Weekly Geeks #9: Challenges

This week’s Weekly Geeks #9 was to update your lists on your challenges. So here’s the breakdown (to learn more about each challenge, click on the name of each challenge):

1% Well-Read challenge

The challenge is to read 10 books from the 1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, two from each time period, starting with pre-1700s and going to the 2000s, between May 1, 2008 and February 29, 2009. My 10 books are:

  • Metamorphoses by Ovid
  • The Thousand And One Nights
  • Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Dafoe
  • The Mysteries of Udolpho by Anne Radcliffe
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  • The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
  • The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L. Sayers
  • The Book of Illusions by Paul Auster
  • The Red Queen by Margaret Drabble

I have read none for this challenge yet. Great Expectations probably will be the first one I look to tackle, but only after finishing Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe, which I’m reading for two other challenges.

Tally: ZERO read.

Southern Reading Challenge 2008

The challenge is to read three books by three Southern authors with Southern setttings between May 15 and August 15. My three books for this challenge are:

  1. The Thomas Wolfe book I just mentioned
  2. The Moviegoer by Walker Percy – finished
  3. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Tally: ONE read, working on a second.

Classics Challenge 2008

The challenge is to read classics between July and December of this year. There are five different options. I am following the simplest option, which is to read five classics and a bonus of a book that we consider a classic or that one day might be a classic.

So my five classics are:

  • Middlemarch by George Eliot
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dicken
  • The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
  • Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe

and my sixth maybe-one-day-will-be-a-classic:

  • The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

Tally: ZERO read, working on one.

The 100+ Reading Challenge

This one is to read 100 books or more by the end of the year. It is also connected with this group on Shelfari, but you don’t have to be a member of the group to join.

Tally: 37 read, 63 to go (whew).

Orbis Terrarum Challenge

The Orbis Terrarum (means “the whole world”) Challenge began April 1 and runs through December 20. The challenge is to read nine books, each by an author from a different nation in the world.

My eight books (one still to be determined) are:

  1. Left To Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust by Immaculee Ilibagiza with Steve Erwin, representing Rwanda
  2. Sister Pelagia and The Black Monk by Boris Akunin, representing Russia
  3. Smilla’s Sense of Snow by Peter Hoeg, representing Denmark
  4. Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust, representing France
  5. The Terracotta Dog by Andrea Camilleri or The Snack Thief also by Camilleri, representing Italy
  6. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, representing Nigeria
  7. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, representing Brazil
  8. The Wisdom Teachings of the Dalai Lama by the Dalai Lama with Matthew Bunson, representing Tibet

Tally: TWO down, seven to go.

342,745 Ways To Herd Cats, Or tl;dr Challenge

Make a list of 10 books you love, submit and then pick out at least three that others love and read them between May 1 and November 30 of this year.

  • The Absolutely True Diary of A Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  • The Book of the Dun Cow by Walter Wangerin Jr., didn’t finish (replacement next one)
  • The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  • and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Tally: ZERO, the Alexie book I just got out of the library.

The Pulitzer Project

The challenge is to read all 81 books that have won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. No time limit.

Books already read:

1992 – A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
1981 – A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
1975 – The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
1961 – To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
1953 – The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
1947 – All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren
1945 – Bell for Adano by John Hersey
1940 – The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Ones I’d like to read by year’s end:

2007 – The Road by Cormac McCarthy
2004 – The Known World by Edward P. Jones
2001 – The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
2000 – Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
1991 – Rabbit at Rest by John Updike
1982 – Rabbit is Rich by John Updike
1972 – Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
1958 – A Death in the Family by James Agee
1955 – A Fable by William Faulkner
1937 – Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
1932 – The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
1926 – Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis

These are books of which either I have a copy or I easily can get a copy.

The rest of the Pulitzer Prize For Fiction winners can be found here.

Tally: EIGHT down, 73 to go!

If you can believe it, I’m thinking about joining at least one more challenge, but until I do it, I’ll leave it unnamed, but I think I will be crossing over with some of these others. I think these alone will keep me busy for a little while, don’t you?

Addendum: Any suggestions for the ninth book for the Orbis Terrarum Challenge are welcome. I already own of the eight, either had for a while or recently purchased at a used bookstore or a library book sale. However, I’m stuck on finding one more.

5 responses to “Weekly Geeks #9: Challenges

  1. Quite an impressive list!! I have about 21 more books to go in terms of challenges for the year, but I’m getting restless (not a good sign since it is barely July!). Brave man taking up Brothers K! I’ve heard it is amazing but it scares the crud out of me. 😉

  2. I am impressed with your commitment to so many challenges; I have the same question as you about the purpose behind my reading. A few suggestions for the O.T. challenge (which I am also participating in) are: Mistress of Spices by Chitra Divakaruni (representing India) or Wind Up Bird Chronicle whose author I cannot remember (representing Japan).

  3. unfinishedperson

    Bybee: It looks like you’ve tallied up quite the number of challenges yourself so far.

    Dew: Those 12 I have for this year are just a goal. If I don’t make it, I won’t beat myself up about it. With all of these challenges, I have to think what am I reading for? That will probably be the subject of an upcoming post. While I enjoy the challenges, I think reading just for reading’s sake, and not really getting anything out of it (not that I think necessarily we’ll reach nirvana or anything by reading), is not good either.

  4. Ha ha, 73 to go. I suppose I also have 73 or so to go with the Pulitzer project, but since it’s so long-term, I never even think about it. I just add a book to my list if I happen to read it.

  5. I like the way you did your post, listing the tallies after each challenge.