2010 Reading Challenges

2010 Reading Challenges:

1% Well-Read Challenge

1 percent well-read

Challenge Status: 12/13

From April 1, 2010 – April 30, 2011, participants must read 1% of the books from the 1001 Books You Must Read Before Your Die list.  Since the list is now 6 books shy of 1,300 books (with all the additions and subtractions from older editions of the list), the goal is to read 13 books from the list this year.

Books read for this year’s challenge:

  1. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
  2. The Crime of Father Amaro by José Maria Eça de Queirós
  3. Story of the Eye by Georges Bataille
  4. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  5. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  6. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  7. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
  8. The Garden Party by Katherine Mansfield
  9. Exercises in Style by Raymond Queneau
  10. The Piano Teacher by Elfriede Jelinek
  11. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  12. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
  13. ?
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A – Z Challenge

Challenge Completed 12/31/10

This challenge has three options:

  • Authors — Read alphabetically by author. Commit to 26 books.
  • Titles — Read alphabetically by title. Commit to 26 books.
  • Authors & Titles — Commit to reading 52 books

I’m going the authors route. I’ll start by plugging in the authors I already have on my to-read list for the year.  Once I have completed a letter, I’ll cross it out:

  • A: Chloe Aridjis – Book of Clouds
  • B: Georges Bataille – Story of the Eye
  • C: Chris Cleave – Little Bee
  • D: Junot Díaz – Drown
  • E: José Maria Eça de Queirós – The Crime of Father Amaro
  • F: Jonathan Franzen – The Corrections
  • G: William Golding – Lord of the Flies
  • H: bell hooks – Teaching to Transgress
  • I: Kazuo Ishiguro – Never Let Me Go
  • J: Elfriede Jelinek – The Piano Teacher
  • K: Jean Kwok – Girl in Translation
  • L: Jhumpa Lahiri – The Namesake
  • M: Ian McEwan – On Chesil Beach
  • N: David Nicholls – One Day
  • O: Joyce Carol Oates – Beasts
  • P: Charlotte Perkins Gilman – Herland
  • Q: Raymond Queneau – Exercises in Style
  • R: Salman Rushdie – The Satanic Verses
  • S: Ntozake Shange – For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf
  • T: Leo Tolstoy – Anna Karenina
  • U: Luis Alberto Urrea – Into the Beautiful North
  • V: David Vann – Caribou Island
  • W: John Wray – Lowboy
  • X: Xinran – Sky Burial: An Epic Love Story of Tibet
  • Y: Richard Yates – Revolutionary Road
  • Z: Markus Zusak – The Book Thief
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The Chunkster Challenge

Challenge Complete as of 9/3/10

Definition of a Chunkster:

  • A chunkster is 450 pages or more of ADULT literature (fiction or nonfiction) … A chunkster should be a challenge.
  • If you read large type books your book will need to be 525 pages or more … The average large type book is 10-15% longer or more so I think that was a fair estimate.

The (kinda ableist) Rules:

  • No Audio books in the chunkster. It just doesn’t seem right. Words on paper for this one folks.
  • No e-Books allowed – we are reading traditional, fat books for this challenge.
  • Short Stories and Essay collections will not be counted.
  • Books may crossover with other challenges
  • Anyone may join.
  • You don’t need to list your books ahead of time.
  • Once you pick a level, that’s it…you’re committed to that level!

Levels of participation:

  1. The Chubby Chunkster – this option is for the reader who has a couple of large tomes on their TBR list, but really doesn’t want to commit to much more than that. 3 books is all you need to finish this challenge.
  2. Do These Books Make my Butt Look Big? – this option is for the slightly heavier reader who wants to commit to 4 Chunksters over the next twelve months.
  3. Mor-book-ly Obese – This is for the truly out of control chunkster. For this level of challenge you must commit to 6 or more chunksters OR three tomes of 750 pages or more. You know you want to…..go on and give in to your cravings.

I’m signing up for the Do These Books Make My Butt Look Big? level:

  1. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
  2. The Crime of Father Amaro by José Maria Eça de Queirós
  3. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  4. Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
  5. Some Sing, Some Cry by Ntozake Shange & Ifa Bayeza
  6. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
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Flashback Challenge


Challenge Status: Complete

The Challenge: Between January 1, 2010 – December 31, 2010, re-read a certain number of books, depending on which level you sign up for:

  • Bookworm – Up to three books
  • Scholar – Four to six books
  • Literati – Over six books

Then within each level, there’s a mini-challenge:

  1. Re-read a favorite book from your childhood
  2. Re-read a book assigned to you in high school
  3. Re-read a book you loved as an adult

I’m keeping it simple and going with the bookworm level.  My list:

  1. Child: Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
  2. High school: Animal Farm by George Orwell
  3. Adult: The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
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POC Reading Challenge

Challenge status: 23

For this challenge all you need to do is grab the button from the side bar and add it to a post saying you are committed to reading POC authors and characters in this coming year. You do not have to pick your books now but you have to sign up to a level of how many you will read. Leave a comment to your post stating how many books you will read this year and tada automagically you are done.

Level 1: Read 1-3 POC books
Level 2. Read 4-6 POC books
Level 3. Read 7-9 POC books
Level 4. Read 10-15 POC books
Level 5. Read 16-25 POC books

I’m joining this one late, but I already have several POC books under my belt, so I’m feeling ambitious…I’m going for level 5!  I’m aiming for 20, but hopefully I’ll surpass that.

My list of completed books (I’m counting the first 5 toward the challenge because even though I’m joining the challenge at the end of March, I know I read these after January 1):

  1. Book of Clouds by Chloe Aridjis
  2. For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf by Ntozake Shange
  3. Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom by bell hooks
  4. Brownsville by Oscar Casares
  5. War Dances by Sherman Alexie
  6. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
  7. The Crime of Father Amaro by José Maria Eça de Queirós
  8. Try to Remember by Iris Gomez
  9. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  10. Beauty Shop Politics: African American Women’s Activism in the Beauty Industry by Tiffany M. Gill
  11. Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
  12. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  13. Malinche by Laura Esquivel
  14. Amigoland by Oscar Casares
  15. African Americans Doing Feminism: Putting Theory into Everyday Practice, ed. by Aaronette M. White
  16. Some Sing, Some Cry by Ntozake Shange & Ifa Bayeza
  17. Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self by Danielle Evans
  18. Sky Burial: An Epic Love Story of Tibet by Xinran
  19. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
  20. Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea
  21. Substitute Me by Lori L. Tharps
  22. The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Oscar Hijuelos
  23. Drown by Junot Díaz
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What’s in a Name? 3

Challenge Completed 11/26/10

The challenge: Between January 1 and December 31, 2010, read one book in each of the following categories: a book with a food in the title, a book with a body of water in the title, a book with a title (queen, president) in the title, a book with a plant in the title, a book with a place name (city, country) in the title, a book with a music term in the title.

My list:

  1. Food: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
  2. Water: On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
  3. Title: Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  4. Plant: The Garden Party by Katherine Mansfield
  5. Place: Brownsville: Stories by Oscar Casares
  6. Music: Hot Water Music by Charles Bukowski

Women Unbound

Challenge Complete!

The challenge: Between November 2009-November 2010, read women’s studies-related fiction and nonfiction books.  The number of books you read depends on what level you’re shooting for:

  • Philogynist: read at least two books, including at least one nonfiction one.
  • Bluestocking: read at least five books, including at least two nonfiction ones.
  • Suffragette: read at least eight books, including at least three nonfiction ones.

My actual list (I’ll add them as I go along):

  1. For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf by Ntozake Shange
  2. Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom by bell hooks
  3. Girldrive: Criss-Crossing America, Redefining Feminism by N. W. Aronowitz, E. B. Bernstein
  4. Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape edited by Jaclyn Friedman and Jessica Valenti
  5. Try to Remember by Iris Gomez
  6. Beauty Shop Politics: African American Women’s Activism in the Beauty Industryby Tiffany M. Gill
  7. Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
  8. Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  9. Cleaving by Julie Powell
  10. Malinche by Laura Esquivel
  11. The Adventures of Cancer Bitch by S. L. Wisenberg
  12. Everything is Going to be Great: An Underfunded and Overexposed European Grand Tour by Rachel Shukert
  13. Some Sing, Some Cry by Ntozake Shange & Ifa Bayeza
  14. Sky Burial: An Epic Love Story of Tibet by Xinran
  15. The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance by Elna Baker
  16. Substitute Me by Lori L. Tharps
  17. Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution by Sara Marcus

Pulitzer “Zeros” Challenge

Challenge status: 3/8

This is a personal challenge I wrote about here.  In order to make a tiny dent in my Pulitzer Project, I’m aiming to read all the Pulitzer fiction winners of the years ending in 0. I’ve already read the 2000 winner, so I have 8 to go:

2010 – Tinkers by Paul Harding
2000 – Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
1990 – The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Oscar Hijuelos
1980 – The Executioner’s Song by Norman Mailer
1970 – The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford
1960 – Advise and Consent by Allen Drury
1950 – The Way West by A.B. Guthrie Jr.
1940 – The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
1930 – Laughing Boy by Oliver La Farge
1920 – N/A


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