Xanadu Reading Challenge – May 2021

One of the lovely things about being an online arts centre is that Notes can Xanadu can feature writing and literature alongside other art forms.  With this in mind, we have created a reading challenge for 2021.  Each month there will be a theme, with several sub-categories, and the challenge is to read one or more books each month to fit the topic.  Feel free to add sub-categories, the only rule is that one book each month should be a new read.  The entire challenge can be downloaded in pdf format here.  We also have an Excel spreadsheet, thanks to Karin Hammarstrom, one of our participants, which you can also download, and use to track your progress.

Every month, we’ll introduce the theme and sub-categories in a post like this, and also give some reading suggestions.  Please leave a comment and tell us what you are reading, and whether you are enjoying it, or any other information that you would like to share with your fellow readers.

For May, the theme is Music.


. a biography or autobiography of a musician or composer
. a novel where music is one of the main themes
. a book that teaches you how to play an instrument

Reading suggestions:

. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
. Lady Sings the Blues by Billie Holiday
. John W Schaum Adult Piano Course Book 1

I’m reading:

The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather

Come back next month for our June suggestions, and don’t forget to leave a comment below to tell us how you got on in April or May!  Happy reading!


3 comments on “Xanadu Reading Challenge – May 2021

  1. I have just posted the review to my May read: Love Can Build a Bridge by Naomi Judd. It falls under the category “biography or autobiography of a musician or composer”.

    I didn’t know we had a spreadsheet. Looks lovely. Thank you, Mary and Karin. Are we supposed to use it and post it in the end or is it just for our own use?

  2. Hi Marianne, Care to tell us a little bit about the book here? You can use the spreadsheet anyway you like, feel free to share it or not; it’s up to you.

    I changed my book to This is your Brain on Music by Daniel J Levitin, as it’s on the reading list for the degree I’m starting in September. I am still reading it. Neuroscience seems to be making a bid as the new rock n roll of the sciences, but I don’t find it nearly as interesting as cosmology – I didn’t get very far with Behave either. 🙂

    • Again, sorry, I never received the update.

      My book was about the country duo Naomi and Wynonna Judd, mother and daughter. It’s about their private lives as well as their music career which told us a lot about that industry.

      I wouldn’t mind posting my link but it didn’t work when I tried it and you said that was the problem. Still, if you or anyone else is interested, here it is in parts:
      You just have to add https:// at the beginning and .html at the end.

      I will use the spreadsheet, can I post it on your page?

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