2010 Goals and Challenges

I’ve been blogging for two full years now and loving every minute of it.  2009 was different in that I became more involved with the book blogging community and because of it found the need to figure out how to use a Reader and to keep track of my ever-increasing Reading Wish List.  Last year I made a goal to read 130 books and did it by finishing #130 at 5pm yesterday.  I also wanted to read 30 non-fiction, but only ended the year with 19.  This was the only reading goal or challenge I failed last year 😦

In 2010 I am lowering my reading goal to 105.  I need to have a little less stress at the end of the year and I want to make time for some chunky books I want to read.  I’ll make my non-fiction goal 12.  I let you all choose 50 of the books I’ll read this year and I’m excited to see what you’ve chosen! 

I do have a few other things that will be happening in 2010.  My weekly quiz will move to Tuesday mornings so that I can participate in The Bumbles Monday Movie meme more often.  I will also continue to give away books on the first or second day of each month and give my 5 word movie reviews at the end of each month.  On Fridays (except for today :)) I’ll feature a favorite movie or an author interview.  And as I was looking over old posts I found one that I’d like to continue on a monthly basis, so look out!  And I’ll be posting about 2 reviews a week.  I think that’s enough to keep me busy, don’t you? 

Here are the reading challenges I’ve joined for the year.  I am looking forward to them all.  The challenges really help me focus and I need that.

New Author Challenge 2010This is my first year trying this challenge and I’m going to go for 35 new authors.  Go here for more details.

The Colorful Reading Challenge.  This is my first year, but the goal is to read 9 books with 9 different colors in the title.  I have 7 on my shelves already, so this will help me clear some shelf space too.  Click here for more details.

Sign up for the 2010 A to Z Challenge I loved this one last year and look forward to the challenge again this year.  Last year I read a few books that I never would have tried and ended up loving them, so I have high hopes for this year.  Click here for more details.

 This one helped me so much last year.  I am committed to reading 55 of my own books this year.  You all voted to choose 50 of those and I’m excited to see what you’ve chosen for me.  Click here for more details.

I finished Round 1 and am signing up for Round 2.  I need to walk 100 miles by March 31st.  And I need to not leave 8 1/2 miles for the last two days!  Click here for more details.

Looking for the Short Story Challenge?I haven’t read short stories since college, but I do have a few languishing on my shelves so I’m signing up for the Bronze level and will read one short story collection a quarter for a grand total of 4.  Click here for more details.

Read-a-Thon Wrap up

I just finished The Post man Always Rings Twice by Cain.  It was my 6th book.  950 pages, 7 hours of audio book listening and no sleep.  Here’s what I read…

Murder On Nob Hill by Shirley Tallman: Book CoverThe Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa: Book CoverGodmother by Carolyn Turgeon: Book CoverThe Funny Thing Is... by Ellen DeGeneres: Book CoverManhunting by Jennifer Crusie: Book CoverThe Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain: Book Cover

My favorite was The Housekeeper and the the Professor.  Here are the wrap up questions…

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?  6:30-7:30 AM
2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?  The Ellen Degeneres book helped me laugh, so probably any hunor book would work.
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? I thought it was great.
4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?  Everything.  Liked the mini challenges – even if I didn’t win anything.
5. How many books did you read? 6
6. What were the names of the books you read? see above
7. Which book did you enjoy most? The Housekeeper and the the Professor by Ogawa
8. Which did you enjoy least?  Manhunting by Crusie
9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?  Too tired to come up with anything right now.
10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?  I would love to participate again.  I would probably devote some hours to cheering as well as reading. 

I had a great ime in my first read-a-thon and look forward to posting this and heading to bed.  Even as the sunslight streams into the room.

The Final Few Hours Are Here!

dreamstime_readathongI just finished listening to the audio book Manhunting by Jennifer Crusie.  It was nice to be mobile for a few hours.  The light, fluffy romance was perfect for this time of the morning, except maybe the end dragged a bit.  Of course, it could be that anything is going to drag a bit when I’m this tired!

Books finished-5

Pages read – 830

Hours spent listening to audio book – 7 hours

I think I have just enough time to read The Postman Always Rings Twice.

Reading, Laughing, and Honoring

Dewey is a book blogger I’ve heard a lot about in the past year.  She’s the one who began the Read-a-Thon and less than a year ago she passed away.  I think the tremendous outpouring of love from the bloggers who knew her and the continued success of the Read-a-Thon are great tributes to Dewey.

I have finished my 4th book, The Funny Thing Is…by Ellen Degeneres.  Some chapters made me laugh out loud which has pepped me up a bit.  Not sure what I’ll be reading or listening to next.  Still need a few minutes to recover from the last second Michigan State loss.

Books completed-4

Pages read – 830

Mid Event Meme

Mid-Event Survey:
1. What are you reading right now?  The Funny Thing is…by Ellen Degeneres

2. How many books have you read so far? I’ve finished 3

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?  I have not thought past the books I’m reading now 🙂

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?  Just warned my husband that he would only see me during our 2 football games, reading of course! 

5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?  Small ones, took a nice long bath, kids at the door, fixing snacks, football games…I guess there have been a few.

6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?  I like the challenges, but wonder what’s going on with everyone else. 

7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?  Nope.  It’s been great so far.

8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year?  Maybe schedule a few hours as a cheerleader.

9. Are you getting tired yet?  My eyes are a little tired.  After the book I’m reading, I’ll listen to an audio book.

10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered?  I felt a little tired of reading after finishing Godmother, especially since I didn’t love it, but choosing a humor book that is making me laugh out loud has reenergized me.

Whatcha Readin’ Quiz?

For fun I thought it would be great if we all shared what we’re reading right now with a sentence or two from the first page.

It took me a long time and most of the world to learn what I know about love and fate and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant, while I was chained to a wall and being tortured.  I realised, somehow, through the screaming in my mind, that even in that shackled, bloody helplessness, I was still free: free to hate the men who were torturing me, or to forgive them.

These are the first two sentences of Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, a 933 page novel that mirrors his own life.

So what are you reading right now and can you share a sentence or two from the first page?  Any time of book works for me 🙂

2009 Book Challenge

readown3I’ve decided to participate in my first reading challenge.  This one is right up my alley and it should help me clear off my shelves.  The challenge is to read books already on my shelf.  If you haven’t seen how many that is for me, check this out. 

I perused the hundreds of titles on my shelves and chose these 50 that I’m committed to reading in 2009.  I know I will read more than that, but these are titles that have been on my shelves awhile and I need to get them read! 

I know it’s early, but these are the 50 I’ve chosen…

1. A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving

2. Angels & Demons by Dan Brown

3. Second Nature by Alice Hoffman

4. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

5. The Pigman by Paul Zindel

6. Skinny Legs & All by Tom Robbins

7. The Little Friend by Donna Tartt

8. The Man Who Ate the 747 by Ben Sherwood

9. The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon

10. Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

11. Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophi Kinsella

12. The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve

13. The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver

14. Naked Came the Matinee by Hiaasen et al.

15. Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire

16. Summer’s Child by Luanne Rice

17. The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks

18. Mercy by Jodi Picoult

19. The Tenth Justice by Brad Meltzer

20. An Invisible Sign of My Own by Aimee Bender

21. Shoot the Moon by Billie Letts

22. Joy School by Elizabeth Berg

23. Nickel & Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich

24. Damage by Josephine Hart

25. Wacky Chicks by Simon Doonan

26.. The Rival by Brenda Joyce

27. Deep Shaker by Les Roberts

28. Small Town Girl by Lavyrle Spencer

29. Dreamers of the Day by Mary Doria Russell

30. The Angel by Carla Neggers

31. Summer in the City by Robyn Sisman

32. Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner

33. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

34. Watchers by Dean Koontz

35. Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

36. The Masqueraders by Georgette Heyer

37. The Shop on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber

38. Bump & Run by Mike Lupica

39. Billy Budd by Herman Melville

40. Chocolat by Joanne Harris

41. Murder by the Glass by Michele Scott

42. The Stone Monkey by Jeffrey Deaver

43. The Time Machine by HG Wells

44. The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara

45. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

46. Red Light by T. Jefferson Parker

47. Dead Sleep by Greg Iles

48. On the Occasion of My Last Afternoon by Kaye Gibbons

49. Skipping Christmas by John Grisham

50. The Thieves of Faith by Richard Doetsch

(Yes, I’ve doubled my original goal.  I looked at my shelves and decided I needed to do it.)

Banned Books Week, Sept.27-Oct.4

Don’t join the book burners. Don’t think you are going to conceal faults by concealing evidence that they ever existed. Don’t be afraid to go into your library and read every book.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower
 This week I’ll be focusing on banning books and censorship.  To get the week started I copied this from the American Library Association website.  www.ala.org 
Banned Books Week
Celebrating the Freedom to Read
Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read is observed during the last week of September each year. Observed since 1982, this annual ALA event reminds Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted. This year, 2008, marks BBW’s 27th anniversary (September 27 through October 4).
BBW celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met.
BBW is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association, American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, American Library Association, American Society of Journalists and Authors, Association of American Publishers, National Association of College Stores, and is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.

The most frequently challenged books of 2007

The following books were the most frequently challenged in 2007:
The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom received a total of 420 challenges last year. A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness.  According to Judith F. Krug, director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom, the number of challenges reflects only incidents reported, and for each reported, four or five remain unreported.
The “10 Most Challenged Books of 2007” reflect a range of themes, and consist of the following titles:
1) “And Tango Makes Three,” by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
Reasons: Anti-Ethnic, Sexism, Homosexuality, Anti-Family, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group
2) The Chocolate War,” by Robert Cormier
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Violence
3) “Olive’s Ocean,” by Kevin Henkes
Reasons: Sexually Explicit and Offensive Language
4) “The Golden Compass,” by Philip Pullman
Reasons:  Religious Viewpoint
5) “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” by Mark Twain
Reasons:  Racism
6) “The Color Purple,” by Alice Walker
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language,
7) “TTYL,” by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
8) “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” by Maya Angelou
Reasons:  Sexually Explicit
9) “It’s Perfectly Normal,” by Robie Harris
Reasons:  Sex Education, Sexually Explicit
10) “The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons:  Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
Off the list this year, are two books by author Toni Morrison. “The Bluest Eye” and “Beloved,” both challenged for sexual content and offensive language.

The most frequently challenged authors of 2007

1) Robert Cormier
2) Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
3) Mark Twain
4) Toni Morrison
5) Philip Pullman
6) Kevin Henkes
7) Lois Lowry
8) Chris Crutcher
9) Lauren Myracle
10) Joann Sfar


Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it. ~P.J. O’Rourke

It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it. ~Oscar Wilde