Sunday, January 16, 2011

Joining a Challenge!

Jamie & co. over at Broke and Bookish ( ) are hosting a wonderful 2011 challenge for non-fiction reading! Non-fiction is one of my newest interests and I've been meaning to read more, so the challenge fits my plans for my reading year perrrrrrfectly. Since this is my first reading challenge I'm going to do it at the easiest level. It's called "Master of Trivial Pursuit" and requires me to read 1-3 books from a bunch of different categories. Here are my tentative challenge picks:

Culture: I have The River of Lost Footsteps by Thant Myint-U out of the library right now - it's a memoir/history of Burma.

Art:  Been meaning to read Apollo's Angels: A History of Ballet by Jennifer Homans! Also, any books-about-books I pick up would fall into this category.

Food: No ideas yet - maybe I'll pick up a book about veganism for this one?

Medical: Oxygen by Carol Cassella, a memoir of an anesthesiologist coping with losing a patient

Travel:  Hmmm - think Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer would count for this? Or is that more Culture? Maybe I'll try a Bill Bryson too.

Memoir/Biography: Oh geez, there are way too many choices for this one. Though The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann is waving at me. Ooh, and I have the new George Washington biography on hold too!

Money: This is going to be the toughest one for me to find... maybe Freakonomics?

Science/Nature: I could read another Gerald Durrell!! *happy dance*

History: Columbine by Dave Cullen, and I'm sure I'll pick up another David McCullough soon too.

There's the list!! I'm excited. Any suggestions for others?


  1. Thanks for joining the challenge! Looks like you have some great picks! RE your question about the travel one. Some of the selections will for culture and travel (and other categories) could potentially overlap so don't worry about that. We aren't being too strict! :)

  2. The non-fiction book I read this year that I think everyone should read is Whistling Vivaldi and Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us. I was also deeply affected by Being Wrong: Adventures on the Margin of Error by Kathryn Schultz, but other people have found it a hard slog, so I am more cautious about recommending it.

    If you haven't read The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, I highly recommend it in the medical category. Fascinating thinking about the collision of Western medicine and a little-known Eastern culture.

    I don't read a lot of biography/memoir, but I found Kristin Hersh's memoir, Rat Girl engaging and disturbing and thought-provoking. I also surprised myself by really loving Jane Fonda's autobiography, My Life So Far.

    In food, I quite enjoyed Au Revoir to All That: Food, Wine and the Decline of France.

    That's probably enough for now. Enjoy the challenge!

  3. Oh, boy,'re corrupting me. I presume you couldn't do what you have at the right in LJ which explains why you started a new blog, right? I really like this challenge. You couldn't have tempted me with fiction...but non-fiction? I have some of the books on your list. :o)

    Do you know if unabridged audio books would be acceptable? Remember: I gotta knit/crochet too!

  4. Jamie, thanks for the heads-up! And thanks again for hosting such a great challenge.

    Elizabeth, thank you for all your amazing suggestions! Being Wrong sounds especially interesting - mixing anthropology, psychology, and philosophy can only be fascinating. Maybe I should up my challenge level to accomodate them all... ;-)

    Mumsie: Heh heh heh. I made a new one because I wanted one exclusively dedicated to books (though I realize I've been neglecting the other blog in order to start this one). I'm sure audio books count!