Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Reading Challenges

book binge

Hello! I've decided that I need a little motivation to help me back into reading more.. so I've joined these two reading challenges. The first Book Binge is nice and simple:

For simplicity’s sake, and to allow people time to hear about it and sign up if they want, we’ll start on Monday, May 5th. We will all publish our lists on June 1.

Other rules:
You can include books you re-read, so long as you re-read them in between May 5 and 31.-

You may also include books you start but don’t finish, just note the page at which you gave it up. Something like, “Quit, page 47 of 322″.

You may only include books you read aloud to your children if they are at least 125 pages long.

Students may include textbooks (if they’re at least 100 pages long).

Unless you have a visual impairment which precludes you from reading print books (in which case, it’s unlikely you read blogs), you may not count recorded books.

The second, 1% Well Read Challenge will be more .. erm, challenging, I think.

The goal of this challenge is to read 10 books in 10 months from the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list. For you non-math people, 10 out of 1001 is approximately 1%, hence the title. The challenge will run from May 1, 2008 through February 28, 2009.
You may change your list at any time and cross-posting to other challenges is permitted. The only requirement is that your ten book choices must be on the ‘
1001 List‘. Another helpful tool is an Excel spreadsheet by Arukiyoma that is found here.

The 1001 Books list is something I've mentioned before on this blog, and most of you should know that I am making my way through the list. Currently, I have finished 91/1001 and am therefore 9.09% finished with the list (more about this soon). According to the above spreadsheet, I need to complete a further 17 titles from the list every year to actually read them all before I die. Or something like that. I'm sure I'll never entirely finish the list, and really who cares? But it's a fun task and I'm quite competitive so I love stuff like this. Here's my selection of books I will be attempting. (if you've read them, please recommend a nice and easy title to start with!)

1. Saturday by Ian McEwan
2. On Beauty by Zadie Smith
3. The Colour by Rose Tremain
4. Atonement by Ian McEwan (have started many times but never finished)
5. Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro (same as above)
6. The Child In Time by Ian McEwan
7. Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally
8. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (ditto)
9. Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell (and again)
10. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (chosen because it looks to be under 100 pages)


1. The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster
2. The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
3. Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
4. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
5. Kim by Rudyard Kipling
6. Candide by Voltaire

Wish me luck and please sign up and join me!


  1. The Remains of the Day was totally awesome. Ishiguro's A Pale View of Hills is also a shortish book at just over 200 pages. Did you know The Yellow Wallpaper is on the 1001 books list and it's a short story which you can read here. At least I thought so. The Child in Time might be a bit heavy for a mum with a new baby. I just read Lucky Jim from the 1001 books list and thought it was a good, fun and funny read which is different for one of the books off the list.

    I am nowhere near 91 books off the list yet. I think I just made it to 40 or so!

  2. I just found you via Nymeth at Things Mean Alot....I like your list of books for the 1001 challenge,which I am in too. Also, I moved to England in 2000, to marry my husband who I met while he was over here in Canada! We married in York, and came back to Canada as I had some family I had to come back to, in mid 2001. My husband still has family in Essex, so we go back and forth as we can, which isn't often as we have a new family too (2 young children)! so...if you ever need to talk about things you miss from North America, drop me a line sometime. I think what you have done is wonderful, and I know how fun and how difficult it is sometimes too, especially with kids in a different country. Congratulations! and you are already doing better than I am at reading with two young children, the first year!!


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