Sunday, March 01, 2009

Sunday Salon: 1% Well-Read Challenge

I did it! I started out at the beginning of February with 5 books still to go, but I finished my last book for the 1% Well-Read Challenge just in time! I definitely feel a tiny little bit more well-read now, thanks to this intensive month focusing on books from the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die List.

Here are the books I read for the challenge:
(clicking on the title will take you to my review)
1. Kafka on the Shore - Haruki Murakami
2. Perfume - Patrick Süskind
3. Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë
4. Rashomon - Ryunosuke Akutagawa
5. Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow - Peter Høeg
6. The Story of Lucy Gault - William Trevor
7. Breakfast at Tiffany's - Truman Capote
8. An Artist of the Floating World - Kazuo Ishiguro
9. Bonjour Tristesse - Françoise Sagan
10. The Death of Ivan Ilyich - Leo Tolstoy (review pending)

My favourites among these would be Kafka on the Shore and Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow, but they were all very worth reading. I'd had some of them in my stacks for years so I'm glad this challenge gave me the incentive to finally read them. And I've decided to join in the challenge again for this year. There goes me joining another challenge requiring me to read more than six books! But looking at the list, there are quite a few I can cross-over with other challenges so I figure it can't hurt to try to be a little more well-read, can it? (Click on the button for more info and to join).

For this challenge that I've just completed I followed the original 1001 Books List, and according to it, I'm now 8.59% well-read, in other words, I've read 86/1001 books from the list. A new updated list came out last year though, including more international titles, and on that list my total drops to 8.09% or 81/1001. Of the 86 books I've read on the original list, 14 of them have been dropped, including The Story of Lucy Gault, but I've gained others. And looking at the updated list, I do have more of them in my TBR or on my wish list, especially the more recently published ones. Plus I'm happy to see a few more Japanese titles on the new list. So all that to say that even though my total has slightly dropped to start out with, I'm going to focus on the updated list this time around. Which means I'm going with option 2, to read 10 books from the new list between March 1st and December 31st of this year.

I'm not going to set out a list of specific books, but here are some of the Japanese titles on the list that I'd like to read.
The Sound of Waves - Yukio Mishima
Thousand Cranes - Yasunari Kawabata
Some Prefer Nettles - Junichiro Tanizaki
A Pale View of Hills - Kazuo Ishiguro
Almost Transparent Blue - Ryu Murakami
The Tale of Genji - Murasaki Shikibu (I'm thrilled this is on the updated list. Might help give me some extra motivation to finally read the darn thing!)
Wish me luck!

Since this past week was spent reading two short classics for the challenge, now I'm in the mood for something light and fun. It might be just the time to pick up a manga for Nymeth's Try Something New Mini-Challenge. I'll have to browse my shelves and see what jumps out at me. I'm also hoping Colleen Gleason's latest and last book in the Gardella Vampire Chronicles, As Shadows Fade, doesn't take too long to get to me after it's released next week. I'm totally in the mood for some Victorian vampire action!
So, what are you reading this weekend?

Week in Review:
Sunday Salon: Reading Retrospective
Weekend Snapshot: 梅 (ume)
An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro (review)
Orbis Terrarum Challenge 2009
Friday meme roundup
PhotoHunt: Thankful
Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan (review)

Have a great week!


  1. Congrats on finishing the challenge! Have a good week!

  2. Congrats on finishing! I did this challenge like you-I left almost all of them for the end. :)

    I loved The Sound of Waves-I read it for the Orbis Terrarum challenge last year.

  3. Congrats on finishing the challenge! Well done :)

    I hope you have as much fun with manga as I'm having! I read a GREAT series this weekend - Emma, about a Victorian maid. I'll post my thoughts on it tomorrow :P

  4. I just joined the Orbis Terrarum and 1% Well Read challenges this weekend as well. Like you, I think I can overlap some of the books. You have some good picks!

    Right now I'm reading Falling Leaves by Adeline Yen Mah, for the World Citizen challenge. So far, so good!

  5. woot! Congratulations on completing your challenge and good luck with round 2! This challenge really intrigues me... Hmm, I may think of joining it!

  6. Goodness, you do read some interesting titles!

  7. Woohoo! Congratulations on finishing the challenge, Nat.

    Going from 8.59% to 8.09% with the change in the list isn't too bad. It's still impressive.

    I picked up a copy of Colleen Gleason's latest while I was out this weekend. I am looking forward to reading that one, but it probably won't be for awhile. I still have the one before it to get to.

    I hope you have a great week!

  8. Kailana - Thanks. Hope you had a good week too.

    Eva - I hadn't intended to leave them all to the end but I'm glad I managed to finish. Now to do it all again.
    I really hope to read 'The Sound of Waves' this year. I've heard great things about it.

    Nymeth - Thanks. I enjoyed both manga I tried and have a third one here to start soon. I may regret starting to read them though because now I want to read all the rest in those two series and who know how many more! :P

    priscilla - I read 'Falling Leaves', at least I think it was that one, a few years ago and quite enjoyed it. Good luck with your reading for both challenges.

    Iliana - Thanks. I need to take a break after my "well-read" month, but I'm looking forward to reading more of the books from the list.

    Nancy - LOL! Is that a good thing? :P

    Ordinary Biscuit - I wish I could read faster! My average is 4 or 5 books a month and considering these were all short, I don't really feel it was that fast this month. I know many others who read much more than I do. :)

    Wendy - Thanks! It's only 5 books difference but there are more books on the updated list that I'd like to read so it seems to suit me a little better.
    Amazon has failed me this time and I won't get my copy of Colleen Gleason's latest for another couple of weeks, unfortunately.

    Heather J. - Thanks! :)

  9. Congrats on completing the challenge. That's a great selection of books.

    Diary of an Eccentric

  10. Anna - Thanks. I enjoyed reading them, and look forward to reading more of them from the list.


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