Tag: reading-challenges


A life long reading challenge to read books from 1001 Books Before You Die edited by Dr Peter Boxall. I’ve joined this challenge before in other forms, but this will be my definitive Master List post. For the purposes of variety, I include books that have been listed in all 6 editions (1318 books). This challenge is a good overlap to the Classics Club and all the other ongoing reading challenges I am doing.

Interestingly, this list has a few of the most boring books I have ever read, but largely, it also hassome of the best books I ever read. There are many books on the lists that I have no intention of reading anytime, but for the most part, there are some good recommendations in this list.

The following are a list of books I have read from any of the edition. This post will be updated whenever I finish a books/find the time.

For personal tracking, I am use Arukiyomi’s downloadable spreadsheet which is a paid with many features to track the books. I used the free version ten years ago and it’s worth the cost for the new versions especially if you like the books on this list.
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Bookmark To Blog

In any attempt to read more nonfiction, I have joined Bookmark to Blog’s 2013 Nerdy Non-Fiction Challenge.

I am always trying to read more nonfiction so this challenge should help with that. All my nonfiction book posts are in my nonfiction tag.

Here are the levels:

Geek: 4-6 books in at least 2-3 different categories
Dork: 7-10 books in at least 4-5 different categories
Dweeb: 11- 14 books in at least 6-7 different categories
Nerd: 15+ books in at least 8+ different categories

I really doubt I could be a Nerd or even a Dweeb. I think I manage dork levels every year wherein approximately 10-20% of all the books I read in a year are nonfiction.

Some of my favourite or often read categories: Travel, Food, Crafting, History, Memoirs/Biographies.

Nonfiction Books 2013:

  1. The Beauty of Color by Iman (Health, Beauty)
  2. Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman (Literature)
  3. Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson (Autobiography/Memoirs, Food)
  4. The Best American Travel Writing 2012 (Travel)
  5. Paris in Love by Eloisa James (Memoirs, Travel)
  6. Here’s looking at Euclid by Alex Bellos (Math)
  7. Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman (Parenting / Culture)
  8. Let’s Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste by Carl Wilson (Music / Cultural Studies)
  9. America Again: Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t by Stephen Colbert (Humor)
  10. Walden by Henry David Thoreau (Memoirs)
  11. The Best American Travel Writing 2008 edited by Anthony Bourdain (Travel)
  12. Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris (Humor)
  13. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris (Humor)
  14. Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell (Books, Humor)
  15. Cooked by Michael Pollan (Cooking)
  16. The Last Train to Zona Verde by Paul Theroux (Travel)
  17. Through the Children’s Gate by Adam Gopnik (Memoirs)
  18. Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin (Memoir, Self-Help, Psychology)
  19. Naked by David Sedaris(Memoir, Humour)
  20. Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love by Helen Fisher (Psychology, Anthropology)

Number of Books:
Number of Categories:


2013 Book to Movies Challenge

I am going to participating in the 2013 Book to Movie Challenge hosted by Doing Dewey.

Yes, another 2013 Challenge. I think I’ll take on one more and I’ll be done for the yearly challenges. I think three 2013 challenges will be enough alongside my other ongoing challenges such as Classics Club, Pulitzer, Bookers, etc.

This challenge is a breeze because I already do this naturally! I’m big on adaptations. Also, I’m a bit behind on the movies portion (still need to watch Little Women) and this will prompt me to watch movies and tv mini series much faster after I read the books

For the sake of this challenge, I am counting TV mini-series as movies as well. Often times, I find they are the best forms of adaptations and even longer so even more of a challenge and fun for me to review

The levels of this challenge as follows:

Movie Fan – read 3 books and watch their movies
Movie Devotee – read 6 books and watch their movies
Movie Lover – read 9 books and watch their movies
Movie Aficionado – read 12 books and watch their movies

I am going to aim for Movie Fan or Movie Devotee. I think the latter is more yearly average now.

I will put here the list of all the books to movie challenge entries:

  1. Cloud Atlas – Book and Movie review
  2. Game of Thrones – Book and Season 1 Review
  3. Brief Encounter
  4. War Horse – Book and Movie Review
  5. Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin and Season Two
  6. On the Road by Jack Kerouac and movie review
  7. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte and tv mini series review

If you’re so inclined, join me in this challenge!

TBR challenge

Time for another reading challenge. I’ll be joining Adam of Roof Beam Reader’s 2013 TBR Pile Challenge. Twelve books that I should read for 2013 with two alternates. Books must be published before 2012.

I tend to buy a lot of used books at fairs and then not read them. The following books I either own or in one case, have on loan from a friend.

  1. Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin – completed February 11th 2013
  2. Respect the Spindle y Abby Franquemont
  3. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
  4. Bleak House by Charles Dickens
  5. The Warden by Anthony Trollope
  6. Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope
  7. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
  8. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
  9. Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
  10. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
  11. The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai
  12. William-an Englishman by Cicely Hamilton


  1. How to Eat by Nigella Lawson
  2. Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. Watson

Join me and others in this challenge. What are you reading for 2013?

Sunday Salon

This week I read and finished Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte.

I started reading Respect the Spindle by Abby Franquemont the other week (but haven’t read it due to other things). I also started Little Women by Louisa May Alcott on Friday, but I think I will read The Chaperone by Lian Moriarity. It’s due back at the library by tuesday so I will try and read it the next two days.

The Olympics have started and whenever that happens, I have the TV on most of the time. This Olympics also makes me particularly homesick or miss England and London. Still good, so I am watching that more. It may take more reading time, but that’s alright since I need some time to knit as well. I can take a break before I start Austen in August and other planned reads.

I’ve joined another reading challenge/readalong! I really did miss these when I wasn’t blogging because they do hold me accountable for the books I want to read. Also, I find it difficult to name my Sunday Salon posts so a reading challenge post is a catch-all.

Gone with the wind readalong

The goal is to read Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell from September 1st to November 7th. The final review post will only be published on November 8th which was Margaret Mitchell’s birthday.

I know this is a popular and classic book that I have been meaning to read for awhile. I look forward to it; I’ve already seen the movie. The readalong will have update posts for the end of each section, but I will save all my thoughts for a big post at the end since that is what I am use to. I’ll be reading it on my Kindle; I would try for a library copy except the book request queue for it is long that I won’t be able to start in September.

Join us if you haven’t read this book or want to do a reread.

On a final note, I am considering running my own reading challenge or two. Since I graduated, I haven’t been reading nonfiction as much; I always think I need to read more nonfiction. Then novels, fiction and dramas lure me in. Another challenge that I am considering is poetry. Would anyone else be interested in these kind of reading challenges? I’m happy to host it. I’ll just need to make some graphics and be more organised if other people are interested.

That’s it for today. I will get busier as the summer goes on I think.

How is your summer reading? Have you read the books you set out for the season?

Literary Links
Haven’t done this in years.

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries – A modern day Youtube adaptation of Pride & Prejudice

Classics Club

My selection list for the Classics Club, a five year challenge to read at least 50 classics.

I use to join and enjoy a lot of book challenges. Nowadays, I find it hard to balance real life with blogging and reading all the books I want, but I couldn’t resist this challenge because I love classics.

I listed 50 books, but I think the selection may change or be added onto over time the selection has changed and been added to over time. When selecting the books, I did use a broad definition of classics as I included a few modern books. I will be used book shopping in a couple of weeks which may alter this selection again. The goal is to read 50 classics, but the selection of the list may change a bit over time due to time, interest, and availability of the books.

I included books that I own, books I want to read/heard a lot of, and books from the 1001 Books Before You Die List. Due to being revised, it’s actually 1294 books. For a spreadsheet to keep track of that lengthy list, go here .

You can follow all my posts relating to the club through my Classics Club tag which includes reviews, memes, etc.

Start Date: June 1, 2012
End Date: June 1, 2017 2018

My Prize: To be determined at a later date. Some sort of food and/or shopping will be involved.

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The Sense of Ending

This was my first Julian Barnes book, and I don’t think it will be my last. I’m curious about his other works now. I think I rather enjoyed myself even though there were few real characters and a perplexing ending.

The themes of the novel are those of memory, history, self-awareness, and mortality. I think given the shortness of this novella, Barnes tackled a lot in a short period of time. An excerpt from the book:

I certainly believe we all suffer damage, one way or another. How could we not, except in a world of perfect parents, siblings, neighbours, companions? And then there is the question, on which so much depends, of how we react to the damage: whether we admit it or repress it, and how this affects our dealings with others. Some admit the damage, and try to mitigate it: some spend their lives trying to help others who are damaged; and then there are those whose main concern is to avoid further damage to themselves at whatever cost. And those are the ones who are ruthless, and the ones to be careful of. (p 44)

As I read this book, I didn’t expect much in the way of plot movement and so when the plot did move by Tony, the narrator and protagonist, receiving a money from the will of an ex-girlfriend’s mother, I was intrigued. From then on, I chased the novel’s ending for more on the mysterious Adrian and the full story about him, Veronica, and Sarah. I kept waiting for the twist; there was such a build up to it.

I wasn’t annoyed with any of the characters even though it seemed there was not much to give them credit for. Tony is self-obsessed, but I didn’t mind his take on things. He’s analyzing himself and the whole story seemed to be about him thinking back on his life so I could understood the self-reflection. I was irked with Veronica who kept saying, “You don’t get it and you never will!” and I just kept thinking, then tell him about it! She seems to have regressed since young Veronica was about to communicate to Tony about somethings, but not about ‘this’ (or whatever it is he needs to get) even after their meetings?

When I reached the last two pages, I was perplexed with the ending. Tony said he understood, but I felt dumb because I didn’t. I had to go online and read other reviews and blogs to realize that I was suppose to question the ending and what had really happened. Did Tony block out so much of his memory? Why the money from Sarah? Lots of questions. It did make me think which is good enough for any book. I wasn’t irked by the lack of ending though.

Books this reminded me of: You Deserve Nothing (which was the last book I read and fit with the earlier chapters of this book), Ian McEwan works such as Atonement, Amsterdam and Solaris, and Iris Murdoch’s The Sea, The Sea (not sure why other than it’s a Booker by an English person – perhaps it was the self-obsession). Barnes and McEwan have the dry and philosophical English contemporary literature that the Booker panel seems to love. I don’t hate McEwan, but I actually think I was less annoyed with Tony in The Sense of Ending than I have been with any of McEwan’s narrators. Makes me wonder why I’ve already read three McEwan novels, but I digress.

I think Barnes has said that you must read the book at least twice to get it. I doubt I will even though I did enjoy this book for the most part. I wasn’t as annoyed or irked with the ending or the seeming plot holes as other readers, but I’m not that involved. Maybe I am just use to literary novels (specifically, Booker winners) having these kind of endings. At least I didn’t want to throw this one across the room like I did God of Small Things.

Have you read this book and what did you think of it? What are your theories on what really happened? Or did you not care at all?

Here are a couple of links on what other readers thought of the book:

The Man Booker Prize forum thread on the book
The Aslyum Book Review with lots of comments on it

Read on March 28th, 2012.

The Man Booker Prize Reading List Update

Since this blog was defunct for three years, I know I’ve read at least five Booker prize winners in that time. Here is an updated list of of all the Booker Prize winners I’ve read so far. I’ll do a Pulitzer post in the future.
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Completed Challenges this month

  • Non-Fiction Five Challenge (9 of 5) – Aristocrats. The summer is my most prolific reading month, and I read the most nonfiction during this time as well. I think I read more nonfiction this summer than I have ever.

Current Challenges

Personal Challenges

  • 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die – 87 (95 with removed books) because I switched over to the new 2008 edition of the book list, but I am still going to track from both lists since I’ve done so well so far.
  • TBR Books I Own Pile – 3: The Two Towers, Return of the King, Possession

Completed Challenges

Another good reading month as I completed 12 books, including many classics and nonfiction. Sadly. I think things will start slowing down in September.

Current Challenges

Personal Challenges

  • 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die – 92
  • TBR Books I Own Pile – Summer

Completed Challenges

I read 11 books. Crime and Punishment was the most cross posted of books, but I really need to make some other progress.

Current Challenges

Personal Challenges

  • 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die – 87
  • TBR Books I Own Pile – 1: Crime and Punishment

Completed Challenges

I read a lot in June, and made quite a few progress in some of the challenges though I still have a long way to go. I have to read as much as I can in the summer because I am unsure of my reading time in the autumn and beyond.

Completed this month:

Current Challenges

Personal Challenges

  • 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die – 85
  • TBR Pile – 1: Read Beloved.

Pending Challenges

Completed Challenges

Books Read: 3

I finished My Sister, Life and Other Poems and am going to write the reviews for it and Persepolis this hour before moving onto Promothea.

So that this post is not a total waste, I joined another challenge.
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