2010 Social Justice Challenge

social-justice-button

January 1 – December 31, 2010

Natasha at Maw Books, Amy at My Friend Amy, and Hannah at Word Lily are hosting the 2010 Social Justice Challenge. They have created a dedicated blog for the challenge and write:

Reading opens new worlds to us and can sometimes expose the injustice in our own. We have all been powerfully moved by the injustice we have learned about in books and decided we wanted to host a reading project that would encourage us to learn more about these issues in the world.

The details of the challenge are as follows:

  • We will focus each month on a different area of social injustice in the world. During that month, we are asking that you read something from the list of resources or watch something suggested by that month’s host. That will complete step one of this challenge: Learn.
  • Throughout the month we will also be posting ways you can make a difference in this area. Don’t worry, we will provide several different options at many different levels of commitment. The important thing is to take an action step towards doing something to change things! That fulfills step 2–Take Action.

The hosts of this challenge have created several levels of participation for EACH MONTH of the challenge (participants agree to participate each month, but can customize that participation depending on their own individual needs):

Activist–At this level you are agreeing to participate fully in the activities of the month. You will read at least one full length book as well as choosing something from the other media list. You will also complete an action step. By signing up for the challenge, you agree to do a minimum of 3 months at this level. You do not have to decide which months in advance.

Intern–You agree to either read something from the reading resources (it can be an essay or children’s book) or choose to do something from the other media list. You will complete an action step. You do not have to decide which months in advance.

Volunteer– You agree to read at least one of the recommended blog posts, essays or shorter novels. You will complete an action step. You do not have to decide in advance which months they will be.

Observer — Need a break? Just follow along with the blog for the month. This month has no commitment level. You can only do a maximum of three months at this level.

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The dedicated blog has a page for the monthly themes with links to reading and media suggestions (a work in progress!) The monthly themes are as follows (I will enter links after each theme to any posts related to that month’s theme):

January: Religious Freedom

  • Intro post
  • Book Read: Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant (completed January 21, 2010; rated 4/5; read my review)
  • Action Step: Sent a letter to a woman imprisoned for sharing her faith in Christ – read my summary
  • Other Media: Read multiple blog posts, visited websites pertaining to religious freedom (summary of this is included in the Action Step post)
  • Level of Participation: ACTIVIST

February: Water

March: Domestic Violence and Child Abuse

  • Intro post
  • Action Step: Awareness and signed my name to an initiative
  • Book Reads Read: Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons (finished March 24, 2010; rated 5/5; read my review); I Never Told Anyone edited by Ellen Bass and Louise Thornton (finished March 27, 2010; rated 5/5; read my review)
  • Other Media: Read blog posts by other participants, visited numerous websites pertaining to abuse and domestic violence, watched the video posted on the Social Justice Challenge website.
  • Level of Participation: ACTIVIST

April: Hunger

  • Book Read: Impatient with Desire, by Gabrielle Burton (finished April 10, 2010; rated 4/5; read my review)
  • Other Media: Intro with Hunger Photo
  • Action Step: Donated food to a local food bank
  • Level of Participation: VOLUNTEER

May: AIDS

June: Genocide

  • Level of Participation: OBSERVER

July: Poverty

  • Book Read: The Blue Sweater by Jacqueline Novogratz (Completed July 17, 2010; rated 5/5; read my review)
  • Action Step: Joined the Acumen Fund Community
  • Other Media:
  • Level of Participation: ACTIVIST

August: Illiteracy and Education

September: Modern Day Slavery

October: Homelessness and Refugees

November: Women’s Rights

December: Child Soldiers and Children in War


2010 New Authors Challenge

New Authors 2010

January 1 – December 31, 2010

Once again Literary Escapism is hosting the New Authors Challenge. I’ve done this one two years in a row, and can’t resist it. I read lots of ARCs and review books, and am always finding new-to-me authors. I am once again shooting for 50 new authors (in 2009 I exceeded that number). I’ll be listing them all on this post and updating it as I go with ratings and links to reviews.

  1. Dunant, Sarah – Sacred Hearts (Completed January 21, 2010; rated 4/5; read my review)
  2. Butturini, Paula – Keeping the Feast (Completed January 29, 2010; rated 5/5; read my review)
  3. Grimm, Tom and Michele – The Basic Book of Digital Photography (Completed January 29, 2010; rated 4/5; read my review)
  4. Mantel, Hilary – Wolf Hall (Completed February 20, 2010; rated 3/5; read my review)
  5. Caldwell, Gail – Let’s Take the Long Way Home (Completed February 15, 2010; rated 5/5; read my review)
  6. Sundquist, Josh – Just Don’t Fall (Completed February 21, 2010; rated 4/5; read my review)
  7. Experts at the Mayo ClinicThe Mayo Clinic Diet (Completed February 26, 2010; rated 4/5; read my review)
  8. Rosenblatt, Roger – Making Toast (Completed February 28, 2010; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
  9. Byatt, A.S. – The Children’s Book (Completed March 14; rated 5/5; read my review)
  10. Tan, Shaun – The Arrival (Completed March 14, 2010; rated 5/5; read my review)
  11. Soli, Tatjana – The Lotus Eaters (Completed March 19, 2010; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
  12. Taylor, Patrick – An Irish Country Girl (Completed March 23, 2010; rated 4/5; read my review)
  13. Divakaruni, Chitra Banerjee – One Amazing Thing (Completed March 30, 2010; rated 3.5/5; read my review)
  14. Mawer, Simon – The Glass Room (Completed April 6, 2010; rated 5/5; read my review)
  15. Krueger, William Kent – Iron Lake (Completed April 10, 2010; rated 4/5; read my review)
  16. Burton, Gabrielle – Impatient With Desire (Completed April 10, 2010; rated 4/5; read my review)
  17. Evans, Stephen – The Marriage of True Minds (Completed April 10, 2010; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
  18. Larsson, Stieg – The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Completed April 16, 2010; rated 3.5/5; read my review)
  19. Parks, Tim – Europa (DNF; rated 1/5; read my thoughts)
  20. Zola, Emile – Therese Raquin (Completed April 18, 2010; rated 4/5; read my review)
  21. Ward, Ernie – Chow Hounds (Completed April 25, 2010; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
  22. Nash, Jennie – The Threadbare Heart (Completed April 20, 2010; rated 4/5; read my review)
  23. Cleave, Chris – Little Bee (Completed April 25, 2010; rated 4/5; read my review)
  24. McCann, Colum – Let the Great World Spin (Completed April 30, 2010; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
  25. Connelly, Karen – The Lizard Cage (Completed May 12, 2010; rated 5/5; read my review)
  26. Oliveira, Robin – My Name is Mary Sutter (Completed May 19, 2010; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
  27. Fuqua, Jonathon Scott – In The Wake of the Boatman (Completed May 22, 2010; rated 3.5/5; read my review)
  28. Harding, Paul – Tinkers (Completed May 31, 2010; rated 5/5; read my review)
  29. Larkin, Emma – Everything is Broken (Completed June 4, 2010; rated 5/5; read my review)
  30. Greene, Melissa Faye – There is No Me Without You (Completed June 9, 2010; rated 4/5; read my review)
  31. Jordan, Hillary – Mudbound (Completed June 11, 2010; rated 3/5; read my review)
  32. Olmi, Veronique – Beside the Sea (Completed June 14, 2010; rated 4/5; read my review)
  33. Warren, Dianne – Cool Water (Completed June 17, 2010; rated 5/5; read my review)
  34. Salinger, J.D. – Catcher in the Rye (Completed June 20, 2010; rated 3/5; read my review)
  35. Cummins, Jeanine – The Outside Boy (Completed June 22, 2010; rated 4/5; read my review)
  36. Hoover, MichelleThe Quickening (Completed June 26, 2010; rated 4/5; read my review)
  37. Green, Jane – Promises to Keep (Completed June 29, 2010; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
  38. Dallas, Sandra – Whiter Than Snow (Completed July 1, 2010; rated 4/5; read my review)
  39. Griffin, Lynne – Sea Escape (Completed July 6, 2010; rated 3.5/5; read my review)
  40. Novogratz, Jacqueline – The Blue Sweater (Completed July 17, 2010; rated 5/5; read my review)
  41. Kaplan, Mitchell James – By Fire, By Water (Completed July 11, 2010; rated 5/5; read my review)
  42. Larkin, Allie – Stay (Completed July 16, 2010; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
  43. Horan, Ellen – 31 Bond Street (Completed July 20, 2010; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
  44. Verghese, Abraham – Cutting for Stone (Completed August 7, 2010; rated 5/5; read my review)
  45. Luck, Kenny – Thumbing Through Thoreau (Completed August 6, 2010; rated 5/5; read my review)
  46. Kesey, Ken – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Completed August 14, 2010; rated 5/5; read my review)
  47. Cockey, Elizabeth and Barton – Drawn to the Land (Completed August 13, 2010; rated 4/5; read my review)
  48. Moore, Kathleen Dean – Wild Comfort: The Solace of Nature (Completed August 13, 2010; rated 5/5; read my review)
  49. Stevens, Chevy – Still Missing (Completed August 17, 2010; rated 3.5/5; read my review)
  50. Rahimi, Atiq – Earth and Ashes (Completed August 18, 2010; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
  51. Rosenberg, Liz – Home Repair (Completed August 27, 2010; rated 4/5; read my review)
  52. Bessette, Alicia - Simply from Scratch (Completed August 31, 2010; rated 3.5/5; read my review)
  53. Machart, Bruce – The Wake of Forgiveness (Completed September 5, 2010; rated 5/5; read my review)
  54. Kephart, Beth - Dangerous Neighbors (Completed September 7, 2010; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
  55. Marchiano, Melinda – Grace (Completed September 16, 2010; rated 4/5; read my review)
  56. Roberts, Nora – The Search (Completed September 12, 2010; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
  57. Magee, Doug – Never Wave Goodbye (Completed September 17, 2010; rated 2.5/5; read my review)
  58. Eisenberg, Deborah – The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg
  59. Kittle, Katrina – The Blessings of the Animals (Completed September 29, 2010; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
  60. Donaghue, Emma – Room (Completed October 2, 2010; rated 5/5; read my review)
  61. Rizzuto, Rahna Reiko – Hiroshima in the Morning (Completed October 5, 2010; rated 5/5; read my review)
  62. Mont, Eve Marie – Free to a Good Home (Completed October 9, 2010; rated 3.5/5; read my review)
  63. Waldman, Ayelet – Red Hook Road (Completed October 24, 2010; rated 4/5; read my review)
  64. Geye, Peter – Safe From The Sea (Completed October 30, 2010; rated 5/5; read my review)
  65. Franzen, Jonathan – Freedom (Completed November 15, 2010; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
  66. Kerasote, Ted – Pukka: The Pup After Merle (Completed November 12, 2010; rated 5/5; read my review)
  67. Wright, Kim – Love in Mid Air (Completed November 19, 2010; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
  68. Charleson, Susanne – Scent of the Missing (Completed November 23, 2010; rated 5/5; read my review)
  69. Garvin, Ann Wertz – On Maggie’s Watch (Completed November 28, 2010; rated 3.5/5; read my review)
  70. Delius, Friedrich Christian – Portrait of the Mother as a Young Woman (Completed November 29, 2010; read my review)
  71. Trollope, Anthony – The Warden (Completed December 12, 2010; rated 3.5/5; read my review)
  72. Roslund, Anders and Hellstrom, Borge – Three Seconds (Completed December 19, 2010; rated 3.5/5; read my review)
  73. Swift, Jonathan – Gulliver’s Travels (Completed December 23, 2010; rated 4/5; read my review)
  74. Hannah, Sophie – The Truth-Teller’s Lie (Completed December 28, 2010; rated 4/5; read my review)
  75. Barbal, Maria – Stone in a Landslide (Completed December 29, 2010; rated 4.5/5; read my review)


South Asian Author Challenge

SouthAsiaReading

January 1 – December 31, 2010

Swapna from S. Krishna’s Books is hosting a terrific challenge in 2010. The South Asian Author Challenge is all about reading books written by authors who are of South Asian descent which includes India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The books also have to be about those countries (culture or history) in order to count toward the challenge. When I perused my stacks, I found many books which fit the challenge…and there are also other books/authors I am interested in reading. I am committed to reading 5 books (I may increase that number later).

Here is the list of books from which I will choose (I may add more as more books arrive in my stacks):

  1. One Amazing Thing, by Chitra Banerjee Diakarumi – COMPLETED March 30, 2010; rated 3.5/5; read my review.
  2. The Marriage Bureau for Rich People, by Farahad Zama
  3. The Wish Maker, by Ali Sethi
  4. Burnt Shadows, by Kamila Shamsie
  5. Family Planning, by Karan Mahajan
  6. The House of Bilgis, by Azhar Abidi
  7. Saffron Dreams, by Shaila Abdullah
  8. The Interpreter of Maladis, by Jhumpa Lahiri
  9. The Glass Palace, by Amitav Ghosh
  10. The Hungry Tide, by Amitav Ghosh


Spam Continuing to be a problem…

Faced with over 100 spam comments twice a day (all of which I feel I have to look at because once in a while a REAL comment is captured by my filter), I have been forced to shut off comments on several posts which seem to be the ones targeted. Unfortunately, some of these are recent posts. I will wait a few days, then turn comments back on.

Is anyone else out there getting this many spammers? It seems to be rather recent for me in terms of this volume.