Reading Challenge 2010

Signed up for a reading challenge called: “What’s In A Name?

The rules of the reading challenge are (taken from the blog):

So here’s how it works: Between January 1 and December 31, 2010, read one book in each of the following categories:

  1. A book with a food in the title: Clockwork Orange, Grapes of Wrath, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
  2. A book with a body of water in the title: A River Runs through It, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, The Lake House
  3. A book with a title (queen, president) in the title: The Murder of King Tut, The Count of Monte Cristo, Lady Susan
  4. A book with a plant in the title: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Wind in the Willows, The Name of the Rose
  5. A book with a place name (city, country) in the title: Out of Africa; London; Between, Georgia
  6. A book with a music term in the title: Song of Solomon, Ragtime, The Piano Teacher

I haven’t been reading much the past year. I think I read a grand total of 3 books (add 3 to the number) in 2009. They were “The Life of Pi” by Yann Martel, “Playing for Pizza” and “Skipping Christmas” by John Grisham. I’m sure I read a few more books but these are the books that I can currently remember.

That being said, my reading have gone tremendously downhill. I used to be a voracious reader and would usually read a book every week or so. Somehow, as I got older, especially when I entered army, I think my attention span went downhill and my reading reduced to one book every 3 to 4 months.

So as an effort to start reading more, I decided to sign up for the challenged mentioned above. Although there’s a small incentive, the only thing driving me is to read different books in all 6 categories.

I’ve decided that out of the 6 categories, 3 shall be chosen from Singaporean writers. I don’t know which category but food is a definite first choice as a Singaporean writer will most likely write about food.

The choice is not arbitrary. As a Singaporean, I have read very little and know very little about Singaporean literature. The only writer that I can claim to read is Philip Jeyaretnam. Even then, I have only read one novel of his: “First Loves”. The other “Singaporean” writer I can claim to read is Neil Humphreys. I did read some Singaporean writers’ short stories and poems but they were scattered everywhere in anthologies. And not once have I read any Catherine Lim novel.

Starting this year, I aim to read more local literature.

So any Singaporean reader reading my blog, recommend any Singaporean writer to me.

I am not going to restrict myself to reading 6 books for this reading challenge. I aim to read more books, probably another 6 more or so, about the rate of 1 – 2 books a month. I know it is going to be difficult but if I can do it during my younger days, I’m sure I can still do it now.

I’m starting with this novel called “Indecision” by Benjamin Kunkel:

The title of the novel is very ironic.

Once I’m done with the novel, I’ll write out a review. That way, I’m accountable to my goals (fuck, I feel like I’m in school).

University readings don’t count.

A big thanks to Lovelyloey’s blog for introducing me to “What’s in a Name?” challenge. Her link is under “New Ink Inc” at the right.

And check out this new blog: Zack @ UB. It’s a new blog pertaining to media and communications. Something I wanted to do at Sydney U, but er, my grades were not too “top-notch”. Anyway, at least I got to do English Lit. So it’s still a win-win situation.

No song for this entry.

Night.

EDIT: I remembered one more book I read for 2009. It was loaned to me by Rajan and it’s “Slumdog Millionaire” or aka “Q&A” by Vikas Swarup.

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3 thoughts on “Reading Challenge 2010

  1. I’m not big on Singapore writers too, which I am sometimes ashamed of. To be honest, apart from Catherine Lim and the “Collection of Singapore Ghost Stories”, I can’t think of others. I read more Singapore plays, though. Maybe we can try anthologies from Ng Yi-sheng, Alfin Sa’at and Haresh Sharma (whee I think I covered all 3 races there).
    Good luck with the reading challenge!

    • Haha, Collection of Singapore Ghost Stories, it bring backs memories.

      I am in the same dilemma like you. Every time I’m in the library, I just walk past the local section and when I do that, I feel kind of guilty.

      I’ve read one of Ng Yi-Sheng’s plays, the one with ghosts in the toilet. I don’t really like reading plays compared to watching them. I find reading plays slightly boring for some reasons. But I’ll read up on Alfin Sa’at and Haresh Sharma. I’ve never heard of them so maybe this is a good time to get to know them.

      Good luck with your reading!

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