Sunday, December 30, 2007

Something About Me Challenge Wrap-Up

Challenge summary: Lisa from Breaking the Fourth Wall hosted this fab challenge, complete with its own blog. Participants chose 5 books that they felt said something about them and then everyone chose from those lists.

My books: Here are the ones I'd planned to read. I can't believe I picked 25, but every time a new list came up, I'd find another one I couldn't resist.

The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby (Athena)
So Many Books, So Little Time by Sara Nelson (Vasilly, A Book in the Life, Sally)
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (Kristin)
Oh My Goth by Gena Showalter (Stephanie)
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson (Wendy)
The Amateur Marriage by Anne Tyler (Nattie)
Sixpence House: lost in a town of books by Paul Collins (Nattie)
Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank Gilbreth (Raidergirl13)
Evening Class by Maeve Binchy (Raidergirl13)
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (Christina)
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (various lists)
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory (Margo)
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery (Soleil)
Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading by Maureen Corrigan (Booklogged)
Nantucket Nights by Elin Hilderbrand (LibraryLady)
An Inconvenient Wife by Megan Chance (LibraryLady)
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer (SheReads)
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (SheReads)
The Neverending Story by Michael Ende (Valentina)
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See (Juli)
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (Faith)
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris (Kelly)
84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff (Historia)
East of Eden by John Steinbeck (Vasilly)
Marley and Me by John Grogan (Lynne)

The best book?: I can't pick just one! I can barely narrow it down to half a dozen, but here they are:
The Other Boleyn Girl
The Thirteenth Tale
The Polysyllabic Spree
An Inconvenient Wife
Evening Class
84 Charing Cross Road

Books I could have done without:

The Neverending Story, The Little Prince, and Inkheart - It's not exactly true that I could've done without them, because I did want to add add them to my children's librarian repertoire and I'm glad I did. But for me, they were pretty mostly chore-like and a struggle to get through.

Sixpence House - While I liked bits of the author's wit, I really didn't see the point of this book.

Books not finished:

Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading - From the introduction and table of contents, I could just tell her reading tastes were way too estoeric for me. She had a section titled something like What I learned from Catholic nun stories. As I wasn't even aware that was a genre, I figured we should part ways.

Marley and Me - Several things kept me from finishing this one - I'm not a large-dog person, I'd been reading a lot of non-fiction and needed a break, and I figured it would have to end with Marley dying, and I just didn't want to get invested only to have a sad ending.

The Historian - I just couldn't get into it, it seemed so very large and dark. And while I enjoy vampire stories, I'm not actually very interested in Dracula.

(Technically I didn't finish East of Eden for the challenge, unless I finish the last half by tomorrow night, but I am reading and enjoying it.)

What I learned from this challenge:

1) That there's a wonderful community of book bloggers out there! I guess I already knew that books can be a great common denominator for people, but it was cool to see it play out in cyberspace among (mostly) virtual strangers who all came together because of our love of reading. And I learned that that community is a wonderful source of recommendations - I liked most of the books and I loved a lot of them.

2) That I seem to need the "excuse" of a challenge to read things that have been on my TBR list for ages. East of Eden is one of my husband's all-time favourites and I've been meaning to read it since we met, but I hadn't tackled it til now. Same with the 3 children's books mentioned above and also Rebecca. I've joined a ton of challenges for next year and organized my TBR list on LibraryThing, mostly as a way to whittle down the list.

3) As with past challenges, I expanded my reading horizons. In particular, I read more nonfiction in the last half of this year than I've probably read in the last five years, combined.


raidergirl3 said...

..and you met me!
your kindred spirit in reading

Julie said...

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who could not get through The Historian. I was sooo excited when it came out and put it off for a while and then picked it up and just couldn't get into it. It was way too slow for me.

I haven't done challenges yet and maybe in the future I will but my challenge right now is getting through the books I have on my shelf to read. ;)

And it doesn't help that I have a list of 10 that I haven't purchased/gone to the library for in addition.

tinylittlelibrarian said...

Raidergirl - True, and hooray for that! :)

Julie - Yeah, I felt the slowness, too. It was too bad, because it sounded good and so many people in the challenge recommended it. But twas not for me. And a to-read list is definitely a challenge in itself!

Unknown said...

I listened to The Historian and thought it really dragged. I know I wouldn't have finished if I had been reading it! And you're amazing with the reviews. It takes me an age to write one.

alisonwonderland said...

terrific wrap-up post! here's to more reading and book blogging in 2008!

Julie said...

Ah yes, I did read it (The Historian) and then tried to listen to it on cd and gave up on it. You know it's bad when you try it 2 different ways.

tinylittlelibrarian said...

Vi - Thanks! But I think your reviews are more thoughtful than mine. :) And I'm glad to add another person to the unfinished Historian list.

Alison - Thanks! And I'll drink to that! Or read to it. :)

Julie - That is definitely giving it a serious ol' college try!