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Showing posts from December, 2010

52 Books 2010 Wrap-up

Robin at the 52 books challenge posted these questions for a wrap-up: Did you reach the goal of 52 books? : Yes. I didn't blog about all of them, but I certainly read at least that many. If you didn't, how many did you manage to read? : N/A What was the last book you read? : The last book I finished was War in Heaven, by Charles Williams. I'm in the middle of 3 or 4 right now. Did you read from a list and fly by the seat of your pants choosing a different book each week? : I had some books that I wanted to read, but mostly I picked up whatever looked good at the library. When it comes to books, I'm a butterfly. I flit. Did you learn something new about yourself, an author, an topic? : I learned about a whole lot of things--North Korea, the Crusades, Malawi, and patriarchal Christianity were a few. How many classics did you read? : I think about 15, but you have to count some kind of minor and odd things as classics. But hey, the canon is not closed, and

Week 52: John Bidwell

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I wasn't going to write more posts until the new year, but as long as I did last week's I might as well finish off the year with the best, most exciting book of 2010, a middle-grade biography-- John Bidwell: The Adventurous Life of a California Pioneer , by Nancy Leek . Unless you live in Chico, you probably won't have heard of Bidwell, but he was one of the first Americans to get to California by crossing over the Sierra Nevadas in 1841. From then on, he was involved in everything interesting that happened in California; he worked and traveled for John Sutter, joined the California Rebellion, nearly started the gold rush a year or so early, took the news of gold to San Francisco, served in Congress, ran for California governor, and founded the city of Chico. He even ran for President on the Prohibition ticket in 1892 (the platform was temperance and women's suffrage--he never had a chance). This biography is 10 chapters long and full of interesting and funny stor

Week 51: Growing Up Bin Laden

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Growing Up bin Laden: Osama's Wife and Son Take Us Inside Their Secret World, by Najwa bin Laden, Omar bin Laden, and Jean Sasson I've read several of Jean Sasson 's previous books about the lives of women in Saudi Arabia with great interest, and when I saw that this book was written by her, I knew it would be a worthwhile read. (When I first heard of the book I thought that it would be pretty sensationalistic.) Najwa bin Laden is Osama's first wife, who no longer lives with him, and Omar is his fourth son. Najwa and Omar both tell their stories from their own perspectives. The text moves back and forth between the two, staying fairly chronological, so Najwa's life dominates the first half of the book, and Omar becomes more prominent in the second half as he grows up and starts to understand what his father is doing. Najwa starts off with the story of her childhood, but she married her cousin Osama when they were both still teenagers. At the time, he seems

A Year of Feminist Classics

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OK, clearly my eyes are bigger than my stomach (brain?) when it comes to reading challenges. But this Feminist Classics Challenge is so cool! I have to do it too. This is another one that I can pick and choose from, but they all look interesting. At first I was happy because they had chosen The Feminine Mystique, which is one of those books I've always meant to read, but then they realized they needed more worldwide literature, which is also excellent. Anyway: The project will work a little like an informal reading group: for the whole of 2011, we’ll be reading a book a month from this list of classic feminist fiction and non-fiction , and each of us will be in charge of the subsequent discussion for three months. These discussions will be structured as follows: at the beginning of the month , the host in charge of that month will write an introductory post on this blog, reminding participants of what we’ll be reading and providing some historical context. Then, later

The Take a Chance Challenge

Here's a funny one that appeals to the part of me that always chooses a mystery present instead of stealing a known one at a gift exchange, even though I lose out every time . The Take a Chance Challenge gives you 10 different ways to randomly choose a book to read: The concept of the challenge is to take chances with your reading by finding books to read in unusual or random ways. I’ve listed 10 different ways to find books below. Feel free to complete at many as you want. However, anyone completing all 10 challenges by December 31, 2011 will be entered in a prize drawing to win a book of their choice from Amazon. The challenge will run from January 1, 2011 until December 31, 2011. Crossover books from other challenges is fine. You can read books in any format. On January 1, 2011, I will post pages for each of the 10 challenges so you can link up your completed posts. The 2011 Challenges 1: Staff Member’s Choice: Go to a bookstore or library that has a “Staff Pi

Victorian Literature Challenge

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The next challenge I've selected is the Victorian Literature Challenge. The rules: This challenge will run from 01 Jan 2011 - 31 Dec 2011 . Participants can sign up at any time throughout the year. Read your Victorian literature. Queen Victoria reigned from 1837-1901. If your book wasn't published during those particular years, but is by an author considered 'Victorian' then go for it. We're here for reading, not historical facts! Also, this can include works by authors from other countries, so long as they are from this period. Literature comes in many forms. There are so many Victorian reads out there, including novels, short stories, and poetry. One poem doesn't count as a 'book': pick up an anthology instead! Choose your books. List your books before you begin, or pick up titles along the way. It's up to you! You can review them if you choose to, but it's not necessary. If you don't have a blog, that's fine! Link t

52 Books in 52 Weeks, 2011 edition

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Here's the information for the 52 Books challenge for next year. She has included a bunch of mini-challenges, but I don't know how many I'll pursue. The rules: A new year, a fresh slate. Time to discover some new friends and rediscover some old friends. Make the challenge as easy and casual as you want or spice it up and challenge yourself. Explore a bit, but most of all have fun. The rules are very simple and the goal is to read one book (at least) a week for 52 weeks. The challenge will run from January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011. Our book weeks will begin on Sunday. Participants may join at any time. All forms of books are acceptable including e-books, audio books, etc. Re-reads are acceptable as long as they are read after January 1, 2011. Books may overlap other challenges. Create an entry post linking to this blog. Come back and sign up with Mr. Linky in the "I'm participating post" below this post. You don't have a blog to p

If at first you don't succeed...

I'm going to try again. I've read lots of great books in the past couple of months, but I just ran completely out of blogging energy! I'm going to give it another go with a new group of reading challenges for 2011. A few of the titles that I have completely failed to blog about are: Growing up Bin Laden, by Omar bin Laden and Jean Sasson Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, by Harriet Jacobs Nurtureshock, by Po Bronson Death and Taxes, by Susan Dunlap The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins I Shall Wear Midnight, by Terry Pratchett The Place of the Lion and War in Heaven, by Charles Williams A bunch of C. S. Lewis The Way of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson (it's an ongoing project, since it's 1000 pages long)