Tag Archives: reading challenge

Read the World Challenge and Q & A

I am beginning research for my Read the World challenge. I will be researching every country’s literature and making a video for every one. At the same time, I’ll be posting information about every book I’ve researched on this blog. And in both places, I’ll be asking for help and opinions on the books and any others in the future. I’m really excited about this project. I hope you can help!

In addition, I’m approaching 200 subscriptions on my YouTube channel! So, I’m doing a Q & A video when I reach that milestone. Check out the video below for both announcements.

So, please go to the video and ask me questions! Anything! You can even ask me the questions in the comments at the bottom of this post.

Thanks to everyone who has subscribed to my channel! I encourage you to subscribe if you haven’t done so.

A Fantasy Book Challenge

I think I found a new favourite list. A list of the top 100 fantasy books by Fantasy Book Review.

I already have several other challenges I want to do, including the Hugo and Nebula Awards, Shakespeare, Read the World, Goodreads’ 50 Book to Read Before You Die, and Amazon’s 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime challenges. Well, I have a new challenge!

Looking through the list, it has almost all of the big ones. I want to read them all. But it’s become clear that it’s not actually 100 books. It’s 100 series and books. This will be quite the challenge, then.

My new challenge is to write out all of these challenges on pages and have them listed under the Challenges menu item at the top.

Who’d like to try this challenge?

A Book for Every Country

It’s been four weeks since I posted a request for the best books from your countries. I’ve received some good responses, and have covered the expected countries, but some surprising ones, too.

I now have recommendations from the United States, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Japan, and Nigeria. Nigeria? Yes! I know a lot of my readers are from India, Germany, Singapore, the Netherlands, and Australia. I know some of you from New Zealand, Malaysia, France, and Russia. I’d love to hear your recommendations, too. So, please go to my original post and give me a recommendation. That would be wonderful.

Also, please share the original post. If you have Facebook, you can share this Facebook post.

In the near future, I’m going to begin keeping a list of the books and authors that have been recommended to me, and updating frequently. I think I’ll have a map showing the countries that have been included so far.

Without you, this project can’t go forward. So, please do what you can to let others know about it, and I’ll be able to make a great list of books. Eventually, I’ll narrow them down to the ones I’m most interested in, and I’ll attempt to read them.

Any comments? Leave them below. However, if you have a book suggestion, please leave them in the original post.

What Is Your Country’s Best Literature?

The Iliad, Greece
The Iliad, Greece

One of my challenges is to read a book from every country. But I have no idea where to start. What books are good to read? I’ve mostly read books from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and a handful from other countries like Japan and Greece. I want to know what is out there. It’s difficult to choose. So, I need your help. I need a lot of people’s help.

Here’s what I propose. It’s very simple. All you need to do is leave a comment stating which country you’re from and which book you’d recommend from your country. It could be a book that defines literature in your country, or it could be a book that’s your favourite. Anything is fine, as long as you’d recommend it.

Second, and this is important, I’m asking you to share this post with your friends and family. Do it on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Pinterest, Reddit, WordPress, StumbleUpon, anything. I want to see how far this goes. I want to see which countries this reaches, and what books everyone recommends. If you can do that, it would be wonderful, and I would appreciate it very much.

Once this is done, I’ll compile a reading list that I’ll attempt. I’m hoping to have a great list of books. Thank you very much. I’m excited to see where this goes.

Let the recommendations begin!

Reading for the Next Five Months

We have only five months to go in Japan, and I have to figure out what to read. I don’t think I’m going to change much about my reading order, actually. So, here is what I think I’m going to read:

  • The Iliad – Homer (about to finish)
  • The Dragon Reborn – Robert Jordan
  • Mercury – Ben Bova
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – C. S. Lewis
  • Redemption Ark – Alastair Reynolds
  • Reaper Man – Terry Pratchett

This is very optimistic, though Mercury and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe are both fairly short, and may not take that long.

The eBooks I may read are:

  • The Book of Deacon – Joseph R. Lallo (will finish soon)
  • Keepers of Water – R. G. Porter
  • Young Lord of Khadora – Richard S. Tuttle
  • Blood and Steel – Martin Parece

I can’t tell how long any of these will take. It’s difficult to determine that, as I tend to read eBooks somewhat irregularly.

Any interesting titles?

Reading in 2015

It’s another new year, and another look ahead at what I plan to read.  Last year, I set a target at 30 books and read only 17.  Just over halfway to my goal.  This year, I’m going for 30 again, but I plan to change my reading habits.  More reading in the evening before I go to bed.  So, here’s what I plan to read in 2015.  For actual physical books, here’s my list:

  1. Homeland – R. A. Salvatore (currently reading)
  2. Star Trek: Nemesis – J. M. Dillard
  3. Deadhouse Gates – Steven Erikson
  4. Julius Caesar – William Shakespeare
  5. The Neutronium Alchemist – Peter F. Hamilton
  6. The Iliad – Homer
  7. The Dragon Reborn – Robert Jordan
  8. Mercury – Ben Bova
  9. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – C. S. Lewis
  10. Redemption Ark – Alastair Reynolds
  11. Reaper Man – Terry Pratchett
  12. Green Mars – Kim Stanley Robinson
  13. Hamlet – William Shakespeare
  14. Dune Messiah – Frank Herbert
  15. Children of the Mind – Orson Scott Card
  16. Exile – R. A. Salvatore
  17. The Naked God – Peter F. Hamilton
  18. Armageddon’s Children – Terry Brooks
  19. Blue Mars – Kim Stanley Robinson
  20. Memories of Ice – Steven Erikson
  21. The Ringworld Engineers – Larry Niven
  22. Rendezvous with Rama – Arthur C. Clarke
  23. Stone of Tears – Terry Goodkind
  24. The Shadow Rising – Robert Jordan
  25. Prince Caspian – C. S. Lewis
  26. Absolution Gap – Alastair Reynolds
  27. A Feast for Crows – George R. R. Martin
  28. Black Powder War – Naomi Novik
  29. Witches Abroad – Terry Pratchett
  30. Sojourn – R. A. Salvatore

Maybe I won’t get them all done.  Lots of long books.  Here are the next 15 eBooks I plan to read in order of download.

  1. First Contact – Michael R. Hicks (currently reading)
  2. Blood Skies – Steven Montano
  3. The Book of Deacon – Joseph R. Lallo
  4. Keepers of Water – R. G. Porter
  5. Young Lord of Khadora – Richard S. Tuttle
  6. Blood and Steel – Martin Parece
  7. The Seekers of Fire – Lynna Merrill
  8. The Prophecy – Jeffrey M. Poole
  9. Legon Awakening – Nicholas Taylor
  10. The Shadowbearer – Terry C. Simpson
  11. Supernova – Crystal Ward
  12. Collapse – Richard Stephenson
  13. Book of Remembrance – Tania Johansson
  14. The Weight of Blood – David Dalglish
  15. The Burning Sky – Joseph Robert Lewis

And finally, a couple of art books I didn’t even get to in 2014.  I really should finish them both this year.

  1. The World of Robert Bateman (currently reading)
  2. Robert Bateman: An Artist in Nature

And that is all for 2015.  I’d love to get to all of the books I have above, and maybe I will be lucky and read a lot more than expected.  Or maybe not.  We’ll see.

Anything look interesting to you?

A Reading Challenge of Biblical Proportions

I am going to read the Bible.  Yes, that’s right.  I’m sure some people I know will be surprised.  I’ll tell you the reason.

The Bible is one of the most popular best-selling books in history.  I often read popular books.  I’m reading one now.  So, for literary purposes, I’m going to read this rather lengthy piece of literature from a literary and entertainment point of view.  But I’m not going to review it.  However, since I’m calling this a challenge, I will write blog posts for each book I finish, and there are 66 of them.

I won’t be looking at this from a religious point of view.  I’m not going to evaluate Christianity.  I’m not trying to offend anyone or ruffle any feathers.  I’m just interested in seeing if any part of it is interesting.

But there’s another reason.  It’s actually for cultural reasons.  Writing a novel that will feature new religions requires some knowledge of existing religions.  And one of these religions will be started by a Christian in the book.  Consider this research.

The version I’ll be reading is the English Standard Version, the only one I could get for free on Amazon.  And to be honest, the last time I read any of the Bible, I found it quite boring.  We’ll see how age affects that, especially considering I’m more interested in culture and history now.

I’m not sure when I’ll start reading.  I have so many other books to read.  This will be a once-in-a-while kind of thing.  I don’t expect to be converted.

So, just to remind you, I’m reading this from a cultural, literary, and entertainment point of view.  Let’s see how it goes.

Reading Challenge Is Not Cooperating

At the beginning of the year, I set a reading challenge on Goodreads of 30 books.  It’s now June, and I have read a grand total of 8 books.  I’m 4 books behind.  Good news is that I’m about to finish one.  Bad news is that the eBook I’m reading is nowhere near finished, and it’s a long one.

Here is my reading list as of now:

  1. The Rise of Endymion – Dan Simmons (currently reading and almost finished)
  2. Moving Pictures – Terry Pratchett
  3. A Storm of Swords – George R. R. Martin
  4. The Seeds of Earth – Michael Cobley
  5. So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish – Douglas Adams
  6. 3001: The Final Odyssey – Arthur C. Clarke
  7. Homeland – R. A. Salvatore
  8. Star Trek: Nemesis – J. M. Dillard
  9. Deadhouse Gates – Steven Erikson
  10. Julius Caesar – William Shakespeare
  11. The Neutronium Alchemist – Peter F. Hamilton
  12. The Iliad – Homer
  13. The Dragon Reborn – Robert Jordan
  14. Mercury – Ben Bova
  15. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – C. S. Lewis
  16. Redemption Ark – Alastair Reynolds
  17. Reaper Man – Terry Pratchett
  18. Green Mars – Kim Stanley Robinson
  19. Hamlet – William Shakespeare
  20. Dune Messiah – Frank Herbert
  21. Children of the Mind – Orson Scott Card
  22. Exile – R. A. Salvatore
  23. The Naked God – Peter F. Hamilton
  24. Armageddon’s Children – Terry Brooks
  25. Blue Mars – Kim Stanley Robinson

I have a mix of longer and shorter books in there.  My next book should be a quick read, as Discworld novels usually are.  But then I’m back into a very long book after that.

Here are the eBooks I have to read:

  1. The Sword and the Dragon – M. R. Mathias (currently reading, and taking forever)
  2. The Somali Doctrine – James Grenton
  3. The Circle of Sorcerers – Brian Kittrell
  4. First Contact – Michael R. Hicks
  5. Blood Skies – Steven Montano
  6. The Book of Deacon – Joseph R. Lallo
  7. Keepers of Water – R. G. Porter
  8. Young Lord of Khadora – Richard S. Tuttle
  9. Blood and Steel – Martin Parece
  10. The Seekers of Fire – Lynna Merrill
  11. The Prophecy – Jeffrey M. Poole
  12. Legon Awakening – Nicholas Taylor

According to Goodreads, The Sword and the Dragon is 900 pages long.  No wonder it’s taking so long to read! I don’t spend much time on eBooks at the moment, so it is taking a very long time.   I’m 69% finished.

My daughter received the full collection of Beatrix Potter’s books for Christmas from my family, and that’s 23 books.  I plan on reviewing those when I read them to my daughter.

How’s everyone else doing with their reading challenges?

Reading in 2014

On Goodreads, I set a reading goal of 30 books.  Well, I hope to go beyond that.  As always, I have my large pile of books at home to go through, as well as a good number of titles on my iPhone’s Kindle app.  Since I have a target of 30, and I can’t rely on the eBooks, as I don’t read them as often, I’ll list my next 30 paper books to read.  Here they are:

  1. Life, the Universe and Everything – Douglas Adams (currently reading)
  2. Wizard’s First Rule – Terry Goodkind
  3. 2061: Odyssey Three – Arthur C. Clarke
  4. Angel Fire East – Terry Brooks
  5. Xenocide – Orson Scott Card
  6. The Rise of Endymion – Dan Simmons
  7. Moving Pictures – Terry Pratchett
  8. A Storm of Swords – George R. R. Martin
  9. The Seeds of Earth – Michael Cobley
  10. So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish – Douglas Adams
  11. 3001: The Final Odyssey – Arthur C. Clarke
  12. Homeland – R. A. Salvatore
  13. Star Trek: Nemesis – J. M. Dillard
  14. Deadhouse Gates – Steven Erikson
  15. Julius Caesar – William Shakespeare
  16. The Neutronium Alchemist – Peter F. Hamilton
  17. The Iliad – Homer
  18. The Dragon Reborn – Robert Jordan
  19. Mercury – Ben Bova
  20. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – C. S. Lewis
  21. Redemption Ark – Alastair Reynolds
  22. Reaper Man – Terry Pratchett
  23. Green Mars – Kim Stanley Robinson
  24. Hamlet – William Shakespeare
  25. Dune Messiah – Frank Herbert
  26. Children of the Mind – Orson Scott Card
  27. Exile – R. A. Salvatore
  28. The Naked God – Peter F. Hamilton
  29. Armageddon’s Children – Terry Brooks
  30. Blue Mars – Kim Stanley Robinson

Also, here’s the list of eBooks I’m working on.  I’ll list the next 15 books to read, and these are in order of download.

  1. The Kingdom and the Crown – S. R. Ford (currently reading)
  2. Scavenger’s War – Jack Sheppard
  3. The Annihilation of Foreverland – Tony Bertauski
  4. The Sword and the Dragon – M. R. Mathias
  5. The Somali Doctrine – James Grenton
  6. The Circle of Sorcerers – Brian Kittrell
  7. First Contact – Michael R. Hicks
  8. Blood Skies – Steven Montano
  9. The Book of Deacon – Joseph R. Lallo
  10. Keepers of Water – R. G. Porter
  11. Young Lord of Khadora – Richard S. Tuttle
  12. Blood and Steel – Martin Parece
  13. The Seekers of Fire – Lynna Merrill
  14. The Prophecy – Jeffrey M. Poole
  15. Legon Awakening – Nicholas Taylor

I also have a couple of art books I’m reading at home, both of which are mostly art, but also plenty of text about the art and subjects.  They are:

  1. The World of Robert Bateman (currently reading)
  2. Robert Bateman: An Artist in Nature

I’d love to finish them all this year.  Anything catch your eye?

50 Books to Read Before You Die

I joined a group on Goodreads called 50 books to read before you die. There are a lot of classic books on the list, as well as some more modern ones.  I wouldn’t say it’s 50 books, though.  There are 2 trilogies and a series of 7 books included.  They are done by 50 different authors, though.  I’ve decided to include it as one of my reading challenges.  Here are some of the books I’ve read:

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien – I read this before the movies came out.  Excellent classic novels.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – I read this one in high school.  I’d like to read it again.

The Lord of the Flies by William Golding – I read this one in junior high school.  Pretty brutal, but I’d read again.

Hamlet by William Shakespeare – I read this in high school, and I also own a copy of it.  It’s on my to read list.

Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling – I’ve read all of these while living in Japan.

That’s all I’ve read, so I have a lot to do.  Some of these are massive books, though.  And then there’s this one:

The Bible by Various – I’m not a religious person, but I’ll approach this from a literary angle rather than as a study of the religion.  However, it’s so long that it’ll take a very long time to read.

None of the listed books have been reviewed, but as many of them are in public domain, they’re available as free eBooks.

Any comments about the list of books?