Can't resist a good challenge.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fall Into Reading 2011

**Challenge complete.**

Dates: 23 September through 21 December 2011
Hosted by: Katrina at Callapidder Days

Guidelines (quoted from the challenge website):
  • Make a list of books you want to read (or finish reading) this fall. Your list can be as long or as short as you’d like.
  • Write a blog post containing your list and submit it to this post....
  • Get reading! The challenge goes from September 23rd through December 21st.
  • Check out other participants’ lists and add to your own to-read-someday pile, if you wish!
  • Write a post about your challenge experience in December, telling us all about whether you reached your goals and how Fall Into Reading went for you.
See my original post about the challenge here.
See my wrap-up post here.
See the challenge announcement page here.


MY BOOK LIST (with links to reviews) :
  1. The Man in Lower Ten. Mary Roberts Rinehart
  2. Mrs. Malory and A Time to Die. Hazel Holt
  3. Episode of the Wandering Knife. Mary Roberts Rinehart
  4. The Killings at Badger's Drift. Caroline Graham
  5. Third Girl. Agatha Christie
  6. Hallowe'en Party. Agatha Christie
  7. Mrs. McGinty's Dead. Agatha Christie
  8. The Seance. John Harwood
  9. Literary Brooklyn. Evan Hughes
  10. My Brilliant Career. Miles Franklin
  11. Born in Africa: The Quest for the Origins of Human Life. Martin Meredith
  12. The Sense of an Ending. Julian Barnes
  13. Bid Time Return (aka: Somewhere in Time). Richard Matheson
  14. Staying On. Paul Scott
  15. Alice I Have Been. Melanie Benjamin
  16. Prince Philip: The Turbulent Early Life of the Man Who Married Queen Elizabeth II. Philip Eade

Sunday, September 18, 2011

R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril Challenge VI

**Challenge completed.**

Dates: September 1 through October 31, 2011
Hosted by: Carl V. at 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.
  • Peril of the Short Story: An extra option, for those who want to read shorter works.
  • Peril on the Screen: Another extra option, for those who like to watch scary or suspenseful fare on the large or small screen.
  • Peril of the Group Read: A third extra -- there will be several group reads during the challenge. See announcement page for info.
✸ 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 signed up at the Peril the First level (four books), and combined that with Peril on the Screen.

MY BOOK LIST (books read; with links to reviews):
  1. The Winter Ghosts. Kate Mosse
  2. Quiet as a Nun. Antonia Fraser
  3. Mrs. Malory and A Time To Die. Hazel Holt
  4. The Man in Lower Ten. Mary Roberts Rinehart
  5. Episode of the Wandering Knife. Mary Roberts Rinehart
  6. The Killings at Badger's Drift. Caroline Graham
  7. Third Girl. Agatha Christie
  8. Hallowe'en Party. Agatha Christie

MY SCREEN PERIL LIST (movies/TV shows watched; didn't review any of these):
  1. Case Histories: Episode 1 (TV series; 2011)
  2. Case Histories: Episode 2 (TV series; 2011)
  3. Case Histories: Episode 3 (TV series; 2011)
  4. The Five Red Herrings (Lord Peter Wimsey): Episodes 1-4 (TV mini-series; 1975)
  5. Inspector Lewis: Old, Unhappy, Far Off Things (TV series; 2011)
  6. Inspector Lewis: And the Moonbeams Kiss the Sea (TV series; 2008)
  7. Inspector Lewis: Wild Justice (TV series; 2011)
  8. Inspector Lewis: The Gift of Promise (TV series; 2011)
  9. Inspector Morse: Ghost in the Machine (TV series; 1989)
  10. Midsomer Murders: The Killings at Badger's Drift (TV series; 1997)
  11. Midsomer Murders: Written in Blood (TV series; 1998)
  12. After the Thin Man (film; 1936)
  13. The Big Clock (film; 1948)
  14. The Black Room (film; 1935)
  15. The Evil of Frankenstein (film; 1964)
  16. The Innocents (film; 1961)
  17. In the Mouth of Madness (film; 1994)
  18. It! The Terror from Beyond Space (film; 1958)
  19. The Thirteenth Floor (film; 1999)
  20. The Tingler (film; 1959)
  21. The Uninvited (film; 1944)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Once Upon A Time V Challenge

**Challenge completed.**

Dates: 21 March to 22 June, 2011
Host: Carl V @ 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 Quest - 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.
  7. Quest on the Screen - To participate in this quest simply let the other participants know about the films and/or television shows that you feel fit into the definitions of fantasy, fairy tales, folklore or mythology that you are enjoying during the challenge.

See my original post about the Challenge here.
See the Challenge Announcement page here.
See the Challenge Review page here.

✸ I'm joining the Challenge at the Journey level, although I'm hoping to manage more than one book; my reading will most likely be from the fantasy genre. And this year I'm going to try to participate in the Screen Quest as well.

MY READING LIST
  1. Cynthia's Attic: The Missing Locket. Mary Cunningham (Review to come)

MY VIEWING LIST

Sunday, February 27, 2011

2011 Battle of the Prizes: British Version

***Challenge ended.***

Dates:
1 February 2011 - 31 January 2012
Host: Rose City Reader

Guidelines:
  • Choose from two reading options:

    Option One:
    Choose three books that you have not read before:

    1) One that won both the Booker and the James Tait Black prizes (see the list of "double-dippers").
    2) One that won the Booker Prize (but not the James Tait Black Prize).
    3) One that won the James Tait Black Prize (but not the Booker).

    Option Two:
    For those who have already read all three of the double-dippers, or otherwise do not want to read one of those three, pick two Booker winners and two James Tait Black winners for a total of four books.

  • Challenge rules:
    1) Read all books between February 1, 2011 and January 31, 2012.
    Books don't have to be chosen ahead of time; and choices can be changed at any time.
    2) Overlap with other challenges is allowed.
    3) Reviews are not necessary, but encouraged. If you do not have a blog, put your reviews or reports in a comment on the announcement post.
✸ I'll probably be choosing Option Two, since I'm not really interested in any of the "double dippers."

See my original post about the challenge here.
See the challenge announcement/sign-up page here.
See the list of Booker winners here.
See the list of James Tait Black winners here.

MY READING LIST:
  1. The Sense of an Ending. Julian Barnes (2011 Man Booker)
  2. Staying On. Paul Scott (1977 Man Booker)
  3. The Children's Book. A.S. Byatt (2009 James Tait Black; reading now)

Book Awards Challenge V

**Challenge ended.**

Dates: 1 February - 1 December 2011
Host: 3M (Michelle) @ 1 More Chapter

Guidelines:
  • Read 5 books from 5 different awards during the period from February 1 through December 1, 2011. (See the announcement page for a list of eligible book awards to choose from.)
  • Overlaps with other challenges are permitted.
  • Choices don't have to be posted right away, and lists may be changed at any time.
  • 'Award winners' is loosely defined; make the challenge fit your needs.

See my original post about the challenge here.
See the challenge announcement/sign-up page here.
See the list of awards to choose from here.
See the Mr. Linky page for reviews here.

MY READING LIST (only managed three out of the five books for this one):
  1. A Visit from the Goon Squad. Jennifer Egan (2011 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)
  2. Bid Time Return. Richard Matheson (1976 World Fantasy Award, Best Novel)
  3. The Sense of an Ending. Julian Barnes (2011 Man Booker Prize)

2011 Pub Challenge

**Challenge completed.**

Dates: 1 January - 31 December 2011
Host: 3M (Michelle) @ 1 More Chapter

Guidelines (quoted from the challenge announcement page):
  • Read a minimum of 11 books first published in 2011. You don’t have to buy these. Library books, unabridged audios, or ARCs are all acceptable. To qualify as being first published in 2011, it must be the first time that the book is published in your own country. For example, if a book was published in Australia, England, or Canada in 2010, and then published in the USA in 2011, it counts (if you live in the USA). Newly published trade paperbacks and mass market paperbacks do not count if there has been a hardcover/trade published before 2011.
  • At least 6 titles must be fiction.
  • Crossovers with other challenges are allowed.
  • You can add your titles as you go, and they may be changed at any time.

See my original post about the challenge here.
See my wrap-up post here.
See the challenge announcement/sign-up page here.
See the review page for January/February reviews here.

MY READING LIST (with links to reviews):
  1. The Girl Who Would Speak for the Dead. Paul Elwork (fiction)
  2. The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady. Elizabeth Stuckey-French (fiction)
  3. Art and Madness. Anne Roiphe (nonfiction)
  4. Mr. Chartwell. Rebecca Hunt (fiction)
  5. Tassy Morgan's Bluff. Jim Stinson (fiction)
  6. Shut Your Eyes Tight. John Verdon (fiction)
  7. Nat Tate. William Boyd (fiction)
  8. The Brothers of Baker Street. Michael Robertson (fiction)
  9. The Fatal Touch. Conor Fitzgerald (fiction)
  10. The Winter Ghosts. Kate Mosse (fiction; American edition published 2011)
  11. Literary Brooklyn. Evan Hughes (nonfiction)
  12. Born in Africa: The Quest for the Origins of Human Life. Martin Meredith (nonfiction)
  13. The Sense of an Ending. Julian Barnes (fiction)

Themed Reading Challenge 2011

**Challenge ended.**

Dates: 15 February - 15 August 2011
Host: Teddy Rose @ So Many Precious Books, So Little Time

Guidelines (quoted from the challenge announcement page):

This is a six month challenge designed to help readers clear books from their to-be-read stacks which center around a common theme or themes.
  • Rules:

    1. Readers may join at ANY TIME between now and August 15th.
    2. Books should be chosen from the reader’s TBR pile (this may be an actual physical pile or a virtual pile).
    3. The goal is to read AT LEAST 5 books linked by theme and review them.
    4. Overlaps with other challenges are allowed.
    5. Readers may change their list of books OR their theme(s) at any time.

  • Readers may choose from three levels of participation:

    1. Read at least 5 books which share the same theme.
    2. Read at least 5 books which share TWO themes.
    3. Read at least 5 books which share MORE THAN TWO themes.
Themes can be geographic, genre, author, subject matter, or anything in between!

✸ My themes were mystery novels that feature amateur sleuths, written by female authors. The sleuths didn't have to be female -- just the authors. I'm not sure whether my books shared two or three themes, but I signed up at level two. Only got four of the five required books read -- I think I'm just not very good at sticking with a theme.

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

MY READING LIST:
  1. Whisker of Evil (A Mrs. Murphy Mystery). Rita Mae Brown
  2. Malice in Miniature (A Dorothy Martin Mystery). Jeanne M. Dams
  3. Mrs. Malory and the Fatal Legacy (A Mrs. Malory Mystery). Hazel Holt
  4. Mrs. Malory and A Time to Die (A Mrs. Malory Mystery). Hazel Holt

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Aussie Author Challenge 2011

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

Dates: 1 January - 31 December 2011
Host: Joanne @ Booklover Book Reviews

Guidelines (quoted from the challenge announcement page):
  • Objective: Read and review books written by Australian Authors - physical books, ebooks and audiobooks, fiction and non-fiction!

  • Challenge Levels:
    ~ Tourist - Read and review 3 books by 3 different Aussie Authors
    ~ True Blue - Read and review 12 books by Australian authors (at least 9 different authors)

See my original post about the challenge here.
See my wrap-up post here.
See the challenge announcement/sign-up page here.
Find the link for reviews here.

✸ I'm signing up at the "Tourist" level, and will be reading three books.


MY READING LIST (books read):
  1. Picnic at Hanging Rock. Joan Lindsay
  2. The Seance. John Harwood
  3. My Brilliant Career. Miles Franklin

POSSIBLE CHOICES:
Jessica Anderson: The Impersonators (1980)
-----. Tirra Lirra by the River (1978)
Peter Carey: My Life as a Fake (2003)
-----. Oscar and Lucinda (1988)
-----. Parrot and Olivier in America (2009)
Miles Franklin: My Brilliant Career (1901)
Kerry Greenwood: Cocaine Blues (Phryne Fisher series, #1)
John Harwood: The Ghost Writer (2004)
-----. The Seance (2008)
Shirley Hazzard: The Bay of Noon (1970)
-----. The Great Fire (1980)
-----. The Transit of Venus (1980)
Maggie Joel: The Past and Other Lies (2009)
Elizabeth Jolley: An Innocent Gentleman (2001)
-----. Foxybaby (1985)
-----. Miss Peabody's Inheritance (1983)
-----. The Newspaper of Claremont Street (1988)
-----. The Orchard Thieves (1995)
-----. Palomino (1980)
-----. The Well (1986)
Frank Moorhouse: Grand Days (1993)
Kate Morton: The House at Riverton (2006)
Henry Handel Richardson: The Getting of Wisdom (1910)
Christina Stead: Letty Fox: Her Luck (1946)
-----. The Little Hotel: A Novel (1973)
-----. A Little Tea. A Little Chat (1948)
-----. The Man Who Loved Children (1940)
-----. Miss Herbert: The Suburban Wife (1976)
-----. The People With the Dogs (1952)
Markus Zusak: The Book Thief (2006)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Awesome Author Challenge 2011

**Challenge completed.**

Dates: 1 January - 31 December 2011
Host: Alyce of At Home With Books

Guidelines (quoted from the announcement/sign-up page):
  • Read works from authors that are completely new to you (you haven't read any of their writing before).
  • Read books that have been recommended by friends, bloggers, or books that have been on your TBR forever because you have heard that the author's writing is fantastic.
  • Crossover from other challenges is allowed.
  • Titles and authors do not have to be predetermined, and can change at any time.
  • Books can come from any genre or reading level, the only requirement is that you have heard great things about the author, but haven't yet read any of their works.
  • Choose from these Reading Levels:
    ~ Simply Awesome - 3 to 6 Books
    ~ Totally Awesome - 6 to 10 Books
    ~ Blinded By Overexposure to Awesomeness - Over 10 Books
✸ I signed up at the "Simply Awesome" Level, and read 6 books.

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


MY READING LIST:
  1. Andrew Taylor: The Anatomy of Ghosts
  2. Peter Robinson: Bad Boy
  3. Anne Roiphe: Art and Madness (See Review)
  4. Jennifer Egan: A Visit from the Goon Squad (See Review)
  5. Joan Lindsay: Picnic at Hanging Rock (See Review)
  6. Kate Mosse: The Winter Ghosts