Dec 27, 2008

2009 in Challenges

Yes, I know what I'd said about cutting back. And since you've heard all the "buts" before, I'm going to spare you those too. Let's just agree that I'm a challenge addict and get it over with. Here it goes:

First of all, I'm joining Annie's What's in a Name Challenge again. I had too much fun with it this year to even consider resisting. Though I'm going to try and avoid rigid lists for this year's challenges, I did make a list for this one. First because finding a book for each category is half the fun, and secondly because these are all books from my tbr pile and I'd like an excuse to get to them.

1. A book with a "profession" in its title: Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres
2. A book with a "time of day" in its title: Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce
3. A book with a "relative" in its title: Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire
4. A book with a "body part" in its title: White Teeth by Zadie Smith
5. A book with a "building" in its title: Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner
6. A book with a "medical condition" in its title: The Amnesiac by Sam Taylor

And since we're speaking of tbr piles, now is the time to tell you that I'm also joining the tbr lite challenge. I'm doing option B: "read 6 books in 12 months ~ you CAN change you reading list throughout the year." The books on my list are all ones I'm really looking forward to reading, so I don't think actually I'll have trouble sticking to it. But I want to leave that possibility open anyway. My list:
  • Fudoki by Kij Johnson
  • Girlfriend in a Coma by Douglas Coupland
  • How to be Good by Nick Hornby
  • Geek Love by Katherine Dunn
  • The Owl Service by Alan Garner
  • The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

I'm also joining the Dewey's Books challenge that Chris and Robin are hosting. I'm doing option 2, which is read 5 books Dewey reviewed - though I have no doubt I could easily read many more. I've lost count of the books I got or added to my wishlist because of Dewey's reviews. I'm not going to make a list for this one, but just in case you're wondering, some of the titles I'm considering are:

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
The Tale of One Bad Rat by Bryan Talbot
Black Hole by Charles Burns
We Are on Our Own by Miriam Katin
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
The Misfits by James Howe
Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr
Freak Show by James St James
The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
Purple Hibiscus by Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
The Lost Years of Merlin by T.A. Barron
Kockroach by Tyler Knox (one of the last comments Dewey left me was recommending this book to me)

And I could go on.

Next there's the Lambda Award Challenge, hosted at Adventures in Reading. This is a very flexible challenge. There's no time limit, and you decide how many books to read. I officially joined a couple of months ago, but I decided to only actually start reading in 2009. I'm going to read 4 books:

  • The Dust of Wonderland by Lee Thomas (2007 Sci-fi/Fantasy/Horror winner)
  • Fingersmith by Sarah Waters (2002 Lesbian Fiction winner)
  • Swimming in the Monsoon Sea by Shyam Selvadurai (2005 Children's/YA winner)
  • Hero by Perry Moore (2007 Children's/YA winner)
I'd love to get to one of the last two in time for the 21st Bookworms Carnival, which will be on gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning literature and promises to be awesome. But since I still have to order my copies that's not very likely to happen.

I am also joining the Support Your Local Library Challenge. I'm doing option 1, which is to read 12 library books in 2009. I'd go for 25, but I'm not sure what my library access situation is going to be after June, and since you can't adjust your level of participation as you go along, I'd rather not risk it. Plus, I have a tbr pile to focus on anyway.

Then there's Rhinoa's Manga Challenge. I'm not making a list for this one either, the reason being the fact that I know next to nothing about Manga. Recommendations are of course appreciated.

Speaking of Rhinoa, we're going our mutual challenge again this year, and here are the books she picked for me to read:
  • Piece by Piece by Tori Amos
  • Here, There be Dragons by James A Owen
  • Death Note v1 by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata
  • Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
  • The Witches by Roald Dahl
All are books I'm really looking forward to reading. I already picked my five books for her too, but I'll let you find out what they are at her blog.

The World Citizen Challenge (almost done, I promise!) is a non-fiction challenge focusing on international affairs. I'm doing the Minor Level: "For this level, you need to commit to three books, from at least two different categories".

The categories that interest me the most are History, Culture or Anthropology/Sociology and Worldwide Issues. I'm not sure what to read yet, but there are a few books I'm considering: King Leopold's Ghost and Bullwhip Days: The Slaves Remember: An Oral History, which are both history, and 50 Reasons to Buy Fair Trade by Miles Litvinoff and John Madeley, which I guess is Worldwide Issues. I just remembered I could use Autobiography/Memoir too and read My Invented Country by Isabel Allende or Living to Tell the Tale by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, both of which are in my tbr pile. We'll see.

And finally (phew!) I'm doing the Graphic Novels Challenge, which is being continued by Laza. I'm committing to reading 24 comics in 2009. I'd rather keep my possibilities open for now, but I'll tell you what I'm considering:

More Fables (of course)
The Eternals, 1602 and Violent Cases by Neil Gaiman (it's really about time I catch up with my favourite author)
The second Mouse Guard book, which will hopefully come out in 2009.
More Will Eisner
More Alan Moore
Trese volume 2
Bone by Jeff Smith
Blankets by Craig Thompson
Chicken with Plums by Marjane Satrapi
Heartbreak Soup by by Gilbert Hernandez

And we'll see what else. The only problem is that I can't get comics from the library here, so I have to buy every one I read. But hey, I got some for Christmas and maybe I'll get some for my birthday too. Plus I can also count whatever I read for the Manga Challenge. And who knows, maybe 2009 will be the year when libraries here will realise that comics are books too.


  1. That's a lot of challenge before the end of 2008, isn't it?

    But the one I'm most interested in personally is the World Citizen Challenge. I'm curious about King Leopold's Ghost, so please read it and tell me if you liked it. :)

    My challenge for 2009 is NOT to join any reading challenges.

  2. Wanted to stop in and welcome you to the Support Your Local Library Challenge. If you haven't already, feel free to join us at the Yahoo Groups where others are participating in this challenge as well as others.

  3. Ok, lot's of challenges here I see. I really want to join them as well but hey, that's a topic for my blog :P

    Seriously now, I totally adore Girlfriend in a Coma. I sure hope you enjoy that as well :) White Teeth's bit crazy and jumbled but endearing and satisfying too. Same with Hotel du Lac. Short but uh, jarring :)

    I can't say the same for How to be Good though. I think that's the last Hornby I've read. And maybe that's why I never bothered to pick up his other books. Oops! Sorry :)

    I'm also here to remind you to read an Ian McEwan book (like you said). Hahaha!

    Lovely challenges, really. Sigh.

  4. Aren't challenges addictive? I said I was only going to join three this year, but at last count I'm up to eight! You have some great books on your lists; I can't wait to read your reviews!

  5. Yay for challenge addicts! And I'm so glad you're joining mine. :) Sorry the blog w/ all the reading lists isn't up and running yet...hopefully it'll be up very soon. Definitely before the New Year, lol.

    If it makes you feel better, I'm already in two challenges that go into 2009, I'm signing up for *gulp* 15 that begin in January, and I'm sure I'll be doing at least Carl's Once Upon a Time and R.I.P. We'll see how that all goes. ;)

  6. Wow, lots of challenges! We're together in the Support Your Library one. I'm going for 25 (although I suppose I could've gone easily for 50 but didn't want to push it).

    What happens in June to prevent you from accessing the library, if I might ask?

  7. I like your list for What's in a Name. I'm in that one too. I'm also in the Library Challenge and the Graphic Novel challenge.

    Looking forward to next year!

  8. Teddy Rose and I will invite you to our Challenge Addicts Anonymous meetings. :-) These look like fun!!


  9. I am still sort of awed people can keep up with taking part in so many challenges. I am so terrible at it and never plan things out and end up behind. Ooops!

    On the plus side, Hero is a big book but it's a very quick read. I read it in two days. It's such a good story. <3

  10. goodness gracious!! That's a lot of commitment!! sheesh, and of all the books you listed I've only read ONE! (Here there be Dragons)
    You're amazing!

  11. Dark Orpheus: You always say that when I go on a challenge-joining spree. You're like the voice of my conscience :P The thing that makes me feel overwhelmed sometimes is having to stick to a list, and since I'm mostly avoiding that, I think I'll be fine. I'll do my best to get to King Leopold's Ghost!

    J. Kaye Oldner: Thanks for welcoming me and for letting me know about the Yahoo group :)

    Lightheaded: I bet I'll love it too. It's Douglas, plus it's named after a Smiths song...what's there nnot to love? I wonder if How to be Good will be the first Nick Hornby book I don't love! And thanks for reminding me about McEwan. I shan't forget :P

    Vasilly: They really are! I had said a while ago I wasn't going to have more than 4 tops going at the same time... so much for that :P

    Eva: Nothing to apologize for! I really look forward to your recommendations, but take your time. I remember you saying in a comment somewhere that you were hoping to sneak all your challenge posts past people :P I have been noticing them, though, and they do make me feel better :P I also can't miss Carl's challenges, and I'm hoping to be able to do the Classics and Non-Fiction Five challenges again too. We'll see how that goes.

    Alessandra: In June I'll be done with that whole university thing at long last :P Well, done for now anyway. We'll see where life takes me next. You made me realize that I'll probably have access to the university library for longer, though. I'm also working as a research assistant, and that will go on until September. So I could probably check out books over the summer. The university library is the only one I use because my town's public library is tiny and way out of the way for me (and there's only one branch for the whole town, unfortunately).

    Beth F: So am I!

    Lezlie: lol, I'd be very glad to join you :P

    Renay: Challenges give me a chance to let me obsessive-compulsive side have a field day. I love making lists and crossing things out of them and updating my challenges page and all that. I went ahead and ordered Hero, and depending on when it gets here I might be able to read it in time! If not, I think I have another post I could submit. I am so looking forward to the Carnival.

    Deslily: I remember your review of that one and I'm really looking forward to reading it. I was thrilled that Rhinoa included it in her list for me. And hopefully the lack of lists I have to follow for every challenge will keep me from feeling that I overcommitted :P

  12. I just wrapped up a bunch of 2008 challenges and I think I've already signed up for like 6 2009 challenges...what's wrong with us? lol.

    I saw a BBC Production of White was a mini series and it was really good!

    And I know you just want to read The Amnesiac because it sounds like a Radiohead album and Girlfriend in a Coma because it's a Smith's song :p

    How to be Good and The Owl Service both just walked in my door thanks to Bookmooch!!

    For the Manga challenge, I highly recommend reading some CLAMP...I'm pushing them on everyone :p My favorite by them is X/1999

  13. LOL you seem to not be joining as many challenges as I'm doing...

    You'll love Hugo Cabret by the way!

  14. Yeah, I'm sure I said I wasn't going to do reading challenges again, after bombing out this year.
    But that didn't last long ... :)

  15. LOL! The challenges are too tempting to resist aren't they?! You've got lots of great books lined up to read though. Have fun and good luck! :)

  16. Definitely read King Leopold's Ghost. I read it for a world history class I took a couple of years ago and it was my favorite of the books we read and possibly the only one I actually finished.

  17. I am actually doing challenges this year! Last year I largely stayed away from them because I was such a slack reader. Since I never make lists, I am all good. lol

    24 Graphic Novels? I'd love it, but the expense... Yesh! I will be lucky if I get the six because I have to pay for all of them... Maybe publishers will start sending them to me, that would be a good 2009! I just can't justify it to myself because I read them so fast...

  18. Oh no! These all sound like fun. Can't... join...any...more...challenges!

  19. I love following your progress on these challenges... I'd join more, myself, but I can't keep track of them and totally lose my lists and then feel guilty. So I'll just follow YOUR challenges. And do R.I.P. That's one I have no trouble doing. :)

    Happy almost 2009!

  20. Good heavens that is a lot of challenges... but you will have more than enough to keep you busy in 2009, that's for sure! Enjoy your challenges.

  21. Wow! Like I've said're an inspiration! Good luck and enjoy your 2009 reading!

  22. 2009 is going to be an exciting year of reading for you, Nymeth. Happy reading!

  23. Chris: We don't learn, that's what's wrong :P Then again, despite my occasional complaining I had tons of fun with my 2008 challenges, and that's what counts. And lol, the Radiohead thing does help :P I won the book from Iliana a while ago, and the premise reminds me of the movie Mememto, which I love. Also, I think it's so cool that Douglas Coupland named a book after a Smiths song. He's said in interviews before that he's a big fan. Thanks for the recommendation! I'll keep CLAMP in mind.

    Bart: I bet I will!

    Maree: It never lasts :P

    Tanabata: They really are! And thanks!

    Alison: I really hope I manage to get to it.

    Kailana: It sounds kind of crazy, I know :P But here's my reasoning: I currently have 6 unread ones, plus a gift card I'll use to get Fables#9. I'm hoping to get some more for my birthday too...then if I count the Manga for this challenge, that's more than half the list already covered :P I have a friend who's really into comics and I'm hoping he'll let me borrow some. Finally, I plan on keeping an eye on Bookmooch and on good deals at the Amazon marketplace. If I get too desperate or too broke, I can always re-read The Sandman, which is something I've been meaning to do anyway :P

    Ladytink: That's what we all say at first :P

    Daphne: Thank you :) I will be doing RIP again too for sure!

    Kim: Thanks! I think I will enjoy them.

    Robin: Thanks! I think I'm more of a model of lack of self-restraint :P

    Alice: I think it is! If it's half as good as 2008 I'll be totally happy.

  24. You really do join a lot of challenges! But you also complete them a lot better than me. So, you are right - you will be fine.

    Want to add Hellboy to your Graphic Novel Challenge for 2009? :)

  25. Those are some great choices! We even have a few in common. :-) You're very restrained though, not to join more challenges, I'm impressed!

  26. just wanted to let you know the blog is up and running. :)

  27. Dark Orpheus: It's true, I do. But I guess it could be worse :P And thanks for reminding me. I will.

    Joanna: ha, you're the only one who thinks so :P

    Eva: Thanks for letting me know!

  28. Nymeth ~ You are very welcome. We are a bit chatty right now and probably will be for the next few weeks. I think we'll settle down after the new year is underway.

  29. wow, you've got some fun challenges listed here. good luck!

  30. Wow, you joined a lot of challenges, Nymeth! I'll be looking forward to reading all your reviews... Happy reading! :D

  31. Maybe I won't feel so bad after all if I decide to join a bunch of challenges. :-) I am still trying to decide which ones to join. You've got a great list here, Nymeth!

    Good luck with all of your challenges!

  32. Good luck with all these challenges! For graphic novels, I recommend Tin Tin by Herge. For manga, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind by Hayao Miyazaki (or anything by this artist) and Chrono Crusade by Daisuke Moriyama.

  33. J. Kaye: chatty is good :P

    Naida, thank you! Good luck with yours too.

    Melody: Thanks!

    Literary Feline: Nothing to feel bad about :P I look forward to seeing which ones you pick.

    Orchidus: I used to read Tin Tin when I was younger, but it's been years. Time to revisit it. And Nausicaa! I loved the movie, so I bet I'd like the manga too.

  34. Challenge addict?! and yet, I don't see the WWII reading challenge on here. LOL

  35. Serena: Like I was telling Anna, I think your challenge is great! The only reason why I didn't sign up is that I did the Themed Reading Challenge on WW2 this year, and I don't think I can do it again so soon, you know?

  36. You know, it's nice to see you just admit you're an addict. Makes me feel better about myself. Because as hard as I tried to walk away from these, I just can't! So instead I changed myself to "unofficial" for most of them...but really what does that mean, huh? But oh my, I hadn't heard of the Lambda one, and now I really, really want to join that one, too. And the Graphic Novels one. And the Manga one. And of course, I already did join all the other ones...
    Hopeless. Simply hopeless.

  37. Those all look like great challenges. I've got mine all sorted now, but I still have my eye on the Graphic Novel one - I'm hoping to do a re-read of the Sandman series and I really need to catch up on what's happening in the Ultimate X-Men world :)

  38. There are so many challenges that look appealing to me but I just can't bring myself to sign up for any just yet. And don't forget to leave room for the non-fiction and classics challenges--not that either of those categories are difficult for you to hit. I think I'll do both mid-year since December is a crack-shoot for me.

  39. I'm so glad we are doing our challenge again in 2009 and am very much looking forward to the books you picked me. I hope we do it again in 2010. If so if we pick our books in time I was thinking of treating you to one if you don't have it for Christmas next year. Happy challenge reading!

  40. I'm signing up for challenges now. I'm also doing the What's In A Name? challenge. Just trying to think of a book with a medical condition in the title!! Good luck with all of yours this year :-)

  41. Debi: lol, I'm glad I made you feel better :P Hopeless and proud of it!

    Joanne: You should join! It's going to be fun for sure.

    Trish: I promise I'll make room for those two! I can always do a little overlapping too :P

    Rhinoa: I love your idea! And of course, I'd love to treat you to one too :)

    Andrea: Thanks! Medical condition was the hardest one for me too.


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment - interaction is one of my favourite things about blogging and a huge part of what keeps me going.