2012 Reading Challenges

2012 Reading Challenges:

A Year of Feminist Classics

An informal feminist reading group open to anyone. I’m hosting September’s discussion over on the group’s blog:

  • February – Feminism is for Everybody by bell hooks (Amy)
  • March – The Book of the City of Ladies by Christine De Pizan (Jean)
  • April – Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity by Julia Serano (Cass)
  • May – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë read alongside Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (Iris)
  • June – Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg (Emily)
  • July – Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (Nancy)
  • August – The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (Lauren)
  • September – Borderlands/La Frontera by Gloria Anzaldua (Melissa)
  • October – The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan (Jodie)
  • November – Beyond the Veil by Fatema Mernissi (Ana)
  • December – Women, Race, and Class by Angela Davis (Emily Jane)
  • January – Feminism Without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practising Solidarity by Chandra Talpade Mohanty (Eva)
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Gender in Science Fiction and Fantasy Challenge

I was going to attempt swearing off (or at least easing up on) reading challenges in 2012, but then I saw Eva mention this challenge. I’ve been wanting to include more fantasy/sci-fi into my reading diet lately, so this was too good to pass up. :)

The rules: Read 6-12 (I’m shooting for 6) books from a predetermined list.

I’ve narrowed it down and will be choosing from this list (though Atwood will be a guaranteed read):

  • Margaret Atwood – The Handmaid’s Tale
  • Octavia Butler – Wild Seed
  • Nicola Griffith – Ammonite
  • Ursula K. Le Guin – Left Hand of Darkness
  • Joanna Russ – The Female Man
  • Mary Shelley – Frankenstein
  • Sheri Tepper – Beauty
  • James Tiptree Jr – Her Smoke Rose Up Forever
  • Virginia Woolf – Orlando
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Pulitzer 2s Challenge

Challenge status: 4/9

Challenge: read all of the Pulitzer fiction winners for the years ending in 2.

2012 – N/A
2002 – Empire Falls by Richard Russo
1992 – A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
1982 – Rabbit is Rich by John Updike
1972 – Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
1962 – The Edge of Sadness by Edwin O’Connor
1952 – The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk
1942 – In This Our Life by Ellen Glasgow
1932 – The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
1922 – Alice Adams by Booth Tarkington

Submit your reviews here.

View submissions here.

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Read and Resist Tucson

I’m hosting this challenge, which has a dedicated website.

In response to the banning of over 80 books — most of which were penned by Chicano/a authors — I started a yearlong reading challenge encouraging people to read from the list. There are no strict rules: one simply has to read and review at least one book on the list and add it to the database. Participants can read more than one book if they choose to — the number of books read for the year is up to each individual.

Status: 4/10

My personal goal for this year is to read/review 10 books on the list. I already own several of the books, and many of the others have been on my wishlist for ages.

My tentative list is:

  1. 500 Years of Chicana Women’s History
  2. The Devil’s Highway
  3. The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
  4. Feminism is for Everybody (reread)
  5. Occupied America: A History of Chicanos
  6. So Far from God

Books read:

  1. Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
  2. Chicano! The History of Mexican Civil Rights by F. Arturo Rosales
  3. The Faith Healer of Olive Avenue by Manuel Muñoz
  4. Borderlands/La Frontera (reread)
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South Asian Challenge

Status: Challenge Completed!

I love South Asian lit (and have quite a few South Asian books in my TBR pile), but this is my first year doing the challenge. Yay! Challenge runs from January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012.

The rules: Set your own goal. The books must (1) be by a South Asian author.  For these purposes, South Asia includes the following countries: India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, and the Maldives; or (2) be about South Asia or South Asians.

I read 6 books by South Asian authors in 2011, so my goal for 2012 is 7 books:

  1. The World We Found by Thrity Umrigar
  2. Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil
  3. American Dervish by Ayad Akhtar
  4. I Am An Executioner: Love Stories by Rajesh Parameswaran
  5. And Laughter Fell from the Sky by Jyotsna Sreenivasan
  6. The Good Muslim by Tahmima Anam
  7. The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee
  8. Joseph Anton by Salman Rushdie
  9. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
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TBR Challenge

The goal: To finally read 12 books from your “to be read” pile (within 12 months).

The rules: 1. Each of these 12 books must have been on your bookshelf or “To Be Read” list for AT LEAST one full year. This means the book cannot have a publication date of 1/1/2011 or later (any book published in the year 2010 or earlier qualifies, as long as it has been on your TBR pile – I WILL be checking publication dates). Caveat: Two (2) alternates are allowed, just in case one or two of the books end up in the “can’t get through” pile.

My books:

  1. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  2. Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates
  3. On Beauty by Zadie Smith
  4. George Washington Gomez by Americo Paredes
  5. The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee
  6. How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent by Julia Alvarez
  7. War & Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  8. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  9. Strong Motion by Jonathan Franzen
  10. Native Son by Richard Wright
  11. The Way the Crow Flies by Ann-Marie MacDonald
  12. Animal Liberation by Peter Singer
My alternates:
  1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  2. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
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What’s in a Name? 5

Here we go again…this is my third(!) year participating in this challenge.

The rules: Between January 1 and December 31, 2011, read one book in each of the following categories:

  1. A book with a topographical feature in the title
  2. A book with something you’d see in the sky in the title
  3. A book with a creepy crawly in the title
  4. A book with a type of house in the title
  5. A book with something you’d carry in your pocket, purse, or backpack in the title
  6. A book with a something you’d find on a calendar in the title

My tentative list:

  1. Topographical feature: A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
  2. Something you’d see in the sky: Birds of a Lesser Paradise: Stories by Megan Mayhew Bergman
  3. Creepy crawly: Revolt of the Cockroach People by Oscar Zeta Acosta
  4. Type of house: Home by Toni Morrison
  5. Something you’d carry in your pocket, purse, or backpack: The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
  6. Something you’d find on a calendar: The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
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