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Book Talk > 2011 Reading Challenge

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message 1: by Agathafrye (new)

Agathafrye | 751 comments Mod
So, I was appalled to notice that I read a shrimpy 30 books in 2010. Although I'm pretty sure I read a few more and maybe forgot to add them here, it's still pretty pitiful. I've set a goal of 100 books this year, and I'm going to go further and break the goal down to include some specific genres, age groups, and books that I don't generally like to read:
* 2 romances
* 2 Westerns
* 2 nonfiction- history
* 2 historical fiction
* 4 biographies/memoirs
* 1 Christian fiction
* 5 nonfiction
* 3 rereads of childhood favorites
* 1 classic
* 5 graphic novels
* 5 picture books
* 5 juvenile books
* 5 young adult books
* 4 mysteries
* 4 Science Fiction
* 4 books that are at least 20 years old
* 2 translations
* 5 books that have been recommended to me multiple times
* 5 books that have been recommended in Oly Reads book discussion meetings

If I'm figuring it right, that leaves room for 34 whatever-I-wants.

Is anybody else challenging themselves? If so, what's your personal goal?


message 2: by Tracy (new)

Tracy (tracylab) | 1 comments Timberland Regional Library has an Adult Winter Reading "contest" going on now through March 15th. For every 5 books you read, you get to turn in a form for a prize drawing. Might be a motivator to kick-start your goal. I've already got 5 read.


message 3: by Frances (new)

Frances | 18 comments wow...impressive! Go! Go! Go!


message 4: by Agathafrye (new)

Agathafrye | 751 comments Mod
I can't participate because I work there! You should totally do it though, and I'm really glad to hear that the word's getting out.


message 5: by Brian (new)

Brian (nerdbrarian) If you haven't already read it, I recommend All The Pretty Horses for one of your westerns. I just read it last month, and it was excellent:
All the Pretty Horses (Border Trilogy, #1) by Cormac McCarthy


message 6: by jess (new)

jess (skirtmuseum) | 12 comments Maybe you could read some Cormac McCarthy for your westerns? I love his wild, wild west brand of crazy, but maybe you already read all of his books.

My reading goal every year is to "Read More than Last Year." Which means in 2011 I need to read 110 books. I go back and forth about whether I should work through one of those "books everyone should read" lists, like a Modern Library List, but usually I just end up reading whatever I feel like/is available through my holds queue. I admire your commitment to diversity in your reading this year.


message 7: by Agathafrye (new)

Agathafrye | 751 comments Mod
I did read Blood Meridian and All the Pretty Horses- interesting, I kinda forgot those were Westerns. SO DEPRESSING. I could read some other Cormac McCarthy, but I was thinking of taking a crack at Zane Grey or someone classic like that. Jess, you blow me away. How do you find the time to do this and make good meals for under $5 and keep bees and chickens and and...


message 8: by Agathafrye (last edited Jan 18, 2011 08:40AM) (new)

Agathafrye | 751 comments Mod
PS- I'm definitely accepting suggestions, keep 'em coming!
PPS to Jess- the library finally got Daddy's.
Daddy's by Lindsay Hunter


message 9: by jess (new)

jess (skirtmuseum) | 12 comments Hopefully Daddy's can be on my 2011 list! Thanks for letting me know. I'm requesting it now. I feel like I should read some classic westerns too, but I have a hard time being interested beyond, say, True Grit.

I don't know how I do it... It just seems normal to me. It helps that I listen to audio books to take away the pain of my commute. That is like 20-30 books a year. And I read a lot of graphic novels, which is practically like cheating but I don't care.


message 10: by Brian (new)

Brian (nerdbrarian) The only real goal I've set for myself is to be more selective about my reading (i.e. check out the various award winners and reviews). I read too many duds last year because I got distracted by a shiny cover.


Jackie "the Librarian" | 259 comments Mod
My reading was pretty abysmal last year too, Kelsey. Which is totally weird for me. Usually my problem is that I'm reading too much, and not doing other stuff.

I also am behind on reviews. I've read a couple books since I finished The Maze Runner and never said a peep about them here.

Maybe I should set some kind of goal to keep myself on track...


message 12: by Sara (new)

Sara (asimilarkite) | 19 comments Mod
My goal is also to read more this year than last year. That puts my goal at 75 -- I hope I can crush that, but we'll see :) I LOVE your idea to subdivide your goal even further -- I should try doing that too :)


message 13: by Agathafrye (new)

Agathafrye | 751 comments Mod
It might be an exercise in futility & madness. We'll see.


message 14: by Agathafrye (new)

Agathafrye | 751 comments Mod
Jackie, I'm TOTALLY behind on reviews. I can't even deal with them right now because they are overwhelming me.


message 15: by Merwyn (new)

Merwyn Haskett | 46 comments I'm gonna try to get as much of the Modern Library's 100 best novels (20th century) as I can, including re-reading anything I already had. If nobody stops me I'll finish them all before the year's out.


message 16: by Agathafrye (new)

Agathafrye | 751 comments Mod
Wow, Rummy, very ambitious! I'm definitely going to pull from that list for at least my classic selection and maybe more.


message 17: by Agathafrye (new)

Agathafrye | 751 comments Mod
Speaking of good lists, here's a really nice list of feminist titles for teens...
http://bitchmagazine.org/post/from-th...


message 18: by Patty (new)

Patty (longingformorereadingtime) | 6 comments I'm a really slow reader, which I didn't realize until I was well into my 30's. So, my goal is around 50 which is two audio books and two "books" per month. Of course I have about a jillion books on my "to read" list, so I guess I will die with a very long "to read" list. Sigh. If only work didn't get in the way of all good things ;-)


message 19: by Agathafrye (new)

Agathafrye | 751 comments Mod
I know, right?


message 20: by Kate (new)

Kate 100 books in a year!!! I read about 30, myself, and I think it's a good number. I'm a very slow reader but then, as you all know, I like to savor the language and images more than the story. If you're looking for translations, I've got lots. And I just finished a very short one (if you want to kind of cheat), less than 100 pages: Bonsai / Alajandro Zambra. Chilean, one of the new names out there, an under 40 Latin American author.

"The tale of a young writer who falls for a woman who disappears while he is pretending to edit a book that doesn't exist, it brilliantly explores the relationship between art, love, and life... "

I checked it out of my local library.


message 21: by Kate (new)

Kate Oh, and I second Brian's recommendation for western. At least something by Cormac McCarthy, BUT you must realize that these are bloody, gritty, beautiful descriptions, and many do not have the stomach for them. My personal favorite is Blood Meridian, probably his bloodiest, but most beautiful (my opinion only?). It's a western, too.


message 22: by Patty (new)

Patty (longingformorereadingtime) | 6 comments I LOVED "The Road" by McCarthy, which isn't a western, but is also gritty, though speculative, fiction. Not for those who want a happy ending, or a light read.


message 23: by Agathafrye (new)

Agathafrye | 751 comments Mod
I've read enough Cormac McCarthy for now, I think. He's too much for me. Maybe I'll try The Road at some point, but I'm not in the headspace for him these days.

I'm falling behind on my goal already because I'm reading this terrible true crime book that takes place in my hometown and features my classmates. It's dragging me down!


message 24: by Kate (new)

Kate If you're reading true crime that involves people you know/knew, I can understand not wanting to read Cormac. And a lot of people don't want to read him anyway.


message 25: by jess (new)

jess (skirtmuseum) | 12 comments I love Chilean novels under 100 pages! Thanks for that recommendation!


message 26: by jess (new)

jess (skirtmuseum) | 12 comments Also, I am going to recommend Sisters by Lynne Cheney for the Western reading category, Agatha Frye. But good luck finding a copy.


message 27: by Agathafrye (new)

Agathafrye | 751 comments Mod
Jess, I accept your recommendation/challenge.


message 28: by Patty (new)

Patty (longingformorereadingtime) | 6 comments Agathafrye wrote: "Jess, I accept your recommendation/challenge."

How about a non traditional Western like Peter Carey's "The True History of the Kelley Gang" or "Jump Off Creek" by Molly Gloss (I think she's an Oregonian) or "Oh, Pioneers" by Cather or Annie Proulx Wyoming Stories (ah, the first volume, one of my faves). OR are you trying to stay in the traditional Louis L'amour type place.


message 29: by Kate (new)

Kate Patty, good suggestions! I like Peter Carey. And I read another of Molly Gloss's books, not Jump Off Creek but I know that she's well known for that. Loved Annie Proulx's books. Annie Dillard's book about Bellingham, The Living (I think!) is another. I think it might be more about settlers and indigenous people than about cowboys.


message 30: by Agathafrye (new)

Agathafrye | 751 comments Mod
I read the Kelley Gang, that was good. Love Annie Proulx too, but I haven't read Wyoming Stories yet. Maybe I'll try Willa Cather- good idea.


message 31: by Kate (new)

Kate I happen to have a copy of Close Range: Wyoming Stories in my to-be-recycled pile. Would you like it?

Kate


message 32: by Agathafrye (new)

Agathafrye | 751 comments Mod
Update on my book goals for this year- FAIL so far. Maybe I'll have a spurt of productive reading time before the end of the year. I've got 21 books read so far and am almost done with two more- my goal was 100. HAHAHAHA! As for my categories, I have read two memoirs and seven young adult and three mysteries and two science fiction and one sort of graphic novel. Terrible.


message 33: by jess (new)

jess (skirtmuseum) | 12 comments Agathafrye wrote: "Update on my book goals for this year- FAIL so far. Maybe I'll have a spurt of productive reading time before the end of the year. I've got 21 books read so far and am almost done with two more- ..."

I should be closer to 90 books at this point and I don't think I'm quite at 80. I hope I get a lot of reading done when the weather turns. I was on track until the sun came out...


message 34: by Agathafrye (new)

Agathafrye | 751 comments Mod
Oh my god, Jess, you so crazy! How do you do it?


message 35: by jess (new)

jess (skirtmuseum) | 12 comments Agathafrye wrote: "Oh my god, Jess, you so crazy! How do you do it?"

My secrets are very simple. Procrastination, misplaced priorities and a commute that lends itself to at least two audio books a month. Voila!


message 36: by Patty (new)

Patty (longingformorereadingtime) | 6 comments Me too...I thought I could do 50 and so far I'm only at 26. I wish I had more time to read for sure, but I truly doubt that in the last quarter of the year that I can read 24 more books. Sigh.


message 37: by Merwyn (new)

Merwyn Haskett | 46 comments Well...I read Sister Carrie (the unexpurgated cut from Pennsylvania, so technically not the version in the list) and was a few chapters into Lord Jim when I got distracted. Crashed and burned (although I've read a few more books and just forgot to check into Goodreads. I blame Facebook.)


message 38: by Agathafrye (new)

Agathafrye | 751 comments Mod
Yeah, I crashed and burned big time on the 100 goal. I think I'll shoot for 52 this year- one per week. Surely I should be able to handle that?


message 39: by Agathafrye (new)

Agathafrye | 751 comments Mod
And I'll amend the list of genres to one of each except for the last category, making a total of 20 earmarked books:
* romance
* Western
* nonfiction- history
* historical fiction
* biography/memoir
* Christian fiction
* nonfiction
* reread of childhood favorites
* classic
* graphic novel
* picture book
* juvenile book
* young adult book
* mystery
* Science Fiction
* a book that is at least 25 years old
* a translation
* a book that's been recommended to me multiple times
* two books that have been recommended in Oly Reads book discussion meetings

WHO'S WITH ME???


message 40: by jess (new)

jess (skirtmuseum) | 12 comments I would go for that challenge, Kelsey, with some minor tweaks... 1 per week is perfectly respectable.


message 41: by Agathafrye (new)

Agathafrye | 751 comments Mod
Yay! We can report on our progress periodically and maybe have a special edition book club next January!


message 42: by Sara (new)

Sara (asimilarkite) | 19 comments Mod
I'm in...I'm not sure I can do the genre thing though --- we'll see :)


Jackie "the Librarian" | 259 comments Mod
I want to do a book challenge too, but I don't want to have to read a Western. Or a romance. And I want to make it alphabetical, somehow. One book per letter of the alphabet.

But randomly. So, instead of it being based on, say, the author's name (A=Austen, B=Bronte, etc.), instead, my A book could be a book about Armadillos. Or it could be an Adventure. Or by an author whose name starts with an A.

Anyhow, 26 books, with lots of flexibility. I bet my Z book will have zombies, though. :)


message 44: by Agathafrye (new)

Agathafrye | 751 comments Mod
I like that idea, Jackie. But I'm not going to do it. But you should!


message 45: by Ruby (new)

Ruby Re-Usable | 15 comments interesting categories ... wondering why the Bible/Christian fiction gets it own category ...


message 46: by Agathafrye (new)

Agathafrye | 751 comments Mod
Because people read and ask for Christian fiction all the time and I never ever read it? I'm challenging myself. I didn't say anything about the bible, though- no offense to anyone, but I won't be reading the bible any time soon. If ever.


message 47: by Ruby (new)

Ruby Re-Usable | 15 comments Chronicles of Narnia? okay, I get it, this is a very librarian-type list ;-)

ps
the Old Testament is a wild pot boiler soap opera at times!


message 48: by Agathafrye (new)

Agathafrye | 751 comments Mod
I know, I just don't want to read it! Christian fiction is an actual genre...
http://www.christianfictionreview.com/

Needless to say, this particular genre is going to be challenging for me.


message 49: by Agathafrye (new)

Agathafrye | 751 comments Mod
I can already cross off scifi and translation! Booyah!


message 50: by Raina (new)

Raina | 106 comments Mod
Let me know if you want recommendations on the Christian Fiction, Agatha. I read a LOT of it when I was a teen. So my recommendations will be about 15 years behind, but ya know...


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