Book Awards Challenge Wrap Up

Book Awards Challenge

The Book Award Challenge ends today, and with 2 books that I finished on the last minute, I managed to read 10 books in total. We’re supposed to read 12 books, but I joined pretty late (according to my post, end of October 2007 – the challenge started on 1 July 2007), so I’m pretty happy with the result. Especially with the fact that at the beginning, I could only come up with 8 books on my list!

From the initial 8 books, I read 2. The rests just came up along the way. I strayed pretty far from my list actually. I’m really not good at sticking to reading plan. For many of the books, I didn’t know they were award winning, until I checked out wiki or fantasticfiction (this is great website by the way, don’t let the layout put you off ;).

I also count nominees, which I didn’t plan before. For the next challenge, I’m gonna try to just count winners.

So these are the books:

1) The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (review)
2003 Bram Stoker (Best First Novel) – how did this book get an award for excellence in horror writing?

2) When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro (review)
2000 Booker Prize (nominee), 2000 Whitbread Prize (nominee)

3) Atonement by Ian McEwan (review)
2002 NBCC Award, 2002 Booker Prize (nominee), 2001 Whitbread Prize (nominee), 2001 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction (nominee)

4) The Road by Cormac McCarthy (review)
2007 Pulitzer Prize, 2006 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction

5) On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan (review)
2007 Booker Prize (nominee)

6) Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (review)
2005 Booker Prize (nominee), 2005 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction (nominee), 2006 Arthur C. Clarke Award (nominee)

7) A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers by Xiaolu Guo (review)
2007 Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction (nominee)

8) The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood (review)
2006 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature (nominee)

9) The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon (review)
2003 Whitbread Book of the Year, 2004 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book

10) Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri (review)
2000 Pulitzer Prize, 1999 PEN/Hemingway Award

Favorite books of the challenge
I like these 3 above others: On Chesil Beach, Never Let Me Go, and Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.

Least favorite books of the challenge
The Road (bleh)

I’m going to bring over my current list unread award-winning books to the 2nd Book Award Challenge. See you there if you’re joining! :)

24 Hour Read-a-thon: Hour 24 – The End

Yay the end! I just finished The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. In this read-a-thon, I finished only 1 book. But for me, it’s a big accomplishment, because I can’t remember when was the last time I finished a whole book in 1 day. Probably some time in middle school or primary school. So yay for me! :D

Pages: 272
Reading time: probably around 8 hours
Book: 1
Mini-challenges: 4 or more (Bybee’s Korean culture, Care’s word, Jessi’s authors, Dewey’s Post-even survey, and some challenges for commenting and visiting people’s blogs, but I can’t remember which ones)
Sleeping time: 7 hours (at hour 2 to 9)
Blogging time: I’m guessing around 3 hours
Reading and visiting time: I’m guessing around 2-3 hours

That sounds about right. So I probably have spent the rest of 3-4 hours doing everything else like cooking and taking lunch and dinner, taking shower, watching some Friends in between.

Dewey’s Post Survey

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
The first 8 hours or so, because I knew I had to sleep and people were just starting. (The read-a-thon started for me at 12am Sunday my time, while it’s 9am Saturday for everyone else in North America.)

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
Definitely go with shorter books. I would recommend the 1 book that I finished because I think it’s perfect for this event. I also prepared Silk by Alessandro Baricco and Intimacy by Hanif Kureishi because they’re both very short. (didn’t get the chance to read them though)

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
Can’t think of any right now.

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
The hourly challenges and updates worked really well. Great efforts to have them on!

5. How many books did you read?

6. What were the names of the books you read?
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

7. Which book did you enjoy most?
The one book I finished :P

8. Which did you enjoy least?
Didn’t read other book.

9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
It would be great if you could have a shift system, so the cheerleaders wouldn’t be so tired and there might be more people joining if they know they don’t have to stay awake for all 24 hours?

10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
I will definitely participate again if the time allows. Reader again for sure :)

Huge thanks for the herculean efforts of Dewey and her cheerleaders in managing this event. It’s been great fun!

I’m off to sleep.

24 Hour Read-a-thon: Hour 20 & Author Challenge

Well I haven’t read again since my last post. I just want to point out Jessi’s mini-challenge because I think it’s really cool. How many authors can you recognize below?

I can only recognize 6 of them. I guess I haven’t read that many books :P

Read-a-thon: Hour 19 & Mini-Challenges

I do get a bit bored reading for a few hours, even though it’s interrupted by blog reading and blogging.

I’m continuing my interesting facts about Korean:

7) Koreans start their age from 1. So they are 1 when they’re born. (The same like Chinese)

8) When Koreans commit suicide, they usually jump into the water, and they put their shoes neatly at the jumping spot, with suicide notes in it. There’s an old story to explain the reason, but my friend couldn’t remember the story. My conversation with her went like this:

Her: Remember the time when Asian economy crashed about 10 years ago? A lot of people committed suicide that time. Sometimes you passed a bridge and you could see people’s shoes lining up at the edge of the bridge.
Me: AND IT DIDN’T FREAK YOU OUT??!! (You know, knowing that there were people dying near you??!!)
Her: *laugh* Anyway, after a while, they put some people to guard the bridge, so there wouldn’t be more people jumping off the bridge.

Apparently the culture to put your shoes neatly before committing suicide also applies for Japanese. Only Japanese usually jump in front of a running train, because it’s kinda easy for them. In Japan the trains often run at the back of residential areas. So you can just go to your backyard to achieve your goal. (Okay this whole talk about suicide freaks me out a bit)

9) Koreans eat with metal chopsticks and metal long spoons with metal bowl for rice. I love the long spoon, but hate the metal chopsticks because they’re heavier than plastic/wood chopsticks and are harder to use. But then again, I’m never good at using chopsticks.

10) I can go on and on about Korean food and drinks, because I’m a fan :). I cook tokbokki and jap chae sometimes. Tokbokki is Korean rice cake with Korean chilli and some meat and vegie. Jap chae is stir fried glass noodle with meat and vegie. Yuuum.

I’m hungry.

To participate in Care’s hour 19 mini-challenge:
the new interesting word I found during this read-a-thon is spazzer.

spaz /spæz/
–noun Slang.
1. a grotesquely awkward person.
2. an eccentric person.

So I’m guessing spazzer is a person who’s a spaz? (I can’t find spazzer in

Page: 159
Reading time: around 5 hours

Read-a-thon: Hour 14 & Korean Mini-Challenge

I haven’t participated in any of the mini challenges, but I’m interested in Bybee’s and I’m sooo gonna win this! :D

Person who can list the most facts (trivial or otherwise) about Korea may win. I’m not gonna list the trivial facts (e.g. Korea divided into North and South Korea etc), but I’m gonna list some interesting things that I know about Korea.

1) It’s such a coincidence that yesterday I just watched this Korean street dance called B-Boyz (taken from B-Boy). The show is called B-Boyz and Ballerina. The group is called Gorilla Crew who has won international competitions and all. Apparently this type of dancing is currently a hit in Korea. Below is their youtube video:

2) Korean food always include side dishes whenever they eat. The side dishes can go from Kimchi (spicy pickled cabbage) to all kind of vegetables, seaweed, seafood, potato salad, and so on (I looovve Korean side dishes and food :). The side dishes don’t always have to be many for every meal, but some Kimchi should at least be there.

3) They have a special small fridge to store Kimchi. Kimchi can be stored up to a few months. The longer it is the more sour it is. They also put mix Kimchi in all other dishes as well, like noodle soup (Ramyon) and fried rice (Kimchi Bokumbab).

4) The society is hierarchical and they talk differently with older and younger person. Therefore it’s crucial to know one’s age whenever they meet a new person. If it’s not obvious whether he/she is younger or older, they would ask his/her age, and then use the different level of language politeness respectively. The men like to be called ‘Opa’ by the younger women. It means older brother, which also shows sense of closeness.

5) Harry Potter books in Korea is divided into several smaller books per title.

6) They have a dish called Ice Noodle. It’s literally noodle soaked in ice water (with ice cubes floating about), mixed with Korean chilli, pickled vegetables, pear, sesame, vinegar, and wasabi mustard. I just tried this yesterday, and it’s one of the most weirdest thing I’ve ever eaten. The Koreans eat this during summer time, since it’s very refreshing. But a friend said that it’s originally winter food, because they had so much ice back then they started throwing it into noodle soup. Okay I’m half joking with the last sentence, but the fact is they didn’t have fridge in the old times, so they could only eat the dish in winter (since they couldn’t make ice in summer).

Example of conversations around the dish yesterday:
Me: “This is really weird (dish) for me.”
Korean 1: “What’s weird about it?” (with puzzled look)
Me: “Well…” -then started to point out why it was weird food
Korean 2: *laugh* “Well this is very common food. We have this dish everywhere in Korea.”
Korean 3: “But why is it weird? It’s just noodle.”
Me: “In ICE. And we’re eating from this big metal bowl (like the one you usually use to wash vegetable)”
and so on

Okay I have tons of them, but I’ll stop now to continue reading.
Yea I kinda cheated. I have a close Korean friend and a few Korean colleagues :)

Page: 83
Reading time: around 2-3 hours
I did spend a lot of time reading people’s blogs :O (I don’t count those)

24 Hour Read-a-thon: Hour 10

Well, I just woke up about an hour ago. It’s 9:30am Sunday my time now. I think I slept around 1am. I just had to sleep, because I’ll be working tomorrow (Monday), and there will be no time to catch up my sleeping time :)

For the past hour I’ve been reading Dewey‘s to see all the mini-challenges that I missed *sad face*, and I’ve been randomly visiting people’s blogs too. Thanks for all your comments! I haven’t got the chance to leave many comments, but I’ll surely do in the next hours.

Looks like people are slowing down a bit now that 10 hours plus has passed. Dewey even has mini challenge for people to go outside to get some fresh air. It’s time for me to catch up!

Pages: 29
Reading time: less than an hour

24 Hour Read-a-thon Start!

It’s almost 12am Sunday in my part of the world, which is almost 9am Saturday at I’m guessing where most of the other people are. So the read-a-thon should start soon! (That also means I’m super sleepy and probably will sleep soon and start afresh tomorrow)

I can see that Dewey and friends have worked hard to make this a successful event. Renay has even set up this google readers, where you can see all participants’ updates at one place, which I think is pretty cool.

It does make a difference when everybody starts at the same time, and you can see people are active all over the book blogs during the event. Whereas during 48 Hour Book Challenge, it was pretty lonely and I didn’t feel as motivated (it’s probably too long too to have people active for all 48 hours).

Anyway, I don’t intend to have high goals and I don’t plan much because I’m not very good at sticking with reading plans. So I’ll just see where the wind blows me ;)

Right now, I have The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time on my side, ready to be read (Man, that title is LONG. I have to rush to say all in one breath.)  I have many many books all around me though. It’s possible that I change book on a whim at any given time.

Hope everybody have fun! :D

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