Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Birth Year Reading Challenge

I'm joining this great reading challenge. Go over to Hotchpotcafe and meet C.S. and J.G.


What books were published the year you were born? This challenge encourages you to find out, and then read some of them. You might even draw some conclusions about what was going on in the literary world that year.

Wikipedia has lists of books by year published. Literary prize lists are a great source, and Googling “best books of _____” will also give you interesting results.

Ready to join? Leave a comment and a link to your post! (And we promise no one will make any snarky comments about your age.)


1. Join anytime between now and November 30, 2010. The challenge ends at midnight EST on December 31, 2010.

2. Books may come from your TBR pile or list, but they don’t have to.

3. Overlaps with other challenges are allowed and encouraged.

4. Change your list at any time.

5. Reviews and reactions are encouraged, but you don’t need to have a blog to participate.

6. All genres and formats are eligible. If it’s a book, you can count it.

7. One candle is awarded for each qualifying book you read. There is no limit on how few or how many candles you can earn.


When you meet your reading goal, we’ll let you select a book from our library – most likely a gently used trade paperback – and mail it to you. But keep reading because . . .

On January 1, 2011, the three readers who’ve earned the most candles will be entered into a drawing to win a collectible first edition/first printing copy of Junot Diaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2008.


C.S. (host: not eligible for prizes) (see comments for list)

Hip Chick of Hip Chick's Home

Christina of Readers of Romance (see comments for list)

maryt/theteach of Work of the Poet

J.G. (host: not eligible for prizes)

Julie of My Book Retreat

Stephanie V of Hookin', Knittin' & Livin'

Here's my list for my birth year*:

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith (Harper)

Strange Fruit by Lillian Smith (Reynal)

Razor's Edge by Somerset Maugham (Doubleday)

Green Dolphin Street by Elizabeth Goudge (Coward-McCann)

Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor (MacMillan)

The Green Years by A. J. Cronin (Little, Brown)

A Bell for Adano by John Hersey (Pulitzer Prize Winner)

* 1944

I've already read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Razor's Edge but I really want to read the others.
I'm an adjucnt professor in the Continuing Education Department of a local community college. I teach literature to 3 classes of older women. We are reading all the time. I've been at it for 12 years. I may assign some of these to my classes in the Fall.

Thanks, Hip Chick, for introducing me to this challenge!


Stephanie V said...

Mary, I had a little giggle when I saw Forever Amber on your list. That book was on my mother's bookshelf and I was forbidden to read it. Of course, I did - and couldn't figure out what all the fuss was about.

This is a great challenge - my year is 1946 and the best seller that year was Dr Spock!

Annesphamily said...

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, one of my favorite books. We read all the classic books in Catholic school.

Being born in 1953 it was also the year The Chronicles of Narnia were published although they were completed in 1951.

This was a wonderful history lesson and a great reminder of the wonderful literature out there. Thanks for sharing.

Travis said...

Interesting idea. Perhaps I'll try it.

I Googled 1964 in Wiki and found that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was published the year I was born.

Terry said...

dear mary t.
WHERE do you get all of the energy to be involed in so many things?
i really admire you!
i am only involved in three things..sisterhood of the traveling scarf, pilgim pals and RUBY TUESDAY!!
and THAT is about all i can handle!
ha!..........good luck on this newest terry

stephanie..i wish that my mom had read dr. spock!..he didn't believe in spanking, eh?..hmmm

Jim said...

Mary, this is a neat one. Not tonight, but I think I will do it.
Mrs. Jim's BDay was 1/1/44. I'll bet she is a little older than you but not a whole year. :-)
Thanks for peeking in on my stent stuff. I went golfing Tuesday.

Jamie said...

You got my books!!! Now I have to go look at the list again. So we are the same age. When is your B'Day?

Anonymous said...

I love "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn!" And I chuckled when I read Stephanie's comment. The one I wasn't allowed to read was "Gone with the Wind." Either my Mom thought it was too old for me or it had a bad word on the last page, who would know. She doesn't remember! I think I will try this challenge. I've read a few of those books but I'm due for a reread. I have "Charlotte's Web" on there.

Desert Songbird said...

This definitely sounds like your kind of challenge! Good luck with that. Would you believe that I've never read any of the books you've listed? Yeah, um....well, even though I was an English major in college, I was "supposed" to read all sorts of classic books, but they were assigned so quickly and in abundance, and since I worked three jobs, it was all I could do to read enough of the book (as well as the Cliff's Notes!), to just get by. I have shelves of unread classics. Some day......