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Category Archives: Reading Challenges

Time’s Top 100 Novels Reading Challenge

Robert started 101 Books as a way to document his goal of reading Time Magazine’s Top 100 Novels (since 1923).  I decided this was a worthwhile reading challenge to add to my perpetual challenges.  I will be adding this challenge to my Perpetual Reading Challenges page.  Out of the 100 novels, I have already read 18.  Here’s the complete list:

  • The Adventures of Augie March (1953) by Saul Bellow
  • All the King’s Men (1946) by Robert Penn Warren
  • American Pastoral (1997) by Philip Roth
  • An American Tragedy (1925) by Theodore Dreiser
  • Animal Farm (1946) by George Orwell
  • Appointment in Samarra (1934) by John O’Hara
  • Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret (1970) by Judy Blume
  • The Assistant (1957) by Bernard Malamud
  • At Swim-Two-Birds (1938) Flann O’ Brien
  • Atonement (2002) by Ian McEwan
  • Beloved (1987) by Toni Morrison
  • The Berlin Stories (1946) by Christopher Isherwood
  • The Big Sleep (1939) by Raymond Chandler
  • The Blind Assassin (2000) by Margaret Atwood
  • Blood Meridian (1986) by Cormac McCarthy
  • Brideshead Revisited (1946) by Evelyn Waugh
  • The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1927) by Thornton Wilder
  • Call it Sleep (1935) by Henry Roth
  • Catch 22 (1961) by Joseph Heller
  • The Catcher in the Rye (1951) by J.D. Salinger
  • A Clockwork Orange (1963) by Anthony Burgess
  • The Confessions of Nat Turner (1967) by William Styron
  • The Corrections (2001) by Jonathan Franzen
  • The Crying of Lot 49 (1966) by Thomas Pynchon
  • A Dance to the Music of Time (1951) by Anthony Powell
  • The Day of the Locust (1939) by Nathanael West
  • Death Comes for the Archbishop (1927) by Willa Cather
  • A Death in the Family (1958) by James Agee
  • The Death of the Heart (1958) by Elizabeth Bowen
  • Deliverance (1970) by James Dickey
  • Dog Soldiers (1974) by Robert Stone
  • Falconer (1977) by John Cheever
  • The French Lieutenant’s (1969) by John Fowles
  • The Golden Notebook (1962) by Doris Lessing
  • Go Tell it on the Mountain (1953) by James Baldwin
  • Gone With The Wind (1936) by Margaret Mitchell
  • The Grapes of Wrath (1939) by John Steinbeck
  • Gravity’s Rainbow (1973) by Thomas Pynchon
  • The Great Gatsby (1925) by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • A Handful of Dust (1935) by Evelyn Waugh
  • The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1940) by Carson McCullers
  • The Heart of the Matter (1948) by Graham Greene
  • Herzog (1964) by Saul Bellow
  • Housekeeping (1981) by Marilynne Robinson
  • A House for Mr. Biswas (1962) by V.S. Naipaul
  • I, Claudius (1934) by Robert Graves
  • Infinite Jest (1996) by David Foster Wallace
  • Invisible Man (1952) by Ralph Ellison
  • Light in August (1932) by William Faulkner
  • The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (1950) by C.S. Lewis
  • Lolita (1955) by Vladimir Nabokov
  • Lord of the Flies (1955) by William Golding
  • The Lord of the Rings (1954) by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Loving (1945) by Henry Green
  • Lucky Jim (1954) by Kingsley Amis
  • The Man Who Loved Children (1940) by Christina Stead
  • Midnight’s Children (1981) by Salman Rushdie
  • Money (1984) by Martin Amis
  • The Moviegoer (1964) by Walker Percy
  • Mrs. Dalloway (1925) by Virginia Woolf
  • Naked Lunch (1959) by William Burroughs
  • Native Son (1940) by Richard Wright
  • Neuromancer (1984) by William Gibson
  • Never Let Me Go (2005) by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • 1984 (1948) by George Orwell
  • On the Road (1957) by Jack Kerouac
  • One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (1962) by Ken Kesey
  • The Painted Bird (1965) by Jerzy Kosinski
  • Pale Fire (1962) by Vladimir Nabokov
  • A Passage to India (1924) by E.M. Forster
  • Play It As It Lays (1970) by Joan Didion
  • Portnoy’s Complaint (1969) by Philip Roth
  • Possession (1990) by A.S. Byatt
  • The Power and the Glory (1939) by Graham Greene
  • The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961) by Muriel Spark
  • Rabbit, Run (1960) by John Updike
  • Ragtime (1975) E.L. Doctorow
  • The Recognitions (1955) by William Gaddis
  • Red Harvest (1929) by Dashiell Hammett
  • Revolutionary Road (1961) by Richard Yates
  • The Sheltering Sky (1949) by Paul Bowles
  • Slaughterhouse Five (1969) by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Snow Crash (1992) by Neal Stephenson
  • The Sot-Weed Factor (1960) by John Barth
  • The Sound and the Fury (1929) by William Faulkner
  • The Sportswriter (1986) by Richard Ford
  • The Spy Who Came In From The Cold (1964) by John Le Carre
  • The Sun Also Rises (1926) by Ernest Hemingway
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937) by Zora Neale Hurston
  • Things Fall Apart (1959) by Chinua Achebe
  • To Kill A Mockingbird (1960) by Harper Lee
  • To The Lighthouse (1927) by Virginia Woolf
  • Tropic of Cancer (1934) by Henry Miller
  • Ubik (1969) by Philip K. Dick
  • Under the Net (1954) by Iris Murdoch
  • Under the Volcano (1947) by Malcom Lowry
  • Watchmen (1986) by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
  • White Noise (1985) by Don DeLillo
  • White Teeth (2000) by Zadie Smith
  • Wide Sargasso Sea (1966) Jean Rhys

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2012 in Reading Challenges

 

YA Across the USA Reading Challenge

I found this wonderful article the other day and thought it would be great to turn this into a reading challenge.  So I’m adding it as a perpetual reading challenge.  At the beginning of this challenge, I’ve read five of the books lists, Everneath, Blood and Chocolate, The Wizard of Oz, Ashfall, and Wake.  10% done.  Now on to the other 45 books…

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2012 in Reading Challenges

 

Mixing It Up Challenge Check-in #2

 
Let’s take a look at my progress so far…
  • Classics —
  • Biography – Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun by Gita May (9/21/12)
  • Cookery, Food, and Wine –
  • History — The Lost Millennium by Florin Diacu (9/12/12)
  • Modern Fiction — Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin (5/22/12)
  • Graphic Novel and Manga – Bad Doings and Big Ideas by Bill Willingham (4/23/12)
  • Crime and Mystery — Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (5/17/12)
  • Horror — The Long Weekend by Savita Kalhan (3/1/12)
  • Romance –
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy — The Magicians by Lev Grossman (1/21/12)
  • Travel — Paris in Love by Eloisa James (5/16/12)
  • Poetry –
  • Journalism and Humor — The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs (2/26/12)
  • Science and Natural History — The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson (4/18/12)
  • Children’s and Young Adult — The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan (6/27/12)
  • Social Sciences and Philosophy — This Book is Overdue by Marilyn Johnson (9/1/12)
Check it out 12 out of 16 done.  Very excited by this!  On to some questions from Ellie at Musings of a Bookshop Girl:
How are you getting on? Look at me go.  I am very happy about my progress so far this year.
Have any of your not-so-familiar genres surprised you? The only genre that I really never read is mystery.  I knew that it would be a problem genre, so I picked a classic.  Can’t go wrong with Agatha Christie…
Have you had any particularly good reads along the way? I loved The Magicians!  So amazingly crazy book.  I really need to read the sequel now.  I also really loved The Ghost Map and The Lost Hero.  Very good reads…
And do you reckon you’ll hit your target by the end of the year? I am determined to finish this challenge.  Only 4 more to go.  I can do it, I can do it, I can do it.  I have options for Romance and Classics, but need to dig for Poetry and Food.

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2012 in Reading Challenges

 

21st Century Literature by Women Reading Challenge

List taken from a Book Riot Article by Cassandra Neace

I am a bit ashamed to say that I’ve only read three of these books.  So, I’m adding this as one of my perpetual reading challenges.  The ones I have read are bolded…
3/115
  1. Megan Abbott – The End of Everything (2011)
  2. Diana Abu-Jaber – Crescent (2003)
  3. Diana Abu-Jaber — Origin (2007)
  4. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Purple Hibiscus (2003)
  5. Chimananda Ngozi Adichie —  Half a Yellow Sun (2006)
  6. Isabel Allende – Portrait in Sepia (2000)
  7. Isabel Allende — Ines of My Soul (2006)
  8. Julia Alvarez – Before We Were Free (2002)
  9. Julia Alvarez — Saving the World (2006)
  10. Margaret Atwood – The Blind Assassin (2000)
  11. Margaret Atwood — Oryx and Crake (2003)
  12. Margaret Atwood — The Year of the Flood (2009)
  13. Anita Rau Badami – Can You Hear the Nightbird Call? (2006)
  14. Aimee Bender – An Invisible Sign of My Own (2000)
  15. Aimee Bender — The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake (2010)
  16. Jane Borodale – The Book of Fires (2010)
  17. A.S. Byatt – The Children’s Book (2009)
  18. Susanna Clarke – Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (2004)
  19. Edwidge Danticat – The Dew Breaker (2004)
  20. Lauren B. Davis – The Radiant City (2005)
  21. Lauren B. Davis — Our Daily Bread (2011)
  22. Lydia Davis – The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis (Short Fiction – 2009)
  23. Kiran Desai – The Inheritance of Loss (2006)
  24. Anita Diamant – Good Harbor (2001)
  25. Anita Diamant — The Last Days of Dogtown (2005)
  26. Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni – The Palace of Illusions (2008)
  27. Emma Donoghue – Life Mask (2004)
  28. Emma Donoghue — Room (2010)
  29. Jennifer Egan – A Visit from the Goon Squad (2012)
  30. Louise Erdrich – The Plague of Doves (2008)
  31. Lyndsay Faye – The Gods of Gotham (2012)
  32. Gillian Flynn – Gone Girl (2012)
  33. Kay Gibbons – The Life All Around Me (2005)
  34. Xiaolu Guo – Village of Stone (2003)
  35. Xiaolu Guo — A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary For Lovers (2007)
  36. Lauren Groff – The Monsters of Templeton (2008)
  37. Lauren Groff — Arcadia (2012)
  38. Carol Guess – Gaslight (2001)
  39. Jennifer Haigh – Mrs. Kimble (2003)
  40. Jennifer Haigh — Baker Towers (2005)
  41. Jennifer Haigh — Faith (2011)
  42. Melinda Haynes – Willem’s Field (2004)
  43. Alice Hoffman – The Dovekeepers (2011)
  44. Helen Humphreys – Wild Dogs (2004)
  45. Siri Hustvedt – The Summer Without Men (2011)
  46. Joshilyn Jackson – Between, Georgia (2007)
  47. Joshilyn Jackson — A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty (2012)
  48. Sue Monk Kidd – The Secret Life of Bees (2003)
  49. Sue Monk Kidd — The Mermaid Chair (2005)
  50. Haven Kimmel – The Solace of Leaving Early (2002)
  51. Barbara Kingsolver – Prodigal Summer (2000)
  52. Barbara Kingsolver — The Lacuna (2009)
  53. Elizabeth Kostova – The Historian (2005)
  54. Nicole Krauss – The History of Love (2005)
  55. Nicole Krauss — Great House (2010)
  56. Aryn Kyle – The God of Animals (2007)
  57. Jhumpa Lahiri – The Namesake (2003)
  58. Jhumpa Lahiri — Unaccustomed Earth (Short Fiction – 2008)
  59. Ursula K. Leguin – Lavinia (2008)
  60. Anne-Marie MacDonald – The Way the Crow Flies (2003)
  61. Claire Messud – The Emperor’s Children (2006)
  62. Lydia Millet – My Happy Life (2002)
  63. Lydia Millet — Oh Pure and Radiant Heart (2005)
  64. Lorrie Moore – A Gate at the Stairs (2009)
  65. Laura Moriarty – The Chaperone (2012)
  66. Toni Morrison – Love (2003)
  67. Toni Morrison — A Mercy (2008)
  68. Toni Morrison — Home (2012)
  69. Kate Morton – The House of Riverton (2006)
  70. Alice Munro – Runaway (2004)
  71. Alice Munro — The View from Castle Rock (Short Fiction – 2006)
  72. Eileen Myles – Inferno: A Poet’s Novel  (2010)
  73. Sena Jeter Naslund – Four Spirits (2004)
  74. Audrey Niffenegger – The Time Traveler’s Wife (2003)
  75. Audrey Niffenegger — Her Fearful Symmetry (2009)
  76. Joyce Carol Oates – I’ll Take You There (2002)
  77. Joyce Carol Oates — The Falls (2004)
  78. Joyce Carol Oates — A Fair Maiden (2010)
  79. Heather O’Neill – Lullabies for Little Criminals (2006)
  80. Julie Otsuka – When The Emperor was Divine (2002),
  81. Julie Otsuka — The Buddha in the Attic (2011)
  82. Helen Oyeyemi – The Icarus Girl (2005)
  83. Helen Oyeyemi — Mr. Fox (2011)
  84. Ann Pancake – Strange As This Weather Has Been (2007)
  85. Ann Patchett – Bel Canto (2001)
  86. Ann Patchett — State of Wonder (2011)
  87. Marge Piercy – Colours Passing Through Us (Poetry – 2003)
  88. Francine Prose – Blue Angel (2000)
  89. Nina Revoyr – Wingshooters (2011)
  90. Marilynne Robinson – Gilead (2004)
  91. Marilynne Robinson — Home (2008)
  92. Mary Doria Russell –  A Thread of Grace (2005)
  93. Mary Doria Russell — Dreamers of the Day (2008)
  94. Diane Setterfield – The Thirteenth Tale (2006)
  95. Elissa Schappell – Blueprints for Building Better Girls (Short Fiction – 2011)
  96. Sarah Schulman – The Child (2007)
  97. Sarah Schulman — The Mere Future (2009)
  98. Mary Ann Shaffer – The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2008)
  99. Lionel Shriver – We Need to Talk About Kevin (2003)
  100. Marisa Silver – The God of War (2008)
  101. Jane Smiley – Private Life (2010)
  102. Ali Smith –  Hotel World (2001)
  103. Ali Smith — The Accidental (2005)
  104. Ali Smith — There But For The (2011)
  105. Zadie Smith – White Teeth (2000)
  106. Zadie Smith — On Beauty (2005)
  107. Zadie Smith — NW (2012)
  108. Kathryn Stockett – The Help (2006)
  109. Elizabeth Strout – Olive Kitteridge (2008)
  110. Donna Tartt – The Little Friend (2002)
  111. Jannette Walls – The Glass Castle (Non-Fiction 2005)
  112. Karen Thompson Walker – The Age of Miracles (2012)
  113. Sarah Waters – Fingersmith (2002)
  114. Kathleen Winter – Annabel (2010)
  115. Alissa York – Effigy (2007)
 
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Posted by on October 5, 2012 in Reading Challenges

 

2012 Reading Challenges Update #3

I thought it would be a good idea to do a periodic checkup on my reading challenges.  A way of reminding myself of my successes and failures.  So here goes…

Total Challenges:    8/27   29.6%

Total Spots:    470/742  63.3%

Individual Challenge Progress:

  • Goodreads   135/175  77.1%
  • Fall into Reading  1/50  2%
  • Semi-Charmed Summer    9/14  60% — Failed**
  • Zombies    17/24  69%
  • Young Adult    12/12 100%*
  • Fantasy    8/10 80%
  • Vampires   10/10 100%*
  • Romance    10/10 100%*
  • Telling Tales (fairy tales)   5/10 50%**
  • Historical Fiction   4/10 40%**
  • Graphic Novels   20/20 100%*
  • Shakespeare    8/12 66.7%
  • SciFi   2/5 40%**
  • Outlander series   0/5 0%**
  • Mixing It Up    12/16 75%
  • Back to the Classics   5/9 55.6%
  • Harry Potter series   7/7 100%
  • Fables   5/5 100%
  • Read Your Name   23/23 100%
  • A to Z   23/26 88.5%
  • What’s in a Name? 5   4/6 66.7%
  • Library    37/37 100%
  • Mount TBR    59/150 39.3%**
  • Dewey Decimal System   16/38 42.1%
  • Book2Movie   17/20 85%
  • MyYears 20/30 66.7%
  • Color Coded 1/9 11.1%**

*Successes: I’ve knocked off some more challenges.  Yipee!!! Plus a few others are very very close to being completed.  In fact, I plan on completing the zombie challenge during October’s FrightFall Readathon (and possibly Dewey 24 Hour Readathon).  I’ve also got an end of year plan to complete most of the challenges.  I don’t think I’ll get them all, but I want at least a 75% on total challenges.

**Failures (Needs Improvement): Scifi, Telling Tales (fairy tales), historical fiction, and Outlander.  For whatever reason, these just fell by the wayside.  I want to focus on these, but fear that at least two won’t be completed (definitely Outlander, maybe telling tales).  I know the color coded challenge will not be finished and my Mount TBR challenge will not reach 150 by year’s end (that would be almost 100 more books in three months.  Even I’m not that voracious of a reader).

 

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2012 in Reading Challenges

 

Fall Into Reading Challenge 2012

Very excited to add this challenge to my year end push.  I have over 50 books to read to complete all the challenges I signed up for.  I know all those won’t happen, so I’m setting a goal of 50 books total.  Here’s the breakdown:

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

2, 3, 4. The First Days, Fighting to Survive, and Siege by Rhiannon Frater

5, 6, 7. Feed, Deadline, and Blackout by Mira Grant

8. Sadie Walker is Stranded by Madeleine Roux

9, 10. Girl from Junchow and The Jewel of St. Petersburg by Kate Furnivall

11. The Magician King by Lev Grossman

12. The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

13. Flower Fables by Louisa May Alcott

14. Mythology by Edith Hamilton

15. The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

16. The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O’Connor McNees

17. The Firemaster’s Mistress by Christie Dickason

18. A Foreign Affair by Caro Peacock

19. Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky

20, 21, 22, 23. As You Like It, Cymbeline, Othello, and Pericles by Shakespeare

24. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sleep? by Philip K. Dick

25. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

26. Persuasion by Jane Austen

27. The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins

28. Living History by Hilary Rodham Clinton

29. Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

30. Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond

31. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

32. P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern

33. Arthurian Romances by Chretien de Troyes

34-50. TBD

From Callapidder Days:

Here’s a brief recap of how to be a part of Fall Into Reading 2012:

  • Make a list of books you want to read (or finish reading) this fall. Your list can be as long or as short as you’d like.
  • Write a blog post containing your list and submit it to this post using the Mr. Linky.
  • Get reading! The challenge goes from September 22nd through December 21st.
  • Check out other participants’ lists and add to your own to-read-someday pile, if you wish!
  • Write a post about your challenge experience in December, telling us all about whether you reached your goals and how Fall Into Reading went for you. But remember: this is a low-pressure challenge that should be fun.

 

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2012 in Reading Challenges

 

Mount TBR Challenge Checkpoint


We’re nearing the end of the year…  time to check up on my progress.  I am afraid that it’s not that good.  I let myself get side tracked with library books during the first half of the year.  I am committing myself to doing better next year.  I really want to cut down on the boxes of unread books stacked in the closet.
1. Tell us how many miles you’ve made it up your mountain (# of books read).  If you’re really ambitious, you can do some intricate math and figure out how the number of books you’ve read correlates to actual miles up Pike’s Peak, Mt. Ararat, etc. And feel free to tell us about any particularly exciting adventures you’ve had along the way.
I’m only 59 miles out of 150….  That’s 39.3%.  I am so ashamed of myself.  I have boxes upon boxes of books in the closet and I’ve only read 59 of those this year.  And to make it even sadder, I’ve read 132 total books this year.

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2012 in Reading Challenges

 

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