1. The Quantity Book Challenge - as of Dec. 24th, 2010, I have finished 199 books. This number earned me the Most Voracious Reader Award at my book club's Christmas party earlier in the month. Yay!
2. The Chunkster Challenge - did better than I thought on this one, with a 5th hefty tome completed last month. Since the rules require a review, pardon my brevity:
- For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway (471 pages, read March 3-8)- a man's book, if there ever was one. War and love from a very masculine perspective. Classic Hemingway, with very vivid descriptions, and his wonderful prose style. This book struck me as written from a very personal experience, which made it all the more moving. Everyone should read this book.
- The Lollipop Shoes by Joanne Harris (572 pages, read April 6-7) - sequel to her first, and very enjoyable novel Chocolat, this book brings back familiar characters and places them in a similarly challenging setting, particularly with little Anouk beginning to grow up. Harris writes her own version of magical realism, and this book is worth a read for those who enjoyed the first one.
- Middlemarch by George Eliot (795 pages, read May 19-24)- It took me years to get around to reading this novel, but when I finally did, I was not at all disappointed. Interesting characters, a readable plot - one just needs to be in the right frame of mind to read this, because one started, it will be enjoyed and appreciated.
- The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks (480 pages, read May 24-28) - interesting premise, but not-so-excellent execution. Too many things going on at once, and it seemed like everything had already happened before (in a television series or another book). Read during a weekend beach trip, and it was good entertainment.
- Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (650 pages, read Nov.1-8) - A brilliant slice of life in the time of the Sun King, but I did wonder why it was called Wolf Hall when the Seymour family didn't feature particularly strongly in the story, though they would play a significant part in the period following where the novel ended. History, politics, intrigue, and one very compelling, intelligent and admirable man.
3. The A-Z Challenge - here's a list of the new authors and titles I've read this year.
4. Filipino Books - the five I read in 2010 were:
- Ilustrado by Miguel Syjuco
- Noli Me Tangere by Jose Rizal
- The Butcher, the Baker, the Candlestick Maker by Gilda Cordero Fernando
- Connecting Flights edited by Ruel de Vera
- 12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do To Help Our Country by Alexander Lacson
5. Classics - I managed 22 new reads and rereads, listed below:
- The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
- David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
- For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
- To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
- The Invisible Man by HG Wells
- The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving
- Middlemarch by George Eliot
- Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
- My Antonia by Willa Cather
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Franny and Zooey by JD Salinger
- Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
- Noli Me Tangere by Jose Rizal
- Towards the End by John Updike
- Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote
- The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
- Macbeth by William Shakespeare
- Therese Raguin by Emile Zola
- The End of the Affair by Graham Greene
- 1984 by George Orwell
6. 20 Award Winners - a combination of new and rereads, I didn't think I'd finish this year but managed 21 in the end.
- Amsterdam by Ian McEwan (Booker)
- Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer (Guardian Fiction)
- The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (Newbery)
- The Stories of John Cheever (Pulitzer)
- Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary (Newbery)
- For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway (Nobel)
- Ilustrado by Miguel Syjuco (Man Asian)
- The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (Pulitzer)
- The Dancing Girl of Izu by Yashari Kawabata (Nobel)
- March by Geraldine Brooks (Pulitzer)
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Pulitzer)
- The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (Newbery)
- Soliders in Hiding by Richard Wiley (PEN/Faulkner)
- Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia McLachlan (Newbery)
- Holes by Louis Sachar (Newbery)
- Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (Booker)
- From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by EL Konigsburg (Newbery)
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle (Newbery)
- A Ring of Endless Light by Madeline L'Engle (Newbery Honor)
- The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (Guardian Children)
- The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness (Costa)
That's all for the books I've read this year. As for the books I purchased in 2010, well, that's another challenge altogether.