Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Paris: The Luminous Years Challenge

January 1 - December 31, 2011

ABC Reads is hosting the Paris: The Luminous Years Challenge. They write:

We recently saw the program "Paris, The Luminous Years: Toward the Making of the Modern" on PBS. We had been thinking of coming up with our own book challenge for 2011, since we enjoyed Our Mutual Read so much, but so far have not been inspired by any of the book challenges for next year that we'd seen.

"Paris, The Luminous Years spotlights now-famous figures in the world’s first international avant-garde, tracing who came to Paris, when and why, whom they met, what they made there..." [from the PBS fact sheet]

We recommend you watch "The Luminous Years" before starting the challenge, but even if you don't (the New York Times was rather dismissive about it), you can still explore this fertile territory in your 2011 reading. Not only is it an important literary period (Hemingway, Joyce, Dos Passos-you've got practically the whole Lost Generation to choose from-& then also Anais Nin, Henry Miller, & Langston Hughes), but you might also read about composers (Aaron Copland to Les Six); dance (Ballets Russes to Isadora Duncan); artists including Picasso, Matisse, & Miró; architecture; movements such as Dada, Surrealism, Fauvism, & Cubism; café culture; Montparnasse or Montmartre; Left Bank women; famous expatriates such as Josephine Baker; & of course jazz.
Guidelines for the challenge:
  1. Read 6-12 books in 2011 that have some connection with Paris during the years 1905-1930
  2. 3 books must be non-fiction (biographies, books about the period)
  3. 3 books must be fiction, plays or poetry. These must be either: set during 1905-1930 in Paris; written during 1905-1930 in Paris; or written by authors who lived in Paris during those years.
  4. If you read more than 6 books, you can choose to read fiction or non-fiction for the remainder of the challenge.
  5. Anyone can participate in this challenge
Learn more and sign up by visiting the post about the challenge.