Flashback challenge

This reading challenge is being hosted by Aarti.  I’m so excited to see this challenge! For a while I’ve been wanting to revisit some books I read and loved years ago but haven’t had the time. Hopefully, participating in this challenge will give me a chance to reread all the Daphne du Maurier books I haven’t read in years.

Here are the rules of the challenge:

The Flashback Challenge will run from January 1, 2010 – December 31, 2010.  If you’re super-excited and want to reread a book before that, feel free, and let me know.  If many people do so, then I’ll do a December challenge linky post and you can all link to it here.  Otherwise, we can hold them over to January.

You can sign up for the following levels:
Bookworm – Up to three books
Scholar – Four to six books
Literati – Over six books

Within these levels, we have mini-challenges!  These are:

1. Re-read a favorite book from your childhood
2. Re-read a book assigned to you in high school
3. Re-read a book you loved as an adult
Thus, if you sign up for the Bookworm level, you could ostensibly choose to read one book from each mini-challenge.  Or you could choose to do none of the above (though, granted, not sure what you could have possibly read that does not fit into either childhood, high school or adulthood).

Also, would just like to make clear that this isn’t specifically limited to books you loved reading previously and want to reread.  It could also be a book you don’t remember enjoying.  Or just don’t remember reading.  It might be interesting to see how your perceptions may have changed.

Let’s see…..I’m going to sign up for the scholar level since I know of quite a few books I’d like to reread.  Once I unclutter my bookshelves a bit and see what’s there, I’ll add the ones to be reread.

1. Flight of the Falcon: Daphne du Maurier

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Books to Read Before I die

This sounds like a fun challenge. It’s hosted by Diane over at Bibliophile By the Sea.

The only way I’m ever gong to go back and read some of the classics is by issuing a challenge to myself to get it done. I have several of these collecting dust on my bookshelf  so here is my chance to actually read some of them.

Details of the challenge are as follows:
-Between now and December 31, 2009, make a list of between 10 and 20 Books to Read Before You Die. (depending on interest, this may be an annual event challenge).
-The books on your list can come from your stacks or the library, and be in print or audio format.
-Next, make a tentative list and and post it on your blog. Finalize your titles by December 31, 2009. (No changes to the list after that date).
NOTE: If you don’t have a blog, you can still sign up and join in the fun.
-Once you’ve created your post with tentative titles, THEN sign up using Mr. Linky, by pasting the link to your post, along with your name/blog name. This is how you will be registered.
-All bloggers who complete the challenge will be entered in giveaway to win an Amazon Gift Card.


Here’s my list of 15 books to read:

1. The Decameron: Giovanni Boccaccio

2. A Seperate Peace: John Knowles

3. The Iliad: Homer

4. A Prayer for Owen Meany: John Irving

5. Jane Eyre: Charlotte Bronte

6. Gone with the Wind: Margaret Mitchell

7. Tobacco Road: Erskine Caldwell

8. The Moviegoer: Walker Percy

9. Great Expectations: Charles Dickens

10. A Passage to India: E.M. Forster

11. For Whom the Bell Tolls: Ernest Hemingway

12. Les Miserables: Victor Hugo

13. Ivanhoe: Sir Walter Scott

14. To the Lighthouse: Virginia Woolf

15. The Great Gatsby: F. Scott Fitzgerald

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2009: A reading Review

Another year has passed and another humongous stack of books has been read.  Some books were treasured, others tossed aside and forgotten immediately!

I started off the year participating in several reading challenges but only ended up finishing one- the 50 books in a year challenge hosted at Goodreads.

In total, I managed to read 61 books this year, the most since I started keeping track of the titles a couple of  years ago.  Being without the distraction of a television for four months really helped in completing this challenge.  That lightening strike on my tv turned into a positive after all!

You can see the whole list of books I read this year here.

When anyone asks me what I like to read, I always say historical fiction is my favorite genre. But this year there weren’t a lot of historical fiction titles that interested me. Of the few that I did read, The Wolf Hunt by Gillian Bradshaw was the best of the bunch.  It reads like a scary fairy tale, with elements of the supernatural combined with a medieval  setting and a love story for good measure. It reminds me of reading Grimm’s Fairy Tales as a child.

This year I read more mysteries than anything else.  I always thought I’d hate to read serial mysteries with the same detective being the main character in each book, but that changed when I read my first Stephanie Plum book.  I’ve really enjoyed the first few Plum novels and I hope to finish the rest this coming year.

I read so many good mysteries this year it’s hard to choose the best one. Both The Likeness by Tana French and When Will There Be Good News by Kate Atkinson were excellent books, they’ve become two of my favorite writers. Each author writes characters  you want to be friends with in real life.

Honorable mention goes out to Spencer Quinn for writing Dog on It, a mystery from a dog’s point of view. Chet the dog is so cute and charming it makes for an original read.  I can’t wait to read his second book in the series.

I also have to mention The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. He wrote one of the best child characters I’ve ever read- funny, smart, smart-mouthed, brave– the kind of kid I wish I had been.

The only other genre of books I’ve read consistently was the thriller. I tore through the  entire  Sigma Force series by James Rollins.  Now I need to get my hands on the newest book in the series, The Doomsday Key. I like Rollin’s mixture of ancient history, science, and action.

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Best Book I read in 2009: The Likeness by Tana French

Simply put, I did not want this book to end. I wanted it to go on and on,  to remain part of the tight cocoon world she created with Cassie and her group of friends.  French is so good at creating characters that are so real you want to befriend and hang out with them.  This is her second book and it’s miles ahead of her first book, In the Woods, which I read (and loved) last year.

Newly Discovered Author of 2009: Andrew Davidson

The Gargoyle was one of the best books I read this year.  What a powerful, mesmerizing, and charming book this turned out to be.  The many stories that are told by Marianne are even more touching and lovelier than the main story.

Reading Goals for 2010:

1.  To not focus so much on the number of books I’m reading.  Time to focus more on enjoying the words instead of rushing through to the next book.

2. Re-read some old favorites and not feel guilty about all the new books I’m ignoring in favour of those old familiar books

3. Stop visiting the library so damn much! I got mountains of books at home to read!

That’s all she wrote for 2009! Happy reading to all you bookworms in 2010!

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Let’s try this blog thing again…..

This is where I’ll post about the books I read, the reading challenges I take part in, book reviews, and whatever is going on in my life.

Also there will be lots of talk about cats. Just so you know ahead of time.

Feel free to leave a message or comment on a post if you like!

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