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Reading Challenges 2012 Sign-Ups

4 Jan

Last year was the first time, I really took part in reading challenges. To find out about these challenges and the books I read for them, you can read all about my 2011 challenges. This year, I initially decided to keep my challenges to the minimum since I was also busy with university. But what can I say? I’m optimistic? I like to bury my head in the ground every now and then, and deny reality? In any case, this year I’ve decided to sign up for 4 reading challenges. Right, that’s one more that last year. So here they are…

South Asian Challenge 2012

Hosted by Swapna @ S.Krishna’s Books, the South Asian challenge is close to my own interests – of reading more authors from the region. My reading tends to be skewed heavily to Indian authors, but that worked very well for me last year. This year, I’m setting myself a very modest goal of 5 books, hoping I can do much better than that.

Historical Fiction Challenge 2012

Hosted by the Historical Tapestry, this challenge allows you to sign up at different levels. I’m going to stick with what I signed up for last year: Daring and Curious which requires me to read 5 books. Again I hope to read a lot more.

Criminal Plots 2012

Hosted by the wonderful Jen @Jen’s Book Thoughts, for this challenge you need to read one book for each of these themes:

1. Novel with a weapon in the title
2. Book published at least 10 years ago
3. Book written by an author from the state/provinence/etc. where you live.
4. Book written by an author using a pen name
5. Crime novel whose protagonist is the opposite gender of the author
6. A stand-alone novel written by an author who writes at least one series

What’s in a Name 5

Hosted by Beth Fish Reads, this challenge requires you to read one book in each of the categories:

  1. A book with a topographical feature (land formation) in the title
  2. A book with something you’d see in the sky in the title
  3. A book with a creepy crawly in the title
  4. A book with a type of house in the title
  5. A book with something you’d carry in your pocket, purse, or backpack in the title
  6. A book with a something you’d find on a calendar in the title

So off I go! What fun challenges are you participating in this year?


2011: Bookish Snapshots

30 Dec

(Stats courtesy GoodReads)

This has been such an exciting year. I didn’t get as much reading as I though I’d get done, but I read some wonderful books, discovered great authors and series and just had fun.

In other life-altering news, I also decided to go back to school and moved to London to do my MA in Publishing.

Here is a round-up of my reading and reviewing activities in 2011.

To see how I did on my reading challenges, see this page on 2011 Reading Challenges.

Here are other stats:

No. of posts: 92

No. of books read: 78

No. of books reviewed: 66

Top books of 2011

This is obviously a hard list to come up with and it’s taken me weeks to narrow it down and I still can’t make it a top 10. So here is a Top 19.

Most of these are books that I rated 4.5 or higher. Some that I rated 4 have also made it into the list – simply because when I thought back to them I decided that they were some of my favourite reads of the year.

See all the reviews here:

The Oracle of Stamboul by Michael David Lukas
Five Queen’s Road by Sorayya Khan
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbra Kingsolver
Tiger Hills by Sarita Mandanna
A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
The Coffins of Little Hope by Timothy Schaffert
An Atlas of Impossible Longing by Anuradha Roy
A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away by Christie Watson
Jerusalem Maiden by Talia Carner
The Folded Earth by Anuradha Roy
Miss Timmins’ School for Girls by Nayana Currimbhoy
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
The Butterfly Cabinet by Bernie McGill
The Taker by Alma Katsu
Wildflower Hill by Kimberley Freeman
The Map of Time by Félix J. Palma
This Burns My Heart by Samuel Parks

I also discovered audiobooks with a vengeance and participated in Audiobook Week 2011.

New author discovered

Jo Nesbo

I listed to The Snowman and The Leopard this year and absolutely love these chilling, gruesome crime thrillers set in chilly Norway.

These books are narrated by  Sean Barrett whose voice fits the character Harry Hole and is just perfect to tell these icy tales. I’m definitely going to finish the entire Harry Hole series this year.

Favourite series

The Reincarnationist series by M.J. Rose

I ran through these three books in the series. Loved the past-life memories and reincarnation aspect. The thriller and adventure angle were also just great. I’ve already requested and received for review the next book by M.J Rose around the same theme.

Read my reviews of The Reincarnationist, The Memorist and The Hypnotist.

In 2012, I hope to follow books published in the UK a little more and hopefully review books for publishers based in London. (London publishers, are you reading this?)

Here’s to another great year of reading. Happy 2012!

South Asian Challenge 2011 Wrap-Up

28 Dec

South Asian Challenge 2011I’m a South Asian Guru!

Hosted by Swapna at S.Krishna’s Books, the South Asian Reading Challenge is one of the challenges that I have managed to complete rather well this year. It worked great for me since I want to read more authors from the region and there have been some wonderful new books and authors that I’ve discovered this year.

In my sign up post, I had set a goal of over 10 books to become a South Asian Guru. And what do you know, I am one! I read 18 books by South Asian authors this year! It feels good to reach my goal and complete this challenge successfully, but what I’ve really enjoyed are many of these books. It’s wonderful to discovering new authors that I love and I’ll keep an eye out for new titles by all these authors.

So here is my complete list of books read and reviewed for the South Asian Challenge 2011. You can read my reviews for all of them – just follow the link.

A Circle of Souls by Preethan Grandhi
A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam
A Nice Quiet Holiday by Aditya Sudarshan
A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
An Atlas of Impossible Longing by Anuradha Roy
Chanakya’s Chant by Ashwin Sanghi
Climbing The Stairs by Padma Venkatraman
Five Queen’s Road by Sorayya Khan
Miss Timmins’ School for Girls by Nayana Currimbhoy
New Miss India by Bharati Mukherjee
Show Me a Hero by Aditya Sudarshan
The Folded Earth by Anuradha Roy
The Girl in the Garden by Kamala Nair
The Good Muslim by Tahmima Anam (review on 6 Jan 2012)
The Monochrome Madonna by Kalpana Swaminathan
The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Tiger Hills by Sarita Mandanna
Witness the Night by Kishwar Desai

My favourite South Asian titles this year:

All of these books had beautiful settings, characters you could really like or dislike and beautiful writing which makes the story that much more enjoyable.

I’ve decided to participate in this challenge in 2012 as well, but maybe I’ll take on fewer books, since I know I’m going to be rather busy with university this year.

Historical Fiction Challenge 2011 Wrap-up

27 Dec

This challenge was hosted by Historical Tapestry.

For this challenge I signed up at the Daring & Curious level. This meant I had to read 5 books in the genre to complete the challenge successfully. I’m really glad to announce that I read double the number I signed up for. Here is my list. Follow the links to read my reviews.

Ancient History

The Oracle of StamboulThe Oracle of Stamboul by Michael David Lukas

Book cover: The Gates of Rome (Emperor 1)

The Gates of Rome (Emperor #1) by Conn Iggulden

Chanakya’s Chant by Ashwin Sanghi

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick

Jerusalem Maiden by Talia Carner

The Traitor’s Wife by Kathleen Kent

In the not-too-distant-past

Book cover: Five Queen's Road

Five Queen’s Road by Sorayya Khan

Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman

Smuggled by Christina Shea

I have not been too good at keeping track of these and have not update the monthly posts Linky at the host blog in many months now. Will try and get that done over the next few weeks.

I’ve almost decided to sign up for this challenge again. I’ll probably stick to the same level as this year, just so that I have some chance of completing this challenge.