Challenge #9 – Change Monday, Sep 1 2008 

BAM Challengers have really been stepping up to the plate the last few months providing our challenges! This month’s challenge is provided by Linda Dyndiuk. Change is a fabulous theme that can be applied in so many different ways. Just examine some of Linda’s suggestions! I hope you have a lot of fun with this challenge. If you’re interested in providing next month’s, or any month’s challenge, e-mail me at bamchallenge{at}

  • Times of Change in History
    • 1776 by David McCullough
    • The Map that Changed the World by Simon Winchester
    • April 1865: The Month that Saved America by Jay Winik
    • Five Days in London: May 1940 by John Lukacs
    • 1920: The Year of the Six Presidents by David Pietrusza
    • The Boys from Dolores by Patrick Symmes
  • Climate Change
    • The Winds of Change: climate, weather, and the destruction of civilizations by Eugene Linden
    • The great warming: climate change and the rise and fall of civilizations by Brian Fagan
    • With speed and violence: why scientists fear tipping points in climate change by Fred Pearce
    • Field Notes from a Catastrophe: man, nature, and climate change by Elizabeth Kolbert
    • An Inconvenient Truth: the planetary emergency of global warming and what we can do about it by Al Gore
  • Memoirs of Change
    • She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders by Jennifer Finney Boylan
    • Leaving Microsoft to change the world by John Wood
    • A Change of Heart: a memoir by Claire Sylvia
    • Drunk Divorced and Covered in Cat Hair by Laurie Perry
  • Novels of change
    • Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
    • The Breast by Philip Roth
    • Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult
    • Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
    • The Master Butcher’s Singing Club by Louise Erdrich
    • The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu
    • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Titles with the word “change”
    • Spare Change by Robert B. Parker
    • Step-ball-change by Jeanne Ray
    • Never Change by Elizabeth Berg
    • The Winds of Change and Other Stories by Isaac Asimov
    • A Sudden Change of Heart by Barbara Taylor Bradford
  • Change Your Life
    • Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain: how a new science reveals our extraordinary potential to transform ourselves by Sharon Begley
    • Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life: living the wisdom of the Tao by Wayne Dyer
    • A Weekend to Change Your life: find your authentic self after a lifetime of being all things to all people by Joan Anderson
    • The Gift of Change: spiritual guidance for a radically new life
    • Do One Thing Different: ten simple ways to change your life by Bill O’Hanlon
    • Learned Optimism: how to change your mind and your life by Martin Seligman
    • What Color is Your Parachute?: A Practical Manual for job-hunters and career-changers by Richard Nelson Bolles
    • Colleges That Change Lives by Loren Pope
  • Change the World
    • It’s your world – if you don’t like it, change it: activisim for teenagers by Mikki Halpin
    • How to Change the World: social entrepreneurs and the power of new ideas by David Bornstein
    • Giving: how each of us can change the world by Bill Clinton
    • Writing to Change the World by Mary Pipher

Challenge #8 – Cold Friday, Aug 1 2008 

First, many thanks to BAM Challenger Patty Franz for providing this month’s theme and booklist! If you’d like to contribute to future BAM Challenges, e-mail me at bamchallenge{at}

As it’s August, you’re either wishing for the cold to come back if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere or wishing it would just go away if you’re in the Southern one. Either way, an exploration of the many different meanings of cold is sure to take your mind off of the weather!

Cold Case Mysteries
Barnard, Robert – Bones in the Attic
Barnes, Linda – Cold Case
Buchanan, Edna – Cold Case Squad
Burcell, Robin – Cold Case
Burke, James Lee – Crusader’s Cross
Gourevitch, Philip – Cold Case
Grafton, Sue – A is for Alibi
Hooper, Kay – Chill of Fear
Tey, Josephine – Daughter of Time
Vickers, Roy – Department of Dead Ends
White, Stephen – Cold Case

Cold Feet Romances
Juska, Elise, et al – Cold Feet
Dave, Laura – London is the Best City in America

Places that are Cold
Krakauer, Jon – Into Thin Air
Lansing, Alfred – Endurance: Shackelton’s Incredible Voyage
Ehrlich, Gretel – The Future of Ice: a journey into cold
Nielsen, Jerri – Ice Bound
Taliaferro, John – In a Far Country: the True Story of a Mission, a Marriage, a Murder and the Remarkable Reindeer Rescue of 1898
Time Bandit

Snow Titles
Daheim, Mary – Snow Place to Die
Guterson , David – Snow falling on cedars
Houston, James – Snow Mountain Passage
Miller, Calvin – Snow
Olsen, Gregg – A wicked snow
O’Nan, Stewart – Snow Angels
Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds – Blizzard’s Wake
Pamuk, Orhan – Snow
Park, David – The Big Snow
Parvin, Roy – In the Snow Forest
Shreve, Anita – Light on Snow
Stabenow, Dana – A Fine and Bitter Snow;
Tracy P. J. – Snow Blind

There are probably as many titles with ice in them as cold.

The weather is so cold it affects the book
These are suggestions from one of Patty’s colleagues:
Two books that come to mind immediately to me are Wolves Eat Dogs by Martin Cruz Smith (part of the Arkady Renko series) and In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spenser-Fleming. In case you are not familiar with these titles, in both books the main characters are constantly dealing with the cold. So much so that the weather almost becomes a character in the book. Wolves takes place in Chernobyl, when Arkady is investigating a murder by plutonium. In Midwinter, the main character is the new Episcopal priest in a small town in the Catskills. She grew up in the South, and is totally unprepared for winter in New York. It is also a murder mystery.

Ghost Stories that can send chills down your spine
Burchill, James – The Cold, Cold Hand : More Stories of Ghosts and Haunts from the Appalachian Foothills

The Cold War
The Watchmen graphic novels

Other ideas to explore
Cold shoulder
Cold cuts
Cold remedies
Cold beer here (from baseball games)
Cold hard cash
Cold symptoms
Cold day in hell
Cold shower
Winter Holidays

Challenge #5 – Mother Thursday, May 1 2008 

This month’s theme may seem a little obvious for those in the U.S., but I had to be reminded that Mother’s Day was this month by looking at one of those ubiquitous holiday calendars. Luckily I’ve already taken care of my present for my mother. Whew! As usual, there’s a wide-range of books you can read to incorporate into the challenge, though it may take a little effort. Some of the ones I’ve thought up are: books on the joys of being a mother/grandmother, the trials and tribulations of becoming/being a mother, famous mothers, fiction where mothers/grandmothers are a central theme, Mother Earth, and someone with mother issues.

  • Mothering humor
    • Belly Laughs: the Naked Truth About Pregnancy and Childbirth by Jenny McCarthy
    • Knocked Up: Confessions of a Hip Mother-to-be by Rebecca Eckler
    • Motherhood, the Second Oldest Profession by Erma Bombeck
    • The Sweet Potato Queens’ Guide to Raising Children for Fun and Profit by Jill Conner Browne
    • You Make Me Feel Like an Unnatural Woman : Diary of a New (Older) Mother by Judith Newman
  • Mother biographies
    • The Autobiography of Mother Jones by Mother Jones
    • A Simple Path by Mother Theresa and Lucinda Vardey
    • Teta, Mother, and Me: Three Generations of Arab Women by Jean Said Makdisi
    • A Remarkable Mother by Jimmy Carter
    • A Woman of Uncertain Character: the Amorous and Radical Adventures of My Mother Jennie (Who Always Wanted to be a Respectable Jewish Mom) by Her Bastard Son by Clancy Sigal
  • Mother fiction
    • Sweet Love by Sarah Strohmeyer
    • Odd Mom Out by Jane Porter
    • A Boy in Winter by Maxine Chernoff
    • The Bonesetter’s Daughter by Amy Tan
    • White Oleander by Janet Fitch
  • Mother Earth – ecology/environmentalism
    • An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore
    • Extinction: the Causes and Consequences of the Disappearance of Species by Paul R. Ehrlich Anne H. Ehrlich
    • Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared M Diamond
    • Gaia’s Revenge: Climate Change and Humanity’s Loss by P H Liotta; Allan W Shearer
    • Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
  • Mother issues
    • Freud on Women : a Reader by Sigmund Freud and Elisabeth Young-Bruehl
    • Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs
    • Postcards From the Edge by Carrie Fisher
    • The Woman Who Gave Birth To Her Mother by Kim Chernin
    • Oh No! I’ve Become My Mother by Sandra Reishus

Challenge #3 – Craft Saturday, Mar 1 2008 

Here in the United States, March is National Craft Month. Now, the purpose of this month is to get you to more involved in a hobby, generally creating something. As a knitter, a writer, and a librarian, I love the many meanings behind the word “craft”. Want to learn a new craft? Check out a book on it from your local library. Read a biography of a master craftsman, say John Barrymore and Katharine Hepburn in acting, Frank Lloyd Wright in architecture, Henry Kissinger or Madeline Albright in diplomacy, Arthur Miller in playwriting, Alphonse Mucha in the Art Nouveau movement, Martha Stewart in all-around crafting, or even Tony Hawk in skateboarding. Maybe a master is writing about their craft. If you love a good novel, you’d be surprised at how often crafts come up in fiction. Think about crafty characters, both fictional and real. History turns your crank? Craft guilds have had enormous impact on cultures throughout the world. Why not read a book you think is an excellent example of the craft of writing? “Craft” has so many connotations, you can go wild with all the books you can read!

  • Fiction featuring crafts
    • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
    • Knit One, Kill Two by Maggie Sefton
    • The Shop on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber
    • Folly by Laurie King
    • Patchwork Planet by Anne Tyler
    • How to Make an American Quilt by Whitney Otto
    • Born in Fire by Nora Roberts
    • Larceny and Old Lace by Tamar Myers
    • Sins and Needles by Monica Ferris
    • Fiction with Crafts, Hobbies, etc. Booklist from Fiction_L
  • Biographies
    • John Barrymore, Shakespearean Actor by Michael A. Morrison
    • Madame Secretary by Madeline Albright
    • Kate: the Woman Who was Hepburn by William J. Mann
    • Tony Hawk: Professional Skateboarder by Tony Hawk and Sean Mortimer (YA)
    • The White House Years by Henry Kissinger
    • Being Martha by Lloyd Allen
    • The Fellowship: The Untold Story of Frank Lloyd Wright and the Taliesin Fellowship by Roger Friedland and Harold Zellman
    • Arthur Miller: A Playwright’s Life and Works by Enoch Brater
    • Alphonse Mucha by Sarah Mucha
  • Master crafters writing about what they do
    • Yarn Harlot: the Secret Life of a Knitter by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
    • Diplomacy by Henry Kissinger
    • Spinning the Semantic Web by Tim Berners-Lee, Dieter Fensel, James A. Hendler, and Henry Lieberman
    • Chanel by François Baudot and Coco Chanel
    • On Writing by Stephen King
  • Craft guilds in history
    • Craft Guilds in the Early Modern Low Countries: Work, Power And Representation by Maarten Roy Prak, Catharina Lis, Jan Lucassen, and Hugo Soly
    • The Striking Cabbies of Cairo and Other Stories: Crafts and Guilds in Egypt, 1863-1914 by John T. Chalcraft
    • The Weaver’s Craft: Cloth, Commerce, and Industry in Early Pennsylvania (Early American Studies) by Adrienne D. Hood
    • The Guild State: Its Principles and Possibilities by G. R. S. Taylor, Dr. Roger McCain, and Anthony Cooney
    • Guilds, Trade And Agriculture by Arthur J. Penty

Challenge #2 – Heart Friday, Feb 1 2008 

Ah, February. The month of Valentine’s Day. Some say Hallmark Holiday, others a perfect time to express the heat between lovers during the cold, cold months of the Northern Hemisphere. One way or another, February 14th means “love” to millions around the world. I say, why stop at love? Why not include the symbol of love, the heart? Find your local romance genre lover and ask her, or HIM, for suggestions. Lots of genre books have a romance as a subplot, if you prefer other genres. Read a history of surgery, namely open heart surgery and heart transplants. If someone shows great courage, don’t people say the person “has heart”? Maybe you want to read about legendary lovers, fictional or real. Maybe you want to give a vampire book a try? They’ve got that blood-lust thing going on and the heart pumps blood. Read an author, or about a topic, you love. Like last time, lots of ways to think about the heart here!

  • Romance
    • Northern Lights by Nora Roberts
    • Something About Emmaline by Elizabeth Boyle
    • Beyond a Wicked Kiss by Jo Goodman
    • Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon
    • Crooked Hearts by Patricia Gaffney
    • Match Me If You Can by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
    • Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer
  • Other genre reads with a romance subplot
    • Death at Wentwater Court by Carola Dunn
    • High Country Fall by Margaret Maron
    • Blood Lies by Daniel Kalla
    • Murder with Peacocks by Donna Andrews
    • The Icarus Agenda by Robert Ludlum
  • Legendary Lovers
    • The Letters of Abelard and Heloise
    • Heloise & Abelard : A New Biography by James Burge
    • The Memoirs of Cleopatra: A Novel by Margaret George
    • The Romance of Tristan and Iseult by J. Bedier and Hilaire Belloc
    • Idylls of the King by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
  • Medicine
    • Journey into the Heart: A Tale of Pioneering Doctors and Their Race to Transform Cardiovascular Medicine by David Monagan and David O. Williams
    • Every Second Counts: The Race to Transplant the First Human Heart by Donald McRae
    • The History of Cardiology by L.J. Acierno
    • History of the Disorders of Cardiac Rhythm by Berndt Luederitz
    • King of Hearts: The True Story of the Maverick Who Pioneered Open Heart Surgery by G. Wayne Miller
    • Partners of the Heart by Vivien T. Thomas
  • Books with “Heart” in the title
    • Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
    • Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult
    • Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
    • Soldier’s Heart: Reading Literature Through Peace and War at West Point by Elizabeth D. Samet
    • The Hearts of Horses by Molly Gloss
    • The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
    • Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West by Dee Brown
    • Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter (YA)
    • In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick
    • The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe

Challenge #1 – Time Tuesday, Jan 1 2008 

It’s that time of the year. Ha ha. Okay, bad pun, but true. At the start of the new year, time is on everyone’s mind: the passing of it, past, present, future, planning how we will spend the new year with our lists upon lists of resolutions and goals. Heck, participating in the BAM Challenge may be one of your resolutions and it certainly is a time commitment. Time can be an abstract concept, or it can be one of the most precise measurements in the world. History is the study of the times of a place, historical fiction is set in a certain time, epics take place over time. Biographies are a way to immerse yourself in a specific time period and look at it through the eyes of the person living it. Your first challenge of the year: read a book involving time.

Random suggestions:

  • Time travel
    • The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
    • First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde
    • When I Fall in Love by Lynn Kurland
    • Brasyl by Ian McDonald
  • Historical events, places and people
    • The War: an Intimate History, 1941-1945 by Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns
    • The Hundred Years’ War AD 1337-1453 by Anne Curry
    • The Dynasties of China: a History by Bamber Gascoigne
    • The Lion and the Unicorn: Gladstone vs. Disraeli by Richard Aldous
  • Historical fiction
    • Annette Vallon by James Tipton
    • City of Dreams by Beverly Swerling
    • The Seanachie by Bob Huerter
    • Daughter of the Sun by Barbara Wood
    • The Religion by Tim Willocks
  • Fiction set in historical times (yes, there is a difference between this and historical fiction)
    • Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
    • Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson
    • River God: A Novel of Ancient Egypt by Wilbur Smith
    • The Nonesuch by Georgette Heyer
  • Epic fiction
    • The Thornbirds by Colleen McCullough
    • The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
    • The Godfather by Mario Puzo
    • Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel
    • A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
  • The science of time
    • A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
    • The Nature of Space and Time by Stephen Hawking
    • Travels in Four Dimensions: the Enigmas of Space and Time by Robin Le Poidevin
    • The New Time Travelers: a Journey to the Frontiers of Physics by David Toomey
    • A World Without Time: the Forgotten Legacy of Godel and Einstein by Palle Yourgrau
  • Calendars
    • Mapping Time: the Calendar and Its History by E. G. Richards
    • Calendar: Humanity’s Epic Struggle to Determine a True and Accurate Year by David Ewing Duncan
    • Empires of Time by Anthony Aveni
    • Marking Time: the Epic Quest to Invent the Perfect Calendar by Duncan Steel
  • Time titles
    • Five O’Clock Shadow by Genie Davis
    • Five O’Clock Lightning: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and the Greatest Baseball Team in History, the 1927 New York Yankees by Harvey Frommer
    • Midnight by Dean Koontz
    • Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
    • The One O’Clock Chop by Ralph Fletcher (YA)
    • The Two O’Clock War: The 1973 Yom Kippur Conflict and the Airlift that Saved Israel by Walter J. Boyne
    • No Girl Needs a Husband Seven Days a Week by Nina Foxx
    • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle (YA)
    • Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (YA)
    • The Worst Hard Time: the Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl by Timothy Egan
    • The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson