25 August 2011

Spring Reading Challenge

So, I've decided that, as I appear unable to write at the moment, I can at the very least READ lots. To that end, I've signed up for the Spring Reading Challenge on Good Reads. Note that's Australian spring ;)

Here are the rules, along with my choice of book for each category:

"With spring at our doorstep the temperature is starting to warm up, so shed those woolly blankets and grab a book that warms the heart instead..."

1. Spring clean your bookcases by reading a much loved, but yet unread book - either novel or biography.

We all know I have a bazillion unread books on my shelves, but for this category I've chosen To Kill A Mockingbird, because I need to read it for school anyway ;)

2. Choose a book that features a new life - a baby (animal or human) on the cover/in the story.

Zombies vs Unicorns. What? Zombies are 'new life', right? O:)

3. Choose a book for it's cover - a spring image with all it's colour.

You know, I have a really lack of springy, flowery kind of covers on my shelves. I found, in fact, only three. The most springish is the non-fiction, I'm Not Good Enough, and given I'm in the mood for a happy-cheery pick-me-up kind of book, this the one.

4. The Royal Adelaide show is on 2nd - 10th September, so a book about a show/carnival rides/handicrafts/cookery/livestock - anything to tie into the event.

Also lacking books on this sort of topic, and without close scrutiny I couldn't determine if any of the novels might have a show or a fair or something in them. Hence, I picked How Dogs Learn, which is livestock-related, right? Plus, Royal shows totally have a dog showing component, so you know. I say it fits.

5. The Brisbane Writers Festival is on 7th - 11th September, so choose a book written by an Aussie author, released somewhere in the 3 months of Spring.

Look, really? I've just spent over half an hour searching the internet for somewhere that will tell me what Aussie authors have coming out in the next few months, and I got NOTHING. I hit the Spring Reading Challenge list to see what others had posted, and I'm fairly uninspired, PLUS I don't really want to shell out money for a book just so I can fill this space on my list. SO, I'm going to cheat, but only a little. I just finished reading Blood Song, which is coming out Sept 1, by Rhiannon Hart, who is an Aussie author - so this book fits this section, I just happened to accidentally read it two weeks early. Right? Right.

6. Seeing as Spring colours are predominantly red and yellow, pick a book with either a red or yellow cover, and post the book cover as well, so everyone can see (and get colourful suggestions).

I also lack red and yellow books o.O I have about 5 options, but Seven Little Australians is the shortest, and conveniently fits the theme ;) Plus, you know, flowers on the cover and all... O:)

7. Sydney Eisteddfod is running until 20th September and they are searching for the best young Australian talent, so pick a Young Adult book, not necessarily by an Aussie author, for this event.

I found If I Stay in a remainders bin the other day and snaffled it up, so this is my YA book for spring.

8. The Spring Racing Carnival culminating with the Melbourne Cup is in November, so a book about horses/horse racing/betting/money won and lost.

Dark Horse - I've had this one for a while and am curious.

9. How about a book with the title beginning with the first letter of your name, e.g. I could choose Black Wave: A Family's Adventure at Sea and the Disaster That Saved Them.

A Zest for Herbs, because I was going to use this for #10, but realised it fits here too and is shorter than the other options O:) Plus it gets rid of another non-fic on my TBR list, and the non-fics take FOREVER to move.

10. For the last one, you have a choice: a book with a garden connection for spring or a non-fiction/biography, again with a spring connection!

As I do actually really want to reread Backyard Self-Sufficiency, this is the perfect excuse.

Not a bad list: 1 reread, 1 cheat, and 4 non-fiction. And I'm sure I'll squeeze another book in there in place of the 'cheat', so you know. All in all, I'm looking forward to this :o) What do you plan on reading over the next few months? Anyone care to join me in the Spring Challenge (even if it's not spring for you)?


Mirja said...

How/why have you not already read To Kill a Mockingbird??? Somehow, that is not alright. It's one of my favourite books of all time! :D I got out of studying it at school because I'd already read it by year nine (more than once). I got to read Mao's Last Dancer instead (which I had also read, but by that stage my teacher was a little frustrated trying to find something that I hadn't read that still fit the theme...)

I also have a question/need advice. I'm currently re-reading Harry Potter, but have nearly finished the last book. I have many unread books on my shelf at the moment, but the problem is that they're too 'heavy' to just sit and read after a day of even 'heavier' uni readings/work. Do you have any suggestions about what I should read next?

Amy Laurens said...

Hi Mirja! I know, my education in the classics is woefully lacking, especially for an English teacher!! :D

As for lighthearted stuff to read next, let me consult my books-i've-read list... Anything by Pratchett is sheer awesomeness and is easy to read while also making close the book with the suspicious feeling that you've learned more than you ought from a book that entertaining.

For lighthearted adult para-rom type reads, Jennifer Estep and Ilona Andrews. For YA stuff, Kiersten White, Beth Revis, Ally Carter, or anything I read in Aug/Sept last year (link in sidebar and most of these ones have reviews). For equally awesome, not heavy but rather darker fantasy, Jim Butcher.

Also, you should totally join GoodReads if you haven't already.

Mirja said...

Thank Amy! I'll look into those.

I feel that joining in Good Reads would simply make me feel bad about how little non-uni stuff I actually read (as interesting as IR theories and history of Asian conflict are...). Oh, sometimes I miss school and how little work I actually did, I mean, I did lots of work *cough*. If only it were the 'Summer Holidays Reading Challenge'.

I don't think being an English teacher means you have to have read lots of classics, it just mean you have to make English fun (which I imagine would be tough sometimes). Making learning fun is the most important thing (I say this having found many of my classes at school intellectually alright, but not fun to attend), and that's something I try to do when I teach kids IR stuff. That was a bit of a rant, back to the topic of classics. I don't really consider TKAMB a 'classic' so much as 'one of the best books I've read in my life ever' (which, in my mind makes it not a classic :P ). It's right up there with my other favourites like The Color Purple and Angela's Ashes (it also seems I discovered my favourites in year 7/8...which is a bit odd somehow).

Anyway, tomorrow, I'm going to be reading about Clausewitz's theories of conflict and figuring out if they're actually relevant to wars in Asia that didn't include Europeans, exciting stuff, I know.

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