Sunday, 26 April 2009

Challenge Update

A-Z Challenge (Authors) 11/27
A-Z Challenge (Titles) 14/27
In Their Shoes 3/4
The Dream King 2/12
1% Well Read Challenge 4/13
Orbis Terrarum 8/10
The Genre Challenge 6/10
The Decades Challenge 4/10
The Carribean Challenge 0/6
My Year of Reading Dangerously 2/12
The World Citizen Challenge 0/3
Y.A Challenge 6/12
Deweys Book Reading Challenge 0/6
100 Shots of Short 53/100
The 2009 Pub Challenge 2/9
Themed Challenge 2/4
999 Challenge 32/81
Book Awards 2 5/10
2nd Canadian Challenge 1/13 ABANDONING - WILL NEVER COMPLETE
Latin American Challenge 4/4 COMPLETE
The Rescue Challenge 0/6
The Graphic Novel Challenge 6/12
Manga Challenge 1/4
War Through the Generations: WWII 1/5
Lost in Translation 6/6
Notable Challenge 1/6
What's in a Name? 5/6
The Well Seasoned Reader 3/3 COMPLETED!
The Chunkster Challenge 3/6
The Guardian 100 novels 3/10
Banned Book Challege 1/4
Once Upon a Time III Challenge 2/5
Herding Cats 0/2
Its the End of the World 0/4
100 Books Project 0/100
Non-Fiction 5 0/5
Beckys Mini Challenge - Scott Westerfeld 0/2 Steinbacek 0/2 Defoe 0/2

Still looking shocking, I have 2 Latin America books to read by Thursday, and I'm only 100 pages into the first one. Maybe I'll get more time once I go and complete the days marking.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Library Loot

This week my library did the awful(awful because I can't resist cheap books) thing and held a book sale. I wasn't to bad and only walked out with 5 books.
Ernst by Ian Turpin a book about the artist Max Ernst brought for the gorgeous pictures and the non-fiction 5 challenge.
The Briar King by Greg Keyes looked like a good fantasy novel and at just 10p I couldn't say no.
An Iliad: A Story of Was by Alessandro Baricco I loved Silk by this author so thought I'd give this a try.
The White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean another YA read.
The Favourite Game by Leonard Cohen just liked the look of the cover.

I also picked up my holds:
The Complete Polysylabic Spree by Nick Hornby as everyone seems to be reading these books I wanted to see what the fuss was about.
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett for The Dream King Challenge
Dibs: In Search of Self by Virginia m. Axline a pschology text about a young boy who was 'emotionally lost' but was 'saved', using for the In Their Shoes Challenge my last read for this challenge.
Marked by P.C Cast and Kristin Cast for the YA challenge

Now I just have to make myself read, I've been in a real reading funk this week. Visit Library Loot here

Sunday, 19 April 2009

My Thoughts: Bel Canto by Ann Pratchett

This is the second book I have read for my own Exploration: Latin American Reading Challenge - 2 more to go and the challenge ends this month. I really had planned to read a lot more as this is my own challenge but what with all the other reading challenges, bookrings and library deadlines time has run away with me - I've already decided next year I'm cutting down to a max of 5 challenges at anyobe time so I can tackle my 400 book + tbr pile.

Anyway back to Bel Canto. This has been sitting on my tbr pile for over a year now, it was one of those books I had heard was great but the plot didn't give me much hope as I don't tend to like books set in a too modern world and thought the kidnapping plot would make it into a thriller.
Luckily for me this wasn't the case. The book is set in an unnamed poor Latin American country, a country with very few rich people who rule the place and a rebellious and unhappy poor population who resort to political threats to try and improve their lives.
The kidnappers storm a birthday party full of internationals who they hope will invest in their country, but who in fact have no intention of doing anything but enjoying the free food and most importantly seeing the famous opera star Roxanne Cross.
The kidnappers arrive looking to kidnap the President, who infact stayed home to watch his favourite soap. Instead the hold a whole host of middle aged men and their wives, many of whom can't even speak to each other because they have come from all across the world. The hostages remove all the women execpt one, the seige then lasts for months.
Mr Howsaka and his translator become the two central characters in the novel. Mr Howsaka, the birthday boy, is fascinated with the opera singer. Though they cannot talk without the aid of the translator they sit with each other all day, they communicate through looks and touch, without a shared langauge they fall in love.
The translator is much needed, he has to translate for everyone and ends up teaching some of the hostages new languages. But it is not only the hostages that want to learn a young terrorist also demands his attention.
Two unlikely love affairs slowly grow and develop, each grips you as you read and wonder about the possible futures of two such unlikely matches.

The Sunday Salon: Dewey's Read-a-thon roundup post

Well there's 15minutes left of the read-a-thon and I've finished my reading. Once I've typed this looked at a few of the last posts I'm off for a bath and then a spot of lunch - will be nice to be all clean again. Then I have an afternoon of lessons to prepare as I'm back to teaching after the two week easter break. And I finally get to watch West Wing - the season 2 dvd turned up yesterday morning and I'm itching to know what happens. Oh, and I may even get some more reading done.

Now for the round up.

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
I think between 12 and 1am - so the halfway point. I'm glad I took myself off to bed for 4 and a half hours of much needed sleep or I doubt I'd be able to sleep now.

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
Beauty Sleep, Dokey and What I Was - kept me fixed

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? No none whatsoever, I din't have any complaints.
4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
I thought the cheerleaders were great, also just reading other peoples posts - I came on to read these when I was lagging.
5. How many books did you read?
I read 4 novels and 2 picture books plus a short story
6. What were the names of the books you read?

I finished Bel Canto by Ann Pratchett which I was over halfway through
1.What I Was by Meg Rosoff
2. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
3. An Elgy for Easterly by Pettina Gappah
4. Beauty Sleep by Cameron Dokey
Mrs Biddlebox and The Viewer by Gary Crew (both picture books)
7. Which book did you enjoy most?
I enjoyed all the novels, my most favourite was probably Bel Canto, but I think I picked some great reads which really helped.
8. Which did you enjoy least?
The Viewer, see here for my rant
9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? N/A
10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
I definately want to participate again, Maybe next time spend half the time reading then some cheerleading so I get to visit more people.

Thanks to Nymeth, Hannah and Trish for all the hardwork, all the people who posted interesting posts and people who visited. And lastly Dewey, who without her this wouldn't be happening.

Dewey's 24 hour read-a-thon: Short Story Sunday

Short Story Sunday is held each week over at Ready When You Are, C.B I try to post about a short sory most weeks but seem to have missed several weeks on a row now.
This week's short story is taken from a gorgeous collection called The Secrets of the Fire King by Kim Edwards, and this is the sixth story in the collection.
The Invitation

Joyce has lived in the area for 30 years, 30 years of socialising with the upper classes and finally last year she felt fullt accepted when she was invited to the Sultan's birthday party. His birthday looms again, just weeks away and she waits eagerly for the invitation to arrive. As the day draws nearer she starts to worry, if she leaves it too late she won't have time to travel abroad to find an outfit as dashing as the golden dress she wore last year.
When she invites one of the new wifes to afternoon tea, a sign of kindness, she is suddenly awaken to how much she still doesn't fit in. The new wife can speak the locals language, knows all the rules of etiquette - like not to wear the color gold as it is the Sultan's colour. She also teaches the Sultan's daughter, often has tea with his wife and most imporantantly recieved her invitation to the Sultan's birthday party days before.
An invitation to tea that Joyce wishes she hadn't made.

Dewey's 24 hour read-a-thon: Beauty Sleep by Cameron Dokey

Pages read total: 938 (+ 66 pages of picture books)
Books read: Finished Bel Canto by Ann Pratchett, read What I Was by Meg Rosoff, The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, An Elgy for Easterly, Mrs Biddlebox (pic book), The Viewer by Gary Crew and Beauty Sleep by Cameron Dokey
Total reading time: approx 15 1/2 hours.

My final book of the read-a-thon (I'm going to read a short story in the last hour).
I saved this book especially for the read-a-thon and I'm really glad that I did.

Beauty Sleep is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty. Aurore as we know has two spells put on her as a baby, one that in her sixteenth year she will prick herself with a needle and live no more, the second a countering spell that says that the needle will send her to sleep for a hundred years till a prince awakens her with a kiss.
In this version Aurore is a tom boy, not a typical princess. Whe her parents allow her outside into the garden at 10 years old for the first time she immediately falls to gardening. As the years pass she happily (against her mothers wishes) gardens, builds fires, talks to the common people and gets a tan (something a princess isn't supposed to have).
On her sixteenth birthday the kingdom is suddenly plagued with disaster - the sky rains blood, death comes, wolfs hound the streets. Thinking this is all her fault: a result of her fate, Aurore runs away to an enchanted forest where her true fate is to be played out.
A great book to read for those who love fairytales retold.

2009 YA Challenge
999 (YA)
Once Upon a Time III

Dewey's 24 hour read-a-thon: An Elegy for Easterly by Petina Gappah

Pages read total: 751 (+ 66 pages of picture books)
Books read: Finished Bel Canto by Ann Pratchett, read What I Was by Meg Rosoff, The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, An Elgy for Easterly, Mrs Biddlebox (pic book) and The Viewer by Gary Crew
Total reading time: approx 12 hours

I woke up fairly tired this morning after 4 hours sleep but picking up this book soon had me awake and interested again.

An Elegy for Easterly is a collection of short stories all revolving around different people from Zimbabwe, people of all classes suffering from similar problems.
Presidents wifes left to suffer after the husband dies of AIDS, families cheated by neighbours who borrow money to eascpe to the Western World, women unable to have children who are judged by all, families seeing yet another young daughter marrying a man with AIDS who has already buried two wifes.
The themes are recurring: AIDS, deception, corruption, the black market and the ever increasing prices and political promises that can reck a nation.
I never read short stories one after another as I find that they merge into one another, but with this collection each character was held seperately in my mind, each life story complete in itself.
A collection I would definately recommend to others.

2009 Pub Challenege
100 Shots of Short
A-Z Title
Orbis Terrarum
999 (African Reads and short story collection)
Olympic Challenge

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Dewey's 24 hour Read-a-thon: I'm back

And very nearly awake...

Dewey's 24 hour read-a-thon: Picture Books

Tired eyes led me to picture books, the first one woke me up, the second had a depressing ending that was very unexpected.

Mrs Biddlebox: Her Bad Day and What She Did About It by Linda Smith and Marla Frazee.

For younger kids this picture box does exactly what we'd all like to do when we wake up to a bad day - she cooks up the day and eats it, leaving herself with a peaceful nights sleep. Gorgeous pics, heres when she takes down the sun to put it in her cookig pot:

The Viewer by Shaun Tan and Gary Crew

I've recently had out a few books by Shaun Tan from the library with stunning illustrations, this is the first book with his pictures in that I have brought for myself and I'm not as take with this as the other two - the pictures are darker to fit the story.
Tristan is a child who likes to observe the world, to figure out how things work. His favourite place is the dump where he finds and fixes old things. Till one day he finds an old box with its lid firmly shut. When he gets it home he figures it is a viewer, you look inside and click the disc and it shows you a series of images.
All well and good so far, now this is where I started to become unsure. The first look shows Tristan the beginning of the world, evolution etc. Then we start moving on to colonialism, the destruction of the habitat of Native Indians, Slavery, civil wars, then the holocaust, WW1 and II and finally the present day - starving Africa children, drought, nuclear bombs.

Tristan, and thus the youg readers, are shown the history of the world. I have no issue with children knowing the bad things in this world, in fact I believe that they should know and be talked to about the destruction and pain that humans cause (something that gets discussed in my classroom a lot), BUT this book only showed the bad things. Never once did it show the good that people do. I didn't inspire, it simply depressed showing only the negative side of humans and the world we have created.

Thats my reading for tonight, I'm going to have a quick flick through my googlereader then I'm off to sleep for the next 4 and a half hours. Happy reading x

Dewey's 24 hour read-a-thon: 1am

Ok its 1am here and my eyes are slowly starting to drop. I reckon another hour and then I'm off to bed for a few hours kip - I have to teach Monday so can't sleep Sunday afternoon after the read-a-thon has finished as I won't sleep all night Sunday. Tired teachers = Bratty kids (they sniff it out just like dogs!)

For the last 2 hours I've been reading a proof copy of a novel out this month called An Elergy for Easterly by Petina Gappah - at least I thought it was going to be a novel but it is actually a short story collection. Each story is about someone from Zimbabwe, many stories are linked to the government, the price rises in food and everyday living, and also several about AIDS. Writing that makes the book sound depressing but it hasn't been so far. Its very well written and each story is its own - I find some short story collections the story blurs into one. I've read 170 pages so far but I'm going to leave the rest (105 pages) till the morning.

I have two picture books that are hopefully going to be perfect for my tired eyes

Dewey's 24 hour read-a-thon: The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Pages read total: 475
Books read: Finished Bel Canto by Ann Pratchett, read What I Was by Meg Rosoff and The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Total reading time: approx 7 hours

This is a book that I've been meaning to read for ages as it's one of those 'must-read' classics but kept putting off because I didn't think I'd enjoy it - and boy I was wrong.
The Old Man in the Sea is about an old mans (surprise!) stuggle and determination to prove himself. Once he hooks a giant fish he battles for days to bring the fish in, he battles not only against the fish but pain, hunger and tiredness. This book really reminded me of Japanese sea stories in its style. I may have to read more Hemingway in the future.

1001 btrbyd
A-Z (Author)
1% well read challenge
999 (1001)
Guardian 1000 Novels

Dewey's 24 hour read-a-thon: What I Was by Meg Rosoff

Pages read total: 348
Books read: Finished Bel Canto by Ann Pratchett, read What I Was by Meg Rosoff
Total reading time: approx 5 hours

What I Was is a teenage love story with a twist. Kipper is sent to boarding school in East Anglia (not too far from where I grew up), stuck in a small market town near the sea and a typical (of books) fierce boarding school he looks for an escape.
One dreary morning he abandons the cross country run and meets Finn, a young boy living alone in a shack by the sea. He has that first flush of teenage love - a love of longing and not sexual - and wants to become like Finn, to be free to do as he pleases and to fend for himself.
This is the third Rosoff book I have read and the third one that I have loved.
2009 YA Challenge
999 (YA Fiction)

Well I've had dinner now and it'll probably be dark here soon, can't believe the time is passing so quickly.

Going to decide what to read next and go visit a few bloggers

Read-a-thon Hour 3

I'm going slower than I thought!

Books Read: I finished Bel Canto by Ann Pratchett
Pages read in total: 149
Time spent reading 2 1/2 hours

I started with a book that I was half way through and wanted to complete for my own Latin American challenge. The language in this book just grabbed me and needed to be read slowly to be really appreciated. I'll definately post a review on this book later in the week as it was fantastic.

Intoduction Meme: (find it here)
Where are you reading from today?
I'm on my couch in the surprisingly sunny (its rained and been horrid and grey for the last week or so) England. Oh, and the neighbour has decided to bang and drill for the last 2 hours to accompany my reading...

3 facts about me …

- I have a house rabbit, who decided that she wanted lots of attention in the first hour
- I teach English in a high school
- my favorite read is Possession: A Love Story be AS Byatt

How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours?

I have 9 novels and 12 books in total

Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)?

Hopefully 4 - 5 books and 18 - 20 hours

If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, Any advice for people doing this for the first time?

I'm a first timer

I'm going to flick through my google reader than I'm off to read What I Was by Meg Rosoff

Read-a-thon The Beginning

Well I've had a busy morning, the tea is brewing as I type and I've just got to run upstairs and grab my first book. I'm starting with Bel Canto as I have to get it finished, I'm over half way through so it shouldn't take too long.

I'm planning on popping online every two to three hours so I don't get too distracted.

Good luck to all the other read-a-thoners!

Friday, 17 April 2009

Dewey's 24 hour read-a-thon

UPDATE: I no longer have to work tomorrow evening! Yay! I have to go in tonight instead so I'll be able to join in for much longer now.

Dewey's 24 hour read-a-thon my pile

I'll say this now, I won't be reading for 24 hours, I have to go and work in a bar for 5-7hrs of Saturday - it depends on how busy it is to the time we close. I'm also going back to school on Monday after 2 weeks Easter break so don't want to be completely shattered, I plan on sleeping for 3 hours early Sunday morning.
I'm planning on completing 12-16 hours reading..

The Pile:

Despite not being able to commint for the full amount of time I still have a fairly big pile as I like to read as the mood grabs me.
From top to bottom:
Beauty Sleep by Cameron Dokey: I'm really looking forward to this book, I have saved it for the read-a-thon for the last 4 weeks as it looks fun, easy and short. For Carl's Once Upon a Time III challenge.
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Heminway, All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque and The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi Di Lampedusa: All of these are 1001 books I've been meaning to read for ages, if I get one read I'll be happy.
Z for Zachariah by Robert O'Brien: For Becky's End of the World challenge.
The Secrets of a Fire King by Kim Edwards: This is a short story collection by the author of The Memory Keeper's Daughter, I've read several of these already, I'm hoping to read one for Ready When You Are, C.B's Short Story Sunday.
An Elergy for Easterly by Petina Gappah: My first Early Reviewer copy from Librarything.
What I Was by Meg Rosoff: (Ssshhh! I stole this from the school library this week when the librarian wasn't in - will sneak it back later this week). This is for the 2009 YA reading challenge, loved this authors other books.
These three are for when my eyes get tired and also to give me a sense of accomplishment: Y: The Last Man - Cycles a graphic novel, The Viewer by Gary Crew and Shaun Tan and Mrs Biddlebox both kids books with gorgeous pictures.

I also have Tar Baby by Toni Morrison on my ipod if my eyes get too sore.

I'll be happy if I can read 4 of these novels, a short story and the last three books.
Last year I just read the posts and what I remember mainly were all the posts about peoples delicious looking snacks, now I'm Weight Watchering (my own made up word I'm sure), so I'll be drooling over people's snacks whilst eating apples and Ryvita.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

My Thoughts: Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Letters by Brian Froud and Ari Beck

This is the third book in the Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Collection that I have read. I love this collection so much, these are books whose pages you just have to run your fingers over as you read.
The collection is based around the character Lady Cottington, as a child she was suddenly surrounded by fairies one morning whilst out drawing. When the fairy landed on her page she slammed the book shut - fairy sqashed inside. As she grows older the fairies give her more and more grief. These fairies don't fit into the Disney-esqe cutesy type, they are often naked, poking their tongues or bottoms out.
('Shakespeares' reply)
This new book, which I saw on Saturday and couldn't resist is a collection of 'replies' that the character got when she sent out letters asking about peoples' experiences with fairies. The replies are from famous characters such as Queen Elizabeth, Lewis Carrol and William Shakespeare. Many of the letters fold out from the page, some are even tucked away into little envelopes, (I carefully peeled open evenlopes not wanting to damage them).
(a letter and photograph from the 'Queen')
Surrounding the letters are the fairies who got squashed in the pages and some of Lady Cottington's notes.
I've posted photos of some of my favourite pages - sorry about the sideways one, I didn't think of that when I took it!

Click on the pics to make them bigger.

Monday, 13 April 2009

Non - Fiction Five Challenge

Trish's Reading Nook is hosting the Non-Fiction Five challenge this year. Now I wasn't supposed to be joining anymore challenges but I have a stack of non-fiction in my TBR pile that needs to be read so hopefully this will help that.
I'm not creating a list, but the one book that I'm going to make myself read is The Short History of Everything by Bill Bryson. This book is completely different from everything I read which is why it has been lurking on the tbr pile for a good two years. The others will probably be memoirs or travel writing.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

My Thoughts: Gould's Book of Fish by Richard Flanagan

Before you even start reading this I'm going to let you know that I'm still thinking WHAT?!?! about this book, I finished it an hour ago and have read what a few of the papers had to say about it.
Gould's Book of Fish is set in Tasmania, Australia. An 'antique' dealer (faker) finds this book in a junk shop and becomes obsessed with proving that it is geuine. The little book is described as containing paintings of fish, with dense script surrounding the images and trapped on scraps of paper tucked into the book, the handwriting is crabbed and a mix of colours as the writer has had to make ink from whatever he can find around him.
Up untill then everything is clear, then you get to actually read 'The Book of Fish'. Gould is a convict, imprisoned on the island. He is sent each day to work for one of the wealthy men of the island, a scientist who claims he wants to categorise the fish in the area, with a limited ability to paint Gould sets to work. We then hear Gould talkig about his paintings and his growing obsession with fish, as well as his afairs with a local black woman, the murder of aboriginies, and the treatment of the convicts among many things far more confusing.

A-Z (Author)
999 (Award Winners)
Book Awards 2

Saturday, 11 April 2009

My Thoughts: Mr Toppit by Charles Elton

Published this year, Charles Elton has taken the tale of Christopher Robin - the real one, not the fictional character, who felt trapped and suffered after his father created a character is his name who's fame would haunt him and cause him to become seperated from his family. Elton takes this idea and modernises it, gives it a spin.
Mr Toppit is about a dysfuntional family who come under the media spotlight years after their father's death. He dies in an accident with an American radio presenter at his side. After ambushing the family home in the days after his death, the radio presenter Laurie Clow is given copies of the Hayseed Chronicles.
The father's novels, The Hayseed Chronicles are a fairly unknown children's collection, in which the father creates a tale out of his family home, the woods behind them and names his central character after his son. Laurie Clow becomes obsessed with the family and the books and ends up reading them on her radio show once she return to the States. Eventually the books become well known, films are made, readers visit the real Darkwoods looking for Mr Toppit, a dictorial figure who's identity is never revealed in the children's books.
The popularity of the books creates problems for Luke - people assume the books are actually about him, and his elder sister who is missing from the books yet becomes obsessed with having a kind of ownership over them.
I enjoyed the book, but I think I would have enjoyed The Hayseed Chronicles more.

2009 Pub Challenge 1/9
A-Z (Authors)
999 (New Fiction)

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

My Thoughts: Witch Child by Celia Rees

After saying my reading has slowed down I then realed of two books in two days. This is another YA read but of a very different kind to City of Embers.
Witch Child is a collection of diary entries by a girl girl called Mary, who states that she is a witch in the opening lines of the novel.
As the diary entries start Mary's grandmother has been hunted out as a witch, her powers were tested when she was thrown into a lake to see if she floated - the conformation that a woman was a witch, and then dreagged out for a public hanging.
As Mary's abilities are dubious with the locals Mary is sent across the Atlantic to the newly discovered Americas. Mary travels with Puritans and becomes one of the community, one who is always held on the outside of the community but allowed to join in and travel with them.
America was meant to be an escape, a chance to start again with a fresh slate yet it seems that the rumours are following Mary.

999 (YA)
2009 YA Challenge
What's in a Name? (Profession)

Monday, 6 April 2009

My Thoughts: The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

I came across this novel when I read Raidergirls review and quickly added it to the reservation list at the local library. I seem to be slowing down with my reading at the moment and have a rather large book on the go at the moment, so needed something easy to read to give me a sense of achievement, and this was just the thing.

The City of Ember is a post-apoclyptic novel, set in a largely recongnisable world. The city is a city of darkness, there is no moon or sun, and the electricity across the city is turned out each night at the same time. The food is largely tinned vegetables as there appears to be no animals except for bugs. Once this was a prosperous city, yet the stocks are now depleted, a tin of peaches is now something that can only be savoured in the minds of the elderly, and scraps of paper are saved and deemed as precious.
Doon and Lina, two teens who have just entered the workforce are concerned about the depleted stocks and the power cuts which are becoming more and more recent.
In Lina's flat, a damanged set of instructions are found and the pari set out to discover a new world for the inhabitants of the city.

The City of Ember is written for a 9+ audience, and it is important to remember that whilst reading, as many things seem a little to easy. I will be checking out the next book to see how their lives pan out.

A-Z (Author)
2009 Young Adult Book Challenge
End of the World II

Friday, 3 April 2009

Challenge Update: Its all looking scary

A-Z Challenge (Authors) 6/27
A-Z Challenge (Titles) 12/27
In Their Shoes 3/4
The Dream King 2/12
1% Well Read Challenge 2/13
Orbis Terrarum 4/10
The Genre Challenge 6/10
The Decades Challenge 4/10
The Carribean Challenge 0/6
My Year of Reading Dangerously 2/12
The World Citizen Challenge 0/3
Y.A Challenge 2/12
Deweys Book Reading Challenge 0/6
100 Shots of Short 53/100
The 2009 Pub Challenge 0/9
Themed Challenge 2/4
999 Challenge 17/81
Book Awards 2 4/10
2nd Canadian Challenge 1/13 ABANDONING - WILL NEVER COMPLETE
Latin American Challenge 1/4
The Rescue Challenge 0/6
The Graphic Novel Challenge 6/12
Manga Challenge 1/4
War Through the Generations: WWII 1/5
Lost in Translation 5/6
Notable Challenge 1/6
What's in a Name? 13/6
The Well Seasoned Reader 3/3 COMPLETED!
The Chunkster Challenge 3/6
The Guardian 100 novels 1/10
Banned Book Challege 1/4
Once Upon a Time III Challenge 1/5
Herding Cats 0/2
Its the End of the World 0/4

I'm off for the next two weeks so hope to finish the Latin American Challenge and make a dent in the Award Winners as they both finish soonish

My Thoughts: The Bagdhad Diaries and The Well Seasoned Reader

I was expecting a lot from The Bagdhad Diaries by Nuha Al-Radi and was very disappointed. I had seen this book talked about a lot a few years ago and was expecting a moving account of life in the war. The diaries are written by a female Iraqi artist, she is fairly wealthy and lives a life of freedom for a woman from this area, she travels widely, is widely read and had a varied social life. Her accounts of the war generally feature what she did each day, many days describing listening to bombs falling whilst sitting in her garden typing away. Yes she does also describe the lack of food, the extreme poverty and the increase in cancer as a result of the war but I never really felt for her. I read about two thirds then skim read the rest.

This was my final book for my first complete challenge of the year, The Well-Seasoned Reader. I also read Pyongyang a graphic novel about a French artists time in North Korea and The Narrative of the Life of a Slave. Both were okay but not great.
I actually didn't end up reading any of the books on my original list, if I had I may have found more books that I enjoyed.