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>Challenge Check

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> Since it’s almost midyear and I’m nearly halfway to 100, I thought this would be a good time to cast a cold, critical eye at my progress. With 3 book groups and 8 challenges, I should be checking more often to make sure I’m reading what I need to be reading instead of just lallygagging happily but ignorantly through the year.

Here’s what I came up with. Some of it isn’t very pretty:

1. 100+ Books Challenge – I’m working on #50. Last year, I read 104, so this year I’d like to increase that, even by just one book. So far, it looks doable.

2. Support Your Local Library Challenge – I’m working pretty feverishly on this one since I pledged to read 50 library books this year but didn’t get started on the challenge until March. So far I’ve read a measly 12, but all is not lost: Thou shalt see me at the Bybee-ary!

3. Canadian Book Challenge – Not. Looking. Good. This challenge ends on July 1st, so it’s possible that I’ll go down in flames as one of the Snowshoes (people who have read 5 books). If I scurry, I could retire as a Lobster Pot (6 books). If I drop everything including work and sleep, I could be a Zamboni (11 books). Oh well, there’s always next year, eh?

4. Read the Book, See The Movie Challenge – I’ve read/seen 4 books/movies this year and am halfway finished with a 5th and 6th pair. So much fun!

5. The 1930s Mini-Challenge – I’m at 1.5, which puts me halfway through this challenge. Leapin’ Lizards!

6. Although I’m not part of any formal challenge, I always like to monitor author nationality to make sure I’m reading more globally. Looks like I’m getting around some, but still too much love for the old home country:
Australia: 1
Canada: 2
China: 1
England: 5
Germany: 1
Hungary: 1
India: 1
Japan: 1
Korea: 2
New Zealand: 1
Nigeria: 1
Scotland: 1
Sweden: 1
USA: 30

7. The Pulitzer Project – I’ve only read 1 so far this year. Faulkner Guy mentioned doing a group read of Beloved then backed out, but I still might do it. During my trip to the US, I’ll pick up a copy of the new one, Tinkers.

8. The Newbery Project – Last summer, I got really interested in the Newberys after I read A Single Shard. Last month, I decided to be bold and start plugging those gaps in my childhood reading. What better place to start than with the award winners? So far, I’ve read 37 of the winner and honor books, 2 of them — Thimble Summer and Bud, Not Buddy — this year. Sandra is helping me with this endeavor by loaning me books that her children have outgrown. I’ve even got the perfect locale — do you think that the kids at my apartment complex will understand when I tell them to make room for me on the swing set?

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