Thursday, December 31, 2009

Historical Fiction Challenge

I have a lot of historical fiction in my TBR vortex that I've not read To add to the fun of reading it, I've decided to join the Historical Fiction Challenge at Royal Reviews. I'm going in at the Curious level- committing me to three historical fiction books over the course of the year. If I do more, then power to me. I just received Star of the Sea by Joseph O'Connor, and Sleep Pale Sister by Joanne Harris, so I think those two are definities, and I've got plenty of others to choose among. Roll on the new year!

What's in a Name Challenge 3

I had a lot of fun doing the What's in a Name Challenge last year, so I've decided to sign up once again for this year. This year the categories are:

A book with a food in the title: Clockwork Orange, Grapes of Wrath, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
A book with a body of water in the title: A River Runs through It, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, The Lake House
A book with a title (queen, president) in the title: The Murder of King Tut, The Count of Monte Cristo, Lady Susan
A book with a plant in the title: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Wind in the Willows, The Name of the Rose
A book with a place name (city, country) in the title: Out of Africa; London; Between, Georgia
A book with a music term in the title: Song of Solomon, Ragtime, The Piano Teacher

I'm not sure what I'll pick yet, though possibilities include:

Five Quarters of the Orange
The Piano Lesson
London Holiday

And others- who knows? I'm someone who likes to choose books as the mood strikes me.

18th and 19th c. Women Writers Challenge

Doing the Victorian Challenge last year I discovered that I enjoy 19th c. literature far more than I was anticipating. To keep the ball rolling, this year I've decided to join the 18th and 19th c. Women Writers Reading Challenge, hosted by Becky's Book Reviews. I'm not entirely sure what I'll choose, likely something from the Virago Modern Classics, and perhaps some Jane Austen (since I've read none!) If I decide to head into the 18th c. it will likely be with Sarah Scott's Millennium Hall. I'm looking forward to participating!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

2nds Challenge

This year I'll be participating in the 2nds Challenge, hosted by Royal Reviews. I've read lots of new authors this year, and I'm definitely excited to read more of their work. I've decided to go in at the curious level, reading four authors for the second time this year. I can always work my way up if need be. Some of the authors I'm considering include:

Carol Shields
Elizabeth Berg
Joanne Harris

Obviously, this is still a work in progress, but I'm excited to join!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Pub Challenge 2009 Wrap-Up

I finished my Pub Challenge for 2009. Actually, I had technically read nine 2009 books by summertime, but I'm just getting around to doing the wrap up now. My new books for this year included:

Christina Sunley, The Tricking of Freya
Jackina Stark, Tender Grace
Warren St. John, Outcasts United
Lisa See, Shanghai Girls
Mavis McCovey, Medicine Trails
Gillian Flynn, Dark Places
Jennifer Niven, Velva Jean Learns to Drive
Janet Seskin Charles, Moonlight in Odessa
Jeannine Cornillot, Family Sentence
Sara Shephard, The Visibles
Hyatt Bass, The Embers
Mei-Ling Hopgood, Lucky Girl
Meredith Weiss, Tide, Feather, Snow

And there's a few others I haven't gotten reviewed yet. All in all, I got to read some great new books this year. Shanghai Girls, The Tricking of Freya, Velva Jean Learns to Drive, and Moonlight in Odessa were all excellent. I also got to read some interesting non-fiction, including several memoirs. There was really only one loser in the entire bunch, and I've thoroughly enjoyed this challenge.

Bibliophilic Books Challenge

I love books about books, reading, and writing, so this challenge seemed like a natural. I've got hordes of these books in my home, and hopefully this challenge will get me organized about actually reading them! I'm hemming and hawing right now about which level to join at. My choices are:

Bookworm: Read three books
Litlover: Read six books
Bibliomaniac: Read twelve books

I'm deciding between Bookworm and Litlover right now. I should probably go in at Bookworm, as I can always do more. I'm definitely looking forward to starting. Roll on the New Year!

Chunkster Challenge

I'm excited to be participating this year in the Chunkster Challenge- an effort to get those very loooong books read. Qualifying chunksters are adult (no, not that kind of adult) books over 450 pages. I've got several in the hopper that I've been meaning to read, so this challenge will hopefully make me get at them. I'll be participating at the lowest level to start: The Chubby Chunkster. That's three chunksters over the course of the year. Right now I'm planning on:

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell
East of Eden
The Crimson Petal and the White

This might change, but probably won't. If I can handle the low-level chunksters this year, I'll perhaps move up next year. Now I have to decide which one to dive into come February 1.

Thriller and Suspense Challenge

Having looked over my reading for the past year, it's pretty surprising just how many of the books fit in the thriller and suspense category, broadly speaking. Thus, I've decided to join the Thriller and Suspense Challenge for next year. The rules are to read 12 books in the genre over the coming year, which will hopefully not be a problem. In the spirit of how I read (choosing on a whim) I'll not be making an advance list, but I'll be posting and reviewing once the new year starts.

GLBT Challenge

This challenge seemed a natural for me, as so many of my beloved Virago Modern Classics were written by lesbian or bisexual women. I'm choosing to go in at the Lambda level, for a start, requiring me to read four GLBT books in 2010. Likely I can do more, but I want to actually finish my challenges in the coming year. Most of my choices likely will come out of the Virago Modern Classics, and thus, most will be late-19th and early-20th c. choices.

Marple-Poirot-Holmes Challenge

There's nothing quite like hunkering down with an Agatha Christie on a weekend afternoon, and staying on the couch until the whole thing is read. That guilty pleasure has brought me to a new challenge: The Marple, Poirot, and Holmes reading challenge. The requirements are to read two Miss Marple, two Hercule Poirot, and two Sherlock Holmes mysteries in 2010. The Christies will be no problem, and this will be my first foray into Holmes- that's a deficiency I certainly need to rectify. I'm not picking in advance for this one- I'll read whatever strikes me at the time.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Colorful Reading Challenge

It's now the season for me to sign up for many more reading challenges for next year than I will ever be able to finish, so I submit my first: The Colorful Reading Challenge. The requirements are simple: nine books, with nine different colors, in a year. I'm not entirely sure what I'll be choosing, but I'm thinking about:

Blood Orange by Drusilla Campbell
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
Alentejo Blue by Monica Ali
Black Water by Joyce Carol Oates
The Crimson Petal and the White by Michael Faber
Violet Clay by Gail Godwin
The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig

I will most certainly be adding others, but that's a starting point.