2009 challenges, Uncategorized

Sunday Salon: Thankfully Reading Weekend Wrap-Up

 

For the past few days I’ve been trying to read as much as possible for the Thankfully Reading Weekend. I read a memoir, short stories, and children’s books.

Books read

  • The Mercy Papers: A Memoir of Three Weeks by Robin Romm
  • Library Mouse: A Friend’s Life by Daniel Kirk
  • If I Were You: A Daddy-Daughter Story by Richard Hamilton
  • Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute by Jarrett Krosoczka
  • South by Patrick McDonnell
  • Scorpions by Peter Murray
  • Only a Witch Can Fly by Alison McGhee
  • Wolf by Becky Bloom
  • Stay Away from Rat Boy by Laurie Lears

Short Stories

From the collection, Love Stories in This Town by Amanda Ward

  • “Should I Be Scared”
  • “Butte as in Beautiful”
  • “The Stars are Bright in Tears”
  • “On Messalonskee Lake”
  • “Recitatif” by Toni Morrison
  • “Medley” by Toni Cade Bambara from the collection, The Sea Birds are Still Alive
  • “Lullaby” by Leslie Marmon Silko
  • “Somebody Up There Likes You” by Shalom Auslander from the collection, Beware of God
  • “Heimish Know All” by Shalom Auslander from the collection, Beware of God

Event Highlights

My favorite read during this event is the short story, “Medley” by Toni Cade Bambara. Bambara is a new-to-me author. I discovered the short story through one of my classes because it was last week’s required reading. The story’s main character, Sweet Pea, works as a manicurist trying to save enough money to send for her daughter and buy a place of her own. In the meantime she learns how to be a woman and mother as she deals with her boyfriend. The rhythm and language of the short story was better than anything else I’ve read in a long time.

Event Lowlights

I wished I read more! I wasn’t really in the mood for long works. The Mercy Papers was barely 200 pages long and at times that felt too long. The short stories were perfect for my finicky mood. The children’s books were mostly read to my kids.

This was a great event. I have to thank everyone behind it for hosting. What did read this weekend?

2009 challenges, books, fiction, graphic novel, Library Loot, Readathon, reading

Read-a-thon Pile

dreamstime_readathong

Okay so we all know that I have a tendency to go overboard when it comes to books. Whether it’s my library loot, buying binges, or signing up for reading challenges, it always seems to be all or nothing. My current reading pool for the read-a-thon encompasses almost every genre and ranges from a mere 32 pages for many of my picture books to almost 500 pages for Margo Lanagan’s Tender Morsels. Maybe instead of thinking of this stack as just my read-a-thon picks, we should also think of it as my October/November even possibly December reads.

Plays I started reading plays during last year’s read-a-thon. I found so many wonderful playwrights that I’ve started slowly reading as many as I can especially Pulitzer prize-winning plays. Plays are usually no more than a hundred pages long and contain memorable characters and great settings. For the upcoming read-a-thon, here are a few plays I plan on reading that won the Pulitzer for Drama.

play row

I Am My Own Wife by Doug Wright. 2004 Pulitzer.
Wit by Margaret Edson. 1999 Pulitzer.
Angels in America by Tony Kushner. 1993 Pulitzer

not shown: August: Osage County by Tracy Letts.

Short Stories The great thing about reading short stories during the read-a-thon is that you can dip in and out of collections and still feel as though you’re accomplishing something.

row 2 short stories

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie.
Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories by Sandra Cisneros. I read this collection years ago and I think it’s really time for a re-read.
Dedicate Edible Birds by Lauren Groff.


Graphic Novels

row 3 graphic novels

Britten and Brulightly by Hannah Berry.
Amulet 2: The Stonkeeper’s Curse by Kazu Kabuishi.
Maus by Art Spiegelman

Not shown: The Professor’s Daughter by Joann Sfar and Emmanuel Guibert

Fantasy

row 4

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
Tigerheart by Peter David
The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan

Other Notables

row 6row 5

Peter and Max: A Fables Novel by Bill Willingham
Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby
The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
A Fine and Private Place by Peter S. Beagle
A Wish After Midnight by Zetta Elliot

Books not shown:

Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith
Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan
B.P.R.D. series by Mike Mignola
Sprout by Dale Peck
Uglies by Scott Westerfield
The Year the Swallows Came Early by Kathryn Fitzmaurice
Little Brother by Cory Doctrow

You see how crazy I went? This is why I’m calling this pile my October-November-and-possibly-December pile. I have a ton of books on hold at the library that will be coming in sometime next week. I can’t wait for the read-a-thon to start but I’m not going to wait to start reading some of these great books.

Have you read any of these graet books? Which ones do you think I should save for the read-a-thon? Are there any that you think I should move to the top of the pile? Have you thought about what books you’re going to read for the big event?

2009 challenges, challenges, Readathon, Young Readers

Reading for a Good Cause

24readathonWith the start of Dewey’s 24-hour Read-a-thon less than a week away, I thought it might be a good idea to start writing my various posts for the big event.

Chris at Stuff as Dreams Are Made Of recently wrote a post about the charity he will be sponsoring during the read-a-thon. So I’m stealing the idea to tell you about the charity I’m sponsoring.

This year I joined The Year of  Reader challenge. The purpose of the year-long challenge is for bookworms to sponsor literary charities through the books they read. You can have others sponsor you or donate yourself. One of the charities I’m sponsoring is 826national.org.

In 2002 author Dave Eggers opened 826Valencia. The purpose of the organization is:

assist students ages six to eighteen with their writing skills, and to help teachers get their classes excited about writing. Our work is based on the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention, and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success.

Currently there are seven chapters of 826 in Valencia, California; Los Angeles, Boston, Seattle, Chicago, Ann Harbor, and Brooklyn. All seven are under the umbrella known as 826National.

The chapters offer tutoring, field trips, and workshops  in things like  screenwriting, SAT prep, comic book writing, and more.  All services are free for the kids that come in. I wish this organization was around when I was growing up.

Since I am sponsoring two charities this year, I alternate between the two every month. This month it’s 826’s turn. As usual for every book I read, I donate $1.50 to that month’s charity. I don’t have a goal as to the specific amount to donate, but so far this month I’ve read 20 books. I hope to double that amount from now until the end of the read-a-thon Sunday. We’ll see.

2009 challenges, poetry

Day 5: Poetry

Day 6 of my 37 Day challenge to pay attention

Lately I’ve been nursing a broken heart. I’ve been single for almost a year now but a recent argument with my ex made my heart break again. This time not from sadness, but from the realization that we can’t even be friends.

Yesterday I tried not to think about him as  I took our youngest son to school. On the way there I started to crave poetry. To be specific haiku. Haiku by Basho, Richard Wright, Nicholas Virgilio. . . It didn’t matter.

The smart thing would have been to stay at the bus stop and study on my way to class, but I remembered my resolution to pay more attention to the details of my life.

So instead of waiting for the bus so I could go to school, I practically ran to my nearest library and checked out many of my favorite volumes and anthologies along with a few volumes I’ve never read.

Among morning-glories
the drip drip
of lingerie.
-Alexis Rotella

After the first haiku I felt better. I kept reading haiku after  haiku until I reached class. Yesterday I paid attention to my needs and it was poetry that my soul wanted. It might sound strange but I’m pretty proud of myself.

I’m the kind of mom that rarely goes to the doctor. I would love to but I don’t have the time, energy, or desire. When I do have time or energy or desire, (never all three at one time), I rather spend those few hours of peace doing something I love like reading with a cup of coffee next to me or taking a nap instead of sitting in an ice-cold room with just a paper gown on. I need to start paying attention to those needs too but for right now my soul needs poetry and that’s what I’m focusing on.

2009 challenges, Herding Cats 2 Challenge

Book Love

sisterhood_awardEarlier this week the lovely Gavin gave me the Sisterhood Award. Thank you so much!

Kailana at The Written Word also sent me some blogger love. She gave me the Promixidade Award.

proximade_award“This blog invests and believes in the PROXIMITY-nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement! Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this clever-written text into the body of their award.”

It’s feels so good to be given these great awards especially when I’m terribly shy in person. Thank you Gavin and Kailana so much!

I’m joining a new challenge. I see you, shaking your head in disbelief. I know you would think I would finish one challenge before starting a new one, but you only live once.

I’m joining the Herding Cats 2 challenge. You list five of your favorite books that you read between 2007-2009. Then you pick as many books as you want to read from other participants’ lists. There’s no pressure to review. The challenge starts April 1st and ends December 31st. My five favorites are:

digh

1. Life is a Verb by Patti Digh.  I pick this book up after reading a great review on Head Butler.com. Life is a Verb is part memoir, part self-help, and full of pleasure.

2. We Are the Ship: the Story of the Negro League Baseball by Kadir Nelson. Nominated for a Cybils award this year, We  Are the Ship is the true story of the Negro League from its creation to its end. It’s a children’s book that’s perfect for all ages. The illustrations are not to be missed.

3. The Black Book of Colors by Menena Cottin. How would you describe the color yellow to someone who is blind? Cottin answers that question with a book that is like none I’ve ever read. It’s another picture book that’s for all ages.

richardson1

4. The End of the Alphabet by CS Richardson. A novella about a dying husband, his relationship with his wife, and his dying wish. It’s one of the few books I reread every year.

5. The Rights of the Reader by Daniel Pennac (nonfiction). You want to know how good this book is? I read it for the first time last week and now I’m rereading it again this week. I have never done that before. If I could I would buy as many copies as I could and give them away to everyone I know who loves to read or is a parent. Read it. Here’s a link to Pennac’s  Reader’s Bill of Rights.

2009 challenges, Young Readers

The Children’s Books Post

Every year no matter how hard I try, by  the end of the year picture books easily outnumber adult reads. Picture books are shorter with less words and pages but they can also help you get through a hard day or a reading slump. Last week I read a handful of great books for kids of all ages.

ransomThe Big Green Pocketbook (1993). Written by Candice Ransom, illustrated by Felicia Bond.

This was my oldest son’s favorite book of the stack. The Big Green Pocketbook is the story of a little girl’s trip to town with her empty  green pocketbook and her mother. At each place they visit she receives something to put into her purse to help remember her day. This story is simple but effortlessly pulled us into the story.

swansonThe House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson (2008). Illustrated by Beth Krommes. Winner of this year’s Caldecott Medal, The House in the Night is a masterpiece. I’m not saying this lightly either. The wood engavings by Krommes and the soft poetry from Swanson compliment each other perfectly.

jenkinsThe Little Bit Scary People by Emily Jenkins (2008). Illustrated by Alexandra Boiger. The message behind this book is that though strangers may act and look different from you, they are just like you. My little sister loved this one the most.

lyon1

My Friend, the Starfinder by George Ella Lyon (2008). Illustrated by Stephen Gammell. A book about the friendship between an old man and a young girl and the stories he tells her about his childhood. The illustrations for this book are beautiful and not to be missed.

2009 challenges, Spring Reading Challenge

2009 Spring Reading Challenge

spring-reading Tomorrow is the first day of Spring! The birds are chirping, flowers are starting to come up, and noses are running. The perfect way for me to celebrate the new season is by joining the Spring Reading Challenge hosted by  Katrina at Callapidder Days.

The challenge  starts March 20th and ends June 20th. The rules are to make a list, read, and blog about your progress at the end of the challenge. How easy is that?

Since the challenge takes place throughout spring I decided to do a little spring cleaning and read only books that are on my shelves. Every month the number of unread books on my shelf grows and I would love to make a huge dent in it. The genres of the books I picked range from short stories to memoir, classics to poetry. Here’s my list:

  1. Sweet Hearts- Melanie Rae Thon
  2. The Water Will Hold You: A Skeptic Learns to Pray – Lindsey Crittenden
  3. Unearned Pleasures – Ursula Hegi
  4. I am no one you know – Joyce Carol Oates
  5. The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
  6. Tender Morsels – Margo Lanagan
  7. Delicate Edible Birds – Lauren Groff
  8. The Gargoyle – Andrew Davidson
  9. The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafron
  10. Tales of Burning Love – Louise Erdrich
  11. Repair – C.K. Williams
  12. Sinners Welcome – Mary Karr
  13. Heliopolis – James Scudamore
  14. Nocturnes – John Connolly
  15. Cries of the Spirit – Marilyn Sewell
  16. The Bloody Chamber – Angela Carter
  17. Lullabies for Little Criminals – Heather O’Neil
  18. Blue Highways – William Least Heat-Moon

I’m reserving the right to change my list at any time. I also decided that if I don’t read at least 18 books from my shelves, I will give the difference away. So if I end up reading only 12 books, then I plan on giving away 6. I really need to pare down the number of books on my shelves. Wish me luck!

Are you joining The Spring Reading challenge also?

2009 challenges, A-Z Challenge, Book Awards Reading Challenge, Sunday Salon

Sunday Salon: A Great Week for Books

Despite last week being full of midterms, it is my best reading week so far this year. I read ten books! Half were picture books and the other half adult. I read:

  • Bonsai by Alejandro Zambra. Lost in Translation, Orbis Terraum, and A to Z challenges.
  • The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. Lost in Translation, Orbis Terraum, Dewey’s Books Challenges.
  • Annie Leibovitz at Work by Annie Leibovitz. A to Z challenge
  • The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Required reading for school.
  • Fables Vol. 3: Storybook Love by Bill Willingham. Graphic Novels Challenge
  • The Big Green Pocketbook by Candice Ransom. Young Readers Challenge.
  • The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson. Book Awards and Young Readers challenges.
  • My Friend, the Starfinder by George Ella Lyon. Young Readers Challenge.
  • The Little Bit Scary People by Emily Jenkins. Young Readers.
  • How to Heal a Broken Wing by Bob Graham. Young Readers.

My favorite adult read was The Elegance of the Hedgehog. Funny and philosophical, the ‘Hedgehog’ was a pleasure to read. At 325 pages it can be a dense read at times while other chapters fly by. One of my classmates saw all the post-its in the book and thought it had been required reading for a class.

My least favorite was Bonsai. It’s the tale of a relationship between a man and a woman and what happens after they break up. The best part of the book was the opening paragraph,

In the end she dies and he remains alone, although in truth he was alone some years before her death, Emilia’s death. Let’s say that she is called or was called Emilia and that he is called, was called, and continues to be called Julio. Julio and Emilia. In the end Emilia dies and Julio does not die. The rest is literature. . .

Why couldn’t the rest of the 83-page novella be as beautiful as that opening paragraph? Usually I don’t bother write a review about books I hate dislike but I feel a tad guilty since I asked my library to order this book and they did. I checked on Goodreads and found that readers either loved it or hated it.

I don’t have a favorite for picture books. All five were great reads. My kids really loved  The House in the Night while one of my sisters loved the repetition in The Little Bit Scary People. Look for reviews of all the books I read this week in the next couple of days.

For the Try Something New mini-challenge hosted by Nymeth, Valentina and I are partnering up to read short stories. I own a ton of collections but never find the time to read them. I plan on reading Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber while Valentina reads a different collection. Now I’m off to read and relax.

What are you currently reading?

2009 challenges, Women's History Month Challenge

Women’s History Month Challenge

womens-history-month1

Lu at Regular Rumination is hosting a Women’s History Month Challenge. I’m in and my goal will be to read at least five books written by women. The majority of the books I read are by women but this month it might be a problem. Next week I have to read The Scarlet Letter for one of my classes. Plus,  I only have two weeks to read Atmospheric Disturbances and The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. No matter what I plan on finishing this challenge though. Here are some of the books I plan on reading:

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbry. I’m currently reading this.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. After waiting weeks for this book, I only have three weeks to read it before I have to return it to my library. No holds are allowed since this book is the book right now.

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. It’s been years since I read this, so I wanted to reread another strong and female voice.

First, Body by Melanie Rae Thon. I first read this collection of short stories years ago. I can’t wait to reread it.

Do you have any suggestions on great books I should read by women? I would love to hear them.

2009 challenges, Library Loot

Library Loot!

Eva at A Striped Armchair came up with this great idea for bloggers to post what we checked out from the library every week. I think today’s visit is the third one of the year and so far the best one.

After finishing The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy yesterday, I practically ran today back to the library to check out the second book in the series, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. I had several lovely surprises waiting for me on the holds shelf.



The Homeschooling Book of Lists
(for my kids), The Dresden Files #1: Welcome to the Jungle graphic series (I’ll find a challenge for it), One year to an organized life (part of my resolutions), Garden Spells (possible Well-Read Ladies February selection), Berlin: #1 City of Stones, Man’s Search of Meaning (just in a weird mood), and plenty of books from the Babymouse series.

2009 challenges

More Challenges!!!

So you know that conversation we had a couple of days ago about me not joining any more challenges and if I did you would remind me? Well I just had to join one more challenge. It’s just a small challenge really with not that many requirements. What? What’s the challenge? Well, I joined Becky‘s year-long 42 Challenge.
The requirements? Here’s what Becky said:

Your mission–if you choose to accept it–is to read, watch, listen, and review 42 sci-fi related items. (Items isn’t the best word, but how else would you define all that this challenge could involve). What’s acceptable? Practically everything: short stories, poetry (???), novellas, novels, episodes of TV shows, episodes of radio shows, movies, comic books, graphic novels, audio books, essays or articles about science fiction or science fiction writers, biographies of science fiction authors. This isn’t quite as intimidating as it sounds. This is much more than a reading challenge. It would be intimidating (in all likelihood) to try to read that many books. But when you make each short story, each TV show episode count as individual items, then it is much more manageable I hope! (This challenge could be as easy as watching Season 1 and Season 2 of Stargate SG-1, for example.)
No lists are needed. Really. If you want to post about the challenge and talk about what you hope to get to that’s fine, of course, but no one will hold you to it!

What’s not to love about this challenge? I don’t usually read science fiction but I still signed up. With kids, a full-time load starting in six days, and 23 other challenges, how hard can it be? I have the whole year and I just finished reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy for my first read. I’ll post my review later this week. Until then, wish me luck!

2009 challenges, I Suck at Challenges Challenge

"I Suck At Challenges" Challenge!

I love this challenge already! As Chris stated,

I always wanted to host a reading challenge but never had a topic in mind. Of course, I realized that my track record with challenges is less than stellar. What a really need is a challenge to complete my challenges! So I invented The I Suck at Challenges Challenge. It’s rather tongue in cheek but it might keep some of you challenges on the path to actually completing one or two. Lord knows there’s enough challenges starting up now to tempt you all.

My category:

The 12 Steppers
(Aka “I can stop whenever I want.”)

There’s a challenge. You see it. Your palms start to sweat. Mr Linky mocks you. You try to stop yourself but it’s too late. You’ve committed yourself to Books That Start With Q Challenge and you know you’ll do it again when the next challenge comes along. The only thing is, how are you ever going to complete them all? Sound like you? Then you are a 12 Stepper. No program is going to help you though; you’re addicted.

The rules are to list every challenge that you’ve signed up for. Chris will periodically call on participants to tell her their progress. She’s also going to have giveaways.

My challenges:

1. The A to Z Challenge
2. A Novel Group’s Mini-Challenge
3. Young Adult Challenge
4. Year of Reading Dangerously
5. Read Your Own Books
6. Book Awards
7. Diversity Rocks
8. In Their Shoes
9. Jewish Literature (I don’t think I officially signed up for this.)
10. John Steinbeck Mini-Challenge
11. Lambda Challenge
12. Unshelved Reading Challenge
13. 9 Books for 2009
14 Childhood Favourites
15. Graphic Novel Challenge
16. Dewey’s Books
17. Lost in Translation
18. World Citizen
19. Essay Reading
20. Year of Readers
21. 100 shots of short story reading
22. Dream King
23. Martel-Harper
24. 42 Challenge

Okay I think that’s it but if you know I signed up for a challenge and it’s not here, please let me know.

2009 challenges, A-Z Challenge

A-Z Challenge

Okay, this is my last reading challenge I swear! If you even think I’m contemplating signing up for another one, I want you to twitter me or leave a comment reminding me “no more challenges.” Please. It’s your fault that I’m signing up for this challenge anyway. Yes, you. I can’t see you but I know you’re there. I’ve seen so many of my fellow bloggers sign up for the A-to-Z Challenge that I had to join! It was the wise J. Kaye who said “We only live once. Why not go out with a mess of book challenges?” The perfect advice.

So I signed up for the A to Z Challenge hosted by Becky. My plan is to do options A and E. Option A is to read authors A to Z while option E is to read 26 alphabet books. I’m going to be as flexible as possible with this challenge but below is my default list.

Auslander, Shaolam
Bondoux, Anne Laure
Carroll, Jonathon
Dickinson, Emily
Exupery, Antoine de
Ferrante, Elena
Green, John
Hill, Susan
Irving, John
July, Miranda
Knox, Elizabeth
Larsson, Steig
Monzo, Quin
Niffenegger, Audrey
Olafsson, Olaf
Packer, ZZ
Queen, Carol
Rushdie, Salman
Saramago, Jose
Tademy, Lalita
Umrigan, Thrity N.
Venneman, Kevin
Willingham, Bill
X, Malcolm
Yenne, Bill
Zambra, Alejandro

2009 challenges, A Novel Mini-Challenge

Another Challenge!!

Wendy at Caribousmom is hosting the 2nd annual Mini-challenges again. I love this challenge. There are 12 mini-challenges that you can do in any order starting January 1st and ending December 31st. The only catch is that you have to either blog about the completed challenge or tell Wendy’s Yahoo group A Novel Challenge about it. Here are the challenges cut and pasted:

1.Read a collection of short stories and either blog about it, OR tell the group about what you read

2. Read a play. Blog about it, OR tell the group about your experience.

3. Read a nonfiction book; write a review on your blog or post it to the group.

4. Read an 2 essays from the same collection; write a review on your blog or tell the group about what you read.

5. Go to a book event; blog about it or tell the group about it.

6. Borrow a library book
, read it and review it on your blog (or tell the group about it).

7. Read a book by a new to you author. Do a little research on the author…do they have a blog? How many books have they written? Have they won any prizes? Where do they live? etc… Blog about the book you read and the author OR tell the group about them.

8. Make a donation
. You can either donate to an organization that supports reading OR make a physical donation of a book (or books) to ANYONE. Blog about it or tell the group what you did.

9.Promote literacy
. This is wide open – use your imagination. You could give a child a book, or read a book to someone who cannot read, or volunteer at an event which promotes literacy, or donate to your local library, or write something on your blog with a link to a group which promotes literacy, or anything in between. The only rule with this one is that you must PROMOTE literacy in some way…

10. Participate in a buddy read or Group discussion. This can be a face to face group, an on-line group or a one on one discussion with a friend who read the same book. Either way, blog about your experience or share with the group. Did the discussion give you greater appreciation or insight into what you read?

11. Read a book outside your comfort level or from a genre you don’t normally read
. Blog about it, or tell the group about it.

12.Read a classic
(defined as anything published before 1970). Tell us why it fits the category of being a classic. Write a review or tell the group about the book.

2009 challenges

Jewish Literature

I know, I know, I said I wasn’t going to sign up for that many challenges next year, but I can’t help it. I’m addicted.

The Jewish Literature Challenge is being hosted by Callista. The rules to read at least four books by Jewish authors or about Judaism. It started December 21st and ends April 27, 2008.

My picks:

1. Angel of Forgetfulness – Steve Stern
2. The World to Come – Dara Horn
3. People of the Book – Geraldine Brooks
4. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist – Rachel Cohn and David Leviathan (finished)

2009 challenges, graphic novel, Graphic Novel Challenge

Graphic Novels Challenge

In the midst of reading as much as I could today, I also signed up for Laza’s Graphic Novel Challenge. The challenge starts January 1st and ends December 31st. The challenge is really flexible with participants choosing their level of involvement:

Doctorate – read 24 books
Masters – read 18 books
Major – read 12 books
Minor – read 6 books

I’m going to participate on the Doctorate level. I already plan on reading as many graphic novels as I can next year, so I know this will be a great way to make more blogging friends. I probably won’t make a list though I know at the very least the Fables series by Bill Willingham will be on my list.

2009 challenges, Dewey, Dewey's Books Challenge

Dewey’s Books

Just yesterday I wrote the I wouldn’t be joining that many challenges next year, but this one I could not resist. Chris and Robin are hosting the Dewey’s Books challenge.

The rules are:

1. 1. Pick one book from each of the 6 years that Dewey has archives of. You can access her archives by clicking on the archive link in the sidebar of her website. It’s a dropdown menu. For instance, you would read one book that she reviewed in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 for a total of six books.

2. The other option is to read 5 books that Dewey reviewed. These can be from any year and I’m guessing that each of us has at least 5 books on our TBR list because of Dewey!

To join pick either option one or two. The challenge officially starts January 1st, but you can start now and ends December 31, 2009.

This is such a great idea. Dewey had great taste in books from award-winners to graphic novels to young adults. This is a challenge that has something for everybody. I’m going to do option one. I’m staying flexible, so I won’t be making a list.

2009 challenges, Book Awards Reading Challenge, J.Kaye's Y.A. Challenge, Lost in Translation Reading Challenge, personal reading challenge, The Year of Readers Challenge

Sunday Salon: 2009 Personal Challenge

As great as challenges are, there are many I won’t be joining next year because of limited time. So instead I plan on having a personal challenge that includes no more than six challenges from the blogosphere. There are so many books I want to read and of course not enough time to read them.

I’m starting my personal challenge on Dec. 18, 2008 and it will run through Dec. 31, 2009. I know the dates are odd but the 18th is the last day of school for me and I plan on reading the second I walk out of class.

The plan: to read 150 books

6 in translation. (Lost in Translation challenge)
12 young adult novels (J. Kaye’s Y.A. Challenge)
10 award winners (Book Award Challenge)
25 on my TBR bookshelf
100 short stories (100 shots of short story challenge)
The rest? Who cares?

I’m also participating in The Year of Readers Challenge that is hosted by Jodie. The challenge is a year-long read-a-thon in 2009 to raise money for literary charities through reading. Instead of asking people to donate money to me for my charities, First Book and 826 National, I’m going to personally donate $1.50 for each book I read. If I read 150 books I’ll have donated a total of $225 by the end of the year. I plan on donating money at the end of each month instead of waiting until the end of the year. If you would like to join and help raise money, go over to the challenge. If not, why don’t you support one of your fellow bloggers and donate money for a great cause?

2009 challenges, Lost in Translation Reading Challenge

Lost in Translation Challenge

Lost in Translation Challenge
Jan. 1st – December 31, 2009

The goal is to read 6 books in translation.

My list:

The girl with the dragon tattoo – Steig Larsson (Swedish)
Living to tell the tale – Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Spanish)
Death with interruptions – Jose Saramago (Portuguese)
Shadow of the wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Spanish)
After the Quake – Haruki Murakami (Japanese)

40 stories – Anton Chekhov (Russian)
Perfume: the story of a murderer – Patrick Suskind (French)
2666- Robert Bolano (Spanish)
The Elegance of the Hedgehog – Muriel Barbery (French)
The Little Prince – Antoine de Exupery (French)

Out Stealing Horses – Per Petterson (Norwegian)
Memory – Philippe Grimbert (French)
Waiting for Godot – Samuel Beckett (French)
The Lost Daughter – Elena Ferrante (Italian)