Friday, 30 January 2015

Reading challenge update for January

So this is the year of the reading challenges...

And I have been reading. Work life has been hectic, but I have had some time for reading, too.

The book I've been meaning to read: 
Franklin Graham: The Name.

We have bought it from a sale years ago, and it has been sitting on the shelf waiting to be read. Well, now I've read it. It's OK, but I feel I'm not exactly the target audience of this book. It's obvious that this was written and published in the aftermath of 9-11-2001 and that many of the points Graham makes in the book referred to the current 'hot issues' of the time. And perhaps this was also mainly directed for the American public?

For the HelMet libraries challenge:

I have 'done' 6 categories out of 50. I could have used these books in several more categories, but chose not to. If, by the end of the year, I find I have empty categories these can fill, I'll re-categorize :)

9. Non-fiction book:  
Currey, Mason: Daily Rituals. How great minds make time, find inspiration, and get to work.

An interesting collection of stories about the routines of various writers, scientists, artists etc. Not a lot of practical advice to glean, because apparently everyone has their own unique way that suits them best. You just need to find yours.  

15. A book you have been planning to read a long time:  
Franklin Graham: The Name

25. Published in the year you were born:  
Kirsti Kormu: Nepalin jalokivet (Jewels of Nepal)

A missionary nurse tells about her experiences in Nepal in the 1960's. Published in 1970, this was a beautiful glimpse into history. The name of the book refers to the people there, and the author's love for the people and the country shines through her words.

30. A book of comics or a graphic novel:  
Guy Delisle: A user's guide to neglectful parenting

Somewhat amusing, but not as good as I expected. I much preferred Delisle's graphic novel memoirs from living as an expat in Pjongjang, Shenzen, Burma and Jerusalem. Seems to me, in those memoirs he had something more to say - and the comic/graphic format was good for conveying his impressions.

41. Author was over 65 years old when book was published AND
43. Over 500 pages long 
Seppo Väisänen: Aikansa kutakin (Everything in its time)

Memoirs of a Finnish pastor/missionary. In my opinion, the most interesting part was about the family's experiences in Ethiopia in the 1970's. (Being married to a MK, I appreciate everything that helps me understand his perspective - though his family wasn't in Ethiopia, some experiences are probably similar.) 
The book was over 500 pages, but a quicker read than I expected. Perhaps because I liked the writer's sense of humour. The name of the book comes from a Finnish saying, something like "everything in its time, said the ram when its head was cut off." Meaning something along the lines of "there are good times and bad times, and neither of them lasts forever."

More books coming up next time, I hope.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

2015: The Year of Reading Challenges

2015 looks like a year of irresistable reading challenges.

How could I not participate? I have a few ideas for this one already. However, since I'm not on Instagram or Facebook, it looks like I'm going to miss quite a lot of the conversation. But I'm hoping there will be updates on the blog, too.

I'll have trouble with the book you should have read in high school, though. I was the good girl eager reader book nerd who actually read all the books we were required to read. It wasn't such a big deal. The way I remember it, we didn't get a long reading list. Instead, in most years there was just one 'required' book that the entire class was supposed to read, write an essay on, and discuss. In addition to that, we were supposed to read more, but we could choose the books for our book reports and presentations ourselves (though there were certain requirements for the books we chose).
I'll have to figure out something for this one - perhaps a book that current high schoolers are required to read? (Must have been some changes in the last 25+ years?)

Then, the other challenge that caught my fancy: 

It has 50 categories! But according to the rules on the website, you can actually use the same book for several categories, if it fits all of them. (I'm making myself the rule that I can use the same book in maximum three categories.)

For those who do not read Finnish fluently, here's my quick translation of the categories. You'll notice that some overlap with the MMD challenge, so I'll be reading some books for both of the challenges:
  1. Written by an author whose work you have not read before
  2. A book that has been made into a film
  3. Published in 2015
  4. The author was under 25 when book was published
  5. All the characters are not human beings
  6. The name of the book is just one word
  7. Collection of short stories
  8. The events of the book happen somewhere other than Finland
  9. Non-fiction book
  10. The first book by a popular author
  11. Written by your favourite author, but you haven't read this book before
  12. Recommended by a friend
  13. Winner of a significant book award (such as the Finlandia award)
  14. Based on real events
  15. A book you have been planning to read a long time
  16. A book that your mother loves
  17. A retelling of a classical story, e.g. a fairytale, Shakespeare play, a classic novel...
  18. Over 100 years old
  19. About someone who belongs to a sexual minority (LGBTQ)
  20. A book you choose only based on its cover
  21. A book you should have read at school but didn't
  22. A memoir or a biography
  23. A book you can read in a day
  24. Set in a place you have always wanted to visit
  25. Published in the year you were born
  26. A trilogy
  27. A book for teens or young adults
  28. The name of the book includes a colour
  29. Has magic in it
  30. A book of comics or a graphic novel
  31. A self help book
  32. Set in your home town/municipality
  33. The author is not from Europe or North America
  34. The name of the book includes a number
  35. The author has the same initials as you
  36. A book of poetry
  37. A book that is forbidden/censored in some part of the world
  38. A book you have started but left unfinished
  39. A book you remember from your childhood
  40. Set in future (science fiction?)
  41. Author was over 65 years old when book was published
  42. A book you are slightly embarrassed to read
  43. Over 500 pages long
  44. Classic romantic novel
  45. A book that frightens you
  46. A book about an indigenous people or their culture (e.g. Sami people in Lapland, Native Americans, etc.)
  47. A funny book
  48. The main character is of different gender than you
  49. Detective or suspense novel
  50. Recommended by a library employee