Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sunday Salon: 2010 Challenge Edition, Volume 2 and the Melancholy Post

The Sunday Salon.comTechnically, I can still call this a "Sunday Salon" post, since I started it on Sunday!! I was actually going to write this up last night, but the time got away from me at work. Most weekends when I work at the Red Cross is super-slow. The last few nights have been extremely busy though. So...less time to read and post.

And right now, I seem to have the blues. Hence, the melancholy nature of this post. I'm not really sure why. Probably a combination of any number of things: The weather. The past week it has snowed a foot, and the temps have been in the negative numbers. When I went out to start my truck this morning, the gauge said -9! I just can't ever seem to warm up. I hate being cold. How about the fact that it is dark so much of the time?? It's already 10 days into the year, and I've only finished one book. There was no time for Bloggiesta this weekend, and I would have loved to spend some time on my blog. I had wanted to move to my own domain, but the name I wanted is already taken.

Or maybe it's because my birthday is this week. Another year older. For the most part that never bothers me. But I have to say this year is a bit different. Not much has changed, and I think that's the problem. Another year....and not much to show for it. Sounds kind of silly when I put it into words. But I worked SO hard this year, and yet, everything is the same as last year. Still struggling. I do have an interview this week, so maybe things will start to look up. Regardless, I need to get myself out of the blahs.

And what better to curb the blahs than join more challenges!! If there is one thing that I like more than challenges, it's making lists!! And I've had fun this week finding more challenges for 2010!

A Tournament of Reading is a Medieval Literature Challenge hosted by Meghan @ The Medieval Bookworm. Now, actual Medieval Lit would probably be a bit more than I could chew off at this point in my life. Would love to read a little Chaucer, but not sure if I'm up to that challenge right now. BUT I do love Historical Fiction. It's been awhile since I've stuck my toes in that particular pond, and I really miss it.

Here are the rules:
This challenge is designed to get us all reading a little more medieval literature in 2010. The challenge will run from January 1st to December 31st, 2010, and will be hosted right here at Medieval Bookworm. Challenge genres include history, medieval literature, and historical fiction. Medieval, for simplicity of definition, will be from 500-1500, and literature from all over the world is welcome, not just western Europe.

There are 3 levels:
Peasant – Read 3 medieval books of any kind.
Lord – Read 6 medieval books, at least one of each kind.
King – Read 9 medieval books, at least two of each kind.

You’re not required to make a list or stick to one, but it would be fun if you did! A recommendations post will also be up today, to help you make choices.

For me, I'm sticking with the Western Europe lit because I'd never be able to whittle down my choices. I'm also going for a Lord/Lady designation, but who knows what will happen once I get started! Here is my pool of books that I would love to draw from:

  • Here Be Dragons by Sharon Penman (this is a re-read for me, but since I haven't read the rest of the series, I thought I would revisit this wonderful book!)
  • Falls the Shadow by Sharon Penman
  • The Reckoning by Sharon Penman
  • The Queen's Man by Sharon Penman
  • Katherine by Anya Seton
  • The Arthurian Series by Bernard Cornwell
  • The Once and Future King by T. H. White
  • The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • The Plantagenet Prelude by Jean Plaidy

The Gilmore Girls Reading Challenge, hosted by Lisa @ Lit and Life is a chance to read some of the books on Rory's Reading list. I'm a newbie to The Gilmore Girls, never having watched it while it was actually on in prime time. But that doesn't change my love for the series now. And since I got the entire Series on DVD for Christmas (thanks to my awesome in laws!), my Gilmore Girl's obsession is back!! Hence this challenge and the perpetual Rory Gilmore Books Project, which I'm also partaking in!

The challenge runs all of 2010, and there are 3 levels of Participation:

Emily: Read 5 books from at least two different categories.
Lorelai: Read 10 books from at least three different categories.
Rory: Read 20 books from at least four different categories.

I consider myself a total Rory! I would love to get at least 20 under my belt, but we will see. I will pick the books as the year rolls on!

Mind Voyages Science Fiction Reading Challenge is hosted by Robin of My Two Blessings. "Science fiction and fantasy books have always been my one true love ever since I read my first sci fi book back in the 70's. Whether it was Edgar Rice Burroughs, Arthur Clark, Ray Bradbury, Larry Niven, Piers Anthony, Anne McCaffrey or Robert Silverberg who captured me first, I don't remember. When I recently came across the Hugo Award Web site, the list of winners made my mouth water and tickled my imagination. All the books on the list looked so good that I decided to read through the list, starting with the oldest. But all those who were nominated looked too good to pass up, so decide okay, will take some side trips and read some of the nominees. Other ideas started popping up in my brain. That's what the sci-fi and fantasy genre does to you - expands your mind and gives you ideas."

There are several levels of participation for the challenge:

Moon Voyage : Read at least 6 winners on the Hugo Winners List
Sling shot back to Earth: Read at least 3 winners on the Nebula Winner's List
Venus Voyage: Philip K. Dick Quest - Read at least 2 of his books
Mercury Voyage: Robert Heinlein Quest - Read at least 2 of his books
Mars Voyage: Read at least 6 winners on the Hugo List and take a side trip through the 21st century and read at least 4 nominees.

Go into Warp Drive and visit the other planets:
Jupiter Voyage: Go side tripping 90's Style
Saturn: Go Side Tripping 80's Style
Uranus: Go Side Tripping 70's Style
Neptune Voyage: Go Side Tripping through the 50's and 60's
The I'm going to Pluto because Pluto is still a planet as far as I'm concerned Voyage: Mix it up, choose the number of books you want to read from each voyage, include some new books you pick up along the way and enjoy the ride.

I have no idea what level of participation I will go for, but I have a huge list of books to choose from, including:

  • Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein
  • The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
  • Hyperion by Dan Simmons
  • Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold
  • Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
  • Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
  • Darwin's Radio by Greg Bear
  • Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson

And that's just to name a few!

Finally, the Cybils Award Challenge and the 2010 YA Challenge kind of go hand in hand. If you read my blog enough, you know that besides fantasy, my favorite genre is YA.

The Cybils Award Challenge is hosted by Michelle @ Galleysmith. It's a chance to read books from the Cybil Award Nominees. There are lots of levels of participation, but I think I will be going for the Shorties Rule – choose to read books in a specific short list (finalists will be publicized Jan 1, 2010. And the books I want to read are from a couple of categories:

Fiction: Fantasy & Science Fiction (MG)

  • 11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass
  • Dreamdark Series by Laini Taylor
  • The Farwalker's Quest by Joni Sensel
  • Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman
  • The Prince of Fenway Park by Julianna Baggott
  • Serial Garden: The Complete Armitage Family Stories by Joan Aiken
  • Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

Fiction: Fantasy & Science Fiction (Young Adult)

  • Candor by Pam Bachorz
  • The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan
  • The Dust of 100 Dogs by A. S. King
  • Fire by Kristin Cashore (but I must read Graceling First!)
  • Lips Touch by Laini Taylor
  • Skin Hunger by Kathleen Duey
  • Tiger Moon by Antonia Michaelis

Fiction: Middle Grade

  • Captain Nobody by Dean Pitchford
  • Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • Anything but Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin
  • Heart of a Shepard by Roseanne Parry
  • All the Broken Pieces by Ann Burg
  • Operation Yes by Sara Lewis Holmes
  • The Small Adventures of Popeye and Elvis by Barbara O'Connor

Fiction: Young Adult

  • Blue Plate Special by Michelle Kwasney
  • Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford
  • Cracked up to Be by Courtney Summers
  • How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford
  • In the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern
  • North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Hedley (already read this one!)
  • Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

I have participated in the YA Challenge for the last few years. It's one of the few that I always complete!! Hosted by J. Kaye @ J. Kaye's Book Blog. It runs through the entire year of 2010, and has various levels of participation:

--The Mini YA Reading Challenge – Read 12 Young Adult novels.

--Just My Size YA Reading Challenge – Read 25 Young Adult novels.

--Stepping It Up YA Reading Challenge – Read 50 Young Adult novels.

--Super Size Me YA Reading Challenge – Read 75 Young Adult novels.

I'm probably good for the Just My Size Challenge


That's it till next Sunday!! I'll probably finish up my final round of challenges!! Happy Reading!


Kathleen said...

Sorry to hear you have the winter blahs. I hope you shake them soon. One thing is for sure...the days are getting longer and spring and sunshine are coming...easy for me to say when I am in California, I know! Enjoy the challenges. Reading is always an escape for me as I'm sure it is for you!

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the Young Adult Reading Challenge. I dearly love YA novels and can't wait to see what titles you read this year!

Ladytink_534 said...

Happy early birthday! The weather has got me down too. Good luck with your challenges!

Nymeth said...

Hugs to you, Stephanie! For me it was the other way around - I usually get all blah around my birthday, but this year I didn't. I hope you feel better soon!

Michelle said...

Winter isn't the best season is it? Good news is it only lasts for so long! I hope you're feeling better soon.

Also hoping you enjoy participating in the Cybils Award Challenge, Im looking forward to reading some fabulous books!

Kailana said...

I really hope things start to look up for you soon! Good luck with your challenges!

Rebecca :) said...

Hope things are looking up for you a bit more now. I have only read 2 books so far myself. I figured I would have the next one almost finished by now but it is still in the first 1/3 of the book. I, too, hate the cold and hate the dark. I always feel like it is time for bed when I get home because it is dark in 2 hours! And getting up for work and driving in while it is dark does not help me get in a cheery mood for the kids. So much easier in the spring. Luckily, each day brings spring closer!

Robin of My Two Blessings said...

Welcome to the Mind Voyages Science Fiction reading challenge. You have many good books on your list, plus for other challenges as well. I hope to start Sharon Kay Penman's series and read Here Be Dragons this year. Happy reading!

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