My Challenges (timed)

See my list here
Completed 8 of 9

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Completed 2 of 3

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Completed 2 of 4

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Completed 71 of 81

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Completed 9 of 10

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Completed 34 of 50

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Completed 1 of 2

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Completed 1 of 2

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Completed 1 of 5

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Completed 3 of 5

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Completed 5 of 100

My Challenges (perpetual)

See my list of stories read here

See my list of stories read here

See my list of books read here

See my list of books read here


See my list of books read here

See my list of books read here

See my list of books read here


New York Times Book Review: 6/40
New Yorker: 0/36
New York Review of Books: 0/20
Vogue: 1/16
Email: 841/1373

Friday, September 26, 2008

Challenge changes

As I mentioned in a post yesterday, I've fallen really behind in my challenges, partly because many of the books I picked haven't been appealing to me. This was especially irritating for two of my challenges because I've only got 2 books to go on each. Since I can't stand to start a project and not finish it (even though I do that quite often), I decided to see if I could find replacement books that might work better.

For the 10 Out of 100 Challenge, I've decided to replace Intimacy by Hanif Kureishi for The Ground Beneath Her Feet by Salman Rushdie and Youth by J. M. Coetzee for Shroud by John Banville (although I should say that I love Rushdie and am only changing that one because the book is just too long). I had also picked Shroud for the Booker Challenge and am going to replace it with Time's Arrow by Martin Amis. Hopefully, I'll be able to get into these new picks and I can finish up these 2 challenges on time.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

It's almost time for the 24-hour autumn readathon

Dewey is again hosting a 24-hour readathon, this one to be held on October 18 starting at 8 am EST. You can sign up and/or get more information here. There will again be mini-challenges and prizes, along with a great opportunity to catch up on some of your reading and to check out other blogs. You can sign up as a reader, a cheerleader, or both.

If you've never been a part of this before, I highly recommend it -- I participated last time and it was great (although I conked out and so didn't make it the full 24 hours). Check out the FAQ's on Dewey's blog to find out more. You can also see what the mini-challenges were about by clicking "readathon" from my list of labels -- I only participated in a few but it will give you a general idea.

Weekly Geeks #18 - Catch Up

The challenge this week is to catch up on something. It could be comments, challenges, other people's blogs, whatever. I'm terribly behind in my challenge reading, so that should be the perfect choice for me. The only problem is that I've totally lost interest in the books I picked. I've tried 3 or 4 of them in the last few days and just couldn't get into them. I think part of it may be the self-imposed pressure of feeling that I have to complete the challenges. I probably shouldn't have signed up for so many challenges, and I shouldn't sign up for any more in the near future. We'll see -- maybe I just need to take a break from them for a while.

Anyway, since catching up on challenge reading is out, I looked over my other options and decided to work on my list of prize-winning books. I'm a spreadsheet junkie and have previously put together one listing all the books that have won Booker, Pulitzer, and National Book Awards. When I sat down to think about what I want to read for the readathon (I'll post separately about that), I realized I'd need to go to the libary for some of them. That led to trying to figure out which ones were short enough to cover in 24 hours. So I decided that my master spreadsheet should include info on the number of pages and whether the library had them in audio format. Given the number of books on the spreadsheet, this isn't something that will be finished this week, but I'll get started anyway.

Aww, shucks

My friend Chris recently presented me with this award -- thanks, Chris!!! In the spirit of spreading the love, I hereby pass it on to some of the blogs that I read:

1 More Chapter
Educating Petunia
The Hidden Side of a Leaf
Stephanie's Confessions of a Book-aholic

BBAW Conclusion

Like so many others, I wanted to extend a HUGE THANK-YOU to Amy for all the hard work she put in on BBAW. I can't speak for others, but I greatly enjoyed it and am already looking forward to next year's. It was a wonderful opportunity to find new book blogs to read -- I had no idea there were so many!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Swine Not? by Jimmy Buffett giveaway

Shana at Literarily is giving away a copy of Jimmy Buffett's newest novel, Swine Not? It's described as follows on Amazon:

"Best-selling writer Jimmy Buffett weaves an irresistible new tale---filled with colorful characters, wry humor, and the pursuit of a very clever pig.

When Southern belle Ellie McBride moves her twins from Vertigo, Tennessee to New York City, they wouldn't dream of leaving behind the family pig Rumpy. But the posh hotel where Ellie has found work (and living space) has "No Pets" writ large on its portal. So hiding Rumpy from the hotel staff---especially the ultra-carnivorous hotel chef, who would like nothing better than to transform their pet into pork roast---becomes imperative."

Check it out if you're interested!

Another BBAW giveaway -- The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff

Bethany over at B & b ex libris is giving away this intriguing sounding book. Amazon describes the book as follows:

"Sweeping and lyrical, spellbinding and unforgettable, David Ebershoff’s The 19th Wife combines epic historical fiction with a modern murder mystery to create a brilliant novel of literary suspense.

It is 1875, and Ann Eliza Young has recently separated from her powerful husband, Brigham Young, prophet and leader of the Mormon Church. Expelled and an outcast, Ann Eliza embarks on a crusade to end polygamy in the United States. A rich account of a family’s polygamous history is revealed, including how a young woman became a plural wife.

Soon after Ann Eliza’s story begins, a second exquisite narrative unfolds–a tale of murder involving a polygamist family in present-day Utah. Jordan Scott, a young man who was thrown out of his fundamentalist sect years earlier, must reenter the world that cast him aside in order to discover the truth behind his father’s death.

And as Ann Eliza’s narrative intertwines with that of Jordan’s search, readers are pulled deeper into the mysteries of love and faith."

If this sounds like something you'd be interested in, go by Bethany's blog and check it out!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

In the Land of Invisible Women by Qanta Ahmed

Christine over at She Reads Books recently reviewed this book and it sounds fascinating. The basic plot summary that she provided is as follows:

"In the Land of Invisible Women is the memoir of a British-born, American-trained female Muslim doctor, Qanta Ahmed. After being unexpectedly denied a Visa to stay un the United States, she decided — on a whim — to continue her practise in Saudi Arabia. The book is her account of the years that she spent there, before eventually moving back home to the States, after 9/11. Lots of things are covered, from her medical practise, to aspects of Saudi culture, to the growth of her faith."

This sounds like one of those books that is definitely up my alley. I'll be adding it to my TBR pile and would be interested in hearing what others have thought about it -- so if you have read it, please comment and let me know what you thought!

Monday, September 15, 2008

It's Book Blogger Appreciation Week

The Official BBAW Giveaway List

If you follow along for the festivities of BBAW at My Friend Amy, you will find many chances to win LOTS of goodies! Like what? Well have a look below. All of these things will be given away between September 15-19. There will be a huge variety of ways to win them and giveaways will be announced constantly throughout the week. So be sure to check in often!

A HUGE thank you to Hachette Book Group, Penguin Group USA, Harlequin, The B&B Media Group, Shera ofSNS Blog Design, WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group, Catherine Delors, Pamela Binnings Ewen, Andromeda Romano-Lax, Ceceilia Dowdy, Sormag, Book Club Girl, Savvy Verse and Wit, Cafe of Dreams, Fashionista Piranha, and Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin'?.

Daily Raffles:
Monday--Books and Chocolate sponsored by My Friend Amy and Hey Lady! Whatcha' Readin?
Tuesday--Books and Going Green sponsored by My Friend Amy
Wednesday--Books and Coffee sponsored by My Friend Amy
Thursday--Books and Charity sponsored by My Friend Amy and Fashionista Piranha
Friday--Books and Movies sponsored by My Friend Amy

Win a Book Club Girl Hostess Survival Kit!
Do you find it's your turn to host book club and not only do you not know what to serve but you don't know what books to offer up for the next month's selection?! Let Book Club Girl come to your rescue with the Book Club Girl Hostess Survival Kit.

One lucky winner of the kit will receive:

* A basket of cheese, crackers, cookies and wine for up to 12 people
* 5 great book group books to vote on for your group's next pick. And Book Club Girl will then donate 12 copies whichever book is chosen for your entire group to read.
* 12 Book Club Girl mousepads to give out as party favors that night
* 12 Book Club Girl bookmarks to mark everyone's favorite passages
* 12 Book Club Girl coasters to protect your coffee table from all those wine glasses!

TWO SORMAG Goody Bags containing books and more!

A Special Pamper Me Basket from Cafe of Dreams!
From Avon Foot Works
~ Inflatable watermelon shaped foot tub
~ 3.4 FL oz Watermelon Cooling Foot Lotion
~ 3.4 FL oz Watermelon Exfoliating Foot Scrub
~ 12 count Watermelon Effervescent Foot Tablets
~ An ARC of So Long At The Fair by Christina Schwarz
~ A variety of Hot Chocolate and Tea mixes

A pre-made blog template from SNSDesign!

A Subscription to Poetry Magazine from Savvy Verse and Wit!

Mistress of the Revolution by Catherine Delors
The Moon in the Mango Tree by Pamela Binnings Ewen
The Spanish Bow by Andromeda Romano-Lax
John's Quest by Cecelia Dowdy
Confessions of a Contractor by Richard Murphy
Acedia & Me by Kathleen Norris
The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell
The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks
The Book of Lies by Brad Meltzer
Supreme Courtship by Christopher Buckley
A Tale Out of Luck by Willie Nelson with Mike Blakely
The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent
When Will There Be Good News by Kate Atkinson
An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken
Exit Music by Ian Rankin
The Smart One and the Pretty One by Claire LaZebnik
Gunmetal Black by Daniel Serrano
Isolation by Travis Thrasher
The Miracle Girls by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt
Every Freaking! Day With Rachell Ray by Elizabeth Hilts
Dewey by Vicki Myron
The Shiniest Jewel by Marian Henley
Keep the Faith by Faith Evans
The Book of Calamities by Peter Trachtenberg
A is for Atticus by Lorilee Craker
After the Fire by Robin Gaby Fisher
Mike's Election Guide by Michael Moore
War as They Knew It by Michael Rosenberg
Fixing Hell By Col. (ret.) Larry C. James
Wild Boy: My Life with Duran Duran by Andy Taylor
The Last Under-Cover: The True Story of an FBI Agent's Dangerous Dance with Evil By Bob Hamer
Border Lass by Amanda Scott
Insatiable Desire by Rita Heron
Hungry for More by Diana Holquist
Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee
Trespassers Will Be Baptized by Elizabeth Emerson Hancock
He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not by Trish Ryan
Never Surrender by General Jerry Boykin
Dream in Color by Congresswoman Linda Sánchez, Congresswoman Loretta Sánchez
Beyond Belief by Josh Hamilton
Cobain Unseen by Charles R. Cross
Doing Business in 21st Century India by Gunjan Bagla
Branding Only Works on Cattle by Jonathan Salem Baskin
Launching a Leadership Revolution by Chris Brady, Orrin Woodward
How to Hear from God by Joyce Meyer
Knowing Right from Wrong by Thomas D. Williams
Pope John Paul II: An Intimate Life by Caroline Pigozzi
Pure by Rebecca St. James
He Loves Me! by Wayne Jacobson
So You Don't Want to Go to Church Anymore by Wayne Jacobson and Dave Coleman
Move On, Move Up by Paula White
The Rosary by Gary Jansen
Shoot the Moon by Billie Letts
The Choice by Nicholas Sparks
Right Livelihoods by Rick Moody
by George by Wesley Stace
The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold
Trunk Music by Michael Connelly
Hollywood Crows by Joseph Wambaugh
Dead Boys by Richard Lange
The Gifted Gabaldon Sisters by Lorraine Lopez
Sisterchicks Go Brit! by Robin Jones Gunn
Beyond the Night by Marlo Schalesky
With Endless Sight by Allison Pittman
Harlequin Titles: To Be Announced

Many other blogs are giving away books and prizes for BBAW as well! You can see the links to all of these giveaways here.

Interested in gaining entries into the daily raffles? Post this complete list on your blog with links and you'll earn two extra entries!