Wednesday, September 17, 2008
I have to admit, I am challenge challenged. I have joined several reading challenges over the last year or so, but have yet to actually finish one. I don't think it's the pressure of the challenges that shuts me down. I think it's just that I don't like to follow any sort of reading plan. I like to pick up my next book on a whim, and I'm easily distracted by the next exciting thing that I hear about. Or it could just be that I have the attention span of a gnat.
I've been resisting joining in, but I'm starting to hear the siren song of the challenges once again. This time I think I need to be very particular, and pick some challenges that I have a shot at finishing. Or if I don't finish, at least the attempt will be satisfying.
First of all, I've signed up for The Orange Prize Project, hosted by Wendy. It's "a reading challenge which challenges participants to read all the winners and shortlisted authors honored by the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction and the Orange Broadband Award for New Writers."
It's probably too darned ambitious for me: the ultimate goal is to read all the Orange Prize winners and the books shortlisted for the prize..but hey, there's no time limit! You can see the guidelines here, and you can peruse the lists: the Award for New Writers winners and short list, the Orange Prize Fiction Winners and short list, and the Fiction Prize long lists.
At the heart of it, I decided to join up because so many of the books on the lists are books I already want to read. And it gives me a chance to talk about a bunch of books that I have already read, that I liked very much. So off I go...
My first few reads will be, in no particular order:
Purple Hibiscus: A Novel, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
We Need to Talk About Kevin, by Lionel Shriver
The Blind Assassin, by Margaret Atwood
Unless: A Novel, by Carol Shields
More on my new challenges later...