1000 Novel Guardian Challenge

I have a little bargain I’m making with myself. If I can find at least five books in each of the categories of Guardian’s 1000 Novels Everyone Must Read Before They Die list…then I will let myself join Biblio File’s challenge. The books should really fall into at least two of these four categories a) books already on the tbr pile that I own b) books that I’ve been meaning to read, but are at the library c) books already on my Amazon wishlist d) books that would work well with other challenges (aka books I’ve already listed on other challenge lists.) The challenge goes from February 1, 2009 to February 1, 2010. The requirement is to read 10 books, one from each of the seven categories, and three extras.

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett (b, d)
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes (a, d)
Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding (a)
Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding (a, d)
Tom Jones by Henry Fielding (a, d)
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame (a)
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon (a, d)
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole (b, d)
Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope (a, d)

Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary E Braddon (c)
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (c)
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins (c)
My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier (almost a)
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (a, d)

Family and Self
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (reluctant a)
Evelina by Fanny Burney (a and d)
The Awakening by Kate Chopin (a, d)
Roxana by Daniel Defoe (a, d)
Howards End by EM Forster (a)
Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell (a)
My Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok (b)
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (b)
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison (b)
East of Eden by John Steinbeck (b)
Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield (b)

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (a,d)
Lorna Doone by RD Blackmore (a, d)
Vilette by Charlotte Bronte (a, d)
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (a, d)
Possession by AS Byatt (a, d)
Adam Bede by George Eliot (a,d)
Daniel Deronda by George Eliot (a, d)
The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot (a,d)
A Room with a View by EM Forster (a,d)
Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell (a,d)
Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy (a)
The Infamous Army by Georgette Heyer (a)
Pamela by Samuel Richardson (a,d)
Clarissa by Samuel Richardson (a,d)
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (a,d)

Science Fiction and Fantasy
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (b)
Kindred by Octavia Butler (b)
Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll (a,d)
Dune by Frank L Herbert (a,d)
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James (b)
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (a)
The Monk by Matthew Lewis (a,d)
Melmoth the Wanderer by Charles Maturin (c)
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (b)
Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell (a)
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain (a)
The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole (c)
We by Yevgeny Zamyatin (a, d)

State of the Nation
Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (b,c)
Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe (a, d)
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (a)
Middlemarch by George Eliot (a, d)
Silas Marner by George Eliot (a, d)
The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (a)
Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell (a, d)
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell (a, d)
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (a)
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (b,d)
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray (a)
The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope (a, d)

War and Travel
She: A History of Adventure by H Rider Haggard (c)
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (b)
Schindler’s Ark by Thomas Keneally (a)
The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy (a)
Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott (a)
Maus by Art Spiegelman (b)
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (a, d)
Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne (b)

Okay, so I don’t quite meet two on all the books listed. And some of the books listed I have no interest in reading. If they’ve been on the shelf unread this long, then it’s not like I’m all that eager to read them now. But I think I can get ten books total from all these books.

Family and Self:
Science Fiction and Fantasy:
State of the Nation:
War and Travel:

© Becky Laney of Becky’s Book Reviews


Pool of Books for Dewey’s Books Challenge

Pool of books, choose five or six,

East of Eden by John Steinbeck (November 20, 2008)
The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett (November 10, 2008)
Nation by Terry Pratchett (November 4, 2008)
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (October 15, 2008)
Maus and Maus II by Art Spiegelman (October 1, 2008)
Harlem Summer by Walter Dean Myers (Sept. 30, 2008)
Monster by Walter Dean Myers (Sept 23, 2008)
Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie (September 19, 2008)
The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer (September 15, 2008)
The Earth, My Butt, and Other Round Things by Carolyn Macker (September 5, 2008)
Educating Esme by Esme Raji Codell (August 25, 2008)
Just Listen by Sarah Dessen (July 22, 2008)
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (July 9, 2008)
One Whole and Perfect Day by Judith Clarke (July 2, 2008)
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (June 26, 2008)
What I Was by Meg Rosoff (May 15, 2008)
Surrender by Sonya Hartnet (May 16, 2008)
Copper Sun by Sharon Draper (May 13, 2008)
1984 by George Orwell (April 23, 2008)
The Little Prince by Antoine de St. Exupery (April 22, 2008)
The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright (April 19, 2008)
Freak Show by James St. James (April 3, 2008)
The Color Purple by Alice Walker (March 22, 2008)
The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier (March 20, 2008)
Plain Janes by C. Castellucci and J. Rugg (March 17, 2008)
Purple Hibiscus by Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie (March 10, 2008)
HOw I Live Now by Meg Rosoff (February 27, 2008)
I Am the Cheese by Robert Cormier (February 6, 2008)
Into the Forest by Jean Hegland (Jan 25, 2008)
Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon (December 18, 2007)
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (November 19, 2007)
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare (November 3, 2007)
Chocolat by Joanne Harris (October 30, 2007)
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (October 8, 2007)
Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks (April 8, 2005)
Holesj by Louis Sachar (August 8, 2007)
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon (Jan 25, 2004)
The Misfits by James Howe (April 2, 2006)
March by Geraldine Brooks (May 28, 2006)

Herding Cat selections from Dewey which I’m assuming will count:

So here are my 10 recommendations. I tried to pick books from a variety of genres.

1. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
2. American Born Chinese by Gene Yang
3. Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Adichie
4. The Gate to Women’s Country by Sherri S. Tepper
5. Into the Forest by Jean Hegland
6. What I Was by Meg Rosoff
7. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
8. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
9. The World According to Garp by John Irving
10. March by Geraldine Brooks

Christian Readers Challenge

Christian Readers Challenge 2009
Jan 1 – April 30th 2009
participant decides

The rules:

* create a list of Christian books that you’d like to read…
* titles can be fiction, nonfiction, or a mixture of both
* read these between January 1st – April 30th, 2009
* overlaps with other challenges ARE allowed
* eBooks and Audiobooks ARE allowed

Becky’s List:
Becky’s Goal–read six of the following

The Forbidden by Beverly Lewis
The Longing by Beverly Lewis
A Passion Most Pure by Julie Lessman
A Passion Redeemed by Julie Lessman
The Courtship of The Vicar’s Daughter by Lawana Blackwell
The Dowry of Miss Lydia Clark by Lawana Blackwell
The Jewel of Gresham Green by Lawana Blackwell
Lady of Milkweed Manor by Julie Klassen
The Apothecary’s Daughter by Julie Klassen
The Centurion’s Wife by Davis Bunn and Janette Oke
No Woman So Fair by Gilbert Morris
Heart of a Lion by Gilbert Morris
The Gate of Heaven by Gilbert Morris
Till Shiloh Comes by Gilbert Morris
The Way of the Wilderness by Gilbert Morris
Daughters of Deliverance by Gilbert Morris


Thinking about 2009

Challenges. Reading challenges. I’m addicted. Are you? I’ve already begun to think about 2009. I’m really trying to figure out the plan. Or perhaps for the melodramatic THE PLAN. You see, I’ve committed a bit too much in 2008. To the point where I’m beginning to question my sanity. To the point where I’m thinking that I should never be allowed on the computer unguarded. It’s too late for 2008. But it’s not too late to save myself from this drama in 2009. I’m not saying I’m dropping out of the challenge world. I’m not. Have no fear. But for me to have committed to over seventy challenges in 2008…well…I think we can all agree that wasn’t the wisest thing I’ve ever done.

So here are the rules I’m thinking about implementing for myself.

1) Just because I have an idea for a challenge doesn’t mean I have to create and host it.
2) Just because I host a challenge doesn’t mean I have to join it.
3) Just because I’ve found the perfect image to be a challenge button doesn’t mean I have to create and host the challenge.
4) Just because a challenge has a cute button doesn’t mean I have to join it.
5) I shouldn’t join a challenge unless I’ve already got books that fit the challenge that I was already planning on reading at that time or in the near-future.
6) When I discover a new challenge, I should bookmark it, yes, but not join on the spot. I need to think about it for a few days at least and see if I really, truly need to join it.
7) I should not feel guilty for not joining a challenge even if it is a) hosted by a blogger I love b) a challenge that I’ve joined in the past c) a challenge hosted by a newbie that is just getting started.
8) Just because I’ve joined a challenge doesn’t mean I need to go overboard with it. If it says six books, then I don’t *need* to read twenty.
9) Just because I’ve joined a challenge doesn’t mean I have to finish it.

So last night I was reading and I got distracted by a challenge idea. I went to my computer, went to my favorite imaging site, and created not one but two (or four really) challenge buttons. I then started to write a challenge post. I was almost finished with the post before I realized that I didn’t have enough books in my tbr pile to complete the challenge without adding more books to it. And that is the LAST thing I need to do is to go out in search of more books at the library, online, or in the store. So I saved it, but restrained myself. Here are the two buttons I created.

The challenge would be to read a minimum of four–maximum of twelve–books written by women authors 1700-1900 throughout 2009. But most of the books in my TBR pile are for challenges I’ve committed to reading in 2008, but in all likelihood won’t be able to finish. I just don’t know if there is enough interest to have a challenge. This is when one and three come into play. Yes, I had an idea. And yes, I did without any extra searching on my part, have two images that make super-cute buttons (in my opinion) but is that really enough to justify giving birth to another reading challenge? If you should happen to like the idea for this one, then let me know.

I’m thinking about setting a horribly strict rule with myself. No more–absolutely no more–than 12 Challenge books per month. For a total commitment of 144 for the year. What that would mean is that I’d be able to a) read more 2009, 2008, and 2007 books. (I’m still playing catch up on 2007.) b) I wouldn’t feel obligated to seek out extra books at the library “just because” they’d fit in great with a challenge. It’s one thing to read a book because you WANT to read a book. Quite another if you read a book just because you NEED to read a book because it’s on your challenge list. I have no problem with adding a few spontaneous (if genuine) reads to the list. Especially if I see books being reviewed on other blogs that I can’t help myself with. But I don’t like feeling I have to read something no matter what. This new restriction would NOT include group reads for my group.

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Update on TBR 2008 Challenge

12 Official Reads

Uprising by Margaret Peterson Haddix
A True and Faithful Narrative by Katherine Sturevant
Seeing Redd by Frank Beddor
Stardust by Neil Gaiman
A Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson
A Company of Swans by Eva Ibbotson
The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray
White Lilacs by Carolyn Meyer
Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss
The Secret Garden by Frances Burnett
A Little Princess by Frances Burnett


  • A Drowned Maiden’s Hair by Gennifer Choldenko
  • A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck
  • Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
  • Fablehaven by Brandon Mull
  • The Once and Future King by T.H. White
  • 101 Dalmations by Dodie Smith
  • Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally
  • Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
  • David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  • Mules and Men by Zora Neale Hurston
  • Jonah’s Gourd Vine by Zora Neale Hurston
  • Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

Progress Report: A to Z Challenge

Joy of Thoughts of Joy is hosting the A to Z Challenge. It is to read A to Z authors AND A to Z titles. She writes, “All that’s required is that you align the author’s last name or the title of a book (excluding “the”, “a”, etc.) with its corresponding letter in the alphabet. Each author and title entry must be a different book. I will be working on both the author and title lists at the same time; however, you may complete the alphabet lists anyway that suits your fancy. The challenge last throughout the 2008 year.”

Your books can overlap with other challenges. So that is GREAT incentive for me. I’m not sure which titles I’ll read yet. But I’m sure I’ll have fun as I go.


“A” ~
Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation both by Isaac Asimov

“B” ~
Bray, Libba. The Sweet Far Thing.
“C” ~

“D” ~
Dahl, Roald. Matilda.

“E” ~
Estes, Eleanor. The Moffats
“F” ~
Field, Rachel. Hitty, Her First Hundred Years.
“G” ~
Gemmell, David. Sword in the Storm.
“H” ~
Higa, Tomiko. Girl with the White Flag.
“I” ~
Irving, Washington. Two Tales.
“J” ~
James, Jessica. Shades of Gray.
“K” ~
Kostick, Conor. Saga.
“L” ~
Lin, Grace. Year of the Rat.
“M” ~
Mull, Brandon. Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star
“N” ~
Na, An. The Fold.
“O” ~
O’Brian, Robert. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
“P” ~
“Q” ~
“R” ~
“S” ~
“T” ~
“U” ~
“V” ~
“X” ~
“Y” ~
“Z” ~

“A” ~
All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor
Accidental Time Machine by Joe Haldeman

“B” ~
By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder
B is for Betsy by Carolyn Haywood

“C” ~
The Cage by Ruth Minsky Sender

“D” ~
The Diaries of Adam & Eve Translated by Mark Twain
“E” ~
The Entertainer and the Dybbuk by Sid Fleischman
“F” ~
Foundation by Isaac Asimov
“G” ~
“H” ~
“I” ~
I Will Plant You A Lilac Tree by Laura Hillman
“J” ~
“K” ~
Kristy’s Great Idea by Ann Martin
“L” ~
Leftovers by Laura Wiess
“M” ~
The Mozart Question by Michael Morpurgo
“N” ~
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
“O” ~
On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Old Twentieth by Joe Haldeman
“P” ~
Persuasion by Jane Austen
“Q” ~
“R” ~
“S” ~
Sweethearts by Sara Zarr
“T” ~
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
“U” ~
Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher
“V” ~
Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis
“W” ~
Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
“X” ~
“Y” ~
Yellow Umbrella by Jae Soo Liu
“Z” ~

Progress Report Decades Challenge 2008

Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Two Tales by Washington Irving
Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
Diary of Adam and Eve by Mark Twain
Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher
Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
Hitty, Her First Hundred Years by Rachel Field
Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder
By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater
B is for Betsy by Carolyn Haywood
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Janet Gray
The Moffats by Eleanor Estes
My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett
Foundation by Isaac Asimov
Foundation and Empire by Isaac Asimov
All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor
The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis
Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis
Elmer and the Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett
The First Four Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert O’Brian
Matilda by Roald Dahl
White Lilacs by Carolyn Meyer