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Challenge Insanity, Part the Third

December 19, 2009

Are you truly surprised that I’m joining more challenges? At least this week there’s only four new ones to add (ETA: apparently I can’t count. I’m joining five new challenges in this post!). :) (Although, as always, I refuse to rule out the possibility of joining more later!)

I thought, since I’m sure there are those of you who think I’m certifiably insane, that I would share my reading challenge philosophy. I look at challenges as the perfect excuse/impetus to put together reading lists. That’s why I usually end up with more books than I need to read; I’m making reading lists as a resource for my future self! And I actually go back and look at my previous lists on a regular basis. :) That being said, I don’t really feel obligated when I join challenges. If I don’t feel like reading a book I chose for one, I won’t. If I end up not finishing a challenge in time, I don’t freak out about it (that didn’t happen this year, but I expect in the future when I’m healthy enough to work again and can’t read absurd numbers of books, it will). And I don’t really worry a ton about making sure the books get reviewed/reviews get posted on challenge blog (when applicable). I know; perhaps I’m not the best challenge participant ever. But for me, reading challenges are all about possibilities; far from boxing my reading in, they expand it. I always come across wonderful books that I wouldn’t have otherwise known existed, and then when I’m feeling whimsical I can flit from list to list until something catches my fancy. And if I come across a book that I want to read right away that doesn’t fit any of my challenges at all, guess what? I read the book! So now you know why I love joining challenges; they allow me to envision my future reading self, to spend an hour or so salivating about all of my choices, and to keep a concrete record of all those books in an easily accessible place. So keep posting, challenge hosts! Keep coming up with wonderful themes for reading, or encouraging readers to focus on less-spotlighted genres and periods. I’ll be there, ready to expand my horizons at every opportunity.

Erm, can you tell I’m typing this sleep-deprived?! Let’s get to those vaulted lists, shall we? As always, I’ve provided internal links so you can jump to what interests you:
2010 Bibliophilic Books Challenge
Africa Diaspora Reading Challenge
Black Classics Challenge 2010
Graphic Novels Challenge 2010
Our Mutual Read

Oh, and there are astericks next to some of the titles because I don’t own them and they’re not in my library’s catalogue, so that’s just a personal note so I know which ones to ILL. :)

2010 Bibliophilic Books Challenge
When I saw Lesley’s new challenge, the Bibliophilic Books Challenge, I thought that I could go ahead and skip it. That lasted about ten seconds, before I thought about all of the wonderful nonfiction books about books I’ve already read (check out my convenient About Books review tag) and all the ones I still wanted to read! The challenge runs all year (although participants must sign up by the end of January) and offers three levels. I’m going for the Bookworm level, with a three book commitment, simply I *am* joining a bunch of challenges. But my list has a bit more than three! ;)

  • Every Book Its Reader by Nicholas Basbanes: I wasn’t a huge fan of his A Gentle Madness Book, simply because I don’t identify with book collectors. This one, which looks at books owned by authors throughout history, and how those authors behaved as readers (i.e.: marginalia habits) sounds more my style! :)
  • The Things That Matter by Edward Mendelson: I came across this book in my library catalogue when researching books for the Our Mutual Read Challenge (see below). It didn’t fit in there, but it was too wonderful sounding to pass up! Mendelson looks at seven classic novels (Frankenstein, Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, Middlemarch, Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, and Between the Acts; I’ve read all but that last one, which is less than 300 pages long and by a favourite author of mine, so that’s easily remedied!) and looks at their ‘life lessons.’ I love that all the books are by women, I love that Mendelson is a comparative lit professor (oh, in another life, that’s what I thought about being), and I hope this is like de Botton’s work.
  • Books by Larry McMurty: I won this memoir during one of Dewey’s Read-a-Thons. I’m excited to see McMurty representin’ (we’re both Texans), and I’m hoping that if I bond with him over his love of books and reading, I’ll be able to read and enjoy Lonesome Dove later.
  • Used and Rare by Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone: this was on the list I developed of suggested reads for the second read-a-thon. It’s a memoir written by a married couple about their experiences as rare book collectors. I know I said earlier that I don’t understand that kind of bibliophile, and in a way I don’t, but this couple sounds so charming. :) And it’s a travelogue too!
  • How Proust Can Change Your Life by Alain de Botton: speaking of de Botton, I’ve read three of his books this year and at this point I’d say I’m a confirmed fan. So this is his nonfiction book-related offering! Also, I’m apparently circling Proust; I’ve read two books with him in the title this year (Proust was a Neuroscientist and Proust and the Squid). Perhaps eventually I’ll work up the courage to read the man himself.
  • Library: an Unquiet History by Matthew Battles: I worked in my college library as a freshman and really enjoyed it (I left to work for the admissions office, because I felt it would give me more experience), but I’ve always felt an affection for libraries. Shocking, I know! This is a survey of libraries from the ancient to digital ages, so it should be a good introduction to a topic I’m unfamiliar with. :)
  • Booknotes: America’s Finest Authors on Reading, Writing, and the Power of Ideas ed. by Brian Lamb: last year, I read the Booknotes volume on US history (Stories From American History) and really loved it. Lamb is an interviewer for a long-running C-SPAN program that interviews authors of new books, and the Booknotes collections are based on these interviews. This is the book one, but I’m also eyeing the biography volume. :)
  • Great Books by David Denby: as most of you know, I’ve spent the past few months consciously making my reading much more ethnically diverse. At the same time, since I began blogging I’ve been reading more and more female authors. So this book, in which Denby as a journalist goes back to his alma mater Colombia and enrolls in the Great Books class in order to examine the ‘dead white men’ canon issues just sounds fascinating. From the reviews I’ve read, Denby strikes a moderate position in the debate, which I appreciate.

African Diaspora Reading Challenge 2010
Browngirl Speaks is hosting this brilliant challenge, in which participants have all year to read books by authors of the African diaspora. Geographical diversity is encouraged (so I’ve noted the author’s region in my notes on the book), and you can pick from several levels. Since I read 50% POC authors anyway, I’m going to the Scholar level and committing to twelve books. She has a wonderful list of suggested titles that I relied heavily on in making up my own list, since I’ve loved all the books on her list that I’ve already read. I also simply grabbed by favourite African-descent authors from the past year that I want to read more of, and added them to the list as well. :)

  • Butterfly Burning by Yvonne Vera*: a historical novel set in a black township in apartheid Rhodesia, it focuses on a love story. Zimbabwe has fascinated me for some time. Discovered thanks to Browngirl. (Southern Africa)
  • Ancestor Stones by Aminatta Forna: a novel that follows the return of a young Sierra Leonean woman after she’s spent years in the UK. It focuses on the lives of five women, which sounds marvelous. And Someone Knows My Name really peaked my interest in Sierra Leone. Discovered thanks to Browngirl. (West Africa)
  • Let the Lion Eat Straw by Ellease Southerland: a generational saga, it originates in the South, and is about relationships between women. What’s not to love?! Discovered thanks to Browngirl. (US)
  • A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid: I read my first Kincaid this year (Annie John) and now I definitely want to read more! I’m reading her novels in published order, and this is her second one. (Caribbean)
  • Autobiography of a Family Photo by Jacqueline Woodson: I read three of Woodson’s books this year and loved them all! I’m sure I’ll get through her incredibly extensive backlist eventually, so I pretty much just selected this one at random. :) (US)
  • Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler: I read Kindred several years ago, but when I read Fledgling this year, I fell in love with Butler. So I definitely want to read more of her speculative fiction! (US)
  • If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin: I was blown away by Go Tell It on the Mountain, which I read a couple months ago. This book about love in ‘modern-day’ Harlem sounds fascinating. (US)
  • Jazz by Toni Morrison: I love, love, love Beloved, so it’s about time I explore more of Morisson’s works! The 1920s have an irresistable draw over me, so that’s why I chose to read this one next. (US)
  • The Dew Breaker by Edwidge Danticat: I read Farming of the Bones this month, and now I want to read everything Danticat has written! I think this is her best known work. (Caribbean)
  • >On Beauty by Zadie Smith: I just read Smith’s latest essay collection, and that combined with Ana mentioning that this is a retelling of Howards End (which I read and loved in January) makes me want to get to this one sooner rather than later! (Europe)
  • White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi: my library has all three of Oyeyemi’s books, and they all sound gothically delicious. But this one features twins, so it has a bit of an edge! (Europe)
  • The Dragon Can’t Dance by Earl Lovelace*: a carry-over from my Caribbean Challenge list; I didn’t get to it this year, but I’d love to get to it next! (Caribbean)
  • Small Island by Andrea Levy: a look at a Jamaican immigrant in England, which already makes it appeal to me, it also features four narrators! So it sounds like my style. :) Discovered thanks to Browngirl. (Europe)
  • Drinking Coffee Elsewhere by ZZ Packer: a short story collection (note to self: add more of those to my challenge lists!), it might be a bit too literary for me, but I’m hoping to love it. I don’t know when Packer first appeared on my radar, but she’s been there for awhile. (Europe)
  • Unburnable by Marie-Elena John: set on Dominica and featuring family secrets and historical flashbacks to a different generation, this sounds like my style novel! Discovered thanks to Browngirl. (Caribbean)
  • The Drifting of Spirits by Gisele Pineau*: a book set in Guadeloupe that has supernatural spirits…my curiousity is definitely peaked. (Caribbean)
  • Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Adichie is one of my very, very favourite authors! I’ve read all three of her books now (one a year), so it must be time to reread them! :) (Western Africa)
  • Say You’re One of Them by Uwem Akpan: I was interested in this short story collection before it got the Oprah treatment…I read one of Akpan’s stories that was available for free at The New Yorker earlier this year and Akpan’s style appealed to me. (Akpan himself is Nigerian, but these stories are set all over Africa.)
  • Let the Dead Lie by Malla Nunn: this is the second in a historical mystery series set in apartheid South Africa. I read Nunn’s debut (A Beautiful Place to Die) this year and can’t wait to see what she does with the second one. It doesn’t release until April, though. (Southern Africa)
  • Devil on the Cross by Ngugi Wa Thingo: I’ve had Thingo on my radar for awhile, and this is a good impetus to actually read him. This is one of his shorter novels; I confess he intimidates me a little, so I’d rather get my toes wet than jump straight into the deep end. (Eastern Africa)
  • Changes: a Love Story by Ama Ata Aidoo*: this is a look at the experience of contemporary working women in Ghana How interesting does that sound?! And it has a cute cover. ;) (Western Africa)
  • When Rain Clouds Gather by Bessie Head*: village life in Botswana and the clash between traditional ways of life and colonialism…sounds like a classic, and you know how I love those. ;) (Southern Africa)
  • The Poor Christ of Bomba by Mongo Beti*: another look at the clash between colonialists and the colonised; this one focuses on missionaries. It’s also set in Cameroon, one of the sub-Saharan African nations I’m most interested in. (Western Africa)
  • Ways of Dying by Zakes Mda: this novel is about a professional mourner-isn’t that enough of a hook on its own?! But it also apparently made a huge stir when it was published, and controversial novels always seem to beg me to read them. (Southern Africa)
  • The Known World by Edward Jones: I’ve wanted to read this one forever; I can’t really explain why I haven’t gotten around to it yet! (US)
  • Bloodline by Ernest Gaines*: I’ve read two Gaines now-I really liked The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and didn’t like A Lesson Before Dying all that much. But Gaines’ style is wonderful, and I have high hopes for this short story collection!

Graphic Novels Challenge 2010
With Chris and Nymeth hosting this one, and Dewey the original creator, y’all KNOW that I’m in! :) Read the post to find out the changes for this year. I just really got into graphic books this year, so to make my list first I picked out the authors I already know I enjoy. Then I just popped by Chris and Nymeth’s blogs and checked out their reviews. I feel pretty comfortable going for the Expert level (ten books or more), considering how many graphic books I read this year without trying!

Black Classics Challenge 2010
I know nothing about African American classic lit (which is defined on the challenge blog as pre-Harlem Renaissance), so I’m committing to the ‘curious’ level to read at least three such books during 2010. I relied for my list entirely on the blog’s suggested titles and Browngirl’s list.

Our Mutual Read
Didn’t Amanda come up with the perfect name for her Victorian reading challenge? I really enjoy her blog, so I can’t wait to join in the Victorian fun! I’m committing to the middle level of eight books (at least four written by Victorian authors; the others can be neo-Victorian fiction or non-fiction about the period) to be read over 2010. But when you see my list, you’ll see why it wouldn’t suprise me if I ‘upgrade’ to the twelve book level. Basically, I went to wikipedia and looked at their list of Victorian authors (since I’m fuzzy on the distinctions), happily chose the authors who I’ve already read and enjoyed, and then picked the book that sounded most appealing to me at the time. :) I tossed in a few neo-Victorian options too, and then checked out all the delicious nonfiction titles in my library’s catalogue! I always think of Victorians as British, for obvious reasons, but I guess America can count (it came up a few times in my searches), so there are a few American authors on this list too. :) Oh, and I tossed in several short story anthologies, so I might as well sign up for the attached short story mini-challenge (read at least 12 Victorian short stories during the year!) now. ;)

59 Comments leave one →
  1. December 19, 2009 7:25 am

    This list looks great! I think you’ll really enjoy Armadale. Armadale is the type of book I find myself musing over a year after reading it.

    • December 19, 2009 6:09 pm

      Thanks: I think it’s so awesome of a challenge for you to host! I expect to love Armadale; I’ve been holding it back, since my library doesn’t have a copy, so that I’d have one famous Collins left. ;)

  2. December 19, 2009 7:27 am

    I share your approach to challenges and I sign up in much he same way that you do, so perhaps that makes me a bad challenge participant as well. It’s all about the lists and possibilities and discovering new books. Hopefully I am a better challenge host than I am participant. lol

    • December 19, 2009 6:11 pm

      lol; I learned this year that I’m an AWFUL challenge host. But I’m sure you’ll be a wonderful one! :) I do visit the challenge blogs and read reviews by other participants that sound interesting…and I always check out everyone’s lists at the beginning of the challenge! But I’m totally about the books rather than the challenge. ;)

  3. December 19, 2009 7:28 am

    I love your lists because they give me new ideas!

    I read Never Far From Nowhere by Andrea Levy earlier this year and wasn’t terribly impressed but I will be interested in hearing our thoughts on Small Island if you do read it.

    • December 19, 2009 6:11 pm

      Thanks! :) I’d never heard of Andrea Levy before, so now I’m curious to see what I think of her too!

  4. December 19, 2009 7:48 am

    What a great list! I think you’ve convinced me to join the Graphic Novel Challenge. I keep meaning to read graphic novels so that I can better talk to my students/patrons about them. They seem to devour graphic novels.

    How do you keep track of what you’ve read, when, etc? Excel spread sheet? Journal? I’d love feedback on this issue.

    • December 19, 2009 6:13 pm

      I really only started reading graphic books regularly this year. And you’ll notice from my list, I tend to go for the less-traditional ones! But there are a whole bunch I’ve read this year that I’d recommend; I’m going to be submitting recs to the challenge blog. So look there in the next week or so for more ideas. :)

      I only keep track of what I’ve read via my “Books Read” page on the blog. I know-not super fancy or anything. Last year, I started dividing it up by month, and that makes things easier. But that’s it…I used to have an awesome Excel sheet that included read and TBR but my laptop crashed and I lost it and I don’t have the heart to start over!

  5. December 19, 2009 8:28 am

    This isn’t insane for you since you rock at challenges. Good luck!

  6. December 19, 2009 8:50 am

    Oh Eva you tempt me! I have to get a hold of myself, though, because I’d promised myself to refrain from joining challenges next year. I find that they just do not fit my reading style (usually I would read an author I liked consecutively, which I couldn’t do with challenges, etc.).

    But I absolutely love looking at everyone’s reading lists for the challenges. I admit the part that makes me want to join is making lists. I also love making lists very much.

    Anyway, am also reading On Beauty, Say You’re One of Them, and The Known World, and a couple of Toni Morrisons (but probably not Jazz, unless I decide to reread) in the coming year.

    Eva, have you read Carlos Maria Dominguez’s The House of Paper? It’s a book about books, you might want to add it to your bibliophilic list. It’s really, really short, but just wonderful.

    • December 19, 2009 6:14 pm

      Thanks for the rec; I’m definitely adding it! You should just start doing lists on themes that you love biweekly or something. Then you have all the list fun and none of the challenge annoyance. :)

      • December 21, 2009 2:51 am

        Indeed I would! Have been thinking about it actually.. thanks. :)

  7. December 19, 2009 9:13 am

    What an inspiring post! I have seen the bibliophilic challenge and am giving serious consideration to joining that one. I have not yet seen Our Mutual Read — but LOVE the subject matter. I am off to check on the details now.

    You have so many wonderful links here. I plan to return in the hopes of adding even more books to the 2010 TBR pile!!

    Happy Reading!

    • December 19, 2009 6:15 pm

      I know-I was all like Victorian Challenge?! Yay! lol I’m so glad that you enjoyed my lists. :)

  8. December 19, 2009 9:52 am

    Oh my gosh, a Victorian reading challenge? Yoink! I’m there…

  9. December 19, 2009 10:07 am

    Eva, good luck with all your challenges. They seem like really wonderful books. I am being a bit lazy at the moment and still haven’t decided which challenges I want to join. I will get there in the end.

    • December 19, 2009 6:15 pm

      Thanks! And I think it’s smarter to keep your options open, since then you don’t end up over-committed like me! lol

  10. December 19, 2009 10:51 am

    Your Graphic novel challenge reading list is really good. I have read a few in Fables and one in Emma series . I might give this challenge a try. I love making lists too. I think that is the best part :)

    • December 19, 2009 6:15 pm

      Thanks! And yay for all of us list-makers. :D

  11. December 19, 2009 11:18 am

    Hurray, thanks for joining my challenge! You’ve got a great list (I may have to steal a couple of those ideas) and I hope you have fun reading and learning about even more books to add to your wishlist (always the inevitable result when reading books about books!).

    I agree with you on the book collecting thing. While I do like to buy books, their edition and condition don’t matter to me. It’s not their monetary value that appeals to me but their content. Reading about those types of bibliophiles just doesn’t interest me.

    I think I am going to have to rejoin the Graphic Novels challenge again this year and when I do, I will be coming back to peruse your list for ideas!

    • December 19, 2009 6:17 pm

      Your challenge is irresistable! If I had more time, I would have harassed my readers by making a huge list of books about books that I’ve read and loved. ;)

      If you join the Graphic Novels Challenge and you haven’t read Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, it’s full of literary allusions!

      • December 21, 2009 4:33 pm

        Actually, Fun Home was the very first graphic novel I ever read and turned me onto reading more from that genre. I definitely prefer the memoir or traditional story-type graphic novel over the superhero or fantasy genre. Those just aren’t my cup of tea.

        And you’ve given me a great idea for a post to make on my challenge site – book suggestions! Thanks, Eva!

  12. December 19, 2009 11:23 am

    I agree with Claire – I love making lists and that’s part of the reason I’m enjoying signing up for challenges! And thanks to you I don’t even have to search for them – I can just check your blog because you sign up for all of them! :) I like looking through your lists because even if a specific book doesn’t appeal to me, it often makes me think of something that does.

    • December 19, 2009 6:18 pm

      LOL No mocking allowed! ;) You do know about the A Novel Challenge blog right? Wendy and TeddyRose post briefly about every challenge they come across. It’s is sooo addicting!

      I’m glad you enjoy my lists!

  13. December 19, 2009 11:36 am

    What a neat bunch of challenges–I haven’t heard of many of them! Linda Brent’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is an outstanding read.

    • December 19, 2009 6:18 pm

      I’m shocked that my library doesn’t have a copy; I’ll definitely be ILLing it.

  14. December 19, 2009 11:40 am

    I completely agree with your viewpoint on challenges! And I love reading your books lists. =)

  15. December 19, 2009 11:43 am

    Damn you and your lists! You have lured me into this Victorian Challenge business.

    • December 19, 2009 6:19 pm

      It’s totally up your alley! I want to see your list! :D

  16. December 19, 2009 12:11 pm

    I like your philosophy regarding reading challenges. I am drawn to them and rarely participate and I have yet to actually complete one. I keep my reading rather spontaneous but I am hoping to complete the Women Unbound challenge this year. My reading time is at a premium but it’s fun to have some sort of goal to keep it fresh and interesting.

    I do think you’re insane but there is no madness as satiating as bibliomania.

    • December 19, 2009 6:20 pm

      I’ve totally fallen in love with the Women Unbound Challenge; everyone seems to be reading only marvelous books!

      And yes, I’m probably insane. But then, I don’t have a ton of responsibilities, and I do still do things besides reading, so at least I’m not completely one-track. ;)

  17. December 19, 2009 2:30 pm

    You always inspire me to put together long lists about my possible challenge reads! I think I’ll go do that now…. :) With some help from your lists, of course!

    • December 19, 2009 6:20 pm

      Yay-I can’t wait to see your lists! They always give me new ideas! :D

  18. December 19, 2009 3:52 pm

    I think you’ve got a great philosophy about challenges. I might end up as ‘insane’ as you in another couple of years, but as it is today, I’m still testing the waters. =)

    I love the reading lists you make up for the challenges though! You’ve always got so many titles that sound very seducing. And because of the different challenges, you’ve got a wide range of different books as well. I tend to copy titles I find on blogs into my own notebook (for when I happen to go to the library), and your blog has been a great contributor towards my own ever-growing list!

    Happy reading!

    • December 19, 2009 6:21 pm

      When I started blogging, there weren’t nearly as many challenges. And I doubt I would have joined a billion even if there were! So I get it. :D

      Thanks so much for saying nice things about my lists and blog-that means a lot to me! :) And yep-I love challenges because they broaden my reading so much.

  19. December 19, 2009 3:58 pm

    Damn you! ;) There I was thinking I had managed to stick to my six challenges only plan. I’m also joining Our Mutual Reads now – my list is even longer than yours. On a Dicken’s note, I personally found Nicholas Nickleby the hardest Dickens I have read yet, I’d recommend Little Dorrit (or the fabulous BBC adaptation of it!)

    • December 19, 2009 6:22 pm

      Ohhh-thanks for letting me know! I’m totally clueless when it comes to Dickens titles; I was trying to find a short one, but when that approach failed, I just decided to pick one more or less at random. LOL

  20. December 19, 2009 4:30 pm

    hi fellow challenge junkie! glad you’re able to join the african diaspora challenge. i hope i’m a good host. i need the next 12 days of the year to go by post haste lest i join another year long challenge. lol! ;)

    • December 19, 2009 6:22 pm

      lol! Good luck with the hosting thing. :) You put together such a great list of recommendations, though, so that was awesome! And it’s a wonderful idea! So in my mind, you’re already a good host!

  21. December 19, 2009 6:31 pm

    “But for me, reading challenges are all about possibilities; far from boxing my reading in, they expand it. I always come across wonderful books that I wouldn’t have otherwise known existed, and then when I’m feeling whimsical I can flit from list to list until something catches my fancy.”


    Thanks for putting it so eloquently. And good luck with all of your challenges, and most of all, your reading!

    • December 19, 2009 9:16 pm

      I’m glad we share challenge philosophies! :)

  22. December 20, 2009 12:16 pm

    I love your philosophy on reading challenges. It really makes sense to see them as a way to expand our reading horizons vs. an obligation that needs to be fulfilled. If I look at them this way, I might not be afraid to join a few in 2010 after all. And I like the idea of going back to the reading lists that you create for them, later!

    • December 22, 2009 1:20 am

      I hope if you join a few you enjoy them! :)

  23. December 20, 2009 6:44 pm

    What great challenges! The Bibliophilic one looks particularly good. Your list there is very useful. I enjoyed the Denby book when I read it a while back, and I have the Mendelson one on my shelves. I really love books about books!

    • December 22, 2009 1:20 am

      Thanks! And good to know that you enjoyed the Denby book. I think it’s crazy that pre-blogging, it never occurred to me that books about books even existed!

  24. December 21, 2009 4:47 am

    i read White is for Witching in october and i LOVED it. it was my first oyemi novel. i will definitely check out her other titles.

  25. December 21, 2009 4:52 am

    p.s. The Thirteeth Tale is a great book about books and bibliophiles. and it involves twins. and a mystery.

    • December 22, 2009 1:21 am

      I’ve read it twice. ;)

      • December 24, 2009 12:26 am

        well then, you already know how awesome it is. :)

  26. December 21, 2009 9:12 pm

    Oh Eva, Eva EVA! I’ve been so strong in resisting challenges, but I may have to succumb to some of these…I love your philosophy of challenges as given above. How can I keep resisting ?!

    I just checked out JAZZ from the library because I read it’s a part of the Beloved TRILOGY. Not exactly sure how it works, but I guess I’ll find out!

    And that Black Classics Challenge sounds perfect! Some of those books are included on the Harlem Renaissance lists — because we’re including anything by authors who wrote during the Renaissance– and the others are ones I’ve been reading about in my research. Oh, so much I want to read!

    • December 22, 2009 1:21 am

      I had no idea Beloved was part of a trilogy?! Must be a generational thing. I hope Jazz is even half as wonderful. :) I’m still trying to decide which author/book to choose for the Harlem Renaissance tour-that’s the only reason I haven’t signed up yet!

      • December 22, 2009 8:09 pm

        well, I don’t think it’s a real trilogy as the characters are the same. I don’t know the proper term: but it’s a three novel story of the African American experience. Wikipedia calls it a “Dantesque trilogy” with Paradise as the third. As I haven’t read Dante nor either of the other novels yet, I am not sure myself.

  27. December 22, 2009 8:42 am

    Good luck with all those challenges. I hope you’ll consider the Vietnam War Reading Challenge at War Through the Generations.

  28. January 23, 2010 1:46 pm

    I joined the Bibliophilic Books challenge too. I am excited about it. Here is my sign up post and list of book.

    The McMurty book looks great — I want to add it.

    Happy reading!


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