It is, unbelievably, the end of June. The Weekly Geek post last week involved questions about challenges and, even though I didn’t get around to answering those questions, I realized it is time to check in on my progress. I originally found out about reading challenges by visiting this link.
I ended up taking on too many, it being my first time for such things, and now realize there is no way I will complete them all. I have concentrated on my favorites and am actually quite pleased with the results.
So, here’s the rundown.
1) War Through The Generations – World War II – 1/1/09 to 12/31/09 – read at least 5 fiction or nonfiction books.
Resistance by Owen Sheers
Berlin Diaries 1940-1945 by Marie Vasseltckikov
How to Cook a Wolf by MFK Fisher
Hiroshima By John Hersey
I have t least two more titles on my TBR pile for this one.
2) Eva’s World Citizen Challenge – 1/1/09 to 12/31/09 – 5 books from at least 3 areas.
King Leopold’s Ghost by Adam Hochschild – History
City of Oranges by Adam Lebor – History
Ascent of Money by Niall Ferguson – Economics
There are several more “world citizen” books on my TBR pile.
3) The Science Book Challenge – read at least 3 non-fiction books related to the theme of “nature’s wonders”.
Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes by Daniel L. Everett
I can’t believe I’ve only read one! I love books on nature and science and have stacks sitting around on my bookshelves that I haven’t read. It must be because I’m having so much fun reading everything else.
4) Orbis Terrarum – Around the World – 10 books in 10 months.
To Siberia by Per Petterson – Norway – March
Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh-India – April
Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill – Canada – May
Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery – France – June
This has been one of my favorite challenges and I have many more books on my TBR list to combine with…
5) Lost In Translation – 1/1/09 -12/31/09 – Read 6 books in translation.
Monologue of a Dog by Wislawa Szymborska. Translation from Polish by Clare Cavanaugh.
To Siberia by Per Petterson. Translated from Norwegian by Anne Born
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. Translated from the French by Alison Anderson
This Blinding Absence of Light by Tahar Ben Jelloun. Translated from the French by Linda Coverdale.
This is another favorite, maybe because I can cross-post to the Orbis Terrarum challenge. Is that cheating?
I also realized I could add several more titles to both challenges because I have been reading Scandinavian mysteries and crime fiction. I don’t review them because I’m lazy and there are so many great mystery reviewers out there, like Kerrie and Peter and the person who blogs at Scandianvian Crime Fiction.
6) Once Upon A Time III – 3/21/09 to 6/20/09 -Completed – Read 5 books from a mix of fairy tales, folklore, fantasy and mythology. I also read some short stories.
The Bell at Sealey Head by Patricia McKillip
The Language of the Night by Ursula K. Le Guin
Annals of the Western Shore: Gifts, Voices, Powers by Ursula K. Le Guin
Short Story Weekend:
Red As Blood by Tanith Lee
Kupti and Imani adapted by Lenora Alleyne Lang
The Water Poet and the Seasons by David J. Schwartz
I have always enjoyed fantasy but have been away from the genre for a while because I was disappointed by what I was finding out there. This challenge got me back into it. I just finished Graceling and loved it.
7) The Graphic Novels Challenge – Read 12 throughout the year.
Laika by Nick Abadzis
American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
Aya by Margerite Abouet and Clement Oubrerie
Aya of Yop City by Margerite Abouet and Clement Oubrerie
Slow Storm by Danika Novgorodoff
Burma Chronicles by Guy DeLisle
Great fun because, ever since I discovered The Sandman by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean, I read at least one or two a month. This challenge is introducing me to new authors and artists.
8) Hearding Cats II – Choose books from other bloggers 5 favorites.
The Black Book of Colors by Menena Cottin from Vasilly.
The Rights of the Reader by Daniel Pennac from Vasilly.
Teatro Grottesco by Thomas Ligotti from Memoriam.
Monkey Beach by Eden Robinson from Nymeth.
The Watermelon King by Daniel Wallace from Nymeth.
Skellig by David Almond from Mariel
The Manual of Detection by Jedediah Berry from Persephone
The Blinding Absence of Light by Be Tahar Jalloun from ridergirl3
Nation by Terry Pratchett from Nymeth
We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver from Book Addiction
The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki from In Spring It Is The Dawn
Titles with lines through them are the ones I’ve read. I keep adding books to this list every time I go back to the challenge site! One problem is not finding all the titles at my library but I love the fact that there is no pressure to review books.
Flight by Linda Bierds
The Veiled Suite by Agha Shadid Ali
I love poetry. I read it and I try to write it but I have never tried to review it so this one is a real challenge for me.
2666 by Roberto Bolano – The Part About the Critics
I will post the next section comments/review by Tuesday.
11) Just when I figured I had it all under control I stumbled upon What An Animal II – 7/1/09 to 2/28/10 – read at least 6 books that fit the requirements. Am I in trouble, or what?
All these challenges have been exciting and frustrating. I’m still not confident about reviewing books and can feel rushed to post something I’m not pleased with. Are my reviews too short? Not detailed enough? I could go on and on. At the same time I love focusing on books from around the world or books written in a language other than English or books within a certain genre. I have seen other challenges I would like to join next year including a couple that that would take me beyond my reading “comfort zone”. I also know I can not take on too many or I’ll never keep up with them. I have found challenges a great way to expand my reading and meet other book lovers.
How about you? Do you take part in challenges? Are you happy with them or overwhelmed? Do you run a challenge and, if so, how did you get into it and how do you feel about it?
As for what I m reading right now I’ve started rereading The Name of The Rose by Umberto Eco because I know I missed many twists and turns when I read it years ago. I’m also reading Margarita, How Beautiful The Sea by Sergio Ramirez and Remarkable Creatures: Epic Adventures in the Search for the Origin of Species by Sean B. Carroll.
I hope you have a wonderful week filled with great books! Information on Sunday Salon can be found here.