2011 Reading Challenge

These are the reading challenges sign-up and achieved for 2011:

1. The Middle East Reading Challenge

Timeline: August 1, 2010 through July 31, 2011 – qualifying level 1 book.

  1. Where in the world is Osama Bin Laden? by Morgan Spurlock
  2. I Saw Ramallah by Mourid Barghouti
  3. In the Country of Men by Hisham Matar
  4. Anatomy of a Disappearance by Hisham Matar
  5. The Butterfly Mosque by G. Willow Wilson
  6. When I Lived in Modern Times by Linda Grant
  7. I Think of You by Ahdaf Soueif
  8. For Bread Alone by Mohamed Choukri
  9. Sharon and My Mother-in-Law by Suad Amiry (didn’t make it within timeline but read for Arab lit summer challenge)
2. The Chinese Literature Reading Challenge
Timeline: February 3rd 2011 to January 23rd 2012 – I am starting at Merchant level 1-3 books
  1. The Vagrants by YiYun Li
  2. Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
  3. Dreams of Joy by Lisa See

3. TBR Reading Challenges

I am doing this challenge because I need to read more from my own shelves this year.

Duration from 1 January 2011 – 31 December 2011.

The TBR challenge hosted by Roof Beam Reader impose more stringent rules, which is good for me, it says:

1. Each of these 12 books must have been on your bookshelf or “To Be Read” list forAT LEAST one full year. This means the book cannot have a publication date of 1/1/2010 or later (any book published in the year 2009 or earlier qualifies, as long as it has been on your TBR pile – I WILL be checking publication dates). Caveat: Two (2) alternates are allowed, just in case one or two of the books end up in the “can’t get through” pile.

So here’s my list for the 12 this year:

  1. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
  2. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
  3. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  5. East of Eden – John Steinbeck
  6. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  7. Winter in Madrid – C.J. Sansom (read and pass on)
  8. A Crime in the Neighbourhood by Suzanne Berne –  (read and passed on)
  9. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres (read and pass on)
  10. Love in the time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  11. Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
  12. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Two alternates:

  1. Iliad – Homer
  2. Italian Shoes – Henning Mankell

The next twelve would be:

  1. Night Train to Lisbon – Pascal Mercier
  2. My Name is Red – Orhan Pamuk
  3. Saturday – Ian McEwan
  4. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
  5. South of the Border, West of the Sun – Haruki Murakami
  6. Small Island – Andrea Levy
  7. Reading Lolita in Tehran – Azar Nafisi
  8. Orlando – Virginia Woolf (To read and pass on)
  9. Crime and Punishment – Doyestoysky
  10. Virgin Suicides – Jeffrey Eugenides
  11. The End of Mr. Y by Scarlett Thomas
  12. Chocolat – Joanne Harris

and other notable alternatives:

  1. White teeth – Zadie Smith
  2. Empress – Shan Sa
  3. Brideshead Revisted – Evelyn Waugh
  4. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
  5. The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver

5. The Nordic Challenge 2011

Timeline: 1 January 2011 – 31 December 2011. I am aiming at the … level 1-2 books
  1. The Orange Girl by Jostein Gaarder
  2. The Castle in the Pyrenees by Jostein Gaarder
  3. The Leopard by Jo Nesbo
  4. Woman With Birthmark by Håkan Nesser
  5. Daniel by Henning Mankell
  6. Until thy wrath be past by Åsa Larsson
  7. The Mind’s Eye by Håkan Nesser
  8. Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson


6. The Haruki Murakami Challenge 2011

Timeline: 1 January 2011 – 31 December 2011.
Minimum of one book with No limit, past reviews accepted. Love the buttons!
This year’s reading:
  1. Norwegian Wood, Haruki Murakami
  2. What I Talk about when I talk about Running by Haruki Murakami
  3. Underground by Haruki Murakami
  4. Dance, Dance, Dance by Haruki Murakami
  5. Birthday Stories selected and introduced by Haruki Murakami

Past reviews:

  1. After Dark, Haruki Murakami
  2. After the Quake by Haruki Murakami
  3. Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, Haruki Murakami
  4. The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami
  5. Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami
  6. Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami
  7. A Wild Sheep Chase, Haruki Murakami

7. 2011 Non-Fiction Challenge


– The challenge runs from January 17th to December 31st 2011.
–  Anyone who links a review up is eligible to be entered to win a book of their choice (under $15). How many reviews you link up determines how many entries you get. (International readers welcome if Book Depository ships to you).
– Anyone can join. If you don’t have a blog, you can link reviews on Goodreads or Amazon or wherever you have your reviews.
– You can join the challenge at any point throughout the year.

Here’s the challenge:

Culture: Non-fiction books about different cultures, religions and foreign lands; memoirs & biographies count.
Art: Non-fiction books about anything art related (painters, music, architecture, photography, dance, literature, film, etc.). Memoirs/biographies of any people related to the arts count.
Food: Food memoirs, anything related to food industry, food lifestyles
Medical: anything related to the medical field–industry memoirs, memoirs about illnesses (mental included) /diseases, etc.
Travel: travelogues, industry memoirs, travel guides, etc.
Memoir/Biography: Self explanatory
Money: Anything related to finances, economics, history of money, financial improvement etc.
Science/Nature: Anything related to any scientific field, memoirs count.
History: Anything history related– events, biographies of historic figures, etc.


1-3 books from different categories: Master of Trivial Pursuit
4-6 books from different categories: Apply For Who Wants to Be A Millionaire
7-9 books from different categories: Future Jeopardy Champion

My reading list for this challenge:

  1. The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich (Pop Culture)
  2. Camus, A Romance by Elizabeth Hawes (Memoir and Biography of an Author)
  3. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (second read) (Memoir and Travelogues)
  4. I Saw Ramallah by Mourid Barghouti (Memoir and Politics)
  5. The Butterfly Mosque by G. Willow Wilson (Memoir and Religion)
  6. The Making of a Royal Romance by Katie Nicholl (Biography, politics, monarchy)
  7. The Decision Book – 50 models for Strategic Thinking (Management)
  8. What I Talk about when I talk about Running by Haruki Murakami (Memoir and Sports)
  9. For Bread Alone by Mohamed Choukri (Memoir)
  10. Underground by Haruki Murakami (Disaster event analysis)
  11. Sharon and My Mother-in-Law by Suad Amiry (Memoir and Conflict)
  12. Desert Divers by Sven Lindqvist (Travel, History, memoir)
  13. Bringing Down The House by Ben Mezrich (Gambling and Memoir)
  14. Death in Perugia by John Follain (Murder investigation)
  15. An Idiot Abroad by Karl Pilkington (Comedy and travelogue)
  16. I was born there, I was born here by Mourid Barghouti (Prose)
8. Mystery & Suspense Reading Challenge 2011

My achievement  for this challenge:

  1. The Coroner’s Lunch by Colin Cotterill
  2. Sister by Rosamund Lupton
  3. The Case of Missing Servant by Tarquinn Hall
  4. Crocodile at the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters
  5. The Leopard by Jo Nesbo
  6. Woman With Birthmark by Håkan Nesser
  7. Until thy wrath be past by Åsa Larsson
  8. The Mind’s Eye by Håkan Nesser
  9. Villain by Shuichi Yoshida
  10. Death in Perugia by John Follain
9. Books to Movies Challenge

June 1 – December 31, 2011

Two Bibliomaniacs are hosting the Books To Movies Challenge. They write:

A mere five months into 2011 and we here at Two Bibliomaniacs are already feeling restless. Not a life altering type of restlessness, but more like a stubborn rash on the back of your knee kind of irritation. While applying our metaphorical ointment, it hit us. We need another reading challenge. Nay. We need to host another reading challenge. Nay. Actually that’s it….

Introducing the 2011 BOOKS TO MOVIES CHALLENGE!!!
Choose from four levels of participation:

  1. Straight to Video – Read 2 books and view the film adaptations.
  2. Limited Release – Read 4 books and view the film adaptations.
  3. Blockbuster – Read 6 books and view the film adaptations.
  4. Oscar Buzz – Read 8 books and view the film adaptations.

  • Anyone can participate and blog-less readers can sign up in the comments section of the sign up post.
  • All books are fair game although all movies must be produced by a semi-reputable film company (no backyard interpretations of Harry Potter).

My reading and movie list for this challenge:

  1. Bringing Down The House by Ben Mezrich

10. Japanese Literature Challenge 5
June 1, 2011 until January 30, 2012



  1. Pingback: And the Winner Is… | Arabic Literature (in English) - September 2, 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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