31 Dec 2007

Challenges completed in 2007

Under the Tuscan Sun - Frances Mayes

The last book for 2007 was fortunately also a GREAT one: Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes. I want to visit Tuscana - or at least Italy now!

Rest of 2007 book list

This post is a sticky post. Scroll down for newest posts. No longer. All done! :-D

This is mostly for my own sake. A list of the books I've committed to reading before the end of 2007 for one or more of my challenges.
  • Flowers in the Attic (2nds, Fall Into Reading)
  • Noughts and Crosses (Fall Into Reading)
  • Over Sea, Under Stone (The Dark Is Rising 1) (Fall Into Reading)
  • The Big Over Easy (Fall Into Reading, TBR, Baby-Steps)
  • The Stand (Fall Into Reading, Whitcoulls)
  • My Best Friend's Girl (Fall Into Reading)
  • Lords and Ladies (Fall Into Reading, TBR, Baby-Steps)
  • Taken On Trust (Fall Into Reading, TBR, Baby-Steps)
  • To Say Nothing of the Dog (Fall Into Reading)
  • Inkspell (2nds, Bibliography)
  • The Neverending Story (Bibliography)
  • April Fool's Day (Whitcoulls)
  • Under the Tuscan Sun (Whitcoulls)
  • (The Last Jew (Jewish Literature) (Postponed until next year)

27 Dec 2007

Books to read...

This post doesn't really have anything to do with my challenges, I just thought it'd be a fun post to do. The photo above is a selection of my books, and the ones within the black circle are the ones I have yet to read... (yes, the left shelf is double-lined... so's the right one, but those books I have read... but I digress.)

I've contemplated completely redoing all my challenges for next year to only use those books, but to be completely honest, I think I'd grow tired of that quite quickly. Besides, if I know myself right, I'll get just as many new ones during the year as I manage to read ;)

I know a lot of the titles are in Danish, so if you want to see exactly which books I'm talking about, click on the Goodreads link at the top of the page, and choose my "to-read-owned" shelf. It ought to be up to date :)

23 Dec 2007

Winter Reading Challenge - DONE!

Now that the Fall Into Reading challenge is over, it's time to start the Winter version - the Winter Reading Challenge, running from December 22nd to March 19th. The rules are the same as for the FIR challenge - you set your own goals.

Again, since it runs for 12 weeks, I've picked 12 books to read. Hopefully that won't tax my already busy reading schedule too much ;)

I've picked the following books to read:
Subject to change if I get completely stuck ;-)

22 Dec 2007

Fall Into Reading 2007 - Wrap Up

The Fall Into Reading Challenge ended yesterday. I'd decided to read 13 books for the challenge - one for each week the challenge covered. It was close, but I managed to finish the last one before the challenge ended. Here are the 13 books I picked with a link to the review of each book at my book review blog.

This was my first challenge, and I have to say I enjoyed the experience. I've never been very structured in my reading, so making a list 3 months in advance and actually sticking to it (even if I did read a lot of other books in those months too) was a novelty to me. I may get tired of it after away and want to resort to my unstructured reading again (especially with all the challenges I've got going for next year... I'll have to remind myself to not be afraid of dropping out if it takes the fun out of reading), but for the time being it's fun!

I was really lucky in that I enjoyed all the books I'd chosen, but think the most pleasant surprise was My Best Friend's Girl - I'd expected a very shallow book, but ended up with one that made me laugh, cry and - most importantly - think.

Lords and Ladies - Terry Pratchett

By finishing Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett, I've managed to finish all challenges for 2007. Now I can get a head-start on those that spand the New Year until a load of new ones start on January 1st ;)

20 Dec 2007

Over Sea, Under Stone - Susan Cooper

I've finished the first book in The Dark is Rising Sequence: Over Sea, Under Stone. It was okay, but didn't leave me rushing to read the rest of the series. We'll see if I like TDIR any better.

16 Dec 2007

To Say Nothing of the Dog - Connie Willis

I found it very difficult to get properly interested in To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis, so it wasn't until I was half way through that I got to the point where I couldn't put it down, which is why it took me a lot longer to read than I'd have expected. All done now though, and only missing another 2 books to finish my Fall Into Reading challenge.

15 Dec 2007

TBR Challenge 2008 - DONE

Yesssss!!! The TBR Challenge 2008 is finally up. I've literally been waiting for this for 6 months, as I was too late to join the 2007 one (not discovering it until July, that's fair enough).

The challenge is: In 2008 read 12 books that have been on your 'to-read' list for more than 6 months. I'm going to expand it and say the 12 books HAVE to be books I already own, in order to make a dent in my ever increasing pile of unread-but-owned-books.

There's my list:

9 Dec 2007

My Best Friend's Girl - Dorothy Koomson

I'm having great luck with chick-lit these days. My Best Friend's Girl is yet another in a fortunately growing line of not-shallow-chick-lit. It's very sweet, very sad and very thought-provoking. I highly recommend it.

7 Dec 2007

The Stand - Stephen King

I finally managed to finish The Stand by Stephen King. Very unlike me this one took about 3 weeks to read! Not because it was bad, nor even because it was terribly long (sure 1007 pages is a lot, but I've read that in less time before), but despite liking it it was just a slow read. Anyway, it's done now and I can strike yet another book off my Fall Into Reading list :)

23 Nov 2007

The Big Over Easy - Jasper Fforde

Yesterday I finally managed to finish The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde. An absolutely delightful book that I highly recommend to anybody - especially people who enjoy bibliographies.

14 Nov 2007

The Neverending Story - Michael Ende

By reading The Neverending Story by Michael Ende I've managed to complete the Bibliography Challenge!! That's two down... a whole lot to go :)

11 Nov 2007

Noughts & Crosses - Malorie Blackman

I've just finished Malorie Blackman's "Noughts & Crosses" and loved it. Link will be up as soon as I get the review written. Link is up :) This was my first book for the Speculative Fiction challenge.

7 Nov 2007

April Fool's Day - Bryce Courtenay

I've managed to finish my first book for the Whitcoulls Challenge: April Fool's Day by Bryce Courtenay. It's an angry and a heart-breaking book. I highly recommend it

1 Nov 2007

What's In A Name - DONE

I wasn't going to sign up for more challenges, but the can be completed using only one new book, and the premise is fun, so I'm going to try anyway :) Cross-overs are encouraged, but no book can be read for two categories.

Dates: January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2008

The Challenge: Choose one book from each of the following categories.

1. A book with a color in its title. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
2. A book with an animal in its title. The Clan of the Cave Bears by Jean M. Auel
3. A book with a first name in its title. LOTS of possibilities here. Probably Charlotte's Web, although Mary Poppins, Mathilda and The Diary of Anne Frank* are also options.
4. A book with a place in its title. Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi.
5. A book with a weather event in its title. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
6. A book with a plant in its title. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.

* That's the Danish title, so I'd say it counts :)

25 Oct 2007

Flowers in the Attic - Virginia Andrews

By finishing Flowers in the Attic by Virginia Andrews I've finished my first challenge!! "Anyone For 2nds" is now completed :)

19 Oct 2007

Taken on Trust - Terry Waite

I've just finished Taken on Trust by Terry Waite, which covers a whole lot of challenges and is absolutely fascinating. Go read it!

16 Oct 2007

Speculative Fiction Challenge - DONE

In Speculative Fiction the action of the story can take place in a culture that never existed, a world we know nothing of, or an earth that might have been or might be, to name a few. ... This distinctiveness is best illustrated in the primary question asked by the writers of Speculative Fiction,
"What if?" ... this genre has a special capacity to deal with the human equation.

Read six books within the speculative fiction umbrella. That is: fantasy, sci-fi, alternative history and magic realism.

My path is A Theoretical Handbook For the Unseasoned Speculator: otherwise known as the speculative fiction buffet, meaning a mixture of all genres.

My picks:
4 fantasy: Tamora Pierce's "Wild Magic" quartet:
Wild Magic
Wolf Speaker
Emperor Mage
The Realms of the Gods
2 alternative history: "The Dark is Rising" by Susan Cooper
"Noughts and Crosses" by Malorie Blackman.

Alternatives are "Rebel Angels", "The House of the Spirits", "Ironweed", "Xenocide" or the next Thursday Next novel (I've read the two first), but if time gets short, I'll add another fantasy book instead - like "Lords and Ladies".

14 Oct 2007

Inkspell - Cornelia Funke

I finally finished Inkspell, the sequel to Inkheart. Unfortunately not nearly as good as the first one, but may still be redeemed by the last book in the trilogy.

That's one more book to strike off the Bibliography Challenge, and also an alternative for the 2nds Challenge.

Numbers Challenge - DONE

This second challenge I had to sign up for because the concept is so neat:
The challenge is to read 5 books whose titles have a number in them from Jan 1, 2008 to June 1, 2008 This includes written numbers like "one" or "forty."

My picks:

Young Adult Challenge - DONE

Yes, I know I'm getting obsessed, but I've just found two new challenges that I have to join. This one for obvious reasons as I love YA literature.

The rules are very simple, in 2008 read 12 YA books. The list may change at any time.
My list as it looks right now:
  1. Wild Magic - Tamora Pierce
  2. Wolf Speaker - Tamora Pierce
  3. Emperor Mage - Tamora Pierce
  4. The Realms of the Gods - Tamora Pierce
  5. Bitten - Kelly Armstrong
  6. A Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank
  7. The Dark is Rising - Susan Cooper
  8. Avalon High - Meg Cabot
  9. Sue Barton, Student Nurse - Helen Boylston
  10. Sue Barton, Senior Nurse - Helen Boylston
  11. Sue Barton, Visiting Nurse - Helen Boylston
  12. Sue Barton, Rural Nurse - Helen Boylston
Extra credit: Sue Barton 5-7

11 Oct 2007

The Baby Steps Challenge - Completed

In memory of Natalie Rose, an avid reader who died earlier this year, The Nattie Challenge blog has been set up. This blog will constantly run one or more challenges in memory of Natalie Rose.

The first of these challenges is The Baby Step Challenge:

We cannot possibly read everything we want to. We don't have time.

So, take a baby step. Or 2. Or 3.

Oct, Nov, Dec and then we leap into a new year. Before that new year greets us, we shall knock 3 books off the pile.

This can work two ways.

Option A. Pick 3 books you own but have not read and read them before 2008.
Option B. Pick 3 books you have on a To Be Read list and read them before 2008.

My three books are owned but not yet read:
"Lords and Ladies" by Terry Pratchett
"Taken on Trust" by Terry Waite
"The Big Over Easy" by Jasper Fforde

These double for both the "Fall Into Reading" challenge and the TBR challenge. I love efficiency! :-D

7 Oct 2007

The Marvelous Land of Oz - L. Frank Baum

As this is a possible alternative for the 2nds challenge, I thought it fitting to post a link to the review of The Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum here. It was quite good, and I'm working my way through the rest of the series.

Jewish Literature Challenge - DONE

Between Hanukkah 2007 (December 4th) and Passover 2008 (April 26th) read at least 5 books by Jewish authors or about Judaism

My picks:
Alternatives: A Voice In The Wind - Francine Rivers, The Book of Hosea, Such a Time as This - Rebecca Velez

6 Oct 2007

Reading Through The Decades - DONE

Read 8 books in 8 consecutive decadres in '08.

Any book from the decade is eligible, the list may be changed at any time. Titles may be cross-posted with any other challenge. Books from this decade do not count.

I thought this could be interesting as I seldom read REALLY old books. This list is subject to change as I have a lot of alternatives, but here is the list as it looks right now. My goal is to read at least 8.

1810s The Swiss Family Robinson - Johann David Wyss (1812)
1820s The Pirate - Sir Walter Scott (1822)
1830s The Pickwick Papers - Charles Dickens (1836)
1840s The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas (1844)
1850s Villette - Charlotte Bronte (1853)
1860s Little Women - L.M. Alcott (1868)
1870s Around the World in 80 Days - Jules Verne (1878)
1880s Heidi - Johanna Spyri (1880)
1890s Quo Vadis - Henryk Sienkiewicz (1895)
1900s The Enchanted Castle - E Nesbit (1907)
1910s The Emerald City of Oz - L. Frank Baum (1910)
1920s Winnie-the-Pooh - A. A. Milne (1926)
1930s Ballet Shoes - Noel Streatfeild (1936)
1940s Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank (1947)
1950s Charlotte's Web - E.B. White (1952)
1960s A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle (1962)
1970s Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM - Robert C. O'Brien (1971)
1980s Mathilda - Roald Dahl (1988)
1990s The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver (1996)

An easy way to find books from different decades is on Wikipedia. Follow this link and then change the year to suit your purposes.

3 Oct 2007

Inkheart - Cornelia Funke

I've just finished Inkheart which means I can strike one off both Fall into Reading AND the Bibliography challenge :-)

The book is absolutely amazing, and I'm really looking forward to reading the sequel.

29 Sep 2007

PS, I Love You - Cecelia Ahern

I bought this book when I was in London last and finally finished it last night. It's beautiful and heartbreaking. Do read it, but have tissues handy. PS, I Love You has been an amazing read for the Fall Into Reading challenge.

26 Sep 2007

The Whitcoulls Challenge - DONE

Since I'm hosting this challenge, I thought I'd better actually sign up for it too ;) The list is subject to change if I'm unable to find some of the books at the library, and I make no plans of which book to read which month :-P

My list:
My Sisters Keeper - Jodi Picoult, The Other Boylen Girl - Philippa Gregory, A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth, The Pilot's Wife - Anita Shreve, Sophie's World - Jostein Gaarder

The 888 challenge - DONE

This challenge is rather daunting, so I wavered for a long time whether or not I wanted to sign up for it. It was really tempting though, and what finally pushed me over the edge was the fact that I can change categories and/or titles at any time, so if I need to tweak it to fit another challenge or if I can't find all these books at the library, it's no big deal.

Read eight books in eight categories in the year 2008 (8 "overlaps" are allowed, so 56 unique titles).

My problem with this challenge is although I read a LOT I seldom plan ahead what I read, as I don't like it to get too rigid. 56 books in a year won't be a problem, but will I still feel like reading them when next year rolls around. We'll see, and if not, rule 5 here says that I can change books at any time, so hopefully it'll all work out :-D

After "great and deep brain things inside my head" this is the list I came up with:
  1. Children / YA - DONE
    1. Mary Poppins (Library)
    2. Winnie-the-Pooh (Own)
    3. Charlotte's Web (Library)
    4. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh (Library)
    5. The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye
    6. Ballet Shoes (Own)
    7. Mathilda (Own)
    8. Meet the Malones (Own)
  2. Historical Fiction (will double for "Back to History") - DONE
    1. Such a Time as This (Own)
    2. The Last Jew (Own)
    3. Pope Joan (Own)
    4. Cross-Stitch (Own)
    5. Water for Elephants (Library)
    6. The Red Tent (Own)
    7. The Scarlet Spy (Own)
    8. The Clan of the Cave Bears (Own)
  3. TBR (owned unread books) - DONE
    • Behaving Badly - Isabel Wolff
    • 20.000 Leagues Under the Sea - Jules Verne
    • Looking Forward - Marcia Willett
    • The Colour Purple - Alice Walker
    • Robin Hood and his Merry Men - Unknown
    • Dragonflight - Anne McCaffrey
    • Last Chance Saloon - Marian Keyes
    • Seven for a Secret - Victoria Holt
  4. Rereads - DONE
    1. f2f (Own)
    2. Eclipse
    3. Dragonsinger (Own)
    4. Nothing Lasts forever
    5. Cross-Stitch
    6. Mathilda
    7. A Breath of Snow and Ashes
    8. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  5. Armchair Interviews - Done
    1. The Stormcaller (Own)
    2. Such a Time as This (Own)
    3. Between the Sheets (Own)
    4. Anatomy of a Boyfriend (Own)
    5. Seduced by a Spy (Own)
    6. Evacuation Plan
    7. Mrs. Darcy's Dilemma (Own)
    8. Hollywood Crows (Own)
  6. Non-fiction - Done
    1. A Diary of a Young Girl (Own)
    2. Wild Swans (Own)
    3. Long Walk To Freedom (Library)
    4. The Alpine Path (Own)
    5. The Hiding Place (Own)
    6. Celebration of Discipline (Own)
    7. Stolen Lives (Own)
    8. Those Who Trespass Against us
  7. Top 100 - DONE (will double for the Whitcoulls challenge)
    1. Wild Swans (Own)
    2. The Poisonwood Bible (Library)
    3. The Red Tent (Own)
    4. Anybody Out There? (Library)
    5. Life of Pi (Library)
    6. The Stand (library)
    7. Long Walk To Freedom (Library)
  8. Medical Madness - Done
    1. Sue Barton, Student Nurse (Own)
    2. Sue Barton, Senior Nurse (Own)
    3. Sue Barton, Visiting Nurse (Own)
    4. Sue Barton, Rural Nurse (Own)
    5. Sue Barton, Superintendent of Nurses (Own)
    6. Sue Barton, Neighbourhood Nurse (Own)
    7. Sue Barton, Staff Nurse (Own)
    8. Nothing Lasts forever (Own)

The Whitcoulls Challenge

Whitcoulls was my favourite bookstore in New Zealand. Every year they published the "Top 100 List" as chosen by New Zealanders. Everybody can nominate their three favourite books, and the 100 books with most votes made the list. Unlike many other of these lists, this one represents what people actually read. I've managed to find the list for three years - 1998, 2002 and 2006.

I've been wanting to host a challenge myself, and this seems like the perfect opportunity. Read Your Way Through The Whitcoulls Top 100 List.

When: From November 1st, 2007 to November 1st, 2008.
What: Pick 12 books from either or all of the lists linked above, and read one a month (or - if you're feeling daring - pick 12 from each and read 3 a month!! But that's only for the obsessed ;) )
Why: To broaden our horizons and because it's fun of course!

I can't figure out how to use Mr. Linky, so just leave a comment with either your list or a link to your blog post and you're in! :-D

Have fun!

25 Sep 2007


This is not a real challenge as much as a reminder to myself that despite all the wonderful challenges out there, I need to remember to make time and place for spontaneous reading as well.

No pre-made list here. It will grow as I go, adding the reviews to it as I read them. And these books can ONLY be some I read 'just4thehelluvit' - not for any (other) challenge, not for book clubs and not for reviewing.

Let's see how large that list grows in a year.

24 Sep 2007

Casual Reading Challenge

I know I said I wouldn't add more challenges for the time being, but once you see the twist of this one, you'll understand why I couldn't help myself.

WHEN: October 1, 2007 -to- October 1, 2008

  • Make a list of books you've been wanting to read (from your collection, the library, etc)
  • read books from this list between the dates specified
  • THE TWIST! You do NOT have to have read every book on your list by the end of this challenge!
The idea is to have crossed of at least some of the titles on your list by the end of the challenge, and to feel good that you have been able to do so! There is absolutely NO PRESSURE to complete the entire list, so it can be as long as you want!

On List of Bests I have a list of 100 books I want to read before I die. Some of these are already crossed off, but there are 70-something left still. This will be my list for the Casual Reading Challenge - with lots of cross-overs to other challenges. For this one I won't post my list here as it'd be far too long for the sidebar, but you can follow my progress via the link above.

23 Sep 2007

Bibliography Challenge - Completed

I know, I know. I said I'd be good and not sign up for any challenge I came across, but I love books and I love books about books so... I couldn't help myself! Besides, cross-overs are allowed and it might spur me to finally reread "The Never-Ending Story" - something I've been meaning to do for 5 years now!

This is the Bibliography Challenge. The Challenge is to read 3 Books about Books. This challenge starts October 1st. And finishes December 31st. Fiction or Non Fiction, Crossovers are acceptable.

My picks:

The Book of Lost Things - John Connelly

"Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" was so short that I had time to finish yet another book - The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly. I've been reading it for awhile, but since it was so very different from what I expected (even though I have no clue what I actually did expect) it's taken me awhile to get through it, but today I sat down to read the last 100 pages so I could strike it off my list :-)


The Fall Into Reading 2007 Challenge started today, and I've finished my first book! Rikki-Tikki-Tavi by Rudyard Kipling. A quick read (only 43 pages) and a very cute story for kids :)

Back To History - DONE

Okay, I probably should start to limit myself about now, but this challenge doesn't start until 2008 and sounds absolutely fascinating. I LOVE historical fiction, but read far too little of it, so this is a great chance for me to read (or reread) a bit more of it.

The challenge is to read one historical non-fiction, or historical fiction novel a month. They can't all be of the same type (all novels, all biographies, all memoirs etc.) but otherwise no limits. I haven't completely figured out my list yet, but as it runs for all of 2008 that doesn't matter really :)

For now it looks something like this:
but I hope to find more inspiration from Mr. Linky on the original challenge site.

21 Sep 2007

Anybody Care for 2nds? - Completed

In October-December read three books by authors you've only read one other book by.

"I know many of us have discovered several new authors as we have participated in the gazillion challenges we joined this past year (Joy said endearingly!) and I also know that we have stumbled upon some books that we thought were really great and some maybe not-so-great. Well, here's the perfect excuse opportunity to explore 3 new-found authors that you would love to go back for a second helping. I hope you'll join me."

My picks:
  • "Flowers In The Attic" by Virginia Andrews (have read "My Dear Audrina")
  • "The Amateur Marriage" by Anne Tyler (have read "Digging To America")
  • "The Junglebook" by Rudyard Kipling (have read "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi")

  • Amy Tan (have read "The Joy Luck Club")
  • Agatha Christie (have read "Murder in the Orient Express")
  • Valerie Martin (have read "Mary Reilly")
  • George Orwell (have read "1984")
  • Sarah Dessen (have read "Just Listen")
  • Charles Dickens (have read "A Christmas Carol")
  • Isabel Wolff (have read "Rescuing Rose")
  • Inkspell - Cornelia Funke (have read nothing yet but will have read "Inkheart" by next month)
  • John Irving (have read "The World According to Garp")
  • The Marvelous Land of Oz - L. Frank Baum (have read "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz")

20 Sep 2007

Fall Into Reading 2007 - Completed

Fall Into Reading 2007 has no set guidelines and is a casual, low-pressure challenge. The point is simply to provide motivation to read, and to provide an opportunity for all of us to set goals when it comes to our personal reading. All I have to do is make a list of books I'd like to read (or books you'd like to finish!) this fall.

The timeframe of this challenge is September 23rd-December 21st. Since that's 13 weeks exactly, I figured I'd pick 13 books. A book a week should be doable.

These are the books I ended up choosing:

TBR Reading Challenge - Completed

I'm not actually an official participant of this challenge as I didn't find out about it until July. I thought it was a brilliant idea though, so I made my own half-year TBR (To Be Read) Reading Challenge, and will be joining in on the official one next year.

The rules are very simple:
For this challenge you should....
** Pick 6 books - one for each month of the second half of 2007 - that you've been wanting to read (have been on your "To Be Read" list) for 6 months or longer, but haven't gotten around to.

** Then, starting July 1, 2007, read one of these books from your list each month, ending December 31, 2007. :o
My books are/were (as we're already half-way through):


I got this blog a couple of years ago, in order to be able to comment on another blogger's blog because they'd disabled anonymous commenting, so I had to sign up. Ever since then I've tried to figure out what to do with it.

Over the years I've tried several things, but somehow updating it just never got to be a regular thing. So now I've gotten a new idea - a book blog! Yes, I already have one for my book reviews at LiveJournal (http://bogormen.livejournal.com - the link is also shown in the sidebar), but there are some features LJ just doesn't have, which blogger does - like totally customizable sidebars (as long as you know html) and the ability to embed flash - so I thought, let this be my book challenge blog!

Reviews will still go to Bogormen although I will post links here, but the descriptions of the different challenges I sign up for, the lists and my progress will all go here.

Why do I sign up for all sorts of different challenges when I read a lot anyway? Beause I'd like a bit of method behind the madness. I have a to-read list a mile long and at least two shelves filled with books I own but have never read, so instead of the happy-go-lucky method of reading I've used until now, I thought I'd actually make a conscious effort to work my way through those - hopefully discovering a bunch of new favourites along the way.