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Thread: The 2017 AW Reading Challenge! A "Pick 12" Choose Your Own Adventure

  1. #276
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the discussion! We've still got time to figure this out.

    For now, I'm leaning toward limiting it to 50 categories, adding some new ones and re-using many of the broader older ones that seemed popular. I want to encourage people to read something they wouldn't otherwise, but not be so restrictive/prescriptive that nobody is interested.
    2018 is Coming! Will you be up the challenge? The 2018 AW Reading Challenge, that is! Pick 12 books from a list of topics and read/discuss with us throughout the year. To see what we've done this year, pop over to the 2017 AW Reading Challenge thread.

  2. #277
    practical experience, FTW Cobalt Jade's Avatar
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    I have sad news. The book I was reading for my extra credit, Moon Shot, the story of Alan Shepard, Deke Slayton, and the Apollo program, was stolen! Along with the lunchbag it was in, from my workplace. Also in the bag were my reading glasses and a jacknife-spork-can opener combo. I am pissed. I can't figure out why a random passerby would want to steal such a thing.

  3. #278
    Swan in Process Siri Kirpal's Avatar
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    Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    Oh, no, that's awful, CJ! I'm guessing the random passerby thought it might contain some money...or possibly food...or they were after the jackknife.

    Blessings,

    Siri Kirpal
    "The only freedom any of us ever has is the freedom to choose how we will not be free."

  4. #279
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    That's horrible! Some pople must just figure it doesn't matter what's in the bag, it will at least be something.

    The fact that it happened at work too is doubly discouraging.
    2018 is Coming! Will you be up the challenge? The 2018 AW Reading Challenge, that is! Pick 12 books from a list of topics and read/discuss with us throughout the year. To see what we've done this year, pop over to the 2017 AW Reading Challenge thread.

  5. #280
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cobalt Jade View Post
    I have sad news. The book I was reading for my extra credit, Moon Shot, the story of Alan Shepard, Deke Slayton, and the Apollo program, was stolen! Along with the lunchbag it was in, from my workplace. Also in the bag were my reading glasses and a jacknife-spork-can opener combo. I am pissed. I can't figure out why a random passerby would want to steal such a thing.
    Man, that blows.
    KINGLET: Now available from Fiery Seas Publishing: Amazon Barnes & Noble iBooks Kobo
    FISKUR: Now available from Fiery Seas Publishing: Amazon Barnes & Noble iBooks Kobo
    STONEKING: Releasing February 20, 2018 from Fiery Seas Publishing






    My Website:
    www.donnamigliaccio.com

    And the occasional Tweet.





  6. #281
    Just Another Lazy Perfectionist Brightdreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cobalt Jade View Post
    I have sad news. The book I was reading for my extra credit, Moon Shot, the story of Alan Shepard, Deke Slayton, and the Apollo program, was stolen! Along with the lunchbag it was in, from my workplace. Also in the bag were my reading glasses and a jacknife-spork-can opener combo. I am pissed. I can't figure out why a random passerby would want to steal such a thing.
    Well, when a nutjob wearing reading glasses tries to break into NASA using a jacknife-spork-can opener tool as a lockpick while ranting about Alan Shepard, maybe you'll have your answer...

    Bummer on the stolen book. (Don't know that I've ever had a book stolen, though I've misplaced several over the years.) I don't suppose your local library can come through with a loaner?
    - Brightdreamer
    Brightdreamer's Book Reviews

    "Inspiration will strike you, and leave you for dead. The police will do nothing."
    - from The Daily Humorscope

  7. #282
    The new me oneblindmouse's Avatar
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    My updated challenge:

    1. Wow! Nice!
    Caín by José Saramago DONE
    2. No cliff notes this time: The Last of the Mohicans by J. Fenimore Cooper. DONE
    3. What the greatest generation to post-millennial are reading: In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje 4. No hablo: Simple stories by Ingo Schultz DONE 5. Enter stage right: Los intereses creados by Jacinto Benavente DONE 6. Bits and pieces: The Tree House (poems) by Kathleen Jamie DONE
    7. You might also like: The Skull Mantra by Eliot Pattison. DONE 8. Crossing the colour lines: The other hand by Chris Cleave DONE
    9. Rainbow warrior: Crome yellow by Aldous Huxley DONE
    10. Out of this world: The ship who sang by Anne McAffrey DONE
    11. Tuesdays with Balaam’s ass: Me llamo Lucas y no soy perro - Fernando Delgado DONE
    12. You really shouldn’t have: The tobacconist by Robert Seethaler DONE
    I was curious about The Last Mohican as it's such an American classic, and because I'm very interested in Native Americans, but even allowing for the fact that this novel was written before political correctness, I was very disappointed. It annoyed me to discover that the author deliberately chose to ignore historical acts, and rewrote history, which I think unforgiveable when writing historical fiction. I believe one should stick to the facts as much as possible, though adding one's personal take to events and the reasons behind them. Also, the language was unbearably dense and slow, even for the era. I can understand, however, how the story has been made into two successful films, as there is a lot of action. I thought the characters were very one-dimensional: the heroes were heroic, while the 'baddies' were evil through and through. One of the two sisters was an infuriating timid wimp, while her sister was, however, surprisingly resourceful. I'm glad I read it, just to know what all the fuss is about.

    "Strange Destinies" by Guillermo Rubio Arias-Paz, translated from the Spanish and out now on Amazon and the Endless Bookcase.

    Goodreads

  8. #283
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Looks like you're on the last one! Awesome!
    2018 is Coming! Will you be up the challenge? The 2018 AW Reading Challenge, that is! Pick 12 books from a list of topics and read/discuss with us throughout the year. To see what we've done this year, pop over to the 2017 AW Reading Challenge thread.

  9. #284
    The new me oneblindmouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris P View Post
    Looks like you're on the last one! Awesome!
    Yep! Thanks.

    I'm very curious and excited to see what categories you choose for next year's challenge; which are new and which will be repeated.

    "Strange Destinies" by Guillermo Rubio Arias-Paz, translated from the Spanish and out now on Amazon and the Endless Bookcase.

    Goodreads

  10. #285
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oneblindmouse View Post
    Yep! Thanks.

    I'm very curious and excited to see what categories you choose for next year's challenge; which are new and which will be repeated.
    Part of me wants to say you can influence that decision, and part of me wants to rub my hands and cackle in megalomaniacal glee.
    2018 is Coming! Will you be up the challenge? The 2018 AW Reading Challenge, that is! Pick 12 books from a list of topics and read/discuss with us throughout the year. To see what we've done this year, pop over to the 2017 AW Reading Challenge thread.

  11. #286
    Swan in Process Siri Kirpal's Avatar
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    Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    Chris, an evil maniac you're not. (But I won't tell that to your characters, whatever it is you write.)

    Blessings,

    Siri Kirpal
    "The only freedom any of us ever has is the freedom to choose how we will not be free."

  12. #287
    Swan in Process Siri Kirpal's Avatar
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    Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    Oh, and if you decide to keep the category about immigrants (and I'm all for it!), you might reconsider the title. Most immigrants don't come from cold places, but hot ones.

    Blessings,

    Siri Kirpal
    "The only freedom any of us ever has is the freedom to choose how we will not be free."

  13. #288
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    My characters won't let me talk them into anything anymore. They've become quite stubborn from experience.

    Oh, and the category title comes from the first line of Led Zepplin's "Immigrant Song," as you might already know. The song actually doesn't celebrate immigrants but is about the Viking conquests of 1000 years ago. Not exactly Neil Diamond's "America," and perhaps too obscure of a reference.
    2018 is Coming! Will you be up the challenge? The 2018 AW Reading Challenge, that is! Pick 12 books from a list of topics and read/discuss with us throughout the year. To see what we've done this year, pop over to the 2017 AW Reading Challenge thread.

  14. #289
    Swan in Process Siri Kirpal's Avatar
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    Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    I thought the title might be a quote, though I didn't know from what. I could tell it was appropriate to the topic...just not necessarily the places.

    And yeah, characters do develop minds of their own.

    Blessings,

    Siri Kirpal
    "The only freedom any of us ever has is the freedom to choose how we will not be free."

  15. #290
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    Ain't it the truth. My two main characters are driving me nuts right now for that very reason.
    KINGLET: Now available from Fiery Seas Publishing: Amazon Barnes & Noble iBooks Kobo
    FISKUR: Now available from Fiery Seas Publishing: Amazon Barnes & Noble iBooks Kobo
    STONEKING: Releasing February 20, 2018 from Fiery Seas Publishing






    My Website:
    www.donnamigliaccio.com

    And the occasional Tweet.





  16. #291
    The new me oneblindmouse's Avatar
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    I'm all for the immigrant category (and have a book already lined up for it!), but even doubly so that's it's a Led Zeppelin quote (which I'm mortally ashamed not to have recognised).

    "Strange Destinies" by Guillermo Rubio Arias-Paz, translated from the Spanish and out now on Amazon and the Endless Bookcase.

    Goodreads

  17. #292
    The new me oneblindmouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siri Kirpal View Post
    Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    Extra-curricular:

    Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet (which is by an AWer, btw) was probably the most emotionally satisfying read of the bunch. For those of you who haven't read it, it's set mostly in Seattle and is about a friendship between a Chinese boy and a Japanese girl right as the Japanese relocation begins. This hits me harder than you might think of someone who checks the Caucasian box on census forms. My mother lived in Seattle during this period of time. She had a Japanese friend and was heartbroken when that friend disappeared from school as a result of the relocation. That's the tip of the iceberg.

    It did have some flaws. I don't think any man or woman ever shaves on a plane. When you buy a plane ticket, the dates/times aren't a moving target. And especially, the use of "vinyl" to mean "records" didn't really become an item until the 1990s...but the latest date in the story is 1986. For all that, I'm really grateful I read it when I did, because reading it as a writer taught me a lot about how to get emotion into a scene. And that's the thing, emotionally this was the most accurate book I read this year.

    Blessings,

    Siri Kirpal
    I didn't know Hotel on the corner of bitter and sweet was by an AWer!! I read it a couple of years ago and loved it! I agree, it was very well written, and I also learned a lot about the terrible situation of the Japaneses and Chinese in the U.S. during WWII. It's well worth a read.

    "Strange Destinies" by Guillermo Rubio Arias-Paz, translated from the Spanish and out now on Amazon and the Endless Bookcase.

    Goodreads

  18. #293
    Swan in Process Siri Kirpal's Avatar
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    Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    Jamie Ford hasn't posted on the boards for awhile, but he did some agent research and some promotion here. He's still listed as a member. And for anyone who hasn't looked him up, he's half Chinese. His immigrant great-grandfather (I think) decided to name himself Ford.

    I'm thinking about getting his next books.

    Blessings,

    Siri Kirpal
    "The only freedom any of us ever has is the freedom to choose how we will not be free."

  19. #294
    Swan in Process Siri Kirpal's Avatar
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    Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    My current updated list:

    1. Loose Ends: Truth & Beauty by Ann Patchett. Done. [Beautifully written memoir of Patchett's friendship with Lucy Grealy. Liked the writing; didn't like Grealy.]
    2. What You Read: Mopsa the Fairy by Jean Ingelow. Done. [Episodic and sometimes confusing, but lovely details.]
    3. What Your Great-Grandparents Read: The Sketch Book by Washington Irving. Done. [Could also be Bits & Pieces, a mixed bag, some soporific, some delightful.]
    4. You Really Shouldn't Have: Ladder of Years by Anne Tyler. Done. [How I got it was more dramatic than the book. Book is now out of the house.]
    5. No Cliff Notes This Time: Othello by William Shakespeare. Done. [A classic take on jealousy, gullibility and trust.]
    6. Bits & Pieces (or No Hablo): Forty Poems by Juan Ramon Jimenez translated by Robert Bly. Done.
    7. I've Met Them: Playing with Fire by Tess Gerritsen. Done.
    8. Holy Moly: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. Done. [emotionally satisfying]
    9. Support the Home Team: Of Marriageable Age by Sharon Maas [AKA aruna] Done. [Complicated, but worth the read.]
    10. Fired from the Canon: The Late Scholar by Jill Paton Walsh Done.[A fun read, but not true to the canon.]
    11. Better Known For...: The Toughest Show on Earth by Joseph Volpe. Done. ​[Frank, fearless, funny and inspirational.]
    12. Enter Stage Right: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay by JK Rowling. Done. [Fantastic! ]

    Extra-curricular:
    1. Becoming Finola by Suzanne Strempek Shea Done. [Fun, but not well edited.]
    2. The Woman Who Died a Lot by Jasper Fforde. Done [Fast & fun]
    3. De Potter's Grand Tour by Joanna Scott. Done [Glad I read it, but not the best or even second best book I've read this year.]
    4. Safe Passage by Ida Cook. Done [Best book of the year! The true story of two opera-loving sisters who used their passion as a cover for rescuing Jews pre WWII]

    Just updating my extra-curricular list. I highly recommend Safe Passage, but understand that the author is old-school, which means a slowish beginning. Have no fear, it gets lots more interesting. If you ever want to write a scene in the shelters of London during the Blitz, please be sure to read this book.

    Blessings,

    Siri Kirpal
    "The only freedom any of us ever has is the freedom to choose how we will not be free."

  20. #295
    The new me oneblindmouse's Avatar
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    I've finished In the skin of a lion by Ondaatje! The story is based on migrant labour in Toronto in the 1920s and is full of memorable characters and true-life incidents (like the nun being blown off the unfinished bridge and her body never being found!). I enjoyed it immensely, though the ending was a bit confusing. A memorable read.

    With that, I've finished my second 2017 challenge (see below), and look forward to the 2018 challenge.

    1. Wow! Nice!
    Caín by José Saramago DONE
    2. No cliff notes this time: The Last of the Mohicans by J. Fenimore Cooper. DONE
    3. What the greatest generation are reading: In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje DONE
    4. No hablo: Simple stories by Ingo Schultz DONE 5. Enter stage right: Los intereses creados by Jacinto Benavente DONE
    6. Bits and pieces: The Tree House (poems) by Kathleen Jamie DONE
    7. You might also like: The Skull Mantra by Eliot Pattison DONE
    8. Crossing the colour lines: The other hand by Chris Cleave DONE
    9. Rainbow warrior: Crome yellow by Aldous Huxley DONE
    10. Out of this world: The ship who sang by Anne McAffrey DONE
    11. Tuesdays +Balaam’s ass: Me llamo Lucas y no soy perro - Fernando Delgado DONE
    12. You really shouldn’t have: The tobacconist by Robert Seethaler DONE

    "Strange Destinies" by Guillermo Rubio Arias-Paz, translated from the Spanish and out now on Amazon and the Endless Bookcase.

    Goodreads

  21. #296
    Swan in Process Siri Kirpal's Avatar
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    Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    Congrats, oneblindmouse! Looks like it was an interesting year of reading.

    Blessings,

    Siri Kirpal
    "The only freedom any of us ever has is the freedom to choose how we will not be free."

  22. #297
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Congrats oneblindmouse! This has been a great reading year for many of us.
    2018 is Coming! Will you be up the challenge? The 2018 AW Reading Challenge, that is! Pick 12 books from a list of topics and read/discuss with us throughout the year. To see what we've done this year, pop over to the 2017 AW Reading Challenge thread.

  23. #298
    The new me oneblindmouse's Avatar
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    Yes, it's been really fun to do the challenge. I've read stuff I wouldn't have done otherwise, or that I'd been postponing reading.

    I'm currently readind A week in December by Sebastian Faulkes. The action takes place in London the week before Christmas, so it's very appropriate to read it right now.

    "Strange Destinies" by Guillermo Rubio Arias-Paz, translated from the Spanish and out now on Amazon and the Endless Bookcase.

    Goodreads

  24. #299
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Hey all, there's only a couple weeks left before next year! We still have time to suggest categories.
    2018 is Coming! Will you be up the challenge? The 2018 AW Reading Challenge, that is! Pick 12 books from a list of topics and read/discuss with us throughout the year. To see what we've done this year, pop over to the 2017 AW Reading Challenge thread.

  25. #300
    The new me oneblindmouse's Avatar
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    How about:

    - A book from a secondhand bookshop or a charity shop.

    - A book with a day of the week or a month in the title.

    - A book that's won a prestigious literature prize, or the author has won the Nobel prize for literature. etc.

    "Strange Destinies" by Guillermo Rubio Arias-Paz, translated from the Spanish and out now on Amazon and the Endless Bookcase.

    Goodreads

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