Wednesday, December 13, 2006

TBR 2007 and Chunkster Challenge

Tired of those TBR piles threatening to collapse? Fed up with having your view obstructed by huge mounds of books? Miz Books has the solution. She has set up a challenge which asks the participant to read 12 books (one a month) for the year 2007. Imagine, taking 12 books off your TBR by the time 2008 rolls along. Along with the TBR 2007 challenge I will also be doing booklogged's "Classics Challenge" and bookfool's "Chunkster Challenge".

But first, come with me on a virtual journey through the TBR 2007 Challenge:

In January I plan to leave the Canadian winter behind and travel to the villages of China where I will make friends with a farmer and his family in 1. "The Good Earth" by Pearl S. Buck. This book fits in neatly with my Classics Challenge as well.
I cannot dream of returning to Canada in the coldest month of the year so I travel from China onto Singapore (so that I can visit Bibliobibuli in Malaysia) where I intend learning about a young man's coming of age during the fall of Singapore in World War II in Vyvyane Loh's 2.
"Breaking The Tongue"

From Singapore and Malaysia I will travel to Sri Lanka, where I'll have the opportunity to meet this really sweet boy who everyone calls 3."Funny Boy", I'll tell you why after I meet him. After Sri Lanka I will have to stop in India or my mom won't forgive me.
In India I am going to encourage Australian gangster-turned-author Gregory Roberts or 4.
"Shantaram" to tell me how he happend to end up in an Indian jail and what happened to him after he was released.

Whilst in India I know I won't be able to resist visiting Kerala to see and meet a Kathakali dancer in Anita Nair's 5.

It will be sad to leave India, but I have to head back to Canada. Enroute, I know Africa will beckon so I'll stop for a while in Somalia to meet 6. "Aman:Story of a Somali Girl" who will tell me what it's like to be young woman in 20th-century Somalia.

Africa is a huge continent and I see myself wanting to visit another country before I head for Europe, so I'll probably travel for Cairo to meet three generations of an Egyptian family in Naguib Mahfouz's 7.
"Palace Walk" from the" Cairo Trilogy".

I've booked my trip on Air Iberia so my plane will stop in Spain; whilst there I might as well learn some flamenco dancing with Jason Webster in 8. "Duende; A Journey into the Heart of Flamenco".

It's impossible to be so close to France and not visit - I find the French fascinating and I'm going to learn all I can about them with the aid of Jean-Benoit Nadeau's 9.
"Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't be Wrong:Why we Love France but not the French".

Just before I leave Europe altogether I will make a quick visit to the country of my birth (UK) to meet Najwa in Leila Aboulela's 10. "Minaret" who is in exile in London due to a political coup in Sudan which forced her family to move away. I want to ask her how her life has changed, if at all.

Before I touch Canada, I'd like to make a quick trip to New York where I will meet Barak Obama and his family in 11. "Dreams From My Father". I find Barack Obama to be such a fascinating person, I can't wait to find out more about him.

I hope to be back in Canada for Christmas and I'm going to celebrate it with the doyenne of Canadian literature, Margaret Atwood and her latest novel 12."Moral Disorders"

So, there you have it, my 12 TBR reads for the TBR 2007 Challenge.

For bookfool's beautiful and flexible" Chunkster Challenge" I have picked 5 books of which I hope to read atleast 3 (please follow the link to Bookfool's blog for the guidelines)

Naghoub Mafouz's "Palace Walk" (512 pages)

Gregory David Robert's "Shantaram" (944 pages)
(recommended by Holly Dolly Books)

Suketu Mehta's "Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found (560 pages)
(How could I resist reading about the city I grew up in?)

Zusak's "The Book Thief" (560 pages)
(Led by Les, Bookfool and Booklogged, this book has been raved about by every book blogger that has read it)

Jared Diamond's "Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed" (592 pages)


nessie said...

am going a little challenge dizzy myself. I joined the chunkster today and boy am i close to tears at the neglect of my thick books I have... Happy to see we are comrades for yet another challenge. Will be watching your back babes!

Vive Le Quebec Libre ;0)

Anonymous said...

I loved the way you listed your challenge. What a fantastic way to take a trip around the world. I'm looking forward to your reviews. I need to get my list ready for this challenge as well as the Chunkster and Classics Challenges. I have some books I plan to put on all three lists.

hellomelissa said...

your creative writing class is paying off! what a fabulous "list!" it wasn't a list at all, just a wonderful trip across the world and back.

life is getting in the way of my reading career right now, so no more challenges for me until i get my head on straight.

good luck with all those delicious tbr's.

Les said...

Such a creative post, Lotus! I thoroughly enjoyed the armchair/virtual tour of your year-long adventures. Can't wait to read the reviews in the coming months!

FH said...

Great list of books to read!! I am not sure I have the time but will give it a try.
I just bought "The Splendor of Silence" by Indu Sundaresan. I will start reading it when I go for vacation in 10days.I have read her first two books about Mamtaz Mahal,was a great read.

ML said...

What an awesome list of books, Lotus! I love how you told us by the trip around the world. Incredibly creative!

Beenzzz said...

Lotus, All of those books sound wonderful and exotic. I think the ones that caught my eye the most were "Mistress," "Funny Boy," and "Dreams From my Father." I wonder if Obama is going to run for president. I've been telling my husband about your booklists, so hopefully, I'll receive some of these books for Christmas!! ;)

Cassiopeia Rises said...

Lotus my dear, I would so love to join you on your trip but I am not sure I can read all of the books in all the challenge's and could we get them on board as carryon's? I will think on it and see if I can come up with 12
Also thanks for your comment on my poem. I think I read too many newspapers.

Lotus Reads said...

Hi Nessie

*grin* Yes, Quebec is a nation now! ;))) Will pop over to gape at your Chunkster list before the end of the day!

Hi, Framed So glad you're doing the Chunkster and TBR challenges, too! I haven't finished my "Stacks" challenge yet, but I'm consoling myself with the fact that this is a busy time of year - I don't think anyone's getting much reading done, no?

Hi Melissa and thank you! My poor sad Creative Writing workshop - do you know I only attended 3 classes out of 10? I feel terrible because they were so much fun to be at. Ahhh well, there's always a next time!

Thanks Les in NE! I am so looking forward to this reading adventure...are you going to be joining us? Thanks very much for stopping by.

Hi Asha You lucky girl, you're going on vacation again??? Didn't you just go and spend time at the ocean? I have Indu Sunderasan's first two novels about Jehangir etc. I didn't know she had a new one out, thanks for the headsup!

THanks, ml! Been making so many lists this season, I figured I'd best get creative with this one! So happy you enjoyed the effort.

Hi, Beenzzz Hope Hubby and Santa get you all the books on your wishlist and more! :) You will love "Funny Boy". I have heard a radio dramatization of the book and it was so good I just knew I had to read it.

Hello, Beloved You've got enough on your plate with your art and Poetry Thursday, so maybe you would welcome sitting these challenges out, but should you change your mind you can always join us!

phaedrus said...

good luck if you try out shantaram...i DEVOUR books in days, sometimes hours, and it's one that took me months. i never quit on books but this one i had to put down. it's not that it's not interesting. it is.

love your blog btw, i've been reading it for a while now, and love to get ideas for books from you, now and then.

Lotus Reads said...

Hi, Phaedrusand welcome! Yeah, "Shantaram" has been receiving mixed reactions. There are those that love it and then there are those who say it dragged on and on. I really don't know which camp I will fall into but I am eager to find out!

I have heard it has been developed into a film starring Johnny Depp. Having read the book would you
say Depp makes a good Shantaram?

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Lotus Reads said...

@beenzzz Sorry I forgot to address Obama in my comment response to you. I don't know if he will run for president. He's been described as "a young man in a hurry" and some people feel he should wait until he can get a Senate chairmanship under his belt before he aspires to greater things.

The funny thing is, he is not a household name in the US yet. Not too long ago some radio DJ's decided to ask a bunch of pedestrians if George Bush should fear Obama, all 15 that were questioned assumed it was Osama bin Ladin and the responses were hilarious!

I admire Obama one heck of a lot, I hope he does something big for American politics!

Les said...

Lotus - yes, I've already listed my titles on my blog. I had to sign in with a google account to comment here, so my picture didn't show up and now I see that my blogger id (lesleysbooknook) isn't available on my google profile. Sigh. I guess it's time to make the switch to Beta.

Sugarlips said...

I really enjoyed reading "Shantaram" & Jhonny Depp bought the script & making a movie :) but there is no way u gonna finish it in one month..I took breaks n finished this book...But I wish u all the best :)

Stay Beautiful...!!

Unknown said...

Ok, so January for the Good Earth. Hopefully, that will give me enough time to make it through Ulyesses.

Lotus Reads said...

Hi Les! Duh! Sorry for the formal speech, I didn't realize it was you!!! :) The "Les in NE" completely threw me! I remember your Chunkster list. So glad we're doing this challenge together! Yeah, blogger seems to have its own set of challenges at the moment - I hope you find your switch to beta easy and uneventful.

Hi Sugarlips You have me well and truly scared now! You don't think "Shantaram" can be read in a month? Oh my goodness, hope I haven't bitten off more than I can chew! Thanks always for stopping by and for your input. So appreciate it.

Hi Angela! Wow, Ulysses! The best of luck with it, I really hope you will do a review when you're done. And yes, you and I will start 'The Good Earth' on Jan 01st. I am looking forward to reading it in tandem with you. Thanks!

karmic said...

That's neat maybe I should a post on this too. I like your list very eclectic.

Lisa said...

lotus: I am also reading Shantaram and The Book Thief for the challenges so I'll look forward to hearing your take on them!

Lotus Reads said...

Sanjay Wonderful to see you here! Yes, this challenge is an excellent way to lower the number of books on your to-be-read piles. It fits in with my New Year's resolution so I grabbed the chance to take part in it. Hope you will join us!

Lisa Welcome! I'm thrilled to have company. "Shantaram" will probably be the fattest book I have ever attempted, so wish me luck! :) Wishing you all the best, too. I will stop by your blog to have a look at the full chunkster list.

Booklogged said...

Lotus, you are so awesome. What a fun journey. I'd say, along with Melissa, that those 3 out of 10 creative writing classes really paid off. You're just a speed learner and didn't really need all 10.

You always choose and read such interesting books. As always, I look forward to reading your thoughts about these books. We are all very optimistic, aren't we? Here we are in this busy, wonderful December, immersed in Christmas, family, etc. and we're all planning daunting lists for the whole of next year. I love it! All these books just make me want to redouble my efforts and read MORE and MORE.

tanabata said...

How fun! What a great way to list your year of reading. Can I come along in your suitcase? I'll be reading The Good Earth along with you. I have Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't be Wrong, but had forgotten about it. Hmmm.
Good luck with all the challenges.

Lotus Reads said...

Hi, booklogged! *blush* Thank you, thank you, glad you enjoyed the virtual trip! You're right, we book fiends are something else, not even Christmas and all the busyness it brings can distract us from setting our challenges! :)) The New Year is going to start with one big bang for many of us - three challenges, I am so excited!

Hi, Nat Ofcourse you can come along in my suitcase, but only if you promise to bring your camera! :) Maybe we can make a small detour through Japan? Thrilled that you will also be reading "The Good Earth", I so look forward to that!

kimananda said...

Lotus, what a cool set of challenges, and your selections are equally amazing...I am definitely doing TBR 2007, as my TBR list is so long. :-o

bibliobibuli said...

only a virtual tour. i was going to say come and stay ...

there will be a couple more interesting malaysian reads next year!

Heather said...

You are always reading such interesting books!! Great choices again!!


Sai said...

Just loved taking a virtual tour around the world with you! I love your creative post and am waiting to read your reviews.

Lotus Reads said...

Oh yes, glad to have you joining us, kimananda! Can't wait to see the books you pick!

Awww,Sharon,you're sweet, thanks! Looking forward to seeing some books out of Malaysia. I'll be following your blog religiously for news!

Thanks Heather Happy to see you here!

Hi Sai Thanks, for reading through my journey. I'm really happy to be able to get some of these TBR books out of the way!

Bellezza said...

I absolutely adored The Good Earth. What an exciting list you have chosen! Like you, I'm looking forward to The Book Theif (due to les' recommendation.) We'll have to discuss it when we're done.

Bellezza said...

Hello, I meant "Thief" of course.

Lotus Reads said...

Hi, Bellezza!

I read "The Good Earth" a long,long time ago, but I remembered being so moved by it that I figured it would be great to re-read it for the Classices Challenge. I look forward to discussing "The Book Thief" with you - thief always trips me up, along with neice, sorry niece! ;)

Sugarlips said...

Lotus if u stop cooking food & especially chapatis :) & just concentrate on book then I know you will be done in less than a month :D

Stay Beautiful..!!

Lotus Reads said...

Those darn Chapatis, maybe I should ask Santa for a dough maker, huh, Sugarlips? :)

Hollydolly said...

Oh my, what a beautiful way to start my day, reading your upcoming trip around the world. Your imagination knows no bounds. I too will be in China at the start of the year The Good Earth) Maybe we can meet up for a quick visit before you move on. Earlier this year when I was in India I met up with Gregory Roberts (Shantaram). He told me the tale of how he landed up in an Indian Jail, you must persuade him to tell you too, it's amazing. We may meet up at other points. I think I would like to visit Kerala, never been there. Perhaps I could persuade Anita Nair to introduce me to "Mistress", What do you think?.
This is going to be a fun trip. Now, must think what to pack...HaHa


Lotus Reads said...

Sylvia, I'm tickled pink you will be in China around the same time as me...we'll be visiting the same family as well, how cool is that!?! :)

Can I tell Shantaram I met you and that you were the one who told me about him - maybe that will soften him up a bit! ;)

It would be my pleasure to show you around Kerala and we can meet Anita Nair's "Mistress" together...bring your anklets if you have some, maybe they'll let us dance with them!

Have you got your itinerary up yet? I can't wait to see where in the world you'll be next year! :)

Thanks for the very fun comment!

Anonymous said...

Hope you have fun with "Duende" - I picked up the book last year but for some reason, never found the time to actually read it YET. *sigh*

I tried to finish "Maximum City" earlier this year but regretfully I lack the stamina. Stopped about 2/3 through the book.

Have fun with your reading. 2007 is coming so fast.

Lotus Reads said...

Thanks so much for stopping by Dark Orpheus You'll have to tell me why you couldn't finish "Max City", did you find it dragged on too long or was the content not drawing you in? I like to be aware of a book's shortcomings before I delve into it.

Hollydolly said...

I've had a quick word in Gregory Roberts ear, he awaits your visit. I have dug out my dusty anklets to brush up on my dancing. Whee...can't wait.

I will post my list over the weekend.


Sugarlips said...

Lotus I have dough maker got it 3 yrs back & I love ittttttttttttttttttttttt by "Kitchen Aid" trust me zindagi asan :)

Stay Beautiful...!!

phaedrus said...

i imagined more of a clive owen or aaron ekhart in that movie, someone rugged but blonde.

Lotus Reads said...

Sugarlips Sach? Is it really that good? You've got me craving one now!

Phaedrus Ahhh, I see. Is that what the real Shantaram looks like? Rugged and blonde?

gs said...

around the world in 365 days.terrific.i enjoyed every bit of your virtual tour.and to know that you are going to meet 'lin baba' is great news.his favourite hangout in mumbai is colaba and the restaurant he frequents is 'leopold' on colaba causeway. actually,i see him quite often whizzing past in his 'davidson' in his trademark sleeveless white shirt,long hair and a pillion rider to keep him company.if you haven't read my blog on him,please go to archives(feb 2006) and read 'tete-e-tete with an ex-fugitive'. i can help you with an appointment!

Lotus Reads said...

Hey Gopal Welcome! Would love to read your chat with Shantaram, but I can't access your blog for some reason! Want to send me a link?

gs said...

hi lotus reads
my blog is

Lotus Reads said...

Gopal Sorry I didn't recognize you. I know you by your initials, gs, and when I tried to access your blog from the last comment, it wouldn't let me. I'm going to look at the interview now, thanks!

Milan-zzz said...

After reading your plan for 2007 tbr voyage I just couldn't resist. Maybe we'll meet each other somewhere in some distant land so far away from our homes...

Lotus Reads said...

lol, milan, wouldn't that be nice? Hollydolly will joining me in China and India and I think Nat and I might swing by Japan, do let us know your itinerary, I'm pretty sure we will be able to meet up somewhere nice! :)

s said...
This comment has been removed by the author.