2010 Reading Challenge

1. Typically British

Timeline: 1st Jan 2010~ 31st Dec 2010. Only books started on January 1st count towards this challenge.

I started with “Gordon Bennett” – Read 4 Typically British novels, I am moving up 2 notches and try out for “Cream Crackered” to read 8 Typically British novels.

  1. The End of the Affair By Graham Greene
  2. On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
  3. One Day by David Nicholls
  4. The Little Stranger, Sarah Waters
  5. Rebecca, Daphne Du Maurier
2. Aussie Author Challenge
Challenge starts 1 January 2010 and ends 31 December 2010
2 challenge levels – TOURIST and FAIR DINKUM!

TOURIST – Read and review 3 books by 3 different Australian authors
FAIR DINKUM – Read and review 8 books by Australian authors (a minimum of 5 different Australian authors)

I’m going as a tourist for now and then upgrade myself to Fair Dinkum when I feel up to it.

  1. Every Move You Make, David Malouf
  2. The Secret River, Kate Grenville
  3. Ransom, David Malouf

3. Classics Reading Challenge (completed 18 July 2010)

The Challenge will begin April 1, 2010 and ends October 31, 2010.   Last year I have read numerous classic works and find it to be an indispensable genre in my reading habit.  I will be committing to read the Classics Feast level of six books with Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society thrown in as bonus.
  1. Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
  2. Rebecca, Daphne Du Maurier
  3. The Outside by Albert Camus (other title : Le E’stranger, The Stranger)
  4. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by Scott Fitzgerald
  5. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera
  6. Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse

Bonus: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Marry Ann Shaffer & Anne Barrows

4. What An Animal III Reading Challenge

Socrates of Socrates’ Book Reviews is hosting the What An Animal III Reading Challenge.   The full rules are on the challenge web page. The Challenge runs from March 1, 2009 to February 28, 2011.

The Requirement is to read at least 6 books that have any of the following requirements:
a. there is an animal in the title of the book
b. there is an animal on the cover of the book
c. an animal plays a major role in the book
d. a main character is (or turns into) an animal (define that however you’d like).

I have one or two books with animal theme in it, if I think harder I might come up with a few more but here are some of them:

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  2. A Wild Sheep Chase, Haruki Murakami
  3. Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
  4. Marley and me – John Grogan
  5. The Black Swan: The impact of the highly improbably by Nassim Taleb
  6. The Lord of the flies
  7. Birdsong by Sebastian Faulk
  8. Black Mamba Boy by Nadifa Mohamed

5. 2010 Global Reading Challenge (Completed end of June 2010)

I’ll be taking up The Medium Challenge:

Try to find novels from twelve different countries or states. Read two novels from each of these continents in the course of 2010:




North America (incl Central America)

South America


6. China Challenge (Completed end of June 2010)

I’ll be taking the Fast Train to Shanghai:

From 1 Sept 2009 – 1 Sept 2010, read 5 books about China

  • 1 should be a translated work of fiction by a Chinese author (or not translated if you have the language skills.) Exceptions made for Chinese authors that also write in English– their English works are fine.
  • 1 should be nonfiction
  1. The Girl Who Played Go by Shan Sa
  2. Love in the Age of Indifference by Xiaolu Guo
  3. A Thousand Good Years of Prayers, YiYun Li
  4. Miss Chopstick, Xinran
  5. Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother, Xinran


7. 2010 A to Z Challenges (Completed 12th September 2010)

I am doing the A to Z challenge by the Author’s last name.

A – The Penelopiad, Margaret Atwood
B – The Secret Scripture, Sebastian Barry
C – The Outsider, Albert Camus (other title : Le E’stranger, The Stranger)
D – Rebecca, Daphne Du Maurier
E – Zeitoun, Dave Eggers
F – The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
G – The End of the Affair, Graham Greene
H – Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse
I – Nocturnes, Kazuo Ishiguro
J – The Last Friend, Tahar Ben Jelloun
K – The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera
L – A Thousand Good Years of Prayers, YiYun Li
M – Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
N – One Day, David Nicholls
O – The Diving Pool by Yoko Ogawa
P – Bel Canto, Ann Patchett
Q – The Silver Lining Playbook, Matthew Quick
R – The Armies by Evelio Rosero
S – The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
T – Our Tragic Universe, Scarlett Thomas
U – Rabbit Run, John Updike
V – Where Three Roads Meet, Salley Vickers
W – The Little Stranger, Sarah Waters
X – Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother, Xinran
Y – Hardboiled Hard Luck, Banana Yoshimoto
Z – The Shadow of the Wind, Carlos Ruiz Zafon


8. World Religion Challenge 2010

I am doing this challenge because I love the beautiful button! No seriously, reading religious books is one of my guilty pleasure, so what better way of doing this then to follow the:

The Penthouse Path (Also Known As: The Five Biggies Path): Read something about the five major world religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Duration from 1 Jan 2010 – 31 Dec 2010. May God help me. 🙂

  1. The Islamist, Ed Husain (Islam)
  2. Understanding Judaism by Carl S. Ehrlich (Judaism)
  3. Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse (Hinduism)
  4. Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott (Christianity)
  5. ….

9. Non-fiction Five Challenge 2010

I have several Non-fiction books to read, so thought if I participate in this one final challenge for the year. The Challenge is organised by Trish.

The Rules (unchanged from previous years)

1. Read 5 non-fiction books during the months of May – 30 September, 2009(please link your reviews on Mister Linky each month; Mister Linky can be found each month on this blog)

2. Read at least one non-fiction book that is different from your other choices (i.e.: 4 memoirs and 1 self-help)

My choice:

  1. Zeitoun, Dave Eggers (Memoirs)
  2. Understanding Judaism by Carl S. Ehrlich (Religion)
  3. The Complete Book of Mothers-in-law, Luisa Dillner (Relationship)
  4. Sky Burial by Xinran (Memoirs)
  5. Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother, Xinran (Memoirs)

10. Japanese Literature Challenge 4

Won’t you join in the experience? Simply read one or more works of Japanese literature between June 1, 2010 and January 30, 2011. If you choose, leave a link to your review on the review site.

  1. Hotel Iris, Yoko Ogawa
  2. Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami
  3. After Dark, Haruki Murakami
  4. Changeling by Kenzaburo Oe
  5. After the Banquet by Yukio Mishima
  6. The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea by Yukio Mishima
  7. Asleep, Banana Yoshimoto
  8. The Maid, Yasutaka Tsutsui
  9. The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, Yukio Mishima
  10. After the Quake by Haruki Murakami
  11. Quicksand by Junichiro Tanizaki
  12. Norwegian Wood, Haruki Murakami


10. Arabic Summer Reading Challenge

To participate: select what you will read this summer from the recommendation list. If you prefer a more challenging challenge, read one each month. * I will select a reading-challenge winner on August 20, 2010** and will ship her (or him) a bundle of Arabic fiction new to English in 2010.***

  1. The Map of Love, Ahdaf Souief
  2. Yalo by Elias Khoury (read after the closing of the summer challenge)

Personal Projects

10. The Canongate Myth Series

  1. The Penelopiad, Margaret Atwood
  2. Dream Angus, Alexander McCall Smith
  3. Where Three Roads Meet, Salley Vickers
  4. Girl Meets Boy by Ali Smith
  5. Weight by Jeanette Winterson
  6. Lion’s Honey by David Grossman

11. BBC Top 100 Big Read

Aim to finish 50% of the list, including the 18 I had already read, I need another 32.




  1. Pingback: Japanese Literature Challenge 5 « Bibliojunkie - June 10, 2011

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Ratings Defined

0 = Abandon the book after first chapter

1 = Waste of paper, we will see what the environmentalist say about this!

2 = Skip it, read the book if you have got nothing better to do

2.5 = An average book, easily forgettable.

3 = A good read.

3.5 = A good entertaining read, a page-turner

4 = So glad that I read the book, a book with substance and invaluable for future reference

4.5 = So glad that I read the book, would pester everyone to read it, invaluable, I would want to own it and wouldn't mind a second read (something that I seldom do)

5 = The book is so good that I feel like I am on scale 4 and 4.5, and more, it blew me away and lingers on my head for weeks!

Books Read

JoV's bookshelf: read
Hold Tight
The Fault in Our Stars
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
The Thief
Catching Fire
A Tale for the Time Being
Into the Darkest Corner
The Liars' Gospel
Goat Mountain
Strange Weather In Tokyo
Strange Shores
And the Mountains Echoed
Ten White Geese
One Step Too Far
The Innocents
The General: The ordinary man who became one of the bravest prisoners in Guantanamo
White Dog Fell from the Sky
A Virtual Love
The Fall of the Stone City

JoV's favorite books »
Share book reviews and ratings with JoV, and even join a book club on Goodreads.

Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

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