Something About Me Challenge

AUGUST 1 – DECEMBER 31, 2007

Lisa at Breaking the Fourth Wall is hosting a new challenge: Something About Me.

Each participant nominates up to five books which represent them in some way. Once all the books are nominated, participants choose the books from that list they want to read. Sound like fun!??!?

Lisa has started a blog for participants to post their lists and share their progress. Interested participants need to go here for further details and to sign up! This is going to be a GREAT challenge!!!


Here are the five books I nominated which tell people something about me:

1. Place Last Seen, by Charlotte McGuinn Freeman – This book is a touching novel about a lost child and the search which ensues to find her. It represents me on a couple of levels. I have been involved in Search and Rescue for almost ten years now (the first 7 of those years was with a my Search and Rescue dog – Caribou- and now I’m a certified Tracker I for my county team). In addition, the child in this novel has Down’s Syndrome. As a licensed Physical Therapist, I work with children and adults with developmental disability. McGuinn Freeman does an outstanding job of portraying both the search teams and the family of this little girl.

2. A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson – A non fiction memoir of the author’s trek along the Appalachian Trail. I am a hiker and a lover of nature, and I have a good sense of humor. Bryson’s account is hysterically funny and I found that although I have never hiked the Appalachian Trail, I could relate to his escapades!

3. In The Shadow Of Man, by Jane Goodall – Non fiction book about Jane Goodall’s work with chimpanzees in Gombe National Park in Africa. As a child I wanted to be Jane Goodall! I love animals and her job seemed like the perfect job to me. I was lucky enough to meet Ms. Goodall several years ago after she gave a talk at the Oakland Zoo in Oakland, California. I had a lot of things I wanted to ask her, but I was struck dumb in her presence! She is an incredible woman. My copy of this book is autographed, so I treasure it even more!

4. The Borrowers, by Mary Norton – This was one of my favorite books as a child. I loved the idea of a family of little people living under the floorboards – with my wild imagination, I could almost hear them in my own house! I actually read the entire series several times, borrowing the books over and over again from my local library. I have vowed to get a copy of this series for my home library – I can’t believe I don’t have it already!

5. The Hotel New Hampshire, by John Irving – This was the first Irving book I read and the one that made me a die-hard fan of his. I grew up in rural New England (New Hampshire) and I was captivated by Irving’s quirky characters. I think I relate to John Irving’s novels because of his character development; the way he captures the eccentricities of people; the way he demonstrates the fine balance of weaknesses and strengths. And who can resist a book about a family with a pet bear?


Now I’m supposed to chose books from other participants’ lists to read for the challenge. My dilemma has been that there are just too many great books being nominated – and there are a lot of participants. Many of the books I’ve read at one time or another. So, I’ve decided to play with the ‘rules’ a little on this one. I am going to list all the books here that I’ve already read or plan to read BEFORE the challenge starts on August 1st. I’m also going to list ALL the books I WANT to read, even it they go beyond the challenge date. Of these books, I’m going to choose a pre-determined amount that I will complete within the dates of the challenge (and I’ll highlight these on my list by August 1st). I’m putting the name of the participant who nominated the book in parentheses with a link to their site. Sound good? Here goes….

Books Read PRIOR to the challenge start date of August 1st:

1. The World According To Garp, by John Irving (Chasida AND Dewey) – I’ve read this book more than once (the last time in 2006) and it makes my list of all time wonderful books.
2. March by Geraldine Brooks (Dewey) – Read April 3, 2007; To read my review of this book click here.
3. The Tortilla Curtain, by T.C. Boyle (Dewey) – Read March 2, 2007; To read my review of this book click here.
4. Anne Of Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery (Tiny Librarian, EnnaVic, Gracie, AND Trish) – A childhood favorite; I’ve read the entire series.
5. The Stand, by Stephen King (A Book In The Life) – Another book I’ve read more than once which makes my Top Ten Book list of all time.
6. Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy (Athena) – I read this one a few years ago and loved it.
7. The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield (Kristin) – Read in December 2006.
8. Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, by Ronald Dahl (Maryanne) – One of my favorite childhood stories.
9. Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, by Kate Douglas Wiggin (Stephanie) – Another fondly remembered childhood book.
10. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee (
Stephanie AND Janet) – Read March 21, 2007; To read my review of this book click here.
Operating Instructions, by Anne Lamott (Nattie) – A wonderful non-fiction that I read several years ago. Lamott is one of my favorite authors.
12. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen (Pattie) – Read January 2, 2007; rated 5/5 – a wonderful classic.
13. Anne Frank: A Diary of a Young Girl (Pattie) – I read this many years ago, but the memory of this wonderful story is just as clear as if I read it yesterday.
14. Cheaper By The Dozen, by Frank Gilbreth (Raidergirl) – I read this as a teenager and loved it!
15. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, by Kim Edwards (3M – Michelle) – Read February 19, 2007; To read my review of this book click here.
16. Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White (3M – Michelle) – Oh how I love this book; it brings back so many memories of my childhood.
17. The Talisman, by Stephen King (Dana) – One of my all time favorite King novels. I’ve read it twice.
18. Fall On Your Knees, by Anne-Marie MacDonald (Christina) – Read April 26, 2007; To read my review of this book click here.
19. Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck (KookieJar) – This book reminded me why I love Steinbeck so much. Read January 18, 2007; To read a review of this book, click here.
20. In The Shadow of The Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Christina) – Read July 7, 2007; Read my review here.
21. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen (Bookworm) – Read January 2, 2007; To read a blurb about what I thought of this book click here.
22. The Lord Of The Rings, by JRR Tolkien (Rhinoa) – I read this book a long time ago as part of the series. I thought the whole series was amazing.
23. Memnoch The Devil, by Anne Rice (Rhinoa) – I’ve read just about every Anne Rice book except her last 2 or 3. I liked this one, but thought some of her other books were more engaging.
24. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, by Stephen King (Jill) – I read this book when it came out in paperback. I love Stephen King and this book was terrific.
25. Flowers in the Attic, by Virginia Andrews (Margo) – I remember when I first read this book – I was spellbound. I then went on to read all the sequels too!
26. These Happy Golden Years, by Laura Ingalls Wilder (Becky) – I’ve read all the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. They remind me happily of my childhood.
27. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith (Becky) – A classic read; highly recommended.
28. Anne of the Islands, by L.M. Montgomery (Becky) – I loved the Anne books and have been to see her “home” on Prince Edward Island as well.
29. Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (JMC) – I read this book in 2006 for a book group. Wonderful classic. A must read.
30. The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath (Soleil) – I read this book years and years ago and remember the impact it had on me – a stunning novel.
31. The Art of Mending, by Elizabeth Berg (Diane) – I read this book in May 2007. Berg is one of my favorite authors, although this wasn’t her best (in my opinion) I still enjoyed it; read my review here.
The Talisman, by Stephen King and Peter Straub (Juli) – One of my favorite Stephen King novels – a wonderful, fantastical novel!
33. Snow Flower and The Secret Fan, by Lisa See (Juli) – One of my favorite reads from 2006.
34. Runaway Jury, by John Grisham (Historia) – I went through a phase where I read all of Grisham’s books and loved them.
35. Harriet The Spy, by Loise Fitzhugh (Karlene) – Oh, this one brings back memories. I loved Harriet The Spy and for a period in my childhood I carried around a little notebook and “spied” on people everywhere!
36. Dune, by Frank Herbert (Karlene) – I’m not a big Sci Fi reader, but I remember liking this book.
37. Time and Again, by Jack Finney (Gracie) – This was a fun book with lots of history. Finney is a talented writer.
38. The Thornbirds, by Colleen McCullough (Andrea) – I read this book many years ago and loved it!

Books I WANT to read DURING (highlighted in PINK) and AFTER the challenge dates (*those books highlighted in GREEN are alternate reads):

1. We Need To Talk About Kevin, by Lionel Shriver (Dewey)
2. Bridget Jones Diary, by Helen Fielding (Tiny Librarian)
3. The Mayor of Carterbridge, by Thomas Hardy (A Book In The Life)
4. Of Human Bondage, by W. Somerset Maugham (Athena)
5. A Cook’s Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines, by Anthony Bourdain (Athena)
6. Nicholas and Alexandra, by Robert K. Massie (Kristin)
7. Enduring Love, by Ian McEwan (Kristin)
8. The History of the Seige of Lisbon, by Jose Saramago (Maryanne)
9. A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson (
10. Evening Class, by Maeve Binchy (Raidergirl)
11. The Five Gifts of Illness, by Jill Sklar (Dana)
12. The Echo Maker, by Richard Powers (3M – Michelle)
13. Rebecca, by Daphne Du Marier (Christina)
14. Raptor Red, by Robert T. Bakker (KookieJar)
15. The Country of the Pointed Firs, by Sarah Orne Jewett (Megan)
16. The Amateur Marriage, by Anne Tyler (In memory of Nattie)
17. The Robber Bride, by Margaret Atwood (Ellen)
18. Marley and Me, by John Grogan (Lynne)
19. Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte (Suey AND Trish)
20. Booked To Die, by John Dunning (Bonnie)
21. Biblioholism, by Tom Raabe (Twiga)
22. The Essays of E.B. White (Dana)
23. So Many Books So Little Time (Sally AND A Book In The Life)
24. Lying on the Couch, by Irvin Yalom (Lisa)
25. Harvesting the Heart, by Jodi Picoult (Heather)
26. The Awakening, by Kate Chopin (Pattie)
27. The Namesake, by Jhumpa Lahiri (HeidiJane)
28. The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver (Bookworm)
29. She’s Come Undone, by Wally Lamb (Bookworm)
30. Blindness, by Jose Sarmago (Vasilly)
31. East of Eden, by John Steinbeck (Vasilly)
32. Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte (Kathrin)
33. Winter Wheat, by Mildred Walker (Alisonwonderland)
34. I Am The Messenger, by Marcus Zusak (
35. The March, by E.L. Doctrow (
36. Chocolat, by Joanne Harris (
Margo AND Chasida)
37. Because it is Bitter and Because it is My Heart, by Joyce Carol Oates (Judith)
38. The Secrets of a Fire King, by Kim Edwards (Kelly)
39. Seeing, by Jose Sarmago (Kelly)
40. Persuasion, by Jane Austen (Gracie AND
41. Good Grief, by Lolly Winston (
42. The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold (
43. Number the Stars, by Lois Lowry (Booklogged)
44. I, Elizabeth, by Rosalind Miles (Solei)
45. The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant (Sarah Miller)
46. Sea Glass, by Anita Shreve (Diane AND Beachreader)
47. Nantucket Nights, by Erin Hilderbrand (Diane)
48. The Inn at Lake Devine, by Elinor Lipman (Diane)
49. The Loop, by Joe Coomer (Diane)
50. An Inconvenient Wife, by Megan Chance (Diane)
51. The Winthrop Woman, by Anya Seton (Beachreader)
52. Gift From The Sea, by Anne Morrow Lindbergh (Beachreader)
53. A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Housseini (Becky Rech)
54. A Suitable Boy, by Vikram Seth (Lucca)
55. Breakfast At Tiffanys, by Truman Capote (Lucca)
56. Remains of the Day, by Kazuo Ishiguro (Lucca)
57. Durable Goods, by Elizabeth Berg (Janet)
58. Fahrenhet 451, by Ray Bradbury (Faith)
59. The Archivist’s Story, by Travis Holland (Alyson)
60. My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult (Trish)
61. The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk
(Karlene AND EnnaVic)
62. A Room of One’s Own, by Virginia Woolf (Valentina)
63. Crossing to Safety, by Wallace Stegner (Andrea)
64. Cowboys Are My Weakness, by Pam Houston (Andrea)
65. There Is No Me Without You, by Melissa Fay Greene (Leslie)

Books Completed with Date Read and Link to Review:

The Country of the Pointed Firs, by Sarah Orne Jewett (Completed August 26, 2007; read a review here)
The Echo Maker, by Richard Powers (Completed September 6, 2007; read a review here)
East of Eden, by John Steinbeck (Completed October 12, 2007; read a review here)
A Thousand Splendid Suns (Completed December 8, 2007; read a review here)

I Am The Messenger, by Markus Zusak (Completed December 17, 2007; read a review here)

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    • Anonymous on May 22, 2007 at 16:43

    You’re so organized over here!
    I’ve read a lot of them, too, but I think I might even choose some that I have read, just to reread them.
    Of the books that I DIDN’T suggest and AREN’T highlighted in pink, but still are on your list, I really really recommend Enduring Love and The Awakening.

    • Anonymous on May 22, 2007 at 16:49

    I thought I better get organized if I have any chance at all to complete these challenges 🙂 My highlighted ones are subject to change until August 1st – so you may see one or both of those being moved “up” on my TBR list. At any rate, I’ll probably be reading all 27 at some point over the next year 🙂

    • Anonymous on May 22, 2007 at 18:24

    excellent wendy. I made the same type of lists last night on paper; I’ll probably make a post at my blog soon. Unless I rewrite my lists, because that can be fun too.

    • Anonymous on May 22, 2007 at 18:33

    Glad you’re choosing The Echo Maker. Of those you haven’t read, I LOVED Nicholas & Alexandra and Wuthering Heights. I also really liked Evening Class and The Awakening. I also loved Booked to Die, but I don’t think it was particularly well-written. Learning about bookhunting was great, though!

    • Anonymous on May 23, 2007 at 03:45

    Loved the list….Namesake is one book that is a mixed bag.
    BlueRectangle Books

    • Anonymous on May 23, 2007 at 10:42

    Raidergirl: I’m looking forward to perusing your list!
    Michelle: Thanks for the recommendations! They all look so wonderful I’m having a hard time choosing. I definitely want to read Nicholas and Alexandra – but maybe in the winter for a book so long and chunky!
    Sylvia: I’ve also heard mixed reviews about Namesake.

    • Anonymous on May 23, 2007 at 14:51

    Sounds good to me, Wendy!! I’ll probably be doing the same thing, because I’ll never read all those books in a few months! By the way, I LOVED the Namesake, book and movie….

    • Anonymous on June 5, 2007 at 21:44

    I need to get organized. I restarted a book blog just so I could devote more space to this challenge and I have hardly done anything. I HAVE bought a copy of Dance of the Dissident Daughter and pulled out my copy of Jane Eyer. Oh and I ordered Anne Frank. So, that is 3 taken care of.

    • Anonymous on June 12, 2007 at 08:11

    Wow you’re fantastically organised! I must get back onto the site and have a look at what books I’ve read already. I’m in the same dilemma as you – there are so many good books listed on there, and I don’t want to offend people by not reading them…

    • Anonymous on June 12, 2007 at 12:15

    Lisa, Heather and Heidijane: I felt I had to get organized here! There are way too many good books; and Heidijane, I feel like you do – I don’t want to hurt feelings! I’ve decided to have at least one book from each person’s list that I’ve either already read, or want to read. Naturally, I’m limited to how many books I can get read in the alloted time frame for the challenge – but, I hope to read every book on that “wish” list over the next year.

    • Anonymous on June 26, 2007 at 18:32

    Thanks for posting such a comprehensive list on your blog. I still haven’t decided on all of my books for this challenge. I keep thinking – I have another month! =) So many good selections. I think your tactic to read some later is a good one!
    Happy Reading!
    Jill (mrstreme) =)

    • Anonymous on June 29, 2007 at 10:50

    Thanks, Jill! Looks like I have to update the list again as more people have posted again 🙂 I realized early on there was going to be no way I would be able to read all the books I wanted to in this challenge during the challenge period.

    • Anonymous on July 17, 2007 at 17:10

    Wendy, I have finished reading Place Last Seen and feel I know you a lot better now. What I want to know is, which dog in the team photo is Caribou? When I finish my review of the book, I’ll post a link at our challenge site.
    ~~~ Bonnie Jacobs

    • Anonymous on July 17, 2007 at 17:41

    Hi Bonnie, I hope you enjoyed the book! Caribou and I are not on the Shasta County dog team…we worked for an state-wide organization called CARDA. I retired Caribou two years ago due to her developing arthritis…and now I serve as a tracker for my county team (which is the link I provided in my “explanation” of the book). You can see a photo of Caribou here on my blog.

    • Anonymous on July 25, 2007 at 02:04

    Oh, yes, Wendy, I really DID enjoy the book, but it took me nearly two weeks to process it and finally write my review, which you will find here:
    I’ll go post this on the Something About Me blog as well, but I wanted you to know about it first.
    I also have a blog written by my lion muse, Roary, called “Roary, the Literary Lion of Lyon.” Today “he” posted a ROAR about animals that may interest you:
    One of the “somethings” you have now learned about me is that I’m a bit weird … lol. But I’m not alone, as 48 of us have “adopted” lions from Lyon and are now part of the Shameless Lions Writing Circle:
    It’s too late to adopt a lion, but you can become an official Friend of the Writing Circle, if you are interested. I’ve met some interesting people in that group.
    Thanks for suggesting Place Last Seen.
    ~~~ Bonnie Jacobs

    • Anonymous on July 25, 2007 at 22:01

    I came by this time to tell you that I have tagged you for the Blogging Tips Meme, which actually has some helpful blogging tips we can all use. I hope you have fun with it.

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