Thursday, January 3, 2013

I joined a challenge or two.

I like to be challenged. I like having a goal to work toward. I love reading. Can you see where this is going?

I've signed up for some reading challenges. In fact, I've signed up for probably too many challenges.
Well, here they all are. Click the links to go to my blog post for tracking the individual challenge.

Since I've decided to do so many challenges, I'm also signing up for a challenge challenge. (Huh?)

1. Reading Challenge Addict. Level: In Flight, 11-15 challenges. (0/12)
2. Literary Exploration. Level: Insane, 36 books. (0/36)
3. The 2013 Classics Catch-Up Challenge. Level: Senior, 12-13 books. (0/13)
4. Outside the Box. Level: No Box Can Contain Me!, 13 books. (0/13)
5. The A - Z Book Challenge. (0/26)
6. Nerdy Non-Fiction Reading Challenge. (0/23)
7. Books on France. (0/12)
8. 7 Continents, 7 Billion People, 7 Books. (0/7)
9. Essay Reading Challenge. (0/30)
10. 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. (23/1305)
11. 150+ Challenge. (0/150)
12. 52 Books in 52 Weeks. (0/52)

52 Books in 52 Weeks

Just one more reading challenge to tell you about.


I'm NOT signing up for anymore.


Unless I find one I just can't live without......

The challenge is 52 Books in 52 Weeks. Since I read more than one book a week, I'm going to pick my favorite review of the week and link it here.

Week 1:
Week 2:
Week 3:
Week 4:
Week 5:
Week 6:
Week 7:
Week 8:
Week 9:
Week 10:

The List.

What I've Read - 2013 edition

In addition to all the specific challenges, I'm also signing up for a challenge to read more than 150 books. Why not? Everything counts, so I'll also be using this page to keep track of everything I read this year.


1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die

Well. This challenge is clearly going to take me more than a year. And there are more than 1001 books, using the list in the challenge, which was compiled from all editions of the book.

The books I've read (including ones read before this blog and without reviews):

23. The Truthful History of the Conquest of New Spain - Bernal Diaz del Castillo (1632)
117. The Purloined Letter - Edgar Allan Poe (1844)
118. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas (1844)
119. Facundo - Domingo Faustino Sarmiento (1845)
126. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte (1847)
162. Alice's Adventures In Wonderland - Lewis Carroll (1865)
258. The Awakening - Kate Chopin (1899)
276. Call Of The Wild - Jack London (1903)
328. The Return Of The Soldier - Rebecca West (1918)
521. The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1943)
561. Nineteen Eighty-Four - George Orwell (1949)
614. Lord of the Flies - William Golding (1954)
664. Gabriela, Clove And Cinnamon - Jorge Amado (1958)
680. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (1960)
787. Slaughterhouse-Five - Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (1969)
853. Kiss Of The Spiderwoman - Manuel Puig (1976)
967. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood (1985)
1128. The Reader - Bernhard Schlink (1995)
1155. Memoirs Of A Geisha - Arthur Golden (1997)
1178. Disgrace - J M Coetzee (1999)
1216. Atonement - Ian McEwan (2001)
1227. Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides (2002)
1265. Suite Francaise - Irene Nemirovsky (2004)


Essay Reading Challenge

A funny thing. I can tell you what many of the great essays in history were about, and yet, I haven't actually sat down and read through them myself. I've often thought that I really should read them. Lo and behold- there's a challenge for that!

Since many essays are short(er than books), and I read a bunch just for school, I'm going to try for at least 30.


7 Continents, 7 Billion People, 7 Books

Challenge rules and more information found here.

The challenge is only 7 books, but they have to be from countries that meet specific requirements.

1) The starting point: 
A book from one of the 7 countries with the most population

2) From most populated to the mountains:
A book from one of the 7 highest countries in the world 
3) From high to old:
A book from one of the 7 oldest countries of the world

 4) From old to new:
 A book from one of the megacities of the world

 5) From megacity to migration:
 A book from one of the 7 countries with the most immigrants

 6) From people to money:
 A book from one of the 7 richest - or poorest - countries

 7) From society to environment:
 A book from one of the 7 most rainy or dry countries 

Books on France.

This is a challenge that I'm joining and not shooting for the top level. I picked the passionnément level, 12 books. This challenge includes books set in France, about French themes, by French authors, or written in French. I'm going to try and read books written in French. Because of this, I'm only aiming for 12 books.

C'est un défi que je rejoins et je n'aspire pas pour le niveau supérieur. J'ai choisi le niveau passionnément, 12 livres. Ce défi inclut des livres établis en France, sur des thèmes français, d'auteurs français, ou écrits en français. Je vais essayer de lire des livres écrits en français. Pour cette raison, j'aspire seulement à 12 livres. 

Obviously, my French isn't perfect, but I'd like to write the reviews for this challenge in English and French.

(Clairement, mon français n'est pas parfait, mais je voudrais écrire les critiques pour ce défi en anglais et français,)


Nerdy Non-Fiction Reading Challenge

I read loads of non-fiction. However, most of my reading in that category is in historical reading done for school research. This year, one of the things I'd like to do is read more non-fiction in other categories. With that in mind.... I signed up for this challenge. And, of course, I signed up at the nerd level, 15+ books. 

Here's the list of categories listed on the challenge page. I'm aiming to read one from each.

1. Health, Medicine, Fitness, Wellness
2. History- US, World, European, etc
3. Religion, Spirituality, Philosophy
4. Technology, Engineering, Computers, etc
5. Business, Finance, Management
6. Sports, Adventure
7. Food- Cookbooks, Cooks, Vegan Vegetarianism, etc
8. Autobiography, Biography, Memoir
9. Art, Photography, Architecture
10. Music, Film, TV
11. Self Improvement, Self Help, How To
12. Home, Garden
13. Science-Nature, Weather, Biology, Geology
14. Anthropology, Archaeology
15. Animals-Insects, Mammals, Dinosaurs, etc
16. Family, Relationships, Parenting, Dating, Love
17. Crime, Law
18. Poetry, Theatre
19. Politics, Government, Current Affairs
20. Literary Criticism/Theory
21. Cultural Studies
22. Travel
23. Crafts

A - Z Book Challenge

This challenge is pretty self explanatory: read a book whose title starts with each letter of the alphabet. I'm going to be lazy and fill in the letters as I read, as opposed to picking 26 books out now. 


Outside the Box Book Challenge

Another challenge which encourages reading new and different books. Once again, I signed up for the highest level, No Box Can Contain Me!, which means reading 13 books. 

The categories:

1. To the Screen:
Read a book that was adapted to the screen.  Try to read the book first, then see the movie – how did they compare?
2. Another Voice:
Do you typically read books that focus on a Female Character? Try a male protagonist. A male point of view usually? See what it’s like from a woman’s perspective.
3. Opposites Attract:
 Are you always reading young adult or historical fiction? Try something that would be opposite – a contemporary read for those stuck in the past, for instance.
4. 5 Star Day:
Is there a book you’ve seen featured on another blog and everyone raves about it? Even if it isn’t your cup of tea – give it a try to see what the hype is all about.
5. XyZ pdQ:
You’ve seen them – ABC book challenges – well this one is light! Grab a book that has either an X, Z or Q in the title!  Too tough? Try going for the author’s name!
6. It’s My Birthday:
So, have a party! Read a book that was published in either your birth month or birth year!
7. From One Place:
It’s neat to read a book that was first published outside of the United States (or your country – we won’t hold it against you if you don’t live in the Good Ol’ USofA).  Make sure to pull up a slang dictionary of that country, though, otherwise you will always wonder why they put the ‘kettle on the hob’ (and, no, it has nothing to do with short hairy guys with big hairy feet!)
8. It’s All About ME:
It seems that everyone has written a memoir of one kind or another – or someone wrote about their favorite person.  Read about their life and know that yours is still marvelous, even though you didn’t climb Mt. Everest by the age of 2!
9. Visit an Old Friend:
Do you have one of those books that you tell everyone is your favorite, because of the fond memories you have when you read it eons ago?  Read it again, just to make sure it still is your Favorite!
10. Look at the Pretty Pictures:
It seems that Graphic Novels are all the rage.  Check on out and see for yourself! If you have read the original, how did the graphic novel compare?
11. She Made Me Do It:
You read about the book on another site.  It wasn’t necessarily something that everyone raves about, but this person spoke so well of the book, you just had too! (I know, it’s kind of like #4 – but this one is special, you were moved by the blogger’s recount of the story, you just had to!) Don’t’ forget to mention who made you grab that cookie from the jar!
12. I Couldn’t Help Myself:
We all do it! We walk through the book store (or even one of those super stores) and it strikes you! You stop in your tracks and you have instant Cover Love! Grab it, buy it, and READ IT! Well, was it worth it?
13. To Be or Not To Be:
Time to break in to that section that very few of us fear to tread!  Read a play, memorize a poem and analyze it since it’s rolling around in your head!  Give the Bard (whoever she may be!) a chance!

The 2013 Classics Catch-Up

I keep meaning to read more of the 'classics.' Even though I consider myself a fairly well-read person, and I read well over 100 books a year, somehow many of the books from the literary canon haven't made it onto my read list.

If you want to read more about the challenge, go here.

I joined at the senior level, which will mean reading 12-13 of the following books:

January/February -
1. Anna Karenina
2. Wuthering Heights
March/April -
3. Macbeth
4. Hamlet
5. Othello
May/June -
6. Madame Bovary
7. Catch-22
July/August -
8. Of Mice and Men
9. Robinson Crusoe
September/October -
10. Don Quixote
11. My Antonia
November/December -
12. Animal Farm
13. A Tale of Two Cities

Literary Exploration

This challenge focuses on reading from a variety of genres. I particularly like this challenge, since the entire reason I join challenges in the first place is to read things I otherwise might not. I joined at the insane level, which means reading books from 36 different genres. Some will be easy for me, since I read those anyway, but there are a number of categories that I don't read from typically. I'm really looking forward to those!

1. Adventure:
2. Autobiography/biography:
3. Chick-lit:
4. Children's book:
5. Classics:
6. Cyberpunk:
7. Drama:
8. Dystopian:
9. Educational:
10. Erotica:
11. Espionage:
12. Fantasy:
13. Graphic novels:
14. Gothic:
15. Hard-boiled:
16. Historical fiction:
17. Horror:
18. Humor:
19. Literary fiction:
20. Magical realism:
21. Mystery:
22. Noir:
23. Nonfiction:
24. Paranormal:
25. Philosophical:
26. Poetry:
27. Post-apocalyptic:
28. Romance:
29. Science fiction:
30. Steam-punk:
31. Supernatural:
32. Thriller:
33. True crime:
34. Urban fantasy:
35. Victorian:
36. Young Adult:

To read more about the challenge, or to join yourself!, go here

Bienvenue. Bienvenido. Bem-vindo.

<<Insert witty and amusing welcome post here>>

Did it work?

Guess not. I suppose I should say something.

But what?

Well, this blog is my little corner on the internet to talk about all things literary. Mostly I'm going to use this blog to track my reading, and hopefully post reviews of the books I've been reading. I'll probably through in some quotes here and there also.

Basically, I love words, and here I'll share that love with..... whoever stops by!