Monday, March 12, 2007

M & N's Summer 7 Challenge

***********UPDATES AT THE BOTTOM OF POST***************

a challenge is:

A test of one's abilities or resources in a demanding but stimulating undertaking.

Get ready guys.
This isn't going to be easy.
But it is definitely going to be rewarding.

Mission: To complete an entire series from start to finish of one of those listed below.

Time frame: May 1st to Septemeber 1st 2007
No, you can't start earlier.

Reward: Gift certificates to an online bookstore for those who complete the challege. Some may receive goodies such as books, booksmarks, etc.

The Catch: If you agree to take this challenge and do not complete the task you are REQUIRED to make a donation to brainwash books in the form of book or money. (a place that provides cheap books for university students. We act as a pseudo-library where you can buy the books for $, trade or borrow. And if you wish to encourage reading, regardless of your performance during the challenge, please feel free to do so. We love books - especially classics. ) I will be posting the logistics of this further along in the challenge.

Pre-reqs: You must have read no more than one of the books in the series (and yes, I will check your blogs, people!)

This way you're rewarded if you win.

And it hurts if you don't.

Now that's a challenge.

Who Is Doing it: So far, M and I are the only ones crazy enough to do this.

How We Came Up with This God Forsaken Idea:

N: I always wanted to read Proust.

M: Me too.

N: Bet you you can't read all 7 volumes in the summer.

M: Yes, I can.

You can figure out the rest of this overly intellectual dialogue.

The Series you can Choose From:

1. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
- Total 7 volumes.

This early twentieth century text is packed with love, art and social criticism. Filled with characters of all shapes and sizes, it is considered one of the most influential and important works of fiction.

Most however stop after having read the second volume. Only PhD students, thesis writers or ambitious laymen like ourselves bother with reading the entire 7 volumes that make up Proust's masterpiece.

They are:
Vol 1 - Swann's Way
Vol 2- In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower
Vol 3- The Guermantes Way
Vol 4- Sodom and Gomorrah
Vol 5 - The Prisoner
Vol 6 - The Fugitive
Vol 7 - Finding Time Again

Originally written in French, though I'll be reading it in English. However, after finishing this work, you'll always have something to say at a party.

2. Malazan Book of the Fallen series by Steven Erickson

- total 7 volumes
(note that the series will have 10 books total but as of this year 7 have been released.)

This fantasy series is considered to be one, if not the best, in the genre. As you learn the eccentric traditions and customs of the different cities, you fall in love with your characters. It's better then being on a beach and cheaper.

  1. Gardens of the Moon

  2. Deadhouse Gates

  3. Memories of Ice

  4. House of Chains

  5. Midnight Tides

  6. The Bonehunters

  7. Reaper's Gale

3. Complete Novels of the Bronte Sisters (Emily, Anne, & Charlotte)

- total 7 volumes

Talented but frail, these siblings died very young - before they could possibly flourish in their literary talents. Though they were given some recognition when alive, they could not foretell the impact they would have on the canon of great books.

* you can choose your own which I gotta approve by email. Prereq is that it has to be an ACCOMPLISHMENT to brag about.

***Do You Dare Take the Challenge?***
just leave a comment at the end of this posting
w/ your selection choice
and blog address

end date for submission:
April 30th


Hey Guys! So People are Actually crazy enough to do this. Who would have thought. Hats off for being taken under the influence of the M - she can definitly get under ones skin. Drum Roll please:

Contender 1& 2: founders and forefathers M & N

Contender #3
from Orange Blossum Goddess, & several author of several other book blogs, was the first! Perhaps its because I staulk her on Facebook... who knows. She decided to inovate and take on Lord of the Rings & company. Yes, Tolkein wrote more then just the Hobbit as add ons to his classic.

Contender # 4

Sarah is a devoted brainwash customer with, alas no blog for me to link here. She is on facebook and has great taste in profile pics. This recent McGill alum has many a time shared a great cup of coffee with even better book talk. Sarah is taking the Bronte sisters this summer as her challenge. Right on girl!

Contender #5

is a Canadian living in Japan and this my friends gives her the unfair advantage as being a personal fav of mine. Its the pics guys and my infatuation with a country that has more similarities to Italians then you would first assume! (yes, I tell you, I have thought this one out).Her blog definitly has the BEST landscape pics. Anyways, I let her off 'easy' with the 7 Harry Potters, another series I had considered taking for my own.

Contender #6

lives in TO and we met through a mutual friend. I simply sent him an email about a week ago saying how I had heard he loved to read and the rest is history. Christopher is talented to say the least and therefore in order to make this an actual challenge, he signed up for both the Brontes and Proust. He speaks Ancient Greek, Latin, Russian Italian and English most of which are self taught. Now do you get why?

Contender #7

Nessie-ite has signed up for Proust but has not gotten back to me with the blog address. I am waiting.... anxiously. Did I mention I wasn't patient? Please don't do this to me...
this is my kind of humour guys check it out!

Contender # 8

Loose Baggy Monster
happened to be perusing blogs, came accross my own humble one, saw the challenge and just 'could not resist'. Thanks babe. It makes me feel wanted which is always a nice warm feeling - the kind that warm milk can give you. LBM is going for the Proust while keeping an eye on the Brontes. Good job girl!

Contender # 9

Dolce Bellezza has come on board with the fantasy. The only one so far who choice this series. GREAT JOB! I am reading Erickson now and it is soooo amazing. I decided I am doing all three of my series choices. I can't help it - they are all sooo good.

Contender # 10

Kailana has decided to do Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files which I have no clue what that is but hell they look interesting enough and can't wait to read a little more.

Contender # 11

Think Pink Dana is, to M's everlasting shame for not having thought of this before signing up for Proust, is the complete works of George Elliot. M just finished reading Middle March for the second time and is itching to get her hands on others but will have to be satisfied this summer with Dana's reviews.

George Eliot?
Adam Bede, 1859
The Mill on the Floss, 1860
Silas Marner, 1861
Romola, 1863
Felix Holt, the Radical, 1866
Middlemarch, 1871-72
Daniel Deronda, 1876

Contender # 12

Natalie is reading the complete works of Jane Austen. I love it! I know tons of people will be visiting your blog even if it is just to read the words Mr Darcy yet again.

Contender # 13
Country Girl has joined and will be the entire Anne Rice Vampire series people. Crazy. Though easy to read its a challenge to keep up with Rice. I look forward to reading the reviews.

Contender # 14
Ashleigh has joined right on board with the hardest of the hard - Proust! Welcome ~ and I look forward to lamenting this with you. ;)

Potential Contenders

Lisa at Brecking the Fourth Wall
Bookish Lore at Literary Craving

note: Cry out to all ~ put a little peer pressure on these girls already!


Anonymous said...

Holy crap, now that's a challenge! I will definitely be very impressed by anyone who finishes this one. As for me, I haven't had a good track record with challenges yet so I am not even going to attempt this one. But I'll be rooting for you guys! :)

nessie said...

Thanks! We need all the routing we can get. Of course I hope that Marisa fails because we also have a side bet between us (dont go telling anyone now) ;) that if the other does not finish we have to give them 100$ ! hahaha isnt that so funny... I definitly will be completing this challenge with that on the line. hehehe

Heather said...

I'd like to join in but I'd like to read the Lord of the Rings series instead. Starting with The Hobbit and ending with the Unfinished Tales. The Hobbit and the 3 Lord of the Rings books are re-reads for me but summer is busy for me at work and I'm moving so I need a comfort read. Can I join in?

Anonymous said...

Ahhhh, I want to do this but I will have to think about a series. I am not ready for Proust yet being a easy modern fiction reader who over the past few years has slowly been moving into more thoughtful and deep or classic books.....I have read Wuthering Heights and loved it and did a 20 page thesis on it in college, so maybe that would be the way for me to go...let me think it over. Good luck!!!!

nessie said...

Yes, of course. I really don't have the heart to say no to anyone. But it has to be 7 books (hence the title).

Fantasy is a gendre where the first read is more of an introduction. You need a second and even third to appreciate the nuances of the details - especially for someone like Tolkein who is like the Father and Holy Spirit of Fantasy!!! ;)

I looked up the series and it seems like these would be your titles:

1. Hobbit
2. Fellowship of the Ring
3. Two Towers
4. Return of the King
5. Unfinished Tales
6. Silmarillion
???7.???? The People of Middle Earth ???(which I read up on and it has this unfinished sequal about Aragorn's son Eldarion!!!!)

If thats the case then sweetheart welcome on the ban-wagon!! Its gonna be a rockin' summer. I promise that M and I will be sending subliminal messages of support to you during your move!

And to the rest of ya'll, am in the process of making a kickass button for the challenge (I got this GREAT tech friend to make me one and its hot hot hot). You all are gonna wanna join just by looking at the challenge. Yuppie.

nessie said...

Country Gal! Heather came up with a great idea (one that I should have done) and am sure that you can as well.

Ask yourself if there is a genre that you have been wanting to get yourself into but never have???

The Bronte one was sooo tempting. But I can't back down. Every time I have extra $$$ I have been buying the next book in the search of lost time series. Its become an investment!

Booklogged said...

Whoa, that is a hefty challenge! I think I will have to decline because I'm already doing several challenges and I always do my local library's summer challenge, which means 9 books in 2 months.

Anonymous said...

it is a hard choice! i think i'm going to go with the bronte. i read jane eyre (a long time ago) but that's it.
you guys are fun :)

nessie said...

Sarah! Welcome on board! M & I are happy to have you come along for this crazy ride.

Am so happy your doing Bronte because thats what I would love to do after proust... its sooo interesting.

Your the best bw customer!

Lisa said...

I really want to do this just for the button. :)

I'm thinking about it. The Bronte's are some reading I've always thought I SHOULD do, but just haven't. But 7 in 5 months??? I don't know about that one......I'm thinking......

Heather said...

The button is great and I will try and get my hands on that last Hobbity book.

Anonymous said...

hmmm.. I love reading books revolving around any type of relationship (family, love, friends, etc). I don't really read sci-fi or mystery at all.....I don't always need a lot of plot either, I like good character studies.

nessie said...

Heather! I had a feeling you would love this button. Yeah, after reading the tidbit on Aragons son I was like salivating!

Lisa- come on... you know you can do it! 7 books is hard, its challenging, its REWARDING!!!!! We all read a book a month! but who can do this in a summer. Jeez Louise!

nessie said...

Hey C Gal!

I love fantasy because of the amazing development of characters and plot. though the writing style may not be artistic, the concepts introduced in fantacy are what make it such a rewarding experiance. I am in the midst of reading vol 1 of the erickson and am loving it even though there is a lot of blood and gore.

Fantasy is often a suprise for peopple who have never gotten into it. There are many pre-conceptions associated with the genre that are not warrented. The killer is when people say that fantasy is 'pure stimulation'. I have never been so enlightened about human nature, puzzeled over philosophical concepts, or inspired by a story line then when I read great works of fantasy.

But, I wont lie, its a risk for the Erickson. He is considered part of the F-canon but ... taste does not always lean that way. I love it though - for whatever that is worth.

The Bronte Sisters though was super tempting for me... I am like considering doing a double!

Anonymous said...

Thanks nessie, I have never read fantasy, I always grouped it with sci-fi (ignorance, I'm sure) but I do love strong characters. I think what I will do, this weekend, is find some excerpts online from any of the books on both bronte and erickson series and read a few and see what I like. I also kinda have a thing for Vampires, growing up watching Buffy, would the Anne Rice books be too easy? I have always thought about reading them someday.

nessie said...

Yeah! Go for the exerpts thats great.

No, I don't think Anne Rice is to Easy. i just bought interview with the Vampire. As long as we have the magic number of books listed then we are golden and made babes. Just let me know when you post the list on your site!

But even if it is just for shits and giggles, check out the fantasy when you can.

Anonymous said...

perfecto! I will def check out the fantasy as well, I need to broaden my self.m Oh I just started reading The Beauty Myth! I like it, but it is a lot of information. I have to read it in small doses so I can really ponder the points being brought forth.

Bookfool said...

Holy crap is right. Iliana has such a way with words. If I were to do this, I'd go with the Bronte canon, but I've already read two and only own one other. Plus, I'm getting kind of sick of challenges. I'm failing my own Chunkster Challenge. Thank goodness I've still got three months.

I'll enjoy watching you torment yourself. ;)

tanabata said...

Love the button! I was trying to think of a series of 7 books (other than Harry Potter, which I'm assuming you won't allow), but couldn't so I think I'm going to have to decline as well. I'm interested in reading the Brontes but know I couldn't do it in 4 months (I noticed the end of the challenge is Sept 1st, not 30th)! Your challenge is just challenging! :P

nessie said...

hey tan! actually a friend of mine who does not have a blog is doing the entire harry potter series... she wanted to re read them all before the release of the last and seventh anyways... so yeah i would be very chill with that. it would be interesting to see if it still has the same impact as before. i know the second time around for me... it wasnt that great.

but challenging. why yes! i figured maybe there would only be one or two people crazy enough to do this with moi and m. no hard feelings.

bookish lore said...

A challenge indeed! I'd love to try the Brontes and I was also thinking about Douglas Adams' novels. Then I did some real honest thinking and realized that if I commit to this challenge, I'll end up committed! What with school, tests, winter and
one, two... I don't know many challenges, it's just too much. I sadly decline but will definitely keep in touch. :)

tanabata said...

Hey Nessie, that's what I've been planning to do-reread the first 6 HP books before 7 comes out. I was going to start the first one later this month, but if you're really cool with this for the challenge I guess I could wait til May to start.
Proust, now THAT's a challenge! I wish you luck, and happy reading!

Anonymous said...

I'll be reading Proust, ONLY because of your influence ... I'll give you my blog address after I establish one. Thank you.

nessie said...

tanabata welcome on board we are so having blog parties!

nessie ite... wonderful that i have influence on someone! It gives purpose to my humble existence... many thanks and we'll love and hate Proust together this summer ;) dont forget to send me that blog address

tanabata said...

OK. You've made it easy for me Nessie so I'm in. I've just posted the challenge on my blog.

Loose Baggy Monster said...

I just discovered your blog and you've thrown down a challenge I don't think I can refuse! Question: I know you said you can only have read one book previously, but what if you read two of them but it was many, many, many years ago? (I'm thinking of the Bronte's). Then again, it is a challenge and Proust has always beckoned, so if you put your foot down, I'll be more than happy to go with Proust...


nessie said...

Sarah! So happy you stumbeled by and joined us crazy gents and ladies. Its gonna be a kick ass party of Proust. When I become rich off my trashy romance writing (I should start already) I promise I will fly everyone down for a party... I am sure I can think of a poor, virtual version. Give me a month or two ;)

As for your inquiry, oh you are fine to do either. I am doing both. I just couldnt decide you know? Welcome and enjoy the button... I am!

Loose Baggy Monster said...

right now i'll probably read the bront√ęs on an "unofficial" basis. but knowing me, and how bored i will be in my job this summer, i'll try for both! thanks for the challenge!

Stephanie said... are right!! I shouldn't have visited your site. But I love the button! Truthfully, I'll probably have to pass. I don't even want to think about Proust!! I have enough hard reading ahead to discourage the thought of that one!! I've alread read 3 of the Bronte's (just did The Tenant about a month ago....really good!) The fantasy group seriously calls me though.

Yikes...I have to go away now before I committ!!

nessie said...

LBM no problemo! Share the love.

Steph - I understand. Feel free to use the button on your blog for the shits and giggles. We can use as much of that as possible.

Anonymous said...

I'm working on it, lol. Should have it within a day or so.

Heather said...

Nessie, Just wanted to say that I haven't been blogging due to lack of internet at home. Will post up and advertise this great challenge as soon as I can though!!!

Bookfool said...

Hey Nessie,

You're a busy chick with your challenge, but I've just nominated you for a Thinking Blogger Award. So, now you get to think of 5 other swell (intelligent, sophisticated, maybe other people who can stand on their head) bloggers . . . if you want to. ;)

I'm having fun reading about your challenge.

Here's where you can find my thinking blogger post:

Anonymous said...

I am so tempted to join the challenge and read Proust - I've got the first two volumes on my TBR shelves.....but I've been flunking all the challenges left and right as it is.

But you go! That is one awesome challenging challenge.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Whoa. I'm proud of the fact that I have TWO degrees in English and haven't read most of the classics. Why change that now?

Thanks for visiting West of Mars -- I hope you'll stop back.

As for Pamela Anderson... Haven't read Star Struck, but I'd like to. Star was a riot!

lifelongreader said...

Unfortunately I have too much on this summer to commit to this challenge, but let me know about the next one.

Anonymous said...

So I thought about it and I really want to participate but I am still dying to read the Anne Rice books and it's a perfect excuse. But - there are a billion Vampire books. As far as I researched, the first 6 are the original vampire chronicles with #7 starting the new vampire tales. So I think if I read the first 7, it's still fair game. Do you approve dear nessie? They are awfully big and thick too. If you don't approve, I will go with the bronte gals.

Meredith said...

Okay, Nessie, you have certainly piqued my interest. I'm not sure I'm up for Proust, but you know, those fantasy books sound like a fascinating read. I've never heard of them! So, yeah, you could put me down for your M & N Challenge with those seven from Erickson. Now I have to attempt putting your button on my blog... :)

Meredith said...

Les, amendment to the above: I went to the library yesterday and tried Erickson. Oh, dear. I am afraid I am not a fan of fantasy. However, I pledged that I would do this challenge with you, and therefore took myself over to Proust. Now, THAT'S a writer! I immediately checked out Swann's way, and am so looking forward to reading Marcel's seven. In fact, I have that angst, maybe you know what I mean, about having good books you want to get into with a pile of other crap to finish first? So, I AM doing this great challenge, however it will be with Proust instead of Erickson. Probably on Monday I'll put up the announcement and button on my blog. Thank you for introducing me to this great author!

Meredith said...

Double crap, I meant NESSIE, not Les! What am I thinking?! I was just "talking" to Les, so she's on my mind too.

nessie said...

no prob Bellezza anytime - happy your doing Proust for that is a MAJOR brag factor... ;)

Meredith said...

Phew! I cannot wait to really get into Proust. Seriously. I started the first few pages and was hooked! It'll be a lot of fun to discuss with you.

Kailana said...

I was tentatively thinking that I might join this challenge and I was considering reading Jim Butcher's Dresdan Files. There are 8 of them, but I just read the first one, so I would be reading 2-8. Is that a valid choice? As to whether I will join or not, it will depend on if I can get all the books, so I will not be offically joining (if I do) until like the 1st.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to join and am considering the complete works of George Eliot?
Adam Bede, 1859
The Mill on the Floss, 1860
Silas Marner, 1861
Romola, 1863
Felix Holt, the Radical, 1866
Middlemarch, 1871-72
Daniel Deronda, 1876

let me know!!

Nattie said...

Would the complete works of Jane Austen count? I've always meant to read them, but haven't.

Nattie said...

Alright, I'm definitely in and reading the complete works of Austen - 6 novels and 1 minor works.

Kailana said...

Well, I am joining in if I can find all the books easily, anyways :)

Anonymous said...

I am all officially now.

Anonymous said...

Hey I'd like to join in the fun too! I'll be reading Proust. I start work on my PhD this fall so I won't have much time for fun challenges, so why not sqeeze another one in this summer? Plus I hope that after reading Proust I'll be super smart and have plenty to talk about at stuffy parties. Ha!

Anonymous said...

OH there are 10..... The last 4 are the start of the new vampire chronicles so if get to the first one of the new (#7) and I hate it, I will let myself off the hook ;-)

Kailana said...

I was away, and I have not had time to get organized, so I haven't posted about this challenge on my blog, but I will. :)

Heather said...

Just stopping by to tell you I've started the challenge. I started and finished The Hobbit and have moved into the Ring Trilogy. Internet in the new place will hopefully be up a running sooooooooooooooooooooon!!

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

Wow. I just came by here bloghopping. You all are crazy. :) I would love to partake if you do another "crazy" challenge like this again.

tanabata said...

Just wanted to let you know that I've finished with my 'easy' 7! :P
HERE's my wrap-up post. Thanks Nessie! And hope you're ok since you haven't posted in quite a while.

Heather said...

Sad to report that it doesn't look as if I'll be able to finish the last four books of the series - While I extend the challenge for my own benefit, I'll gladly cough up a donation. I'm wondering if I can donate to the centre I tutor at? They are in need of new resources - let me know. :)

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