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And the Challenge Extravaganza Continues

December 11, 2009

Now I’ve told y’all that I’m a challenge addict. :D And A Novel Challenge is going to be the death of me! These are all the challenges I’ve heard about that are starting next year and look wonderful, but if some new ones suddenly show up, I’m not going to rule them out. ;) And in my defense, I usually end up finishing all my reading challenges! So, um, don’t judge me! lol

To jump to a specific challenge:
Art History Challenge 2010
The Colorful Reading Challenge 2010
The Complete Booker Challenge 2010
The Flashback Challenge
Horns and Halos Reading Challenge
Rainbow Connection Reading Challenge
Read the Book See the Movie Challenge
Reading Through the Seasons 2010
Science Book Challenge 2010
The Terry Pratchett Challenge 2010
What’s in a Name? 3 Challenge

The Terry Pratchett Challenge 2010
Marg of Reading Adventures is hosting the Terry Pratchett Challenge 2010. It began on December 1st and runs until November 30, 2010, and Marg is offering participants a variety of levels. I’m planning on becoming a member of Granny Weatherwax’s Coven by reading 9-10 books; I’ve been meaning to get into the Discworld series and another trilogy was recommended to me. Thanks to this handy chart I learned which books are about the witches and Death, the two characters I’m interested in, so here are the books I’ll be reading from:

  • the Witches of Discworld: Equal Rites, Wyrd Sisters, Witches Abroad, Lords & Ladies, Maskerade, and/or Carpe Jugulum
  • Death of Discworld: Mort, Reaper Man, Soul Music, Hog Father, and/or Thief of Time
  • the Bromeliad Trilogy: Truckers, Diggers, and/or Wings

The Flashback Challenge
Aarti is hosting the Flashback Challenge, which is about rereading books and runs during all of 2010. I’m going for the literati level, which has me rereading at least seven books. These are the ones I’m rereading for sure; I hope to reread more than seven during the year, starting w/ books I enjoyed in elementary school, then high school, and finally ‘adulthood’:

  • The Moorchild by Eloise McGraw: one of my very favourite books in elementary school, it’s about a changeling living in a small village in historical England.
  • Matilda by Roald Dahl: do I need to explain why I loved this as a kid? A book loving little girl who develops telekinesis…what’s not to love?!
  • Mansfield Park by Jane Austen: I loved all of Austen in middle/high school, and this is the one I’ve reread the least amount of times.
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera: a book I loved my junior year of high school…but I was kind of a pretentious little twit as a 15 year-old (I think it’s a hazard of being a debater, lol…we weren’t the nerdy kind, more like beatniks or something…we wore lots of black and had philosophical arguments to back up our world weariness). So I wonder if I’ll enjoy it as much now!
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: I can’t remember if I read this for the first time at then end of high school or the beginning of college…but either way, I think I’m about due for a reread! I have a Daisy outfit for Halloween all ready to go. ;)
  • Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier: another one that I can’t remember precisely when I read it, but I’ve read it at least twice and loved it (the movie rocks too)…I’m due for a visit back to Manderley.
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susan Clarke: I definitely read this in college! And loved it. :D Victorian England, the faeries, footnotes…it’s perfect for me.
  • The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins: I’m a huge Collins fan, and everyone reviewing this has made me want to revisit it! I read it for the first time one or two years ago.

Reading Through the Seasons 2010
Book Dragon’s Lair is hosting the second round of the Reading Through the Seasons challenge. It runs all year, and participants need to read four books, each one with a different season in the title. My choices:

Horns and Halos Reading Challenge
Aimee of My Fluttering Heart is hosting the Horns and Halos Reading Challenge. Participants will read books with angels and/or demons throughout 2010. I can pick the number of books I want to read, but I have to pick a level based on whether I’ll be reading more angelic or demonic books (isn’t this fun?). I read two books about angels this year, and I enjoyed seeing how the authors handled them, so I’m curious to read more! I’m committing to four books, and I have a pretty even balance of angel/demon books, so right now I”ll be at the Garden of Eden. But those levels can change depending on where your reading goes, so we’ll see if I end up in Heaven or Hell! :)

  • The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman: I reread The Golden Compass last year with the intention of rereading the whole trilogy. But then I got distracted! ;)
  • Johannes Cabal the Necromancer by Jonathan Howard: Johannes sold his soul to the devil years ago, and now he’s on a quest to get it back! This book has such a wonderful title and cover, I just couldn’t resist.
  • Faust by Goethe: seeing the above book reminded me that I’ve never read the most famous ‘I sold my soul to the devil’ story! I’ve actually never read Goethe, but I’m hoping to read The Sorrows of Young Werther before the end of this month.
  • The Nameless Day by Sara Douglass: this is the first in a trilogy that sounds like medieval urban fantasy-it’s set in an alternate 1300s Europe where angels and demons mess with the course of events.
  • Murder Mysteries by Neil Gaiman: “Murder Mysteries” is one of my very favourite Gaiman short stories (you can find it in Smoke and Mirrors), and so I’ve been curious about this graphic novel adaptation for awhile. It features angels and is set in heaven. :)
  • Alabaster by Caitlin Kiernan: this came up when I was searching my library’s catalogue, and it was just too delicious sounding to resist. It’s set in the backwoods of modern-day Georgia and is a collection of five connected stories about teenage albino Dancy Flammerion, who “talks to angels and slays demons.” Seriously: Southern gothic with a supernatural element? You know I’m there!

What’s in a Name? 3 Challenge
The wonderful Annie (and how could you help being wonderful with a mother like Debi?) has passed the torch on to Beth F for the third round of this challenge. It lasts all year and asks readers to read books whose titles have words that match up with six categories: food, body of water, title (i.e. Lady), plant, place name, and musical term. I made a big list of authors I want to read more of, checked out the titles that my library has available, and matched up ones that fit the categories. So here’s my pool, and you’ll probably see authors repeat themselves…

  • Sugar and Other Stories by AS Byatt: I’ve been working my way through Byatt’s books, and this short story collection is one of the ones I have left.
  • Black Juice by Margo Lanagan: I loved Tender Morsels last year, got this one and read the first few stories before having to return it to the library. So I’d like to finish it at some point. :) And juice is a food!
  • After the Banquet by Yukio Mishima: I don’t know much about this one…I think it’s about a Japanese woman who has to choose between duty and freedom (you know, the old story). But Mishima’s writing is so gorgeous, I want to read more of it! And banquets have food.

Body of Water



Place Name

Music Term

The Science Book Challenge 2010
Jeff is hosting the third round of the Science Book Challenge, one of my favourite challenges! :) He has a great intro page (just follow my link), but essentially participants read three nonfiction science books during 2010 related to the theme “Nature & Science.” You gotta admit, that’s a pretty broad theme! Last year, I put together a huge list of science books that looked wonderful, and of course I didn’t get to read them all, so I’m recycling most of them for this year. I have added some new ones, especially under the animals and plants sections. This year, I committed to reading one science book a month, so twelve in total, and I’d like to renew that pledge for 2010. That’s why I need lots of options! :)



  • Oak: The Frame of Civilization by William Bryant Logan: Now if I love trees that much, does it surprise you that I’m including another book about them on here? This one is about my very favourite tree of all-the oak.
  • The Wild Trees by Richard Preston: I’ve actually been wanting to read this since Preston appeared on The Colbert Report (true story: Stephen Colbert came to my college as the graduation speaker when I was a junior, so I have an extra amount of affection for him): it’s about the redwoods and the people who explore them.
  • Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart and Briony Morrow-Cribbs: I’ve seen some great blogger reviews of this book. It’s about everyday poisonous plants, and it’s illustrated!
  • The Trees in My Forest by Bernd Heinrich: I’m hoping this book by a zoologist about his love of his 300 acres of Vermont forest will inspire me to explore my own Coloraod forest a bit more.
  • Oranges by John McPhee: I didn’t enjoy McPhee’s books on geology (I only read Basin and Range-gave up halfway through the second one), but I want to give him another chance. And I’m curious to learn more about oranges!
  • In the Company of Mushrooms by Elio Schaechter: ok, so they’re fungi and not plants, but doesn’t this sound fun?! Schaechter is a naturalist who has written a pop natural history book covering every aspect of mushrooms.



General Nature-y Stuff

The Art History Reading Challenge 2010
The Art History Challenge surprised me with some of my favourite reads this year, so I was happy to see that’s back for another round in 2010. The host has changed to NomadReader but the blog remains the same. There have been a few changes to the rules too: you can pick a participation level varying from 3 to 12 books, either fiction or nonfiction. I’m starting at the Fascinated level, which requires six books throughout the year, but I might end up at the Utterly Enchanted one: I have quite a yummy pool to select from! There’s a token novel, which I listed first, and the rest are nonfiction.

The Read the Book See the Movie Challenge
CB’s hosting his first challenge! :) Of course I knew I’d participate, and he’s selected a great theme, which is pretty obvious from the name. ;) Read all the details, including the fun level names, in his intro post. I ran into a problem thinking about my list for this challenge…I’ve seen some great movies based on books I’ve yet to read (My Family and Other Animals is at the top of that list) and read some books that have interesting-sounding movies based on them (Remains of the Day, anyone?, but I can’t think of many book-movie pairs that I haven’t read/seen. So for now, I’m sticking with the Matinee level, which only requires one book/movie: 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff. But if y’all have favourite book/movie combos, feel free to suggest away. Perhaps I’ll upgrade my participation!

The Colorful Reading Challenge 2010
Rebecca of Lost in Books is hosting the second round of the Colorful Reading Challenge. The goal is to read nine books with nine different colours in the title, and participants have all of 2010 to do it. I’ve chosen nine plus two alternates:

50 Comments leave one →
  1. December 11, 2009 10:02 pm

    Wow! You really are a challenge addict. But most importantly, you are really going to make the rest of us look like slackers in the coming year!

  2. December 11, 2009 10:52 pm

    Yay! So glad you’re participating in Flashback. I have never heard of the changeling book you mention, but it sounds great! And I also love Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. It’s not Victorian era, though, it’s Georgian/Regency :-)

    The Horns & Halos challenge sounds really cool! I immediately thought of the Angel Islington in Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere.

    Oh, so many challenges, so many methods through which I could fail to meet goals ;-)

    • December 13, 2009 2:40 pm

      Whoops-thanks for correcting me Aarti! I’ll fix that. :) And I know-I thought of Good Omens as soon as I hard of Horns & Halos! It’s a tailor-made Gaiman challenge, lol.

  3. December 11, 2009 11:50 pm

    First I wanted to say that I’ve been reading your blog for awhile and I really enjoy it. Second I was wondering if you had book recommendations that take place in Louisiana (or New Orleans) or having to do with the Bayou. Ghost Stories are welcome!

    • December 13, 2009 2:42 pm

      Thanks so much Christa! Let’s see…the graphic novel Bayou, Vol. One was wonderful. Ruined is a ghost story set in New Orleans, but I’d say it’s written for 10/11 year olds, so it was a bit young for me. The Mercy of Thin Air is a wonderful ghost story set in Louisiana, although not about the Bayou. I really enjoyed Jewell Parker Rhodes’ book Voodoo Season. I’ll research the topic a bit more and come up w/ an annotated list soon! :)

  4. December 11, 2009 11:52 pm

    Agh – reading your post makes me want to join more challenges! Must…resist…

    Seriously, though, these look like a bunch of fascinating challenges and books. Looking forward to the next year of reading the reviews that stem from these challenges.

  5. December 12, 2009 3:49 am

    some of these challenges sound really fun. i am trying to finish up this year’s challenges and haven’t given much thought to which ones i would like to participate in next year, but i suspect i will be joining a few of these.

    my question is, where and how do you find all these titles?

    • December 13, 2009 2:44 pm

      Do you mean the book titles? Well, since I wanted to focus on authors I’ve already enjoyed, I went through my ‘books read’ lists for the past 4 years and picked out the authors that I wanted to read more of, then I looked them up in my library’s catalogue and wrote down all the titles they had. :) More generally, I like using Amazon’s “So you’d like to…” and list features to get ideas for books on topics I don’t know much about. And I do ‘power searches’ in my library’s catalogue to bring them up. Basically, I’m a research nerd! So while I’m watching a TV show, I’ll research a challenge list. :D

  6. December 12, 2009 3:50 am

    p.s. i hope you don’t mind, but i borrowed and adapted your challenge wrapup format and linked you on my blog.

  7. December 12, 2009 4:43 am

    I’m definitely going for the book-movie challenge. I’m tempted by the flashback challenge, but I’ve got so much I want to read that I feel I have no time to reread.

  8. December 12, 2009 5:33 am

    OK….I am SO not going to feel bad posting my challenge post this week!! I love to join challenges. I really do. To be honest, I can usually only finish about 1/2 of them (if that many!) But I don’t care ! I have most of the ones on your list added to mine as well. Besides, I love reading your lists of books!!

    By the way, is it me, or does the Science Challenge button look like someone smoking crack?? Sorry! For some reason, I can’t get that thought out of my head!

    • December 13, 2009 2:45 pm

      lol; I went a little over board! ;) You know, to me it looked like a guy smoking a pipe, Sherlock Holmes style. But now I’m just going to see a crack smoker! :p

  9. December 12, 2009 6:57 am

    Wow – I am very impressed by the amount of challenges you have entered. However, as you said, you do usually finish them, so good luck with these.

    • December 13, 2009 2:46 pm

      Thanks! I’m better with a bit of direction in my reading, so that’s why I use these. :)

  10. December 12, 2009 7:14 am

    Oh, I loved reading through your list of science books! So many good ones there- and you’ve just added to my own list of books-to-read. I’ve read one Celebrating the Wild Mushroom; I bet In the Company of Mushrooms would be a great companion read to that.

    • December 13, 2009 2:46 pm

      I hope if you read the mushroom books, you review them! :)

  11. December 12, 2009 7:35 am

    Holy cow! I’ve only done a few challenges and don’t do that well at them. Good luck!

    • December 13, 2009 2:47 pm

      I prefer the structure to random reading, so I don’t mind having most of my reading for the year laid out. :)

  12. December 12, 2009 7:44 am

    Challenges are so much fun. I’m trying to hold back on a lot of them this year, though.

    • December 13, 2009 2:47 pm

      I think a lot of bloggers are cutting back on challenges this year! I’m the exception. ;)

  13. December 12, 2009 8:18 am

    Wow, what a great list of challenges and books! I am also doing the flashback and am probably going to do Rainbow or Color and Movie/Book. I’ve also signed up for Women Unbound, TBR, YA, and flashback, but must confess that I am overlapping LOTS of the books!

    • December 13, 2009 2:47 pm

      There’s nothing wrong with overlapping! :)

  14. December 12, 2009 8:27 am

    Dude, I know. A Novel Challenge has been killing me for the last week or two. I can’t stop signing up! I’m at 14 challenges right now, and I’m sure I’ll sign up for many more throughout 2010.

    • December 13, 2009 2:48 pm

      lol: sometimes I think I should unsubscribe, but I know I can’t resist it!

  15. December 12, 2009 9:23 am

    Eva – That is quite a list! I am very carefully going over all the challenges to see which ones I will stat excited about and actually stick with. The Science Book Challenge is one of my favorites and I am joining again this year. Good luck with all of that!

    • December 13, 2009 2:50 pm

      Isn’t the Science Book Challenge fun?! It’s one of my faves too! :)

  16. December 12, 2009 11:50 am

    Blimey that is one heck of a list of challenges, I dont know how you do it I honestly dont. Mind you if you can make books that you want to read fall in the path of challenges it makes sense. I just wouldn’t want to have my reading decided for me, I have tried it and planned reading doesnt quite work for me. I will be watching your progress though with great interest.

    • December 13, 2009 2:51 pm

      That makes sense; I read most of my books from the library, so I like having direction to know which books to put on hold! :) But I don’t feel enslaved to challenges: if I don’t want to read a book, I won’t. ;)

  17. December 12, 2009 2:27 pm

    Welcome to the What’s in a Name 3 Challenge. ARGHHHH I wish I hadn’t read your post because now I want to join even more challenges. Lord help me…..

    • December 13, 2009 2:52 pm

      Avert your eyes! :) And I’m excited for another round of What’s in a Name?

  18. December 12, 2009 3:24 pm

    You finish all your challenges? I’m jealous. I sketched out my reading for the year and won’t be able to complete all the ones I signed up for. :-(

    • December 13, 2009 2:52 pm

      Awww…well, don’t worry about it too much. As long as you have fun reading, that’s what matters!

  19. December 12, 2009 9:26 pm

    I think I’m going to sign up for one more challenge (the michener challenge, but it’s perpetual), and that’s it for a while. Unless anyone is hosting a graphic novel challenge.

    Also, I’m going to have to check out the books/movies challenge, because i didn’t know you have the option to just do one.

    • December 13, 2009 2:53 pm

      Chris and Nymeth are going to be hosting a graphic novels challenge. ;) I can’t do perpetual challenges-they freak me out. Weird, right? But I need a deadline, lol.

  20. December 13, 2009 5:40 am

    Thanks so much for joining The Complete Booker 2010 Challenge! You have a great list of books there … and the rest of your challenges look fun, too. I keep telling myself I need to spend a little time on the Novel Challenge blog … but then again, maybe I don’t ;-)

    • December 13, 2009 2:54 pm

      Thanks for stopping by! I’m excited about reading some more Bookers. :)

  21. December 13, 2009 11:39 am

    I am so glad you are joining in the Colorful Reading Challenge, Eva! If I can figure out how to edit your Mr. Linky entry, I will. :)

    • December 13, 2009 2:54 pm

      lol-I can just re-enter it and you can delete the messed up one, if that’s easier! :)

      • December 15, 2009 10:48 pm

        Yeah I am Mr. Linky challenged. I don’t know how to do either! Do you?

  22. Bellezza permalink
    December 13, 2009 8:09 pm

    I’m so impressed with all the challenges you’re undertaking. I’m be joining you on, um, one: What’s In A Name 3.

    Plus, I’m looking forward to the Woolf In Winter Read Along, as well as Kailana’s Time Quartet working through L’Engle’s work.

    But, I’ll have to check back to keep up with all that you’ll be accomplishing!

    • December 14, 2009 6:03 pm

      That’s awesome you’re doing the Time Quartet read-a-long! I feel over-committed, so I’m skipping that one, but I’m looking forward to everyone’s posts. :)

  23. December 14, 2009 6:41 am

    Oh Eva, this is just the most fantabulous, drown-myself-in-book-lists posts ever!!!! Seriously, I read every single word, and now I’m dying to read it all over again…and start writing down titles!!!!

    (Hmmm…after the Ramachandran debacle, I sort of hesitate to tell you this ;) but Rich absolutely LOVES LOVES LOVES Sapolsky! A Primate’s Memoir is one of his favorite books!!! And I just started reading Monkeyluv…and I’m loving it!)

    And Eva, don’t let anyone hassle you…anyone who finishes as many challenges as you do deserves to join every single one she wants!!! :D

    • December 14, 2009 6:06 pm

      I hope I love A Primate’s Memoir then! I still feel bad I didn’t love Ramachandran-I did like him though! :)

  24. December 16, 2009 2:52 pm

    I’m most tempted by the rereading challenge! but I think I’m going to resist a bit longer…. I really should read art history books, science books, etc. In fact, I still really want to read those ones I mentioned to you earlier this year! I just haven’t yet.

    I love your lists. thanks for all the reading ideas!

  25. January 1, 2010 8:36 am

    Seriously? You’ve got a HUGE slate there! Hope you enjoy all of these challenges! I’m joining the Horns & Halos one, and am looking forward to some angel/demon goodness. Best of luck!

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