Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sookie Stackhouse Reading Challenge 2011

Oh, if only I had known of this challenge last year...I would've actually mastered a challenge! I became addicted to True Blood early in the year, but didn't have cable TV until summer, so in the meantime I started reading the Sookie books. I read the first 8, which means I have yet to read:

9. Dead and Gone
10. Dead in the Family
11. Dead Reckoning (comes out in May 2011)

And if any others come out in the meantime, I'll tackle those as well!

The challenge is hosted here.

TwentyEleven Challenge

Hosted at Bart's Bookshelf, this challenge asks you to pick 20 books to read based on eleven categories. The categories:

Categories for TwentyEleven:

1.To YA or not YA
Tend to read more Young Adult than Adult Fiction books then read one or two adult fiction titles, vice-versa if you don’t tend to read much Young Adult.
2.With a Twist.
This one focuses on sub-genres, read a lot of chick-lit, then try a paranormal romance! Fantasy? Why not give some Steampunk a go, like a bit of Space-Opera in your Sci-Fi then pick up a military Sci-fi book. Like your Contemporary Literature, give a Young Adult Contemporary a chance.

3.Hot off the Presses.
Read a book published (in your country) in 2011? Then it counts for this category.
4.It Wasn't Me! (aka Bad Bloggers*)
Books in this category, should be ones you've picked up purely on the recommendation of another blogger count for this category (any reviews you post should also link to the post that convinced you give the book ago).
* Bad Bloggers: Is hosted by Chris of Stuff as Dreams are Made on.
5.Show it Who is Boss!
Tackle that overflowing T.B.R. pile! Books for this category must be already residents of your bookshelves as of 1/12/10.
Read books that are translated from a language that is not your own.
7.Will-Power? What Will-Power? (aka: The Henry Ward Beecher Memorial.)
Bought a book NEW during 2011? Then it counts for this category. Second-hand books do not count for this one, but, for those on book-buying bans, books bought for you as gifts or won in a giveaway also count.
8.Mind the Gap.
Need just one more book to compete that duology/trilogy/series then read it for this one! (Obviously as this is for that final book you need to complete it, then you can’t read two books from the same series! And it clearly can’t be your first or penultimate read!)
Because not everyone reads a series in order, this is for the last book you need to read, not necessarily the last book in the series…
9.Back in the Day.
Re-read an old favourite or two for this category.
10.Way Back When.
Read books that were published before you were born for this one, whether that be the day before or 100 years prior!
Got a novella you want to read? Then this one is the one for you! Any books between 90-150 pages count.

Book Blogger Recommendation 2011

Despite not finishing this one either, I really liked this challenge, hosted here, last year. I'm gonna keep it simple and go for level 1--just 5 books from the Book Blogger Recommendation List.

iChallenge 2011

This challenge, hosted here, is to read 10 books about vampires, witches, fairies or werewolves. Sookie Sookie here I come!

2011 Young Adult Challenge

This year the young adult challenge is being hosted here. This is one of the challenges I usually finish, although this year I missed it by two. I'm going to enter on the lowest level, which is the usual 12 books.

TBR 2011

I didn't complete this challenge last year, but I came close. Here is the sign-up page for this year's, and here is my list.

Abarat II--Clive Barker
The Alchemist--Paulo Coelho
Trainspotting--Irvine Welsh
The Crossing--Cormac McCarthy
Shantaram--Gregory David Roberts
Among the Imposters--Margaret Peterson Haddix
Neverwhere--Neil Gaiman
No Touch Monkey--Ayun Holliday
Just Kids--Patti Smith
Foundation and Empire--Issac Asimov
Searching For the Sound--Phil Lesh
The Eye of Spirit--Ken Wilbur


Eragon--Chris Paolini
Gone With the Wind--Margaret Mitchell
Elven Star--Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
Are Men Necessary--Maureen Dowd
Danse Macabre--Stephen King
A Brief History of Time--Stephen Hawking
The Dreaded Comparison--Marjorie Spiegel
The Alphabet Versus the Goddess--Leonard Shlain
A Spot of Bother--Mark Haddon
Breaking Her Fall--Stephen Goodwin
The Book of Night Women--Marlon James
Twilight of Avalon--Anna Elliott

100+ (and Book a Week) Reading Challenge

Last year I read 56. Onward and upward! Find reviews here.


A - Z Challenge 2011

Doing it by author didn't work for me last year (I made it about half way) so this year I'm going back to by title. The sign up page is here.


Thursday, December 30, 2010

End of the Year....

I did a horrible job this year keeping up with my reading challenges/reviews. On the plus side, I did read 55 books as of tonight. And some of them are reviewed on goodreads. On the minus side, almost none of them are reviewed on the blog, and I didn't finish any of my challenges to speak of. Pa.The.Tic.

So I'm going to try to catch up with what I've done, and pick some new challenges, and maybe eventually even catch up on reviews. It's a new year, right? I'll at least do a best of 2010 list next week sometime.

On to 2011!

Monday, October 25, 2010

RIP Challenge V

I have sort of dropped the ball on my reading challenges this year, but if I am going to pick it back up, it's for this one. I love Halloween, and I love reading, so I super-love Carl at Stainless Steel Dropping's RIP Challenge. I have been doing this challenge since RIP II, and I almost missed it this year, but jumped in in the nick of time. Since I am joining late, I am going to do Peril the Second, which only requires the reading of two books sufficiently Halloween-ie. And, coincidentally, they are also written by a father and son.

1. Horns--Joe Hill--10/25/10
2. Under the Dome--Stephen King--11/6/10 (better late than never)

If I have time, I would like to read a book of short stories by each of these authors as well, which would be

3. Just After Sunset--Stephen King--12/8/10
4. 20th Century Ghosts--Joe Hill

but that is unlikely, given that it is already October 25.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Decades 2010--1/1/10-12/31/10

One of my favorite challenges is the Decades Challenge. This is the third year that I will be participating. The goal is to read one book from ten consecutive decades, 1990s and earlier. My list follows:
1990s: The Robber Bride--Margaret Atwood1/23/10
1980s: Love in the Time of Cholera--Gabriel Garcia Marquez
1970s: Song of Solomon--Toni Morrison
1960s: The Bell Jar--Sylvia Plath
1950s: A Town Like Alice--Nevil Shute
1940s: I, Robot--Issac Asimov
1930s: Gone With the Wind--Margaret Mitchell
1920s: Women in Love--D.H. Lawrence
1910s: Of Human Bondage--W. Somerset Maugham
1900s: The Railway Children--Edith Nesbit

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Gregor the Overlander--Suzanne Collins

Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Year Published: 2003
Pages: 320
Rating: 3.5/5

"Gregor had pressed his face against the screen for so long, he could feel a pattern of tiny checks above his eyebrows."

I read this book on my son's recommendation, and it was really quite enjoyable. Gregor is an 11 year old boy with much weight on his shoulders--his father has disappeared, and he has to help his mother and grandmother tend to his 2 year old sister so she can try to make enough money to support the struggling family. But he is also a warrior, foretold in a prophecy in the underland. Of course Gregor doesn't know this, until he follows his little sister into an airvent in his basement and falls into the underland, where bugs, bats, and rats are huge, and a tribe of people survive under the ground. Upon learning he might be able to rescue his father, Gregor takes the quest--though he is dubious that he is the fabled warrior.

The story moves fast, and Gregor's little sister, Boots, is delightful. I am going to try to read the rest of the series when I get a chance.

Book a Week # 1
Challenge/s: Young Adult, TBR
Date Read: 1/1/10

Queen Bees and Wannabes--Rosalind Wiseman

Genre: Non-Fiction/Self-Help
Year Published: 2002
Pages: 336
Rating: 3/5

This was a very well-written book about dealing with "Girl World". I like Wiseman's style--she cuts to the chase and calls it like it is. A lot of this is common sense, but stuff we don't really pay much attention to. It did get a little redundant by the end, but I still think it's worth reading. There is a chapter on raising boys that I enjoyed a lot as well, and my son and I already had a talk about our culture's expectations of men and women.

Book a week # 64
Challenge: A-Z
Date Read: 12/31/09

Monday, December 28, 2009

Best Books of 2009!

I read so many great books this year! It was hard to pick ten, so I chose ten honorable mentions as well. I wrote a brief description of each book, but I also linked to my original review, which says a lot more. Toni Morrison was my most-read author this year, and all three of her books that I read this year made the honorable mentions. Read Neil Gaiman for the first time, and plan on reading more in the future.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak Told by death itself, this is the story of a brave and thoughtful little girl living in Nazi Germany during WWII. Heartbreaking and beautiful.

The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer. A great piece of young adult dystopian fiction, involving cloning, drug lords, and the disappearance of the whales.
The Once and Future King by T.H. White. A whimsical and enjoyable retelling of the King Arthur saga.

The Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan. I linked to my review of the first book, The Lightning Thief, but all five were excellent. A brilliant way to bring classical mythology to life, and to envision it coexisting with today's modern life.

As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner. I'm glad I gave Faulkner another shot, because I loved this bit of dark comedy.

House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III. A tragic and beautiful story about people too caught up in themselves to understand one another.

Animal Farm by George Orwell. Perhaps the perfect allegory, this famous work shows beautifully what happens when socialism goes awry.
Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. A riveting account of an expedition to climb Mount Everest gone horribly wrong.

Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood. This book could be the model for today's "Mean Girls" phenomenon. A great story that examines girls'--and womens'--relationships with one another.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon. Told in one of the most unique voices, this book chronicles a brilliant but autistic teen's attempt to solve a mystery.

And the honorable mentions:

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Finish That Series--1/1/10-12/31/10

Hosted here at the very alliterative site, Royal Reviews, this challenge provides the opportunity to finish the series you've begun. I am going to sign up on the "fascinated" level, meaning I must complete three series this year. Some of the series I am hoping to finish are:

The Twilight Saga 4/19/10
The Murdoc Jern series
The Foundation series
The Border Trilogy
The Hunger Games 9/12/10

Series I want to reread include:

The Chronicles of Narnia
Dragonlance: Legends
The Prydain Series
The Dark Tower series 8/25/10