Well, my main challenge for the rest of the year is obviously in non-fiction. It should be interesting; seven books a month will make up about half my reading! But for the other half, I've decided to join some of the challenges coming up and design a couple of my own: I'm listing them in the order that they start and including pics of the books I own....
+I'm doing a sequel to the Reading Across Borders challenge that I completed earlier, to go from August through December. However, I'm going a little easier on myself this time and including one book from Italy and one from the Commonwealth.
If on a winter's night a traveler by Italo Calvino (Italy)
Yes, it's Italy, but I haven't read Calvino before, and I refuse to put him off any longer. :D
The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon by Richard Zimler (Portugal)
I heard about this via the Amazon adult school feature (so much fun!), and then I mooched it. It's kind of violating my rule, in that I prefer for the book to be set in a country that the author is native to. However, it's historical, and it's about the Portugese Jews, and Zimler is Jewish, so that's how I'm justifying it.
The Moor's Last Sigh by Salman Rushdie (India)
I haven't read Rushdie in way too long. So, despite the fact that he's one of my favourite authors, and thus not really a stretch for me, I'm putting him on the list. Have I mentioned how much I love Rushdie? I'm working my way through his oevre, so this should be fun!
Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende (Chile)
I decided to read another book by Allende, since I love House of Spirits and Zorro (I have the latter on cd-it's so much fun!). Plus, the library has a copy.
Snow Flower's Secret Fan by Lisa See (China)
I've heard lots of good things about this, and the library has a copy. I actually checked it out before but didn't get to it in time.
Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton (South Africa)
I'm looking forward to a book set in South Africa, and I've heard that this one is quite fair to both sides. And, once again, the library has a copy.
Bliss and Other Stories by Katherine Mansfield (New Zealand)
I have an embarassing confession: I've never read a book set anywhere near Australia or New Zealand. High time to correct that!
Embers by Sándor Márai (Hungary)
I never seem to read books set in continental Europe. This one seems very interesting, and I could book mooch it!
War of the Saints by Jorge Amado
So, I knew that I wanted to include a Brazilian author on the list. I also knew I wanted to bookmooch it. This ended up narrowing the field to two Amados: this one or Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands. I agonised over the decision, but in the end I went with this one because an African goddess comes to life through a statue of Saint Barbara. How awesome of a plot is that?!
In the Eye of the Sun by Ahdaf Soueif
I wanted a book from the Middle East on the list as well, and I love Egypt (I got visit for ten days a few years back). I was hoping to grab the sequel to Mahfouz's incredible Palace Walk, but it wasn't at bookmooch. So, I decided to go for a woman author, and this one sounds fascinating. I had to decide between this and Map of Love; in the end, I went with this one because it's longer!
+Then, I'm doing a personal short story challenge. My goal is to read at least five short story collections and ten famous individual short stories before the end of the year (this also starts now). My selections are
Case Histories: A Novel by Kate Atkinson
This is a book of three connected stories centered around one detective. I read Behind the Scenes at the Museum a long time ago, and it'll be interesting to see what Atkinson does with this material.
Orsinian Tales by Ursula K. le Guin
I've heard good things about her over the years but never picked up any of her work. I'm looking forward to checking it out.
The Veteran by Frederick Forsyth
This is a collection of five thriller stories. It sounds interesting!
Two Good Collections Here
As you can tell, this list isn't fleshed out yet. I'm going to try and find three great collections at the library, but I wanted to leave myself some browsing room. Open for suggestions
Best American Short Stories of the Century
I'm hoping this will be the source for most of the individual stories-library has it.
+First of the 'real' (i.e.-hosted)challenges, the Books to Movies challenge, which beings in September and gives the participants three months to read three books that have been turned into movies. My choices...
Mariette in Ecstasy by Ron Hansen
I saw this as a rec by a Duke professor, and when I read about it it seemed very interesting. So, when I saw it had been made into a movie and my library has it, I knew we were destined. :D
The Mirror Crack'd by Agatha Christie
I love Agatha Christie, specifically Miss Marple. So, I've taken the opportunity to bookmooch this one, since I plan on owning all the Miss Marples one day.
The Russia House by John le Carre
I've enjoyed the le Carre that I've read so far, but I think that his old stuff is far better than his new stuff. The library has this one as well, since bookmooch doesn't have it in the cover I want (yes, I value the covers of books I own).
alts, in case the library misplaces something, are
Hannibal Rising by Thomas Harris
Mom got this for me in hardcover a few months ago (I've really enjoyed the rest of the series), but then I saw the movie, so I haven't had much of an impetus to read it. This is the only book on the list that I've seen the film for.
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
I bookmooched this, since I want to own all of Eco's work eventually, and I read it a few years ago and really enjoyed it. It'd be fun to reread it, since I don't remember much about it.
+Next up is the Unread Authors Challenge, which also begins in September. You choose six books to read by February of 2008. Since a lot of the fiction I've mooched is new authors, this one works out well!
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
This was one of my very first mooches, since I think I'm the only one in the blogging community that hasn't read it yet! It keeps calling me from the bookshelf, but I've been distracted by challenge reads. It's time to make time to see what all the fuss is about. :)
A Morbid Taste for Bones by Ellis Peters
I mooched this, because it sounded like a great mystery! I'm always ready to discover another good series.
That Night by Alice McDermott
I mooched this after a good review by litlove (I think it was litlove). It's a skinny read, but I'm looking forward to it.
Kim by Rudyard Kipling
I recently realised that the last Kipling I read was that mongoose story in 7th grade. Shame on me. Plus, I have to include at least one classic in the list!
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
The heft of this one makes up for the slimness of the McDermott. A friend recommended this to me, and I'm very excited to actually get around to it. My bookmooched copy is just gorgeous!
The Stolen Child by Keith Donahue
I'm super excited about this one, so I wanted to include it on one of my challenges. The only problem will be waiting until September. :)
+Then there's the 2nds challenge. It doesn't start until October, but since I'm listing challenges, I might as well list them all! Joy is hosting this one, and since I didn't participate in the Non-Fiction 5 (kicking myself now), I definitely want to do this one. The idea is that you pick 3 new authors who you enjoyed, and read a second book by them. I think the point is to deepen your connection with authors you've recently discovered. :D I'm going with...
The Little Country by Charles de Lint
I first read de Lint for the Once Upon a Time challenge, and I loved him. So, I bookmooched this copy a couple months ago, and it's been patiently waiting for me. I can't wait to return to his gorgeous writing style and awesome worlds.
Lost in a Good Book Jasper Fforde
This is a follow-up to The Eyre Affair, which upon second reading turned out to be great fun. I mooched this at the same time as the first one, and I hope that it'll be as good.
Road Rage by Ruth Rendell
I first read Rendell for the Summer Mystery Challenge and had a lukewarm reaction. But, I really want to give her another go. This is another bookmooch-if I mooched a book from a user, I could pick one free. This was my freebie.