Can't resist a good challenge.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Quick Guide Rehab for 2010

I'm working on a new format for my Quick Guide for 2010. Hopefully, it will be a little more useful and easier to update than the 2009 Guide.

More to come.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The 42 (Sci-Fi) Challenge 2010

***Challenge ended. See my wrap-up post here.***

Dates: 1 January to 3 December 2010
Hosted by: Becky of Becky's Book Reviews

Guidelines:
  • Read, watch, or listen to (and possibly review) at least 42 science fiction items.
  • Keep an ongoing list of your items on the challenge blog or on your on website.
  • You can link to your reviews or not; and reviews are not required in order to participate.
See my wrap-up post here.
See my personal challenge blog here.
See the challenge announcement page here.
See the challenge blog here.
See my challenge blog posts here.

MY LIST:
  1. Avatar (2009; film)
  2. The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953; film)
  3. Contact. Carl Sagan (1985; novel; 432 pages)
  4. Deja Vu (2006; film)
  5. Doctor Who (David Tennant): "Planet of the Ood" (2008; TV series)
  6. Doctor Who (David Tennant): "Partners in Crime" (2008; TV series)
  7. Eureka: "Founder's Day" (2010; TV series)
  8. Eureka: "A New World" (2010; TV series)
  9. Eureka: "All the Rage" (2010; TV series)
  10. Eureka: "Crossing Over" (2010; TV series)
  11. Eureka: "Momstrosity" (2010; TV series)
  12. Eureka: "Stoned" (2010; TV series)
  13. Eureka: "The Ex-Files" (2010; TV series)
  14. Eureka: "I'll Be Seeing You" (2010; TV series)
  15. Eureka: "O Little Town" (2010; TV series)
  16. Five Million Miles to Earth (1967; film)
  17. Forbidden Planet (1956; film)
  18. The Forgotten (2004; film)
  19. Operation Terror (1962; novel)
  20. Panic in Year Zero! (1962; film)
  21. Star Trek (2009; film)
  22. Star Trek: Generations (1994; film)
  23. Star Trek: The Next Generation: "Family" (1990; TV series)
  24. Star Trek: The Next Generation: "Future Imperfect" (1990; TV series)
  25. Star Trek: The Next Generation: "Reunion" (1990; TV series)
  26. Star Trek: The Next Generation: "I Borg" (1992; TV series)
  27. Star Trek: The Next Generation: "The Inner Light" (1992; TV series)
  28. Star Trek: The Next Generation: "Relics" (1992; TV series)
  29. Star Trek: The Next Generation: "Homeward" (1993; TV series)
  30. Star Trek: The Next Generation: "Sub Rosa" (1993-94; TV series)
  31. Star Trek: The Next Generation: "Emergence" (1994; TV series)
  32. Star Trek: The Next Generation: "Eye of the Beholder" (1994; TV series)
  33. Star Trek: The Next Generation: "Genesis" (1994; TV series)
  34. Star Trek: The Next Generation: "Journey's End" (1994; TV series)
  35. Space Cowboys (2000; film)
  36. The Island of Dr. Moreau. H.G. Wells (1895; novel; 245 pages)
  37. X the Unknown (1956; film)
  38. These Are the Damned (1962; film)

The Typically British Reading Challenge 2010

***Challenge completed. See my wrap-up post here.***

Dates:
1 January to 31 December 2010
Hosted by: Book Chick City

Guidelines:
  • The challenge is to read a set number of fiction books by British authors.
  • Challenge begins January 1, 2010. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.
  • You don't have to make a list of books to read - just choose as you go. Or, if you do make a list, it can be changed at any time.
  • Crossovers with other challenges are allowed.
  • There will be a place to link your reviews, but reviews aren't mandatory.
Levels of Participation:
  1. "Put the Kettle On" - Read 2 books
  2. "Gordon Bennett" - Read 4 books
  3. "Bob's Your Uncle" - Read 6 books
  4. "Cream Crackered" - Read 8 books

See my original post about the challenge here.
See my wrap-up post here.
See the challenge announcement page here.
See the challenge review page here.

I'm signing up for Level 4 ("Cream Crackered") - read 8 books.

MY READING LIST (subject to change):
  1. The Raphael Affair. Iain Pears [see review]
  2. The Island of Dr. Moreau. H.G. Wells [see review]
  3. The Brontes Went to Woolworths. Rachel Ferguson [see review]
  4. Heresy. S.J. Parris [Review to come]
  5. The Inheritance. Simon Tolkien [see review]
  6. Cards on the Table. Agatha Christie [see review]
  7. Animal Farm. George Orwell [Review to come]
  8. The Thirty-nine Steps. John Buchan [see review]

Other Possibilities:
According to Mark. Penelope Lively
Afternoon of a Good Woman. Nina Bawden
All Passion Spent. Vita Sackville-West
The Ballad of Peckham Rye. Muriel Spark
The Black Prince.
Iris Murdoch
The Camomile Lawn.
Mary Wesley
Circles of Deceit. Nina Bawden
The Comforters.
Muriel Spark
Consequences.
Penelope Lively
The Driver's Seat. Muriel Spark
Family Album. Penelope Lively
Family Money. Nina Bawden
The Finishing School. Muriel Spark
The Go-Between. L.P. Hartley
The Heat of the Day. Elizabeth Bowen
Heat Wave. Penelope Lively
Judgment Day. Penelope Lively
Jumping the Queue. Mary Wesley
The Mandelbaum Gate. Muriel Spark
The Moonstone. Wilkie Collins
Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont. Elizabeth Taylor
Murder Must Advertise. Dorothy L. Sayers
The Public Image. Muriel Spark
The Road to Lichfield. Penelope Lively
The Sea, The Sea. Iris Murdoch
Treasures of Time. Penelope Lively
The Virgin in the Garden. A.S. Byatt
Symposium. Muriel Spark
In Chancery (Forstye Saga, book 2). John Galsworthy
To Let (Forsyte Saga, book 3). John Galsworthy
Mrs. McGinty's Dead. Agatha Christie
The Secret Adversary. Agatha Christie
Good Morning, Midnight. Jean Rhys
The Years. Virginia Woolf
The Children's Book. A.S. Byatt
Afternoon Men. Anthony Powell
Travels With My Aunt. Graham Greene
Party Going. Henry Green

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The 2010 Bibliophilic Books Challenge

**Challenge completed. See my wrap-up post here.**

Dates:
1 January to 31 December 2010
Hosted by: Lesley of A Life in Books

Guidelines:
  • Read a set number of books that focus on books or reading.
  • Books can be fiction or nonfiction.
  • Only books read during the challenge will count.
  • Re-reads and crossovers with other challenges are allowed.
  • No need to make a list of books to read.
  • You can change your mind on any particular book selection throughout the challenge.
Levels of Participation:
  • Bookworm: Read three books
  • Litlover: Read six books
  • Bibliomaniac: Read twelve books
See my original post about the challenge here.
See my wrap-up post here.
See the challenge announcement page here.
See the list of reviews here.

I'm signing up at the Bookworm level (three books), but hope to do better than that.

MY READING LIST:
  1. The Anthologist. Nicholson Baker [See Review]
  2. People of the Book. Geraldine Brooks [Review to come]
  3. The Forgotten Garden. Kate Morton [See Review]
  4. The Egypt Game. Zilpha Keatley Snyder [See Review]
  5. The Inheritance. Simon Tolkien [See Review]

OTHER POSSIBLE CHOICES:
  • Fiction:
    The Book of Air and Shadows. Michael Gruber
    The Book of Lost Things. John Connolly
    The Bookwoman's Last Fling. John Dunning
    The Dante Club. Matthew Pearl
    Ex-Libris. Ross King
    The Geographer's Library. Jon Fasman
    Inkheart. Cornelia Funke
    The Last Dickens. Matthew Pearl
    The Secret of Lost Things. Sheridan Hay
    Sign of the Book. John Dunning

  • Nonfiction:
    A Gentle Madness. Nicholas A. Basbanes
    A Passion for Books. Harold Rabinowitz
    Book Row. Marvin Mondlin
    Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader. Anne Fadiman
    Library: An Unquiet History. Matthew Battles
    The Library at Night. Alberto Manguel
    Old and Rare: Thirty Years in the Book Business. Leona Rostenberg and Madeleine B. Stern
    Old Books, Rare Friends. Madeleine B. Stern and Leona Rostenberg
    Sisters of the Sinai. Janet Martin Soskice
    Slightly Chipped: Footnotes in Booklore. Lawrence Goldstone
    The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop. Lewis Buzbee

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Art History Reading Challenge

***Challenge ended. See my wrap-up post here.***

Dates: 1 January to 31 December 2010
Hosted by: Nomadreader

Guidelines:
  • Read at least 3 books about art in 2010
  • Books can be either fiction or nonfiction, and can be from any genre (historical fiction, graphic novels, etc.)
  • Young adult and children's books are allowed
  • Crossovers with other challenges are allowed
  • You can make your list of books in advance or choose as you go

Levels of Participation:
  • Curious - Read at least 3 books about art, either fiction or nonfiction
  • Fascinated - Read at least 6 books about art, either fiction or nonfiction
  • Enamored - Read at least 9 books about art, either fiction or nonfiction
  • Utterly enchanted - Read at least 12 books about art, either fiction or nonfiction
I'm signing up for the "Fascinated" level (at least 6 books).

See my original post about the challenge here.
See my wrap-up post here.
See the challenge announcement page here.
See the LibraryThing discussion group here.

MY READING LIST
  1. The Griffin and Sabine Trilogy. Nick Bantock [See Review]
  2. The Raphael Affair. Iain Pears [See Review]
  3. Quattrocento. James McKean [See Review]
  4. The Hypnotist. M.J. Rose [See Review]
  5. The Forgery of Venus. Michael Gruber
  6. Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper. Harriet Scott Chessman

LIST OF POSSIBILITIES
Art-Related Fiction
A Curious Earth: A Novel. Gerard Woodward
A Killer Collection (Collectible Mysteries, No.1). J.B. Stanley
Afterimage. Helen Humphreys
An Artist of the Floating World. Kazuo Ishiguro
Cat's Eye. Margaret Atwood
Chasing Cezanne. Peter Mayle
Coast Road. Barbara Delinsky
Death and Restoration. Iain Pears
Depths of Glory. Irving Stone
Feint of Art (Annie Kincaid Mysteries No.1). Hailey Lind
Girl in Hyacinth Blue. Susan Vreeland
Girl with a Pearl Earring. Tracy Chevalier
Headlong. Michael Frayn
I Am Madame X. Gioia Dilberto
Leonardo's Swans. Karen Essex
Luncheon of the Boating Party. Susan Vreeland
Lust for Life. Irving Stone
Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper. Harriet Scott Chessman
Modern Art: A Novel. Evenly Toynton
My Name Is Asher Lev. Chaim Potok
Pale as the Dead. Fiona Mountain
Quattrocento. James McKean
Seek My Face. John Updike
Stealing Athena. Karen Essex
Still Life. Louise Penny
Stone Virgin. Barry Unsworth
The Agony and the Ecstasy. Irving Stone
The Bone Vault. Linda Fairstein
The Brutal Art. Jesse Kellerman
The Calder Game. Blue Balliett
The Caves of Perigord. Martin Walker
The Cezanne Chase (Inspector Jack Oxby). Thomas Swan
The Chrysalis: A Novel. Heather Terrell
The DaVinci Deception. (Inspector Jack Oxby). Thomas Swan
The Danish Girl. David Ebershoff
The Final Faberge (Inspector Jack Oxby). Thomas Swan
The Forgery of Venus. Michael Gruber
The Illuminator. Brenda Rickman Vantrease
The Lady and the Unicorn. Tracy Chevalier
The Light Possessed. Alan Cheuse
The Light That Failed. Rudyard Kipling
The Lost Diaries of Frans Hals: A Novel. Michael Kernan
The Madonnas of Leningrad. Debra Dean
The Marble Faun. Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Matisse Stories. A.S. Byatt
The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre. Dominic Smith
The Moon and Sixpence. W. Somerset Maugham
The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World. E.L. Konigsberg
The Needle in the Blood. Sarah Bower
The Painted Kiss. Elizabeth Hickey
The Painter from Shanghai. Jennifer Cody Epstein
The Painter. Will Davenport
The Raphael Affair. Iain Pears
The Second Mrs. Gioconda. E.L. Konigsberg
The Seventh Unicorn. Kelly Jones
The Underpainter. Jane Urquhart
The Wayward Muse. Elizabeth Hickey
The World to Come: A Novel. Dara Horn

Art-Related Nonfiction
Brunelleschi's Dome. Ross King
Sargent's Daughters: A Biography of a Painting
. Erica S. Hirshler
Strapless. Deborah Davis
The Judgment of Paris. Ross King
The Lost Painting. Jonathan Harr
The Story of the Armory Show. Milton W. Brown

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Series Challenge Season Four

***Challenge ended. See my wrap-up post here.***

Dates: 1 December 2009 to 30 November 2010
Hosted by: Kathrin of Secret Dreamworld of a Bookaholic

Guidelines:
  • Pick a couple series you already started and now want to finish (meaning, you'll be all up to date with the series when it ends).
  • Read at least 4 books, more are also okay, of course!
  • Crossovers with other challenges are always okay.
  • Post your reviews on your blog or in the comments section of the challenge page, no matter how long. If you post the review on your blog, post a link to the review in the comments section so everyone else can check out your review.
  • Have fun!
See my original post about the challenge here.
See my wrap-up post here.
See the challenge announcement page here.

I'll be working on these series in 2010:
  • The Cliff Janeway series by John Dunning (2 books left to read)
  • The Mrs. Malory series by Hazel Holt (6 books left to read)
  • The Needlework (Betsy Devonshire) series by Monica Ferris (9 books left to read)
  • The Pendergast series by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (7 books left to read)
MY READING LIST:
  1. Crewel Yule (Needlework/Betsy Devonshire series). Monica Ferris [see review]
  2. Mrs. Malory and Any Man's Death (Mrs. Malory series). Hazel Holt [Review to come]
  3. A Stitch in Time (Needlework/Betsy Devonshire series). Monica Ferris [Review to come]

Sunday, November 22, 2009

New Authors Challenge 2010

***Challenge completed. See my wrap-up post here.***

Dates: 1 January through 31 December, 2010
Hosted by: Jackie at Literary Escapism

Guidelines:
  • Choose 15, 25, or 50 new-to-you authors.
  • No limit on genres.
  • Anthologies are allowed; however, only a third of your choices can be from anthologies.
  • Crossovers with other challenges are allowed.
  • You don't need a blog to participate.
  • There will be a Mr. Linky for reviews.
See my original post about the challenge here.
See my wrap-up post here.
See the challenge announcement page here.

I'm committing to 15 new authors, and hope to do a little better than that.

MY READING LIST:
  1. The Anthologist. Nicholson Baker [See Review]
  2. The Raphael Affair. Iain Pears [See Review]
  3. Venom. Joan Brady [See Review]
  4. Quattrocento. James McKean [See Review]
  5. People of the Book. Geraldine Brooks [Review to come]
  6. The Brontes Went to Woolworths. Rachel Ferguson [See Review]
  7. Heresy. S.J. Parris [Review to come]
  8. Before the Throne. Naguib Mahfouz [Review to come]
  9. The Swimming Pool. Holly LeCraw [See Review]
  10. An American Type. Henry Roth [See Review]
  11. A River in the Sky. Elizabeth Peters [See Review]
  12. Live To Tell. Lisa Gardner [See Review]
  13. Tinkers. Paul Harding [See Review]
  14. The Last Child. John Hart [Review to come]
  15. The Hypnotist. M.J. Rose [See Review]
  16. The Forgotten Garden. Kate Morton [See Review]
  17. The Spider Bites. Medora Sale [Review to come]
  18. The Three Weissmanns of Westport. Cathleen Schine [Review to come]
  19. The Good Psychologist. Noam Shpancer [See Review]
  20. Damaged. Alex Kava [See Review]
  21. The Egypt Game. Zilpha Keatley Snyder [See Review]
  22. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. Alan Bradley [Review to come]
  23. Think of a Number. John Verdon [Review to come]
  24. All Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Lost. Lan Samantha Chang [See Review]
  25. The Convent. Panos Karnezis [See Review]
  26. The Inheritance. Simon Tolkien [See Review]
  27. The House Next Door. Anne Rivers Siddons [See Review]
  28. Book of Shadows. Alexandra Sokoloff [Review to come]
  29. After Claude. Iris Owens [See Review]
  30. The Vanishing of Katharina Linden. Helen Grant [Review to come]
  31. Juliet. Anne Fortier [See Review]
  32. The Weird Sisters. Eleanor Brown [See Review]
  33. The Thirty-Nine Steps. John Buchan [See Review]

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Thriller-Suspense Challenge 2010

***Challenge completed. See my wrap-up post here.***

Dates:
1 January to 31 December 2010
Hosted by: Book Chick City

Guidelines:
  • Read twelve (12) thriller-suspense novels in 2010. You can make your choices from any of the many sub-genres.
  • No list necessary; if you want to list your books ahead of time, that's OK, but not required.
  • Lists can change during the course of the challenge.
  • Crossovers with other challenges are allowed.
  • There will be a page to list your reviews, although reviews are optional.
See my original post about the challenge here.
See my wrap-up post here.
See the challenge announcement page here.
See the list of sub-genres here.
See the review page here.

MY READING LIST (books read):
  1. The Raphael Affair. Iain Pears [See Review]
    ~ (I'm putting this one in the Drama Thriller category.)
  2. Venom. Joan Brady [See Review]
    ~ (This one would fit in either the Disaster or Eco-Thriller categories.)
  3. Mrs. Malory and Any Man's Death. Hazel Holt [Review to come]
    ~ (Cozy Mystery category. Would also fit the Amateur Detective Mystery category)
  4. Heresy. S.J. Parris [Review to come]
    ~ (Historical thriller category.)
  5. A Stitch in Time. Monica Ferris [Review to come]
    ~ (Cozy Mystery category; but it would also fit into the Amateur Detective category, too.)
  6. A River in the Sky. Elizabeth Peters [See Review]
    ~ (Historical Mystery/Thriller category.)
  7. Live To Tell. Lisa Gardner [See Review]
    ~ (This would fit in the Drama Thriller and/or Serial Killer Thriller categories)
  8. The Last Child. John Hart [Review to come]
    ~ (Drama Thriller category; with a little bit of Amateur Detective Mystery thrown in.)
  9. Innocent. Scott Turow [See Review]
    ~ (Legal Thriller category)
  10. The Hypnotist. M.J. Rose [See Review]
    ~ (Drama Thriller category)
  11. Damaged. Alex Kava [See Review]
    ~ (Serial Killer Thriller category)
  12. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. Alan Bradley [Review to come]
    ~(Haven't figured out a category for this one yet)
  13. Think of a Number. John Verdon [Review to come]
    ~ (Serial Killer or Drama Thriller categories)
  14. The Inheritance. Simon Tolkien [See Review]
    ~ (Legal Thriller category)
  15. Cards on the Table. Agatha Christie [See Review]
    ~ (Locked Room Mystery category)
  16. Book of Shadows. Alexandra Sokoloff [Review to come]
    ~ (Supernatural Thriller category)
  17. The Dark Half. Stephen King [Review to come]
    ~ (Horror Thriller category)

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Christmas Reading Challenge

***Challenge completed. See my wrap-up post here.***

Dates: November 26 through December 31, 2009
Hosted by: Michelle of The True Book Addict

Guidelines:

  • Read one or more books with Christmas themes, during the time period of the challenge.
  • The books have to be Christmas books – either novels with a Christmas theme, or books of Christmas short stories, or nonfiction books about the holiday.
  • No children's books, but YA books are allowed.
See my original post about the challenge here.
See my challenge wrap-up post here.
See the challenge announcement page here.
See the challenge review page here.

MY READING LIST:
  1. Crewel Yule. Monica Ferris (see review)
  2. Santa Clawed. Rita Mae Brown (see review)
  3. Christmas Card Magic. Margaret Perry (see review)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Awesome Author Challenge 2010

**Challenge completed. See my wrap-up post here.**

Dates
: Throughout 2010
Hosted by: Alyce of At Home With Books

Guidelines:
"The idea behind this challenge is to read works by authors who have been recommended to you time and again, yet somehow you haven't managed to read any books by those authors. These are the authors that everyone else tells you are awesome, thus the 'Awesome Author Challenge' title."
  • The challenge starts January 1, 2010 and ends December 31, 2010.
  • Crossovers with other challenges are allowed.
  • Choose the level at which you would like to participate, post about it and then visit Alyce's blog to sign up and leave your link.
  • Titles and authors do not have to be predetermined, and your list of choices can be changed at any time.
  • Books can come from any genre or reading level. The only requirement is that you have heard great things about the authors, but haven't yet read any of their works.

Levels of Participation:

  • Easy: Choose three authors and read at least one title from each author.
  • Moderate: Choose six authors and read at least one title from each author.
  • Challenging: Choose ten authors and read at least one title from each author.
  • Over-achieving: Anything over ten authors.
See my original post about the Challenge here.
See my wrap-up post here.
See the Challenge announcement page here.
See the Challenge wrap-up page here.

I'm going to try the Challenging Level, and choose ten awesome authors who are new to me.

MY READING LIST:
  1. Nick Bantock: The Griffin & Sabine Trilogy [See Review]
  2. Nicholson Baker: The Anthologist [See Review]
  3. Iain Pears: The Raphael Affair [See Review]
  4. Henry Roth: An American Type [See Review]
  5. Elizabeth Peters: A River in the Sky [See Review]
  6. Lisa Gardner: Live To Tell [See Review]
  7. Kate Morton: The Forgotten Garden [See Review]
  8. Alex Kava: Damaged [See Review]
  9. Zilpha Keatley Snyder: The Egypt Game [See Review]
  10. Anne Rivers Siddons: The House Next Door [See Review]

Monday, November 2, 2009

The November Novella Challenge

**Challenge completed. See my wrap-up post here.**

Dates:
Through November 30, 2009
Hosted by: Bibliofreak

Guidelines:
". . . there aren’t any rules. . .just some suggestions for cheating: Cross-overs with other challenges are fine, audiobooks are fine. . . . I do ask you to make a list in advance, but swapping out books on your list as you go is no problem. If you don’t have a blog, that’s O.K.! You can still participate by writing a short review in the comments section of the review page. . . ."
Levels of Participation:
  • Level I: Read one (just one!) novella by November 30, 2009
  • Level II: Read four novellas (one each week, mayhaps?) by November 30, 2009
  • Level III: Read eight novellas (two a week?) by November 30, 2009
  • Level IV: AKA, the As Many As You Freakin’ Can level: Read as many novellas as you freakin’ can by November 30, 2009
See my original post about the challenge here.
See my wrap-up post here.
See the challenge announcement page here.
See the challenge review page here.

I'm playing it safe and signing up for Level I.

MY READING LIST (completed works):
  1. The Lair of the White Worm. Bram Stoker [see review]
  2. The Uncommon Reader. Alan Bennett [review to come]
  3. The Lesson of the Master. Henry James [review to come]
  4. The Lover. Marguerite Duras [review to come]

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fall Into Reading 2009

***Challenge completed. See my wrap-up post.***

Dates:
September 22 to December 20, 2009
Hosted by: Callapidder Days

Guidelines:
  • Make a list of the books you think you'd like to read during the period of the challenge, and post the list on your blog.
  • Go to the sign-up page and add the link to your post using Mister Linky.
  • Participants can read any number of books.
  • Lists can be changed or added to over the course of the challenge.
  • Reviews are optional.
See my original post about the challenge here.
See my wrap-up post here.
See the challenge sign-up page here.
See the challenge review page here.
See the challenge wrap-up page here.

MY BOOK LIST (books read):
  1. New Year's Eve. Lisa Grunwald [see review]
  2. The Man in the Picture. Susan Hill [see review]
  3. The Woman in Black. Susan Hill [see review]
  4. From Doon with Death. Ruth Rendell [see review]
  5. The Friend of Madame Maigret. Georges Simenon [see review]
  6. The Lair of the White Worm. Bram Stoker [see review]
  7. Homer & Langley. E.L. Doctorow [review to come]
  8. The Uncommon Reader. Alan Bennett [review to come]
  9. Stardust. Joseph Kanon [review to come]
  10. The Lover. Marguerite Duras [review to come]
  11. Santa Clawed. Rita Mae Brown [see review]
  12. Christmas Card Magic. Margaret Perry [see review]

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

R.I.P. IV Challenge

**Challenge completed. See my wrap-up post here.**

Dates: September 1 through October 31, 2009
Hosted by: Carl V. of Stainless Steel Droppings

Guidelines:

There are several different levels of participation:
  • Peril the First: Read four books of any length, from any subgenre you choose.
  • Peril the Second: Read two books of any length, from any subgenre you choose.
  • Peril the Third: Read one book of any length, from any subgenre you choose.
  • Short Story Peril: An extra option, for those who want to participate in Short Story Sundays.
Choose your books from the following subgenres:
  • Mystery
  • Suspense
  • Thriller
  • Dark Fantasy
  • Gothic
  • Horror
  • Supernatural
See my original post about the Challenge here.
See my wrap-up post here.
See the Challenge announcement page here.
See the Challenge review page here.

I'm going to try Peril the First (four books), although if all goes well I might be able to do a little better than that.

MY BOOK LIST (books read):
  1. The Man in the Picture. Susan Hill [see review]
  2. The Woman in Black. Susan Hill [see review]
  3. New Year's Eve. Lisa Grunwald [see review]
  4. From Doon with Death. Ruth Rendell [see review]
  5. The Friend of Madame Maigret. Georges Simenon [see review]
  6. The Lair of the White Worm. Bram Stoker [see review]

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Summer Reading Challenge 2009

**Challenge completed. See my wrap-up post here. **

Dates:
June 21 to September 21, 2009
Hosted by: A Southern Daydreamer Reads

Guidelines:
  • Make a list of books you want to read this summer.
  • Write a post with your list on your blog. (You can add to or change this list at any time during the challenge.)
  • Post the direct link to your Summer Reading Challenge 2009 post (so that other participants can visit and see what you are reading).
  • You can write another post in September to let everyone know how you did.
See my original post about the challenge here.
See my challenge wrap-up post here.
See the challenge announcement page here.

READING LIST (books read):
  1. The Valley of Fear. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle [see review]
  2. The Angel's Game. Carlos Ruiz Zafon [review to come]
  3. Sacred Hearts. Sarah Dunant [review to come]
  4. The Fire. Katherine Neville [see review]
  5. Grave Goods. Ariana Franklin [see review]
  6. Fear the Worst. Linwood Barclay [see review]
  7. Rabbit Is Rich. John Updike [see review]
  8. Victory Over Japan. Ellen Gilchrist [see review]
  9. Dance of Death. Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child [review to come]
  10. The Man in the Picture. Susan Hill [review to come]
  11. The Woman in Black. Susan Hill [ review to come]
  12. New Year's Eve. Lisa Grunwald [see review]

Monday, May 11, 2009

Southern Reading Challenge 2009

**Challenge Completed. See my wrap-up post here.**

Dates: 15 May to 15 August, 2009
Hosted by: Maggie of Maggie Reads

Guidelines:
You may choose to read any style of Southern book such as Appalachian tales, Civil War sagas, Gothic myths, Grit lit, and heart-wrenching biographies. . . . Just as long as you read three (fiction or nonfiction) between May 15th and August 15th.

See my original post about the challenge here.
See my wrap-up post here.
See the challenge announcement page here.

READING LIST (books read):
  1. The Optimist's Daughter. Eudora Welty [see review]
  2. Ellen Foster. Kaye Gibbons [review to come]
  3. To Dance with the White Dog. Terry Kay [see review]

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sunshine Smackdown! Battle of the Prizes Challenge

**Challenge completed. See my wrap-up post here.**

Dates:
1 May to 7 September 2009
Hosted by: Rose City Reader

Guidelines:
  • Chose three books that you have not read before:
    1) One that won both the Pulitzer and the National;
    2) One that won the Pulitzer but not the National; and
    3) One that won the National but not the Pulitzer.
  • OPTION: For those who have already read all six of the double-dippers, or otherwise do not want to read one of those six, pick two Pulitzer winners and two National winners for a total of four books.
  • Read all books between May Day and Labor Day. Overlap with other challenges is allowed -- and encouraged!

See my original post about the challenge here.
See my challenge wrap-up post here.
See the challenge announcement page here.
See the challenge wrap-ups page here.

MY READING LIST

  1. Double Winner: Rabbit is Rich. John Updike [see review]
  2. Pulitzer Winner: The Optimist's Daughter. Eudora Welty [see review]
  3. National Book Award Winner: Victory Over Japan. Ellen Gilchrist [see review]

The Herding Cats II Challenge (Attack of the Hairballs)

***Challenge ended.***

Well, this was sort of a non-challenge (see guidelines), so I guess it's OK that I didn't read any books for it. But I certainly enjoyed looking at the list of possible reads!

Dates: 1 April to 31 December 2009
Hosted by: Renay, at Let's Get Literate

Guidelines:
  • Make a list of five books you want to recommend. All titles must be books you've read in 2007, 2008 or 2009. Do not list entire series of books - just one of the titles in the series.
  • Post your list in your own blog or in comments on the challenge announcement page. Your list must be public (no locked entries, no logging in to view).
  • Browse the Master Book List for books you'd like to read.
  • Read or not, as you like. Review or not, as you like. Share your reviews or not, as you like.

See my original post about the challenge here.
See the challenge announcement page here.
See the Book List here.
See the Review List here.

MY READING LIST (the books I would have read, if I'd read any for the challenge):

  1. The Library at Night. Alberto Manguel
  2. The Manual of Detection. Jedediah Berry
  3. Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind. Ann B. Ross
  4. Norwegian Wood. Haruki Murakami
  5. The Secret History. Donna Tartt
  6. Smilla's Sense of Snow. Peter Hoeg
  7. We Have Always Lived in the Castle. Shirley Jackson

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring Reading Thing 2009

**Challenge completed. See my wrap-up post here.**

Dates:
20 March through 20 June, 2009
Hosted by: Katrina of Callapidder Days

Guidelines:
  • Make a list of the books you think you'll read
  • Write a blog post and then sign-up using Mr. Linky on the challenge announcement page
  • List can change over the duration of the challenge
See my original post about the challenge here.
See my challenge wrap-up post here.
See the challenge announcement page here.
See the challenge review page here.

MY READING LIST (books read):
  1. Angels & Demons. Dan Brown [see review]
  2. The Private Patient. P.D. James [review to come]
  3. The Way Through the Woods. Colin Dexter [see review]
  4. The Book of God and Physics. Enrique Joven [see review]
  5. Brimstone. Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child [review to come]
  6. The Old Man and Me. Elaine Dundy [see review]
  7. The Optimist's Daughter. Eudora Welty [see review]
  8. Ellen Foster. Kaye Gibbons [review to come]
  9. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. Robert C. O'Brien [see review]
  10. To Dance with the White Dog. Terry Kay [see review]
  11. The Unit. Ninni Holmqvist [see review]
  12. Moon Tiger. Penelope Lively [review to come]
  13. The Longshot. Katie Kitamura [see review]
  14. The Valley of Fear. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle [see review]

Once Upon a Time III Challenge


Dates: 21 March to 20 June, 2009
Hosted by: Carl V of
Stainless Steel Droppings

Guidelines:
  • Readings should come from these four genres: fantasy, fairy tale, folklore and mythology.
  • Participants can choose one or more of the following levels (or Quests).
  1. The Journey - Read at least one book from any of the four genres. No need to commit to any set number of books.
  2. Quest the First - Read at least 5 books that fit somewhere within the Once Upon a Time III criteria. They might all be fantasy, or folklore, or fairy tales, or mythology…or your five books might be a combination from the four genres.
  3. Quest the Second - Read at least one book from each of the four categories. In this quest you will be reading 4 books total: one fantasy, one folklore, one fairy tale, and one mythology.
  4. Quest the Third - Fulfill the requirements for Quest the First or Quest the Second AND top it off with a June reading of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream OR a viewing of one of the many theatrical versions of the play.
  5. Quest the Fourth - Read two non-fiction books, essay collections, etc. that treat any one or more of the four genres covered in this challenge.
  6. Short Story Weekends - This quest involves the reading of one or more short stories that fit within at least one of the four genres during the course of the weekend. Ideally you would post about your short story readings on Sundays or Mondays, but this is not strictly necessary.
See my original post about the Challenge here.
See the Challenge Announcement page here.
See the Challenge Review page here.

I've chosen to join the Challenge at the Journey level, although I'm hoping to manage more than one book; and my reading will most likely be from the fantasy genre.

MY BOOK LIST
  1. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. Robert C. O'Brien [see review]

Friday, March 6, 2009

The 1% Well-Read Challenge

Dates: 1 March 2009-31 March 2010
Hosted by: Michelle of 1 More Chapter

All selections are to come from the lists in the book, 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (Peter Boxall, ed.). Participants can use either the original edition of the book, or the new revised edition.

Guidelines:
  • Read 10 titles from the original list from March 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009.
  • Read 10 titles from the new list from March 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009.
  • Read 13 titles from the combined list (of almost 1300 titles) from March 1, 2009 through March 31, 2010. In other words, “What were they thinking dropping titles from Dostoevsky and Jane Austen?”
  • For all options, overlaps with other challenges are allowed, and you may change your list at any time.
See my original post about the challenge here.
See the challenge announcement page here.

READING LIST (books read):

  1. Rabbit Is Rich. John Updike [see review]
  2. The Lover. Marguerite Duras [review to come]
  3. Contact. Carl Sagan [review to come]
Other Possible Choices:
Ada. Vladimir Nabokov
Alias Grace. Margaret Atwood
The Ambassadors
. Henry James
American Pastoral. Philip Roth
Animal Farm. George Orwell
An Artist of the Floating World. Kazuo Ishiguro
Atonement. Ian McEwan
At the Mountains of Madness. H.P. Lovecraft
The Bell Jar. Sylvia Plath
The Big Sleep. Raymond Chandler
The Black Dahlia. James Ellroy
The Black Prince. Iris Murdoch
Black Water. Joyce Carol Oates
The Book of Illusions. Paul Auster
Brighton Rock. Graham Greene
Cause for Alarm. Eric Ambler
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Philip K. Dick
The Double. Jose Saramago
The Driver's Seat. Muriel Spark
Eyeless in Gaza. Aldous Huxley
Faceless Killers. Henning Mankell
Farewell, My Lovely. Raymond Chandler
Flaubert's Parrot. Julian Barnes
Foundation. Isaac Asimov
The Go-Between. L.P. Hartley
Good Morning, Midnight. Jean Rhys
The Heat of the Day. Elizabeth Bowen
The Hours. Michael Cunningham
If on a winter's night a traveler. Italo Calvino
Ignorance. Milan Kundera
Invisible Cities. Italo Calvino
The Long Goodbye. Raymond Chandler
Loving. Henry Green
The Moonstone. Wilkie Collins
Neuromancer. William Gibson
Northanger Abbey. Jane Austen
The Old Devils. Kingsley Amis
Party Going. Henry Green
Portnoy's Complaint. Philip Roth
Rabbit, Run. John Updike
Rabbit Redux. John Updike
The Reader. Bernhard Schlink
The Sea, the Sea. Iris Murdoch
The Secret History. Donna Tartt
Them. Joyce Carol Oates
The Third Man. Graham Greene
The 13 Clocks. James Thurber
The Virgin in the Garden. A.S. Byatt
The Virgin Suicides. Jeffrey Eugenides
Wide Sargasso Sea. Jean Rhys
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. Haruki Murakami
Wise Children. Angela Carter

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Guardian 1000 Novels Challenge

**Challenge ended. See my wrap-up statement below.**


Dates: 1 February 2009 - 1 February 2010
Hosted by: Jennie of Biblio File

Guidelines:

  • The British paper, The Guardian, has come up with a list of 1000 Novels Everyone Must Read Before They Die. The books on the list are divided into seven categories:
    (1) Comedy;
    (2) Crime;
    (3) Family and Self;
    (4) Love;
    (5) Science Fiction and Fantasy;
    (6) State of the Nation;
    (7) War and Travel.
    The challenge is to read and review 10 books off the list (that's 1%) between February 1st of 2009 and February 1st of 2010.
  • Of these 10, you must read 1 from each category and, if possible, 1 should be a book you have never heard of until you saw it on this list.

See my original post about the challenge here.
See the challenge announcement page here.
See reviews for February 2009 here.
See reviews for March 2009 here.
See reviews for April 2009 here.

The wrap-up:
Unfortunately, this is another challenge that got away from me. I completely forgot that it was ending in February of 2010 - thought I had a few more months to finish it. But even so, I managed to read six books, from five different categories which makes me feel pretty satisfied.

READING LIST

  1. Cover Her Face, by P.D. James (Category: Crime) [see review]
  2. The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton (Category: Love) [see review]
  3. Solaris, by Stanislaw Lem (Category: Science Fiction and Fantasy) [see review]
  4. The Uncommon Reader. Alan Bennett (Category: Comedy) [review to come]
  5. The Lover. Marguerite Duras Category: Love) [review to come]
  6. The Island of Dr. Moreau. H.G. Wells (Category: War/Travel) [see review]