Sunday, May 23, 2010

Challenge: Birth Year Reading Challenge


I am finally officially signing up for the Birth Year Reading Challenge hosted by Hotchpot Cafe. The idea is to read books published in the year of your birth. There is no set number of books to read, but you earn a "candle" for each book and the participant with the most candles by December 31, 2010 wins a pretty terrific prize.

THE YEAR: 1966

Then came 1966, a remarkable year altogether: a Jewish child was born in Spain for the first time in 374 years, Ronald Reagan was elected boss of California, Indira Gandhi was elected boss of India, the Soviets landed a Luna spacecraft on the moon, John Lennon opined dryly that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus, Haile Selassie visited Jamaica, the Grateful Dead moved to a house on Haight Street, the Americans landed a Surveyor spacecraft on the moon, Montgomery Cliff died, the Beatles released Revolver, "Star Trek" was first televised, Namibia declared independence, Jimmy Hendrix changed his name to Jimi, LSD was declared illegal, Catholics began to eat meat on Fridays, Barbados declared independence, the Americans bombed Hanoi, Walt Disney died, Kwanzaa was invented, Tom Stoppard wrote Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Arlo Guthrie wrote "Alice's Restaurant," Hewlett-Packard introduced its first computer, Buster Keaton died, Guyana declared its independence, Malaysia and Indonesia declared peace, taekwando was invented, Lesotho declared independence, Thich Nhat Hanh visited America, [and] Bill Evans opened a long run at the Village Vanguard jazz club . . .

-- The Grail: A Year Ambling & Shambling Through an Oregon Vinyard in Pursuit of the Best Pinot Noir Wine in the Whole Wild World by Brian Doyle (leading up to the point that 1966 was also the first year that pinor noir vines were planted in Oregon, giving birth to Oregon's wine industry).


It's hard to say how many books I will read this year that will earn me a candle. There are probably several books on my TBR shelf that were published in 1966, but without going through them all, it is hard to guess which ones. As I stumble across them, I will add them to the list of possibilities.

I'd like to stick with books I already own, since I have so many to get through. But there are a couple of books published in 1966 that have captured my fancy and I am keeping my eye out for.

So far, my possibilities include:

I, the King by Frances Parkinson-Keyes (I'm a big FPK fan and found this one at a library store the other day)

The Comedians by Graham Greene (on my TBR shelf)

The Anti-Death League by Kinglsey Amis (which I do not own, but would like to because Amis is one of my all-time favorites)


Indian Summer by John Knowles (reviewed here)
The Valley of the Dolls by Jaqueline Susann (reviewed here

Last updated on September 22, 2010.


  1. So glad you are in! I'm looking forward to your reviews.

  2. Interesting challenge--I am thinking about joining in!

  3. J.G. -- Better late than never! And, as you see, Valley of the Dolls is still definitely on my list!

    Julie -- It is a very fun idea. I hope you join in.

  4. Valley of the Dolls is Fan-Freaking-Tastic! I read it after my friend who has read Moby dick for fun and often participates in Bloomsday, AND my sister who thinks Vogue is a book (IOW, not a reader at all) both told me how awesome it is. Had to read the book that would be loved by both those polar opposites. Didn't disappoint! Downloaded the theme song last week too!

  5. Bermuda -- Thanks!

    Carin -- Now I am doubly excited to find Valley of the Dolls! If Moby Dick and Vogue fans can agree, it must be some book.


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