Wednesday, June 29, 2011

State of the Blog: Part Three, the Challenges

It's finally, kind of Summer 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.


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'm going with the 4-book option this year.  I've read one of each so far:
Possible National Award winners for my second choice:
  1. The News from Paraguay by Lily Tuck
  2. Them by Joyce Carol Oates
  3. Morte d'Urban by J.F. Powers
 Possible Pulitzer winners for my second choice:
  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:

Other possible Booker picks are:
  1. How Late it Was, How Late by James Kelman 
  2. Shindler's List by Thomas Keneally
Other possible James Tait Black picks are:
  1. The Black Prince by Iris Murdoch
  2. White Teeth by Zadie Smith


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.

Even with more modest aspirations, I haven't made much progress so far.  I overlapped with the Foodie challenge because The Food of France by Waverley Root (reviewed here), is quite the Chunkster.

But he 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 four, but I only reviewed one:

Birth Year Reading Challenge 2011

I am participating in this challenge, but I keep forgetting to put up a post.  Or to read the books. Any ideas for books published in 1966?

International Anita Brookner Day

Finally, I have good intentions of participating in International Anita Brookner Day, but July 16 is right around the corner and I haven't read my one Brookner book yet. Let's see if I can make a last minute push.


  1. I love these lists you've done - I must be a real left-brain thinker because I like to see, not only my own reading, but that of others, in a methodical way. lol

  2. Glad you are in on the BYRC and I didn't miss your post. Here are some 1966 choices you might like:

    Flying Finish - Dick Francis (see, I was paying attention!)
    Wide Sargasso Sea - Jean Rhys
    The Last Picture Show - Larry McMurty
    Paper Lion - George Plimpton
    Dune - Frank Herbert

  3. Jane: Thanks for the ideas! I've read the Rhys and the McMurty. But I am going to get the Dick Francis ASAP! Which reminds me that there is a Kingsly Amis from 1966 that I mean to get too.


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