Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Challenges Ahead, 2011

And here is my list of the challenges I want to participate in next year. I love setting up reading lists and thinking about all the potential reading I could be doing!

Canadian Book Challenge

This one, hosted by John at The Book Mine Set, is ongoing: it is also a year-long challenge, but runs from Canada Day to Canada Day(July 1) rather than January-December. So I am half-way through, and will continue reading for the 4th Challenge as well as knowing already that I'll be signing up for the 5th when it rolls around!

What's in a name 4

This is once again hosted by Beth Fish Reads, and is a challenge I really enjoy participating in. The random nature of the book selections makes it a lot of fun, and I usually to read from my TBR in order to clear it up just a bit!

The rules are that you must read 1 book during 2011 from each of the following categories -- my three possibilities for each category are below, as well.

1. A book with a number in the title:

The Importance of Being Seven / Alexander McCall Smith
Four Letters of Love / Niall Williams
Fahrenheit 451 / Ray Bradbury

2. A book with jewelry or a gem in the title:

The Attenbury Emeralds / Jill Paton Walsh
Gold Boy, Emerald Girl / Yiyun Li
Opal: a life of enchantment, mystery and madness/ Kathrine Beck

3. A book with a size in the title:

The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party / Alexander McCall Smith
The Eleven Million Mile High Dancer / Carol De Chellis Hill
Enormous Changes at the Last Minute / Grace Paley

4. A book with travel or movement in the title:

Passing On / Penelope Lively
Far to Go / Alison Pick
Skating to Antarctica / Jenny Diski
Read: Into That Darkness / Steven Price

5. A book with evil in the title:

Soucouyant / David Chariandy
Consequences of Sin / Clare Langley-Hawthorne
My Phantom Husband / Marie Darrieussecq

6. A book with a life stage in the title:

Never the Bride / Paul Magrs
Warm the Children, O Sun (collection of stories)
The Grandmother / Bozena Nemcova

Science Book Challenge 2011

This is the fourth year of this wonderful challenge, hosted by Jeff at Scienticity I've been in on this one since the beginning, and I love it, because it makes me read more widely than I would otherwise and because it is "easy as pi" -- the rules are to read 3 (or 3.14) books over 2011. (how can you not love that slogan?) Although some years I read more than others, I enjoy this one absolutely. Here are this year's rules:

Read at least three nonfiction books in 2011 related to the theme "Science & Culture". Your books should have something to do with science, scientists, how science operates, or the relationship of science with our culture. Your books might be popularizations of science, they might be histories, they might be biographies, they might be anthologies; they can be recent titles or older books, from the bookstore or your local library. We take a very broad view of what makes for interesting and informative science reading, looking for perspectives on science as part of culture and history.
After you've read a book, write a short note about it giving your opinions of the book.

My list of possibilities includes:

Einstein Wrote Back / John W. Moffat

The Arcanum / Janet Gleeson

Decoding the Heavens / Jo Marchant

Empire of the Stars / Arthur I. Miller (I had meant to read this one last year)

Nordic Challenge
This is hosted by Zee at Notes from the North.

This blog is new to me, so this is a double delight -- a new blog and a new challenge to participate in! She states:

There is no need to make a list before hand. Any book by any author born in a Nordic country (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and/or Sweden) or a book set in a Nordic country. They can be from any genre (I will be reading a mixture of classics, children’s books, YA and mystery).

I'll be reading at the second level:

Freya: Read 3-5 books

But since one of the things I most love about joining challenges is making lists, I'm still going to make a list of possibilities to inspire me ;)

1. Astrid & Veronica / Linda Olsson -- I've wanted to read this one for ages, but it always seems to be out at my library!

2. Summer Book / Tove Janssen -- I read her novel The True Deceiver this year, and thought it was amazing. I'll be on the lookout for this one now.

3. The Tricking of Freya / Christina Sunley -- set partially in Canada and partially in Iceland, dealing with the main character's Icelandic heritage, this has been on my TBR for ages.

4. House of Orphans / Helen Dunmore -- set in Finland, by a British author

5. The Unit / Ninni Holmqvist -- so many book bloggers mentioned this one highly over the last year. It sounds intriguing.

Eastern Europe 2011 Challenge
This is hosted by Amy at The Black Sheep Dances -- another new-to-me blog and challenge! Another year-long challenge to take on.

These are the parameters:
Regions: Choose titles about or by an author from any of the following regions: Croatia, Ukraine, Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, Hungary, Belarus, Estonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland, Czech Rep., Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Romania, Moldova, and Kosovo.
Titles: Can be any genre: crime, poetry, literary fiction, history, historical fiction, memoirs, etc.
tourist: 4 books over the 12 months
ambassador: 8 books over 12 months
scholar: 12 books over 12 months

As most of my long-time readers know, I have a Ukrainian background, and love reading from that area. So I will most likely be reading primarily Ukrainian literature. I'll sign up at the tourist level, while hoping to move up to the ambassador level by the end of the year! Here is my current list of potential reads:

1. The Case of the General's Thumb / Andrey Kurkov -- set in Kyiv, though originally written in Russian.

2. The Master & Margarita / Bulgakov (ditto) I started this one when I was in Kyiv a few summers ago, but never did finish it.

3. Dead Souls / Gogol (ditto)

4. Wave of Terror / Theodore Odrach

5.READ: Warm the Children, O Sun AND/OR For a Crust of Bread

These are short story collections in the "Women's Voices in Ukrainian Literature" series by Language Lanterns

READ: Penguin Lost / Andrey Kurkov
Faithful Ruslan / Georgi Vladimov
Anna's Shadow / David Manicom
The Forest Horses / Byrna Barclay


  1. That is a lot of challenges. lol I can't even finish one successfully. I do love reading the lists of books that people choose for Beth's challenge.

  2. Sassymonkey - I was just thinking it was a LOT of challenges...but it is fun to make the lists and give it a try even if I rarely finish more than one or two ;)

  3. Welcome to the challenge! Your list looks really interesting!


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