Books GB Challenges Message in a Bottle Reading Themes Whodunit Reading Challenge

January Round Up: Of Books and Reading Challenges

Mary has posted a lovely round-up review earlier but as I was putting some tweaks and twists to it, I was just amazed to see that it got published sans the contents. Unbelievable. At any rate, I shall endeavor to reconstruct what she has written.

It is indeed a very busy month for GatheringBooks what with our own 365 project, participation in five reading challenges, bimonthly themes, and hosting our own reading challenge. And so inspired by Honey from Coffeespoon’s Round-up Post, we try to summarize everything that has been happening for the month.

The 365 Project: 2011 Reading Calendar. As a group, we hope to read 365 books in all. I think Mary has done the math on this – essentially if we split this among the three of us we need to read roughly around 122 books each for the entire year. Here’s our progress so far:

Myra – 18 books

Mary – 12 books

Fats – 14 books

This makes a total of 44 books read this January. We have 321 more to go. Not bad. If you wish to know what some of the book titles are, click here to be taken to our 2011 Reading Calendar Page. I hope we keep up this pace for the rest of the year.

Participation in Reading Challenges. We are ambitious enough to participate in five different reading challenges for 2011. However, since Paper Tigers has not posted their guidelines for their Reading the World Challenge, we shall confine our update to the four other challenges that we joined in.

South Asian Challenge 2011 as hosted by S. Krishna’s Books. Target Level – South Asian Adventurer – 7 books (0 out of 7)

Haruki Murakami Challenge 2011. Target Level – Nakata – 7+ books (0 out of 7)

PoC Reading Challenge – Level 3 – seven to nine books on Person of Color – (3 out of 9)

Picture Book Reading Challenge – Feeding/Jacketed Level – 72 picture books (8 out of 72)

Bimonthly Themes. In the tradition of GB and our goal of blogging about books with similar themes on a bimonthly basis, our January/February looked into books with a letter theme to it, hence our Message in a Bottle Special Feature.

Here are the titles of books (six in all) that we have blogged about so far this January:

  1. Griffin and Sabine by Nick Bantock
  2. Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
  3. Letters from Rifka by Karen Hesse
  4. Dear Mr. Blueberry by Simon James
  5. Dear Mrs. LaRue: Letters from Obedience School written and illustrated by Mark Teague
  6. A Gift by Yong Chen

We still have quite a number of books scheduled for posting this coming February, so do check in every now and again for books with a letter-theme to it. Perfect for Valentine’s, I must say.

We also have a Chinese New Year special for this week (January 30 – February 5). We would be reviewing books that celebrate the Chinese culture and heritage. Hopefully we also get a chance to reupload our Meet the Storyteller and Illustrator Sketchpad features on children’s book authors (four of them) and artist (just one so far) based here in Singapore.

Whodunit Reading Challenge. With much trepidation, we launched our very own Reading Challenge from January to June 2011. Here we focus on books that are shrouded in suspense, secrecy, mystery, and crime.

This is not exclusive to YA fiction and children’s books – we welcome postings from the adult (fiction for grown up) genre, even autobiographies/documentaries that have a similar vibe to it. We are very happy to link you to the reviews that have been shared in our Whodunit Database so far this January:

  1. Smaller and Smaller Circles by FH Batacan (Ficsation)
  2. Shadows of a Spring Show by Lea Wait (Mental Wayfarer)
  3. Mystery of the Third Lucretia by Susan Runholt (Mental Wayfarer)

We have three book prizes available as sponsored by our Guest Contributor here in GatheringBooks, Professor Libby Cohen:

  1. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
  2. The Girl who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson
  3. The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson

We have received confirmation that there shall be additional six titles to be given away for this Reading Challenge which we shall be posting tomorrow. We also encourage children, tweeners, old souls, teenagers to sign up for the challenge. It’s never too late! Click here to be taken to our sign-up post.

We have also joined quite a number of book blogging communities and it is truly exciting taking this journey with bibliophiles and people who are as passionate as we are when it comes to the written [and occasionally spoken] word. We look forward to a vibrant reading year for GatheringBooks this 2011.

How about you? Which reading challenges have you joined this 2011? Any new books that you’ve read so far? We’d love to hear your thoughts. =)

5 comments on “January Round Up: Of Books and Reading Challenges

  1. Hi, GB! Thanks for the shout-out.:) I see it’s been a busy month, book and blog-wise, for you guys, too. And thank you, again, for hosting the Whodunit Challenge. I still owe you guys reviews for that.

    These round-up posts are fun, aren’t they?:)


    • myragarcesbacsal

      No rush with the reviews. It’s nice to relish the books as they stay with you for awhile and you get to explore thoughts/ideas that you may not have had before as you were reading it. Let it simmer, so to speak (or incubate as is termed in gifted/talented parlance). We are just excited to open the reading challenge to more kids, tweeners, teenagers and other old souls (trapped in a seven year old’s body) who are very much into reading and writing. Hopefully the prize list we share tomorrow would prove to be sufficient motivation for more young voices to be heard on the site.


      • Hi, Myra! Told my former co-teacher, who’s the moderator of the school book club, about the challenge. Asked him to encourage his students to join. Hopefully, they do.:)


  2. myragarcesbacsal

    Hi Honey, that sounds awesome. I’ve been talking to several teachers here as well to entice the kids to join. It would be wonderful to hear younger voices and read their perspectives about things – always enriching. It would be very exciting to have them sign up. =)


  3. Pingback: February Round-Up: Reading through the Month of Love and Announcement of 1st batch of Whodunit Winners |

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