02 January 2009

Book Challenge Results

This past year I took part in two book challenges: The Year of Reading Dangerously and Orbis Terrarum.

The Year of Reading Dangerously was all about taking on books that you have been avoiding. Books that you deemed too difficult, not your preferred genre, or, as it turned out in my case, didn't interest you at all. While I didn't finish this challenge I did get through a few books that I wouldn't have otherwise, plus I have a few that are now on my "To Read" list.

  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (loved it)
  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (hated it)
  • Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood (not my usual pick, but enjoyed it mostly)
  • Transformations by Anne Sexton (strange, don't know why it was published, interesting)
  • Maus I and II by Art Spiegelman (excellent)
  • The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James (long, but good read)
Didn't Read:
  • Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (not going to)
  • The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier (tried the first few chapters and have no interest)
  • Other Voices, Other Rooms by Truman Capote (started it, became overdue, will probably try again some day)
  • The Secret Lives of People in Love by Simon Van Booy (have to buy it since our library doesn't have it, "To Read")
  • The Human Stain by Philip Roth (want to try it)
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (need to read it for Great American Literature's sake)
Orbis Terrarum challenged me to read books from authors around the world. Highly interesting to me and the only reason I didn't finish is because I had to buy some of the books (which didn't happen) and the last half of the year was entirely not reading conducive. Every book on the list that I didn't read, I will get to as soon as possible. (Some books doubled for both challenges, I've only listed the ones specific to the OT challenge.)

  • Dubliners by James Joyce (okay read the first time, want to read it again to understand it better)
  • The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom (the most impacting book I read this year, hands down)
  • Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali (sad, heart-wrenching, inspiring, makes you want to help change the world)
Didn't Read (but really, really want to):
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • If on a winter's night a traveler by Italo Calvino
  • A Personal Matter by Kenzaburo Oe
  • The Old Gringo by Carlos Fuentes

So what did I learn? I'm a very "of the moment" reader. What I mean is that I'll only read what interests me at the time. If I can pick out the books, then I'm more excited to read them. If I have a chosen-for-me list, I'm not. I am not going to read a book that I don't like when the only reason is to mark another down on the "Finished" column. Life's too short to read crappy books. (and by that I mean crappy to me)

And that is my reflection on my undertaking of these two challenges.

The End.


Andi said...

Great job! Glad you found some you liked and some you're interested in reading through The Year of Reading Dangerously!

Genny said...

So good birthday/Christmas gifts for you would be the books you didn't get to but still want to read?

Tricia said...

thanks andi.

genny, i like how your mind thinks... ;-)