Okay, so I assume I’m a fairly typical person in that as soon as I say I won’t do something, I immediately find some version of that thing that I simply must do and vice versa (ala saying that I will say why I want to write Buddhist fanfiction and then never, ever doing it). Case in point, in my Rose Sees Red review, I said in a footnote, “This Fifty Book Challenge started me on the extremely slippery slope of book challenges, which I am using this year only as a way to focus my reading… instead of, well, being more strict about it and picking the books before, making sure I read a certain number of them, etc.” In finding those links, I found a book challenge I simply couldn’t resist.
I also happen to have an enabling best friend. When I asked if she wanted to participate in Bill Ward’s Five Book Challenge, she responded, “Oh Oh Oh Yes I want to! A thousand times yes!!” So Mary and I have compiled a list of five books that the other has to read this year. As Bill Ward says, these books should be things that the other person would definitely benefit from or enjoy, but not ones that they would have picked up themselves. They could be books the other person has wanted to read for a while but never gotten around to. And without further ado, here is Mary’s list for me:
1) How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
2) North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
3) The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
4) North by Seamus Heaney
5) Good Behaviour by Molly Keane
Here you can see Mary’s penchant for English and Irish lit, with a healthy dose of Russian lit and YA lit. I actually recently saw a miniseries version of North and South and loved it, so I’m really excited about that one. (It’s on Netflix Instant right now! Go take advantage of it if you have Netflix and it’s your sort of thing; I highly recommend it.) The YA, she tells me, is weird and she wants to know what I think. Since she gave me this list before I finalized mine, I decided to also include a YA that I had some issues with. Here’s my list for Mary:
1) Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
2) Kindred by Octavia Butler
3) Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
4) The Astonishing Tale of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume 1: The Pox Party by M.T. Anderson
5) Footprints in the Snow: The Autobiography of a Chinese Buddhist Monk by Sheng Yen
I also included an optional sixth book, because it is very short and she’s making me read The Brothers Karamazov: A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid.
Funny, I haven’t talked about any of the books I chose for Mary on this blog, though I have much to say about them. I may reread Kindred with her because I read it a very long time ago. The others I will probably comment on on her reviews, and she may do the same on mine, I don’t know. Oh, yes, I forgot to mention that we will both be keeping track of what we’ve read on this blog. Accountability! That’s what book challenges are all about. Well, accountability and reading good books.
I’m excited for this, Mary is excited, and I hope you’re excited, too! It should be a grand old time.