Saturday, December 20, 2008

The World Citizen Challenge



If you are a challenge addict, concerned about winding up in a halfway house, oh, before 2009 even really kicks off, then you need to stay away from Eva right now. She is pushing challenges like there’s no tomorrow, and I am being sorely tempted. But I am not going to succumb to most of them (not even the Dewey's Books Challenge, which is very, very tempting. I’m hoping lots of others will do that one to honor Dewey, who passed away in November). I am going to stick to my plan to finish my 2008 challenges in 2009, read through the three challenges I’ve created, and revamp the Ecojustice challenge to breathe life into it. However, Eva has come up with one challenge I just can’t refuse. This is the World Citizen challenge.


It’s a simple challenge, and I have decided not to bite off more than I can chew, thus I'm not going to major in World Citizenship or go on to do post-graduate degrees in it. I'm just going to make it a simple "minor," which means a mere three books to read in 2009 (don’t let that fool you, though. I only had to read 3 books for 2008’s science challenge, and I’ve still only read 1 ½). As with my self-created challenges, I approached this one with the idea in mind that I would have to read from my own shelves (no more buying new books for challenges when I’ve got plenty to read around here). I’m hoping I’ll make it through all three, because I really don’t think I can afford yet another “incomplete,” if I’m ever going to get my degree in book blogging.


I’ve decided to go to parts of the world I rarely go and have never been in person. We’re supposed to read from at least two of the following categories: politics, history, culture or anthropology/sociology, worldwide issues, and memoir/autobiography. The books I’ve chosen all fit into more than one of these categories (do I get extra credit for that, Eva?). Here they are:


From Beirut to Jerusalem by Thomas Friedman (politics and government, history, sociology)

Friedman can be a bit insufferable at times, but I know he’s readable, and I basically agree with him about everything. This one has always seemed like it would be a fascinating read. It may be a bit dated at this point in time, but that just might make it all the more interesting.


Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson (memoir, culture)

I’m the only one at my company, I think, who hasn’t read this one. Our boss gave copies of it to us as a Christmas present last year. I know the story, and I’m very interested in it, so I’m sure I’ll like it.


War Talk by Arundhati Roy (politics, worldwide issues)

If I’m going to read about politics, I’d like to have a novelist writing the book for me. This one looks really good. Added bonus (which all good students appreciate)? It’s short!


That’s it. Stay tuned for reviews in 2009 (we hope!).

6 comments:

Stefanie said...

What fun. I think you will like Roy. I've read several of her books including War Talk. She doesn't pull her punches.

Eva said...

Yay Emily!!! And I don't mean to be pimping challenges, lol...it's just those darn reading lists are so much fun to put together. :) I still haven't decided which of yours I'm going to do...either drama or getting to know you...decisions, decisions...

smithereens said...

I'm looking forward to your reviews of these books!
Re "Our boss gave copies of it to us as a Christmas present last year"... omg, maybe it's a cultural thing, but my boss would never ever think of offering us a book as a Xmas present! If so, I fear it might be "Cash flow for dummies" or "Outperform on the balance sheet"...

Emily Barton said...

Stef, oh good. I've chosen one that comes with a recommendation from you. How clever of me!

Eva, it's a most wonderful time of year with all these "tough" decisions, isn't it? I'm really looking forward to participating in this one.

Smithereens, LOL. I imagine most corporate bosses outside the publishing industry wouldn't think of offering books as gifts.

Cam said...

I have two of the three books you mention -- Friedman's book and 3 cups of tea. Haven't read past page 5 in either of them. Maybe, but I have so many other books to read too. Good luck to you.

Emily Barton said...

Cam,well,if I like them enough, maybe I'll post on them in such a way that they get moved up on your TBR list. We'll see...