Category Archives: Challenges

Challenge Wrap-Up: What’s In a Name

I actually finished the last book for this challenge more than two weeks ago, but neglected to post the wrap-up!

What’s in a Name

Host: Beth F

URL: http://whatsinname3.blogspot.com/

Goal: Read books with titles that contain a word in each of the following categories: food, body of water, title, plant, place name and a music term.

Books:

1. (Food) The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy [review]

– This ended up being one of my favorite books I read this year, a great romp in France with the irresponsible but irrepressible Sally Jay Gorce.

2. (Body of Water) River Secrets by Shannon Hale [review]

I was a little nervous of Hale writing a male protagonist, as all I’d read of her books prior to River Secrets had female protagonists.  However, this book ended up being my favorite so far of the Books of Bayern.

3. (Title) Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George [review]

I enjoyed this while I was reading it, but it’s not an especially memorable book now.

4. (Plant) You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up by Annabelle Gurwitch and Jeff Kahn [review]

I remember this book reminded me a lot of Ayelet Waldman’s Bad Mother, which I also read this year.  Unfortunately for Gurwitch and Kahn’s book, I liked Waldman’s book much better.

5. (Place Name) Stasiland: Stories From Behind the Berlin Wall by Anna Funder [review]

Another favorite read of the year!  It features excellent accounts from citizens of the former German Democratic Republic.

6. (Musical Term) La’s Orchestra Saves the World by Alexander McCall Smith [review]

My first book by the prolific McCall Smith k and it was rather underwhelming.

Leave a comment

Filed under Challenges

Joining RIP Challenge!

Before I started my blog in November 2009, I remember seeing all these book bloggers enthusiastically participating in something called the RIP Challenge.  The sense of community conveyed by the participants probably contributed to my decision to start a blog.

And now the challenge has come around again and I can participate!  Although some of my other challenges are in danger of not being completed by the end of the year, the RIP Challenge is too perfectly autumnal of a challenge to pass up.  (Though it certainly does not feel autumnal in the D.C. area right now.)  Also, there is the sense of jumping on the bandwagon as well.  At least eleven of the blogs to which I subscribe have posted their intentions to participate, and the participant list on Carl’s site is huge.

What is the RIP Challenge?  RIP stands for Readers Imbibing Peril and it is hosted by Carl of Stainless Steel Droppings.  In the two months leading up to Halloween, participating readers select and devour books from these categories:

Mystery.
Suspense.
Thriller.
Dark Fantasy.
Gothic.
Horror.
Supernatural.

There are different levels and types of participation which are explained in Carl’s post.  I am choosing Peril the Second which requires reading at least two books.  I may read more, however.

Here is my tentative candidate list, from which I will draw my two books:

The Crazy School by Cornelia Read – Dark tale involving a new teacher at a New England boarding school for disturbed teenagers.

Uncle Montague’s Tales of Terror by Chris Priestley – My notes say I found this recommendation from Ana, of the blog, things mean a lot

Twelve by Jasper Kent – Set in Russia, 1812.  A goodreads reviewer, Mark, says: “It reads as if it were the progeny of Tolstoy or Pasternak, with a Stokerian twist.”

Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson – Jackson seems to be a favorite author for this challenge

A Dark Dividing by Sarah Rayne – The synopsis says something about twins and a decrepit haunted house.  Reviewers mention Gothic atmosphere.  Sounds like a good candidate!

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff – the gals at Forever Young Adult were the source of this recommendation

Skin and Bones by D.C. Corso – Missing children, autumn setting in Washington State.

Little Face by Sophie Hannah – Savidge Reads had a fantastic interview of this author on his blog recently and the synopsis of this book sounds chilling.  A new mother returns to her baby’s room, but swears her baby is gone and been replaced by another.

My perusal of my to-read list reminded me of two books that might also be fun to read prior to Halloween, though not for the RIP Challenge:

Boo by Rene Gutteridge – sounds like a light and fun book about a horror novelist who quits the genre, to the dismay of his hometown, which has used his fame to turn their town into a tourist attraction.

Bats at the Library by Brian Lies – I usually find the little bat silhouettes on Halloween decorations to be so cute.  This children’s book depicts bats reading books in a library, and it depicts famous literary works as populated by bats.  It sounds adorable.  This was a find from the blog Vulpes Libris.

10 Comments

Filed under Challenges

2010 Biodiversity Challenge

People need to stop devising interesting reading challenges.  I’m like the moth to the flame here.

Host: Classical Bookworm

URL: http://classical-bookworm.blogspot.com/2010/01/international-year-of-biodiversity.html

My involvement:  I don’t think I’ll do everything for the challenge, but I’ll try maybe for Biodiversity Bonanza: one book from each sub-challenge.  For sure, my recent library pick-up Grail Bird will help meet the Bye-Bye (books about endangered species) sub-challenge.

Bye-Bye: The Grail Bird: Hot on the Trail of the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker by Tim Gallagher [review]

Biomes: Swampwalker’s Journal: A Wetlands Year by David M. Carroll [review]

Back Yard: City of Trees by Melanie Choukas-Bradley [review]

8 Comments

Filed under Challenges

Memorable Memoir Challenge and Take a Chance Challenge

I’m going to add two more cool-sounding challenges to my 2010 roster of challenges (which already includes Poetry, Flashback, Thriller & Suspense, Colorful, 2nd Reading, and What’s in A Name, as well as my personal 19 books older than I am.)  I expect a number of books will meet more than one challenge, and I may not finish some, but I won’t let that stress me out.

So the two new challenges:

Name: The Memorable Memoir Reading Challenge

Host: The Betty and Boo Chronicles

In sum: Read 4 memoirs (can also be books of letters)

Why I’m joining: I took a class about memoirs in college that was really enjoyable, so I’d like to get back to reading more of them.  Plus Jeannette Walls’ wonderful The Glass Castle has whet my appetite for it again.

1. One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer by Nathaniel Fick

2. Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven by Susan Jane Gilman

3.

4.

Host: Find Your Next Book Here

In sum: There are twelve intriguing challenges and participants can join either 3, 6, or all 12.

I will take on 6, since 3 seemed too few.

Challenge 1: Read Your Doppelganger (author with same last/first name or same initials)

Challenge 7: Break a Prejudice (read an author/genre/whatever that you have always avoided and after, write about how the prejudice has been broken or reinforced)

The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks

Challenge 9: Same Word, Different Book (worth 2 entries because you read two books that share the same word in their title)

Challenge 11: All in the Family (worth 2 entries because you read two books by authors related by blood or marriage)

Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamaties, and Occasional Moments of Grace by Ayelet Waldman

6 Comments

Filed under Challenges

Two More Challenges

As long as they never become a chore, why not add a couple more challenges?  These two look good:

What’s in a Name

Host: Beth F

URL: http://whatsinname3.blogspot.com/

Goal: Read books with titles that contain a word in each of the following categories: food, body of water, title, plant, place name and a music term.

Books:

1. (Food) The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy [review]

2. (Body of Water) River Secrets by Shannon Hale [review]

3. (Title) Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George [review]

4. (Plant) You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up by Annabelle Gurwitch and Jeff Kahn [review]

5. (Place Name) Stasiland: Stories From Behind the Berlin Wall by Anna Funder [review]

6. (Musical Term) La’s Orchestra Saves the World by Alexander McCall Smith [review]

————–

2nd Reading Challenge

Host: Royal Reviews

URL: http://theroyalreviews.blogspot.com/2009/12/2nd-reading-challenge.html

Level: Addicted – Read 12 books that are second in a series or the 2nd time reading the author

1. Evia by Sara Wheeler [review]

2. Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat [review]

3. The Mesmerist by Barbara Ewing

4. Enna Burning (Books of Bayern #2) by Shannon Hale [review]

5. Half-Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls

6. Black Mountain Breakdown by Lee Smith [review]

7. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks [review]

8. Sunshine by Robin McKinley [review]

9. Kindred by Octavia Butler [review]

10. Hunting Ground (Alpha & Omega #2) by Patricia Briggs [review]

11. Blood Cross (Jane Yellowrock #2) by Faith Hunter [review]

12. Catching Fire (Hunger Games #2) by Suzanne Collins [review]

12 Comments

Filed under Challenges

The Colorful Reading Challenge (I know! another one)

Adding another challenge is probably not wise, but this challenge is so whimsical in spirit, I can’t resist.  Besides, most of these books were already on my sizeable to-be-read pile, so this is just a creative way of choosing which ones from that list will be read in the near future.

Name: The Colorful Reading Challenge

Host: Lost in Books

Challenge Post: http://imlostinbooks.blogspot.com/2009/11/colorful-reading-challenge-2010.html

Deadline: December 31, 2010

Level: All participants read 9 books, with different colors in their titles.

Edit: Certain colors were required but now it’s opened up to reader’s choice for all colors.

1. Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs [review]

2. Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthy – I’ve been meaning to read another book of his since I liked The Road.

3. The Veil of Gold by Kim Wilkins [review]

4. The White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean [review]

5. The Grail-Bird: Hot on the Trail of the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker by Tim Gallagher [review]

6. The Book of the Dun Cow by Walter Wangerin, Jr. (also reading for the Flashback Challenge).  Dun is a brownish-grey according to wikipedia.

7. Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

5 Comments

Filed under Challenges

Count me in for these Challenges

I’ve immersed myself in book-blogging for these past couple of weeks and have learned about various cool challenges that I have decided to join.  My personal 2010 challenge (19 books older than I am) is my first priority, but I think I will be able to complete a few additional challenges on top of that.

Host: Regular Rumination

Challenge Post: http://regularrumination.wordpress.com/2009/05/16/reading-poetry-summer-2009/

Deadline: May 16, 2010

Level: The Shallow End (2-5 books of poetry)

I rarely read poetry anymore, so this is a good challenge for me to branch out.

1. something by Pablo Neruda

2. The Patience of Ice by Renate Wood [review]

Host: Booklust

Challenge Post: http://aartichapati.blogspot.com/2009/11/flashback-challenge.html

Deadline: December 31, 2010

Level: Scholar (4 to 6 books)

I’m very excited about this one and may go beyond my level, depending on time.

1. Delta Wedding by Eudora Welty [review]

2. The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford

3. Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat

4. The Book of the Dun Cow by Walter Wangerin, Jr.

5. The Secret of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien

6. Mattimeo by Brian Jacques

Host: Book Chick City

Challenge Post: http://www.bookchickcity.com/2009/05/thriller-suspense-challenge-2010_01.html

Deadline: December 31, 2010

Level: All participants read 12 thrillers.

Some of my most fun reading experiences this year were thrillers, so I want to continue to explore this genre.  The number to be read daunts me a little because I don’t read near as many books as other bloggers, but fortunately thrillers are usually page-turners and thus are quick reads for me.

1. Final Jeopardy by Linda Fairstein [review]

2. Farthing by Jo Walton

3. Dead Run by P. J. Tracy (#3 in the Monkeewrench series) [review]

4.  Snow Blind by P. J. Tracy (#4 Monkeewrench) [review]

5. The Janissary Tree by Jason Goodwin [review]

6. The Moonpool by P.T. Deutermann (#3 for Cam Richter series)

7. In the Woods by Tana French

8. The Night Gardener by George Pelecanos [review]

9. Three Days to Never by Tim Powers

10. Veil of Lies by Jeri Westerson [review]

11. Little Face by Sophie Hannah [review]

12. The Sleeping Doll by Jeffery Deaver

I will fill the spaces as I choose books and then also mark which ones have been read once I get started.

11 Comments

Filed under Challenges