March in Review + New Challenges + A Brief Reading Journal (7 April)

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March was an odd month. Maybe you can tell because I’m just now writing my “Month in Review” post and the month is already a week gone.

Not only did I take a ten-day hiatus from blogging in March, I also went a week without finishing a book. And then I did it again. I feel my blogging rhythm is off because I have been so busy. I’m trying to refocus my life and keep blogging a hobby, not a priority.

March’s calendar picture was a busy one: a woman on a busy boat, trying to get a little reading in. April’s picture is more relaxing: a woman leaning over a large book on a bright Spring morning. Although I still haven’t finished a book for April (I’m working on some long ones), I look forward to seeing where my month goes. I’m enjoying the sunny days when they come.

March in Review

Read Previously/Reviewed March

Read in March

Children’s Picture Books

(Although I only mentioned one picture book, I have a hundred to tell you about!!)

Non-Review Posts

New Challenges

Although I intend to refrain from joining too many challenges, I really like the sound of the following ones, and I’ll be joining in!

The Once Upon a Time Challenge is to read fantasy and folklore. Although I have tons of books on my list, I plan on reading The Two Towers and Return of the King, which I’m also reading for the J.R.R. Tolkein readalong. If I get through those (which I hope I do!) I hope to read something else from my shelf; for months now, I’ve had my eye on rereading The Princess Bride and/or my childhood favorite Dealing with Dragons. (I am joining for the Journey 0/1 book, although I’m hoping to read three or four; ends June 20, 2010.)

The Orbis Terrarum Challenge is to read literature by authors from around the world. I may focus my eight books on the continent of Africa. Can you recommend any fiction by African authors? So far, Things Fall Apart and Half of a Yellow Sun, but those authors are both from Nigera, and I wanted different countries. (I am joining for the challenge: 0/8 books read; ends November 30, 2010.)

Have either of these challenges tempted you?

To see my progress on other challenges, both personal and community-wide, visit my challenges page.

Reading Journal (7 April)

Although I finished one book (Tanizaki’s Naomi) last Wednesday night, I’ve spent my weekend with my family, so I am only about a third of the way through The Three Musketeers. That’s it. I “need” to post about it on April 20 and I “need” to reread Crime and Punishment by my book club April 21 (I haven’t read it since college). My project book was supposed to be How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry by Edward Hirsch. Since I haven’t begun and I want to go slowly, I may not finish it this poetry month. I’m also looking at some of Blake’s poetry but have made little progress. I’m afraid April may be a “little progress” month since I’m working with huge books!

That said, I’m happy to enjoy the sunshine with my toddler when it appears, and I’m enjoying, to some extend, my read of Dumas. I hope you enjoy your reading in the coming week too!

I have a number of finds, but I’ll same them for next week’s reading journal!

Reviewed on April 7, 2010

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

  • You know, I’d been looking forward to the Orbis challenge for over a year now. I didn’t join last year because I already had so many challenges and I didn’t have my own book blog yet. I don’t like the set up this year though, that it has to be based on author’s country of origin. I liked it when it could be based on setting. I don’t pay very much attention to author when I read a book. The book itself is what intrigues me. When I focus on diversity and such, it’s always in the book itself, not the author. Sigh. So I’m not joining this year. Maybe next year they’ll change it back to the way it was before…

    • Amanda, that’s so interesting because I would not have been interested at all if it was just “a book that takes place” in such-and-such country. I don’t see it as traveling the globe if I read Barbara Kingslover’s Poisonwood Bible and Baking Cakes in Kigali. I’m reading something about AFRICA, but I’m not reading world lit. So I’m glad it’s about the authors, since I’m really interested in World Lit. Maybe there is another “setting” challenge out there?

  • I’m feeling the same way about March, Rebecca – a couple of huge, challenging tomes are taking up most of my reading time, so I think there will be a lot fewer posts this month than usual. On the other hand, big books are sometimes super-gratifying, as are books that make me stretch. 🙂

    I’m so tempted to join Orbis Terrarum, but I haven’t done it yet. I seem to have lost my challenge mojo this year, & am dubious about joining any more.
    .-= Emily´s last post on blog ..Essay Mondays: Cioran =-.

    • Emily, yes, big books can be gratifying, but since I joined the OT challenge, I just ended up putting requests at the library for about….6 books. And so now I want to finish my big books and read them when they come in next week!

  • I wanted to read more books by African writers this year too, Rebecca, but so far I’m stuck at zero! That being said, I LOVED the Sudanese Tayeb Salih’s Season of Migration to the North when I read it last year. It cracked my top five or six of the year if I remember correctly. Also glad to see you’re joining the Orbis Terrarum Challenge, which is about the only challenge that interests me out there. Look forward to your recommendations. Cheers!
    .-= Richard´s last post on blog ..Queneau, 1 =-.

    • Richard, thanks for the suggestion. I put a request in for that one too. I’m really looking forward to reading more world lit, and I know you are always good at reading it too!

    • Suzanne, I’m power-reading! I’ll make it by book club. I loved it the first two times I read it and so far (just finished part 2) I’m still liking it. Which translation are you reading?

    • Kinna Reads, Thanks so much for this awesome list! I just requested a Ousmane book and I’ll have to look up the others too when I get a chance. Seriously awesome start for me!

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