Sunday Salon – Snow?

A good Sunday to you.  The magical weather people are calling for snow in the Pacific Northwest, not a rare thing in the mountains, but certainly rare in our urban setting.   I don’t know what oracles they use but most often we get all excited only to have our hopes dashed by rain.  Outside, in the wind, it certainly feels cold enough.

I have been thinking about challenges.  I feel pleased with my progress this year, but at the same time, wonder about the pressure and constraints that they put on my reading.   I felt I had to drop out of two and if you are curious about the ones I’ve completed there is a link to my challenge pages above the header.   I know I will continue the Canadian Book Challenge and will join in on Once Upon a Time and R.I.P. but I will hesitate before joining any others.   I hope to borrow an idea from Eva.  If a challenge strikes my fancy I will create a book list from the theme and read several books from that list.  I am setting a personal goal of reading or getting rid of all the to-be-read piles lying around our house. I also plan on joining the War & Peace Read-Along organized by Winston’s Dad and other read-alongs throughout 2011.  What about you?  Are you joining or organizing challenges in the coming year?

As for reading, after Monsters of Men, I felt the need for something different.  My library had a copy of The Silver Swan, John Banville’s second mystery written under the name Benjamin Black.  It was great.  Now I am reading another mystery, The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths.  This one combines archeology with mystery and features a great female protagonist.  What about you?  What are you reading?

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “Sunday Salon – Snow?

  1. Eva

    The Crossing Places sounds great! You’ll have to let us know if it lives up to that. ;)

    I loved War & Peace, so I think you’ll really enjoyed the read-a-long. And you already know what I’m doing about challenges! lol I might make an exception for Carl’s though…

  2. Snow in the Pacific Northwest is always exciting! My friends in Vancouver have been sending me pictures of the snow there all weekend – they’re all as giddy as kids!

  3. I am probably going to do the What An Animal Challenge and the Support Your Local Library Challenge again next year, and some kind of TBR challenge. I tried organizing a challenge based on reading used or worn-out books this year, but I think I made it too complicated and I didn’t get much of a following. Not sure if I’m going to do it again next year or not.

    • I should probably do the Support Your Local Library challenge just because I read many, many books from my library. And I forgot about What An Animal, may have to rethink that one:)

  4. Hmm… will give some thought to a War & Peace read-along. When does it start?

    Did you know Benjamin Black has a third book, Elegy for April? I’ve enjoyed the first two and hope to read it soon.

  5. I’ve always tried to be easy-going about challenges. I basically do what Eva does, make a little list and try to read a few books from it. Typically, I sign up for challenges that feature books I think I’d like to read anyway.

    Frankly, I don’t see why so many people get worked up about joining them or about quitting them either. I’ll probably do one or two in the new year. I hosted one this year, I admit I was not a terribly good host. I have a couple of ideas for challenges I might host in the new year, but I’m going to keep these very short, one or two months tops and very low key. Set your own goal, reaing one book is fine.

    They’re supposed to be fun. We should keep them fun.

    • I agree! The first year I joined challenges I got all stressed about them. Silly, really. This year I was much more relaxed about it.

  6. I’m definitely going to join challenges next year since I’m going to be in charge of the Graphic Novels Challenge. I think it’s smart to make a book list and go from there. I just finished Nat Turner by Kyle Baker. I have no idea what I’m going to read next though I’m dipping in and out of an essay collection by Anne Fadiman. Have a great week!

  7. Well, I’m awfully glad that you joined the JLC4 and completed well above the requirement of one work read! :) Challenges are tricky things; while they allow us to make friends and read books we might not have otherwise, they can be a bit binding. I’m with you: time to read more of what we want personally, and knock down some of those TBR piles.

    • Thanks, Bellezza. I am really glad I joined JLC4 because it introduced me to some great authors. I plan on reading more Mishima in January.

  8. For me, the challenges have worked well because I’ve joined ones that align with my reading goals to start with. So they’ve encouraged me to stay on tracks that I wanted to be on anyhow. But I am thinking a lot about my reading habits and I think the next reading year might be a little different than 2010; it’s been somewhat too obsessive for my liking, though there’s nobody to blame for that but me! ::lol:: I certainly understand why you’d want to choose carefully: so many great books to tempt you…

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