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In Spirit with the Challenges

I’m not joining any reading challenge but I wish to to feel the pulse of all the exciting literary events that kick off all over the book blogging community. What do I do? I select books that are in sync to the themes of reading challenges to keep in spirit with the participants. Becca hosts a new series called Striking Sentences.” I’ll tell you why this is just in time for one of the awesome challenges that Rob alerted me:

And you know why you’re still in love with him? Because you didn’t love him enough when he was alive. [136]
You’re not ready to love me. You’re not ready to love anyone. Or let yourself be loved. Because you’re too in love with success— . . . And you know why you need success? Because you don’t like yourself enough. [161]

These double-wow of quotes are both from Lives of Circus Animals, by Christopher Bram, of whom I have read five books last year. The novel has multiple story lines that revolve around actors in New York, gay and straight, male and female, who are confused and stuck-up between success, love, and sex. A winner of Lambda Literary Award, the book would be a great suggestion for the GLBT Reading Challenge, which requires one book a month for a total of 12. Being a GLBT literature fanatic and a blogger who specializes in this genre, Bram’s book would be my second GLBT novel for this month, after the much acclaimed A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood. The challenge also comprises of weekly mini-challenge question. The kick-off prompt concerns with the importance of GLBT literature. I am very touched by many of your responses, giving me and the GLBT community new hope that we will triumph over the battle of civil union for same-sex couples. Love between any two people, regardless of race, gender, and sexual orientation, should never be repressed, denied, or outlawed. After all, what makes human beings human is the capacity to love and to connect with another human being.

JoAnn and several book bloggers will be hosting a Winter Virginia Woolf Challenge for the next two months. The hostesses will take turn to post conversation questions as participants read through four books. Having read Mrs. Dalloway last year, I’m game for perusing either To the Lighthouse or Orlando with the group. Lesley posted a list of books in her book group that will also be represented on my reading list. First and foremost is Beach Music by Pat Conroy, a brand new author to me, and Gilead by Maryanne Robinson, whom I have wanted to read for a long time. Sandy has alerted me that C.B. James is continuing to host the Read the Book/Watch the Movie Challenge that is just in perfect accord to my plan to watch movie adaptation of classic novels. Along with the NYRB Classics series and whatever my whims take me, I hope this year would be another fruitful one in reading.

5 Responses

  1. So many exciting things going on in the blog world this winter! While I’m not actually hosting any of the Wool in Winter discussions, I do want to help get the word out. So glad you’ll be around for some of the discussion!

    Thanks for posting the link to Lesley’s book group selections. I absolutely loved Beach Music when I first read it (maybe 10 years ago?) and can’t wait to read South of Broad. I have no doubt that you will have another fantastic reading year!

  2. The quotes from Lives of Circus Animals sound really intriguing. Looking forward to reading your review on it, and maybe I’ll go hunt for it too.

    I like your ‘keeping with the spirit’ of the reading challenges. =)

  3. Ooooh, Beach Music is on my list of best books of all time. It CONSUMED me. That being said, I read it a long time ago. I wonder if it would consume me now? My tastes and critical eye has changed for sure. I really need a re-read…

  4. That’s a good way of participating in the fun of the challenges without the pressure!

    I’ve yet to hear from someone who didn’t like Beach Music, but I’m about 200 pages in and am not loving it yet. Hopefully it turns around for me, since I have another 400 pages to go!

  5. What a great challenge! My first GLBT book this year was a mystery, THE P-TOWN MURDERS by Jeffery Round. The second was The Jade Peony by Wayson Choy but this one is about the yearning of kids. See my reviews at http://bevd.edublogs.org/

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