Thursday, January 01, 2009

Warning: Challenge Fever is Contagious

(Note: The following post is extra long. I crammed my challenge lists into one post. Sorry.)

Challenge - A test of one's abilities or resources in a demanding but stimulating undertaking. - Extracted from the Free Dictionary
Hold on a minute. I have to get the laundry out of the dryer. Okay, I’m back. Where was I? Oh, yes. Challenges. At the beginning of December, I was fairly certain I would forgo all challenges in 2009. I was not proud of the poor standing I made in the challenges I attempted in 2008. I barely completed four of the seven I had committed to do.
Lazy - Resistant to work or exertion; disposed to idleness.
- Extracted from the the Free Dictionary
First though, I wanted to take a look at Wendy’s A Novel Challenge blog just to see what I would be missing. And suddenly I was bit (no, not by Edward Cullen or Felix Gomez) by the challenge bug. I had caught the Challenge Fever. What could I do but make list upon list of challenges that caught my eye? I turned in desperation to my husband for advice, sure he would keep me grounded. Only he didn’t. He said I should join as many as I wanted (this would later change when I told him I had narrowed my choices down to 13 at which time he told me that was probably overdoing it). What freedom! What luxury! I could submerge myself in challenges . . . and drown. Never to be heard from again. That would not do.

And so I kept at it and narrowed down my list even further (no one has to know that there are challenges that start later in the year that I want to join; by then, who is going to remember how many I signed up for at the beginning of the year? Besides, I now know firsthand that nothing happens if I do not finish a challenge. No punch in the face, no game of Monopoly, no forced coffee drinking, no tortuous sentence writing on the blackboard . . .). With one exception, all of the challenges I am signing up for are very flexible. Substitution is allowed (except for the one). In many cases, listing intended books ahead of time isn’t even required. Of course, that does take away the best part of signing up for challenges: the list making. And you know how much I love making lists.

Without further ado, a few challenges to keep me busy during 2009:



Host: J. Kaye
Goal: Read 12 books that are 1st in any series. Books can be listed anytime during the year.
Time Frame: January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2009




Host: J. Kaye
Goal: Read 12 books by authors that you have only read once (it does not have to be a series). Books can be listed anytime during the year.
Time Frame: January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2009

Book Choices:

Guests of the Ayatollah by Mark Bowden [read]
Watchmen by Alan Moore (& Dave Gibbons) [read]
Angel's Advocate by Mary Stanton [read]
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant [read]
Face Time by Hank Phillippi Ryan [read]
When She Flew by Jennie Shortridge [read]
The Girl on Legare Street by Karen White [read]
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens [read]



Host: Annie
Goal: Choose one book from each of the following categories. Books can be listed anytime during the year.
Time Frame: January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2009

Book Choices:

1. A book with a "profession" in its title.
In the Wake of the Boatman by Jonathan Scott Fuqua [read]

2. A book with a "time of day" in its title.
Last Night in Montreal by Emily St. John Mandell [read]

3. A book with a "relative" in its title.
Wife of the Gods by Kwei Quartey [read]

4. A book with a "body part" in its title.
Probable Claws by Clea Simon [read]

5. A book with a "building" in its title.
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford [read]

6. A book with a "medical condition" in its title.
Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand by Carrie Vaughn [read]

* * * COMPLETED * * *



Host: Literary Escapism
Goal: Read books by 20 new authors. Books/Authors may be listed anytime during the year.
Time Frame: January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2009

Book Choices:
  1. Shilpa Agarwal
  2. Catherine Brady
  3. Jan Brogan
  4. Wilkie Collins
  5. Darwyn Cooke
  6. David Downing
  7. Jamie Ford
  8. Ru Freeman
  9. Tana French
  10. Patty Friedmann
  11. Paul Harris
  12. James LePore
  13. Emily St. John Mandell
  14. John Marco
  15. J Lou McCartney
  16. Christopher Meeks
  17. Sandra Novack
  18. Kwei Quartey
  19. Michelle Richmond
  20. Mattox Roesch
  21. Diana Spechler
  22. Mary Stanton
  23. Vikas Swarup
  24. Lisa Sweetingham
  25. Lisa Tucker
  26. Helene Tursten
  27. Carolyn Wall
  28. Christine Weiser

* * * COMPLETED * * *




Hosts:
Anna and Serena
Goal: Read 5 books related to some aspect of World War II (WWII). Books can be listed anytime during the year.
Time Frame: January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2009

Book Choices:
1. Zoo Station by David Downing [read]
2. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford [read]
3. The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies [read]
4. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne [read]
5. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak [read]

* * * COMPLETED * * *


Host: Michelle
Goal: Read a minimum of 9 books first published in 2009. Books can be listed anytime during the year.
Restrictions: No children’s/YA titles allowed and at least 5 of the titles must be fiction.
Time Frame: January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2009

Books Read:
  1. Haunting Bombay by Shilpa Agarwal
  2. The Mechanics of Falling by Catherine Brady
  3. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
  4. A Disobedient Girlby Ru Freeman
  5. The Secret Keeper by Paul Harris
  6. A World I Never Made by James LePore
  7. Last Night in Montreal by Emily St. John Mandell
  8. The Brightest Moon of the Century by Christopher Meeks
  9. Precious by Sandra Novack
  10. Wife of the Gods by Kwei Quartey
  11. Sometimes We're Always Real Same-Same by Mattox Roesch
  12. Probable Claws by Clea Simon
  13. Shades of Grey by Clea Simon
  14. Angel's Advocate by Mary Stanton
  15. The Weight of a Mustard Seed by Wendell Steavenson
  16. Chemical Cowboys by Lisa Sweetingham
  17. The Promised World by Lisa Tucker
  18. Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand by Carrie Vaughn
  19. Kitty Raises Hell by Carrie Vaughn

* * * COMPLETED * * *


Host: Teddy Rose
Goal: Read 12 Advanced Reader’s Copies (ARC).
Special Instructions: List all ARC's that you have to read right now. Then throughout the year, you must continue updating that list as you receive more ARC's. (This is important). You should also strike out the ones that you finish.
Definition: For the sake of this challenge, ARC is defined as any book provided to you for the purpose of review by the publisher, publicist or author.
Time Frame: January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2009

Book List for ARC Challenge

  1. Haunting Bombay by Shilpa Agarwal
  2. The Mechanics of Falling and Other Stories by Catherine Brady
  3. Teaser by Jan Brogan
  4. Zoo Station by David Downing
  5. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
  6. A Disobedient Girlby Ru Freeman
  7. The Secret Keeper by Paul Harris
  8. A World I Never Made by James LePore
  9. Last Night in Montreal by Emily St. John Mandell
  10. Starfinder by John Marco
  11. De Marco Empire by J Lou McCartney
  12. The Brightest Moon of the Century by Christopher Meeks
  13. Precious by Sandra Novack
  14. Wife of the Gods by Kwei Quartey
  15. No One You Know by Michelle Richmond
  16. Sometimes We're Always Real Same-Same by Mattox Roesch
  17. Probable Claws by Clea Simon
  18. Shades of Grey by Clea Simon
  19. Walking Through Walls by Philip Smith
  20. Who By Fire by Diana Spechler
  21. Angel's Advocate by Mary Stanton
  22. The Weight of a Mustard Seed by Wendell Steavenson
  23. Chemical Cowboys by Lisa Sweetingham
  24. The Promised World by Lisa Tucker
  25. The Glass Devil by Helene Tursten
  26. Kitty Raises Hell by Carrie Vaughn
  27. Sweeping Up Glass by Carolyn Wall
  28. Broad Street by Christine Weiser

Level One - Completed
Level Two: Over Achiever - Completed
Level Three: ARC Obsessed - Completed


Host: Jenn
Goal: Read 12 To Be Read (TBR) books.
Special Instructions: You need to have a list posted somewhere for others to see and the list cannot be changed after January 1, 2009 or the date you join if after the 1st. Alternate list of up to 12 books allowed.
Restrictions: Re-reads are not allowed.
Time Frame: January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2009

Book Choices:
1. Say You’re One of Them by Uwem Akpan
2. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne [read]
3. Teaser by Jan Brogan [read]
4. In the Woods by Tana French [read]
5. Goodbye and Amen by Beth Gutcheon
6. Legerdemain by James J. Heaphey
7. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
8. A Thousand Veils by D.J. Murphy
9. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
10. Who By Fire by Diana Spechler [read]
11. Broad Street by Christine Weiser [read]
12. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak [read]

Alternates:
1. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
2. Death of a Red Heroine by Xiaolong Qui
3. Gallows View by Peter Robinson
4. Forcing Amaryllis by Louise Ure
5. Shop Till You Drop by Elaine Viets
6. Overleaf of Hong Kong by Xu Xi
7. Full Moon by Rebecca York




Host: Wendy
Goal: Read 4 books that share a theme.
Time Frame:February 1 , 2009 to July 31, 2009

My Theme: Titles with city/town names.
Book Choices:
Last Night in Montreal by Emily St. John Mandell [read]

Other Options:
Jackfish, The Vanishing Village
by Sarah Felix Burns
The Painter from Shanghai by Jenifer Cody Epstien
Honeymoon in Tehran by Azadeh Moaveni
Overleaf of Hong Kong by Xu Xi



Host: Dana
Goal: Option Chosen: *Do These Books Make my Butt Look Big?* which requires the participant to read 3 to 5 Chunksters.
Restrictions: Chunksters are defined as books 450 pages or more unless the book is in large print and then a 525 page rule applies. Only adult books allowed, no short story or essay anthologies, and no audio books.
Time Frame: Now to November 15, 2009

Book Choices:
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins [read]
Chemical Cowboys by Lisa Sweetingham
[read]
Lion of Senet by Jennifer Fallon [read]

* * * COMPLETED * * *

44 comments:

  1. I am rolling off my chair...you are hilarious! OK, everything you have said here is so true. These things scare me. I have a phobia of over-commitment. However, you have picked some good ones! I shall officially look forward to reviews on all of them!

    By the way, I love your kitty pictures. Precious!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ha! I hate Monopoly too! I assume that is what you meant.

    Great lists, I have quite a few of the same books I hope to read as well. I totally agree about the list thing, and that has become my problem - I list books I'd like to read, but usually more than the challenge needs, but then those books are on lists and I know I want to read them. I can't get ahead of my lists.
    Good luck Wendy, and have fun with the challenges, whether that means finishing them or just listing them (and I don't underestimate the fun of the list making itself at all) and then gettting distracted by other shiny new books.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've discovered the same thing about challenges - they're addictive, but also not life-threatening. If I don't finish a challenge, I've learned that no one's going to scold me. And taking part has given me the incentive to read more and more, which can't be bad! And they also allow me to indulge in a huge amount of gratuitous list-making. So I say, bring on the challenges!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is all so true! Challenges are very addictive and I joined way more than I should have. However, as you said, nothing is going to happen if we don't complete them. For me, it's a way of going through my TBR and pulling books out to finally read - that should have been read a long time ago.

    Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  5. So far, I've been able to avoid the bug - I haven't signed up for any yet. Good luck with all of yours!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Seriously, Novel Challenges is a BAD place to go!! When you see my challenge post (or posts, I should say) for 2009, you will understand!! I think I will start posting them later today.

    Anyway, I just stopped by to wish you and Anjin a Happy New Year!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yay for challenge addicts! :) It's funny-there'a actually almost no overlap between your challenges and mine, even though we're both signed up for quite a few.

    ReplyDelete
  8. LOL! I am so glad that I am not the only one who does this. I jumped right in and signed up for eleven myself. YIkes! It'll still be fun to try and do these though :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great lists Wendy. Good luck with the challenges. I'm not quite that ambitious. I'm just doing two now. I'll live through all you challenge addicts. LOL.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I did all of mine in a single post too, secretly hoping that then nobody would notice how many I was actually joining :P

    Best of luck with yours!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sandy - It was a fun post to write. :-) Over-commitment seems to be my middle name. LOL

    Elizabeth - I am definitely not a fan of Monopoly. Haha!

    I am glad to hear you have many of the same books--we can compare notes! I'm the same way as you are, I list the books that the I really want to read and then there's never enough time.

    Did you see the new challenge I just signed up for? Talk about distractions!

    Thank you for the well wishes!

    Joy - Exactly! You said it so much better than I did. :-)

    Yvonne - Except for the new one I joined, that's exactly how I think of challenges. They help me clear off my TBR shelves. There can't be anything wrong with that, right?

    Kathy - Thank you! You really are probably the wisest not to fall victim to the challenge lure. :-)

    Stephanie - A Novel Challenge is very bad, I agree. It throws temptation into our faces without thought to the consequences. I look forward to seeing which challenges drew you in.

    I hope you have a wonderful New Year as well.

    Eva - We are a crazy bunch! Haha!

    That is interesting about how little overlap there is. There are so many challenges out there now though, I guess it shouldn't be all that surprising.

    Samantha - Well, at least I'm not as bad as you. ;-) It is fun to at least try--and we have each other to offer moral support to!

    Kristy - Thank you! Yes, definitely don't follow my example. I'm much too ambitious for my own good. :-)

    Nymeth - That's exactly what I was aiming for too! Maybe no one will notice just how many I signed up for . . . Good luck to you too!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I've just looked at the list of my own challenge and was a little surprised by how many I have signed up for!

    Having said that I posted about another one this morning, and have another one in draft! Can't seem to help myself!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Happy New Year and good luck with all your challenges; so far I'm only doing one this year.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wendy, Thanks for joining the ARC challenge. Boy, what a list. So far you win for the biggest list. LOL! We have quite a few books in common. I hope you enjoy The Lace Reader and The Gargoyle as much as I did!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wow. Good luck with all of your challenges, Wendy! I finally signed up for my first one ever, and looking over your list, I can see a few others that look appealing - but at this point, I would play along without officially signing up. I think. Is this why y'all call it an addiction? Sigh... :-)

    ReplyDelete
  16. That's a lot of challenges you joined, Wendy! And all of them sounds great! I haven't posted on mine yet, since I can't make up my mind on the books I want to read. Maybe I should do it anyway, LOL.

    Good luck with the challenges, Wendy! :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. That's a lot of challenges! I like that reading lists are more flexible this year, as I prefer having freedom choosing my books, even at the last minute! Looking forward to your reviews. Happy reading and a happy new year!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Wow, these are great! And I'm incredibly honored that my upcoming Theda Krakow mystery, Probable Claws, is in the novel challenge AND the ARC challenge!!

    I want to see what I can read this year -- but I've got my own challenge: I'm supposed to draft my next mystery by MAY. Yikes!

    happy new year!
    Clea

    ReplyDelete
  19. Yasmin - Thank you, and the same to you. You are much smarter than I am for sticking to only one challenge! :-)

    Teddy - I'm really looking forward to the challenge, although I really don't want the title of having the biggest list. LOL

    Florinda - It's really not as bad as it looks. :-) I'm excited that you are joining the RYOB Challenge. I ended up deciding to stick with the TBR Challenge instead this year.

    Melody - Thank you! On my travels through the blogosphere today, I can happily say that there are many people who have signed up for more challenges than I have. That makes me feel somewhat better. ;-)

    Mariel - There's a lot of crossovers too, which makes things a lot easier. I hope you have a great New Year as well!

    Clea - Thanks! I know I am being overly ambitious, but I sure do making lists. I have had a hard time not starting in on your book, but I'm trying to wait until a little closer to the review date.

    Good luck writing your draft! If anyone can do it, you can. :-)

    Have a happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm doing the TBR Challenge, too. You have some fantastic reading ahead of you - The Road, The Book Thief, and The Time-Traveler's Wife are all fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Ooooh what fun! I'm dizzy just looking at the sheer number of challenges you're participating in. WOW!

    Happy reading and enjoy! :D

    ReplyDelete
  22. So many challenges!! I'm apprehensive about joining any just yet, although I'll definitely do the TBR. They are addicting, but I'm finding myself a little burned out at the moment. And holycow--39 ARCs?? :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. LOL, you are cracking me up! I love this post...you and I are more alike than just our names :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Wow-you are going to be one busy lady! I guess I will sign up for one, you have inspired me:) TBR? Happy New Year & Good Luck!!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Carrie K. - I had planned to read those three titles this past year but it didn't work out. This year, I'm going to insist upon it. I have to read The Road and The Time Traveler's Wife before I see the movies.

    Alice - I'm dizzy just thinking about them all! :-)

    Trish - I'm sure I overdid it, but I did start out with a much longer list and feel glad ZI at least narrowed it down this much.

    Wendy - What you don't know is I'm aiming for a certain goal this year I'm not going to tell anyone about. That way, if I don't make it, I can pretend I never attempted it.

    Julie - And I still have to go to work every day. I will be busy! But it will be fun. :-) The TBR Challenge is a fun one! Have a Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  26. That's funny! I was planning to enter just a few challenges this year and ended up joining 14. I have no idea how that happened!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I'm so glad you signed up for our challenge!! I've added you to the participants page on the challenge blog. I plan on reading Sarah's Key, too, and I hope you enjoy The Book Thief as much as I did.

    --Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

    ReplyDelete
  28. Anna - I keep coming across books I want to read that would fit perfectly in with the WWII Challenge. I hope to read more than just the five books on my list, but I figured that was a good start.

    ReplyDelete
  29. LOL, Wendy - if I twist your arm (or offer you a free book) will you tell me??!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Wendy - A free book is tempting, but no. I don't think so. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  31. Welcome to the 1st in a Series and the 2nds Reading Challenge. This is going to be an awesome year. Can you believe all these different challenges compared to a couple of years ago? It's amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  32. J. Kaye - Thank you! I couldn't resist those two and am looking forward to participating in them. It is amazing how many more challenges there are today than there were when I first started joining. They're really taken off.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I love the idea of the TBR challenge...but I hate how you have to create a set list at the start and then not deviate. I suck at doing that. I hate for reading to become work...that I have to read book x because of a challenge.

    Good luck with all your challenges. Sounds like you've got a great reading year ahead of you.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Ohhh, it looks like a fun year of challenges! :) I hope you enjoy all your choices.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Irish - There's always the TBR Lite Challenge. One of the options doesn't require a list ahead of time. The challenge is run by the same person, Jenn.

    Joy - Yes, it will be lots of fun. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hah! It's a good thing failure at challenges isn't a punishable offense. I wouldn't make it through even one of those dreadful neverending games of Monopoly that would inevitably have no real winner but for the person for whom boredom is no obstacle! Can you believe I have people that I call friends who would actually subject me to such torture simply in the name of *fun*? (Say, can you tell I'm not much for Monopoly?)

    Anyhow, good luck with all your challenges! Hope you meet with much success, but even if you don't, at least neither of us will have to play any Monopoly! =D

    ReplyDelete
  37. Megan - LOL Another person who isn't a Monopoly fan. :-) My husband really likes playing, but he's learned not to try and encourage me to play.

    Thank you! I'm confident I can do well this year.

    ReplyDelete
  38. That sounds like a good idea, Wendy. I haven't even counted the WWII books I've pulled out for the challenge, and I'm not sure I want to. Good thing I'm hosting the challenge and don't qualify for my own giveaway! LOL

    --Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

    ReplyDelete
  39. Anna - LOL I have quite a few on my shelves too. I'm really excited about this challenge.

    ReplyDelete
  40. LOL! The challenges really are so addictive, aren't they? Oh well, I've come to realise too that nothing bad will happen if we don't finish them so why not, right? Have fun and good luck with these and any others you may join! :P

    ReplyDelete
  41. Nat - They are addictive! I'm sure going to make my best effort to finish my challenges this year. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  42. FYI, all 2009 WWII Reading Challenge Participants; giveaway information can be found here:

    http://warthroughthegenerations.wordpress.com/2010/01/07/international-2009-wwii-reading-challenge-giveaways-revealed/

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to visit Musings of a Bookish Kitty. Don't be shy! I would love to hear from you. Due to a recent increase in spam, I will be moderating comments for the foreseeable future. Please be patient with me as it may take a few hours before I am able to approve your comment.