Challenges for 2010

This post will be a record of all the challenges in which I choose to participate in 2010 – and my running record of books read for each.

I enjoyed Carl’s RIP challenge so much in the fall of 2009 that I didn’t want to miss out on the fun this spring with his Once Upon a Time challenge.  While fantasy fiction is not something that I have enjoyed in the past, it is a genre in which I hope to better acquaint myself in the future.  There are several options in which to join this challenge, but I will only commit to the lowest level which is The Journey:  to read only one book in one of the four categories (fantasy, folklore, fairy tale, or mythology) between March 21 and June 20, 2010.

I love a good mystery and when I saw the Mystery Reads Cafe challenge I knew it was one that I could complete. The challenge is hosted by the Mystery Reads yahoo group (which you must be member to join) and the rules are very simple: read a book whose author’s last name begins with B; read a book that takes in a different country from where you live; read a book published in 2010; and read the first book in a series. I will keep track of my accomplishments below:
  1. The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova (published 2010)

I am THRILLED that the Harry Potter Challenge actually extends until the end of July – as that means I have a chance of completing it! Michelle at GalleySmith is hosting this incredible event and I am very grateful, as this is the motivation I need to start – and finish – this amazing series. The goal is to read all 7 books, which I will do via audio books while walking on the treadmill. I also want to watch each of the movies as I finish the book – which will also count toward C.B. James’ challenge (see below). You can follow my progress below:
  1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (audio)

The 2010 Bibliophilic Book Challenge is hosted by Lesley of A Life in Books and is truly one that I know I will fully enjoy. This challenge asks us to commit to read a certain number of books about books and/or reading. These books can be either fiction (such as 84 Charing Cross Road) or
non-fiction (such as Jeremy Mercer’s Time Was Soft There). While there are 3 levels of participation to choose from, I have decided to only join at the Bookworm level, which means I will commit to read 3 books that fit this description. The ongoing tally will be shown below:
  1. Sixpence House: Lost in a Town of Books by Paul Collins
  2. The Case of the Missing Books by Ian Sansom
  3. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
  4. The Man Who Loved Books Too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett

This challenge is one that is near and dear to my heart. I truly love the Victorian time-period, and thoroughly enjoy the detailed serial novels that were so popular at the time. Our Mutual Read is hosted by Amanda of The Blog Jar and I have chosen to participate at the entry level position, which is to read 4 books total – 2 of which must have been written between 1837 and 1901, and the remaining two can be neo-Victorian novels. The list of books completed for this challenge can be found below:

  1. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

A challenge that marries well with the Our Mutual Read Challenge is the Typically British Reading Challenge hosted by Book Chick City. Since I teach British Literature, love Victorian literature, and dream of living in England — this challenge was just too irresistible. I have committed to read 4 books over the next 12 month period, which puts me at the “Gordon Bennett” level (although I do secretly aspire to reach the “Cream Crackered” level — which is for anyone who reads 12 books in that same time frame). My progress will be tallied below:

  1. The Case of the Missing Books by Ian Sansom
  2. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

This is a rather odd challenge for me to join as I tend to not watch many movies. However, I am beginning to think that I am missing the boat, so to speak, as I feel left out of many student conversations. So, in an attempt to rectify that problem I am joining this challenge, hosted by C. B. James. There are several levels of participation, but I think I am going to shoot for the Double Feature, that is, read 2 books/watch 2 movies between January 1 and December 31. This sounds doable to me – and who knows – perhaps I will become quite the movie buff. I will track my progress below:
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling

I am very excited about this challenge, The Rory Gilmore Books Project, hosted by Shona. First of all, I enjoy the show and this challenge has given me a renewed interest in watching all the episodes from the beginning. What fun! Secondly, this challenge is a perpetual challenge – that is, there is NO ending date! Woo-Hoo!!! If I only read one book this year I am a winner! Finally, the books on this reading list are vast and varied. I anticipate each book to be a mind-opening experience. I will update my progress below:

  1. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
  2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
  3. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

A challenge with which I truly hope to follow through is the Flashback Challenge hosted by Aarti of Booklust. This challenge focuses on re-reading books from our past, something that I have longed to do but never make the time. While there are three reading levels from which to choose, I think I will shoot to complete the Bookworm level, which means I will re-read up to three novels over the course of the year. Who knows, if I succeed this year, perhaps next year I will strive for the literati level (read 6 or more books). The list of books completed this year are as follows:

The TBR Lite challenge is only challenge that I know I SHOULD join.  I have added more books to my shelves since starting my blog, than I think I have added in the entire decade prior.  The “lite” challenge is meant to be stress-free, which is what I need, while at the same time to help us learn to appreciate the books we already have.  There are several levels in which to participate, but I plan to join at the Option B level which states that I will read any 6 books from my shelves between January 1 and December 31, 2010.  I can pre-select which books I think I will read, but I am allowed to change the list as it suits me.

  • The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
  • Luncheon of the Boating Party by Susan Vreeland

This is my second year to join the “Support Your Local Library” reading challenge. I had such success with this challenge in 2009 (I read 35 library books), that I knew I wanted to participate again this year. J. Kaye is the host, and she has challenged all participants to aim high. In that spirit, I will shoot for the “Just My Size” level of participation, which means I will attempt to read 50 library books over the course of the year. Below you will find the update to my status:
  1. Sixpence House: Lost in a Town of Books by Paul Collins
  2. The Case of the Missing Books by Ian Sansom
  3. The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa
  4. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
  5. The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova
  6. No Plot, No Problem by Chris Baty
  7. Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin
  8. Leaving a Trace by Alexandra Johnson
  9. Turning Life into Fiction by Robin Hemley
  10. The Christmas List by Richard Evans
  11. The Cotton Queen by Pamela Morsi
  12. The Man Who Loved Books Too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett
  13. Impressionism by Peggy J. Parks
  14. Monet and the Impressionists for Kids by Carol Sabbeth
  15. Edgar Degas by Susan E. Meyer
  16. Edgar Degas by Mike Venezia
  17. Mary Cassatt by Philip Brooks
  18. Mary Cassatt by Mike Venezia
  19. Impressionism by Jude Welton
  20. How to Talk to Children about Art by Francoise Barbe-Gall
  21. Impressionist Quartet by Jeffrey Meyers
  22. Private Lives of the Impressionists by Sue Roe
  23. A Weekend with Degas by Rosabianca Skira-Venturi
  24. Degas and the Dance by Susan Goldman Rubin
  25. Chasing Degas by Eva Montanari
  26. Chasing Vermeer by Blue Baillett
  27. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
  28. The Digital Photography Book by Scott Kelby
  29. The Digital Photography Book – volume 2 by Scott Kelby 
  30. How to Use Flickr by Richard Giles
  31. Ron Carlson Writes a Story by Ron Carlson
  32. Learning to See Creatively by Bryan Peterson
  33. Writing Down Your Soul by Janet Connor
  34. Writing about Art by Henry M. Sayre
  35. In the Presence of Books by Deborah DeWit Marchant
  36. Traveling Light by Deborah DeWit Marchant
  37. Will Work for Food by Diane Jacob
  38. Fables:  Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham
  39. Life is a Verb by Patti Digh
  40. Writing True:  The Art and Craft of Creative Nonfiction by Sondra Perl and Mimi Schwartz
  41. How to Make a Journal of Your Life by Daniel Price
  42. Nature Journaling by Clare Walker Leslie and Charles E Roth
  43. Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson
  44. Best of Taste of Home Recipes
  45. Lady and Sons Savannah Country Cookbook by Paula Deen
  46. Lady and Sons Just Desserts by Paula Deen
  47. A Whole New Batch of Recipes from Savannah by Paula Deen
  48. Rachael Ray’s Book of 10
  49. 365 No Repeats by Rachael Ray
  50. Rachael Ray 30 Minute Meals
  51. Barefoot Contessa Parties by Ina Garten
  52. Martin Yan Chinese Cooking
  53. Cook Yourself Thin
  54. Cook Yourself Thin Faster
  55. If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland
  56. The Season of Second Chances by Diane Meier
  57. Life Studies by Susan Vreeland
  58. Letter to My Daughter by George Bishop
  59. Everyday Food:  Great Food Fast by Martha Stewart
  60. The Season of Second Chances by Diane Meier
  61. If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland
  62. Scout, Atticus, and Book by Mary McDonagh Murphy
  63. Service Included by Phoebe Damrosch
  64. Lift by Kelly Corrigan
  65. Ways of Seeing by John Berger
  66. Writing about Visual Art by David Carrier
  67. Trust the Process by Shaun McNiff
  68. How to Look at Everything by David Finn
  69. How to Look at Photographs by David Finn
  70. Criticizing Photographs by Terry Barrett
  71. Interpreting Art by Terry Barrett
  72. The Journal Junkies Workshop by Eric M Scott and David R Modler
  73. Heroes and Heroines by Tami D.  Cowden, Caro La Fever, and Sue Viders

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