Past Challenges


Really Old Classics Challenge [ends 28/02/10]. 4/1 (4 for classicist “certification”) + 1/1 (extra credit retelling)

I host this challenge because I love reading the old classics, although sometimes I need motivation to do so myself! An asterisk below indicates I also counted a read for another challenge.



The Japanese Literature Challenge [ends 30/01/10]. 2/1. Finished on time.

I joined this challenge because I know very little about the Japanese culture and literary tradition. An asterisk below indicates I also counted a read for another challenge.

Everything Austen Challenge (until 31 December 2009). 5/6


Dewey Decimal Challenge (1 book from each “century” in 2009, not necessarily in order) 10/10 FINISHED ON TIME

  • 000 – Generalities. The Book that Changed My Life; A History of Reading by Alberto Manguel; Rereadings by Anne Fadiman; The Well-Educated Mind by S. Wise Bauer; The New Lifetime Reading Plan by Clifton Fadiman; The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel; Book by Book by Michael Dirda
  • 100 – Philosophy and Psychology. Plato and Platypus Walk into a Bar by Thomas Cathcart; Consolation of Philosophy by Alain de Botton; Sophie’s World (a novel; doesn’t count for the challenge) by Jostein Gaarder
  • 200 – Religion. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis; God: A Biography by Jack Miles
  • 300 – Social Sciences. The Words We Live By by Linda Monk; Naked Economics by Charles Weehlan; Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond; The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made by Walter Isaacson;
  • 400 – Language. Sister Bernadette’s Barking Dog by Kitty Burns Florey; Alpha Beta by John Man;
  • 500 – Natural Sciences + Math. The Great Equations by Robert P. Crease; Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea by Charles Seife;
  • 600 – Technology. Better by Atun Gawande; Proust and the Squid: The Story of Science and the Reading Brain by Maryanne Wolf; What Einstein Told His Cook: Kitchen Science Explained by Robert L. Wolke
  • 700 – The Arts. Fundamentals of Photography by Tom Ang; Examples : the making of 40 photographs by Ansel Adams; The Digital Photography Handbook by Doug Harman;
  • 800 – Literature and Rhetoric. The Art of Reading Poetry by Harold Bloom; How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry by Edward Hirsch; How Does a Poem Mean? by John Ciardi; How Novels Work by John Mullan; Children’s Literature by Seth Lerer
  • 900 – Geography and History. Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation by Cokie Roberts; Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin;


BiblioShakespeare Challenge (6 works by or about the Bard in 2009)
4/6 QUIT (GOAL will be 4 next year)

2009 Science-Book Challenge (3 works) 0/3


World Citizen Challenge (7 works, one in each category, 2009) 5/7 QUIT EARLY. INTEND TO FINISH LATE.

  • Politics: The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order by Samuel P. Huntington
  • Economics: Naked Economics by Charles Weehlan; The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time by Jeffrey Sachs
  • History: Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond; The Fate of Africa by Martin Meredith; The Muslim Discovery of Europe by Bernard Lewis; U.S. Diplomacy Since 1900;
  • Culture or Anthropology/Sociology: Material World: A Global Family Portrait by Peter Menzel; Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization by Arjun Appadurai
  • Worldwide Issues: What the World Eats by Peter Menzel; World Hunger: 12 myths by Frances Moore Lappe; Hunger: an unnatural history by Sharman Apt Russell; Planet of Slums by Mike Davis; The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon
  • Memoirs/Autobiographies: Daughter of the East by Benazir Bhutto; Memoirs of WWII (the abridged version) by Winston Churchill;

Spice of Life Challenge: “A Feast” (July 2009 – December 2009) Read 8 books in three categories 8/8 FINISHED ON TIME!

See my pool of books here.


9 for 09 (until 27 Dec 2009) 4/9 QUIT

  • The Discoverers by Daniel Boorstin (long)
  • The Stranger by Albert Camus (free)
  • Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov (used)
  • Twentieth Century Pleasures by Robert Haas (dusty)
  • The Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner (letter “R”)
  • Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden (cover)
  • Inside My Heart by Robin McGraw (strange)
  • Too Late the Phalathrope by Alan Paton (distance)
  • The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood (alive or not)

RIP (four books, until 31 October 2009)4/4 FINISHED on time!

Take a Chance Challenge (until 30 November 2009) I may do just a few of these challenges. 3/10. QUIT PART WAY THROUGH.


Summer Lovin’ Challenge (until 22 September 2009). Reread 3 favorites FINISHED! (late) 3/3


Beowulf on the Beach Reading Challenge
(until 7 Sep 2009). Read one book from the list. FINISHED! (late) 1/1


Dewey’s Books Challenge (5 books in 2009)   FINISHED! 5/5


Martel-Harper Challenge (2 works each quarter)
2/2

2009 3rd qtr (2 of these):

  • Book Number 59: The Door, by Margaret Atwood
  • Book Number 50: Jane Austen, A Life, by Carol Shields
  • Book Number 44: The Good Earth, by Pearl S. Buck
  • Book Number 21: The Cellist of Sarajevo, by Steven Galloway
  • Book Number 16: Letters to a Young Poet, by Rainer Maria Rilke
  • Book Number 8: Short and Sweet: 101 very short poems, edited by Simon Armitage, published by Faber and Faber

The Really Old Classics Challenge (5 works, until July 2009) 5/5

Martel-Harper Challenge (2 works each quarter)

2009 2st qtr. UNFINISHED! 1/2

Read with Kids (April 1 – June 30, 2009)

Count the time you read with your kids. Below, I will list the chapter books I finish with my young son in this quarter.

Once Upon a Time III Challenge: The Journey (one book in one category, 2nd quarter 2009) FINISHED! 4/1.

  • Fantasy: A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare; The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein; The Enchanted Castle by Edith Nesbit; Uglies by Scott Westerfield; Eragon by Christopher Paolini; Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino; The Green Knowe Chronicles by L.M. Boston; Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle Treasury by Betty MacDonald
  • Fairy Tales: The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi; The Classic Fairy Tales by Maria Tartar; Complete Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen; Complete Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault; The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale; Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale; Zel by Napoli; Beast by Napoli; Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Macquire; Castle Waiting
  • Folklore: Tale of the Genji, 1001 Arabian Nights; Beowulf
  • Mythology: Mythology by Edith Hamilton; The Aeneid by Virgil
  • Nonfiction: The Brothers Grimm by Jack Zipes

Global Voices Book Challenge: Read Your Way Around the World (one book from an “unfamiliar” country by April 23, 2009) FINISHED! (late) 1/1

Martel-Harper Challenge (2 works each quarter)

2009 1st qtr. FINISHED! 2/2

The Well-Seasoned Reader Challenge (3 works, 1st quarter 2009)

  • The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters
  • The Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg
  • The Art of Eating by M.F.K. Fischer

(DIDN’T FINISH 🙁 0/3 )

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