January 2015 Required Reading + Reading Challenges

I decided to participate in two reading challenges this year namely: 

1. Award Winning Books Reading Challenge 2015 hosted by Gathering Books

I had a blast being part of this challenge twice (2012 and 2013)! And I am happy that they resurrected it for another year!  This is how the challenge goes:

"We are not restricting this to children’s and YA book awards.

We are also not restricting this to books that have received recognition for 2015 – you can include books that have won an award for any year.

We also welcome entries on adult literature such as books that won the Man Booker Prize, Man Asian Literary Prize, the Pulitzer, and other recognition of exceptionality in literary works.

This is not restricted to international awards. Local/regional award giving bodies would likewise be honored."


Four Levels of Participation:
Level 1 (10 books or less) – Bronze Medal - My Goal
Level 2 (11-25 books) – Silver Medal
Level 3 (26-35 Books) – Gold Medal
Level 4 (over 35 books) – Platinum Award 

2. The Book Riot Read Harder Challenge hosted by Book Riot
  1. A book written by someone when they were under the age of 25
  2. A book written by someone when they were over the age of 65
  3. A collection of short stories (either by one person or an anthology by many people)
  4. A book published by an indie press
  5. A book by or about someone that identifies as LGBTQ
  6. A book by a person whose gender is different from your own
  7. A book that takes place in Asia
  8. A book by an author from Africa
  9. A book that is by or about someone from an indigenous culture (Native Americans, Aboriginals, etc.)
  10. A microhistory
  11. A YA novel
  12. A sci-fi novel
  13. A romance novel
  14. A National Book Award, Man Booker Prize or Pulitzer Prize winner from the last decade
  15. A book that is a retelling of a classic story (fairytale, Shakespearian play, classic novel, etc.)
  16. An audiobook
  17. A collection of poetry
  18. A book that someone else has recommended to you
  19. A book that was originally published in another language
  20. A graphic novel, a graphic memoir or a collection of comics of any kind (Hi, have you met Panels?)
  21. A book that you would consider a guilty pleasure (Read, and then realize that good entertainment is nothing to feel guilty over)
  22. A book published before 1850
  23. A book published this year
  24. A self-improvement book (can be traditionally or non-traditionally considered “self-improvement”)
There are a couple of items that I'll probably have a hard time with in terms of availability, or getting past my own reluctance. I don't know anything about Indie Presses or microhistories. Same goes with self-improvement books, I can't seem to finish of them. I might have to do a little research on them and a couples more other stuff on this list. 

December Required Reading Report:

1. The Empire Striketh Back by Ian Doescher - (4/5 Stars) I was looking forward to reading the love-hate dialogues of Han Solo and Princess Leia, and the whole Luke and Darth Vader paternal revelation, done in iambic pentameter. And it did not disappoint. Always good fun, this one. 

2. Plume by K. Lynn Smith (web comics) - (5/5 Stars) - Great artwork and characterization, and funny dialogues. 

3. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson (web comics) - (4/5 Stars) - Enjoyable read that pokes fun at fantasy tropes while having a strong emotional subtext.

4. The Museum of Literary Souls by John Connolly (short story) - (4/5 Stars) This is a great Christmas read because the premise is just magical. Every book lover's dream. (or nightmare? :D)

5. A Faraway Smell of Lemon by Rachel Joyce (short story) - (4/5 Stars) Another Christmas themed read that is a little on the heartbreaking, melancholy side. But a well written short story nevertheless.

6. Break it Down by Lydia Davis (a short story) as read by James Salter - (4/5 Stars) Break it Down is akin to Raymond Carver's short stories, where nothing ever happens. The strength lies in the tone, the mood.  It's great because it breaks down love into denominations, sort of trying to quantify an intangible thing.

January 2015 Required Reading :
1. Ghostwritten by David Mitchell - Because my Cloud Atlas reading buddies and I are in love with David Mitchell, and it's imperative that we read another one of his. (and another? :D)

2. You Get So Alone at Times That it Just Makes Sense by Charles Bukowski - This is for item number 17 in Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge. I sampled poems from Neruda, Whitman and Eliot but I had a hard time understanding them. Then I remembered Charles Bukowski from this YA book I read years ago called Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. And so I looked him up and I quite like his free verse style.  


Reread:
3. Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool - I read this last 2013 and I gave it five stars. It's an awesome piece of middle grade literature. (Thanks to Louize of The Page Walker for the recommendation!)

So that's it for me. Have a great January everyone!

Comments

  1. Ooh, Ghostwritten! My second favorite Mitchell novel. I'm pretty sure you'll also love this as much as Cloud Atlas so I'll just say have fun and enjoy! Happy 2015, Tin! :)

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    1. You too Monique! Ghostwritten is going great so far, but like you, I was much more enamored of Cloud Atlas. :)

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  2. Hi there Tin! Glad to have you in our reading challenge! Ghostwritten sounds lovely.

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    1. Hey Myra! Joining a GB reading challenge is practically tradition. Haha. Ghostwritten is pretty cool. But I enjoyed Cloud Atlas more. I think David Mitchell can do no wrong. :)

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  3. I'm really loving Ghostwritten! Also I'm looking forward to our monthly crossing out of those tasks in The Book Riot Read Harder Challenge. I hope we could share a few books in some tasks.

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    1. But Cloud Atlas still holds my heart. Haha. Maybe we have similar titles for the tasks and we can do some buddy reading again. :)

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  4. That Book Riot is really a challenge. I wish you the best of luck! And I am so glad to be reading with you again Ghostwritten. (Also, why don't we just read together ALL of his books? Haha!)

    Happy new year, Tin!

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    1. Thanks Lynai! Me too! (excited din ako sa mga comedy Ikay pics! Haha.) Oo, ubusin na natin ang lahat na aklat ni DM! :)

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  5. Oh my, that's quite a few challenge. I'm sticking to one challenge, the read harder challenge. I'm hoping to tackle my TBR with that challenge. I'm curious about the books you'll be reading for the challenge. I'm struggling over the romance, audio book and sci-fi.

    Anyway, good luck with the challenge. Happy Reading.

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    1. Thanks! You too! We'd have to do like 2 tasks a month for the whole thing to be completed.

      I have been a little wary of romance lately too. And self-help and poetry. As to sci-fi, I haven't quite decided really. I am not sure if I could tackle the big names like Asimov, Clarke, etc. Or those with too much scientific and technical jargon. I am thinking I'd just go with whatever our book club's pick would be come sci-fi month. Thank heavens for book clubs. :)

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