2013 Reading Challenges

2013 Reading Challenges:

A – Z Challenge

Challenge Status: 24/26

The rules: read a book from every letter of the alphabet, going by either title or author. I’ve chosen author. Titles in grey are tentative and are all from my shelves, though I’m sure the final list will turn out quite differently.

  • A – A Guide to Being Born: Stories by Ramona Ausubel
  • B – The Wonder Bread Summer by Jessica Anya Blau
  • C – Grace: A Memoir by Grace Coddington
  • D – Sea Creatures by Susanna Daniel
  • E – Life itself by Roger Ebert
  • F – Haiti: After the Earthquake by Paul Farmer
  • G – Sad Desk Salad by Jessica Grose
  • H – News from Heaven: The Bakerton Stories by Jennifer Haigh
  • I – A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
  • J – Aerogrammes: and Other Stories by Tania James
  • K – Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes by Maria Konnikova
  • L – The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan
  • M – Snowdrops by A. D. Miller
  • N – Big Questions by Anders Nilsen
  • O – Inside by Alix Ohlin
  • P – An Uncommon Education by Elizabeth Percer
  • Q – I Want to Show You More by Jamie Quatro
  • R – My Heart is an Idiot: Essays by Davy Rothbart
  • S – On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson by William Souder
  • T – When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams
  • U – The Devil’s Highway by Luis Alberto Urrea
  • V – The Feminist and the Cowboy by Alisa Valdes
  • W – Building Stories by Chris Ware
  • X – Buying a Fishing Rod for My Grandfather: Stories by Gao Xingjian
  • Y – How the French Invented Love by Marilyn Yalom
  • Z – Lotería by Mario Alberto Zambrano

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The Europa Challenge

Challenge Status: 0/4

The rules: From January 1 – December 31, 2013, read a certain number of books published by Europa Editions. I’m aiming for the Espresso Level (4 Europa titles), but I have 6 in mind and hope to do all of them. Titles in grey are tentative:

  1. You Are Not Like Other Mothers by Angelika Schrobsdorff
  2. Margherita Dolce Vita by Stefano Benni
  3. A Novel Bookstore by Laurence Cosse
  4. The Sexual Life of an Islamist in Paris by Leïla Marouane
  5. Gourmet Rhapsody by Muriel Barbery
  6. The Jewish Husband by Lia Levy

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Global Women of Color Books

Global Women of Color Books
Challenge Status: 11

The Rules: I’m doing free form, so the challenge is open-ended for me. I just have to read however many books I want by Global Women of Color by the end of the year. This is the tentative list I’ll be choosing from:

  1. Born Palestinian, Born Black by Suheir Hammad (Jordan/US)
  2. Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina by Raquel Cepeda (Dominican American)
  3. Dragon Ladies: Asian American Feminists Breathe Fire ed. by Sonia Shah (Asian American)
  4. Have You Seen Marie? by Sandra Cisneros (Mexican American)
  5. The Alley of Love and Yellow Jasmines by Shohreh Aghdashloo (Iranian)
  6. Honor by Elif Shafak (France/Turkey)
  7. A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (Canadian American/Japanese)
  8. Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward (African American)
  9. The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri (Indian American)
  10. The Awesome Girl’s Guide to Dating Extraordinary Men by Ernessa T. Carter (African American)
  11. Beloved by Toni Morrison (African American)
  12. The Sexual Life of an Islamist in Paris by Leïla Marouane (Algeria/France)
  13. First Darling of the Morning by Thrity Umrigar (India/US)
  14. Evening is the Whole Day by Preeta Samarasan (Malaysia/France)
  15. Short Girls by Bich Minh Nguyen (Saigon/US)
  16. Coffee Will Make You Black by April Sinclair (African American)
  17. A Map of Home by Randa Jarrar (Palestinian American)
  18. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (African American)

Pulitzer 3s Challenge

Challenge status: 2/8

Personal challenge: Read all of the Pulitzer fiction winners for the years ending in 3. I’ve already read the 1983 and 2003 winners, so I only need to read 8 for this challenge.

1923 – One of Ours by Willa Cather
1933 – The Store by T.S. Stribling
1943 – Dragon’s Teeth I by Upton Sinclair
1953 – The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
1963 – The Reivers by William Faulkner
1973 – The Optimist’s Daughter by Eudora Welty
1983 – The Color Purple by Alice Walker
1993 – A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain by Robert Olen Butler
2003 – Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
2013 – The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson

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TBR Challenge

Challenge status: 5/12

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 1/1/2012 or later. 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. Coffee Will Make You Black by April Sinclair
  2. How to be Alone by Jonathan Franzen
  3. State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
  4. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  5. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  6. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  7. A Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  8. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  9. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
  10. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  11. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
  12. Gate of the Sun by Elias Khoury
My alternates:
  1. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  2. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
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What’s in a Name 6

Challenge Status: 5/6

The rules: Between January 1 and December 31, 2013, read one book in each of the following categories:

  1. A book with up or down (or equivalent) in the title
  2. A book with something you’d find in your kitchen in the title
  3. A book with a party or celebration in the title
  4. A book with fire (or equivalent) in the title
  5. A book with an emotion in the title
  6. A book with lost or found (or equivalent) in the title

My tentative list:

  1. Up or down (or equivalent): Up the Down Staircase
  2. Something you’d find in your kitchen: The Perfect Meal by John Baxter
  3. Party or celebration: Pain, Parties, Work by Elizabeth Winder
  4. Fire (or equivalent): Dragon Ladies: Asian American Feminists Breathe Fire
  5. Emotion: Sad Desk Salad by Jessica Grose
  6. Lost or found (or equivalent): This is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz
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One comment

  1. Roof Beam Reader

    I’m glad you’re back for the TBR Pile Challenge! 4 of 12 isn’t too bad – at least you made some progress getting to those long-unread books! Your 2013 list is AWESOME. If you get through them, you’re seriously going to have a fantastic year in reading. Les Miserables, The Awakening, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Great Gatsby, and Wuthering Heights are all favorites of mine. I really enjoyed Their Eyes Were Watching God and Unbearble Lightness of Being, too. Good luck this year! I’m looking forward to reading what you think about all of these. 🙂

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