Challenges: Am I Up to It?

Dear Reader:

I thought it would be fun to sign up for a few challenges this year.  Various book bloggers host different challenges – they are a great way to meet like-minded readers, keep yourself motivated to read great stuff, get some thought-provoking discussion going, and build a community of readership for your and others’ blogs.

1)  So, I signed up for the Month of Dickens reading sponsored by Fig and Thistle and posted my discussion of Tale of Two Cities here and hereStatus?  DONE

2)  I signed up for A Year of Feminist Classics reading challenge.  The reading schedule is:

    • FebruaryFeminism is for Everybody by bell hooks (Amy)
    • MarchThe Book of the City of Ladies by Christine De Pizan (Jean)
    • AprilWhipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity by Julia Serano (Cass)
    • MayJane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë read alongside Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (Iris)
    • JuneStone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg (Emily)
    • JulyLittle Women by Louisa May Alcott (Nancy)
    • AugustThe Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (Lauren)
    • SeptemberBorderlands/La Frontera by Gloria Anzaldua (Melissa)
    • OctoberThe Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan (Jodie)
    • NovemberBeyond the Veil by Fatema Mernissi (Ana)
    • DecemberWomen, Race, and Class by Angela Davis (Emily Jane)

January – Feminism Without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practising Solidarity by Chandra Talpade Mohanty (Eva)

Status: Waiting for the bell hooks in the mail. Update – got it, started reading, waiting for the fun to begin!

3) Classics challenge #1: I signed up for Sarah Reads Too Much classics challenge where you must read at least one of each of the following and comment about it on special pages she has set up for each “sub-challenge”:

  • Any 19th Century Classic  Yes!
  • Any 20th Century Classic  Yes!
  • Reread a classic of your choice
  • A Classic Play
  • Classic Mystery/Horror/Crime Fiction
  • Classic Romance
  • Read a Classic that has been translated from its original language to your language   – To clarify, if your native language is NOT English, you may read any classic originally written in English that has been translated into your native language.
  • Classic Award Winner  – To clarify, the book should be a classic which has won any established literary award.
  • Read a Classic set in a Country that you (realistically speaking) will not visit during your lifetime  – To Clarify, this does not have to be a country that you hope to visit either.  Countries that no longer exist or have never existed count.

Status: I’ve read Tale of Two Cities (you can double count with other challenges) but I need to comment about it on her site.

4)  And I’m participating in November’s Autumn Classics challenge.  Each month she puts up different prompts – you create a post answering one or more of them and put up a link to it on her site.  Here’s this month’s questions:

Level 1
Who is the author? What do they look like? When were they born? Where did they live? What does their handwriting look like? What are some of the other novels they’ve written? What is an interesting and random fact about their life?

Level 2
What do you think of their writing style? What do you like about it? or what would have made you more inclined to like it? Is there are particular quote that has stood out to you?

Level 3
Why do you think they wrote this novel? How did their contemporaries view both the author and their novel?

Status: I plan to use another book for this – I think one of Edith Wharton’s in honor of her 150th birthday this week.  Update: January 2012: Done (The Mother’s Recompense)

5) The Introverted Reader is hosting the Books in Translation 2012 Challenge and I am committed to participating at the Linguist (10-12 books) level.

Update: January 2012: Read Winston (trans from German) and Thousand Cities (trans from Polish), need to do a post and link. 2 down!

Wow, this feels like a lot!  So much so, that I forgot that last one until today.

How about you?  Are you participating in any challenges this year?

Happy Reading!  Ruby



  1. I’m participating in the Feminist Classics project, but participation each month depends on whether or not I can find the book in the library, which for now seems problametic for at least 6 of those listed 😦

    The first year of book blogging I signed up for 10+ challenges, but I hope I have learned from that complete failure. I am now at 3: The Chunkster Challenge, the Roommate Challenge, and the Africa Reading Challenge. I am trying to work towards some more personal projects though, so we’ll see. I always have too many plans and too little time 🙂

    Good luck on your challenges!

  2. Wow, what a year of challenges!

    I have stopped joining them because I feel sooo pressured 🙂 I do belong to the perpetual challenge Read the Nobels:

    And I’ve a bunch of things I want to read, so I’ve queued those up for the 30 books I am targetting to read. We shall see!

  3. Good luck with your challenges! I joined up for way too many but they’re fun.

    Have a great weekend!

  4. Thanks for joining the Back to the Classics Challenge! I am also doing November’s Autumn Classics Challenge. Great time for Classics!!

  5. Jillian ♣

    I’m doing the classics challenges and will be following along on the discussions for the Feminist Classics Challenge — though I’m so booked up on other challenges this year, I can’t participate. I’ll also be reading three Dickens titles next month, though not for a challenge. Just in honor of Dickens’ Feb birthday.

    Have fun with all of these, Ruby! 🙂

    • Hi Jillian: Cool, that will be really fun – hopefully you’ll chime in a bit on the feminist readings. Wow, three Dickens, enjoy! Ruby

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