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

  1. #251
    Swan in Process Siri Kirpal's Avatar
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    Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    Thanks for the review of Everyone Brave Is Forgiven, Chris. I picked up a copy awhile ago and haven't tucked into it yet.

    Blessings,

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

  2. #252
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Let me know what you think, Siri. I enjoyed it and found it memorable.

    I'm well into my final title for this year's challenge, an extra credit I learned about from someone else's challenge: Golden Hill by Francis Spufford. Taking place in 1748 when New York City was a bustling minitropolis of 7000 folks, our hero Mr. Smith arrives with a bill of credit for 1000 pounds and a secret mission the reader does not even know. This book is masterfully written in the style of the time, with lengthy paragraphs, rich descriptions and charming language that brings to mind Tom Jones and the later titles I'm familair with such as Vanity Fair and Great Expectations. However, the style is fresh and modern enough to not seem campy or satirical. The author's descriptions make the city come to life, and he excels at describing chaotic, simultaneous action. About 40% in, I'm getting a little bored with the secrecy around his mission, and I hope it doesn't end up being trite. With such a strong first half, my expectations are high for this one
    Join any time! Take the 2017 AW Reading Challenge. Pick 12 books from a list of topics and read/discuss with us throughout the year.

  3. #253
    Swan in Process Siri Kirpal's Avatar
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    Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    You may have a wait. I'm not a fast reader and have the bad (or very good) habit of buying books in batches.

    Blessings,

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

  4. #254
    practical experience, FTW Cobalt Jade's Avatar
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    Finished The Secret History of the Mongol Queens, How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire, by Jack Weatherford. It took a while, because I read slowly. I hadn't read any histories of Asia before. Anyway, what an inspiration! I am definitely beefed to read more about this epoch. It read like an outline for some fantasy series yet to be written. As a plus, I found out a little about The Golden Horde, and how they, at one time, overran the country of 3/4 of my ancient ancestry. Perhaps I am part Mongol myself, and I did find much to admire about this ancient culture.

    Next up: A re-read of A Wrinkle in Time, which I have been looking forward to.




    1. Coming to a theater near you: A book made into a major motion picture. (Stardust by Neil Gaimon) FINISHED ***
    2. East meets West: A book taking place in Asia (anywhere in Asia; Turkey to Japan, Siberia to Indonesia) (Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See) FINISHED *****
    3. What you read: A book you loved as a child. (CHANGED: A Wrinkle Out of Time, by Madeleine L'Engle)
    4. Loose ends: A book you started last year and haven’t yet finished. (Cinder by Marissa Meyer) FINISHED *
    5. No hablo: A translation. (The King of the Fields, Isaac Bashevis Singer)
    6. Out of the park on first at bat: A debut. (Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer, by Laini Taylor) FINISHED **
    7. Huh, I never knew that: A book in a new-to-you genre. (The Aviary Gate, by Katie Hickman. It's Historical Romance.) FINISHED ***
    8. Rainbow warrior: A book with a color in the title. (Yellowtail, Crow Medicine Man and Sun Dance Chief, an Autobiography told to Michael Oren Fitzgerald) FINISHED **
    9. Who was that, again?: A book about a person you know little about. (The Secret History of the Mongol Queens, How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire, by Jack Weatherford) FINISHED *****
    10. God’s mansion has many rooms: A book based in a religion not your own. (Harm, by Brian W. Aldiss) FINISHED *****
    11. Ye olde booke shoppe: A book written before 1700. (Gilgamesh.) FINISHED ***
    12. Three-color mythology: A graphic novel or comic book. (Tiger Lung, by Roy Simon) FINISHED *****

  5. #255
    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.]

    Okay, so.....ta dah!....I've finished the challenge. Even if I did tweak the initial list a few times before I was done. Did get a lot of odds and ends tidied away by doing this.

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

  6. #256
    Write. Write. Writey Write Write. mrsmig's Avatar
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    Finally, finally finally - I have finished OSLO. Performed, I expect it's riveting. As a read, it's very dense. I still enjoyed it and am glad I read it.

    And with that, I am FINISHED with my third Challenge round of the year. Lest you think I have not been reading in the month it's taken me to finish OSLO, I've read eight or nine additional books not on the list (including THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS, which I thought started off promisingly and then stuttered to a halt - very disappointing). Part of me wants to start a fourth Challenge, but I'm going to be doing NaNo this year and need to focus on that.

    ChrisP, this has been a great Challenge (as always) and I'm looking forward to next year!

    [x] 1. East meets West: THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING by Rudyard Kipling
    [x] 2. No hablo: MEMOIRS OF A POLAR BEAR by Yoko Towada
    [x] 3. My hometown: AMERICAN FIRE: LOVE, ARSON & LIFE IN A VANISHING LAND by Monica Hesse (from the DC Metro area; close enough)
    [x] 4. Namesakes: THE LITTLE FRIEND by Donna Tartt
    [x] 5. Out of this world: TUF VOYAGING by George R. R. Martin
    [x] 6. Enter stage right: OSLO by J.T. Rogers
    [x] 7. Counting your chickens: STATION ELEVEN by Emily St. John Mandel
    [x] 8. Steady there, cowboy: WELCOME TO HARD TIMES by E.L. Doctorow
    [x] 9. Crossing the (Color) lines: THE WOMAN WARRIOR by Maxine Hong Kingston
    [x] 10. Who was that, again?: NIGHT by Elie Wiesel
    [x] 11. Holy moly some authors like to use lots of words: BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE by Aron Ralston
    [x] 12. What everyone else was reading: A MAN CALLED OVE by Fredrik Backman
    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.





  7. #257
    Swan in Process Siri Kirpal's Avatar
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    Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    Congrats on finishing 3 challenges, mrsmig! You're a champ! And best wishes on finishing NaNo too!

    Blessings,

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

  8. #258
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Congrats to all the finishers, the multiple finishers, everyone who participated and those who still are! There's two months left in the year. It's never a race, but an opportunity.

    I finished the last of my three book extra credit: Golden Hill by Francis Spufford. Wow, that was nice! I loved the homage to the old timey style while keeping things fresh. Things kept moving nicely, with the slow parts worth getting through to the next good parts. I got more annoyed with Smith at the book went on, to the point I didn't really care about what he was doing by the end. When Septimus challenged him to a duel, my heart sank. I thought "Oh no! Smith is a young Alexander Hamilton in disguise!" A moneyed man from England in New York, who has a duel in his younger days and who therefore spares Aaron Burr to avoid his youthful mistakes. The 1746 setting would have made him maybe too old for the duel in 1800, but . . . it added up. I was totally prepared for a book/wall moment. My entire reading career, I have always hated the "young Einstein gets his heart broken" stories, especially if the reveal of the famous person is the big twist. Most of the time, the story is perfectly fine and enjoyable and the historical tie-in seems like a cheap shot. Fortunately I totally forgot about the reveal at the 50% mark that eliminated the Hamilton in disguise theory.
    Join any time! Take the 2017 AW Reading Challenge. Pick 12 books from a list of topics and read/discuss with us throughout the year.

  9. #259
    practical experience, FTW Cobalt Jade's Avatar
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    Finished my Childhood read selection, A Wrinkle in Time. It's held up well and I have a new admiration for it now. L'Engle was so wonderfully sensorial as a writer, whether it's describing woods in Autumn, or the feeling of being squished in a two-dimensional world. Her Meg holds up as well and is as "real" as she was back in the 1970s, when I first read it, as a heroine.

    What I'd forgotten was how much of a little shit Charles Wallace was, a combination of the Boy Genius, Idiot Savant, and Horror Child tropes. In fact, I am sad to say I relished the later parts of the story where he gets involved in fisticuffs with Meg and Calvin and gets smacked around a lot! I want to say the author never met a real, living, breathing, five-year-old child, but apparently she had a son of her own on whom CW was based. This makes sense, since Meg's (irrational to me) devotion to him is more like that of a mother who sees no faults, rather than an older sister to a younger sibling. I would still give the book five stars, though.

    Next up: The King of the Fields, by Isaac Bashevis Singer. That's a short one too, so I may have time to do an extra credit book.


    1. Coming to a theater near you: A book made into a major motion picture. (Stardust by Neil Gaimon) FINISHED ***
    2. East meets West: A book taking place in Asia (anywhere in Asia; Turkey to Japan, Siberia to Indonesia) (Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See) FINISHED *****
    3. What you read: A book you loved as a child. (CHANGED: A Wrinkle Out of Time, by Madeleine L'Engle) FINISHED *****
    4. Loose ends: A book you started last year and haven’t yet finished. (Cinder by Marissa Meyer) FINISHED *
    5. No hablo: A translation. (The King of the Fields, Isaac Bashevis Singer) LAST ONE STANDING!
    6. Out of the park on first at bat: A debut. (Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer, by Laini Taylor) FINISHED **
    7. Huh, I never knew that: A book in a new-to-you genre. (The Aviary Gate, by Katie Hickman. It's Historical Romance.) FINISHED ***
    8. Rainbow warrior: A book with a color in the title. (Yellowtail, Crow Medicine Man and Sun Dance Chief, an Autobiography told to Michael Oren Fitzgerald) FINISHED **
    9. Who was that, again?: A book about a person you know little about. (The Secret History of the Mongol Queens, How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire, by Jack Weatherford) FINISHED *****
    10. God’s mansion has many rooms: A book based in a religion not your own. (Harm, by Brian W. Aldiss) FINISHED *****
    11. Ye olde booke shoppe: A book written before 1700. (Gilgamesh.) FINISHED ***
    12. Three-color mythology: A graphic novel or comic book. (Tiger Lung, by Roy Simon) FINISHED *****

  10. #260
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Great review, Cobalt! I read Wrinkle in Time as an adult, and although I don't remember so much of thr plot, I remember feeling enchanted by it.
    Join any time! Take the 2017 AW Reading Challenge. Pick 12 books from a list of topics and read/discuss with us throughout the year.

  11. #261
    The new me oneblindmouse's Avatar
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    Finished Caín by José Saramago. A witty, blasphemous review of the Old Testament from the point of view of Cain, an intelligent murderor who tries to reason with God and his angels. The novel poses fundamental questions of good and evil, free will, morality and determinism, against a background in which the Old Testament god is not loving or caring, but downright vindictive, unjust and narcissistic. Told in typical Saramago style, there is lots of digression and there are few commas, but it's a great read.

    1. Wow! Nice! Caín by José Saramago DONE
    2. No cliff notes this time: The Last of the Mohicans by J. Fenimore Cooper.
    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 by 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

  12. #262
    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]

    Just thought to add my second extra-credit book. The Woman Who Died a Lot is a comic alternate reality thriller. It's part of the Thursday Next series and strongly features libraries. So it's real appropriate for us readers.

    I've also read a children's picture book, but it was so bad I'm not going to post it here.

    Expect to read two or three more books before the end of the year, despite a lot of holiday stuff: more than 200 holiday cards/newsletters, a trip to attend a wedding reception and taking care of my mother, should she live so long (which given her pain and memory problems, I'm not hoping for).

    And in case I don't mention it later, I've been enjoying the social aspect of all of us reading books and talking about them...but not all reading the same ones. Planning on doing this in 2018.

    Blessings,

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

  13. #263
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Great to see so much progress, everyone. Keep up the good work.

    Next year's challenge is coming together. Siri and I came up with some ideas to make things a little more interesting. Feel free to let me know (PM or here) what ideas you might have.
    Join any time! Take the 2017 AW Reading Challenge. Pick 12 books from a list of topics and read/discuss with us throughout the year.

  14. #264
    forgetful elephant Yzjdriel's Avatar
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    Here's a couple of ideas for next year:

    Back By Popular Vote: Read a book that someone else read for this challenge last year and thinks you should read, too.
    Wheel of Doom: Spin the Wheel of Doom! Whatever category it lands on, you have to pick a book from, even if you're already doing a book from that category.

    Please ignore the clearly insane electrical engineer behind the instrument panel. His meds won't wear off until Thur - it's Friday? Already?? Oh dear.
    sarcasticmathematician @gmail.com
    Yzjdriel [zid-ree-el] N. A username that's intentionally difficult to pronounce.

  15. #265
    Swan in Process Siri Kirpal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yzjdriel View Post
    Here's a couple of ideas for next year:

    Back By Popular Vote: Read a book that someone else read for this challenge last year and thinks you should read, too.
    Wheel of Doom: Spin the Wheel of Doom! Whatever category it lands on, you have to pick a book from, even if you're already doing a book from that category.
    Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"-a Sikh greeting)

    Chris, I'm thinking it's time to share the current list with everyone, because one of these suggestions looks mighty like one of the ones on the current list.

    Blessings,

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

  16. #266
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions, Yzjdriel. Siri, I was thinking the same thing about the first suggestion.

    Yzjdriel, how would you suggest one of the topics gets randomly assigned? My idea would be to use a random number generator.

    I'll put the potential list in a separate post so things don't get too confusing.
    Join any time! Take the 2017 AW Reading Challenge. Pick 12 books from a list of topics and read/discuss with us throughout the year.

  17. #267
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Below is the draft list of topics. It's grown, even if I've cut a few out from this year. I've also redone some of the category titles to better reflect the topic. I love Siri's idea to either pick from 12 or to do four groups of three.

    Yzjdriel, your second suggestion is very similar to number 71.

    Everyone, please feel free to comment. Is the list too long? Too short? Too confusing? I'm open to changing any of this. Please let me know, and PM is great if you don't want to share something on the board.

    +++++

    As in prior years, each us chooses 12 books from a list of categories to read and discuss throughout the year. For those new, we each read our own 12 (unless you have titles in common and want to discuss; that would be quite cool).

    Please read the sticky in this forum regarding spoilers.

    Siri had a wonderful idea to switch things up, and so you can choose from two options:

    1) Breadth: Choose one book from each of 12 categories below that interest you

    Or

    2) Depth: Choose 3 books within each of 4 categories. Or, choose 3 books by the same author in the same or different categories.

    Or get creative and come up with your own was to group them. How ever you want to do it is awesome. The only way to do it wrong is to forget to have fun.


    1. Coming to a theater near you: A book made into a major motion picture.
    2. East meets West: A book taking place in Asia (Turkey to Japan, Siberia to Vietnam)
    3. What your parents read: Any book on the Publisher’s Weekly Best Sellers for the year you were born (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Publis..._United_States).
    4. No hablo: A book originally written in another language (i.e., a translation).
    5. I remember that!: A book about a historical event that took place in your lifetime.
    6. My hometown: A book by a local author.
    7. Rainbow warrior: A book with a color in the title.
    8. Locked up: A book taking place in a prison, mental institution or treatment center.
    9. Bits and pieces: An anthology (poetry, short stories, whatever).
    10. Namesakes: A book by an author who shares your first or last name (maiden name counts).
    11. Out of this world: A book taking place in space or on another planet.
    12. Still time for more chapters: A memoir/biography by/about someone who’s still alive (as of January 1).
    13. Tuesdays with Balaam’s Ass: A book with a non-human (animal or fantastic creature) main character.
    14. What your great-grandparents read: A book written more than 75 years before you were born.
    15. Upstaged: A play.
    16. Fired from the canon: A work of fanfic.
    17. Out of Africa: A book taking place in Africa (including North Africa).
    18. Counting your chickens: A book with a number in the title.
    19. You really shouldn’t have: A book bought for you as a gift.
    20. What you read: A book you loved as a child.
    21. So that’s what they think of us: A book about your country by someone from another country.
    22. Loose ends: A book you started last year and haven’t yet finished.
    23. War is hell: A book about war, on the lines or the homefront, fiction or nonfiction.
    24. I’ve met them!: A book by someone you have seen in person (either know, seen at a book fair, speaking engagement, in line at the ATM, whatever).
    25. Learn the Quadrille: A regency romance.
    26. Crossing the (color) lines: A book about a PoC, any variety, written by an author of the same variety.
    27. No Cliff Notes this time: A book that’s required reading in most high schools but that you never read.
    28. Be the change you want to see: A nonfiction book about a sociopolitical issue.
    29. Old world charm: A book taking place in or about Europe.
    30. Earth, Wind, & Fire: A book related to the Earth sciences (geography, oceanography, etc.)
    31. Step by step: A how-to book.
    32. Do you read about a land down under?: A book about or taking place in Australia, New Zealand or Pacific Islands.
    33. Where is that, again?: A book about a place you know little about.
    34. Who was that, again?: A book about a person you know little about.
    35. What you will read to your grandchildren: A children's book (middle grade or lower).
    36. Steady there, cowboy: A western.
    37. Ripped from the headlines: A true crime book.
    38. Wow. Nice: A book with a one-word title.
    39. Anyward, ho!: A travel novel (any genre).
    40. Lol random: Go to Gutenberg.org, click “Book Search Page,” click “Random” and pick any one of the books that show up.
    41. We come from the land of the ice and snow: A book about immigrants or immigration, or with an immigrant main character.
    42. Holy moly some authors like to use lots of words: A book whose title is more than six words long.
    43. Halcyon days: A book you read at age 21 (estimate if you have to, choose age 12 if you aren’t yet 21 ).
    44. How we got to where we are: A book about the politics of your country (history or current events, but published in the last 5 years).
    45. Revenge of the nerds: Read about STEM (fiction or nonfiction).
    46. Doorstoppers: A book more than 600 pages.
    47. A real scream: A horror novel.
    48. Happy days are here again: A book published since 1945.
    49. Feast your ears on this: Listen to an audiobook.
    50. Out of the park on first at-bat: A debut.
    51. Run for the border: A book about or taking place in Central or South America.
    52. You might also like. . . : A book recommended by library or bookstore staff, online or in person.
    53. Support the home team: A book by a fellow AWer (Click on the “AW Amazon Store” link above).
    54. Huh, I never knew that: A book in a new-to-you genre.
    55. Three-color mythology: A graphic novel or comic book.
    56. That old black magic: A paranormal novel.
    57. What everyone else was reading: Any book from any year on the New York Times Best Seller List (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_...n_Best_Sellers)
    58. Be your own boss: A self-published novel.
    59. Gramma would have loved this: A book you think a passed-on loved one would have enjoyed.
    60. Better known for . . .: A book by someone who’s more famous for something other than writing.
    61. God’s mansion has many rooms: A book based in a religion not your own.
    62. Ye olde booke shoppe: A book written before 1800.
    63. Get on with it already: A book that’s been on your TBR (to be read) list for over a year.
    64. Not available in stores: Beta read someone’s unpublished work.
    65. I know exactly where that is!: A book taking place in a location you know well.
    66. The butler might have done it: A mystery.
    67. Back in the day: A historical of any genre.
    68. Pixies and Dryads and Elves, oh my!: A high fantasy.
    69. Like a novel, only real: Creative nonfiction.
    70. Just the facts, Ma’am: Nonfiction on any subject.



    71. [Extra credit] Tag, you’re it!: Choose one person who replied in this thread to pick your 13th book from any category (no need to reciprocate but fun if you do!)
    Join any time! Take the 2017 AW Reading Challenge. Pick 12 books from a list of topics and read/discuss with us throughout the year.

  18. #268
    practical experience, FTW Cobalt Jade's Avatar
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    The categories are going to be winnowed down, right? There's a lot of repeat from this year's. You might as well have said, "Any book you want." I actually like limitations, that way I read stuff I would ordinarily push to the bottom of the TBR pile.

    Here's a few more suggestions:

    Seasons in the Sun: A book primarily taking place in Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter (or having the name of a season in the title?)
    Story site: A book published on Wattpad, Fictionpress, or some other story sharing site
    Choose your own adventure: A book told interactively
    A couch and a warm fire: A cozy mystery

    Anyway, I am pleased to say I finished my challenge with The King of the Fields. I had enjoyed Isaac Bashevis Singer's short stories, which is why I chose the book; plus, it's set in a region of Poland where my maternal ancestors came from. This came out in the reading, it wasn't apparent in the first chapters. The short novel is set in the early Middle Ages, amongst a tribe who once lived by hunting and fishing in the forest who are forced to become "civilized" when a band of drunk, rowdy outcast lords take over their lands and do as conquerors do. It was very readable, maybe easier to admire than like because of the author's pessimistic view of human nature. I certainly admired the brevity and humor of the tone, its matter-of-factness. What I didn't like, and knocked off stars for, was its misogynism. The one dynamic character who gets things done was lambasted as a liar and harlot at the end, and in fact all of the female characters were screeching harpies, useless wailers, superstitious gossipers, or faithless turncoats. There's some rape I wasn't comfortable with, not because of its explicitness, but because it was offered by the author so casually, without considering it from the woman's point of view, and some Madonna-Whore dichotomy that did not sit well with me either. I wanted to like the book more than I actually did.

    Next up: extra credit!


    1. Coming to a theater near you: A book made into a major motion picture. (Stardust by Neil Gaimon) FINISHED ***
    2. East meets West: A book taking place in Asia (anywhere in Asia; Turkey to Japan, Siberia to Indonesia) (Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See) FINISHED *****
    3. What you read: A book you loved as a child. (CHANGED: A Wrinkle Out of Time, by Madeleine L'Engle) FINISHED *****
    4. Loose ends: A book you started last year and haven’t yet finished. (Cinder by Marissa Meyer) FINISHED *
    5. No hablo: A translation. (The King of the Fields, Isaac Bashevis Singer) FINISHED ** 1/2
    6. Out of the park on first at bat: A debut. (Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer, by Laini Taylor) FINISHED **
    7. Huh, I never knew that: A book in a new-to-you genre. (The Aviary Gate, by Katie Hickman. It's Historical Romance.) FINISHED ***
    8. Rainbow warrior: A book with a color in the title. (Yellowtail, Crow Medicine Man and Sun Dance Chief, an Autobiography told to Michael Oren Fitzgerald) FINISHED **
    9. Who was that, again?: A book about a person you know little about. (The Secret History of the Mongol Queens, How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire, by Jack Weatherford) FINISHED *****
    10. God’s mansion has many rooms: A book based in a religion not your own. (Harm, by Brian W. Aldiss) FINISHED *****
    11. Ye olde booke shoppe: A book written before 1700. (Gilgamesh.) FINISHED ***
    12. Three-color mythology: A graphic novel or comic book. (Tiger Lung, by Roy Simon) FINISHED *****

  19. #269
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Congrats on finishing the challenge! Woot!

    Regarding limiting the number of categories, the 2016 challenge only had 12, this year's around 50 (and we had much better participation than in 2016), and the current list is up to 70 (which I personally think is too many or very nearly so, but I don't want to limit anyone). Should we do a list of only new categories? Or take the new ones and a few of the old and limit it to a smaller number? 20? 40? Or keep it as broad as possible? I'm open.
    Join any time! Take the 2017 AW Reading Challenge. Pick 12 books from a list of topics and read/discuss with us throughout the year.

  20. #270
    Swan in Process Siri Kirpal's Avatar
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    Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    There's a lot of categories from this year I didn't get to try and hope to next year [Ye Olde Booke Shoppe, God's Mansion, Crossing the (Color) Line), plus I'd like to examine more works in translation], so I hope a good many of them stay.

    That said, if this feels like too many categories, perhaps we could combine some. Learning the Quadrille would be covered by Old World Charm, for instance.

    Blessings,

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

  21. #271

  22. #272
    Swan in Process Siri Kirpal's Avatar
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    Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    Oh, and Cobalt Jade, congrats on finishing.

    Blessings,

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

  23. #273
    forgetful elephant Yzjdriel's Avatar
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    You could always keep all the categories and just say "try not to do a category you did last year" to keep things fresh.

    I would use an RNG as well.

    Please ignore the clearly insane electrical engineer behind the instrument panel. His meds won't wear off until Thur - it's Friday? Already?? Oh dear.
    sarcasticmathematician @gmail.com
    Yzjdriel [zid-ree-el] N. A username that's intentionally difficult to pronounce.

  24. #274
    Swan in Process Siri Kirpal's Avatar
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    Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    I like the idea of keeping the categories, but doing different ones.

    With one caveat: Some categories bear repeating without becoming repetitive. Example: Enter, Stage Right: There's a big difference between the plays of Shakespeare, Euripides and Tennessee Williams.

    So, what about either doing different categories or doing that category a second time with something separated strongly in time and/or space from what you did the first time.

    Blessings,

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

  25. #275
    practical experience, FTW Cobalt Jade's Avatar
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    I think the category of finishing a book you started last year should stay.

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