Reading Challenge Even More For Real

Okay, so when I posted my Reading Challenge for myself not too long ago, I hadn't realized it'd become a for real phenomenon... I mean with prizes and a bunch of people really doing it with a deadline and stuff! Okay, so I'll reiterate my Reading Challenge with an official entry to the From the Stacks Winter Reading Challenge. So, since my books weren't focused with this particular challenge in mind and at least one of the books I'd already started and a couple I'd intended on reading casually as needed, here's my official list of books I'll complete from Nov. 1 to Jan. 30 (a lot longer time frame then I was giving myself!):
  • Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell. I've wanted to read this book for a while, but I finally just purchased it this weekend at the sale and I'd like to get it read before the third of next month for Simply Wait's the third day book club! This month they blogged about Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, which I also purchased this weekend. Since I just bought the book, I didn't participate in the third day book club this month, but am eager to next month. It sounds like such a delightful idea! I hope I already own the book that will be blogged about for January 3rd since I'm not allowed to buy anymore.
  • Paint it Black by Janet Fitch. I've been dying to read her widely anticipated follow up to the amazing White Oleander since it has come out, but haven't had time yet. It took her 7 years to complete this one after the stress of the success of White Oleander hit her (damn you Oprah! Um, just kidding, please don't have me shot, Ms. Winfrey...)
  • Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier. There have been mixed reviews on this follow up to the popular Cold Mountain, so I'm eager to see if it's as good or as bad as everyone is saying.
  • Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Adichie. Not only have I heard a lot of buzz surrounding this novel and read some great reviews and interviews that make me want to grab it, but since I'm traveling to Africa in January I thought it'd be a good novel written by an African on Africa issues and war in Africa to prepare me for my trip.
  • The Last King of Scotland by Giles Foden. I had purchased this book as soon as I heard about the movie coming out and found out it was a book first. I think this would be the perfect read for me when I'm in Uganda as it's about the history of Uganda under the reign of the deadly Idi Amin. I know it's a fiction book, but it's obviously based on the history of Uganda and could give me a glimpse into their culture and history in a more connected way then just reading articles about it. *Note: I changed this selection from The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama because I realized that I would need to read one of the books while in Africa and I didn't feel like bringing a hardcover book.
So 5 already purchased and owned books that I have Not started yet that I aim to have read by January 30th! That should be plenty of time to finish all of the books even with the Holidays and whatnot. Books will be read, reviews will be posted, and my husband will see my alarmingly growing stack of unread yet purchased books finally shrink rather than grow. All will be happy. Hey, maybe I'll even win a prize, what the hell?

This Challenge has already tested me. I am devoted to reading books before I watch the movie based on the book and the movie Notes on a Scandal is coming out soon. I've had the novel by Zoe Heller on my wishlist ranked "high" for some time now, but haven't found a good excuse to purchase it yet. If I'd known it was going to be made into a movie I would have purchased it a while ago, but alas, I was unaware until I saw the preview this weekend in the theater. So I will have to wait to purchase the book which means that I'll have to wait to see the movie. Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench, could it get better than that? I'm dying to both read the book and watch the movie. Darn Challenge! Oh right, that was the point of the Challenge and why I joined, so I'd stop finding reasons to buy books non-stop. At least I'm not the only one who struggles to afford the expensive life style of a book addict.

On another note... so now the new and improved Blogger is all done. Are we going to be forced to use it? I'm tentative to switch, but I don't want to be an old fuddy duddy who's afraid of change. Anybody using it yet? Any thoughts, likes, dislikes, warnings, etc. for us tentative Bloggers who are thinking of making the big switch?


Anonymous said...

Regarding Blogger, the "beta" version seems more stable than the previous version. When others are complaining of not being able to blog, I've been able to get on the beta.blogger version.

It's not that different that I've noticed. But then I haven't explored deeply, so there could be lots of features I've never looked at!

One way in which it's a headache is in logging in. It creates a new "Google" account, which is sometimes dicey about logging you in. When you try to login using your new Google account, Blogger says it doesn't recognize it. When you try logging in using your old account information, Blogger says, "Yeah, well you have to log in using your Google account now." However, it will then let you log in using the Google info, but you have to go through this confusing two-step process.

Plus, if you get invited to become a member of an old style Blogger blog, you can't do it with your Blogger/Google account. Annoying!

In the end, it feels like it's an improvement, but the transition is not likely to be clean, I fear.

mai wen said...

Cool, Thanks for all the info, I'll have to weigh my decision carefully and the helps a lot! :)

Patry Francis said...

What a great list! I'll be checking back to hear what you have to say about all of them. So happy to hear you're signed on for the next "meeting" of Third Day Book Club!

p.s. Traveling to Africa in January? How cool is that?

Anonymous said...

I will say this. I didn't have to do anything with my template. It just switched over fine. It's mostly the weirdness surrounding logging in that's the problem.

mai wen said...

Thanks Patry, excited about the book club, it's such a great idea after all!! :) I'm super excited to go to Africa, of course I haven't been able to think of it as much recently with putting up my gorgeous house for sale. :( Sigh, the sacrifices you make to get the hell outta Ohio and move down south for some good ol' schoolin' and warmth! It'll be worth it I'm sure.

Glad you told me that, Bill! That was one of my biggest worries, I've tinkered around with my template so much I'd be super peeved if it got all messed up in the transfer. It's too bad you can't keep your old blogger blog and have a new blogger blog so that in case something goes wrong you could go back to your old one. I like my comfort blanket.

Amra Pajalic said...

Love your booklist. I have a haphazard reading method so I like your deliberation. I've been wanting to do reviews but usually I read old books from the library.

I haven't switched over to the new blog format. Like you-I like my comfort zone and I don't see any need for improvement.

Amra Pajalic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mai wen said...

Yeah, I usually read too many books at once and don't get any of them finished, which is annoying and why I've joined this challenge. I've even gone as far as to choose the order I'm reading the books in and how many pages a day I'd have to read to get it all read by the "due date." It has actually worked really well for me and gives me motivation to read when I'm butt ass tired!

I actually Just switched the the new Blogger very reluctantly because I read that we'd be forced to switch at some point by Blogger. I'd rather do it on my own terms. It wasn't too bad except that with my template I can't use some of th new features such as changing things on the template in a WYSIWYG way rather than through the html coding view, but I don't care, I love my template and am not willing to give it up for that feature!! Plus, it kind of makes me feel like a coder to mess around in the html code even though I clearly don't know what I'm doing! The only major hitch has been that somehoe my profile description has disappeared! I can't explain why and I'm not really sure how to solve it yet... that does kind of irk me.


blogger templates | Make Money Online