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Refreshed from a road trip | Weekly Snapshot

I'm getting an extremely late start to this post. After the long drive yesterday back home and then a late evening meetup with our neighbors, I was out of juice very fast and needed to crash. And what does Sunday morning mean after a busy week? Tis a day full of chores. Ugh.  Life We spent this past week in Boston with my brother-in-law and his wife. We all got the break we needed - we did some shopping, watched lots of TV, and enjoyed lots of family time. I started writing this post on our drive back but didn't get to schedule in advance. We opted to drive the 13-hour route so although it made for some very long days, it felt good to get out of the house and enjoy a road trip. The weather cooperated all the days in all the places we were in those days so that was a plus.  As always after a long vacation, we have come back to a lot to do. I have so much to catch up with and need to do some of that today as there's just as much to do on the work front from tomorrow.  Renovat

2011 Challenge Fiesta


I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that one other reason I love this last month of a year is just to look at all the wonderful challenges being hosted. They really endear to the list-obsessed side of me although I rarely complete any of the lists. Looking at the new challenges also save me from going through the ICompletedAnotherChallenge posts that keep popping up all over the blogosphere. (My 2010 stats are that miserable!) Anyways, I had a lot of fun choosing among the tons of amazing challenges for 2011; this time, though, I decided to be more practical - to take on a challenge that I would have fun doing, and to drop out of one if it begins to feel like work. There - I just took my first (and probably only) 2011 resolution. So, without any more meaningless rambling, let me start listing them, shall I?


One challenge that I signed up for in 2010 but never got to doing is the Orange Prize Project, which luckily/unluckily for me, is perpetual. There are some really amazing women writers glazing this prize list, none of whom I have read yet, though I have a few of those winners sitting on my shelves at home. I guess it is the abundance of choices that stalled my reading last year. I could probably do with narrowing my choices down, starting with the titles I have at home. I've decided to try and read at least five out of the list - not just winners but nominees as well.

The second challenge that I'm continuing from last year is Helen's Middle East Challenge - another challenge that I failed to make a dent in. Since this is a read-as-many-or-as-little-as-you-wish challenge, I'll start with one book and then move forward. I have quite a few books in my wishlist that can be counted to this challenge, so I'm sure I'll be reading more than that.


Among the 2011 challenges, one that I'm most excited about is the Graphic Novels Challenge. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi was the first graphic novel I read before even knowing what a graphic novel was. That was a year ago. This year, I had my formal introduction to this category (Embroideries, Chicken with Plums, The Arrival, Asterios Polyp, Blankets) and was surprised by how much I really enjoyed this medium. I have been poring through the 2010 lists of many participants to help with my reading in 2011. Since I now feel more comfortable with graphic novels, I've decided to join at the Expert level, which is to read 10+ books. My only worry now is whether my library stocks enough graphic novels.

Another 2011 challenge that I'm joining is the Take a Chance Challenge 3. I love the total randomness and unpredictability that comes with this challenge, making it perfect for an impromptu reading. Since I do look at recommendation lists and that often decides my reading, I'm thrilled to have a lot more options to choose from.


I've realized that my reading of classics has suffered last year. I usually revisit them at least once a year, but last year was just too hectic overall, and classics require a more predictable frame of mind. So I plan to read two classics this year, and luckily for me, The Deranged Book Lovers is organizing the Wordsworth Classics Reading Challenge. I'll be joining at the Peasant level (1 - 4 books), though I don't expect to read more than two books for this challenge.

That's five challenges - a lot less than the 15-odd I joined in 2010! On top of these, I do have a few personal projects but I'll be talking about them in a different post.


Comments

Marce said…
You have chose Challenges that I haven't even heard of, great for you. The main new one for me is Memoir, I look forward to trying this genre.

I am going to look at the Orange Prize Project.

Sending you lots of good wishes for 2011
Yay! I am so glad you're going to do a bit for the Middle East Reading Challenge. I did both the Graphic Novel and Take A Chance challenges last year and enjoyed both. 5 is a much more reasonable number than 15 :-)
These challenges look great to me; have fun. I'm making my list now...LOL
Tales of Whimsy said…
So many cool ones to choose from this year :) Happy New Year :)
Was bloghopping and stumbled upon your blog. Love your wide-range selection of books. Decided to follow your blog .. and looking forward to reading your future reviews =)
The Take a Chance Challenge sounds like a lot of fun - I do love the randomness of it, since that one way to fine new books and authors.
You picked some fun challenges! Good luck!
Athira said…
Marce, I love memoirs - read so many of them last year! I hope you enjoy them too!

Helen, yeah, I decided to start low. I don't read that many books in a year, so I decided to be a bit practical this time. :)

Diane, can't wait to see your list! :)

Juju, thanks! Happy New Year to you too!!

playing.librarian, thanks so much for being a follower! I hope you enjoy my blog as much as I love writing in it! Ok, that was too flamboyant, lol!

Kim, I realized I read better when there is some randomness in my choices. That challenge is just the perfect one for me!

Sheila, thanks!