I have signed up for a 2010 Global Reading Challenge!

Surfing from blog to blog, I came across something called the 2010 Global Reading Challenge. So of course I immediately signed up, and chose the hardest level available. That’s just the way I roll.

Within 2010, I have to read two novels each from Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, North America (including Central America), South America and two set in Antarctica. Within these choices, fourteen different countries have to be represented.

I was the eighty-eighth person to sign up, and upon corresponding with the creator of the challenge, a blogger named Dorte, I found out that the vast majority of the participants found out about the challenge just like I did. They came to it from links from other blogs. Dorte has a partner, Kerrie, who provides technical assistance. The two have never met and are associated with each other only from the blogging world. Suitable to the spirit of the challenge, Dorte is from Denmark and Kerrie is from Australia. I find it interesting that this entire sphere of communication has developed between bloggers who write about similar topics. It is certainly its own online community.

I will of course, review the books I read for the challenge, so keep an eye out for them to appear in the near future. If you have any suggestions for new global authors, please leave a comment.

For more information about the challenge, please go here or my Examiner article on the topic.

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Script Frenzy begins in 20 days

Have you ever participated in NaNoWriMo? Did you hear people muttering about it last November and wonder what they were talking about and why they had a crazy glint in their eyes?

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing month and it takes place each November. The challenge is to write 50 000 words of new, original fiction during the month. You sign up on the website and can join a community of people who are also undertaking the challenge, both online and at write-ins held locally. How many people participate worldwide? The total collective word count for 2009 was 2, 427, 190, 537 words.

I participated for the first time last November and met the goal. However, my novel was not finished and despite numerous attempts to continue on, my novel remains unfinished. Without the driving force of NaNo behind me, my characters are stuck in their journey. I abandoned them partially down highway six, on their way to Northern Canada. Occasionally I think of them and feel guilty, but I feel too much time has passed now for me to be able to connect with the story again and continue their travel. Sorry guys.

Anyway, back to Script Frenzy. If you are excited about NaNoWriMo and are anxiously waiting for November, you should know that there is a similar challenge that takes place each April. The goal of Script Frenzy is to write 100 pages of original scripted material within the month. It can take the form of a T.V. show, screenplay, graphic novel, stage play or short film. To participate, you just have to sign up for free at the Script Frenzy website. I enjoyed NaNo and would like to participate, but I am lacking one key element; an idea. (Though, I must admit that it is highly likely that I also lack the ability to write an interesting plot and any knowledge of how one goes about creating a script. There are a lot of hurdles I would have to leap over). I have twenty days left for inspiration to strike me. . . .

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The winner of Canada Reads 2010 has been revealed

Nikolski by Nicolas Dickner, translated into English by Lazer Lederhendler has won CBC Radio One’s Canada Reads.

For more details, please click on my article or go to CBC’s Canada Reads 2010 website.

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A Canada Reads “shocker”

Please go to my Examiner.com article for the latest results of CBC Radio One’s annual literary competition, Canada Reads.

At the beginning of today’s broadcast, host Jian Ghomeshi referenced two online responses to Canada Reads: “Canada also reads” and “Canada reads independently”. Curious? I was.

“Canada Also Reads” is a copycat competition from The National Posts’ books blog, ‘The Afterword’. CBC’s Canada Reads has now removed both Generation X and Fall on Your Knees from the running, because they have already achieved a certain level of popularity. The National Post found all of the CBC panelists’ picks to be already too well known. So they created their own panel and chose books that they felt most Canadians had not already read. Their list contains:

  • Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis
  • The Last Shot by Leon Rooke
  • Fear of Fighting by Stacey May Fowles
  • The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan
  • My White Planet by Mark Anthony Jarman
  • Yellowknife by Steve Zipp
  • Come, Thou Tortoise by Jessica Grant
  • You and the Pirates by Jocelyne Allen

At the website you can read essays in defense of each of the books and then vote for your choice. The polls close March 15th and the winning book will be revealed the following day.

Can’t get enough literary competitions? Then check out “Canada Reads 2010 independently”. It is run by the blog “Pickle Me This,” by writer Kerry Clare. The books in the running are;

  • Moody Food by Ray Robertson
  • How Happy to Be by Katrina Onstad
  • Wild Geese by Martha Ostenso
  • Hair Hat by Carrie Snyder
  • Century by Ray Smith

Clare ranks and reviews the books on her blog and then invites readers to vote. The polls close Thursday March 11, at midnight.

Tomorrow I will post the winner of CBC Radio One’s Canada reads, so stay tuned. 

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‘Generation X’ is the first be eliminated from Canada Reads 2010

The votes have been revealed and Douglas Coupland’s Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture will not win Canada Reads 2010.

For a quick recap of today’s debate, please click here.

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Review of ‘What’s Left of Us:A Memoir of Addiction’ by Richard Farrell

To read my review, please click here.

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Canada Reads 2010 has begun.

For a link to my quick article, recapping the events of CBC Radio One’s literary battle so far, please click here.

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