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message 1: by Squirrel (last edited Feb 23, 2013 01:57AM) (new)

Squirrel (squirrelysquirrel) | 53 comments Organization

is lacking.

The Squirrel Corner will contain squirrel-y things (a list of the challenges I'm participating in, and notes about the books I plan on reading).


Comments, notes, general info. Reserving this space for future purposes.

message 2: by Squirrel (last edited Mar 04, 2013 10:49AM) (new)

Squirrel (squirrelysquirrel) | 53 comments List of challenges

Here be an index of all the reading challenges I've decided to take on. (and links to their respective threads)

Personal Challenges
2013 - 75 books, current progress: 12/75

Yearly Challenges
Listopia 2013, current progress: 4/15, detailed progress
Goodreads 100 2013, current progress: 1/16, detailed progress
History 2013, current progress: 2/21, detailed progress

Quarterly Challenges

Monthly Challenges
March 2013 Literary Awards Mini Challenge, current progress: 0/4, detailed progress

Challenges Outside of this Group
Literary Explorations 2013, hard mode, current progress: 1/24, detailed progress

message 3: by Squirrel (last edited Mar 03, 2013 04:49PM) (new)

Squirrel (squirrelysquirrel) | 53 comments Yearly Challenge 2013: Listopia

Total: 4 lists, 15 books

Best Feminist Fiction

1. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
2. Her Smoke Rose Up Forever - James Tiptree, Jr.
3. To the Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf
4. The Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula le Guin
5. House on Mango Street - Sandra Cisneros

Completed: 2/5

Must Read Classics

1. Faust - Goethe
2. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
3. The Hobbit - J.R.R Tolkien
4. Siddhartha - Herman Hesse
5. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

Completed: 0/5

Pulitzer Winners: Fiction & Novels

1. Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
2. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier Clay - Michael Chabon
3. Empire Falls - Richard Russo

Completed: 0/3

Booker Prize Winners

1. Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
2. Life of Pi - Yann Martel

Completed: 0/2

message 4: by Squirrel (last edited Dec 31, 2012 01:20AM) (new)

Squirrel (squirrelysquirrel) | 53 comments Notes on book choices:

Three of the books that I chose from the feminist fiction list are science fiction works. Despite my natural gravitation towards the science fiction genre and subject material, I have been quite put off by a lot of traditional science fiction/fantasy writers' characterization of women (and the overall treatment of them--sure, backwards societies and all, but the created mood is still nuanced from authorial tone). Somehow I've avoided reading Atwood and le Guin until now, which is just sad. :( (I'm also almost hoping that Alice Sheldon's short stories aren't mindblowing, since everything else of hers appears to be out of print.)

Additional feminist fiction that I shall hopefully get around to reading this year:

1. The Passion of New Eve - Angela Carter
She apparently has a post-feminist-esque view in this book. I'll be curious to see how those ideas sit with me. Her writing is also just lovely. Overwhelming in its richness in large chunks, but great for short stories and shorter novels (and all of her novels are shorter novels). The premise of this book is also strange, but she pulls off strange beautifully.

2. More Woolf. Not sure what yet, I'll see what I can find cheap (and still shiny, because I'm a shallow like that).

3. Medea - Christa Wolf
Honestly one of the people I admire most, although this is from having only read one book of hers (Cassandra: A Novel and Four Essays) and an article on why she writes using myth. She's an East German writer whose youth was spent under Nazi rule and adulthood during the split of Germany into the socialist East Germany and the Western-allied West Germany. The issues of national identity, violence and human nature, governance, role of women (which was quite abysmal in Nazi Germany--"children, kitchen, church"), the ways in which societies are shaped, and memory are thusly very prominent in her work.

In Cassandra, she follows the progression of the Trojan war from the viewpoint of the titular character, Cassandra. Troy has been refashioned by Wolf into a nascent Nazi Germany, and all sorts of interesting things happen. Wolf's writing verges on almost stream-of-consciousness at times, and can therefore be a bit difficult to follow (the novel itself may be confusing to those unfamiliar with the background stuff on the Trojan War and heroes involved), but is beautiful and incredibly rewarding. I'm still mulling over some of the ideas posed in Cassandra, and will likely reread it at some time since there's so much stuff there that I missed a decent amount the first time through. Hopefully Medea will be a similar experience (or a different experience but just as amazing).

message 5: by Squirrel (last edited Feb 23, 2013 01:55AM) (new)

Squirrel (squirrelysquirrel) | 53 comments Goodreads 100 Challenge, 2013

At the start of 2013: 29
Progress: 1/16

Tentative list of books to get through:
1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
3. The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien*
4. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
5. Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
6. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
7. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
8. Life of Pi - Yann Martel*
9. Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card
10. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
11. Watchmen - Alan Moore*
12. The Master and Margarita - Mikhail Bulgakov
13. A Game of Thrones - George R.R. Martin
14. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle - Haruki Murakami
15. Fight Club - Chuck Palahnuik
16. Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides

message 6: by Squirrel (new)

Squirrel (squirrelysquirrel) | 53 comments Notes on book choices:

Filled out primarily with books I already own (or that my dad owns and I can easily acquire from him).

Any advice on how to get through Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre would be adored. I've started both quite a few times, and just could not get myself to care 50 pages in.

The Hobbit and Life of Pi crossover with my Listopia challenge reading list.

message 7: by Squirrel (last edited Mar 03, 2013 07:19PM) (new)

Squirrel (squirrelysquirrel) | 53 comments Literary Explorations Challenge, Hard Mode, 2013

Adventure - The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Auto-Biography/Biography - Mortality by Christopher Hitchens
Chick-Lit - Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg
Classics -The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Drama - Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee
Fantasy - The Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson
Graphic Novels - Berlin, Vol. 1: City of Stones/Berlin, Vol. 2: City of Smoke by Jason Lutes
Historical Fiction - I Claudius by Robert Graves
Horror - The Stand by Stephen King
Humour - Politically Correct Bedtime Stories A Collection of Modern Tales for Our Life and Times by James Finn Garner
Literary Fiction - To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
Magical Realism - Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami
Mystery - Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco
Non Fiction - The Social Conquest of Earth by Edward O. Wilson
Paranormal - A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Philosophical - Symposium by Plato
Poetry - The Wasteland and Other Poems (Modern Library Edition) by T.S. Eliot
Pulp - The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
*Romance - Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart
Science Fiction - Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Steampunk - Perdido Street Station by China Mieville
Thriller - Timeline by Michael Crichton
Victorian - Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Young Adult - A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

Completed 4/24

message 8: by Squirrel (last edited Jan 05, 2013 12:22AM) (new)

Squirrel (squirrelysquirrel) | 53 comments Comment on book choices:

I will have to acquire the following--

The Hobbit
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
I, Claudius
The Stand
A Discovery of Witches
The Long Goodbye (chosen due to reference in Hyperion)
A Wrinkle in Time
Fried Green Tomatoes at Whistle Cafe

message 9: by Squirrel (last edited Mar 03, 2013 07:22PM) (new)

Squirrel (squirrelysquirrel) | 53 comments History Challenge 2013

2012: Possible Apocalypse: We by Yevgeny Zamyatin, trans. Ginsburg

2011: Protests (Egypt, Libya and Occupy Wall Street): Berlin, Vol. 1: City of Stones/Berlin, Vol. 2: City of Smoke by Jason Lutes

2010: Earthquakes (Haiti, Chile): Zeitoun by Dave Egger

*2009: Barack Obama Inaugurated: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

2008: Lady Gaga Releases First Album: Perdido Street Station by China Mieville

2007: iPhone: Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons

2006: Pluto Officially Demoted from Planetary Status: How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming by Mike Brown (Most relevant you can get! It's by the scientist who was perhaps the most heavily involved in Pluto's demotion)

-2005: YouTube Launches: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values by Robert Pirsig (on a list of books every entrepreneur should read) (reread)

-2004: Samizdat (poetry magazine) Ceases Publication: If Not Winter Fragments of Sappho by Sappho, trans. Carson (reread)

2003: Amber Alert System Created: Swamplandia by Karen Russell

-2002: Arthur Anderson/Enron Scandal Convictions: The Goat or Who is Sylvia by Edward Albee (about dishonesty...and scandal) (reread)

2001: 9/11: Waiting for the Barbarians by J.M. Coetzee

2000: A New Millennium: The Passion of New Eve by Angela Carter

*1999: Columbine: Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre

1998: Google Founded: Imperium by Ryszard Kapuscinski

1997: Movie “Titanic” Opens: The Scar by China Mieville

1996: Dolly the Cloned Sheep: In Search of Memory The Emergence of a New Science of Mind by Eric R. Kandel

1995: O.J. Simpson Trial: The Oresteia by Aeschylus, trans. Fagles

*1994: Rwandan Genocide: King Leopold's Ghost A Story of Greed Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa by Adam Hochschild

*1993: SAM Colombia Flight 505 Crashes on Mount Paramo Frontino: The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje

1992: Jay Leno Takes Over The Tonight Show: Amusing Ourselves to Death Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman (a sort of accompaniment to Brave New World)

Completed: 2/21

message 10: by Squirrel (new)

Squirrel (squirrelysquirrel) | 53 comments Notes on book choices:

Filled out most of these with books I already own but have either not yet read, or could really benefit from another reading of. The ones asterisk'ed are books I'll need to acquire.

King Leopold's Ghost A Story of Greed Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa was mentioned by a history teacher I really respect. Since I plan on rereading Heart of Darkness this year, I think they would complement each other quite well. History told as a story of individuals in a greater context is also something I really enjoy.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance An Inquiry Into Values-- ohhh gosh, this will be an interesting reread. I really wanted to like this better the first time around. Unfortunately, the pompousness of the narrator was compounded by the pompousness of the teacher leading the discussion on it.

message 11: by Squirrel (new)

Squirrel (squirrelysquirrel) | 53 comments Planning nearing completion

I think that just about fills up the 75 I have as my end goal for this year, not accounting for overlaps between lists. (There are several of those, but there are also several books on my bookshelf I desperately want to read but have not found a challenge to place them in.)

Hopefully I'll be able to exceed 75. I definitely want to do buddy reads, group reads, and twin reads, so I better.

message 12: by Squirrel (new)

Squirrel (squirrelysquirrel) | 53 comments Progress notes

School's taking up more time than I had anticipated. Sadface.

message 13: by Meg-Anne (new)

Meg-Anne | 26 comments A Discovery of Witches and The Stand are both good. The Hobbit - eh, I read it but I didn't find it all that great. For a fairly short book it took me a while to read.
Good luck on your challenges and if you want to do a buddy read I'd love to do one as well so keep me in mind....

message 14: by Squirrel (new)

Squirrel (squirrelysquirrel) | 53 comments Thanks Megan! I wasn't too big a fan of Tolkien the first time I read the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but I feel like re-evaluating that since he's such a giant figure in fantasy. The Hobbit seems like a good place to start, but I'll definitely set aside the proper mindset/time for that. Glad to hear endorsement for A Discovery of Witches and The Stand!

Any particular buddy reads you'd want to do from the books I have listed here? (Or on my to-read-and-currently-own shelf.)

message 15: by Meg-Anne (new)

Meg-Anne | 26 comments Squirrel wrote: "Thanks Megan! I wasn't too big a fan of Tolkien the first time I read the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but I feel like re-evaluating that since he's such a giant figure in fantasy. The Hobbit seems l..."

I'm actually planning on 're-reading The Stand at some point - the uncut version - if you want to read it together. I have a copy of it so if your interested just let me know.

message 16: by Squirrel (new)

Squirrel (squirrelysquirrel) | 53 comments Ohhh that would be great! I'll let you know when I get a hold of a copy of it. (Trying to find one at a used book store.)

message 17: by Squirrel (new)

Squirrel (squirrelysquirrel) | 53 comments March 2013 Literary Awards Mini Challenge
(I'm going on an award-winning books reading spree soon, so might as well. Will list options from books I own, not including rereads.)

1. Nobel Prize in Literature winner:
(The Glass Bead Game)
(Narcissus and Goldimund)
(The Waste Land and Other Poems)
(As I Lay Dying)
(The Sound and the Fury)
(Three Famous Stories: The Bear, etc.)
(The Sun Also Rises)
(The Stranger - reread)
(The Fall)
(The Grapes of Wrath)
(The Wall and Other Stories - reread)
(Waiting for Godot - reread)
(Chronicle of a Death Foretold - reread)
(Of Love and Other Demons - reread)
(The Double Tongue - reread)
(Lord of the Flies)
(The Gospel According to Jesus Christ)
(Soul Mountain)
(Waiting for the Barbarians)
(The Garlic Ballads - reread)
(The Republic of Wine)

2. Goodreads Choice Award winner:
none currently owned
most want to read: 1Q84, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

3. Hugo/Nebula winner:
(Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell)
(American Gods - reread)
(Ender's Game)
(The Dispossessed)
(The Left Hand of Darkness)

4. Pulitzer Prize winner:
(The Age of Innocence)
(The Grapes of Wrath)
(The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay)
(Empire Falls)

Completed: 0/4

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