Hibernation, reading, and reading challenges

It’s tempting to join in on the craziness of the 50/50 Challenge, but I’m not so sure I’m really that crazy. Accepting the challenge would mean trying to watch 50 movies and read 50 books by the end of this year. Since there are only 10 months left to go, that’s five books every month. I just don’t think I could read that many books and still pay attention to them.

It might be possible if I lived in Alaska  or some other arctic place. As it is though, I’ve hardly made a dent in my winter reading list. I blame that on the lack of snow and snow days so far. Now it seems as if spring is on the way. Trees are blooming (well, maybe just one tree is blooming so far but I did take this picture yesterday). If I’m not going to be able to hibernate, I just might need some sort of a challenge to read as many books as possible.

So maybe instead of 50, I’ll wimp out and try for 30 books by the end of the year. Then I might at least have a chance. I’m a slow reader. I like to try to absorb the words and really experience the book. Sometimes if a sentence strikes me enough, I’ll even copy it into a notebook along with the author and book title (yes I know that’s a geeky thing to do). Here are some of the books I’d like to read soon – hopefully by the fire during a spring snowstorm:

11/22/63 by Stephen King
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Seventh Heaven by Alice Hoffman
London: The Novel by Edward Rutherfurd
The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

and many more…

Are you doing any book reading challenges this year? What books will you be reading?

Oh – and in case you’re crazy enough to join the 50/50 Challenge, here’s the link:

33 thoughts on “Hibernation, reading, and reading challenges

  1. I’m not doing any challenges–but I have assigned myself some reading. My next book that I’m going to start on “real soon now” (haha) will be a 3rd person multi viewpoint and I was looking at something that mentioned Russo’s Empire Falls as a very good example of that done well. Sooo since it’s been years since I’ve read it, I’m going to re-read it next. (I love Richard Russo his book Straight Man may just be my all time favorite novel…and I also LOVED his Nobody’s Fool).

    re: your list above, I have read The Art of Racing in the Rain LOVED LOVED IT and have read Seventh Heaven (LOVED!! Her best book I think) I have the stephen king book sitting in my to read pile (and it’s a monster) and I’ve read other books by a couple other authors you have listed but not the books listed. So you need to start with the two I’ve read and loved because…well because it’s all about me, right?


    • hahahaa – ok I’ll start with those – it’s good to know you loved them. I haven’t read the Richard Russo books either so might have to add Straight Man especially if it might be your all time favorite novel. Thanks for the suggestions!

  2. I just read in between writing. I don’t like challenges because then I feel pressure. Yuck! I loved, loved, loved The Book Thief and Art of Racing in the Rain. Those were excellent. I’m spotlighting your blog on mine tomorrow and give you the ABC Award (if you don’t already have it). If you do, I feel you deserve a 2nd or 3rd. I’m glad I accidentally found you the other day. I’ve enjoyed your writing.

    • thank you so much – looks like I’ll have to get to The Art of Racing in the Rain soon! I’m glad we found each other too and loved your Arches pictures.

      • Art of Racing in the Rain is such a good book! I finished it while on an airplane and had tears streaming down my face–in public.
        I’ve got a goal to read 50 books this year (http://wp.me/p263ht-P) and so far I’m on track. I do wish that winter was a little more “cooperative” with snow storms and such that wouldn’t make me feel guilty for plunking down on the couch and reading!

      • I did that with The Mermaids Singing (Lisa Carey). I’ll try not to read Art of Racing in the Rain in public then! Good luck with your 50 book challenge!

  3. I have not read any of the books on your list yet!
    I just finished the Steve Jobs book, interesting to me, but maybe because I like technology and am a bit geeky!
    I’m reading Maureen Hancock’s book now titled
    “the medium next door” pretty good if you like thinking about connecting with dead people
    I think 50, books is extremely ambitious, especially as you mentioned, no snow days this year!
    I love your blog!

  4. I think there are enough pressures in life already without feeling that I have to read a certain number of books, or watch a certain number of movies. I do these things for pleasure! I’d be very interested to hear if having goals in this respect enhances or detracts from other peoples’ enjoyment of them though.

    • It does seem as if it might take some of the pleasure out of it! I don’t usually count how many I read in a year but it’ll be interesting to see if it’s possible to read anywhere near 30. I’ll let you know how it goes!

  5. I used to read a lot and then I started this blog….there is not enough time in each day to do it all, so I go in phases. However, I have read The Art of Racing in the Rain and The Book Thief because my son read them (he’s 16) and he encouraged me to. He loved them and I also really liked them. Wonderful books, so I hope you enjoy, too! 🙂

  6. I belong to a book club and I’m in the middle of the Book Thief. and enjoying it very much…very different! I am like you….I like to savor a book. I’m not into speed reading, although I have been known to “skim” some pages if they seem way too much like fluff/ put there to fill out a book! 😉

  7. I’m really focusing on the writing this year. I really want to be querying a novel by the end of the year, early next year at latest. Somewhat backwards, though, I am reading some books on writing such as Lamott’s “Bird by Bird” and King’s “On Writing.” They’re good reminders for tightening up my story line and word choices.

    • I know what you mean. Lately I’ve mostly been reading and rereading my own book but I know what happens in that one so it’s not as fun. On Writing was really good. Good luck with the rewriting and querying!

  8. I try it and usually accomplish it, but now that I have a newspaper subscription and get Sports Illustrated, it’s a little tougher. Not taking classes, or taking on larger books, like Les Miserables helps ;). Usually I do science fiction (Star Wars) or crime/noir books. In other words, easy reads that are in my interest. There are some ‘short’ but good books I can reccomend, which will enrich and entertain, and best of all get you on track!

      • Ok here are some that I have read. Some are dramatic, some are funny. Others may seem like they are right off a required readin in high school, but I enjoyed them all 🙂

        One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
        3 men in a Boat (Jerome K Jerome)
        The Stranger (Camus)
        Animal Farm
        The Pearl
        The Old Man and the Sea
        The Underdogs (Mariano Azuela)

      • Thank you! Yes I recognize some of those from high school but as long as they’re short, maybe it’s time to reread some of them. I’ll let you know how it goes. And…SNOW DAY (hopefully tomorrow anyway)!!

  9. I’ve been enjoying the 50/50, though the books are easier to fit in than the movies! Last year I did a book a week, I’m hoping that doing 50 instead of 52 will help! 😉

  10. I have reviewed both The Art of Racing in the Rain and The Book Thief on my blog. I LOVED both of them. I am quite an emotional reader so I also managed to cry during both of them as well! I can’t wait to see what you think 🙂

    • That’s great – I’ll take a look at the reviews and can’t wait to start in on the books. Still hoping for more snow and hibernation but that doesn’t seem too likely!

  11. Ah, it’s lovely how so many have read The Book Thief and The Art of Racing in the Rain! I loved both of them. And if it’s any consolation, I always have a notepad and pen beside me to scribble down lines from books (when reading The Book Thief, I even had a separate notebook to jot down the meanings of the German words used). The 50/50 Challenge seems ridiculously stressful. I’d much prefer revelling in words and meanings, and read a mere 15 a year. Good luck with the 30 you select. I’d suggest throwing in some Aldous Huxley.

    • Thank you – 15 sounds much more civilized than 30! I’m glad to hear others do the crazy notebook thing too – it’s good to have for a later read through anyway. I read Brave New World semi-recently and liked it but haven’t ventured into his other books. Might have to do that for the challenge.

  12. Cool there is a Challenge? How can I resist! I am aiming for 52 books. That is crazy I know, especially while I am working full time and going to University. Books are my escape though. I have the same books on my list except I have read 2 already. Good luck with the challenge!

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