**Winter Reading Challenge 2011**

The Aussie Readers group on Goodreads has the Winter 2011 Reading Challenge;

Winter is Coming

In fact this has nothing to do with HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’ season, but everything to do with great books to read during the winter season and Winter Festival!

1..Pick a book that has a warm or summery theme on the cover (to make you feel cosy)

Sahara Michael Palin – Sahara
Michael Palin’s travel books have repeatedly topped the bestseller lists.

In this book he is back at his adventurous best tie-ing in with a major BBC TV series. The book/series will travel through many countries little known to the West, providing opportunities for Palinesque adventures to please the large and loyal audience who followed 80 DAYS, POLE TO POLE and FULL CIRCLE.

2..It’s a great time to bundle up and just spend a day reading. Pick a book from your Mt.TBR list!

Katrina Beikoff – No Chopsticks Required
No Chopsticks Required is Walkley-award winning journalist Katrina Beikoff’s memoir of the year she and her young family spent living and working in Shanghai (after she and her partner accepted contracts to work at The Shanghai Daily). During their year, Katrina and her family witnessed a range of major events: a once-in-a-lifetime snow storm, a devastating earthquake which kills over 80 000 people, the Tibetan uprising, the enormous cover up of incidents at the Beijing Olympics, the melamine-tainted milk scandal and the crippling global financial crisis. These events were accompanied by a range of more run-of-the-mill situations: being scolded daily by complete strangers for not dressing her children in warm enough clothes, the struggle to find bread that looked like bread, milk that came from a cow and eggs that came from chooks, and the ability to cope with corruption and political spin in their newspaper workplaces. Written in a highly amusing and warmly appealing tone, Katrina’s personal observations of daily life in contemporary China are insightful as they are as fascinating.
(Dead Tree version)

Katrina’s story of a year spent in China brought back many memory of taking our children to China in 2004. In many places I was thinking, wow I remember having that problem; issues such as finding bread that tastes like bread, retreating into a McDonalds to find a ‘known meal’ and the swarm of photographers descending on a blonde male child if you stopped for too long. A thoroughly enjoying read.
VERDICT: ★★★

3..It’s International Children’s Day on the 1st of June. Why not find a YA novel or a picture book to read?

John Flanagan – The Emperor of Nihon-Ja (Ranger’s Apprentice #10)
Horace is missing. Months have passed since he was sent on a military mission to the court of the Emperor of Nihon-Jin but has failed to return. Evanlyn is worried, and in company with Will and Alyss, she sets out to discover what has become of their old friend.
They find that Horace has become embrolied in Nihon-Jin politics. The arrogant Senji Sect has rebelled against the rightful Emperor and Horace has chosen to stay and lend support to the deposed ruler. Now he and Will must turn farm and forest workers into a fighting force that can face the highly trained Senji warriors, while Alyss and Evanlyn must overcome their long-standing rivalry to seek aid from a mysterious group of mountain dwellers.

(Dead Tree version, Audio Book, eBook)

4..With World Environment Day and National Tree Day coming up why not BORROW a book from the libary/friend or pick one out of your TBR list. OR if you own an e-reader why not read a book through it instead? No purchases of books are allowed for this one! 😉

Greg Mortenson – Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace… One School at a Time
“One day in 1993, high up in the world’s most inhospitable mountains, Greg Mortenson wandered lost and alone, broken in body and spirit, after a failed attempt to climb K2, the world’s deadliest peak. When the people of an impoverished village in Pakistan’s Karakoram Himalaya took him in and nursed him back to health, Mortenson made an impulsive promise: He would return one day and build them a school. Although he was a homeless “climbing bum” living out of his aging Buick in Berkeley, California, Mortenson sold what few possessions he had to launch one of the most remarkable humanitarian campaigns of our time.” “Three Cups of Tea traces Mortenson’s decade-long odyssey to build schools, especially for girls, throughout the region that gave birth to the Taliban and sanctuary to Al Qaeda. …
(Borrowed – Dead Tree version)

5..We all love snuggling up in front of the fire to watch our favourite movies, well with the Melb International Film Festival on 21/7 to 7/8 how about choosing a book which has been transformed into a movie

Sara Gruen – Water for Elephants
As a young man, Jacob Jankowski was tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. It was the early part of the great Depression, and for Jacob, now ninety, the circus world he remembers was both his salvation and a living hell. A veterinary student just shy of a degree, he was put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It was there that he met Marlena, the beautiful equestrian star married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. And he met Rosie, an untrainable elephant who was the great gray hope for this third-rate traveling show. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio was one of love and trust, and, ultimately, it was their only hope for survival.
(Audio Book, eBook)

6..Read a book with a word starting with the letters of WINTER in the title..
a) Read a book where a word in the title has to relate to a wintery theme or
b) The chosen wintery word has to begin with a letter from the word WINTER.

Ben Collins – The Man in the White Suit
When the Black Stig disappeared off the end of an aircraft carrier in 2003, we were introduced to The White Stig. Faster. Stranger. Harder to keep clean. And ever since, millions have wondered – who is The Man in the White Suit? They′re about to find out.
Ben Collins caught the car the bug young, kicking his dad′s boss in the balls for not giving him a company Jag. This was the attitude that eventually led him to spend seven years sharing a cabin with Jeremy Clarkson′s underwear, James May′s PhD thesis and Richard Hammond′s hairspray. Because he is The Stig.
Now he tells all about life inside the iconic white helmet. What it′s like to guide a blind ex-RAF officer around the Top Gear track; pit a drug dealer′s Mitsubishi Evo against a Trojan tank; set a Vauxhall Monara against Chloe the dancing Ninja; and race double-decker Routemasters against bendy buses. Not to mention all the inside stuff on how the show′s amazing driving sequences are made.

(eBook)

7..Read an Aussie author’s book or books with an Aussie landscape/locale in it.

Sunburned Country Bill Bryson – In a Sunburned Country
Every time Bill Bryson walks out the door, memorable travel literature threatens to break out. His previous excursion along the Appalachian Trail resulted in the sublime national bestseller A Walk in the Woods. In A Sunburned Country is his report on what he found in an entirely different place: Australia, the country that doubles as a continent, and a place with the friendliest inhabitants, the hottest, driest weather, and the most peculiar and lethal wildlife to be found on the planet. The result is a deliciously funny, fact-filled, and adventurous performance by a writer who combines humor, wonder, and unflagging curiousity.
Despite the fact that Australia harbors more things that can kill you in extremely nasty ways than anywhere else, including sharks, crocodiles, snakes, even riptides and deserts, Bill Bryson adores the place, and he takes his readers on a rollicking ride far beyond that beaten tourist path. Wherever he goes he finds Australians who are cheerful, extroverted, and unfailingly obliging, and these beaming products of land with clean, safe cities, cold beer, and constant sunshine fill the pages of this wonderful book. Australia is an immense and fortunate land, and it has found in Bill Bryson its perfect guide.

(Dead Tree version, Audio Book, eBook)

8..Choose a New Release which will be out somewhere in the 3 month period of Winter… either purchase, or borrow from the library and enjoy!

Jim Butcher – Ghost Story
When we last left the mighty wizard detective Harry Dresden, he wasn’t doing well. In fact, he had been murdered by an unknown assassin.
But being dead doesn’t stop him when his friends are in danger. Except now he has nobody, and no magic to help him. And there are also several dark spirits roaming the Chicago shadows who owe Harry some payback of their own.
To save his friends-and his own soul-Harry will have to pull off the ultimate trick without any magic…

(To be purchased – ON SALE JULY 26, 2011:: Audio Book, eBook)

A change of pace and a preparation for a shift in the story line for books still to come.
VERDICT: ★★★★

9..Pick a friend on your GR list and also select and read a book they have read. Never know, you might find something new to enjoy!

I went browsing through Jacinta Hoare’s bookshelf and came back with;

Hunger Games Suzanne Collins – The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1)
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

(Audio Book, eBook)

10..Curl up beside the fire and grab yourself a book full of suspense or murder! You might even spook yourself if it’s rainy and windy and there is a murder going on within your book!

Ben Aaronovitch – Rivers of London (Peter Grant #1)
Probationary Constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London’s Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior wants to tuck him awat in the Case Progression Unit. Then Peter’s ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, who investigates crimes involving magic and other manifestations of the uncanny.
Nightingale’s also a wizard–the last registered wizard in England. Suddenly Peter is plunged into a world where gods and goddeses mingle with mortals, and ancient evils long thought laid to rest are making a comeback on a rising tide of magic.

(Audio Book, eBook)

Moved to **Winter Reading Challenge – 2014**

X.. Now a bonus for those who like an extra challenge… go to this site and find an author who was born in either June, July or August, then find a book written by said author 🙂

JULY: Brian Sibley

Brian Sibley – The Maps of Tolkien’s Middle-Earth
Best-selling Tolkien expert Brian Sibley (The Lord of the Rings: The Making of the Movie Trilogy and The Lord of the Rings Official Movie Guide) presents a slipcased collection of four full-color, large-format maps of Tolkien’s imaginary realm illustrated by John Howe, a conceptual designer for the blockbuster films directed by Peter Jackson. The set includes a hardcover book describing in detail the importance and evolution of geography within Tolkien’s epic fiction and four color maps presented with minimal folds, including two (Beleriand and Númenor) never before published in this country.
(Dead Tree version)

Tolkien and maps, what’s more to say? *chuckle*
VERDICT: ★★★★

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2 Responses to **Winter Reading Challenge 2011**

  1. Pingback: **August Challenge – Romance** « Visible Procrastinations

  2. Pingback: **Spring 2011 Reading Challenge** « Visible Procrastinations

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