999 Challenge


Now that my cold is better and I can focus again…

In August I finished another seven books for this challenge. When you realize one was Hawaii and other was Greg Bear‘s weighty City at the End of Time, that’s not too shabby. I also finished up two categories – 2009 books (actually, I finished that a couple months ago, just didn’t list all the books) and books with a place name in the title.

That second one surprised me. I didn’t realize I was that close. But I decided to listen to Michael Palin’s Himalaya while working on some mundane task. It was quite interesting listening to his travelogue through the country both in what he saw and how his trip was influenced because he was doing it for the BBC. I especially enjoyed his description of some of the people/characters he met.

I found some new authors – Lynn York and The Piano Teacher as well as Michelle Yu and Blossom Kan’s China Dolls. I had fun with modern day New York City Chinatown chick lit, I have to admit.

I also spent time enjoying books by old friends – Sand Sharks by Margaret Maron which was all right, and Laguna Heat by T. Jefferson Parker which was an excellent suspense novel with his specialty of twisting the past and present together.

That means I’m still on track. Right now I’m reading Shinju by Laura Joh Rowland. A friend at work recommended this historical Japanese mystery series. I’m almost done and still haven’t decided. It’s not one I could recommend to everyone because of it’s graphic violence and sexuality. Yet it’s intriguing to watch the policeman try to solve what he know is a murder that everyone is trying to cover up. That was an age of loyalty and protocal (late 1600’s) when a samurai would fall on his own sword if he shamed his family. So the culture is different from anything that I’ve read about. (And now I know what “eta” means. When I was reading Hawaii I didn’t go back to check. The eta are the Japanese unclean – the ones who are the lowest slaves or handle dead bodies and filth.)

But when I finish Shinju, I believe I have one of the Captain Alatriste series by Arturo Perez Reverte sitting in Mt. Bookpile calling my name. It’s time to read another translated book for the 999 challenge.

I have read 59 of the 81 books. I told myself I could duplicate up to three books across the challenge (for example, I could use Madame Bovary both in translated books and in books written before 1900). I haven’t done it yet, but there is that option if I am that close but don’t quite make it by December. Right now I’m on track. I hope I can stay that way.


  1. Comment by Aravis:

    Yuk! Glad you’re feeling better!

  2. Comment by -lindy:

    “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and the 1 or 2 others in that series (I think it’s 2…) take place in Sweden I believe. Is that covered in the European tour?