Let the Challenge Begin!

August 5, 2008 at 3:33 pm | Posted in Books, LIfe, Reading | 15 Comments
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Back in May I signed up to take part in the Book Awards Challenge II. Although there are some rules involved with how they are picked, the basic goal is to read 10 award winning books in 10 months. The challenge runs from August 1, 2008 through June 1, 2009. As the Olympic Games are also opening this month in Beijing, I’m going to look at this as my own personal decathlon. Given my current fitness level, it will take me all 10 months to complete my event, but that is another story altogether…

As a recap, here are the 10 events books I will be competing in reading:

The Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong
Water for Elephants by Sara Guen
Waiting by Ha Jin
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clark
The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
We Need to Talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver
The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

I’m currently reading Pattern Recognition by William Gibson. Once I’ve finished that novel, I’m going to read the first of my 10 books. Each of those books has its own appeal to me, but I haven’t decided which to read yet. Since they all have to be read by the end, there isn’t necessarily any reason to read one over the other. I was thinking I could put all of the names in a hat and pick that way. That’s random, but not necessarily very exciting. To keep me from injuring myself and others, I don’t own darts, so anything like that is out of the question. Do you have any fun ways of selecting the next book when you have absolutely no preference?



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  1. I think I’m going to have to do this one also, but I’ll need a few days to go through the potential reading list. You’ve picked some good ones. I loved The God of Small Things and really enjoyed Water for Elephants . Wasn’t crazy about The Inheritance of Loss but hope you’ll enjoy it!

  2. Yeah! I am so excited for this challenge. I love reading books that have won awards. I haven’t read any of the books on your list, so I’ll be anxiously awaiting your reviews. My list for this challenge is here: http://thebluestockings.com/2008/06/book-awards-ii-challenge/

    Good luck!

  3. It looks like you have a good list there! I am currently reading The God of Small Things, and I have The Inheritance of Loss and The Blind Assassin waiting for me on my bookshelf. I’m looking forward to reading your reviews!

  4. Awesome! I’m glad that Jessica is already on board and I look forward to readerville and Laura joining us. Jessica, I’m going to check out your selections. Readerville, I remember your post about Inheritance of Loss because I was disappointed. I have to read this book because 1) I paid full price for it and 2) the author and I both graduated from Hollins University. Hopefully I’ll like it better than you did, but my last few trips to that part of the world have not been as fun as I’d hoped.

  5. I look forward to hearing what you think about “the Blind Assassin”. I think it’s on my wishlist 🙂

  6. I also have The God of Small Things on my list as well, but probably not this month, and have heard only good about some of the others you have selected.

    As for how I pick books, I have a pile set up for this month, but in no particular order. It’s just whatever strikes me fancy. I don’t throw a dart physically, but mentally sort of. My pile has 17 books in it, but with tomes like The Brothers Karamazov and Middlemarch, I highly doubt that I’ll get to all 17.

  7. You have a great selection of books! I also have The God of Small Things on my list.

    Happy reading! 😀

  8. Good luck on your challenge! Also, oh my gosh, we have to talk about our challenge!!

  9. The Stone Diaries and The Blind Assassin are the books I’m most “concerned” about. Hopefully they will go well, although I’m anticipating reading them to feel like a challenge.
    Middlemarch and The Brothers Karamazov in the same month and there’s more? You continue to amaze me. 🙂
    Jen, we definitely need to talk about that. I need to respond to your last email and I’ll get the ball rolling on that there.

  10. Nice list. I love Atwood and The Blind Assassin is excellent. Jonathan Strange is on my list too, looking forward to reading your reviews on all these novels…
    I can’t really start my reading for this challenge until I have worked my way through my self imposed “Booker Longlist” challenge. Oh well, I will get there.

  11. Can’t wait to hear how this goes for you!

    I’ve never read Ha Jin or Margaret Atwood, but definitely want to. In fact, Alias Grace is sitting on my shelves, calling my name.

  12. I’m excited about the challenge, too. I chose Waiting because I read A Free Life by Ha Jin and absolutely loved it. I don’t have any of the books yet. I think I will be able to get serious about this when my son goes back to college in 2 weeks and I have some alone time again.

  13. Red, I’m so glad to hear that The Blind Assassin is good! I ended up buying a cheap special two book edition of Jonathon Strange from B&N on clearance. Wrapped in plastic and everything. I’m excited to read that just because it’s so new. 🙂
    Shana, Atwood and Jin are new to me, too. I’ve read some good reviews of Alias Grace. We should both be in for a good Atwood experience.
    Bermuda, I’ll send you an email when I finish waiting. I’ll read that first for the challenge to give you plenty of time. My oldest is starting kindergarten on the 25th. I’m a little weepy about that. How have you been handling college?

  14. Since our son is an only child, it was tough on me when he first went away to college – he was 8 hours away, so he couldn’t come home for a weekend. Now that he’s been gone for a couple of years, I’m ready for him to leave after he’s been home for a week or two. It’s been a long summer!

  15. […] Award Challenge II:  I joined this challenge earlier this year.  I haven’t really gotten started with it, but there is still time to […]

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