Sunday, March 27, 2011

State of the Blog: Part Three, the Challenges


Spring has sprung -- not that it feels like it today -- and it is time for me to see if I've made any progress on my lists. 

This is the third of my quarterly blog assessment posts.  This one takes a look at the challenges I'm working on in 2011. The first part addressed my lists. Part Two dealt with my author lists.

NOTE: If you are working on any of these same challenges, please leave a comment here on on my main challenge post. I would like to read your main challenge pages and any reviews.


2010 CHALLENGES

There are a few challenges that overlapped from 2010. I finished two of these in January, the two "Battle of the Prizes" challenges that I hosted in 2010.  Both started on February 1, 2010 and didn't end until January 31, 2011. 

2010 Battle of the Prizes: American Version


National Book Award winners v. Pulitzer Prize winners, rules here. There are two ways to participate -- either read one book that won the Pulitzer Prize, one that won the National Book Award, and one that won both; or read two Pulizer winners and two National winners.

I've finished three of my four books in 2010:
  1. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (Pulitzer)
  2. Olive Kitteridge is Elizabeth Strout (reviewed here) (Pulitzer)
  3. Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann (reviewed here) (National)
I finished my fourth, and favorite book in 2011: Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon (reviewed here) (National).

2010 Battle of the Prizes: British Version


Man Booker Prize v. James Tait Black Memorial Prize, rules here.  This has the same set up -- either read one winner of each prize and a double-dipper, or read two of each.

I read two of my three in 2010:
  1. The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry (reviewed here) (James Tait Black)
  2. The Sea, the Sea by Iris Murdoch (reviewed here) (Booker)
I read my third book, my double dipper, in 2011: G by John Berger (reviewed here).  

Daphne du Maurier Challenge


This Challenge is hosted by Chris at book-a-rama and goes through April 19, 2011.

I signing up for the "Dreaming of Manderley" category, to read three novels. Since I am still new to du Maurier, I'll am starting with the greatest hits.

Books read so far: one: Rebecca (reviewed here)

Books I plan to read, although I don't know it I can get the third one done by the deadline:
  1. The Flight of the Falcon;
  2. My Cousin Rachel (I am reading this now)

2011 CHALLENGES

CHALLENGES HOSTED BY ROSE CITY READER

I am hosting the two Battle of the Prizes Challenges again in 2011. The challenges run from February 1, 2011 to January 31, 2012. 


2011 Battle of the Prizes: American Version


Like in past years, this challenge pits National Book Award winners against Pulitzer Prize winners. There are two ways to participate -- either read one book that won the Pulitzer Prize, one that won the National Book Award, and one that won both; or read two Pulizer winners and two National winners.

I don't know yet whether I will do the 3-book or the 4-book option, or which books I'll pick, but I have the following in mind, only one of which I have read so far: Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler  (reviewed here).

Possible National Award winners:
  1. The News from Paraguay by Lily Tuck
  2. Them by Joyce Carol Oates
  3. Morte d'Urban by J.F. Powers
Other Possible Pulitzer winners:

  1. One of Ours by Willa Cather
  2. Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis

2011 Battle of the Prizes: British Version


Just as in 2010, this challenge is to read books that won the Man Booker Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize.  This has the same set up -- either read one winner of each prize and a double-dipper, or read two of each.

I will have to go with the 4-book option, because I've read all three of the double-dippers. So far, I've read Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (reviewed here).

Other possible Booker picks are:

  1. How Late it Was, How Late by James Kelman 
  2. Shindler's List by Thomas Keneally
Possible James Tait Black picks are:
  1. Brazzaville Beach by William Boyd
  2. White Teeth by Zadie Smith

2011 CHALLENGES I AM PARTICIPATING IN

The challenge titles link to my main challenge posts.

Foodie's Reading Challenge



Margot at Joyfully Retired is hosting a challenge for 2011 that I am very excited about: The Foodie's Reading Challenge!
I signed up at the "Bon Vivant" level to read four to six books.  My plan is to read books that are already on my TBR shelves.

So far, I've read The Food of France by Waverley Root (reviewed here).

Others in the running include (in no particular order):
And it might be a good idea to include this one:

French Women Don't Get Fat: The Secret of Eating For Pleasure by Mireille Guiliano


Chunkster Reading Challenge 



Wendy at caribousmom is hosting this fun challenge again this year.  The challenge sign-up post is here.

Since I didn't reach my chunkster goal in 2010, I am scaling down a bit in 2011 and signing up for the "Chubby Chunkster" level this year.  That means reading four books over 450 pages long.

I overlapped with the Foodie challenge because The Food of France by Waverley Root (reviewed here), is quite the Chunkster.

The only other book I am currently planning on is Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy.  That's my "big book" for 2011.  I don't know which others will strike my fancy.

The Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge


The Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge is hosted by My Reader's Block.  The goal is to read mysteries written before 1960.  I signed up at the "In a Murderous Mood" level with the goal of reading four to six books, by at least two different authors, by the end of the year.
 
So far, I have read three, but haven't reviewed any of them yet:
Next up is Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers.



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