Another challenge? Why not? Read all about it!

Jan 03

I admit it — I’m a sucker for a good challenge.

Especially one that gives you some blog fodder.

I was doing some rounds yesterday, catching up on some blog reading and trying to find a few more. I stopped by a blog I hadn’t been to in a while and saw this person was taking part in an interesting challenge — a book one.

Another challenge, you say? Sure. Let’s get reading. (photo courtesy blueprint on MorgueFile)

Basically, for the Artful Readers Club, you need to read one book a month and blog a review. Oh, and you have to do some sort of an artsy thing with it. This is where I am a tad worried.

See, I’m not always artistic or crafty. So becoming inspired by the book I’ve just read to make some sort of art might not be the easiest thing.

From the rules:

It can be anything, a painting, a journal page, a card, a collage, a tag, a sketch, a stamped piece…anything at all…and YES digital work is welcome too.

I’ll likely be looking to think of something in a photographic realm. Maybe a drawing of some sort (it won’t be that good). We’ll see where the year takes me in regard to the reading and the art.

I contacted the leader of the challenge as it was past the Jan. 1 deadline. But, it’s still open, I was told. So I’m going to throw my hat into the ring.

To do so, I’m supposed to commit to at least six titles in this post, preferably 12.

Let’s face it — I’ve got a bunch of books on my Kindle and several on my Amazon wish list I have wanted to read. Hopefully this will be the push I need to get them read. On the last Friday of each month, I’ll come back and post my review of the book and some sort of art as well.

The review — easy.

The art — there’s the challenge.

Hopefully this challenge will really push me and my creative side a bit more. Truth is, I need it right now with everything going on in my world. I’ll see what I can come up with.

Without further ado, here are the books for this 2013 challenge (these are in no particular order):

  1. One Shot at Forever: A Small Town, an Unlikely Coach, and a Magical Baseball Season (Chris Ballard)
  2. 101 Things To Do Before The Apocalypse (Jon Hanson)
  3. Sheltered (Emily Harper)
  4. Royal Flush (Scott Bartlett)
  5. Cold Crossover (Tom Kelly)
  6. The Tourist Killer (FC Etier)
  7. The Hidden Language of Baseball: How Signs and Sign Stealing Have Influenced the Course of Our National Pastime (Paul Dickson)
  8. Jaywalking with the Irish (David Monagan)
  9. Just a Minor Perspective: Through the Eyes of a Minor League Rookie (Eric Pettis)
  10. Round Ireland with a Fridge (Tony Hawks)
  11. The Bullpen Gospels (Dick Hayhurst)
  12. Forrest Gump (Winston Groom)

That last one is one I’ve wanted to read for a long time. Being it’s one of my favorite movies of all time, I’m told the book is way different. I always like to compare, but usually with the book first and the move after. I look forward to reading that one.

There are several baseball-related books on this list, too. I’ve had these on an Amazon wish list for a long time and this is the push I’ll need to read them.

A library? Dewey … what system? Cards? (photo courtesy click on MorgueFile)

Some of these books I have on the Kindle already, others I purchased last night. There’s one that I’ll have to <gasp> read in an actual hard copy as there is no Kindle version! And … imagine this … through a library!

I feel like it’s the 1980s or something.

In all reality, my goal is to read 25 books this year. I have my eyes on several more. I’ll be keeping tabs of each of those on Goodreads. If you are a member there, feel free to add me. There is also a book reading challenge there one can join and it keeps track of the books you read, which is cool. I’ve seen people with goals upward of 100 books this year.

I am impressed with people who choose to read that many books … and it is somewhat amazing. I’ll keep to the goal of 25.

Above, I posted the 12 I am doing for this challenge. But, to keep myself on mark, I’m going to post a tentative list of other books I like to conquer and read this year. Note that this can change/be added to etc. based on books that come out over the course of the year. Also, many of these are kind of pricey on Amazon, so I’ll have to see how many are able to be lent out and how many I think are worth the price. I’ll also keep tabs in hopes of a couple of them coming down in price.

Nonetheless, here’s the rest of my “list.”

  • Wiffle Ball: The Ultimate Guide (Michael Hermann)
  • Wiffle Ball Summer: The Ride of the Elmoron (Geoffrey Arthur Drewyor)
  • The Legend of Bagger Vance (Steven Pressfield)
  • The Joy of Keeping Score: How Scoring the Game Has Influenced and Enhanced the History of Baseball (Paul Dickson)
  • American Gypsy: A Memoir (Oksana Marafioti)
  • Escape (Carolyn Jessop)
  • The Search for God and Guinness: A Biography of the Beer that Changed the World (Stephen Mansfield)
  • Yes, Chef: A Memoir (Marcus Samuelsson)
  • Fifty Sides of the Beach Boys: The Songs that Tell Their Story (Marc Dillon)
  • Pint-Sized Ireland: In Search of the Perfect Guinness (Evan McHugh)
  • Guinness: Celebrating 250 Remarkable Years (Paul Hartley)
  • Surviving the Mob: A Street Soldier’s Life Inside the Gambino Crime Family (Dennis Griffin)
  • CHOKEHOLD: Pro Wrestling’s Real Mayhem Outside the Ring (Jim Wilson)
  • Friday Night Lights: A Town, A Team, And A Dream (H.G. Bissinger)
  • The Match: The Day the Game of Golf Changed Forever (Mark Frost)
  • Ball Four (Jim Bouton)

I hope to make a good dent in this list. I also have a bunch of Kindle Singles I want to tackle, but they usually can be read in one to two sittings. It’s a good transition from one bigger book to another — having that longer story/novelette in between.

I definitely need to read more books, so I’m glad I happened to read about this challenge. It should also challenge my artistic side and I’ll have to see what I can come up with. I have an idea for the baseball books… but I need to think about other things, too.

Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!


  1. Yay!!! Great news that you are joining in, not least because the group is currently very female biased so another boy will balance it out a bit :)

    Round Ireland With A Fridge is a really fun read, I can guarantee you’ll enjoy that one

    And I have seen your fab photography, I think you are more creative than you give yourself credit for :) If you struggle with drawing, maybe try collage? It’s a lot of fun.

    Has Darcy sent you an invite to the Facebook group? There’s lots of challenge chat in there already.
    Sarah (Flo) recently posted..Rocking Your World Friday – wrapping up 2012My Profile

    • I noticed there were many, many females and debated. In the end, I realize the reading will take control and I’ll be OK. Most of the arty things I will do likely will center on photography. I have a few ideas, so we’ll see what I come up with!

  2. I’m wondering what the flip l’m going to do arty wise with the book I’m reading this month so you aren’t alone :-)

    Really looking forward to your review of Forest Gump!
    Carmen recently posted..Artful Readers ClubMy Profile

  3. Thanks for visiting my blog! The only book on your list I have heard of is ‘Forrest Gump’ and so I will be interested to see your reviews. I am less worried about the artwork challenge than I am about actually getting the books read!
    Ali recently posted..Starting a New YearMy Profile

    • I am looking forward to Forrest Gump as I’ve heard the book it very different from the movie!

  4. You really are a glutton for punishment, aren’t you? :-) In case you haven’t already, go check your email.
    Nicky recently posted..Snow, Glorious SnowMy Profile

  5. great list and good to have you on board joining us all on this journey!

  6. Great to have you aboard with the ARC challenge looking forward to reading your reviews. Art work done in photos sounds a great idea to me, looking forward to seeing what you do.
    Shirley recently posted..Artful ReadingMy Profile

  7. Crikey 12 books will be my limit, the art doesn’t worry me (too much), the review (a tiny amount), the getting it read in a month – now that might be the challenge!

    • I am hoping to be able to read at least 25 this year, with the 12 for the challenge being the big ones. If I get into a groove, I’ll aim for more. I just need to get books that really capture the interest!

  8. Hm, your list is a lot different from most I think. It will be fun to check out your reviews and Art! Wish you many happy reading hours! ?
    San Hoogland recently posted..Free Motion QuiltingMy Profile

    • I noticed my list was quite different, but I think that’s a good thing. Different tastes and maybe some hidden gems!

  9. Fabulous list of books to read… and oh yes… Forrest Gump is one of all time fave movies too… had a little chuckle about your library comments… the first two books I am reading are from there…lol

    Have a great week…
    Jenny recently posted..[Books and Lavender…]My Profile

  10. Look forward to your reviews & art
    Helen Ding recently posted..Step it UpMy Profile

  11. Your book choices lead me to believe you are a creative person so I’m sure you will come up with some way to visually represent each one. Happy reading!!!

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge