Challenges, challenges and more challenges!

Ok, so there were a few challenges that ended this month.  There are also some new challenges starting tomorrow, so I figured I do somewhat of a challenge round up.  First off . . .


This was actually the first challenge I ever entered and I wanted to make sure I didn’t over-extend myself, so I only obligated myself to complete Peril in the Second, which required me to read two books by today.  I actually went way above and beyond the two books–it’s hard not to get caught up in the Halloween/fall spirit around this time!  I read:

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, by Katherine Howe

Her Fearful Symmetry, by Audrey Niffenegger

One Foot Wrong, Sofie Laguna

Twilight, Stephenie Meyer

The House of the Seven Gables, Nathaniel Hawthorne

Honestly, I would have read more for this challenge if I’d had the time!  I’m already anticipating RIP V!


The Maud Hart Lovelace reading challenge only ran for a month, so I knew when I started it that I would never be able to read all ten Betsy and Tacy books unless I chose to forego all other reading material.  I am happy to say, however, that I read the first four books.  I hope to read the remaining six very soon.  I read:


Betsy, Tacy and Tib

Betsy and Tacy go Over the Big Hill

Betsy and Tacy go Downtown

For those of you that aren’t familiar with this series, I strongly urge you to check it out!


There is still a month left for this challenge, but I wanted to give a status update.  For the month of October, my stats are:

19 books read

9 were books I owned

3 were review copies

1 was a loaner from my mom

2 were from Bookswim

4 were from the library

So overall I did really well in this challenge for this month, with a 47%!!  Of course, the read-a-thon helped my cause immensly–I am willing to bet my percentage next month is nowhere near this high.

And now for a new challenge!!


You can find all the info on this challenge at the blog created specifically for it, but I will go ahead and list some of the specifications and rules below.

The challenge runs from November 1, 2009-November 30, 2010, but you may join in the fun whenever you wish!   Participants are encouraged to read nonfiction and fiction books related to the rather broad idea of ‘women’s studies.’

For nonfiction, this would include books on feminism, history books focused on women, biographies of women, memoirs (or travelogues) by women, essays by women and cultural books focused on women (body image, motherhood, etc.).  The topics I’ve listed aren’t mean to be exhaustive; if you come across a nonfiction book whose subject is female-related, it counts!  Of course, if you’re not sure you can always ask about it in a comment.  And if you need some ideas for specific books, check out the ‘Reading Lists’ page.

It’s trickier to say what is applicable as fiction. Obviously, any classic fiction written by a feminist is applicable. But where do we go from there? To speak generally, if the book takes a thoughtful look at the place of women in society, it will probably count. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to explain in your review why you chose this for the challenge and its connection to women’s studies. Once again, if you need some specific ideas, check out the ‘Reading Lists’ page.

One quick note about author gender. There isn’t a rule if a book’s written by a woman it counts and if by a man it doesn’t count. I firmly believe that men can be feminists and that not all women are feminists. As long as the book adheres to the definition of women’s studies I’ve shared above, it counts.

Interested in participating? Great! There are three levels you can choose as a reader (you can count books for other challenges as well):

  • Philogynist: read at least two books, including at least one nonfiction one.
  • Bluestocking: read at least five books, including at least two nonfiction ones.
  • Suffragette: read at least eight books, including at least three nonfiction ones.

I plan on participating at the bluestocking level.  I am unsure at this point what books I’ll be reading, but here are the possibilities:


Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson

Beloved, Toni Morrison

The Color Purple, Alice Walker

Housekeeping, Marilynn Robinson


Death and the Maidens, Janet Todd

Obviously my list is lacking, especially when it comes to nonfiction.  Hopefully I’ll be adding to it–I’m open to suggestions!

7 Responses

  1. You’re doing great! I’ll be signing up with the Unbound challenges by the end of the week.

  2. Good job with the challenges! I’m still considering Women Unbound – have read Speak and Housekeeping from your list. Both very good, but very different from each other.

  3. Great job on the RIP. I’m considering the Women Unbound Challenge as well.

  4. You are doing much better with your challenges than I am! But I am still going to ponder Women Unbound – I just have so many books in my TBR pile that would be a good fit!

  5. Wow, good work on your challenges, and that’s a great start for the Unbound one, too. I don’t think you need to have books set in stone yet- it’s hard to know what you’ll want to read months from now…

  6. Glad you can keep up with the challenges!

    RIP IV Wrap-up

  7. You had a great reading month! I just saw the Women Unbound challenge and although I keep saying no more challenges I think I must do that one. I hope you’ll enjoy Speak – I read that this year and loved it.

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