Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Winter Reading Challenge

Hey everyone, I blogged yesterday over at Samhain's Blog...and my post is a little lonely. Would you hop on over and maybe leave me a comment there?

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Marianne posted yesterday about The Winter Reading Challenge, which seems like an excellent way to start the new year. 12 weeks of winter, or so, and given my time constraints, I think 6 books (+ an extra couple for LASR) will be the most I can attempt.



So here they are:

1. Nineteen Minutes - I've been wanting to read this one by Jodi Picoult, about a school shooting, for some time now. It's supposed to be pretty powerful...and not what you'd expect.

2. A Thousand Splendid Suns- The follow-up novel to The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini. Loved the first one and have heard good things about this second one.

3. What is the What or A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers (I put both on my Christmas list, so it depends on which one I get!)

4. Carrie Pilby - This chick lit novel by Caren Lissner features one of the characters from a novella in Scenes from a Holiday (see yesterday's post), and I found a copy used on Ebay. UPDATE: Entertaining enough, it's the story of a teenage genius who's just finished Harvard and is now living in NYC trying to figure out what to do with the rest of her life. There are some funny moments, as well as some poignant ones, though Carrie's "poor me" attitude kind of wore on me after awhile. I did like the main character, because she's not a typical chick lit heroine (she's smart and only 19, so her whining can be forgiven a little, I suppose). But I actually liked the novella in Scenes... better. The minor characters (especially Kara, Carrie's colorful, bisexual best friend) were more interesting, and the plot seemed tighter. Read that one if you have to choose; the saga about Carrie and her lack of a social life is about the same in both works.

5. The Red Tent - A fictional account of the life of Dinah (daughter of Leah and Jacob), written by Anita Diamant, this one's been recommended to me by a couple of students. UPDATE: Loved this book, a beautiful fictional retelling of this minor character from Genesis. It's a lovely, lyrical story highlighting the power of female friendships, motherhood, and the power of women, especially in a patriarchal society. The character development is rich, the scenes are moving, and it's also a really nice historic view into a long-ago time period. I highly recommend it!

6. Something by Tori Phillips - She's my new favorite historical romance author, and there are a few used copies of her books floating around Ebay too, so we'll see.

7. And whatever I decide to read and review for LASR.

Whew! What about you? Want to join the challenge? Or just share which books you'd like to read in 2008?

8 comments:

Marianne Arkins said...

Yay! I'm glad you're participating, too. I'm planning on some non-fiction, too: "Learned Optimism" and "Authentic Happiness" are on my list of possibles.

I'm sure I'll be adding, subtracting and otherwise doing math on my list as the time goes by.

bunnygirl said...

I don't really have anything planned for 2008, although I've got a wish list at Amazon always at the ready and I add things whenever I get new ideas, so I don't forget.

My best trick, since I work at a university, is to wait until two weeks after a new semester has started (let the students get their books first) and then go to the campus bookstore and browse my favorite subjects to see what the professors picked for their classes. Invariably I come away with some great selections in English Lit, Spanish Lit and history.

I highly recommend this technique, if you're near a college. The profs always come up with things that I've never heard of but are really good! :-)

Of course, if you need something to read in the short term, I'm hosting a Holiday Flash Fiction Carnival on my site and comments to the stories have been slow due to... the holidays, what else?

hepsmom said...

Just wanted to leave you a quick note and tell you that I browsed your site, as a result of a search for teachers. It's grand! I will be reading, but I don't know if I'll get as many books read as y'all. My plan is Lonesome Dove. I've never read it and everyone says it's fantastic. I shall soon find out.

Thanks for all your efforts on your blog.

Anonymous said...

Read CARRIE PILBY!!! It goes fast. Have fun with that. Merry Xmas!

windycindy said...

Hello! I usually go to a book store and look around for what seems like
forever!!!!! I buy whatever looks and sounds interesting! Sometimes, I will go by reviews and suggestions!
Thanks,Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

Karlene said...

Hi Allie. Glad you're joining us for the Winter Reading Challenge. I like to make things very easy so cross-over reads from other challenges definitely count here!

Looks like a good list.

Nise' said...

Great list of books for the winter challenge. The Red Tent was an excellent book. I recommend it quite often.

alisonwonderland said...

i put A Thousand Splendid Suns on my list too. i'm on the library hold list at the moment ...