Thursday, January 1, 2009

Challenges for 2009

I am so very intrigued by the world of literary challenges! I had never heard of such a concept - and certainly would never have thought of the idea myself. that I have "seen the light" I am totally hooked!

Here is the growing list of challenges that I have signed up for:

Michelle of the True Book Addict is hosting a challenge after my own heart: the Christmas Reading Challenge which runs from November 26, 2009 - December 31, 2009. I only have to commit to reading 1-3 books, which sounds very doable to me. The books that I have read for this challenge include:
  1. A Dog Named Christmas by Greg Kincaid
  2. The Christmas Cookie Club by Ann Pearlman
  3. The Christmas Dog by Melody Carlson

R. I. P. IV Challenge (Readers Imbibing Peril) is hosted by Carl of Stainless Steel Droppings. As the title would indicate, this is the fourth year for this particular challenge, although it is a brand new challenge for me. This challenge comes HIGHLY recommended by many, many bloggers and while I am not sure that I can truly add one more challenge to the mix this year (I am already certain that I will not complete all the ones listed), I simply cannot pass this one up. I will only join at the Short Story Peril level - in the hopes of reading at least a few Poe short stories that I am embarrassed to say that I have yet to read in my lifetime. I have several other books on my TBR pile that would qualify for this challenge, and if I get the urge (and the time) I may actually read one or two of them as well. I am also highly influenced by bloggers' reviews, so new-to-me books in this genre will also be considered. The following list are those books that I actually completed for the challenge:
  • The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale
  • Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
  • The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
  • The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry
  • The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe
  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

The Everything Austen Challenge is hosted by Stephanie's Written Word and runs from July 1, 2009 to January 1, 2010. Right now I plan to participate in the double-challenge, that is, to read and/or watch 12 Jane Austen related books or movies in this 6 month time frame. Ideally I would like to read all 6 of her novels and watch the corresponding BBC film adaptation. This will also help me with the 18th and 19th Century Women Writer's Challenge as well (see below).

The Harry Potter Reader Challenge is hosted by Galleysmith and runs from August 1, 2009 - July 31, 2010. The goal is to read or listen to all 7 of the Harry Potter books in this time frame. I plan to do a combination of audio and print books, and I would also like to try to watch all of the HP movies that are available on DVD (my daughter claims they are wonderful and I want to verify her opinion).

The Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge is hosted by J. Kaye's Books and runs from January 1 - December 31 of this year. This is probably one of the first challenges I ever saw in the internet and I was intrigued. I wanted to sign up immediately, but since I really didn't know anything about challenges, or blogs or well....anything, I decided to pass it up. I was reminded of this challenge just recently (Memorial Day weekend) and decided that late is better than never. There are 3 levels to this challenge: read 12 books - 25 books - or 50 books. I will strive for the 25 books level. I will keep a running record of the library books I have read this year.
  1. A Christmas Memory - One Christmas - Thanksgiving Visitor by Truman Capote
  2. The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
  3. The Sister by Poppy Adams
  4. The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff
  5. The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb
  6. Firmin by Sam Savadge
  7. We Need to Talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver
  8. The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister
  9. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  10. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
  11. The Yellow -Lighted Bookshop by Lewis Buzbee
  12. Jane Austen Ruined my Life by Beth Pattillo
  13. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowling (audio)
  14. Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story by Carolyn Turgeon
  15. Among the Hidden by Margaret Haddix
  16. Manga Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night's Dream
  17. Olive Kitteredge by Elizabeth Strout
  18. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling (audio)
  19. Poemcrazy by Susan G. Wooldridge
  20. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
  21. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
  22. Columbine by Dave Cullen
  23. Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
  24. The Suspicion of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale
  25. The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry
  26. French Milk by Lucy Knisley
  27. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
  28. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
  29. Hate List by Jennifer Brown
  30. Cather in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
  31. The Anthologist by Nicholson Baker
  32. Gourmet Rhapsody by Muriel Barbery
  33. Confections of a Master Baker by Gesine Bullock-Prado
  34. Creating Poetry by John Drury
  35. Beowulf on the Beach by Jack Murnighan
  36. Who the Hell is Pansy O'Hara by Jenny Bond and Chris Sheedy
  37. The Christmas Cookie Club by Ann Pearlman
  38. Crossing Washington Square by Joanne Rendell
  39. The Christmas Dog by Melody Carlson
  40. Time was Soft There by Jeremy Mercer
  41. Book by Book by Michael Dirda
  42. The Children's Book by A. S. Byatt

The Summer Vacation Reading Challenge is hosted by yours truly. I am just thrilled that I have 26 others who have decided to join me on this literary adventure. I will probably only achieve the Beach Bum level (3 books), although I have aspirations of being a Globe Trotter some day. I do not have to pre-select the books at this level, but for now I think I may read:

  1. A Gift from Brittany by Majorie Price completed May, 2009
  2. A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle
  3. Twenty Wishes by Debbie Macomber completed June, 2009

The Shakespearean Summer challenge is sponsored by Liv's Book Reviews and runs from June 1 - August 31. The rules state that you must read 3 Shakespearean plays in that time frame and post a blog entry. I signed up for this challenge because I am taking a pedagogy class on Shakespeare this summer and thought it would add another layer of fun and excitement if I also read the plays for an online challenge.
The plays that I will read this summer include:
  1. Macbeth complete June, 2009
  2. Midsummer Night's Dream complete June, 2009
  3. Merchant of Venice Completed July, 2009
  4. The Tempest completed July, 2009

Becky's 18th and 19th Century Women Writers. Not only is this the time period that I truly enjoy, but I have wanted to read all 6 of Jane Austen's novels for quite some time and this is the perfect excuse to do so! The challenge states that one needs to read no fewer than 4 but no more than 12 books in this time period. While the Jane Austen novels more than meets the minimum requirement, I think I will try to challenge myself to go a bit further. The novels that I plan to read are:

1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
2. Sense and Sensibility
3. Emma "
4. Persuasion
5. Northanger Abbey
6. Mansfield Park
7. Silas and Marner by George Eliot
8. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

MizB Casual Classics Challenge. For this challenge I need to read 4 classic novels (no particular time period) from Jan 1, 2009 - Dec 31, 2009. AND...overlaps with other challenges count! So while I would like to read 4 completely different novels than those listed above, I may need to "double dip" the George Eliot and Elizabeth Gaskell novels in the end. For now my chosen novels to read in this challenge include:

1. Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte completed January, 2009
3. Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens (or maybe David Copperfield)
4. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier (substitute 4.09) completed April 2009

This challenge is hosted by Jenn and it is entitled the TBR Lite Challenge (To Be Read) and it is a challenge to encourage us to read books that have been sitting on our shelves for quite a while just waiting for some attention. There are 3 different options to this challenge, and I think I will try option B: select 6 books to read in a 12 month period, but the reading list can change throughout the year. The books that I would like to try to read for 2009 include:

1. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
2. The Life of Pi byYann Martel completed March, 2009
3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak completed February, 2009
4. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath completed April, 2009
5. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
6. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (substitute) completed May, 2009

The Cozy Mystery Challenge hosted by Kris at Not Enough Books runs from April 1 - September 30, 2009 (6 months). Participants are asked to read 6 cozy mysteries in this time period: either one book a month - all 6 books in one month - or any other variation in between. Up to 4 of these cozies can count towards other challenges, the host just asks that 2 of the cozies be exclusive to this challenge. My tentative list - which is always subject to change - includes:
  • Catering to Nobody by Diane Mott Davidson
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke completed April, 2009
  • On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle
  • Gunpowder Green by Laura Childs
  • The Ghost and Mrs. McClure by Alice Kimberly
  • Bookmarked for Murder by Lorna Barrett completed May, 2009

the Just for the Love of Reading Challenge 2009 is sponsored by Sheri at a Novel Menagerie. The rules are simple: select any number of books that you want to read (and that is the key --- WANT to read -- this challenge is strictly for the joy and pleasure of reading) between now and April 30. That's it!! No specific genre - No specific number of books --- AND you can change the books at any time to suit your (or rather, my) fickle pleasure. I am not going to bother to list the books I plan to read for this challenge, because I fully expect them to change on a weekly, if not daily basis (I tend to find so many great recommendations on these blogs that I feel that I MUST read the book immediately after reading the review).

I actually co
mpleted a challenge!!!
For this challenge I read the following books:
  • The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
  • The Sister by Poppy Adams
  • Murder is Binding by Lorna Barrett
  • Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Goff
  • The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb
  • Firmin by Sam Savage
  • We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
  • School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister
  • The Help by Kathleen Stockett
  • The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop by Lewis Buzbee
  • Coraline by Neil Gaiman
  • Jane Austen Ruined My Life by Beth Pattillo


  1. Wow Molly! What a fun idea -- you've got some great reading ahead of you. I look forward to hearing your responses to these books, esp. the ones for the third challenge. That's one that I think I might need to sign up for... Very cool!

  2. Great list of challenges! I've been thinking of also doing the 19th century women challenge--especially with Austen in mind.

    Have a great time--and good luck!

  3. You've got some great reading lined up in the Tbr Lite challenge. I've read #2,3,4 and 5, and I own #1 and 6, which I hope to get to this year. I look forforward to your comments or reviews of them. Happy reading in 2009.

  4. Wanted to welcome you to the Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge.

    Links to post your reviews are found at the bottom of J. Kaye’s Book Blog. The bottom of the blog has clickable buttons. Just click on 2009 Book Challenges and it will take you to the correct page. This is, of course, totally optional.

    Have Fun!


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