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The Dewey’s Books Challenge

December 18, 2008

deweyI think one of the best ways to honour Dewey is to take part in the Dewey’s Book Challenge. I’ll be going with the second option, to read five books Dewey reviewed over the course of the year. It was wonderful going through her archives, and I’ve come up with a pool of books based on categories that I associate with Dewey. All of the books are ones that Dewey herself expressed a lot of enthusiasm about; I didn’t see the point of reading a book she’d written a lukewarm review of. I’ll make sure that the books I end up choosing include at least one from each section.

The first has to be graphic novels and memoirs. Dewey was always a champion of the genre, including sponsoring a challenge, so I definitely want to read a t least one in her memory. Here are my choices:

  • Fun Home by Alison Bechdel: as Dewey said in her review, it “is really a book for book lovers. There are frequent literary allusions, which mostly serve as comparisons to Bechdel’s family life. ”
  • We Are On Our Own by Miriam Katin: I tend to avoid Holocaust books as much as possible, but Dewey said, “This is an amazing book. I suggest you all run straight out to your library or bookstore now and pick it up. Seriously.” So, I’m including it.
  • Freddie & Me by Mike Dawson: this is a memoir of a guy obssessed with Queen which Dewey “loveloveloved.” It also brought on reminsces about her adolescence which were great fun to read. :)

I also always associate Dewey with teen books; she worked with teenagers and read both fiction and nonfiction YA books. Here are the ones I’ll be choosing from:

  • Body Drama by Nancy Amanda Redd: here’s what Dewey had to say: “I really loved Body Drama! I have never seen a book quite like it, and I think it’s about time someone published such a useful and realistic book to help young women understand their bodies.” I’m not a teen anymore, but at 22 I’m still a young woman, so this one sounds really neat.
  • Freak Show by James St. James: Dewey ” knew [she] loved this book from the very beginning, when Billy prepared himself for his first day at a new high school.” Billy is a gay, transgendered teen just trying to survive high school.
  • Gifted by Nikita Lalwani: this is a YA novel about a gifted teen, and Dewey says in her review that “I consider myself quite knowledgeable about the effects of being considered gifted, and its effects on children and families, and I was glad that Lalwani seemed to understand that very well. “
  • What I Was by Meg Rosoff: Dewey said this teen novel: “only contributed further to my Rosoff crush. I am absolutely smitten with her and determined to find every single thing she ever wrote.” This will be my second Rossof experience…I didn’t adore How I Live Now as much as Dewey, but I also expected it to be set during WWII in London so I was pretty disoriented for awhile!

Then I’m doing a category for books Dewey said were her favourites ever.

Then there are some random books that Dewey was very enthusiastic over. Because she read extensively, not just certain genres!

Finally, I noticed that the last book in Dewey’s “Currently Reading” sidebar was The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. While she didn’t review it, I’m still including it in the pool.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 18, 2008 10:19 am

    Great list! You have a lot of good books to choose from there.

  2. December 18, 2008 11:56 am

    you really like categories, don’t you?

  3. December 18, 2008 7:39 pm

    You picked a great list! I hope you like We Are On Our Own and Fun Home. I’m thinking about reading The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Freak Show, and The Grapes of Wrath. I like that you put the books in categories.

  4. December 18, 2008 11:28 pm

    I love how you divided them into sections Eva! That’s a great way to do it. And I love your list. Ok, I’m going to add you to the blogroll now of the challenge blog! Thanks so much for joining!!!

  5. December 19, 2008 10:35 pm

    Alyce, thanks!

    Sarah, um, yes…yes I do. lol I also love colour-coding. ;)

    Vasilly, I’m looking forward to the books-they all sound great. :D

    Chris, thanks for hosting!!

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