Wednesday, March 14, 2007

15 Books/15 Decades

I love challenges - they provide the 'umph' I need to read books other than my beloved cozy mysteries. The most recent challenge that I've committed myself to was originally a personal challenge 3M came up with for herself. Of course, many of us who read her blog asked if we could join with her. Her goal is to read 15 books published in 15 different consecutive decades, but she is very flexible and says you can set our own goals as to how many books you read. You can read her rules and join her challenge by clicking HERE.

I decided I wanted to read 15 books from 15 decades. At first I wondered how I would go about finding when books were published. After a bit of searching I found a very wonderful and easy way to do this: Wikipedia. Go to the opening page and type in the search box the year you are interested in along with "in literature". For example, I searched '1860 in literature' and was shown a page that listed some of the books published in that year. At the top of that page you can click on a link to '1861 in literature'. It took a little time because I wanted to look at every year in every decade. I allowed several days. It was definitely interesting to get a sense of timing for books that were published around the same time.

Luckily, 3M is allowing overlap between this challenge and other challenges you may be involved with. That was the deciding factor in my joining this challenge. I've counted a couple from the classics challenge that I've already read. Here's the books I chosen with the year they were published.

2000 - Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai Aug 2006 Won the Booker Award for 2006. I own this book and need to get it read. Also on my TBR Challenge list.
1990 - Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett Nov 1990 I've read a few of Pratchett's books and liked them. This is another Discworld story.
1980 - A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving March 1 My daughter has been trying to get me to read this, her favorite book, for years. I chose it for one of my Chunkster Challenge selections and also one of my Banned Books.
1970 - Princess Bride by William Goldman 1973 I've wanted to read this since the first time I saw the movie.
1960 - Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes 1966 I bought this book because I loved the movie based on the book. It's also on my Banned Books list and the TBR Challenge.
1950 - The Silver Chalice by Thomas B. Costain 1952 I think I'll need to add this to my Chunkster Challenge - it is over 800 pages.
1940 - First Term at Malory Towers by Enid Blyton 1946 I first heard of Enid Blyton from several fellow bloggers who fondly remember her work from their childhoods. So when I saw this one listed in 1946 I decided to take the plunge.
1930 - Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell 1936 This was the only book written by Mitchell. It won the Pultizer Prize in 1937. This was also a choice for the Classics Challenge and the Chunkster Challenge.
1920 - Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder 1927 This will reveal my ignorance, but I didn't realize Wilder had written anything more than Our Town. I have heard of this book and the movie. This book won the Pulitzer Prize in 1928.
1910 - The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington 1918 Won a Pulitzer Prize in 1919.
1900 - Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy 1905 I have owned this book for years. It's about time I read it. Also, I love the movie.
1890 - Adventures of the Crooked Man by Arthur Conan Doyle I've only read one Sherlock Holmes novel and since I love Laurie King's Holmes & Russells series, I want to read more from the creator of Holmes.
1880- Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson 1886
1870 - Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll 1872 I read this for the Classics Challenge.
1860 - The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins 1860 I read this one for the Classics Challenge and the Chunkster Challenge.


Anonymous said...

This sounds like a fun challenge. It is a nice way to get the impetus going on new books and finishing them! It looks like you have some good books selected!

Framed said...

Great selections. I love Thomas Costain. I think the challenge sounds wonderful. It will be fun to red your reviews.

Anonymous said...

A Prayer for Owen Meany is a wonderful book, but I had a different opinion of The Inheritance of Loss. Can't wait to see what you think!

Anonymous said...

I used my adoption blog address above!

Les said...

The Princess Bride is one of those rare instances in which the book is just as good as the movie. Oh, wait. That's usually the case, isn't it? Well, they're both great and you're in for a treat with the read. Lots of laughs!!

Lisa Jean said...

This is going to be a lot of fun. Just by chance I have read quite a few of these books and I envy you your first reading of them--especially Owen Meany. I loved that book.

Anonymous said...

Oh no another challenge! :) Actually it sounds very fun and I like the idea of overlapping books with other challenges. Is it possible that I may complete one yet?! ha,ha. I'll have to think about this one. And, I do hope you enjoy A Paryer for Owen Meany. Love that book!

Anonymous said...

Oh, what a great idea that 15 decade challenge is! Your selections look pretty eclectric too. We get so caught up in our own time, not to mention our favorite genres).

I love the challenges for the books they introduce me to, but OTOH, every time I list a book on a challenge it's a huge challenge for me to read the darn thing! So dumb of me.

Bellezza said...

I'm halfway through The Inheritance Of Loss and I am STUCK! It has really, really bogged down for me, unfortunately, because I normally love the Booker/Pulitzer award winners. I'm looking forward to reading your thoughts when you finish it. Good Luck!

Angela/SciFiChick said...

Fun idea!

The Traveller said...

Great idea for a challenge! I really want to read Flowers for Algernon - it sounds like the kind of book I'd love (it'd make me cry buckets!)

Anonymous said...

What an interesting theme for a challenge - good luck!

1morechapter said...

I have a place for reviews now at the top of the challenge site.