SqueakyChu's First ever BC Mt. TBR Challenge!
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My challenge is going to be very low in number this year because I want to accomplish it for 2014. I failed all of my personal book challenges for 2013. I'm not sad. I'll just lower my goals and try again this year. :)
Goal: To read ten books in 2014 registered by other Bookcrossers
Planning My Reading ... (or) ... The Only Way I'll Succeed at This Challenge!
1. The Cat Who Covered the World - Christopher S. Wren
* from maryzee (Rest in peace, dear friend) - With me since 11/3/12 - See msg #10 below.
2. Magical Thinking - Augusten Burroughs
* from gnissorckoob - With me since 4/17/2006 - Oh, man! That's a long, long time. :(
3. Short Stories - Louisa May Alcott
* from be7 - With me since 8/20/05. Oops! That was 9 years ago.
4. Sixty-Nine - Ryu Murakami
* from cameing (LT's cameling) - with me since 1/13/13 - Only a year! :)
5. Driving Over Lemons - Chris Stewart
* from Amusedbythis - With me since 3/10/2007 - Yikes! Seven years?! I better get moving on this one. :)
6. The Fountain of Age - Betty Friedan
*From Oldbroad - I can't believe I've had this book since 11/28/05. Was I waiting to be considered "old" to read it?!
7. House of Windows - Adina Hoffman
* From jessibud (LT's jessibud2) - She mailed this book to me in 2008. I've only had it for 6 years now, but I did start to read it today. :D
8. Blindness - Jose Sarmago
* from ghir - In my possession since 8/31/06 - Oopsie! :D
9. Hawks for Kids - Sumner Matteson
*From KateKintail - since 06/18/14. I picked this book up at a BookCrossing meet-up today. It's destined to go to the Little Free Library at the National Audubon Society in Kensington, Maryland.
10. An Audacious Alphabet - Amy J. Francisconi
*From ResQGeek at today's BookCrossing meetup (6/8/14)
11. Zeitoun - Dave Eggers
*From melydia on 4/28/14. See! I didn't wait so long! :D
12. The Invisible Man - H.G. Wells
*From KateKintail on 1/26/14 during a monthly meet-up in which we played the "first Line Game". I chose this book because it had the word "portmanteau" in the opening line. :D I loved this book! I now look forward to reading more books by H.G. Wells. This is the first book of his that I've ever read.
13. Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend - Matthew Dicks
* From ResQGeek and Nat4Lee on 12/23/12. Two years already! Hmmmm? :)
14. Xenophone's Guide to the Canadians - Vaughn Roster
* from 6of8 since the 11/2/14 BCinDC meetup at Birdie's this past weekend. At least this was a short book! :D
15. Harvest Home - Thomas Tryon
* BC journal
* from gomboggit - With me since 3/15/05 - No kidding!? - Ooops!!
16. Beware of God - Shalom Auslander
*This was a recent surprise wishlisted RABCK from slipperbunny of Finland. Thank you so much!
TBR - PERHAPS I'LL READ THESE:
17. Painted Moon - Karin Kallmaker
*from Shann24lvr - With me since 6/18/08 - Only six years. Not so bad! :)
18. 1984 - George Orwell
* BC journal
* from melydia - With me since 7/2/10 (Notes: Not so bad. Only 3 plus years.)
More to come!
Info for others: Tickers can be found at Ticker Factory.
Good luck with your personal book challenges for 2014...and Happy New Year!
Good luck on reaching your goal! If needed, I'll cheer to encourage you :-)
I should actually go now and pick the book with which I want to begin this challenge. Of course, I'll tell from which BookCrosser it came. :)
I'm sure I have at least ten, though! :D
(Moved my book list up to message #1)
Happy New Year everyone!
I've decided it's time to start this challenge in earnest so I picked the book to read. It's The Cat Who Covered the World (see BC journal entry in msg #8). This is a fitting book with which to begin because the book was first started on its travels by MaryZee, a very dedicated BookCrosser who is no longer alive. She was a member of my local BookCrossing group, BCinDC. I used to read her messages on the BC forum long before I ever met her. Sadly, she died suddenly at age 59. My group still meets with her family occasionally at Birdie's Café in Westminster where the Official BookCrossing Zone she started years ago still remains. This book has also passed through the hands of 6of8, another very cheerful fellow member of BCinDC.
With these thoughts in mind, today I'll begin to read this book...
This book had previously been read by my friend MaryZee (sadly no longer alive) and also by my friend 6of8 whom I'm going to see in about two weeks at a BookCrossing meet-up. I plan to give this book to my daughter who has three cats of her own. I think she'll really like this book. I can guarantee, though, she will never make a BookCrossing journal entry about it. :(
Now, I'll be off to choose another BookCrossing book to read for this challenge, but only after I finish and review an Early Reviewer book I won here on LibraryThing.
I'm 10% done with this challenge so I'm ahead of the game! :D
It does seem to be true that friends & family don't journal BC books. Except once, when I hadn't made a release note for it! (Argh!)
I think I'll now go and choose another BC "challenge" book to have on hand when I have a few free moments...
Am I really that old?! LOL!!
I'm going to have to sort through my BC list to see which books in my possession are truly that old. Then I need to get a move on those. Thanks for bringing this challenge to LibraryThing. I would have ignored it totally on the BC website! Ha!
Is this book exceptionally bad, or has my reading taste changed since I last read a book by Augusten Burroughs? Perhaps it's the double whammy of having recently read a book by the even more distasteful and offensive author David Sedaris?
David Sedaris is yet unknow to me. If he's anything like Burroughs, I'm not sure I'll try hime...
Good luck on finishing Magical Thinking, interesting to learn what you think :-)
David Sedaris is yet unknow to me. If he's anything like Burroughs, I'm not sure I'll try hime...
If you dislike Burroughs, you'd absolutely hate David Sedaris. Maybe read one of his essays just to see what I mean, and then quickly get rid of the book! Oddly enough, many people find both of these authors hysterically funny. Neither even make me want to smile. Rather, what they write generally makes me frown.
I will finish Magical Thinking because I want to add this book both to my BC Mt. TBR challenge and to my ROOTS challenge. Then I'll try to read something I like better. :)
It's fun trying to find those now and getting them registered here and read. I've been finding them by the same way you've been locating them - by filtering at BookCrossing.
By the way, who gave you the book registered in 2008? Just curious!
It's also not one of the books I'm reading for this challenge, because it has prerequisites. The oldest is Lighthouses of Massachusetts, registered by wilderwoman and given to me by KateKintail in 2010. Not bad!
Short Stories - Louisa May Alcott
I was favorably impressed with this tiny volume of short stories by 19th century novelist Louisa May Alcott. This is the first book I've read by her in over 50 years! I did read Little Women as a child, but I have not recollection of that book other than I liked it. In addition, my elementary school was named after this author. It was Louisa May Alcott School #59 on Reisterstown Road in Baltimore, Maryland. I don't know if that school (or even the building) still exists. :)
There are only five stories in this 55-page book. It was very quick to read, but also suitably impressive. I liked that four of her stories were about her experiences as a nurse at a military hospital in Georgetown, DC (in the heart of what is now Washington, DC) during the Civil War. She was a night nurse for part of that time, at least. I, too, was a nurse in DC, although my experience was as a visiting nurse in the second half of the twentieth century.
There are some things about nursing that never change. It's what I always liked best about nursing - that is, the human interactions and the support provided by nurses through coping with illness and impending death. These topics are handled beautifully in this book. The nurse in our story is warm and caring. She also is an abolitionist who, in a story called "My Contraband" gives great support to the mixed race brother of a Rebel in a most unusual story that uses Fort Wagner, South Carolina, as the historical setting for a dramatic scene.
I was taken aback by the essay called "Happy Women" which was the author's explanation of why a woman did not need to defend her position of not wanting to marry. It's a very dated essay, but the content is quite outspoken for its time.
These are very heart-rending stories which touched me deeply. Who knows? I might even choose to go back and read a bit more by this nineteenth century author!
Rating - 4.5 stars
I'm so excited. This book can begin to travel again...after nine years! :D
69 - Ryu Murakami
This is a sparkling book about Kensuke Yazaki, a teenage boy in Japan in 1969 who really did not like attending school. Together with friends Amada and Iwase, he planned to barricade his school and then stage a protest play. This was all done whilst in the midst of a pervasive and heavy crush on Yazaki's "Lady Jane", Kazuko Matsui.
Although geared to a young adult readership, this book was a delight to read. It was light-hearted, reminiscent of the late 60s, and not malicious or offensive in any way.
How did any of us get through that era? It was a tough time and a wonderful time. I loved this journey back into that era, but also being able to see it through the perspective of a teen in Japan as opposed to the young adult I was in the United States at that time.
Rating - 4 stars
I'm always encouraging LTers to join BookCrossing and vice versa. It's been a challenge of my own to get these two websites more connected. They both have so seem to meld together so well.
The good news is that I'm now old enough to appreciate it as it's a book about ageism in America. I'll tell you more after I finish the book - which won't be too soon as it has over 600 pages! :)
Driving Over Lemons - Chris Stewart
With warmth and humor, Chris Stewart describes his move with his wife Ana to a remote spot in Andalucía, a mountainous area of Spain, where he buys a house and starts his own farm. I love his determination and great spirit of adventure as he manages to leave his English roots behind and become a full-fledged member of this Spanish community.
In particular, I loved reading about the people of the area and how they reacted to this expat from England. The description of the scenery was magnificent, although I really would have preferred to see larger, color pictures within this book. The animal stories were also terrific...from the pets dogs that didn't always behave to the sheep that ran away as a flock. More important than all of these, though, were the friendships that developed in the years that Chris lived in El Valero which is what the author called his farm. Domingo was a friend in the truest sense of the word and probably had much to do with Chris and Ana's successful adaptation to their new country.
Rating - 4 stars
Good to know. I have a copy of this somewhere... I'll have to dig it out!
The Fountain of Age - Betty Friedan
I found it very strange but serendipitous that I've had this book in my hands since 2005, but I never picked it up to read until I did so for a reading challenge in 2014. In the same year and at age 66, I was suddenly told by my employer of more than 39 years that I no longer had a job and could go home immediately. Thus began my own episode of "aging" and trying to make what I would of this last stage of life. It was with great fear, oppressive emotional stress, and nightmares which would awaken me each night that I started my retirement years. Fortunately, I was able to get many of those pressing financial worries under some sort of control before I chose this book to read. This state of being allowed me to take great interest in the subject matter as I could relate to all of what was being said. I also saw it as a tool to help me move forward in learning to cope with aging in ways I never considered before.
I found it very encouraging to learn that aging is not a limiting condition outside of the physical deterioration one may expect sooner or later. I was happy to learn that brain development and differentiation in age continues through age seventy or eighty...or even longer in some individuals. One thing it will certainly do is to make me work toward demonstrating my personal strengths as I age and not to fear my numerical age (which I never have). I very much appreciate Betty Friedan's momentous work on this book about the aging mystique and only wish it would do as much for aging as her previous books have none for the feminine mystique. Not only this book, but also this subject needs to be much more in the forefront of our reading and learning as the "graying of America" (as American baby boomers become senior citizens) takes place. We, of age, are a strong and determined force, and this book is the proof.
Beware that this is not light reading. This is a thick, dense book, well over 600 pages. Some might find this kind of reading dry. As for me? I was fascinated by every sentence!
Rating - 5 stars
It was just such an excellent book. It was worth reading every page. Very empowering.
Check out this list (nonfiction) and this list (fiction) for more books about aging. Feel free to add your own selections to these lists.
My oldest friend is 101 years old. She's the mother of another friend of mine. She lives out of town so I don't see her that often, but I did go to her 100th birthday celebration.
One of my best topics of conversation with individuals of my parent's generation is to compare hearing aids with them! :/
Oopsie! Love this challenge. :D
It doesn't matter if it is redundant. It's fun because THIS is the ***only BookCrossing challenge*** here on LT. We BookCrossers have to stick together!
So do it along with the rest of us. The other BookCrossers on this challenge are mostly not part of the 75 challenge group; many are not part of the ROOTs group. Here we are ALL Bookcrossers.
You can cut and paste your reviews/thoughts/reactions to what you read to all three groups. Different people will see your cross post on the three different groups.
However, if you do think it's too redundant (and it might be), skip it for now, but consider doing it for 2015.
Hint: I'm using my old BookCrossing books and my ROOTs book for both of the challenges. Killing two birds with one stone sort of thing... Heh!
This particular MTBR BC challenge brought to my attention some fabulous books that I have neglected for years!
By the way, I just love House of Windows. It was really fun picking up such an old book and finding a note from you in it! :)
House of Windows - Adina Hoffman
I adored this book. It brought back a flood of memories from the few months I had the privilege and delight of living and working in the city of Jerusalem. Although author Adina Hoffman talked about her experiences in the city at a later time period than when I was there, she brought back all of the local color of that city The people in Jerusalem are amazing - so colorful, so special. If I could have, I would have jumped right into the pages of this book, taken the author's hand and told her to let go, not be afraid of the city and its inhabitants, and to simply take everything in around her with joy. There was a sense of trepidation about her writing. Maybe it was because I was there as a single woman and the author first came there as a married woman, that I felt the beginning of this book was so tentative.I guess it was the time in which she lived there. I was there before the Intifada began.
Perhaps not as much for others who have never been to Israel or to Jerusalem, but for me, this book was simply enchanting. I loved all the characters - even the ones who were less than agreeable. That was because I seemed to know them all. She nailed her emotions and reactions of others in such a way that all the characters came vividly to life. With Hoffman's great eye and descriptive ability, she made this book as alive as any book could be. I enjoyed this read immensely.
Rating - 5 stars
Blindness - Jose Saramago
Blindness seemed quite a "slog" is because it tended to go on and on. The conversations without punctuation didn't bother me all that much because I was usually pretty clear who said what, although I will admit that I did go back to reread a few of its passages to clarify this issue.
The premise is interesting. A bout of "white blindness" sweeps the entire population. When this affliction only affects only a few people, they were placed in quarantine. However, when the blindness becomes more rampant, the government security in charge of this quarantine area abandoned its residents and they are left to fend for themselves. No names are ever used for the main characters, although the reader gets to know them quite well by their description.
I think the idea of this novel was to show how people, when reduced to their basics, are all the same. With eyesight, we "see" without seeing. Without eyesight, we sometimes "see" even more.
The end of this story surprised me. Now I do want to read its sequel, "Seeing". I want to see if the message I gleaned from this first book carries through in its sequel.
Hey, maybe "slog" was too rough of a word. Maybe "slog-lite" would be a better way to describe my feelings as I worked my way through this story.
Rating - 3.5 stars
I went back and edited my "non-review" above into a review because of this conversation. See messages 37 through 41 there. :D
just a truly decent human being, a quality that seems to be in increasingly rare supply among the famous (and even not-so-famous)
That's refreshing. Glad you picked such a good book.
Hawks for Kids - Sumner Matteson
This is a nice book about hawks for children and their parents. I liked this book because the information presented was in a small enough amount not to be overwhelming or confusing. In addition, the book had some large photographs which would make identification of hawk species easy and some lovely colored-pencil drawings to illustrate the story of hawk expert Prakash teaching his young friends Allison and Amanda all about hawks.
Rating - 4 stars
28. An Audacious Alphabet - Amy J. Francisconi
Adorable and laugh-out-loud funny alphabet book! Precious and colorful illustrations...
U - an unbridled unicorn undulating in his underwear
This is a good book to share with anyone, any age, because everyone is sure to learn a new vocabulary word or two.
Rating - 5 stars
Zeitoun - Dave Eggers
This is such a disturbing book. It's made worse by knowing that the story is true. It begins with the Zeitoun family who were caught in the oncoming Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Mr. Zeitoun and his wife, owners of a painting/construction business, and their four children were involved in the maelstrom of preparation for evacuation. However, Mr. Zeitoun (referred to as "Zeitoun" in this book) makes the decision to stay at home to weather the storm and watch his other properties while having his wife and children evacuate. This was probably the worst decision of his life.
What ensues afterward is painful story. Zeitoun remains to do good and help people as he is owner of a small working canoe. However, his good intentions were almost for naught as he was arrested and imprisoned unfairly and made to suffer for his Islamic background and appearance.
What happens in this story is almost unbelievable. The many lapses of good judgment by others and the cruelty and unfairness of our law enforcement agencies are downright frightening. How could such situations happen? It is so unfortunate.
In response, author Dave Eggers, decided to tell the Zeitoun family story in as much detail as possible. To try to right the wrongs, he, along with the Zeitoun family and McSweeney's, set up The Zeitoun Foundation which consists of multiple agencies to help victims of and also to prevent abuses such as those suffered by the Zeitoun family during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. This was a step in the right direction after untold cruelty to a hardworking husband, father, business owner, and immigrant to America.
Rating - 4 stars
I think I might do that too now. When I reached my goal of 15, I adjusted the ticker to 30. But, this is so much more fun :-) Seeing how many you are in the plus instead of looking at a gap all over again.
Last year I failed so miserably at my challenges that I simply wanted to feel a sense of accomplishment this year.
The Invisible Man - H.G. Wells
It's not easy being invisible!
Griffin, a minor scientist in England, discovers how to make things invisible. His experiments with living things only left the back of a white cat's eyes, but he was able to make himself totally invisible. That's when his troubles began.
How does an invisible man eat (especially if partially digested food is still visible), clothe himself (especially if "walking clothing" scare others, or get and carry money without creating "floating money" (especially before the days of "virtual money"? In addition, how does an invisible man refrain from performing acts of mischief that are so enticing?
This classic novel answers the above questions and provides for an interesting play-by-play of this scientist's adventures, including his ability to find someone (Mr. Marvel, the tramp) who scams him and, by chance, to discover someone who could help him (Dr. Kent). Both funny and sad, this story is well written, almost believable, very imaginative, and a most enjoyable read.
Rating - 5 stars
I chose this book at BCin DC's party where we played the "First Line Game" because it had the word "portmanteau" in the opening line. :D
I loved this book! It was so entertaining. I now look forward to reading more books by H.G. Wells. This is the first book of this author that I've ever read.
Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend - Matthew Dicks
In the voice of an eight-year-old, this novel tells the story of the in-existence-for-five- years Budo, the imaginary friend of Max, an autistic first-grade child. At the opening of the book, Budo clearly explains the differences in Max from a "normal" child, but shows such a loving understanding in doing so that it made me want to jump into the story to also befriend Max. Max is an only child whose parents tend to differ in how best to handle him. Max's idol is one of his teachers, Mrs. Gosk.
When Max suddenly disappears from school, no one knows what to do except Budo, who is determined to figure out what happened to Max. Budo's adventure is so imaginative that it becomes a quest to right a wrong.
Due to the simple narrative, I consider this a young adult book rather than an adult novel, but the story is so endearing, I recommend it for all ages.
Rating - 4.5 stars
I was impressed with the fact that the author uses a child with autism as the focus of his story and makes us understand how "normal" Max really is. My favorite line from the book is...
But you have to be the bravest person in the world to go out every day, being yourself when no one likes who you are.
I'd love to see how Max fares through his teenage years. That must be the hardest! Maybe there will be a sequel?
What were the things that didn't ring true to you? Was you recation from your point of view as a teacher or as a reader?
The part that felt a bit unrealistic to me was how capable Max *suddenly* became at the end, able to navigate his way home, even when he saw her coming after him, and even when there were obvious obstacles that had, up to that point, caused great anguish and caused him to get *stuck* (crossing the road, e.g.). That said, I felt the author (who is, by the way, an elementary school teacher and likely has first-hand experience with autistic kids) handled it quite well and in a satisfactory way, using the power of Budo to guide him.
That makes sense. By that part of the story, though, I was so enchanted by this fantasy, that I just wanted Max to get home quickly and safely. :)
No disrespect intended. It is scary, what's happened there the last few days. Really! :-(
In a perfect world, they could cart up all that snow and ship it off to somewhere suffering from drought conditions....
Buffalo's snow is really scary!!
I always see the meet-ups for Toronto posted on this forum, but the commute is too long. ;)
Harvest Home - Thomas Tryon
What a horrifying story! What a great book!
This is the story of what awaits Ned Constantine, his wife Beth, and his daughter Kate after they leave urban life behind and move to the rural Connecticut town of Cornwall Coombe. Its population of individuals, most notably the herbalist Widow Fortune and the postal worker Tamar Penrose, carry out their ancient harvest traditions and festivals, having as their crescendo the rite of Harvest Home, an ancient secret ceremony celebrating the corn harvest and ritually symbolizing earthly renewal.
The characters of this story are positively creepy. It turns out that you can't tell the good guys from the bad guys (or gals). I really liked the main character Ned who was an artist. He, at first, saw the beauty of Cornwall Coombe and tried to capture it in his paintings. His intention was to make a better life for his family. Unfortunately, he didn't realize his mistake until too late.
If you love taut writing, unpredictable characters, small town settings, and unsettling scenes, you'll appreciate this book. if you have a queasy stomach for grizzly scenes, it might be better to just pass this book along to someone else who finds horror novels entertaining.
Rating 4.5 stars
Beware of God - Shalom Auslander
These are stories based on the Jewish tradition which are totally profane and blasphemous so read them at your own risk. Some of them are quite funny. I liked three of the stories better than the others. "Bobo the Self Hating Chimp" is the story of how a chimp becomes aware of God, Death, Guilt and Shame. In "Somebody Up There Likes You", Bloom does not die in the car accident meant to kill him. "Startling Revelations from the Lost Book of Stan" tells the story of Stan finding the oldest Testaments. Don't say you weren't warned about the impropriety of these stories!
Rating - 3.5 stars
I will not meet any of the goals I set for myself here this year. Oh well. That's life, I guess. But well done, you!
By the way, I'm really happy that I got to read some of the older BookCrossing-given-to-me books this year. In the past, I just let them linger on my shelf. However, those are precisely the books that need to travel. :)
Well done on this challenge, and congratulations for winning all four of your 2014 challenges!
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