Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Nest Summer Book Challenge

You may have noticed the bookshelf that I've added to the blog. I've been spending some time looking for a book group to join. I read quite a bit and I'm always on the lookout for new books to try. This bookshelf lists most of the books I've read as an adult and will be updated as I finish books. I might start making some posts about recent books I've read too.

The Nest is a sister-site to The Knot. I used The Knot while planning our wedding and made the transition over to The Nest shortly after. They have lots of great boards (message boards, that is) for all sorts of info. I spend the majority of my time on the Travel, Book Club, What's Cooking, and Health & Fitness boards.

The Book Club board does quarterly challenges (Winter, Spring, Summer, & Fall). I finally decided to take part in one of the challenges just to see if I liked it.

The summer book challenge begins on July 1 and ends September 30. I thought it might be fun to post the entire challenge and maybe some of you will want to try it out too.

The challenge works with a point system. Basically, there are 5, 10, 15, and 25 point tasks. You pick a book to read that meets a task criteria. Once you have finished that book you are awarded the corresponding point value. The person with the most points at the end of the challenge wins. I don't know if the Book Club awards prizes or not but if any of you are interested in doing this with me, we can come up with our own prize for the winner.

Here are the challenge tasks for summer 2010 along with my book choice for the category and a few recommendations. I should note that I have not read all of the books in the "recommendations" lists. I just did a search for books that fit the criteria that I would be interested in reading or have already read. If anyone has any other suggestions that they want me to add, please let me know and I'll update the list.

Send me a message if you want to participate with me. We can then figure out how we want to do updates and reviews.

5 Point Tasks

Read a book that takes place in a place you never want to visit.
My Pick: Princess, A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia by Jean P. Sasson
Other Recommendations:
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Borderland by Anna Reid
The Singapore Grip by J.G. Farrell
Nothing to Envy, Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick
They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky by Alephonsion Deng
Blood Diamonds by Greg Campbell
Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison by Piper Kerman
Girl Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen

August 1st is Girlfriends day: Read a book about a group of women friends.
My Pick: Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy
Other Recommendations:
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
How to Make and American Quilt by Whitney Otto
The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
How Close We Come by Susan Kelly
The Wildwater Walking Club by Claire Cook

Read a one word titled book.
My Pick: Outlander by Diane Gabaldon
Other Recommendations:
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Eragon by Christopher Paolini
It by Stephen King
Contact by Carl Sagan
Misery by Stephen King
Plainsong by Kent Haruf

June is skyscraper month: Read a book set in a major city.
My Pick: Along Came a Spider by James Patterson
Other Recommendations:
Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella
Mary, Mary by James Patterson
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown

Read a book by a favorite author that you have not read yet.
My Pick: Watch Them Die by Kevin O'Brien
Other Recommendations:
Confessions of an Ugly Step-Sister by Gregory Maguire
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philipa Gregory
Vicious by Kevin O'Brien

August 13th is the only Friday the 13th of the year: Read a mystery or thriller.
My Pick: Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane
Other Recommendations:
Shatter by Michael Robotham
Vicious by Kevin O'Brien
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stiegg Larsson
The Sookie Stackhouse Series by Charlaine Harris
The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King
Mystic River by Dennis Lehane

June 8 is World Ocean day: Read a book that is set at the ocean.
My Pick: Voyage on the Great Titanic: The Diary of Margaret Ann Brady by Ellen Emerson White
Other Recommendations:
Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
Crimson Tide by Richard P. Henrick

In honor of July 4th fireworks: Read a romance novel.
My Pick: Mount Vernon Love Story by Mary Higgins Clark
Other Recommendations:
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
Any books by Nora Roberts
Spring Torrents by Ivan Turgenev

Read a dystopian or utopian novel.
My Pick: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Other Recommendations:
Blindness by Jose Saramago
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
1984 by George Orwell
The Stand by Stephen King

July is national picnic month: Read a book on a picnic blanket or with a picnic word in the title.
My Pick: Eat Cake by Jeanne Ray
Other Recommendations:
Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay
How to Make an American Quilt by Whitney Otto
Sandwiched by Jennifer Archer
Cucumbers Have Thorns and Snakes Love Strawberries by Janice Sullivan
Strawberry Shortcake Murder by Joanne Fluke

10 Point Tasks

Read an historical Non-Fiction.
My Pick: The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank
Other Recommendations:
The Devil in the White City Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson
Night by Elie Weisel
1776 by David McCullough
Desperate Passage Ethan Rarick
Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt

July 11th is a total solar eclipse: Read a book with a black cover.
My Pick: The Last Victim by Kevin O'Brien
Other Recommendations:
Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collings
Looking for Alaska by John Green
Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi

Summer outdoor activities: Read a book where the characters do an outdoors activity.
My Pick: Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Other Recommendations:
A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean
Sail by James Patterson
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

Read a book where the title or author’s name starts with a J, A, or S. A as the first word of the title does not count.
My Pick: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
Other Recommendations:
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Angels & Demons by Dan Brown

Read a book with a Native American main character or written by a Native American author.
My Pick: Dances with Wolves by Michael Blake
Other Recommendations:
The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
WindTalkers by Max Allan Collins
In the Spirit of Crazy Horse by Peter Matthiessen

Read a memoir, autobiography, or biography.
My Pick: Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs
Other Recommendations:
Julie and Julia by Julie Powell
A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah
Tuesday with Morrie by Mitch Albom
Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson

Read a book for adults by an author that also writes children’s books.
My Pick: What the Dickens by Gregory Maguire
Other Recommendations:
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
Stardust by Neil Gaiman

In honor of Dear Diary day: Read a book written in diary form.
My Pick: The Diary of Jack the Ripper by Shirley Harrison
Other Recommendations:
Bridget Jones' Diary by Helen Fielding
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
Dear America Series

National aviation day: Read a book about flying or traveling.
My Pick: Drangonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
Other Recommendations:
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift

September 2nd is national beheading day: Read a book about someone being executed or who was executed.
My Pick: Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles by Margaret George
Other Recommendations:
The Green Mile by Stephen King
The Crucible by Arthur Miller
The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette by Carolly Erickson
The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory

15 Point Tasks

National psychic week is August 4-8: Read a book with a ghost or someone who has physic abilities.
My Pick: Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind
Other Recommendations:
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder
The Lovey Bones by Alice Sebold

Summer blockbusters are out: Read a book, then watch the movie or television show.
My Pick: The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum
Other Recommendations:
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum
Catch Me If You Can by Frank Abignale
A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar
Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King
The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Frannie Flagg
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne

Read a book by an author whose name you can’t pronounce.
My Pick: Angel's Fire, Demon's Blood by Tamela Quijas
Other Recommendations:
Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers
Light My World by Aasiyah Qamar

National payroll week is September 3-7: Read a book about finances or where the main character has the career you would love to have.
My Pick: A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
Other Recommendations:
Freakonomics by Steven Levitt
The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach

Read either July, August, or September’s book club book and participate in the discussion.
My Pick: July's book selection
July:Virgin Suicides by Jeffery Eugenides
August:Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl

Read a book about the paranormal.
My Pick: The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson
Other Recommendations:
In a Dark Place by Ray Garton
Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz
Any Anne Rice books
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
Most Stephen King books
Communion by Whitley Streiber
Fire in the Sky by Travis Walton

August is national smile month: Read a book that has a cover that makes you laugh or a humor book.
My Pick: The Princess Bride by S. Morganstern
Other Recommendations:
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea. by Chelsea Handler

Support the book bloggers: Read a book a blogger you follow recommends during the challenge. Then post your review with link to your favorite blogger's original review post.
My Pick:
Other Recommendations:

Read a book that you keep looking at and then put down. Discuss the book and why it kept drawing you in and why you kept putting it down.
My Pick: Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
Other Recommendations:
The Shack by William P. Young
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
The Stand by Stephen King

Read an author who, at the time of the challenge, has only released one book. Discuss the book and if you would read more by that author.
My Pick: Nightshade by Shea Godfrey
Other Recommendations:
A list of debut authors can be found on this website:

25 Point Tasks

Read a book and then contact the author via email or snail mail. Try to get a reply by asking questions/telling the author how you felt about the book. You can also go to a book signing and talk to the author there. Report back with your results!

Read 2 books, both written by immigrants into the US from different countries, where immigration is a subject of the book (i.e. one of the characters is an immigrant). Comment on the difference of experiences that immigrants from different countries have in the US.
A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian by Marina Lewycka
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
The Night of Many Dreams by Gail Tsukiyama
Honolulu by Alan Brennert
Snow Falling On Cedars by David Guterson
The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
A Good Scent From A Strange Mountain by Robert Olen Butler

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