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Personal Challenges > Phil's 2018 Personal Challenge

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message 1: by Phil (new)

Phil Jensen | 627 comments My mission statement:

I want to be the kind of reader who
challenges himself
reflects on books
participates in the reading community
embraces his heritage
develops professionally
explores weird books
seeks diversity
studies the Bible
specializes in science fiction, and
reads for joy


message 2: by Phil (last edited Dec 31, 2018 09:53AM) (new)

Phil Jensen | 627 comments Personal Development Goals

1. Challenge myself by reading:

Cockroach Squashers
The Good Soldier Švejk
The Decameron
Gargantua and Pantagruel
War and Peace
Ulysses
Life: A User's Manual
The Divine Comedy
Classics I haven't read (sorted by classic-ness)
The Grapes of Wrath
The Sound and the Fury
Mrs. Dalloway
Gone with the Wind
A Passage to India
To the Lighthouse
Anna Karenina
One Hundred Years of Solitude

2. Reflect on Reading by writing reviews

3. Participate in the Reading Community by doing group reads with the following:
Catching Up on Classics (and lots more!) 10 Days in a Madhouse
Sci-Fi and Heroic Fantasy Armor The Diamond Age: Or, A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer
Science Fiction Aficionados Altered Carbon
Mock Newbery The Parker Inheritance Bob
Shakespeare Fans The Winter's Tale
The Evolution of Science Fiction Doomsday Book R.U.R.
Beyond Reality Way Station
Never Too Late to Read the Classics Gawain & The Green Knight R.U.R.
Children's Books The Bears on Hemlock Mountain The Courage of Sarah Noble
The Novella Club The Dead
Literary Fiction by People of Color Nigerians in Space


message 3: by Brina (new)

Brina I always love seeing your challenge, Phil. I will look at more in depth later. If you read Anna K, it is very good.


message 5: by Phil (last edited Nov 18, 2018 03:26AM) (new)

Phil Jensen | 627 comments Professional Development Goals

Books about teaching
In the Middle: New Understandings about Writing, Reading, and Learning
Engaging Children: Igniting a Drive for Deeper Learning
The First Days Of School: How To Be An Effective Teacher
Newbery Winners (Read twelve.)
Smoky the Cow Horse
Dobry
Waterless Mountain
Tales From Silver Lands
Shen of the Sea: Chinese Stories for Children
Hello, Universe

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut
Long Way Down
Piecing Me Together
Savvy
Al Capone Does My Shirts
Hoot
The Thief
The Blue Sword
The Dark Is Rising
Old Yeller
The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg
The Voice That Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights
Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy
All Alone
The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm
Elijah of Buxton
Scorpions
A Corner of the Universe
Show Way
The Bears on Hemlock Mountain
Charlotte's Web
Belling the Tiger
Nothing But the Truth

Coretta Scott King Winners (Read three)
Elijah of Buxton
Piecing Me Together
Copper Sun
The First Part Last
Slam!
The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales
Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans
We are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball
Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U. S. Marshal
Day of Tears
Remember: The Journey to School Integration

March: Book One

Belpre Winners (Read two)
Parrot in the Oven: Mi Vida
Esperanza Rising
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Juana and Lucas

The Only Road

Printz Winners (Read two)
On the Jellicoe Road
I'll Give You the Sun
The First Part Last
Going Bovine
How I Live Now
We Are Okay

The Book Thief
I Am the Messenger
An Abundance of Katherines
Eleanor & Park
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging

Diverse children's books
Arab/Muslim
Words Under the Words: Selected Poems
Habibi
Sister Shako and Kolo the Goat
A Game for Swallows: To Die, to Leave, to Return
Amina's Voice
Santa Claus in Baghdad: and Other Stories about Teens in the Arab World
A Little Piece of Ground
Boys Without Names
Code of Honor
Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story
The Thief and the Dogs
The Breadwinner
The Prophet

Asian
Dragonwings
Inside Out & Back Again
Hiroshima No Pika
The Friends
Brave Story
Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit
Grandma Lives in a Perfume Village
Over the Ocean
The Kite Fighters
Heart of a Samurai
In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson
Full Cicada Moon
Paper Wishes
Ties That Bind, Ties That Break
Year of Impossible Goodbyes
The Thing About Luck
Bamboo People
Blackbird Fly

Jewish
Brooklyn Bridge
Letters from Rifka
Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself
Samir and Yonatan
The Night Journey
Anastasia Krupnik
Real Time
Golem

American Indian
Hidden Roots
The Birchbark House
Counting Coup: Becoming a Crow Chief on the Reservation and Beyond
Between the Deep Blue Sea and Me: A Novel
Awesiinyensag - dibaajimowinan ji-gikinoo'amaageng
If I Ever Get Out of Here
Killer of Enemies
House of Purple Cedar
How I Became a Ghost
In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse

Possible Books for Advanced 14 year olds
Rereads
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
A Tale of Two Cities
All Quiet on the Western Front
The Red Badge of Courage
Lord of the Flies

Read for the first time
Sophie's Choice
The Secret Life of Bees
The Book Thief
Ernest J. Gaines
Into the Wild
A Separate Peace
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
I Beat the Odds: From Homelessness, to the Blind Side, and Beyond
The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Total out of required: 23/25


message 6: by Phil (last edited Dec 31, 2018 05:39AM) (new)

Phil Jensen | 627 comments Reads for Enjoyment

Cult Books(In order of cultishness)
House of Leaves
Cormac McCarthy
The Alexandria Quartet
Dead Souls
Friedrich Nietzsche
I Capture the Castle
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values
Haruki Murakami
Labyrinths: Selected Stories and Other Writings
The Diceman
The Magus
Valley of the Dolls

Science Fiction Classics
The Demolished Man
Doomsday Book
The Road
Stand on Zanzibar
The Windup Girl
The Diamond Age: or, A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer
Way Station
Earth Abides
Timescape
Mission of Gravity

Fantasy Classics
Tigana
Titus Groan
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
The Scar
Magician: Apprentice

Sci Fi by People of Color
Octavia Butler
Dhalgren
Brown Girl in the Ring
Binti
My Soul to Keep
Nigerians in Space

Favorite Authors
Charles Bukowski
Jack Vance
J.R.R. TolkienJohn Ronald's Dragons: The Story of J. R. R. Tolkien
David Foster Wallace
Isaac Asimov
Arthur C. Clarke

Daniel Pinkwater At the Hotel Larry Bongo Larry Bad Bears in the Big City: An Irving & Muktuk Story Bad Bear Detectives: An Irving and Muktuk Story Ice Cream Larry Roger's Umbrella
Gordon Korman
Jacqueline WoodsonShow Way
Walter Dean MyersScorpions
Roger Zelazny
Ursula K. Le Guin

GR is convinced I will love these books:
Duncton Wood
Loving
The Adventures of Augie March
Doctor Mirabilis
Dreamsnake
Young Lonigan
Dog Soldiers
Dark Benediction
The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg
Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy
They'd Rather Be Right
Roderick
They Shall Have Stars
Pavane
Belling The Tiger
Clip-Clop
The Saggy Baggy Elephant
All Alone
The Voice That Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights
Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse
American Boys Handy Book
Golem
Incident at Hawk's Hill
Make Lemonade
We've all got belly buttons
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
A Story, a Story
Leaving Las Vegas
Von Bek
The Emperor of Dreams
Thomas the Rhymer
Peace
Sea-Kings of Mars and Otherworldly Stories
The House on the Borderland
The Dark Light Years
Downward to the Earth
The Instrumentality of Mankind
Night Winds
Frontier Living: An Illustrated Guide to Pioneer Life in America
Ragweed
Saturday, the Twelfth of October

Total out of required: 5/6


message 7: by Phil (new)

Phil Jensen | 627 comments Brina wrote: "I always love seeing your challenge, Phil. I will look at more in depth later. If you read Anna K, it is very good."

Thanks! I'm thinking of 2018 as year two of an eight year project. I fell down on the harder classics during 2017 (still haven't finished Divine Comedy or Grapes of Wrath), so I'm hoping to double down on those next year.


message 8: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 3692 comments A very inspiring list, Phil. I'm sure you'll get a lot out of your reading in the coming year! I'm with Brina on Anna K--if you only read one classic on your list, that's the one I'd pick. But I also hope to get to The Sound and the Fury and The Grapes of Wrath in 2018. I'll be checking back here for your thoughts!


message 9: by Phil (new)

Phil Jensen | 627 comments Kathleen wrote: "A very inspiring list, Phil. I'm sure you'll get a lot out of your reading in the coming year! I'm with Brina on Anna K--if you only read one classic on your list, that's the one I'd pick. But I al..."

Thanks, Kathleen! I'm still not sure what I'll end up reading this year. I usually wait to see if any book groups pick something that's on my list, so the decision gets made for me.


message 10: by Phil (last edited May 10, 2018 03:23AM) (new)

Phil Jensen | 627 comments I'm taking the biannual school trip to Washington DC in May, which means 20 hours on a bus. Here's what I might read while the students are distracted by their phones:

Long Way Down
Fences

Nimona
The Winter's Tale
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
The Black Island
Scoop

Herland
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
I Am a Cat
The Grapes of Wrath
Smoky the Cow Horse

Still kind of thinking about it & how to prioritize. Sometimes I try to take a bite out of something big on this trip, like the year I did Crime & Punishment, and sometimes I try to knock out a bunch of smaller reads.


message 11: by Tammy (new)

Tammy | 391 comments Hi Phil! You have a lot of great book selections on your various lists. If I was going on a bus trip with a bunch of kids, I'd go for light reading that doesn't require deep concentration. Harry Potter or The Joy Luck Club are light and fluffy and won't take a lot of deep thinking (unlike Shakespeare, Kafka and Borges). I just read Fences about a week ago. It's a good play and a quick read!

Happy reading and have a nice trip in May!


message 12: by Phil (new)

Phil Jensen | 627 comments Tammy wrote: "Hi Phil! You have a lot of great book selections on your various lists. If I was going on a bus trip with a bunch of kids, I'd go for light reading that doesn't require deep concentration. Harry Po..."

Thanks, Tammy.

I have already DNF'd Goblet of Fire at least twice, so I think Shakespeare would be an easier road trip book. I had a great plane ride with Henry V once.

It's really hard for me to work up any enthusiasm for Harry Potter, but I feel like I ought to give it one more chance before chucking the series.


message 13: by Phil (last edited Mar 30, 2018 06:35AM) (new)

Phil Jensen | 627 comments I'm falling a bit behind. I hope to catch up by finishing the following by the end of April:

Ulysses
White Nights
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Armor
Acts


message 15: by Pink (new)

Pink | 6556 comments Sounds like a great Dad, I hope you enjoy reading these books. I'm sure they'll hold a special place for you, as you work through reading them. Good luck with getting them finished by your 68th year!


message 16: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 3692 comments That is a wonderful tribute to your dad, Phil. I love this idea, and now I want to create similar lists. I remember Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee was a favorite of my dad's too, and on his nightstand for years. When I hear about that book I always picture it there.

Enjoy this journey, however long it takes!


message 18: by siriusedward (new)

siriusedward (elenaraphael) | 2011 comments He sounds like a great Dad, Phil !!
Hope you enjoy those books..


message 19: by Phil (new)

Phil Jensen | 627 comments To finish by the end of September:

Giovanni's Room (almost done, but it's going slow)
Way Station
Titus Groan

Plus three from the professional development list, probably
Engaging Children: Igniting a Drive for Deeper Learning
Hello, Universe
Juana and Lucas


message 20: by Leni (new)

Leni Iversen (leniverse) | 1184 comments An extensive and well organised list of lists! Impressive. And it's a good idea you have there, to require only a certain number of books from each list each year. Gives you some options instead of just requirements.


message 21: by Phil (new)

Phil Jensen | 627 comments Leni wrote: "An extensive and well organised list of lists! Impressive. And it's a good idea you have there, to require only a certain number of books from each list each year. Gives you some options instead of..."

Thanks, Leni. Being on Goodreads and working as reading teacher have made me reflect on myself as a reader. I try to have a sense of mission and read in a way that helps me be the kind of person I want to be. I try to grow and learn instead of just check items off a list.


message 22: by Phil (new)

Phil Jensen | 627 comments Struggling to prioritize my reading life, like always.

For my goals, I should finish the following in September:
Titus Groan
Way Station

I'd also like to whittle down my pile of half-finished books to 11, so maybe
The Hockey Sweater and Other Stories
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, and Sir Orfeo
Santa Claus in Baghdad: and Other Stories about Teens in the Arab World

My GR book clubs are reading some cool stuff like
Binti
The Guns of Avalon
The Return of the Soldier
Ghost Boys
A Brief History of Time
The Lions of Al-Rassan

I think I'll do it in roughly that order.


message 23: by Phil (last edited Sep 22, 2018 06:44AM) (new)

Phil Jensen | 627 comments Trying to plan out the end of the year:

October
Finish Grapes of Wrath
Finish Waterless Mountain
Start Purgatory section of Divine Comedy
Juana and Lucas

November
Piecing Me Together
The Joy Luck Club
Shakespeare's Sonnets
How I Live Now
Finish Purgatory/Start Paradise section of Divine Comedy

December
Labyrinths
How I Became A Ghost
Lord of the Flies
The Book of Exodus
Finish Divine Comedy


message 25: by Phil (new)

Phil Jensen | 627 comments And so ends my reading for 2018. I completed 46 of my 51 mini-goals. I read 91 of my 100 book goal on the Goodreads annual reading challenge.

This was my third year of listing a personal challenge on Catching up on the Classics, and my third year of failing to achieve it.

I actually set some of these goals on a word document way back in 2014, with the idea that I would complete them by 2023. Since then, the growth of my family and the way I prepare for my job as a reading teacher have decreased the amount time and mental energy at my disposal. I've made peace with the idea that my life choices are more important than reading goals I set five years ago.

Still, even though my life has changed, these are books that I want to read, and they represent the type of reader I wish to be. I will continue to work towards them, knowing that I may continue failing to meet them.


message 26: by Katy, New School Classics (last edited Dec 31, 2018 11:36AM) (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9312 comments Mod
Nice accomplishments on your goals Phil. You may not have completely finished, but you have made some good progress.


message 27: by Pink (new)

Pink | 6556 comments Well done on your reading goals this year! I’m certainly tackling my old reading lists at a much slower pace nowadays, but that’s fine. Life takes over and books are still there to enjoy, no matter the timeframe. Good luck for 2019!


message 28: by Marilyn (new)

Marilyn | 702 comments It's about making progress because, thankfully, there really is no end.


message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

Marilyn wrote: "It's about making progress because, thankfully, there really is no end."

Beautifully expressed, Marilyn.


message 30: by Phil (new)

Phil Jensen | 627 comments Thanks, Katie, Pink, Marilyn, Liz.

I'm looking forward to reading more in 2019!


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