I’m now participating in a couple different challenges. I’ve been working on the 50 book challenge and the 888 challenge since the beginning of the year, and though I’m not as far along as I’d like, the last couple weeks have seen some progress on both fronts. A few weeks ago, I joined the 1% Well Read challenge, which encourages participants to read 10 books from the 1001 Books List in 10 months. I’ve already completed the first of those books, which was The End of the Affair. The next book is A Room with a View, which I just started last week on completion of the Greene novel. And then earlier this week, I joined the Book Awards II Challenge, which encourages readers to read 10 books that have won some of the major literary prizes. That particular challenge doesn’t start until August, so I’ve got time to decide which books I’m going to try to tackle for the challenge. I know I have 10 different prize winners, but I have to read books from at least 5 different prizes, so they can’t all be Booker’s.
I also went to the used bookstore in the next town with my grandparents and came away with several treasures, including a Kazuo Ishiguro novel (I now have three of his books, and I think they’ve all come from used bookstores) and Jhumpa Lahiri’s first collection of short stories, Interpreter of Maladies. I’m still finishing Unaccustomed Earth (and loving it more and more with every story I read), so I won’t be starting on it right away, but I am excited about it.
In other news, I finished the third book in the Outlander series this week. I can’t believe how fast Voyager went in comparison with Dragonfly in Amber. I thought it was a great read, and in many places I couldn’t put it down. But I have to wonder, just how many lives do Claire and Jamie have? I think between the two of them, they’ve been in more sticky situations than any other character I’ve ever come across. I’m still very pleased with the series, though, and I’ve started reading the next book, Drums of Autumn. We’ll see how it goes. I’ve heard from several sources that the fifth book, The Fiery Cross, is the most difficult one; whether that is true or not remains to be seen. But I look forward to them all equally.
I’d initially planned to post some of my thoughts on the stories in Unaccustomed Earth, or talk about my experience so far with A Room with a View, but I really don’t have my higher brain powers in full working order (this would explain the lack of links as well). I promise a much more stimulating Salon discussion next week.