Saturday, May 2, 2009

Am I taking on too many challenges?

I kind of started another challenge yesterday, the "Think before you read the news challenge" (although I need another name for it!!). I'm still trying to work out how I'm going to keep myself informed and, at the same time, avoid the panic and mass media induced hysteria. You left some good suggestions on the comments, so I'll try some of those and report back.

But this got me thinking about my other challenges (yes, I'm one of those, in order to do something, I need a challenge... or a deadline, although worryingly these don't seem to work as well anymore). I can remember three at the moment, and I'm sure there were others. As always, trying to do too much.

The 2009 Reading Dangerously challenge (more info here) is, incidentally, how I met Julochka, who brought most of you here. I'm so happy you are here so thank you for coming and thank you, Julie!

You can see my list of dangerous books in my sidebar, of which I've read exactly one. I remind you I'm writing this on May. I'm reading, I'm just not reading dangerously enough. I've just finished eat pray love, which is a lot of things, but definitely not challenging. I'm still trying to decide if I liked it or hated it (can a book be inspirational and annoying in equal measures?). So, next on my list, one that has been on my bookshelves for a really, really long time: White Teeth. I'm trying, really trying.

The other self imposed challenge is Think before you buy (I'm so good at coming up with catchy names!). I'm trying to be more careful with impulsive purchases (mainly clothes, magazines, Starbucks coffee and yes, books!). This was going pretty well (except I did get one or two magazines that I definitely didn't need), but I miserably and utterly failed two weeks ago, when Gap decided to send me a 30% discount voucher. Of course I blame Gap, sending me the voucher AND having a collection that I actually like this year! This is not so bad, considering that I used to get a new piece of clothing (or two) every week. It's funny, despite the Gap incident, I've realized that I don't miss all that clothes shopping at all, which has been a real surprise, and just goes to show that sometimes we have no idea what makes us happy.

As for the Disconnect challenge, in which I try to spend less time on the Internet... let's just say I need to try harder.


  1. OMZ (Oh my Zeus, in case you were wondering)! White teeth is fokken awesome. You will love it and and then you will immediately want to read On beauty, which is even more awesome, and you should.
    Will now check out the challenge, since it sounds exactly like me.

  2. You're being way too hard on yourself B.
    At least you're trying AND being brave enough to state your intentions. (unlike yours truly)
    So what if you don't complete your reading list.
    May I suggest you move on to In Cold Blood (you won't have to try with this one)
    I hope you haven't seen the movie Capote,(fantastic) because really the book should come first (like most movies based on books IMO)
    Have a great week!

  3. I read the Historian (well part of it). I started it and didn't finish for some reason. I'll have to re-read and read it again.

    I will totally tell you how Sheye's workshop is when I'm done. I'm a beginner (completely) so it's easier for some who know what camera settings are...but if I could just go get the camera book downstairs and read it...I think I would learn more:)

    I'm trying though. I don't have kids...that's one things. People with kids can take great photos. I am left to taking photos of things and dogs/cats.

  4. @ Extranjera, I HAVE read On beauty and loved it! Which makes it even more strange that I never got round to reading her first!
    @ Jan, now you're being too hard on yourself! :) You only have to state your intentions if you feel like it. Right, In Cold Blood will be the next one.
    @ P&P, it's not a good sign that you didn't finish. So exciting about your workshop and photos of things are my favourite!

  5. Challenging ourselves to grow and become all that we can be is a very cool thing.
    Just don't be so hard on yourself girl!
    Ha.....who am I to talk ;)
    All we can do is try. And get up the next day and try again. For example, I was going to take a coffee break? But........I haven't done so yet. It just tastes so yummy in the morning.

    Oh well, I'll try again later.

  6. B--i would not discount the dangerousness of reading eat, pray, love. i resisted for a long time due to its popularity. then, i read it and actually really love it, except the part about india, which i found kinda self-absorbed and well, i really just don't like india. but if i'm honest, the whole damn thing is self-absorbed, but overall i read it at a time i needed it and so i liked it. she was more intelligent than i thought she would be from the title. there's a google talks video of her somewhere out there that's worth finding, where she talks about the book.

    i too am supposed to be reading dangerously and i haven't even picked a list of dangerous books, let alone read any. my bad.

    your think before you buy inspired my austerity april, which i want to continue into may, but haven't been able to come up with a clever alliterative title for it yet. and luckily, we don't have the Gap, or i'd be in the same trouble you are on that front.

    due to a deep and abiding fear that i will disappear in a puff of smoke (or possibly in a cloud of chenin blanc fumes) i cannot possibly try to do the disconnect thing. :-)

  7. loved White Teeth. so true about needing deadlines or challenges to get things done!

  8. I think you may actually be taking too many challenges on... how's the staying away from internet going? I've tried that - didn't work that well :-)

    Dangerous reading sounds brill. I loved White Teeth, let us know what you thought of that when you're done reading.

  9. @ Lynette, thanks! No coffee? I won't even try...
    @ Polly, I can't keep away from the Internet! I'm starting to worry that I have an addiction!
    Everyone seems to like White Teeth, so I'm looking forward to reading it!

  10. Wow! Everyone seems to have good things to say about White Teeth. I may have to read that.

    Also, I actually did find eat pray love annoying and inspiring in equal measures. It is definately possible.

  11. have just discovered your blog and have to stop myself from reading all of it - 'cause work's calling, what a bummer. will be back soon! :)

  12. Thanks for your support B... Best wishes to you as well! :)

  13. B...okay, that's it. If you're doing the reading challenge then so am I!
    I've selected all classics that I feel I should have read by now, so I'm calling them 'dangerous'.

    On the other hand, does Gulliver's Travels sound like a dangerous read??


  14. @ Madame Ladybug, so glad you said that about eat pray love. I'm still thinking about it though, so it can't have been that bad.
    @ Kristina and Terminal 101, Thanks! I enjoy both your blogs
    @ The fragrant muse, Cool! More people joining the challenge. We must blog about what we read so we see how others are doing!

  15. Woo Hoo. You have been awarded the Morning coffee award. Details in my blog.

  16. Thinking before buying is a good thing to continue and reading...of course! read read read!

    As for less time on the internet...I understand what you are going can be depressing but blogs are so nice! We gotta go outside and do stuff, read books etc...but it is so nice to be here!

    Do what you feel like, when you feel like it...B in the moment!

  17. I love stealing other people's reading lists. I have oficially stolen yours now. I was at a standstill as I have exhausted most on my list I make regularly. Can't wait to see what you all love and hate!

    Thanks again for the list! :)


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