Monday, November 2, 2009

CHALLENGE: Notable Book Challenge, Update

A Short History of a Reading Challenge:

Once upon a time, I met some bloggers who read books. All the books I liked to read - the ones you find on lists. I haven't decided if it's the books I like, or just checking off the lists, either way, I am having fun. Way back in once upon a time 2007, Wendy, at caribousmom, organized a challenge to read a number of books from the NY Times Notable Book list. *Historical note: She was probably one of the first people to set up a blog specifically for a challenge. She invited participants to post reviews to the group blog. I tiptoed around, reading their reviews, reading some of the books, and then finally getting brave enough to join in all the fun. I read a great group of books from the list that year:
The next year, 2008, wendy expanded the challenge to include notable book lists from several sources besides NY Times. She made another blog, with all the lists available. Lots more people joined. Each time, she left the challenge parameters up to the reader, to set their own personal challenge. In 2008, I read:
In 2009, she made it a perpetual challenge. I confess, I forgot about going to the blog but I still had the lists in the back of my mind. I made my own post that I use to keep track of the books I've read from the NY Times Notable books each year, copying the idea from Michelle at onemorechapter. (I copy lots of great ideas from Michelle, thanks!) I limited it to NY Times just for convenience - how many lists can I keep track of anyway? Many of the same books get listed anyway. It appears that 8 books is about my average each year to read from the list.

Today I saw an update from Wendy which made me remember this little personal challenge. While there are still two months left in the year, I have already read 8 books from the NY Times notable book lists over the years. I don't pick just from the latest year, I allow myself to pick from any of the lists because there are still tons of great books I've missed over the years. So the list from this year:
I can't see me reading anymore this year, but I'll try again next year, and keep reading these listed books. Thanks Wendy, for starting this whole challenge, and promoting good books and the community of book bloggers.


  1. I'm soooo curious about what's going to be on this year's NYT Notable List.

    I need to read the 2 *bests* of yours that I haven't gotten to yet, Then We Came to the End and Black Swan Green. Those have been on my tbr for a long time. Maybe 2010 will be the year.

    (And I copy ideas from you, too!)

  2. michelle - how much before Christmas before the new NYT list comes out? I saw your PW list today, so I'm guessing the lists are starting.
    I had those 2 books on my list for a long time before I read them, but they were worth the wait.

  3. I think it usually comes out right around Thanksgiving -- the 3rd or 4th week of November or so.

  4. ooh, sounds like some lists I need to look at, off I go... :-)

  5. Elizabeth...I'm so happy you are enjoying this challenge. The NYT Most Notable list is one of my favorites of the year...and I am eager to see what will appear on this year's list :) Thanks for all the link love!!!

  6. joanna - it's an assortment of books but there are some real gems in the list. I avoid the poetry, but that's just me. Feel free to copy my (and Michelle's) list for keeping track.

    wendy - I always hope I'll already have read some books from the list, then I feel like I have great taste, and am ahead of a new trend or cool book. The list must be out soon.

    You do so much to keep so many book bloggers organized - thank you.

  7. What a nice tribute to Wendy. I didn't know she was probably the first to come up with challenges. I am a challenge junkie myself. I love reading the books AND checking them off the list. Reaching the goal is so rewarding, too. And the friends you meet are the best part.


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