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October Challenge Wrap-Ups

October 31, 2009

First of all, Happy Halloween! :) But along with being an awesome holiday for us Statesiders, it is the end of the month, so I need to do four challenge wrap-ups! This is a housekeeping post more than anything, so feel free to ignore it.

classicschallengeThe Classics Challenge
The lovely Trish hosted this challenge (see the blog). I chose the feast level which had me reading six books (linked to my reviews) from this pool:
Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope
Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
The Dead Secret by Wilkie Collins
The Reef by Edith Wharton
Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte
The best book: There is no way I can choose between all of those marvelous books. :) I think I gave them all five stars, except for Agnes Grey.
Any new authors? Elizabeth Gaskell!
Books I did not finish: None
What did I learn from this challenge? I love the classics, and I love getting impetus to read more of them. :) This time around, I five of the six books I chose were by authors I already knew and loved; I think that’s one of the keys to enjoying classics. Oh, and I learned that Gaskell is awesome!

deweydecimalchallengeThe Dewey Decimal Challenge
The Novel World challenged us to read ten nonfiction books: one in each for each of the 000’s of the Dewey System. Here are mine, linked to reviews (except Sewing Lingerie, which was too technical for me to review, although I found it very helpful as a newbie sewer, and Expat, which I haven’t had time to review yet):
Rereadings, ed. Anne Fadiman (028.9 R428 )
The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel (020. M277L)
The Consolations of Philosophy by Alain de Botton (101 D287C)
Pathways to Bliss by Joseph Campbell (201.3019 C188P)
Liquid Jade by Beatrice Hohenegger (394.12 H717L)
Spoken Here by Mark Abley (417.7 A152S )
Wesley the Owl by Stacey O’Brien (598.97 O13W)
Sewing Lingerie That Fits by Karen Morris (646.4204 M876S)
Outcasts United by Warren St. John (796.334092 S143O)
Built of Books by Thomas Wright (828.809 W672W)
Expat ed. by Christina de Tessan (910.4082 E96 )

The best book: My two faves were The Consolations of Philosophy and Pathways to Bliss, with Wesley the Owl and Expat close on their heels.
Any new authors? Yep: all of the esssayists from Expat, Thomas Wright, Warren St. John, Karen Morris, Stacy O’Brien, Mark Abley, Beatrice Hohenegger, and de Botton (who is a new favourite of mine-I’ve read two more of his books this year!).
Books I did not finish: None, but it was *very* close on Spoken Here. I loathed that book.
What did I learn from this challenge? It was fun to diversify my nonfiction reading; several of my selections came from random browsing. :) And it just confirmed for me how much I love nonfiction!

kiwibuttonsmallThe New Zealand Challenge
The lovely Maree challenged us to celebrate New Zealand book month by reading one book by a Kiwi (and promised us candy! lol).
Mine, linked to review: Here At the End of the World We Learn to Dance by Lloyd Jones
We could also listen to some Kiwi music or watch a Kiwi movie…I’m waiting for An Education to arrive here in the States, but I did listen to a neat Maori band, Oceania…here’s the song I enjoyed best:

Skipping two questions for obvious reasons…
Any new authors? Yep-Lloyd Jones was new to me. I want to read his travelogue about Albania next.
What did I learn from this challenge? To read more Kiwi authors! I have Janet Frome’s Towards Another Summer out from library; I want to count it for the November Novella Challenge, so waiting to start it until tomorrow. :)

rip4R.I.P. IV Challenge
Carl hosted the fourth round of his insanely popular reading spooky books challenge; I signed up for Peril the First, which had me read at least four books from this pool. I might have read a few more than that. ;) And I actually plan to reread We Have Always Lived in the Castle today and finish up The Virago Book of Modern Ghost Stories (yay for Halloween!), but I don’t need to count anymore, lol.
The Ghost Orchid by Carol Goodman
The Dreaming, Vol. One by Queenie Chan
Madeleine’s Ghost by Robert Girardi
Fledgling by Octavia Butler
Unbelievable by Stacy Horn
20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill
Poe’s Children ed. by Peter Straub
Death and the Maidens by Janet Todd
Where are the Children? by Mary Higgins Clark

The best book: Fledgling by Octavia Butler: it was soooo good!
Any new authors? Yep; Queen Chan, Stacy Horn, Janet Todd and two that I won’t be reading again-Mary Higgins Clark and Robert Girardi. Also, thanks to reading two short story anthologies, I’ve gotten to sample lots of new-to-me authors.
Books I did not finish: I strongly considered abandoning Madeleine’s Ghost, Poe’s Children, and Where are the Children?. Oh, and I’m in the middle of The Virago Book of Ghost Stories right now (which I love! It would be tied for best book if I had finished it.)
What did I learn from this challenge? I should trust my gut and be more willing to abandon a book. Also, that I prefer the more gothic approach to horror.

17 Comments leave one →
  1. October 31, 2009 5:34 am

    I just finished the Dewey Decimal Challenge last week. That one really took some effort. Congratulations.

    Liked the video. Thanks.

  2. October 31, 2009 6:43 am

    Congrats on finishing so many challenges! It’s funny that so many of us were overachievers on the RIP Challenge. Maybe Peril the First should be more like 10 books. :)

  3. October 31, 2009 8:09 am

    You totally rock at challenges!

  4. aartichapati permalink
    October 31, 2009 9:13 am

    Good work on completing all those challenges, Eva! Such a rock star :-)

  5. October 31, 2009 9:15 am

    Good job! You are quite the challenge diva, Eva! I need to post my RIP wrap up today along with reviews of some fun Halloween picture books. Happy Halloween!

  6. October 31, 2009 12:20 pm

    I love to read your status updates. I’m putting Fledgling on my tbr, I’m curious abt de Botton – saw another rev somewhere on him, and must read Fadiman some day and… oh, I have Franny and Zooey to read for a personal challenge in 2010.

  7. October 31, 2009 1:15 pm

    The Dewey Decimal Challenge sounded great! Thanks for your wrap-up posting.

  8. October 31, 2009 1:46 pm

    Congrats on finishing all those challenges! I need to do a post like this because I think I am done all the ones I joined this year but one… Not counting any upcoming (like the Women Unbound).

  9. October 31, 2009 5:25 pm

    Yay! Congrats on finishing the classics challenge! I’ll admit that I had some trouble finishing it this time around–not sure why I haven’t been reading as many classics this year as normal. I’m hoping the Classics Circuit will really help that. Hope to see you next time! :)

  10. October 31, 2009 9:18 pm

    CB, congrats on finishing! I’m glad you liked the music. :)

    Trisha, thanks! I think most people over-read for R.I.P., lol.

    BermudaOnion, thank you!

    Aarti, lol-thanks!

    Andi, hehe-thanks!

    Care, thank you. :D I bet you saw Citizen Reader mentioning de Botton. ;)

    Bookshelf Monstrosity, it was neat-I loved the button!

    Kailana, I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to handle the wrap-ups of all the challenges ending in December…it’s kind of a logistical nightmare, lol.

    Trish, thanks! I’ll definitely be joining in next year. :D

  11. November 1, 2009 4:51 am

    Congrats on finishing the challenges, the only one I’ve taken part in out of them is the RIP challenge, and I read slightly more than necessary as well! ;)

  12. November 1, 2009 6:38 am

    Oh my, but how you continue to be my reading idol! Congrats, Eva!!!!

  13. November 1, 2009 7:22 am

    I went through a Mary Higgins Clark kick on summer when I as 14 or 15. Not sure I’d get through one book nowadays! Kind of ironic since I can’t handle “scary” books these days. (Or even tv shows like CSI with too much mystery and/or murders on the loose.) Not that Marry Higgins Clark is scary — I just can’t remember.

    Anyway, what a great challenge round up! I love the Classics Challenge — I can’t believe I hadn’t heard about it and joined it last year! I hand’t realized that you were so new to Gaskell. Isn’t it fun to find new favorite authors?!

  14. November 1, 2009 9:03 pm

    Congrats on finishing the challenges, Eva! You’ve done well and I’m impressed! :)

  15. November 1, 2009 10:47 pm

    You did good. Spooky good!

    Sunday Salon: October Wrap Up
    RIP IV Wrap-up

  16. November 2, 2009 12:32 am

    You are SO much better at challenges than me! :D


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