Saturday, January 9, 2010

2009 Challenges

In 2009, I signed up for and completed four challenges:

The Sunshine Smackdown: Battle of the Prizes

I had to participate in this one -- I hosted it. I am going to host it again in 2010, but it will start earlier, so not be a summer challenge. My wrap-up post is here.  I read and reviewed three books:
  1. The Fixer by Bernard Malamud (winner of both the National and the Pulitzer; reviewed here)
  2. Goodbye Columbus by Philip Roth (National winner; reviewed here)
  3. Advise and Consent by Allen Drury (Pulitzer winner; reviewed here)

The 100+ Challenge

My book total for 2009 was 11, so I completed the challenge. But I was pretty lame about posting my reviews. I did for a month or so, then stopped, went back in the summer and added several, then tapered off completely. Here is my completed list. I am signing up again for 2010, but I probably won't be any better about active participation.

The Colorful Reading Challenge

This was fun in that it got me to read several books I probably would not have gotten around to if I hadn't been looking for colors in titles. I completed the challenge on December 31 and didn't do a final wrap-up post -- this post is the closest I got. I read and reviewed nine books:
  1. RED: Red Square by Martin Cruz Smith (review) 
  2. BLACK: Black Cherry Blues by James Lee Burke (mini-review)
  3. GOLD: Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California by Dinkelspiel, Frances (review) 
  4. GREEN: Blue Planet in Green Shackles: What Is Endangered: Climate or Freedom? by Vaclav Klaus (review) 
  5. YELLOW: A Yellow Raft in Blue Water by Michael Dorris (review)
  6. SILVER: The Silver Palate Cookbook by Julee Rosso (review) 
  7. RUST: American Rust by Philipp Meyer (review)
  8. BLUE: Blue River by Ethan Canin (review)
  9. WHITE: American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House by Jon Meacham (review)

The Spice of Life Challenge

This one was super fun because I love books about food, and I liked that there were several different categories of books. I hope Rebecca hosts it again, because I want to sign up for a higher level. In 2009, I signed up for the "Sampler" level and read and reviewed four books
  1. Au Revoir to All That by Michael Steinberger (my non-fiction choice; reviewed here)
  2. The Last Chinese Chef by Nicole Mones (my fiction choice; reviewed here)
  3. The Silver Palate Cookbook by Julee Rosso (my cookbook choice; reviewed here)
  4. Julie and Julia by Julie Powell (my memoir/essay choice; reviewed here)

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