Books to the Ceiling has a great post on The New York Times' 100 notable books for 2008, which include only four crime fiction books. Writes blogger Roberta Rood: "I cheerfully acknowledge that most of the fiction I read is crime fiction. IMHO, that’s where you’ll find great writing, great characters, terrific stories - and blessedly little self-conscious, hyper-literary posturing."
There are all sorts of blog challenges. Here's one I may or may not officially join for 2009: Read your own books. The truth is that was my own personal challenge this year. I have at least 200 unread books (OK, closer to 300). I had thought to make a dent in them, but I kept adding books faster than I read them. And I kept hearing about books that I had to check out of the library. Considering I only read between 60-70 books a year, it's going to take a while to winnow down that pile. Plus, there's also a 2009 Support Your Local Library challenge. What's a reader to do?!
Finally, I came across the literature map quite by accident, but it's a fun little spot. You type in the name of an author and suddenly all these names will float across your screen, with the most closely related near your original name. It's fun to play with, even if you don't agree with all the choices.