In 2011 we joined quite a number of reading challenges. It was both exciting and difficult. But we’re happy to report to have successfully completed every one of it.

Picture Book Challenge 2011

The goal was to read 120 Picture Books in 2011. We read 133 books. If you haven’t noticed yet we at Gathering Books love our picture books. I’d like to summarize all the titles here, but 133 books is too long. So let me list some of the titles:

  1. Dahls’ Revolting Rhyme
  2. Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems by Joyce Sidman
  3. Do you believe in Magic? Brian Selznick’s The Houdini Box
  4. Chris Van Allsburg’s The Garden of Abdul Gasazi
  5. On Wolves and Fairy Tales: “Beware of the Storybook Wolves” by Lauren Child.

Compared to my other 2 team mates here at Gathering Books I’m less likely to read a picture book. It’s personally difficult for me to review picture books. I guess with less text I felt there is less to talk about. However, because of this challenge I rather found myself learning how to ‘read’ picture books. If you want to check out the other picture books we reviewed in 2011 you can click here.

People of Color Reading Challenge 2011

This particular challenge was interesting. It opened me up to a wide range of books and authors. There is something magical in reading about  other cultural realities. For this challenge we aimed to read 25 books, but we were lucky enough to read 59 books.  Again, listing all the titles would take up a lot of space, but you can click here to be taken to all the reviews we have done for the PoC Reading Challenge. Here are a few:

  1. The Firefly Letters, A Suffragette’s Journey to Cuba by Margarita Engle
  2. Daily Banalities Shimmer in Mystery, Shrouded in Shrieking Secrecy: Tales from Outer Surburbia by Shaun Tan
  3. The Arrival by Shaun Tan
  4. A dream within a dream within a dream: Alice in Wonderland by Suzy Lee
  5. A tale within a tale: White Socks Only by Evelyn Coleman
  6. Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
  7. The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom by Margarita Engle
  8. Sweethearts of Rhythm: The Story of the Greatest All-Girl Swing Band in the World by Marilyn Nelson and Jerry Pinkney
  9. The Dreamer by Pam Muñoz Ryan and Peter Sis
  10. Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People by Monica Brown and Illustrated by Julie Paschkis
  11. A 3-in-1 Rachel Isadora Special: Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, The Twelve Dancing Princesses
  12. A 3-in-1 Mitsumasa Anno Special: Anno’s Spain, Anno’s Britain, Anno’s USA
  13. Dave the Potter by Laban Carrick Hill and Bryan Collier
  14. A 2-in-1 Ann Grifalconi Special: The Village that Vanished, The Village of Round and Square Houses
  15. Chinese Cinderella: The True Story of an Unwanted Daughter by Adeline Yen Mah

Reading the World 2011

This particular challenge was hosted by the ladies at PaperTigers. It offered its participants an exposure to stories from in and outside one’s city. We needed to read 6 books and we were able to complete all six. Here’s the title:

  1. The Story of History: Ambeth Ocampos’ Dirty Dancing
  2. Dual Tastes of Morocco and Sydney: Mirror by Jeannie Baker
  3. Suzy Lee’s Wordless Art in Mirror (2003), Wave (2008) and Shadow (2010)
  4. Romance with the Snow Continues with Fernando Krahn’s The Self-made Snowman
  5. Of Vanishing Villages and Round and Square Houses: A 2-in-1 Ann Grifalconi Special
  6. Celebration of Black History Month: Life Doesn’t Frighten Me by Maya Angelou

Haruki Murakami Reading Challenge 2011

This challenge has a funny story. I’m a Murakami fan but by the time we signed up for this challenge I’ve read all of the author’s work with the exception of 1Q84.  So Fats and Myra, I felt, would benefit  more from this challenge. But it turns out, I read (and reviewed) all the 7 books we aimed to read for this challenge.

Here are the titles:

  1. Sputnik Sweethearts
  2. South of the Border, West of the Sun
  3. After Dark
  4. Birthday Stories
  5. After the Quake
  6. What I Talk about when I Talk about Running
  7. Dance Dance Dance

So, as of today we are officially ranked at:  Nakata level. Yey!

South Asian Challenge 2011

I think of all the challenge, I enjoyed this very much. I would probably have never read anything South Asian had it not been for this challenge. I’m not that adventurous when it comes to reading. And when I’m unfamiliar with the authors I would need to read other people’s reviews before diving in. For this challenge, I dealt with it in a more random way. I looked for South Asian authors, bought their books and read them. So here are some of the titles Myra and I managed to review:

This challenge introduced me to Anita Desai an author I currently love and whose books are piling up waiting to be read on my shelf. For this challenge, in 2011 we are officially South Asian Adventurers.

There is an incredible sense of accomplishment typing the round up for all of our challenges. I’m happy to say that in spite of our worries we made it through.

How did you do this year? Were you able to accomplish all your reading goals?

4 comments on “The 2011 Reading Challenge Round Up

  1. Yay! Congratulations to us indeed!


  2. Pingback: End of Year Book Survey for 2011: A 3-in-1 Collaborative Blogpost from the GatheringBooks Ladies «

  3. Indeed, congratulations – that’s a lot of books read and world travelled from your armchair! Thanks for taing part in the PaperTigers Challenge – I hope you’ll be joining us this year – I’ll be posting it next week.


  4. Pingback: Reading Challenges for 2012 and Total Books Read for 2011 «

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