Wednesday, March 07, 2007

More Terrific Challenges

I've had my nonfiction books picked and posted in my sidebar for some time now, but I've been a bit slow writing a post and declaring my intentions to participate.

The Non-Fiction Five Challenge is being hosted by Joy over at "Thoughts of Joy". Between the months of May and September participants read five nonfiction books of their choice. I'm finding that choosing the books is the hardest part of any challenge. After much thought and deliberation I have chosen my five. I tried to pick some from my bookshelves in a small attempt to reduce the number of books I own that I have not read.

1. And There Was Light: Autobiography of Jacques Lusseyran, Blind Hero of the French Resistance

This astonishing autobiography tells the gripping, heroic story of the early life of Jacques Lusseyran, an inspiring individual who overcame the limitations of physical blindness by attending--literally--to the light within his own mind. Through faith in the connection between vivid inner sight and outer events, he became a leader in the French Resistance and survived the horrors at Buchenwald.

2. The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate by Gary Chapman

My niece and then my sister read this book, so I decided to read it. At this point in my life, I really don't like reading self-help books, so don't be surprised if I change this selection when it actually comes to reading it. On the other hand, I do own it - bookmooched it just for this challenge.

3. Slowing Down to the Speed of Life by Richard Carlson & Joseph Bailey

Carlson, author of don't sweat the small stuff, and co-author bailey offer a slightly different approach to slowing down and simplifying one's life. While other books urge us to reduce activities or drastically alter our lifestyles, this one teaches us that feeling harried starts in the mind. The authors offer simple, effective ways to reorganize our thinking and reshape our experience of living without sacrificing productivity. Oh no, another self-help book and also, one I own!

4. Brainiac: Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs by Ken Jennings

I heard Ken Jennings, of Jeopardy fame, speak at the Salt Lake City Book Festival in Sep. He was quite delightful, personable and funny. He's the type of person you'd like for a neighbor. I'm looking forward to reading his book - and, it's not a self-help book. YAY!

5. Remember Me: A Lively Tour of the New American Way of Death by Lisa Takeuchi Cullen.

Lotus Reads' review of this book really intrigued me. Lotus mentioned that there was a chapter dealing with 'green funerals' and I'm hoping it will provide suitable alternatives to the high costs and stupidity of traditional funerals.


jenclair said...

Interesting choices, lots of variety. I heard Ken Jennings discussing Braniac (on NPR, I think). The biography of Jacques Lusseyran sounds good, too!

Bookfool said...

It's bizarrely fun reading everyone's challenge lists! What an interesting variety. I've read one of those: Remember Me. It was quirky and fun, a very surprising read.

A side note: I received the bookmark and book darts, today!! It was like opening a birthday gift - what fun! Thank you so much!!!!

Lover of Books said...

I think you did a great job picking out books. I'll make a post about mine eventually. :)

1morechapter said...

Great choices! I don't have mine finalized yet and probably won't until mid-April. I just can't decide yet.

Booklogged, I notice that you have Inheritance of Loss on your TBR challenge list. A group of us are reading it at if you'd like to join us. Discussion starts April 1st.

Lisa Jean said...

I really liked Brainiac. I didn't expect Jennings to be such a fun and likable guy. But the book proved me wrong. Hope you enjoy it.

Booklogged said...

Jenclair, Soon after writing the post I got to wishing there were more biographies - maybe next year.

Bookfool, I'm glad your prizes arrived okay. Your thoughts about Remember Me - quirky, fun, and surprising - make me more anxious to read it.

Lover of Books, Thank-you. It's always hard to limit oneself to a list when there are so many books clanging for our attention.

3M, Thanks for letting me know about the group. I may have to read Inheritance as soon as I finish Prayer for Owen Meany.

Lisa Jean, I know what you mean. I was quite surprised to discover The Brainiac's 'cuddliness' when listening to him speak.

Joy said...

Hooray! I'm so glad you decided to join us for the Non-Fiction Five Challenge. I loved The Five Love Languages and have referred to them at different times for various reasons. It's a very interesting, easy read that you may already be attuned to, but this puts it altogether. Enjoy!

Les said...

I agree with Bookfool. It's fun to see everyone's challenge lists, especially for Joy's Non-fiction challenge. I heard Jennings on a Barnes & Noble podcast interview and he was quite funny. Sounds like a good book, as does Remember Me. I need to get my list posted. I've been saying that for weeks!!

Framed said...

You'll enjoy Brainiac, especially since you have an authographed copy. Lots of fun.
I didn't love the Five Love Languages, mainly because I've decided that I don't have a love language. How pathetic is that?

Heather said...

Regarding your last book and your personal quest for a green alternative - might I suggest making a whole body donation to your local university's faculty of medicine? Our university accepts donations and while there is a transportation charge, the cost of cremation and burial in the university's plot is covered.

Lotus Reads said...

Very nice picks, booklogged! I have read "Remember Me" and it gave me a lot of food for thought. I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on "Brainiac" and "Five Love Languages"

Anonymous said...

Oh, those look interesting! I've come to the conclusion I can't join a reading challenge that has me name the books ahead of time because then I never, ever read them! So sad.

But I love reading everyone's choices.

Kagemusha said...

What a shame you couldn't fit "The Year of Magical Thinking" by Joan Didion to the list... this is by far the best non-fiction I have read in the last year... it won the National Book Award.

Suey said...

I thought Brainiac was really fun! (I haven't met Ken Jennings, but I did sort of meet his mom once!)

One of these days I need to read The Five Love Languages. It's been sitting on my shelf for years.