Ambassador of Books ~ Book Club Madam ~ Blogger Gal

Monday, November 30, 2009

Read Your Own Books Challenge - Recap

I was so excited to sign up for the Read Your Own Book Challenge back in January 2009. Here' s my original post for this challenge. The goal was to read 20 books that I already own, that were at that moment sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read. The deadline for completion is Dec. 31, 2009 ... but I'm calling it quits now.

I made my list in January with high hopes, but so many other books kept getting in the way. This first list includes the books that I DID actually read (all links go to my reviews):
  1. The Little Chinese Seamstress, by Dai Sijie - it was ok
  2. Being Written, by William Conescu - I really liked this book
  3. Island, by Aldous Huxley (also for the "Lost" Challenge) - I absolutely hated this one
  4. Homefront, by Kristen Tsetsi - not bad
  5. People of the Book, by Geraldine Brooks (audio version) - loved it!
  6. The Lost Men, by Kelly Tyler-Lewis - fascinating non-fiction
  7. Golden Boy, by Martin Booth - it was ok
  8. A Sense of the Mysterious, by Alan Lightman - very interesting essays
  9. A Thread of Grace, by Mary Doria Russell - difficult for very good
  10. Two Histories of England, by Jane Austen and Charles Dickens - fun and insightful
  11. The Blessings of a Skinned Knee, by Wendy Mogel - practical
And this second list includes the books that I simply never got around to but which I DO (probably) intend to read:
  1. Vivaldi's Virgins, by Barbara Quick - I started this but put it aside for now.
  2. A History of Celibacy, by Elizabeth Abbott
  3. Mistress of the Vatican, by Eleanor Herman
  4. A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson
  5. Where She Came From, by Helen Epstein
  6. Ireland: A Novel, by Frank Delany
  7. The Toss of a Lemon, by Padma Viswanathan
  8. The Greatest Generation Speaks, by Tom Brokaw
  9. How the Irish Became White, by Noel Ignatiev - might not read this after all
Some of these might make it on to challenge lists for 2010 but others will definitely not.

If you participated in this challenge, how did you do? Are you still trying to complete it? Which book from your challenge list was your favorite? For me, I loved quite a few of them. My favorites would have to be THE LOST MEN and GOLDEN BOY, though I also really enjoyed PEOPLE OF THE BOOK and A THREAD OF GRACE.


Florinda said...

I did this challenge too - I didn't make a list for it, though. I just picked a number; I committed to 20 books, and as of last week, I made it! I'm glad I did it, and it helped me decide that I want to do more of it and accept fewer review copies. Otherwise, why keep buying all those books :-)?

Nan said...

My husband really liked the Delany book.

The Single Gal said...

I'm glad to see you enjoyed People of the Book. I've currently got that one in my library and now look forward to reading it. :)

I'm going to hold onto it for next year. I'm doing a 12 classics in 12 months challenge and need a few contemporary novels to add to the mix.

Thanks for commenting on my blog. I'm an avid reader so I love your's, of course!

Heather J. said...

Florinda - Honestly, I thought this would be the easiest challenge ever and it turned out to be the hardest for me. Congrats on getting it done!

Nan - I've been wanting to read that one for a while so I'm putting on my list for next year.

The Single Gal - I hope you enjoy it! I think it will be a good break from your classics.

blackwatertown said...

Interesting list.
Far Green Fields is what I'm reading just now - tales from Irish explorers and travellers, men and women, and one transported rebel. Great epic and fascinating observations.
I just mention it because I noticed you have an interest in Irish-related books.
My latest Irish-related is something I talk about here

Another good book is Lynn Barber's "An Education" - there movie out now adapted from part of it is just excellent too

Heather J. said...

blackwatertown - Thanks for those recommendations - I'll definitely check them out!

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