Monday, January 2, 2012

Reflecting on Challenges

For the past few years I have signed up for a few challenges. Some were easier than others, and some I knew I would never complete. There is a challenge out there where bloggers try to read 100 books a year. I just couldn't make myself sign up for it because for me that wasn't really a challenge. I waver between wanting to be challenged, or taking part in challenges that are sure things. This year I have yet to sign on for any challenges and I'm not sure I will.

In 2011 I participated in the Read From Your Shelves Challenge. I did read from my shelves- but not all the books are listed below. It was hard for me to read only books on my list because sometimes I just didn't feel like those were titles I wanted to read right then. Here's the list I began with in January updated with the titles I read crossed off.
1. Clara's War by Clara Kramer
2. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
3. Shelf Awareness by Lizzie Skurnick
4. The Bright Side of Disaster by Katherine Center
5. Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear
6. Mockingbird by Charles Shields
7. Sister of My Heart by Chita Banerjee Divakaruni
8. Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah
9. Safe From the Neighbors by Steve Yarbrough
10. Roses by Leila Meacham
11. The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale
12. The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
13. Without a Backward Glance by Kate Veitch
14. Four Spirits by Sena Jeter Naslund
15. Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart
16. The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
17. Self Storage by Gayle Brandeis
18. Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
19. Ask for a Convertible by Danit Brown
20. Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire by Rafe Esquith
21. Little Bee by Chris Cleave
22. Dirty Secret by Jessie Sholl

Middle Grade and YA Titles:
1. Tell Me Who by Jessica Wollman
2. Dangerously Alice by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
3. Chasing Lincoln's Killer by James Swanson
4. The Alchemyst by Nicholas Flamel
5. The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson
6. Percy Jackson the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
7. Sugar and Ice by Kate Messner
8. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
9. Countdown by Deborah Wiles
10. Extra Credit by Andrew Clements
11. The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
12. Eli the Good by Silas House
13. Assignment Rescue: an Autobiography of Varian Fry by Varian Fry
14. Good bye, Mr. Chips by James Hilton
15. The Road Home by Ellen Emerson White
16. Envy by Anna Godberson
17. Alice on Her Way by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
18. White Sands, Red Menace by Ellen Klages
19. One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams Garcia
20. Blue Plate Special by Michelle D. Kwasney

I signed up to participate in the War Through the Generations challenge again in 2011. Again I had high hopes, signing up to read only 5 books set during the Civil War. Unfortunately I read none. Not even one! Instead I seem to have gravitated to the World War II era books this past year which didn't do much for helping me with this challenge.

One challenge I can claim success at is the e-reader challenge. My goal was 12 books on my kindle and I did it, squeaking in one last title on December 31 to make my goal. I started slowly on this challenge, but towards the end of the year have been picking up my kindle more frequently for reading. I don't think it will ever replace an actual book, but I am getting used to it and enjoying the ease of carrying it with me instead of several print books. It is also great for reducing clutter, something I need to do. I have been more apt to purchase something on my kindle lately rather than bring another book into the house.

Now for 2012? I haven't signed up for a thing yet. I go back to work tomorrow, so if time permits I will have a look yet today to see if there are any challenges calling my name. I like having nothing forced on me in terms of my reading, but I love to see the different challenges out there, and trying new things isn't bad, either.

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