This year I signed up for only 4 reading challenges, so I thought I’d write a single wrap-up post.
Women Unbound (completed 6/20/2010)
For this challenge, participants were encouraged to read nonfiction and fiction books related to the rather broad idea of “women’s studies.” I read 8 books (5 fiction and 3 non-fiction). This challenge provided the perfect excuse to read Virago Modern Classics. But my favorite book was non-fiction: When Everything Changed, by Gail Collins (read my review). This book was so good, I found myself foisting it on unsuspecting business colleagues, sometimes people I’d only just met!
Battle of the Prizes (completed 10/10/2010)
I participated in both the British and American versions of this challenge, which sought to answer the questions: Does one prize have higher standards than the other? Pick better winners? Provide more reading entertainment or educational value? I read three British prize winners and four American prize winners. My favorites were Without my Cloak, by Irish novelist Kate O’Brien (review), and Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson (review), which will be one of my top reads of 2010.
Book Awards IV (completed 10/21/2010)
I’ve participated in all four Book Awards challenges. I don’t find it at all difficult to read prize winners, but this year’s challenge required reading 10 books from 10 different awards. I enjoyed scouring my shelves for award-winners I already owned, and reading from prizes I’d never read before, like the Prix Femina Vie Heureuse Anglais. I read some really great books for this challenge, including Haweswater, by Sarah Hall (review) and The Lacuna, by Barbara Kingsolver (review).
I abandoned this challenge when I launched my “un-project.” I was about halfway through my list at the time. The funny thing is, I’ll probably read all 13 selections sometime in the next year. I just decided to free myself from the obligation of reading them all by next April!
So that’s it: four challenges, done and dusted.
Did you participate in reading challenges this year?