 films part. You see, I’m a movie snob, and most movies, dare I say it aloud, disappoint me and I am left wondering how so much money and resources can be wasted on some of these “films.” However, this is the challenge – to find some classics or great independent films, and of course I always have to watch the Oscar buzz movies for my annual Ladies Oscar Night party. And I’m always up for a good challenge – thanks Lilly and Jon!

    • I had no idea you were so picky about films. There are so many I love and I am well acquainted with the classics from the 30’s and 40’s. Just say the word and I’ll make a list of films you should see. May I suggest, if you haven’t already, to see all the Hitchcock and/or Cary Grant films? You can’t go wrong with those.

  13. Thanks for sharing this with us, Monica! I’m not sure I could manage 50 books/50 films – but oh, how I’d love to!

    However, I just had a spin-off idea for what I do best: travel! I’m going to challenge myself to do 52 trips (beyond the grocery store, though I suppose I could make that count if I stick to my travel theme)/52 weeks. The idea is to keep moving!

    I’d better buy a new pair of tennis shoes . . .

    Happy New Year, Monica!

    • Your spin-off idea sounds wonderful. Hope to read about it in your posts. Not to worry, though, about being able to do all 50 of each. There’s no penalty for not making it, but it’ll be exciting to try.

    • Happy New Year, Sunshine. I hope it brings you much happiness and good health. Wish me luck with this. I’m going to need it for sure!

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