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ExUrbanis

Urban Leaving to Country Living

Ongoing Reading Challenges

February2

In addition to the challenges that must be completed in 2010, I’ve taken on some more ambitious projects that have no deadline and are ongoing.

These are:

The Amy Einhorn Perpetual Challenge, to read all books published under the Amy Einhorn imprint.

Amy Einhorn started Amy Einhorn Books with the goal of hitting that sweet-spot between literary and commercial. Over her 20+ year publishing career, she has worked in very literary houses and very commercial houses—but what she found is that she enjoys a mix of both—smart, intelligent writing coupled with a page-turning story. She intends her books to be just such.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett was the first book she published under this imprint. There’s a list of all of the titles published so far here. This, of course, will grow over time. The Challenge will keep up.

The Reagan Arthur Books Challenge: Reagan Arthur Books is a brand-new imprint from Little, Brown & Company. Currently, there are three books available, but another 16 are coming in the very near future! You can check them out here.

The hosts of this challenge noticed how many awesome books and authors were going to be published in the upcoming months, and found themselves wanting to read most (if not all) of them. From there, it was an obvious next step to create the Reagan Arthur Books Challenge!

The Pulitzer Project
The goal of the participants of this site is to read all 82 books that have won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Talk about a challenge!

The National Book Awards Project

This project is very flexible and can be accomplished in a number of ways:

1. Read all the winners of the National Book Award for fiction from 1950 to present.
2. Read all the winners and finalists of the National Book Award for fiction from 1950 to present.
3. Read the winners and finalists of the National Book Award for fiction of one year.
4. Read the winners of the National Book Award for fiction of one decade.
5. Read all the books that were winners or finalists by a single author (there are several authors who were finalists and/or won in multiple years).

The Orange Prize Project
The Orange Prize recognizes notable women writers. A panel of five women, all passionate readers and at the top of their respective professions, choose the winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction. Meanwhile, three women with a proven interest in new fiction, who work at a senior level in the book world, select the winner of the Orange Award for New Writers

This reading challenge is a long-term project in which the participants will read all books that have won or been short listed for the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction AND the Orange Broadband Award for New Writers. There is no time limit.

The Newbery Project to read all books that have received the Newbery medal.

The John Newbery medal is awarded each year since 1922 for the most distinguished contribution to American children’s literature. There’s a complete list of the winners here.


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Four More Reading Challenges for 2010: Battles of the Prizes, Typically British & Canadian Authors

January29

I know I’ve vowed to join no more challenges this year, but Rose City Reader just posted these first two and they’re only three books each. They run from 01Feb10 to 31Jan11.

Battle of the Prized American version,reading challenge,Pulitzer Prize for fiction,National Book Award

The Battle of the Prizes American Version pits winners of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction against the winners of the National Book Award.

The first book must have won both prizes (6 books meet this criterium), the second book is a Pulitzer Prize winner only and the third book is a National Book Award winner only.

These are my selections, subject to change:

The Shipping News

1) Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx
Proulx has followed Postcards , her story of a family and their farm, with an extraordinary second novel of another family and the sea. The fulcrum is Quoyle, a patient, self-deprecating, oversized hack writer who, following the deaths of nasty parents and a succubus of a wife, moves with his two daughters and straight-thinking aunt back to the ancestral manse in Killick-Claw, a Newfoundland harbor town of no great distinction.

2) one of:
MarchMarch by Geraldine Brooks (ready for pickup at the library)
Brooks’s luminous second novel, after 2001’s acclaimed Year of Wonders, imagines the Civil War experiences of Mr. March, the absent father in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. An idealistic Concord cleric, March becomes a Union chaplain and later finds himself assigned to be a teacher on a cotton plantation that employs freed slaves.

The Executioner's Song
The Executioner’s Song by Norman Mailer (has been on my own shelves unread for years)
The true story of Gary Gilmore, who in 1977 became the first person executed in the United States since the reinstitution of the death penalty. Gilmore, a violent yet articulate man who chose not to fight his death-penalty sentence, touched off a national debate about capital punishment. He allowed Norman Mailer and researcher Lawrence Schiller complete access to his story. Mailer took the material and produced this immense book…What unfolds is a powerful drama, a distorted love affair, and a chilling look into the mind of a murderer in his countdown with a firing squad.

or

Empire Falls,Richard Russo,Pulitzer Prize for fictionEmpire Falls by Richard Russo (just sounds great)

In his biggest, boldest novel yet, the much-acclaimed author of Nobody’s Fool and Straight Man subjects a full cross-section of a crumbling Maine mill town to piercing, compassionate scrutiny, capturing misfits, malefactors and misguided honest citizens alike in the steady beam of his prose.

and

Let the Great World Spin,Calum McCann,National Book Award winner3) Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann (in my pile of TBR library books)

McCann’s sweeping new novel hinges on Philippe Petit’s illicit 1974 high-wire walk between the twin towers. This extraordinary, real-life feat by French funambulist Philippe Petit becomes the touchstone for stories that briefly submerge you in ten varied and intense lives. It is the aftermath, in which Petit appears in the courtroom of Judge Solomon Soderberg, that sets events into motion.

Battle of the Prizes British Version,Man Booker Prize,James Tait Black Memorial Prize,reading challenge

The Battle of the Prizes British Version pits winners of the English Man Booker Prize against winners of the Scottish James Tait Black Memorial Prize.

The first book must have won both prizes (only 3 books qualify), the second book is a Man Booker Prize winner only and the third book is a James Tait Black Prize winner only.

These are my selections, subject to change:
Last Orders,Graham Swift,Man Booker Prize winner

1) Last Orders by Graham Smith
a quiet but dazzling novel about a group of men, friends since the Second World War, whose lives revolve around work, family, the racetrack, and their favorite pub. When one of them dies, the survivors drive his ashes from London to a seaside town where they will be scattered, compelling them to take stock in who they are today, who they were before, and the shifting relationships in between.
Oscar and Lucinda,Peter Carey,Man Booker Prize winner
2) Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey

This is a story of mid-19th century England and Australia, narrated by a man of our time and therefore permeated with modern consciousness. Oscar is a shy, gawky, Oxford-educated Church of England minister with a tortured conscience; Lucinda is a willful, eccentric Australian who sinks her family inheritance into a glass factory; and the basis for the star-crossed love that develops between them is a shared passion for gambling; and

The Secret Scripture3) The Secret Scripture by Sebastien Barry
The latest from Barry (whose A Long Way was shortlisted for the 2005 Booker) pits two contradictory narratives against each other in an attempt to solve the mystery of a 100-year-old mental patient. That patient, Roseanne McNulty, decides to undertake an autobiography and writes of an ill-fated childhood spent with her father, Joe Clear, A cemetery superintendent who is drawn into Ireland’s 1922 civil war.

ANDTypically British Reading Challenge

Since I’m reading books for the British Battle of the Prizes, I thought I may as well enter the Typically British Challenge hosted by Book Chick City.

It’s likely that I’ll read 8 British novels this year, but I want to enter at the Bob’s Your Uncle level because I love that phrase, and every time I hear it, I think “No, Bob’s my father.” It’s sort of bittersweet.

Bob’s Your Uncle requires me to read 6 novels by British authors in the 2010 calendar year.

1. The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice

Mrs. Q, Book Addict, is hosting (for the first time) a challenge of her invention: The Canadian Authors Challenge 2010. Canadian Authors Reading Challenge

I love CanLit and think I’ll fairly easily be able to complete the 10 books. (Mrs. Q: we need some titles on these levels. From the heart of Nova Scotia, I’ll contribute Bluenoser. What do you think?)

I’m looking forward to this one. And while we’re on the subject of things Canadian:

Chapters/Indigo link for Canadian readers:
The Shipping News

March

Empire Falls

Let The Great World Spin

Last Orders

Oscar and Lucinda

Shop Indie Bookstores

Or, even better, buy from an independent book seller by searching this site that has links to independent booksellers across North America.

P.S. If you click through the affiliate links in the book titles, you may notice a different cover. I like to see the cover that’s on the copy I read – and it’s usually different than Amazon.com because they display the American release, and I read the Canadian. Again, the links are affiliate links so I will receive a small percentage of any purchase you make after clicking through from this blog.


The Book Awards Challenge

January12

This has got to stop! Last challenge?

The Book Awards Challenge is very generous with its guidelines, requiring me to read 10 award winners from 10 different awards in the next ten months.

Book Awards Challenge,award winning books

1. John Newbery Medal winner for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children (2000): Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

2. The Duncan Lawrie Dagger winner for best crime novel (2006): Raven Black by Ann Cleeves

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The First in a Series Challenge

January11

I just have to try a few more challenges! This First in a Series Challenge, hosted by Royal Reviews, should be easy because I always look for the first book in a series when I’m reading a new author or a new series.

First in a Series Book Challenge

The Addicted level requires me to read 12 books.

1. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley The first in the Flavia de Luce series

2. Raven Black by Ann Cleeves The first in the Shetland Quartet featuring Jimmy Perez

3. The Body in the Belfry by Katherine Hall Page The first in the Faith Fairchild series


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The Historical Fiction Challenge

January11

The Historical Fiction Challenge, hosted by Royal Reviews offers nearly unlimited diversity. I love it!

Historical Fiction Book Challenge

The Addicted level requires me to read 12 books.

1. Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis – 1936 Michigan U.S.A.

2. Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan – 1939 Nazi-occupied Norway

3. The Diplomat’s Wife by Pam Jenoff – post WWII Europe

4. Beside a Burning Sea by John Shors – 1942 South Pacific

5. The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice – 1954 London


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Bibliophilic Books Challenge

January11

This challenge is a little tougher and may require me to read some non-fiction, something I often skip.

Bibliophilic Books Challenge

I’m entering the Bibliophilic Books Challenge at the Litlover level that requires that I read six books that focus on books or reading.

1. The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver


The Complete Booker (Prize) 2010 Challenge

January11

I generally enjoy reading prize winning literature, but find that because of availability, the prizes end up being Canadian or American.

The Man Booker Prize Challenge,The Complete Booker Challenge

I do however, recognize the high regard in which the Man Booker Prize, originating in Britain, is held. I’d like to read more Booker prize winning novels but I think I need to start slowly, given the number of other challenges I’ve entered already. So I’m entering the Complete Booker Challenge at the Longshot level, at which I must read 6 longlisted nominees.

This 2010 challenge is a part of the ongoing Complete Booker Project.

Here’s the complete lists of past years nominees and winners.


Reading Through the Seasons Challenge

January6

Reading Through the Seasons Challenge,Book Dragon's Lair,Reading challenge

This has to be the end of the challenges I take on! This one sounds like it can be fit around some of my other challenges so I’m giving it a go.

Hosted by Book Dragon’s Lair, it requires that I read four books, one for each season. The titles must have a season, not holiday: winter, fall, autumn, spring, summer.



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Decades Reading Challenge

January3

I keep seeing more and more reading challenges that I want to add to the list that I’ve taken on, but am really exercising self-discipline to not over commit.
Decades 2010 reading Challenge I just couldn’t resist this one, though, since it’s so different from anything else I’ve entered.

The rules of the Decades Challenge are simple:
– Read a minimum of 10 books in 10 consecutive decades; books published in the 2000s do not count.

I haven’t had a chance to choose my books for this yet, but doing so will be fun!

1940s Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan

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Reading Challenges for 2010

December31

stack of books

I’ve decided to enter into a number of reading challenges around the blogosphere this year and I’ve set up a separate post for each challenge. Once this initial set-up is complete, I don’t think you’ll see my updates as I list the books I’ve read that meet the challenges. I’ll note what challenges are involved in my “What Are You Reading? Mondays” posts.

The challenges are:

The 100+ Challenge (J. Kaye)

The Read the Book, See the Movie Challenge (Ready When You Are, C.B.)

The What’s in a Name? Challenge (Beth Fish Reads)

Bart’s 2010 Challenge which I refer to as the Ten Categories Challenge (Bart’s Book Shelf)

The Colorful Challenge (Lost in Books)

The Support Your Local Library Challenge (J. Kaye’s Book Blog)

The New to Me Authors Challenge (Literary Escapism)

The Read Your Own Books Challenge (Miz B.)

The Decades Challenge hosted by 1 More Chapter

The Reading Through the Seasons Challenge hosted by Book Dragon’s Lair

The On The Porch Swing challenge (Yahoo group)

The Most Memorable Memoir Challenge (Betty and Boo’s mommy)

The First in a Series Challenge hosted by Royal Reviews

The Historical Fiction Challenge also hosted by Royal Reviews

The Bibliophilic Books Challenge, self-hosted

The Book Awards Challenge, self hosted

The Complete Booker Award 2010 Challenge, also hosted by the Book Awards Challenge Blogspot

The Battle of the Prizes – both the American and British versions, hosted by Rose City Reader

The Most Memorable Memoir Challenge

December31

I thought that I had entered enough reading challenges for the year, but Betty and Boo’s mommy implored me to add one more.

Memorable Memoir challenge

I enjoy biographies but don’t often think to read them. This challenge means I’ll get in at least four this coming year.

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On The Porch Swing Reading Challenge

December31

Porch Swing challengeThis challenge comes from the Yahoo group of the same name. It particularly appealed to me because from 2001 to 2008, I ran a business called Paradise Porch and issued a bi-weekly newsletter called The Porch Swing.

This challenge involves a minimum of seven books, and potentially 26.

1. Read two books whose title contains the first letters of your first and last names.

2. Read two books by an author whose first name begins with a “D”.

3. Read one book by a female author whose first name is Mary.

4. Read a biography.

5. Read a book of short stories

AND – BONUS POINTS!

Alphabet Challenge – this challenge consists of keeping track of each book you read that fits the letters of the alphabet.

The Read Your Own Books Challenge

December31

This should be simple, although I’m always finding new books to put on my TBR stack and not whittling down my own library at all.

Read Your Own Books Reading Challenge,Read Your Own Books Reading Challenge

I’m committing to only 25, hoping I’ll surprise myself. Hosted by Miz B.

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‘New to Me’ Authors Challenge

December31

New authors reading challenge,New authors reading challenge

Hosted by Literary Escapism, this requires me to read a number of books by authors whom I have never tried before.

I’m always running into those, so I’m setting a goal for myself of 25 books for this challenge.

1. Alan Bradley (The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie)

2. Marie McSwigan (Snow Treasure)

3. Christopher Paul Curtis (Bud, Not Buddy)

4. Preethi Nair (One Hundred Shades of White)

5. Ann Cleeves (Raven Black)

6. Pam Jenoff (The Diplomat’s Wife)

7. John Shors (Beside a Burning Sea)

8. Katherine Hall Page (The Body in the Belfry)

9. Eva Rice (The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets)

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The Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge

December31

Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge,Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge

Another one hosted by J. Kaye’s Book Blog.

I expect at least the sod-turning for our new village library this year, so I think this challenge is especially appropriate. Encouraged by J., I’m going to aim high and go for the “Stepping It Up” level which requires me to check out and read 75 books during the coming year.

1. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

2. The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver

3. Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan

4. Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

5. One Hundred Shades of White by Preethi Nair

6. Raven Black by Ann Cleeves

7. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitgerald – graphic novel form

8. The Diplomat’s Wife by Pam Jenoff

9. Beside a Burning Sea by John Shors

10. The Body in the Belfry by Katherine Hall Page

11. The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice

The Colorful Reading Challenge

December31

Colors Reading Challenge,Colors Reading Challenge

An easy one here – simply read nine books, each with a different colour in the title. Hosted by Lost in Books

1. One Hundred Shades of White by Preethi Nair)

2. Raven Black by Ann Cleeves

3.

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The Ten Categories Challenge

December31

This one is hosted by Bart’s Book Shelf and includes books from the following categories:

1. Young Adult

a) Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

b)

2. T.B.R. **

3. Shiny & New

4. Bad Bloggers ***

a) Beside a Burning Sea by John Shors

This book was read on the recommendation of Hey Lady, Whatca Readin’? who could find no bad in this book. :-)

Jack Sprat could eat no fat, his wife could eat no lean;
So between them both, they licked the platter clean.

5. Charity

6. New in 2010

7. Older Than You
a) Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan (published 1942)

8. Win! Win!

9. Who Are You Again?
a) Ann Cleeves (Raven Black)
b) Preethi Nair (One Hundred Shades of White)

10. Up to You!

Ten Categories Reading Challenge,Ten Categories Reading Challenge

Although this challenge will accept cross-overs from other challenges, a book may be used to satisfy only one category of this challenge.
For details, see Bart’s post

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What’s In A Name? Challenge

December31

What's in a name Reading Challenge,What's in a name Reading Challenge

Hosted by Beth Fish Reads, and I’ll let her explain how it works:

Between January 1 and December 31, 2010, read one book in each of the following categories:

DONE 1. A book with a food in the title: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

DONE 2. A book with a body of water in the title: Beside a Burning Sea by John Shors

3. A book with a title (queen, president) in the title: The Murder of King Tut, The Count of Monte Cristo, Lady Susan
4. A book with a plant in the title: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Wind in the Willows, The Name of the Rose
5. A book with a place name (city, country) in the title: Out of Africa; London; Between, Georgia
6. A book with a music term in the title: Song of Solomon, Ragtime, The Piano Teacher

The book titles are just suggestions, I can read whatever book I want to fit the category, and cross-overs from other challenges area allowed.

The Read the Book, See the Movie Challenge

December29

Hosted by Ready When You Are, C.B., the Read the Book, See the Movie Challenge is based on a simple idea–read a book, see a movie based on the book, include both in my review.

Read the Book,Read the Book,See the Movie Reading Challenge,See the Movie Reading Challenge

I’m choosing to try the Film Festival level – eight books & movies.

It’s not the reading that might trip me up here–it’s taking the time to watch the movies. I’m always who answers the question “Did you see this movie?” with “No, but I read the book”, much to my husband’s disgust.

1. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald

2.

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The 100+ Reading Challenge

December29

The 100+ Reading Challenge is hosted by J. Kaye’s book blog. The goal, fairly obviously, is to read at least 100 books. Cross-overs are accepted.

100+ Reading Challenge,100+ Reading Challenge

1. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

2. The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver

3. Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan

4. Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

5. One Hundred Shades of White by Preethi Nair

6. Raven Black by Ann Cleeves

7. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald; a graphic novel by Nunzio DeFilippis & Christina Weir; Illustrated by Kevin Cornell

8. The Diplomat’s Wife by Pam Jenoff

9. Beside a Burning Sea by John Shors

10. The Body in the Belfry by Katherine Hall Page

11. The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice

Every little bit of kindness is appreciated



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