Monday, December 21, 2009

Challenge: Fall Into Reading 2009 [FINAL UPDATE]

Ok. Here we are, December 20, the end of my very first Reading Challenge and I want to thank Katrina at Callapidder Days for the opportunity. It was a great way to give myself permission to do a thing that I wanted to do anyway. And it was also a way to push myself further than I would have on my own.
My final outcome, between September 22 and December 20, is mixed.

The original reading list of 10 books grew to include 20 titles, of which I finished 17. Not too bad, even though I see some of the other participants have left me in the dust. 

There were a few highlights:

First - and if you've done any meandering on my Blog at all, you know I love poetry - I had a chance to read some poets new to me, as well as some old friends. 

  • Good Woman was just more of the Lucille Clifton I love. I am never disappointed when I spend time with her.    
  • The Haiku Year is written by some unusual folks, (Well, I don't really know how unusual they are) singers and other entertainment professionals. A group of friends challenged one another to write a haiku a day for a year and this book is the result. Some of the names might surprise you.  
  • Cat Haiku was just fun. Being a cat lover, I was defenseless. 
  • And the strength and intimacy Linda McCarriston brought to bear in Eva-Mary was devastating. The topic is a difficult but far too familiar one, domestic violence, but I highly recommend the read.

Second, although I enjoyed everything, J. Bernlef's Out of Mind was hands down my favorite read of the Challenge. He tells the story of a man's descent into dementia - from the inside. It is a fictional story told from a very unexpected and effective point of view.

My final list as of December 20, 2009:

1. If Holden Caulfield were in my Class Room by Bernie Schein COMPLETE
2. Nine Parts of Desire by Geraldine Brooks COMPLETE
3. Good Woman by Lucille Clifton COMPLETE
4. The Way I See it by Temple Grandin COMPLETE
5. Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire by Rafe Esquith
6. Nickle and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
7. The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexandra McCall Smith
8. Out of Mind by J. Bernlef COMPLETE
9. Far Beyond the Field by Makoto Ueda COMPLETE
10. A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking COMPLETE

11. Gone by Jonathan Kellerman COMPLETE
12. Cat Haiku by Deborah Coates COMPLETE
13. Obsession by Jonathan Kellerman COMPLETE
14. The Haiku Year by Various COMPLETE
15. Compulsion  by Jonathan Kellerman COMPLETE
16. Eva-Mary  by Linda McCarriston COMPLETE
17. Book of the Dead by Patricia Cornwell COMPLETE 
18. Scarpetta by Patricia Cornwell COMPLETE 
19. Cat''s Eyewitness by Rita Mae Brown & Sneaky Pie Brown COMPLETE
20. Dexter by Design by Jeff Lindsay COMPLETE

* My additional goal concerned my own writing. I did not fair so well with this goal, however. While I wanted to have the workings of one poetry manuscript put together from the body of work I had already, I am not even close. It seems that I have subject matter for four different ms. This leaves me short of my goal for this challenge, but well on my way toward my ultimate one.

Finally, although I joined the Challenge late, it was a wonderful experience. I was greatly inspired by the many other participants, and it gave me something to obsess about other than my own problems.

Here are the links to my other posts on the Challenge
First post: Challenge: Fall Into Reading 2009
Second post: Challenge: Fall Into Reading 2009 [UPDATE]

1 comment:

  1. If it makes you feel any better, you left *me* in the dust! Congrats!