Saturday, January 18, 2014

Let's read some nonfiction in 2014, a book reading challenge

As my four readers know, I do read a bit of nonfiction. One of the nonfiction genres I favor is that known as microhistories. Those are books that take one subject and go in deep to give us its history along with some broader lessons about history of the world. From my recent readings, Breakfast: A History would be an example of a microhistory. At any rate, I read enough nonfiction that I think I can complete this challenge without having to go out of my way. So, here we go.

The Basics:

  • The challenge runs from January 1 to December 31, 2014.
  • "The Challenge:  Read any non-fiction book(s), adult or young adult. That's it. You can choose anything. Memoirs? Yes. History? Yes. Travel? Yes. You get the idea? Absolutely anything that is classified as non-fiction counts for this challenge." [Yes, that easy.]
  •  I will have to remember to check to post my reviews over there as I read them. 
Yes, there are levels. For this level, I am keeping it easy for now:

Explorer: Read 6-10

I will upgrade the level if I read more. I will be adding the books to the list as I read them.

List of books read for this challenge:

  1.  Box Brown, Andre the Giant: Life and Legend (review)
  2. John Lewis,, March, Book One (review). 
  3. Oz Clarke, Let Me Tell You About Wine (review).  
  4. Ashanti White, Not Your Ordinary Librarian (review). 
  5. Harry Fisch, The New Naked (review).
  6. Alberto Manguel, The Library at Night (review).
  7. Andrew Knapp, Finding Momo (review).
  8. Becky Siegel Spratford, The Reader's Advisory Guide to Horror, 2nd ed. (review). 
  9. Carol Leifer, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Crying (review).
  10. Russ Phillips, Canned! Artwork of the Modern American Beer Can (review). 
  11. Dwight Garner, Read Me: A Century of Classic American Book Advertisements (review). 
  12. William Stadiem, Jet Set (review). 
  13. Jessica Kerwin Jenkins, Encyclopedia of the Exquisite
  14. Zac Bissonnette, Good Advice from Bad People
  15. Michael Bemis, Library and Information Science: A Guide to Key Literature and Sources (review). 
  16. Daniel Yaffe, Drink More Whiskey!
  17. Andrew Walsh and Padma Inala, Active Learning Techniques for Librarians
  18. Tristan Taormino, 50 Shades of Kink: an Introduction to BDSM (review submitted to Cara Sutra). 
  19. Joanne O'Sullivan, Bizarre Weather
  20. Erinn Batykefer and Laura Damon-Moore, The Artist's Library: A Field Guide
  21. Donald Nausbaum, Cuba: Portrait of an Island
  22. Ruth Ashby, The Great American Documents: Volume 1: 1620-1830
  23. Robert Dawson, The Public Library: A Photographic Essay
  24. Rachel Maddow, Drift: the Unmooring of American Military Power.

Update note at end of challenge (12/19/14):

And we come to the end of this reading challenge. I am closing the shop a bit earlier because, though I have read a few more books that could qualify, I know I will not have the reviews on the blog up in time by the end of the year. I can say that I read some interesting things in nonfiction this year. Not everything was great; there were one or two disappointments, but you live and read on.

The challenge was a success. I officially read and reviewed 24 nonfiction books. There was only one book I had listed that I removed because I did not review it on time, and that was Dinah Fried's Fictitious Dishes. I do have my written notes for it in my journal, so stay tuned to read that review down the road. Also, stay tuned to this blog as I will soon post my end of year reading review, where I list everything I read for 2014 and provide highlights on what was good and what I probably should have avoided.

The challenge, as a result of the final number, can be upgraded, so I finish the year at the following level:

Master--Read 16-20

This is the highest level offered, and I managed to beat it, officially by four books. Will I sign up for next year? If I hear they are doing it again, it is highly probable. If I do, you will see the post announcing it soon.

In the meantime, happy holidays and keep on reading.

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