Friday, January 1, 2010

2009 Challenges Wrap-up + Challenges for 2010

I didn't join a lot of challenges in 2009, because frankly, I am not good at finishing challenges. But this year, I joined challenges that I thought would be pretty easy, so I managed to far exceed my goals in three of the challenges, and barely miss my goal in the last.

For the LT Author Challenge, we were supposed to read at least 5 books from authors who list their libraries at LibraryThing. I read 12:
Wake, Fade, and Gone by Lisa McMann
How to Buy a Love of Reading by Tanya Egan Gibson
The Miles Between and The Adoration of Jenna Fox by mary e. pearson
Milestones by Samira Armin Hodges
Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender
Where am I Wearing? by Kelsey Timmerman
Secret Son by Laila Lalami
Dust of 100 Dogs by AS King
This One is Mine by Maria Semple

For the Chunkster Challenge, I signed on to read 3 adult books over 450 pages. However, I only managed 2:

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoesvsky

For the ARC Challenge, we were supposed to read at least 12 ARCS. I read 60.

For the YA Challenge, we were also supposed to read at least 12 YA books. I read 81, including 40 by debut authors (thrilled to support you, debut authors!)


As for 2010, so far I have only decided to join two challenges officially. Mostly, I have a few personal challenges for myself.

The Story Siren

As I just mentioned, in 2009, I read 40 books by debut authors including 3 that are to be released in 2010 (BEFORE I FALL by Lauren Oliver, THE MARK by Jen Nadol and THE NAUGHTY LIST by Suzanne Young). To meet the 2010 Debut Author Challenge, I'll have to read at least 12 2010 YA or MG debuts in 2010. My list so far definitely includes:

1. The Line by Teri Hall
2. The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
3. The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard
4. The Snowball Effect by Holly Nicole Hoxter
5. The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
6. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
7. All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab

...but I am sure I will read many, many more!

Since February is so dark and dreary in Frankfurt, I am going to call it dystopian lit month, and will try to read and review the following dystopian titles (both old, new and forthcoming):

Obernewtyn by Isobelle Carmody (1987)
Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler (1993)
Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix (1998)
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher (UK 2007/US 2010)
Furnace: The Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith (2009)
The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness (2009)
The Maze Runner by James Dashner (2009)
The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist (2009)
The Things that Keep Us Here by Carla Buckley (Jan 2010)
The Line by Teri Hall (March 2010)
Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder (April 2010)
Dark Life by Kat Falls (May 2010)

And since I am planning on reading so many, I decided to join Book Chick City's Speculative Fiction challenge on the OBSESSED level which is 24 books for the year (because otherwise it wouldn't be much of a challenge). I will list them here with links to the reviews as I go.
1. The Dark Divine by Bree Despain (Urban Fantasy)

I also aim to read at least 4 Classics this year (in 2009 I only read 2):

Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles
Death in Venice by Thomas Mann
(4th to be determined)

And I want to read at least 3 books in German this year (to be determined) since my 10th anniversary of living in Germany is at the end of February this year (can you believe it?!).

In honor of Daniel's first children's picture book coming out (IS YOUR BUFFALO READY FOR KINDERGARTEN?), he and I will also review picture books (new and old) on Presenting Lenore starting in March.

And lastly, before I start participating in Waiting on Wednesday again, I want to finish up reading all my remaining WoW picks that I've aquired. These include:

The Angel Maker by Stefan Brijs (2008)
The Rapture by Liz Jensen (2009)
Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde (2009)
The Plague by Joanne Dahme (2009)
Far North by Marcel Theroux (2009)
The Splendor Falls by Rosemary Clement Moore (2009)
How It Ends by Laura Wiess (2009)
Pastword by Ian Black (2009)
Mathilda Savitch by Victor Lodato (2009)
The Broken Teaglass by Emily Arsenault (2009)


La Coccinelle said...

Sounds like 2010 will be an interesting year. Happy reading!

Liviania said...

Good luck! The few I've read on your dystopian lit list were good, and I know you enjoy the genre, so hopefully you'll have a lot of fun in February.

Beth S. said...

I just stumbled across your blog the other day and was elated to discover you live in Germany. I lived in Germany for two years back in 2003-2005. Of course I hated living there at the time, but now I can't believe how much I miss it. I used to live in Schweinfurt which is about 2 hours east of Frankfurt.

I hear ya on it being dismal there in February. It always bothered me how early it got dark there in the winter. Of course, the flip side is how late it stays light in the summer. Anyway, maybe you should read some sugary sweet books instead to cheer you up rather than dystopian ones to make you depressed an paranoid. LOL!

Beth Kephart said...

I am really impressed that you can read so fluently in German. Ten years would not have done it for me. Happy New Year, Lenore!

Lauren said...

Interesting dystopian list - I've read (or have wishlisted) most of those, but there were a couple I hadn't heard of which is always good. I can't get enough dystopian lit.

christina said...

I remember really enjoying Death in Venice when I read it! Enjoy.

bermudaonion said...

I think you did great with your challenges! Good luck with your goals! When is Daniel's book coming out? I want to buy copies for several children I know.

Staci said...

I think you did a great job on the challenges you decided to do. February sounds bleak there, pretty much how I feel during winter here in Michigan. Dystopian would be a great reading theme!! I can't believe how many ARCs you read this year...WOW!!!

Steph Su said...

Ooh, I wouldn't know how PA in February compares to Frankfurt in February, but that dystopian lit list is not shabby at all! And I'm interested in what you'll think of The Rapture, The Plague, The Splendor Falls, and Pastworld. I know you WoWed them but most of them fell pretty flat for me.

Literary Feline said...

Congratulations on doing so well with your 2009 challenges. Best of luck with your goals for this year. It's going to be a great year in books, I have a feeling.

Amy said...

Ugh quite a few books I want to read off these lists. Thanks Lenore! ;)

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

Congrats on all your challenge success!

Drop me a comment on my LT Author wrap up post. There were only a few participants, and I wasn't an active host ... but I'll still draw the promised prize!

I don't know if anyone will pick up hosting it in 2010.

Mishel (P.S. I Love Books) said...

You have some excellent self challenges ahead of you. I wish you the best of luck =)

Sandra said...

You did really well in the LT authors challenge. I read 12 books too but I was not up to writing reviews this year, only 2 for that challenge. I see we read entirely different books. I must read your reviews and see what's worth reading on that list. I'd love to do this one again. The quality of the writer's just gets better every year.
You read 60 arcs?! Wow. I've read The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles and Death in Venice by Thomas Mann, I hope you enjoy them too. And I just finished The Broken Teaglass recently and enjoyed it very much. Happy reading in 2010.

Serena said...

good luck with the new challenges.

Unknown said...

Hi Lenore, welcome to the Speculative Fiction challenge, thanks for signing up! Looking forward to seeing which books you choose/read. I hope you enjoy all your challenges! :)