Last January we began a new tradition here at GB – the monthly roundup. Today being the 1st of March, this seems like the perfect time to update our readers on the various challenges the GB team joined, the reviews we’re getting for our Whodunit Reading Challenge, the reviews for our bi-monthly GB Special and all the other things we’ve been busy with this past month.
365 Books in One Year
One of our goals is to finish 365 books this year. Last January we read a total of 44 books. For this month here are the numbers:
- Myra: 24 Books
- Mary: 4 Books
- Fats: 22 Books
- Total of 50 Books.
So far, the GB team has read 94 out of 365 books. We have 271 to go. Personally, I hope I get to read more than 4 books this March. We’ll see how that goes.
The Reading Challenges
This year we’ve joined quite a few reading challenges. While for some of them we’ve made good progress, we haven’t had the same kind of luck with the other reading challenges. So here are the total numbers for February.
- For the South Asian Challenge: 0 out of 7
- For the Murakami Reading Challenge: 0 out of 7
- For the People of Color Reading Challenge: 18 out of 25 (We originally set the goal at 9 but decided to challenge ourselves further)
- For the Picture Book Challenge: 24 out of 72
- Read the World Challenge: 2 out of 6
We’re doing well for most of the challenges and I hope to contribute another book on the South Asian Challenge and POC Reading Challenge as I finish reading Feasting, Fasting by Anita Desai this coming March.
Speaking of challenges, our Whodunit Challenge has received a wonderful set of reviews from wonderful bloggers namely: Blackplume, Mental Wayfarer, Ficsation, Jess Reads Here, Passion Reads, and Fanarchist. This February we have a total of 15 reviews up on our database. The range is wide with some events happening in old England, some in Modern America while others cater to a younger audience. Check them out at our Whodunit Database.
We have also chosen our favorites for the month (*drumroll please*)
For the winners, kindly email us (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com) your particulars so we could send one out of the nine available books for giveaway to you. Please let us know which book you have chosen for your prize.**
GB Special Bimonthly Theme: Message in a Bottle
Outside of Challenge, Gathering Books has always been about reviewing books falling into certain themes. In January we launched our first Bimonthly theme called Message in a Bottle. We’ve reviewed books that involved letters, postcards, missives, correspondences. The new additions to last month are the following:
- Detective LaRue: Letters from the Investigation by Mark Teague
- LaRue for Mayor: Letters from the Campaign Trail by Mark Teague
- The Rumblewick Letters by Hiawyn Oram
- Your Truly, Goldilocks by Alma Flor Ada
- Letters on Poetry by W.B. Yeats
- The Beatrice Letters by Lemony Snicket
- Sabine’s Notebook and the Golden Mean by Nick Bantock
- The Wednesday Letters by Jason Wright
- The Morning Star Trilogy by Nick Bantock
I hope you revisit the wonderful reviews of these past two months. I find that letters add a sense of intimacy between reader and characters to a story. Each of these books, whether they were written for a young or a more mature audience, invites the reader to go beyond the actual letters and see the person behind the letters. Starting tomorrow we’ll be moving forward to a new bimonthly theme. We hope that you take the time to revisit our Jan/Feb Reviews.
Black History Month
While most of us are from Asia we decided to join the celebration of Black History Month. The beautiful part about humanity is that despite our cultural differences, there are some experiences which simply resonate across continents. Colonized countries have also gone through a similar fight to be given equal opportunities and rights. At the same time, as a site dedicated to making literature relevant it was only apt to join the celebration. We spent a week reviewing books that celebrate Black History.
- Life Doesn’t Frighten Me by Maya Angelou
- Coretta Scott King by Ntozake Shange
- The Village that Vanished and Round and Square Houses by Ann Grifalconi
- The Piano Man by Debbie Chocolate
- Dave the Potter by Laban Carrick Hill
- The Talking Eggs by Robert D. San Souci
- White Socks Only by Evelyn Coleman
- The Watsons Go to Birmingham -1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis.
Writing this round up I realized how busy Gathering Books has been. We are most grateful for everyone who has joined us in our challenges and celebration of literature. It’s been a wonderful month. We could only hope for a better March.
PostScript (Chinese New Year Special from February 1 til February 5). Here are the titles that we blogged about for CNY this February 2011:
- The Dragon Prince: A Chinese Beauty and the Beast Tale by Laurence Yep and Pictures by Kam Mak
- The Hunter as retold by Mary Casanova and Illustrated by Ed Young
- Chinese Cinderella: The true story of an unwanted daughter by Adeline Yen Mah
- Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China as retold by Ai-Ling Louie and Illustrated by Ed Young
- Lon Po Po: A Red Riding Hood Story from China by Ed Young
Just goes to show how busy we are, we had to add this in as a postscript several hours after it’s been published. Wow.** Millennium Trilogy prizes courtesy of Professor Libby Cohen while Percy Jackson and Hunger Games books are generously donated by Janus Education.