Sunday, February 25, 2007

New York Times Notable Book Challenge

As February comes to an end, it has become clear to me that I need to revise my reading goals for the year. My intention to continue with my series reading has fallen by the wayside as I seem to be straying away from those particular books in order to read others in my TBR collection. That does not mean I will not return to my favorite series, just that my focus in reading material lies elsewhere at the moment. Currently my reading choices seem to be dictated by the challenges I have agreed to participate in, all of which have been worthwhile experiences so far.

I did not have any intention of joining in on another challenge. I do not want to limit all of my reading this year to books on lists. I also have been striving to only choose books to read for the challenges that are already on my TBR shelves. And so, when I first heard about Caribousmom's New York Times (NYT) Most Notable Fiction Challenge, I immediately discounted the notion of joining in. I mean, I only recently came into possession of two of the books on the New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2006, and one other I have read.

Caribousmom was relentless (okay, so not really. I just want to throw the blame on someone other than myself) in her endorsement of the challenge, and when I tried to squirm out of it by asking if there was a minimum requirement (what if I only wanted to read 2 books on the list?), she immediately made it clear that it was up to me. She told me that I "can read as many or as little" as I want and that I do not have to chose the titles ahead of time. The point of the challenge is not to read as many of the books on the list as possible or even a set number, but to provide an opportunity for the challengers to discuss our experiences with the books we do read. A forum was set up for that very purpose, in fact.

My firm resolve to not get tangled up in any more challenges faltered and collapsed. Are you really surprised? As a consolation, I am going to allow myself a lot of freedom with the NYT Challenge. I will not be setting a number of books to read from the list. I have jotted down a few titles that appeal to me, and my choices will come from that list (subject to change based on other books that catch my fancy or recommendations by others).

Without further ado . . .

Forgetfulness by Ward Just (read 12/2006)
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson
The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai
Beasts of No Nation by Uzodinma Iweala
The Inhabited World by David Long (read 06/2007)
Gate of the Sun by Elias Khoury
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky
Absurditan by Gary Shteyngart
Eat the Document by Dana Spiotta
Digging to America by Anne Tyler

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert


  1. LOL - I love that sign ;-) I need to make that the wallpaper on my computer. Good luck - you've got some gret choices listed. I'm kind of maxed out on challenges myself right now.

  2. Woo Hoo! So glad you are joining us. I have several of the same choices. I'm looking forward to chatting about them. Happy Reading!

  3. Sounds like fun. Look forward to hearing all about it.

  4. Another reading challenge?! Unfortuantely I've done so bad with all of my challenges. Sigh. Although I do like the idea of not chosing the books ahead of time. I think that's my problem. I choose books according to my mood so just because they are next on my list of doesn't mean that they'll be picked up. Good luck with your challenge!

  5. Soooo tempting. I've seen this challenged mentioned on a couple of blogs. I hate that I'm ultimately worthless reading-wise until my thesis is done. :(

  6. I haven't read any of those books but a few are on my wishlist. Good luck!

  7. Thank you all for the good luck wishes! I purposefully left it open so that I won't strain myself and take the fun out of it. :-)


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