Soffitta1's BC Challenge

DiskuteraFor BookCrossers: Reduce MTBR Challenge 2014

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Soffitta1's BC Challenge

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dec 29, 2013, 2:49pm

Looks like I have 53 books registered by others, actually that is more than 2/3 of the books I have that have been bookcrossed (70 in total).

I'd like to read 21 of those books and get my pre-2014 registered amount of books to 2 pages on BX.

Redigerat: dec 24, 2014, 3:43pm

dec 29, 2013, 3:03pm

I'll keep adding the books up there. This is a good way to keep track of my books, and to encourage me to look them out to read them!

dec 31, 2013, 11:16am

Wow, you are organised!!
Great list :-) Have fun reading and I look forward to seeing your progress / read comments.

jan 4, 2014, 5:03am

This way, I won't be able to avoid these books!

1. Birds of a Feather
Finally got round to reading this, enjoyable mystery with links back to WW1.

jan 4, 2014, 8:07pm

2. Eugene Onegin
I saw the film adaptation a couple of years ago, so had a rough idea of the plot as I read this. I was most impressed by how the translator had managed to keep the book in verse form. An interesting book, a lot happening despite it being quite a quick read.

jan 4, 2014, 9:43pm

Wow, you are doing well with your challenge, with two books finished already!

jan 5, 2014, 5:25am

Thanks! I think typing up the books put them in my mind and so I picked them up to read. Now, I go back to work on Monday, so the reading rate will slow down.

jan 5, 2014, 11:24am

You're making me feel guilty. I admire your progress so far. I actually picked up a BC-acquired book yesterday and started reading it. Your guilt inducing worked! ;)

jan 5, 2014, 1:57pm

Well done Soffitta. I haven't started yet but fortunately my challenge is not quite so big.

jan 7, 2014, 2:15pm

>14 soffitta1: Well done!
I've finished one and have started 2 new ones (one in English, one in Dutch). Both are biggies (605 and 720 pages), I think it'll take some time before I'm through.

How are things with your reading rate? Mine has dropped dramatically.... Really, work is too time consuming! If only....

jan 7, 2014, 2:32pm

I'll be lucky if I hit two books a week at the moment, lots to get done. I have 2 and a half weeks left at my first placement, then a week in Germany at a Grundschule followed by 2 weeks back at uni, finally one week off to finish first round of assignments before starting second placement in the last week of Feb. I think I'll start reading again at a more normal rate for me in July! However, reading for me keeps me sane, there is only so much reading and prep I can do for my course / classes.

Ardachy - nice to see you - I am sure I have at least one that has been through your hands!

jan 17, 2014, 4:27pm

3. Aloft
Jerry Battle is an Italian American, he has a complicated love life - unresolved issues with his ex-girlfriend - as well as a complicated family life. He is at a stage in his life where a person starts to reflect, especially when you are not where you expected to be. Jerry dwells on the past - his late wife and her illness, the family business. So many things that get in the way of his present.

I've had this for a while, not wanting to read it as I was worried it wouldn't live up to A gesture life, which I had previously read. I was disappointed at first, and in trying to pin point why I think it was the very different back drop. A gesture life is set against the WW2 and its aftermath whereas Aloft is set in the present day. I didn't warm to the main character, but I did think the story was well told and overall I am please I read it.

jan 17, 2014, 10:00pm

Chang-rae Lee is one of my favorite authors. I'm now reading On Such a Full Sea and find it much different from what this author has written before.

Lee's Native Speaker is very good. If you get a chance to read it, do so. It's about the experience of being of Korean ethnicity in America.

feb 3, 2014, 3:16pm

Thanks for the tip, will look out for it.

4. Ceremony
thoughts to come!

5. Cinnamon City
Very quick read on the plane back from Germany.

feb 3, 2014, 10:34pm

You're doing very well in your challenge! The Surrendered is the only Chang-Rae Lee I've read. I liked it very much and hope to read more of his works.

Redigerat: feb 20, 2014, 1:45pm

Thanks! I'll look out for both of those books.

6. Far from the Madding Crowd
I picked this up because it was H or R in the AlphaCat this month. Started it on the way to uni and really got into it. Lots of detail of country life as you would expect, a farmer falls for an independent woman, she refuses him, but life keeps throwing them together.

feb 20, 2014, 1:52pm

7. Prisoner in Baghdad
The true story of a nurse who gets arrested on suspicion of espionage. The book takes us into the interrogations and the cells, showing her evolving thoughts on life in Iraq. Glad I read it.

8. Rickshaw Girl
A short book picked up for my Olympic Challenge. Set in Bangladesh, this is the story of a young girl who wants to help her struggling family. It highlights the day-to-day life for a women in Bangladesh, but there is hope in the story.

feb 21, 2014, 4:15am

I was going to say I have read Rickshaw Girl too, then I realised it was actually the copy I read so you know that already :-)

feb 21, 2014, 10:14am

> 25

Ha! Isn't that the fun of BookCrossing?!

mar 17, 2014, 3:02pm

Small world!

9. Requiem for a Wren
Read on the way back to London this weekend. I was sent this in a bookbox and decided to pick it up for this month's RandomCat. A brother returns home to Australia, still haunted by WW2 and his brother's death in it. Sad, showing what happened to those who survived - a mixture of guilt and nostalgia for a period in which so close to death, they were so alive. Worth the read.

mar 22, 2014, 11:39am

Good RandomCAT choice! I'm also using the 2014 CAT challenges to help me get through my BC backlog.

mar 23, 2014, 1:43pm

And another two from the Cats -

10. The Colour of Forgetting - AlphaCat (M) and GeoCat (Caribbean)

11. Shame in the Blood - AlphaCat (M)

Very different books, yet the similarity lies in the stories being told and retold. I'd recommend them both, much more interesting than planning lessons.

apr 9, 2014, 5:13pm

12. The Tailor of Panama
Slow start, but got more exciting towards the end.

maj 20, 2014, 3:50pm

13. The Dressmaker of Khair Khana
14. Home

Went to Dublin to accompany my Mum on a business trip and managed to get some reading done. The Dressmaker was an interesting read, reflecting on life as the Taliban took over Afghanistan, as well as what is happening now. We are surrounded by distressing images in the West - on the news, in the papers, but it can be too easy to distance yourself from it without a personal connection, a face to put to the story. That's why I enjoyed reading the book, to get more of an idea of what happened and what is happening over there.

Home is a family saga, a little disjointed at times, but full of the ups and downs, petty jealousies that turn into wedges that drive people apart as well as the the situations that bring them together. Worth the read.

maj 30, 2014, 6:49am

15. India with Sanjeev Bhaskar
A personal look at India from the actor. I liked his tone, and his own connections with India made the book more interesting as he tried to reconcile his own views of India based on family visits and stories with the country's own history and diverse present.

jun 16, 2014, 5:39pm

16. Émigré Journeys
Alright, though the voices didn't always ring true.

17. The Thing Around Your Neck
Great writer, a series of short stories.

jun 21, 2014, 6:25pm

18. Between Extremes: A Journey Beyond Imagination
Been dipping into this, an interesting read - part travelogue of the road down to Patagonia, part reflection of life as hostages in Iran.

jul 1, 2014, 4:59pm

19. Fly by night
A long commute means a long book off my TBR pile. This is the first in a teen series, Mosca lives in a time of uncertainty, with a struggle for power linked to religion and the printing of books. Not bad, a little slow in the middle, but will add it to the box for my students to read.

jul 10, 2014, 2:38pm

20. Bel ami
Good book, really enjoyed it, even if the main character is particularly nauseating!

sep 13, 2014, 4:03pm

Long time since I read one from here, but hopefully I'll read a few more before the end of the year.

21. Nausea
22. Dreams of Joy

sep 15, 2014, 2:57am

Congratulations on exceeding your target of 21.

sep 15, 2014, 10:48am

You did it! Congrats!!

sep 23, 2014, 1:05pm

Thank you! Feels good!

23. The Other Queen
Another down. Not as good as her other Tudor book.

sep 30, 2014, 1:36pm

24. Geisha of Gion
Turns out I had two bookcrossed copies of this! Would be cheeky to count it twice, wouldn't it?!
A quick read, one that inspired Memoirs of a Geisha.

okt 21, 2014, 9:50pm

I'm just catching up with the threads in this forum. Belated congratulations on finishing your challenge!

nov 30, 2014, 4:16pm


Another two read.

25. The Distant Hours

26. A Woman's Life

Redigerat: dec 3, 2014, 1:43pm

27. Three Sisters
An interesting read as three very different sisters look for their paths in China.

dec 24, 2014, 3:45pm

28. The Vagrants
A good book, a young woman is being put to death for being a counter revolutionary in China and the whole community is affected. Li jumps between characters, so you need your reading wits about you, but this helps to give a multi-faceted look at life in China.

dec 25, 2014, 1:33pm

Your last two books look interesting. I always enjoy reading books set in China and other parts of Asia.

dec 27, 2014, 1:08pm

So do I, I would say they make up a sizeable chunk of my reading!

dec 28, 2014, 1:33pm

How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid was my only 100% asian based book this year. I recommend it though. Checking this I discovered that I have read a surprisingly high number of books based in South or Central America this year.

dec 28, 2014, 2:40pm

>48 ardachy:

How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid

I have that book! I got it because I was so impressed with The Reluctant Fundamentalist. If you haven't read that book yet, you *must*.

dec 28, 2014, 4:00pm

Thanks for the tip, I also enjoyed The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Any recommendations for South / Central America? I also enjoy reading books set there.

Redigerat: dec 28, 2014, 5:51pm

You question simply makes me think more of books I haven't read yet but should. I thought the following books were good, but I read them so long ago. I'm not sure what I'd think of them now. My international reading now leans greatly toward fiction by Japanese authors although I'm married to a Central American (from El Salvador).

Try these:
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Marquez
Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors by Piers Paul Read
Papillon by Henri Charrière
My Invented Country: A Nostalgic Journey through Chile by Isabel Allende
Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett was fascinating although she is an American author. I read this more recently.

Redigerat: dec 28, 2014, 6:10pm

Try this list!

I hated Bel Canto, by the way. It's a real snoozer. :)

Redigerat: dec 30, 2014, 10:49am

>53 ardachy:

I can't agree with SqueakyChu re Bel Canto.

Haha! Bel Canto is always a book that is either loved or hated by readers. It's one of my best friend's favorite books. We always argue about it. It's also a multiple prize winner...which is why I forced myself to finish it. Different strokes...

Hey! I want to go to that Official BookCrossing Zone shelf at the Layer Fox!!

dec 30, 2014, 11:00am

>53 ardachy:

I found The Ministry of Special Cases to be a heart-breaking novel. Really. I also thought it was extremely concise and well-written with no words to spare. When I first started reading it, knowing nothing about the novel, I thought it was going to be humorous. Then I quickly realized that it was not humorous at all.

About the time in which that novel was set, I was living in Israel and made friends with a group of young Argentinians who were extremely warm and friendly. One remains a dear friend of mine to this day. I remember that many young Jewish Argentinians were immigrating to Israel because, if they differed politically from anything espoused by the Argentinian government, they were in real danger.

I also remember learning about the "desaparecidos" at that time. I had no idea how anyone could suddenly disappear. It was in this novel that I learned how that could happen. I also knew that Jewish individuals were often victims of this. To say I was shocked when I learned how individuals completely disappeared is putting it mildly. Being Jewish myself and the daughter of Holocaust survivors, I always try to keep informed about life of Jews in all countries of the world when there appear to be problems.

I know this was a novel. However, in fiction, one can find the emotions of fact.

dec 30, 2014, 11:03am

Soffita, add The Ministry of Special Cases to your list of books. I didn't recommend it earlier, although it was excellent, because it was not written by an author native to South America (but then, neither is Ann Patchett).

dec 30, 2014, 3:50pm

Thanks for the great ideas, I have read some - including most of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's books (I recently finished Chronicle of a death foretold and loved it. Another one I came across in a charity shop was Tierra del Fuego, stories from a stark landscape. I did enjoy Bel Canto, though my brother didn't!
I hadn't heard of the Desaparecidos book, but it is a topic that I have come across many times - through films and other books. I do remember a film (with Ricardo Darín in it?) where parents had to disappear before being disappeared, and at least one of the parents was Jewish.

More books for my wishlist!

dec 30, 2014, 4:06pm

Tell me what you think of The Ministry of Special Cases if you read it. It's a hard book due to its subject matter but one of my all-time great reads. Nathan Englander has also published two books of short stories, but those are not set in South America.

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