Friday, August 10, 2007

UPDATE: Summer Challenges Completed

I seem to by cycling with the reading challenges this year. I try a few, then get carried away and suddenly I'm stressing, and I know, they should be just fun, but, I really like to finish a list, and cross it off. And I'm picking books I want to read, so I'm not torturing myself here. I found June got a little crazy, with the Spring Reading Thing, Once Upon a Time and the Chunkster all finishing around the same time. So, to reward myself, I signed up for a bunch of summer ones, but a little more carefully. Here's what I have recently finished:

The Summer Reading Challenge, Round 2
1. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

2. Good Intentions by Joy Fielding

3. The Translator by Leila Aboulela

4. Arthur & George by Julian Barnes

All good reads, but the best was, Arthur & George.

Aah, mysteries. I couldn't pass up this challenge: read 6 new to you mystery authors. I could have done this one with already-read authors, because this just adds to my never ending list of books to read.
1. Murder on a Girl's Night Out by Anne George
2. The Princess of Burundi by Kjell Eriksson
3. One for the Money by Janet Evanovich
4. Restless by William Boyd (not a series)
5. Shakespeare's Landlord by Charlaine Harris
6. Killer Swell by Jeff Shelby

All perfect little mysteries. I'll read more in each series, but I particularly liked Shakespeare's Landlord.

Then, was Joy's Nonfiction Challenge. I need this challenge more often, because I don't read as much nonfiction as I could, and I always enjoy when I do. Bring on more, Joy.
Galileo's Daughter by Dava Sobel
Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Zlato's Diary: A Child's Life in Sarajevo
The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

I liked all of these in different ways, and would recommend any of them.

This was my favorite challenge, because it really exposed me to some authors and novels I would never have read. I didn't even realize it could be called a genre, or style. Maggie did a lot of prep work before this one started, and she got me intrigued. I still resisted, but finally succumbed, reading:

1. Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind: Ann B. Ross
2. Murder on a Girl's Night Out: Anne George
3. A Confederacy of Dunces: John Kennedy Toule
and for extra credit, because it got really hot here:
4. Quite a Year for Plums: Bailey White
5. Shakespeare's Landlord: Charlaine Harris
What perfect books for the lazy, hazy days of summer.

These challenges are so much fun. I'm reading good books I might never have found, meeting interesting people who also love books, and just having a lot of fun. What are you waiting for? Go try one. This group has a list of all challenges ongoing, and lets readers talk about the challenges they are doing, and completing. Or, this blog lists most ongoing challenges and links to them. Wendy (caribousmom) has been great to keep us all organized. I think she likes lists even more than me!


  1. I'm thrilled I was able to get new and good books in your hand! Do be sure to check back by to enter the last autographed Clark copy given away to completers. :D

  2. My wife thought Flowers For Algernon was her favourite book but she read it again recently and realized it as she had remembered.

  3. maggie - It was a great challenge and I will read more Southern books

    john - Flowers was good, but went on a little long. The idea was interesting.


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