Monday, January 08, 2007

Challenges for the New Year

I'm not much of a joiner, but I figured I'd take at stab at a TBR readers' challenge, in which every month of 2007 you read one book that has been on your To Be Read list for at least 6 months. (Heck, I've got books that've been on my TBR list for well over 6 years.) After all, we have a few books around here somewhere (Har!), and I figured that there must be at least one or two that I haven't read yet.

Finding books that I want to read but haven't read yet wasn't hard at all. Rather than agonize over the choices, I pretty much just picked the first ones that I ran across while scanning our bookshelves. I also included a few that have been on my electronic list at Madison Public Library for over 6 months (denoted LIB).

Here are my TBR Challenge picks, in no particular order:

  • Kamikaze Diaries: Reflections of Japanese Student Soldiers by Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney (LIB)
  • Ciao, America! by Beppe Severgninin
  • Population: 485 by Michael Perry Completed 1/25
  • Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
  • A Woman Alone: Travel Tales from Around the Globe ed. Faith Conlon,, Ingrid Emerick, Christina Henry de Tessan
  • Memories of Silk and Straw: A Self-Portait of Small-Town Japan by Dr. Junichi Saga
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  • Intellectual Memoirs by Mary McCarthy
  • Wicked by Gregory Maguire
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (LIB)
  • Rebecca by Dame Daphne Du Maurier Completed 3/9
  • I Didn't Do It for You : How the World Betrayed a Small African Nation by Michela Wrong (LIB)

If any of my library selections aren't available, I'll round out the 12 with something from this Emergency Back-Up List to from my own bookshelves:

Choice Cuts by Mark Kurlansky
Dogs and Demons by Alex Kerr
The Inheritors by William Golding
The Heart of a Woman by Maya Angelou

My Personal Challenge: I'm going to try to read an average of at least a book a week. Because I usually read several books at a time and I often read ½ or more of a book before abandoning or shelving it, I decided that I'm going to measure my reading progress in terms of pages rather than whole books read. Based on a very unscientific assessment in which I grabbed the 5 closest books that I was reading at the time, averaged the number of pages, and then rounded off that number, I figure that 52 books is about 16,000 pages. (Or 4,000,000 words, if you trust the equally unscientific search I conducted: The first few websites I could find mentioning the average number of words per page seemed to agree on 250 words per page.)

Challenges? Should be a piece of cake, at least until the weather warms up and I spend every waking non-DOT moment puttering in the garden.

Cheers for now,

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