Sunday, January 04, 2009

so much for that idea...

Okay, I know that I swore I was going to cut down on challenges. But man, that's easier said than done! And the use of "official" vs. "unofficial" as a way of trying to skirt the issue...well, that's just not cutting it either. I'm an addict. I'm an addict. I'm an addict. But you know, I'm in such wonderful company, so why even try to escape, right?

That said, my new philosophy is: 1. If I want to join a challenge, join. 2. Try to finish the challenge. 3. But, if I don't finish a challenge, don't worry about it.

So here's what I've got on slate for the coming year:

First of all, there's several that are still running from last year:

A. The 1% Well-Read Challenge (ends Feb. 28th)
--Still need to read 8 of the following:
*Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
*The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
*The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
*The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
*Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
*Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
*The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
*The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
*The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
*Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
*Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
*Walden by Henry David Thoreau
*Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

B. The Book Awards II Challenge (ends June 1st)
--Still need to read 8 of the following:
*The Calcutta Chromosome by Amitav Ghosh
*Lisey's Story by Stephen King
*lost boy, lost girl by Peter Straub
*A Gathering Light by Jennifer Donnelly
*The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett
*The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
*Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card
*Darwin's Radio by Greg Bear
*The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
*The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
*How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
*A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
*The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
*The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
*Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
*Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
*The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
*Rats: Observations on the History & Habitat of the City's Most Unwanted Inhabitants by Robert Sullivan
*The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
*Crow Lake by Mary Lawson
*Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
*Stardust by Neil Gaiman
*The Book of Chameleons by Jose Eduardo Agualusa
*The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright
*What Was Lost by Catherine O'Flynn

C. What an Animal Challenge (ends June 30th)
--Still need to read 5 of the following:
*The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett
*The Stainless Steel Rat's Revenge by Harry Harrison
*Wolves of the Crescent Moon by Yousef Al-Mohaimeed
*The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
*Rats: Observations on the History & Habitat of the City's Most Unwanted Inhabitants by Robert Sullivan
*The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
*The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
*The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
*Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog: The Quirky History and Lost Art of Diagramming Sentences by Kitty Burns Florey (thanks, Jean!)
*The Wolves in the Walls by Neil Gaiman
*Monkey Girl: Evolution, Education, Religion, and the Battle for America's Soul by Edward Humes
*The Book of Chameleons by Jose Eduardo Agualusa
*The Jaguar Smile: A Nicaraguan Journey by Salman Rushdie

D. The Countdown Challenge (ends Sept. 9th)
--Still need to read:
*9 books published in 2009
*4 books published in 2008
*5 books published in 2007
*6 books published in 2006
*4 books published in 2005
*3 books published in 2004
*3 books published in 2003
*2 books published in 2002
*1 book published in 2001

E. 42 Challenge (ends Dec. 3rd)
--Still need to read/watch 37 sci-fi books, stories, movies, etc.

F. 9 for '09 Challenge (ends Dec. 27th)
--Still need all 9 of the following:
*The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart (long)
*News of a Kidnapping by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (free)
*Black Sunday by Thomas Harris (dusty)
*Five Past Midnight in Bhopal by Dominique Lapierre and Javier Moro (used)
*The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier (letter)
*Sleeping With Ward Cleaver by Jenny Gardiner (strange)
*The Boys in the Trees by Mary Swan. (cover)
*An Abundance of Katherines by John Green (alive or not)
*The Sex Lives of Cannibals by J. Maarten Troost (distance)

G. Suspense/Thriller Challenge (ends Dec. 31st)
--Still need to read all 10 of the following:
*Sea Change by James Powlik (environmental thriller)
*World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks (horror thriller)
*Heartstopper by Joy Fielding (psychological thriller)
*Vanish by Tess Gerritsen (medical thriller)
*Blaze by Richard Bachman/Stephen King (crime thriller)
*Three Days to Never by Tim Powers (sci-fi thriller)
*Pandora's Clock by John J. Nance (techno-thriller)
*Trace by Patricia Cornwell (forensic mystery)
*Testament by David Morrell (action thriller)
*Deep as the Marrow by F. Paul Wilson (political thriller)

And then there's the brand new ones for this year, some that end before the year is up:

H. The Sci-Fi Experience (ends Feb. 28th)
--No set number to read, but I'm hoping to get to three of the following:
*The Stainless Steel Rat's Revenge by Harry Harrison
*The Chrysalids by John Wyndham
*Larklight by Philip Reeve
*The Digital Plague by Jeff Somers
*Heads by Greg Bear
*Germ by Robert Liparulo
*Jennifer Government by Max Barry
*Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card
*The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

I. Diversity Rocks Challenge (there are several different levels to this challenge, and I wasn't quite sure of the dates on all of them, so I just went with the lowest level which ends Feb. 28th)
--Read 1 of the following, though I really hope to get to at least two:
*In the Land of Invisible Women by Qanta A. Ahmed, MD
*Fledgling by Octavia Butler
*Story-Wallah: Short Fiction from South Asian Writers edited by Shyam Selvadurai
*The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid

J. Latin America Challenge (ends April 30th)
--Still need to read all 4 of the following:
*A Nation of Enemies: Chile Under Pinochet by Pamela Constable and Arturo Valenzuela
*The Jaguar Smile: A Nicaraguan Journey by Salman Rushdie
*The Massacre at El Mozote by Mark Danner
*News of a Kidnapping by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

K. 999 Challenge (ends Sept. 9th)
--Still need to read 9 books from each of the following categories:
*young adult
*war theme (fiction and/or non-fiction)
*set in countries other than U.S.
*children's classics
*science fiction
*borrowed from Rich
*borrowed from Annie
*novellas (less than 250 pages)
*one-word titles

And those that last all year:

L. Graphic Novels Challenge
--Still need to read all 12 of the following:
*Comic Adventures of Boots by Satoshi Kitamura
*The United States Constitution: A Graphic Adaptation by Jonathan Hennessey
*Fables Vol. 2: Animal Farm by Bill Willingham
*Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
*Rose by Jeff Smith
*Mouse Guard: Fall 1152 by David Petersen
*The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
*Nightmares & Fairy Tales: Once Upon a Time by Serena Valentino
*The Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg
*Palestine by Joe Sacco
*The Tale of One Bad Rat by Bryan Talbot
*Berlin: City of Stones by Jason Lutes

M. Manga Challenge
--Still need to read 6, though I have no idea what they will be. Will need Annie's advice on this one.

N. World Citizen Challenge
--Still need to read 7 of the following, at least one from each category:
*The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright
*The Fate of Africa by Martin Meredith
*A Continent for the Taking: The Tragedy and Hope of Africa by Howard W. French
*The Siege of Mecca: The Forgotten Uprising in Islam's Holiest Shrine and the Birth of Al Qaeda by Yaroslav Trofimov
*A Nation of Enemies: Chile Under Pinochet by Pamela Constable and Arturo Valenzuela
*The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time by Jeffrey Sachs
*The Massacre at El Mozote by Mark Danner
*Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond
*King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa by Adam Hochschild
*Africa: A Biography of the Continent by John Reader
*Labor's Lot: The Power, History, and Culture of Aboriginal Action by Elizabeth A. Povinelli
*Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond
Worldwide Issues:
*Blood Diamonds: Tracing the Deadly Path of the World's Most Precious Stones by Greg Campbell
*Five Past Midnight in Bhopal: The Epic Story of the World's Deadliest Industrial Disaster by Dominique Lapierre and Javier Moro
*The New Killing Fields: Massacre and the Politics of Intervention edited by Nicolaus Mills and Kira Brunner
*First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers by Joung Ung
*A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah
*They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: The True Story of Three Lost Boys from Sudan by Benson Deng, Alephonsian Deng, and Benjamin Ajak with Judy A. Bernstein

O. Dewey's Books
--Still need to read 4 of the following:
*The Maternal is Political: Women Writers at the Intersection of Motherhood & Social Change edited by Shari MacDonald Strong
*The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
*How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
*The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
*The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
*Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk
*The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming by Lemony Snicket
*The Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
*The House of Dies Drear by Virginia Hamilton
*We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
*The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards
*Into the Forest by Jean Hegland

P. Essay Challenge
--Still need to read 30 essays

Q. Science Challenge
--Still need to read 3 from this very extensive list

R. Support Your Local Library Challenge
--Still need to read 12 books

S. New Authors Challenge
--Still need to read 25 books

T. What's in a Name 2 Challenge
--Still need to read 6, one from each category:
Body part:
Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
Blood Diamonds by Greg Campbell
Cell by Stephen King
Oh Pure and Radiant Heart by Lydia Millet
The Calcutta Chromosome by Amitav Ghosh
The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman (might use as a profession instead)
Island of the Aunts by Eva Ibbotson
The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung
The Wood Wife by Terri Windling
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
Iris, Messenger by Sarah Deming
I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak
Judge & Jury by James Patterson and Andrew Gross
The Judges by Elie Wiesel
King Leopold's Ghost by Adam Hochschild
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
The Shadow Thieves by Anne Ursu
Medical condition:
The Digital Plague by Jeff Somers
Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson
Shock by Robin Cook
Seizure by Robin Cook
Insomnia by Stephen King
Time of day:
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
Four Past Midnight by Stephen King
Night by Elie Wiesel
Five Past Midnight in Bhopal by Dominiuqe Lapierre and Javier Moro
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright
The Museum of Dr. Moses by Joyce Carol Oates

U. World War II Challenge
--Still need to read 5 of the following:
*Smoke and Ashes by Barbara Rogasky
*Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
*The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang
*The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
*Dawn of Fear by Susan Cooper
*The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
*Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose
*The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen
*Night by Elie Wiesel
*Plot Against America by Philip Roth
*Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
*The Zookeepers Wife by Diane Ackerman
*Weedflower by Cynthia Kadohata

V. Young Readers Challenge
--Still need to read 12

W. Dream King Challenge
--Still need to read 6, plus watch one movie

X. Dewey Decimal System Challenge
--Still need to read 10

And then finally, there are those that have no deadlines:

Y. Lambda Challenge
--Still need to read the following 5 books:
*Among Other Things, I've Taken Up Smoking by Aoibheann Sweeny
*Name All the Animals by Alison Smith
*Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris
*Swimming in the Monsoon Sea by Shyam Selvaduai
*Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

Z. 100 Shots of Shorts
--Still need to read 99 short stories

AA. Book Around the States Challenge
--Still need to read books from 45 states plus the District of Columbia

Yes indeed, I am a complete and total idiot. Despite the fact that there is a massive amount of overlap in there, I still must face the fact that I am possibly the world's slowest reader and I only managed to read 87 total books in all of 2008. Ah, but such is the life of the addict...


Megan said...

Hah! Looks like you've really cut down! ;-) Oh well, as was recently discussed over at Musings of a Bookish Kitty, there appear to be no physical punishments for failing at challenges (no dismemberment, no pokings with sharp sticks, and most importantly no forced playing of endless, winnerless games of Monopoly!). So, hey, aim big. Worst case scenario you'll read some good books, right? And I see some very good ones on those lists! Good luck! =D

Kailana said...

My god! I keep thinking I am in a lot of challenges and then I see others... lol The best thing about challenges is meeting people and reading good books. Actually finishing the challenge is just an added bonus! Happy reading!

Chris said...

LOL! I have to tell you Debi that you had me in stitches with this post. When I started reading it I was thinking, Oh no, she's going to have to go into the greek alphabet...and sure enough, Z was not enough...we had a AA. LOL...I'm laughing so much because it reminds me so much of myself! I hadn't seen that 9 for 09 challenge. That looks like too much fun to pass up. I may have to join that one. And of course you're going to have to add Once Upon a Time and RIP to the list :p At least you have some really great books on those lists!! And ONLY 87 books?! Good lord Debi, I only read 79 last year, lol.

Stephanie said...

Ah are truly my Soul Sister!! Most of those challenges you listed are ones that I want to join or have already joined!

But hey, it's all for fun. And I'm with Chris. Sheesh, I only read 51!! That puts me behind BOTH of you guys!

Bookfool said...

As my son would say . . . Dude, you're addicted.

Melody said...

Wow, that's a lot of challenges you joined, Debi! LOL. And hey, you read a lot of books last year too!

All the best and happy reading!

Bogsider said...

LOL. That is a lot of books! I wish you much good luck with all your challenges and look forward to see by the end of 2009 how much you managed to read.

And here I was, thinking I had to cut back on challenges (I am in 2 or 3 ROFL!!!)

Debi said...

Yeah, impressive the way I managed to cut down on my number, wasn't it? ;) Endless games of that would be the punishment that would cause me quit cold turkey!

I agree! Though there is also the extra problem of how many more books get added to the wish list as a result of reading everyone's reveiws...

You know, I really, really, really didn't want to go into the double letters. I even tried hard to make myself give one up, but I just couldn't pick one to live without. It's truly a sickness, isn't it? And one the is incredibly contagious.

I know...when I read your challenge post the other day, I literally cheered aloud! It's so nice to not be alone in one's obsessions, isn't it? And you know, so many people join a ton, but actually finish them all. It's nice to have someone else who gets such joy out of joining them, without necessarily actually completing them all!
But you know, I feel kinda funny even saying I read 87 books, as many of them were young adult non-fiction for homeschool. Somehow that seems a little like cheating, since they're generally not more than 200 pages. But I read them, so I counted them.

Your son is very wise!

I'm pathetic, aren't I? How many have you joined for the year so far?

Maybe you only joined 2 or 3, but that's probably 2 or 3 more than I'll actually finish. ;)

Dawn said...

That's more books than I'll read in a life time LOL!!! Phew, I'm tired just reading the lists. I will admit there are some I want to read (and reread!)

Good luck with all the challenges you are not doing LOL!!!

I have a package in my car to mail after school today. :) :)

take care,

bookworm said...

Wow...that's a lot of challenges!!

Good philosophy though. My motto for this year is that I will not get stressed out over books.

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Literary Feline said...

I like your approach to this year's challenges! Good luck with each of them!

Carl V. said...

Glad you're not doing too many! :)

Ah well, at least when you decide to give in to something you throw yourself in wholeheartedly. I think your attitude about it, about not worrying if you don't finish, is exactly the way to approach these things.

At least the sci fi experience reading can count for the 42 Challenge!!!

Eva said...

hehehehehe...I love how you letter them instead of number them. ;) I have the same attitude towards challenges as your new one-I think it's the best!

You're in more challenges than me (I'm at 20 right now), which I haven't seen! We should form the Super, Super Challenge Addicts group. :p

Nymeth said...

My dear Debi, I think using letters instead of numbers so we don't quite realize just how many challenges you joined is a very clever idea. It so did not work, though :P

Your new philosophy is perfect!

valentina said...

I like your philosophy. I'm a follower.

raidergirl3 said...

I must say you are brave to list them all in one post like that. I keep them hidden on different pages so I can't see the total madness. You have some fabulous books here, keep having fun, and letting us all now that we aren't the only ones.

Debi said...

Yeah, the sad thing is that it's probably more books than I'll read in my lifetime, too. ;)
And thank you, thank you, thank you...I'm so excited to slip those beauties on.

That's sounds like one very smart motto!

Literary Feline,
Thanks! Much appreciated and much needed!

Carl,'re making me sound almost sane. But then, we all know that's not really the case. ;)

Unfortunately for me, there's one HUGE difference between us when it comes to challenges actually finish them! :)

Damn. You know it might have, if I could have stopped at say "P" or "Q" though, right?

It really is a good philosophy, isn't it?

I'm not sure "brave" was the word you were looking for. Replace it with "an idiot" and I think you're right on target! :)

Trish said...

Sucker!! LOL, just kidding. Maybe. So, mid-year you can add BB. Non-Fiction Five and CC. Classics Challenge. :) I haven't signed up for any yet this year, but I'm sure I will as I'm already thinking up lists in my head. Yes, we are all in great company--bunch of addicts that we are.

Melody said...

Not pathetic, Debi! It's addictive, LOL. I've joined 9 so far... who knows? I might want to join more in the near future?!

gail@more than a song said...

You ONLY read 87 books in o8! That's a lot and more than me! And I don't homeschool or have 3 kids at home....I only read 71.
You'll be doing great even if you only do a part of what you have listed!

Debi said...

LOL...I am a sucker, for sure! Okay, it's driving me crazy, so I just have to ask...what's BB? And you're right...I'll definitely be in for the Non-Fiction Five and the Classics, even though I did so pathetically on the Classics last year. :(

Trish said...

LOL--I guess after "AA" would come "AB" and "AC" not "BB" and "CC" :) I was trying to continue your numbers for you for the non-fiction and classics challenges.

J. Kaye Oldner said...

How many is that? I lost! I LOVED World War Z! It was best on audio. There is a whole cast of characters.

Sandra said...

Three children, homeschooling, and you can make time to read that much? You deserve a

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