Tagged: bookstravaganza

Booyah, Bookstravaganza!

Bookstravaganza logo

I did it! I read and reviewed ten books in the month of December. I really didn’t think I’d make it. The most books I read in any other month last year was six, and reviews are far fewer. The donation page for Bookstravaganza is closed tomorrow. If anyone is as proud of me as I am, go ahead and donate a couple bucks to the Welcome Baby program at Edmonton Public Library.

Here are my reviews:

  1. Prairie Ostrich by Tamai Kobayashi
  2. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
  3. TransAtlantic by Colum McCann
  4. Shopgirl by Steve Martin
  5. The Wallcreeper by Nell Zink
  6. Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi
  7. Eleanor Rigby by Douglas Coupland
  8. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
  9. Detachment by Maurice Mierau
  10. Longbourn by Jo Baker

TransAtlantic remains my favourite. Other standouts were The Wallcreeper, Wild, and Detachment.

Thanks to everyone who supported Bookstravaganza this year. Next year I may try to read…. 11. To celebrate my success, I’m starting the year with the longest, densest books I can find. First up: The Luminaries.

What do you call half an extravaganza?

Click here for more information on how to donate to this year’s cause, Edmonton Public Library’s Welcome Baby Program. 

My Bookstravaganza goal is ten books read and reviewed in December. I’ve done five. Check ’em out:

  1. Prairie Ostrich by Tamai Kobayashi
  2. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
  3. TransAtlantic by Colum McCann
  4. Shopgirl by Steve Martin
  5. The Wallcreeper by Nell Zink

My favourite so far is TransAtlantic. Next up: Eleanor Rigby by Douglas Coupland and Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi.

Also check out my attempts at creative photography…



B is for Bookstravaganza

Ordinarily things like #GivingTuesday annoy me. Like, we already have a perfectly good day with “giving” already in it, can’t we use that? But today it works in my favour. I’m doing Bookstravaganza this year and I hope to convince a few people to give to Edmonton Public Library’s Welcome Baby Program.

I wrote about the Welcome Baby program and what it means to me here.

I wrote about Bookstravaganza last year. It’s basically a readathon with a charity component.

Find out how to donate here. You can donate a set amount, or pledge an amount per book I read & review this month. My goal is ten books and that’s pretty optimistic, so this doesn’t have to cost you much.

Here are the books I’m going to read:

What, me worry?

What, me worry?

If nothing else, follow the Bookstravaganza blog for daily mini-reviews of interesting books. Some of these people are crazy, or possibly on drugs, because they’ve already finished multiple books and it’s day two! Cheer me on, guys!

It’s a Bookstravaganza, Bitches

Note: it helps to imagine the title of this post read by Dave Chappelle as Rick James.

For the last three years, I’ve challenged myself to finish a long, intimidating book before New Years.  In 2011, I read The Magic Mountain, in 2012 I read Infinite Jest, and this year I’m reading Middlemarch. All the while, a group of Edmontonians have been reading ambitiously for the past three Decembers too and they call it a Bookstravaganza! They took a different, and I gotta say, more fun approach and made it competitive and charitable. It’s like a readathon and Movember combined without the creepy mustaches. I love the idea, and you can expect to see me in on this next year! In the meantime, follow the Bookstravaganza blog, and check out my quick primer:

  • The concept is pretty simple: read as many books as you can during the month of December. Participants post short reviews to the blog as they go and the most books read wins.
  • Matthew's stack. Pretty jealous that he's going to be reading The Girls soon.

    Matthew’s stack. Pretty jealous that he’s going to be reading The Girls soon.

    There’s no criteria for choosing books, but the choices are seriously great. Most of the participants posted a stack of books at the outset and in each one there are SO MANY books that I am jealous of and want to be reading RIGHT NOW (no offense Middlemarch!) My favourite stacks: This one including Slaughterhouse-Five, She’s Come Undone, Ficciones, and JPod and this one including Into the Wild, Outlander, Lullabies for Little Criminals, and The Sisters Brothers and this one (pictured) because of The Girls, The God of Small Things, and Naked Lunch.

  • Charitable donations are encouraged, on a one-time or per-book basis, to the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation, which puts books in underfunded school libraries. I’ve sponsored founding member Matthew Stepaniac at a modest per book rate. He is on fire right now, reading at a book-a-day pace, so I’m a little nervous!
  • The ten readers have some pretty impressive stats. One of them read 31 books last December. That’s insane!
  • The reviews are great because they’re quick reads and there are multiple updates each day. Here’s a great little review of Todd Babiak’s Come Barbarians which simultaneously made me want to read it immediately and lock it up somewhere because I know I will be traumatized!

Thanks Matthew for answering my questions and letting me participate next year! Follow along on Twitter and at the blog.