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Katrina's 999 challenge

999 Challenge

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Edited: Aug 24, 2009, 4:17pm Top

I'm new to this challenge.
Read 52/81
My List:
1. Award Winners
1. Fugitive Pieces, Micheals*
2. Gould's Book of Fish, Richard Flanagan
3. Stone Cold , Robert Swindells
4. Blindness, Saramago

2. 1001 - COMPLETE
1.Family Matters, Mistry
2. The Wonderful O
3. Silk, Barricco
4. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich Alexander Solzkenisyn
5. The House of Spirits
6. The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway
7. Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
8. The Swarm,
9. Fear and Trembling

3. TBR pile
1. The Aguero Sisters
2. The Bonesetter's Daughter
3. Long Way Down
4. Season of Migration from the North

4. Fantasy/Fairy/Folk tales (originals or rewrites) COMPLETE
1. Beauty, McKinley
2. Son of a Witch, Gregory Maguire
3. American Gods, Gaiman
4. The Host, Stephanie Meyer
5. The Tales of the Beedle and the Bard, J.K Rowling
6. Wicked, Gregory Maguire
7. Wild Woods, Charles de Lint
8. Inkheart, Cornelia Funke
9. Lost in a Good Book Jasper Fforde

5. Non-fiction COMPLETE
1. Ethel and Ernest Raymond Briggs
2. Pyongyang, Delise
3. Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglas
4. Mendel's Daughter, Martin Lemelman
5. A Long Way Down
6. A Year in Green Tea and Tuk Tuks Rory Spowers
7. Polysyllabic Spree
8. Three Cups of Tea Greg Mortenson
9. Normal Amy Bloom

6. African reads
1. An Elegy for Easterly Grappah **
2. Season of the Migration to the North Tayeb Salih

7. Short Strory Collections
1. Bithday Stories Haruki Murakami
2. Talking Heads 2 Alan Bennett
3. An Elegy for Easterly Grappah **
4. Secrets of a Fire King, Kim Edwards

8. YA Fiction COMPLETE
1. The City of Ember, DuPrau
2. The Graveyard Book, Gaiman
3. Fun Home, Brecdel
4. Castle Waiting ,Medley
5. Witch Child, Celia Rees
6. Beauty Sleep, Cameron Dokey
7. What I Was, Meg Rosoff
8. Sabriel
9. The Invention of Hugo Cabret

9. New Fiction
1. The Northern Clemency, Heshner
2. The Graveyard Book Neil Gaiman
3. Mr Toppit, Charles Elton
4. A Fraction of a Whole
5. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society
6. Bog Child
7. Mudbound

Nov 3, 2008, 9:53am Top

For the fairy tale category, I saw Shannon Hale at the Texas Book Festival this weekend and her fairy tale retellings look very interesting. I couldn't resist buying a signed copy of Repunzel's Revenge. Yea for graphic novels of fairy tales.

Nov 3, 2008, 12:36pm Top

I have one of her books to read at the moment, just haven't quite got there yey

Nov 3, 2008, 9:01pm Top

A Suitable Boy is a fantastic book. I'd put off reading it for almost a year after buying it because of its size (he even opens with a poem about the inadvisability of reading such a doorstop), but then found it to be enthralling. I was bitterly disappointed when it ended.

Call of the Wild is American, both in author and setting, but you could get away with it if you changed your category to "northern tales" or some such. Or omit it altogether--I did not like that book. Otherwise, you have so really good books on that list. Have you read Anne of Green Gables before, or will you be discovering it for the first time?

Edited: Nov 3, 2008, 9:40pm Top

You have an interesting list--

I have an African category also and will be r4eading Blood River and Cry, the Beloved Country--which is one I should have read years ago, I think.

The Princess Bride and Cannery Row are two of my favorite novels. I also love Anne of Green Gables (all of them!) and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. You are in for a great year of reading!

Nov 3, 2008, 9:57pm Top

Your "I've always been meaning to read" category is an excellent idea. What a smart way to include those books that you always mean to get to but never do - goodness knows, I certainly have a lot of them!

I second MusicMom's recommendation of The Princess Bride. I also liked American Gods very much. Happy reading :-)

Nov 4, 2008, 12:45pm Top

I've never read (Anne of Green Gables), thanks for the comments, hopefully I will succeed

Nov 4, 2008, 1:28pm Top

I'll be interested to see how you like Anne of Green Gables--it is such a beloved book in my entire family--My Grandmother came from Eastern Canada to Oregon in the 19th century and a love of L.M. Montgomery was one of the legacies she left us!

Nov 4, 2008, 2:35pm Top

Do you know Emily of the New Moon by L.M. Montgomery MusicMom (or anyone else) ? I had never heard of it but I spotted a copy in a bookshop bargain bin last week and swooped on it!

Nov 4, 2008, 3:42pm Top

Emily of New Moon is the first of a trilogy. Some consider this trilogy the most autobiographical of LM Montgomery's fiction. Emily is a fun heroine and a writer with ambition. I think you will like it!

Nov 4, 2008, 4:22pm Top

#9 I read Emily of the New Moon last summer and absolutely loved it. I think you will be glad that you picked it up. :)

Nov 4, 2008, 4:42pm Top

Thank you both. I have always loves Anne of Green Gables, so I was thrilled to find Emily but also worried in case it didn't live up to my high expectations.

Nov 4, 2008, 5:52pm Top

Besides all the Anne books (including Rilla of Ingleside) the only Montgomery books I own are The Story Girl and Kilmeny of the Orchard. I had heard about the Emily books but they weren't available in print in the US at the time I was collecting them. I will be on the look out for them now if they are available here.

Dec 7, 2008, 8:53am Top

I'm changing one of my categories, from Canadian Reads, to just Margaret Atwood books.

Dec 9, 2008, 3:33am Top

Have you considered anything by Nigerian Ben Okri for your African category - I read his Booker Prize winner The Famished Road earlier this year and it is a challenging read but full of beautiful imagery. If you like a mix of magical realism in your reading then I suggest you check him out. Mal Peet's Tamar is really great too, I'm currently reading his latest Exposure.

Dec 10, 2008, 2:56pm Top

Avatiakh I read The Famished Road earlier this year and wasn't one hundred percent sure I liked it, I do have In Arcadia which I have had for years so tat could be a possibility. I've been meaning to read Tamar for ages, but I didn't realise it was set in Africe - I'll have to dig it out, thanks

Dec 11, 2008, 6:40am Top

Another vote for The Princess Bride - what a great book!

Dec 13, 2008, 6:53am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Dec 13, 2008, 6:54am Top

Hi katrina - Tamar is set in England and Holland - I didn't make that clear in my post - just that it's a great read. Mal Peet's other books are set in South America.
Beasts of No Nation by Uzodinma Iweala might be worth considering for your Africa category.

Dec 21, 2008, 5:10am Top

I'm starting today! 9 days early, but I'm in a ton of challenges this year so I need to get going. The Host is first up, I always like to read YA fiction over Christmas and this beast of a book should last me the next few days.

Dec 21, 2008, 7:13am Top

I also have a Africa category, and may I suggest What is the what by Dave Eggers? (well, maybe you've read that already)

Dec 22, 2008, 1:21pm Top

I've never heard of it, I'll have to check it out, thanks x

Dec 31, 2008, 6:49am Top

One down 80 to go!

I finished reading The Host BY Stephanie Meyer last night, was definately a good start and I'm only a few days ahead of the real reading start point.

I will be starting Northern Clemency later today, another mamouth of a book!

Jan 1, 2009, 5:56pm Top

Book two finished. I did start Northern Clemency yesterday, and it seems good so far, BUT Beauty: A retelling of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley arrive thorough the post and I just couldn't resist it.

Here are my thoughts:
McKinley has taken the classic fairytale Beauty and the Beast and reworked it into her own tale, presenting it to a new audience. I was really worried that this would be a modern take on the fairy tale, in a modern world, but I had nothing to worry about this book is set far enough back in history to contain the magic of a fairytale.

Beauty (an ungainly teenager) is removed from a life of poverty and a loving family when her father one day picks her a rose from the Beasts castle. She has to choose to live with the beast or give her father's life. Like any dutiful daughter it is her freedom which she chooses to forsake.

McKinley's depiction of the Beast's castle is mesmerising, I felt like I was back as a kid again, marvelling at Bedknobs and Broomsticks or Cinderella (can't ever recall having seen Beauty and the Beast - think Disney rereleased it when I was a teen and to cool to be watching stuff like that :rolleyes:
The dishes fill themselves, she is dressed and pampered by invisible servants, and the ground of the castle change daily so she is never bored. She also has our fantasy library, more books than you could ever read, and it contains books not yet published, a view of the future she will not live to see.

Yes we all know how this story has to end, and McKinley sticks very close to the story, yet I was still wishing she would go back to him quickly before he faded away.

This may be kids fiction but definately is a must for anyone who loved/loves a happy ending and a fantasy world. Great for 9 year olds but also those of us who wish to escape to a magical world for a few hours. I'll definately be checking out her other books.

Jan 1, 2009, 7:52pm Top


You've convinced me. I will have to get Beauty: A retelling of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley. That was one of my favorite fairy tales when I was a child and I really enjoyed the Disney version (remember the library!) with my children when they were young.

Jan 5, 2009, 5:38pm Top

Another one done, The Tales of the Beedle and the Bard

The tales were cool and Dumbledore's comments added to the feel of the book. I just think my expectations were too high, if this was by another author I think I would have given it a higher rating (I only gave it 3 stars).
The Warlock's Hairy Heart was by far my fav.

Edited: Jan 5, 2009, 6:55pm Top

I have a few Margaret Atwood's on my TBR pile at home, would be happy to pass them on to you when I am done (which may be a while!) Off the top of my head, they include Bodily Harm, Bluebeard and Murder in the dark.

Jan 6, 2009, 5:17pm Top

Sounds great, I haven't read either of those. Loved the bookbox today x

Jan 9, 2009, 6:45pm Top

Another one bites the dust!
American Gods
"Shadow had done three years in prison. He was big enough, and looked don't fuck-with-me enough that his biggest problem was killing time. So he kept himself in shape, and taught himself coin tricks, nd thought a lot about how much he loved his wife."

The moment Shadow is released from prison his life changes, his wife is dead having been killed in a car crash is a compromising position with his best friend, and on the way to her funeral he meets a man who will change his world.

Shadow suddenly becomes the employee of Wednesday half god/half con man. He runs every time this man calls taking him on various jobs across the States, and meeting a number of random gods. In every place he travels he meets gods from each of the countries that Americans originated from, all brought over by the beliefs of migrants and many forgotten by the current breed of Americans.

And that's not all he has to deal with: His undead wife keeps returning asking to be brought to life. Oh, yeah and...

"...all the gods that people have ever imagined are still with us... And that there are new gods out there, gods of computers and telephones and whatever, and that they all seem to think there isn't room for them both in the world. And that some kind of war is kins of likely."

The story of Shadow and of the war of the gods is interspersed with my favorite chapters, those from the past which show the arrival of migrants and gods arriving to the shores of America, my most favorite being the chapter entitled 'Coming to America' about twin African children sold to slave traders and shipped to America, that language just pulls you right in, and you feel like you have stepped into another novel.

Jan 9, 2009, 10:52pm Top

Thanks for that review of American Gods - I've been thinking about reading it, as I'm a Neil Gaiman fan. Did you enjoy it overall?

Jan 16, 2009, 1:27pm Top

I loved American Gods, I'm reading The Graveyard Book now and loving every page.

Jan 17, 2009, 11:30am Top

Just finished The Graveyard book, thats 4 down so far! An amazing book that should be read by all. I must get back to reading Northern Clemency if only the thing wasn't so damn bulky!

Jan 17, 2009, 11:37am Top

Have you read Wicked? I really loved the retelling and it's quite different from the stage musical - sometimes a bit heavy on the political policy and procedure, but a very different look at Oz. I tore through it on a vacation and loved every bit of it! Your lists are very interesting!

Jan 18, 2009, 6:19am Top

I haven't but I should be receiving it as part of a bookring this week, looking forward to it.

Jan 25, 2009, 8:02am Top

Another two read, Northern Clemency and Birthday Stories both great reads, I'll review the books when I get my own laptop fixed

Feb 14, 2009, 8:24am Top

I finished Wicked this morning, it was ok but cerainly not wicked! I'm getting through these a lot slower than I thought I would!

Feb 17, 2009, 6:59am Top

Finished Talking Heads 2 a collection of monologues, starting On the Road today

Feb 20, 2009, 1:21pm Top

Abandoned On the Road, but managed to strike 4 books off the week, Fugitive Pieces, Silk, The Wonderful O and Pyongyang. I'm reading The House of Spirits at the moment so that should be another one completed.

Mar 7, 2009, 5:14am Top

Finally finished The House of Spirits felt like it took forever. I will be starting Watchmen today

Mar 15, 2009, 4:34pm Top

I listened to Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglas, an African American slave who eventually mangaed to free himself, for the non-fiction section

Mar 21, 2009, 1:20pm Top

Another 1001 knocked off of the list, that is definately my best category

Mar 21, 2009, 7:53pm Top

I am reading Cry, the Beloved Country this year too. Maybe we should do a group read.

Mar 29, 2009, 4:02pm Top

Son of a Witch read. Now reading two bookside side by side for the Non fiction category Salam Pax: Bagdhad Blog and Bagdhad Diaries

Apr 3, 2009, 2:54pm Top

Finished Ethel and Ernest Raymond Briggs illustrator of The Snowman's memoir of his parents life. A moving account told through illustrations

Apr 7, 2009, 4:36pm Top

I changed one of my categories because 'I've been meaning to read', '1001 btrbyd' and 'tbr pile' all were very similar and often the books could slip into any of them. The replacement category is YA fiction - and I've read 2 in the last two days! The City of Ember and Witch Child both good reads

Apr 11, 2009, 12:30pm Top

Just finished Mr Toppit
Published this year, Charles Elton has taken the tale of Christopher Robin - the real one, not the fictional character, who felt trapped and suffered after his father created a character is his name who's fame would haunt him and cause him to become seperated from his family. Elton takes this idea and modernises it, gives it a spin.
Mr Toppit is about a dysfuntional family who come under the media spotlight years after their father's death. He dies in an accident with an American radio presenter at his side. After ambushing the family home in the days after his death, the radio presenter Laurie Clow is given copies of the Hayseed Chronicles.
The father's novels, The Hayseed Chronicles are a fairly unknown children's collection, in which the father creates a tale out of his family home, the woods behind them and names his central character after his son. Laurie Clow becomes obsessed with the family and the books and ends up reading them on her radio show once she return to the States. Eventually the books become well known, films are made, readers visit the real Darkwoods looking for Mr Toppit, a dictorial figure who's identity is never revealed in the children's books.
The popularity of the books creates problems for Luke - people assume the books are actually about him, and his elder sister who is missing from the books yet becomes obsessed with having a kind of ownership over them.
I enjoyed the book, but I think I would have enjoyed The Hayseed Chronicles more.

Apr 12, 2009, 2:16pm Top

Read Gould's Book of Fish today, what a strange, strange book.

Apr 19, 2009, 3:40pm Top

Crossed off 4 today An Elegy for Easterly is being counted twice, once as an African read and once as a short story collection. I also read Beauty Sleep and The Old Man and the Sea

May 24, 2009, 2:09pm Top

2 more ticked off

Aug 8, 2009, 12:51pm Top

Finally got around to updating this again, 29 to go which is do-able by the end of the year. Got a lot of African books to read!

Aug 24, 2009, 4:18pm Top

57 books read, 4 categories complete

Group: 999 Challenge

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