Wednesday, June 20, 2012

2012 Finished Challenge: Spring Reading Thing

The Books I Finished

1) Becoming Queen Victoria: The Tragic Death of Princess Charlotte and the Unexpected Rise of Britain's Greatest Monarch. Kate Williams.
2) Light Princess by George MacDonald
3) North and South. Elizabeth Gaskell. 1855/1998. 454 pages. 
4) Magnificent Obsession: Victoria, Albert, and the Death that Changed the British Monarchy. Helen Rappaport.
5) Mr. Darcy's Diary. Amanda Grange. Sourcebooks. 2007. 320 pages.
6) Henry Tilney's Diary. Amanda Grange. 2011. [December 2011] Penguin. 288 pages.
7) Midnight in Austenland. Shannon Hale. 2012. Bloomsbury. 288 pages.
8) The Selection. Kiera Cass. 2012. HarperCollins. 327 pages
9) Enchanted. Alethea Kontis. 2012. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 320 pages.
10) Miracle. Elizabeth Scott. 2012. Simon & Schuster. 224 pages.
11) Looking for Me. Betsy R. Rosenthal. 2012. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 176 pages.
12) Out of Sight, Out of Time. Ally Carter. 2012. Hyperion. 304 pages.
13) Article 5. Kristen Simmons. 2012 Tor. 368 pages.
14) Partials. Dan Wells. 2012. HarperCollins. 480 pages.
15) Pandemonium. Lauren Oliver. 2012. HarperCollins. 384 pages.
16) The List. Siobhan Vivian. 2012. Scholastic. 336 pages.
17) Wonder. R. J. Palacio. 2012. Random House. 320 pages.
18) Fever. (Chemical Garden Series #2). Lauren DeStefano. 2012. Simon & Schuster. 352 pages.
19) Irises. Francisco X. Stork. 2012. Scholastic. 304 pages.
20) Unbreak My Heart. Melissa Walker. 2012. Bloomsbury. 240 pages.
21) Insurgent. Veronica Roth. 2012. HarperCollins. 525 pages.
22) Henrietta's War: News from the Home Front, 1939-1942. Joyce Dennys. 1985/2010. Bloomsbury. 176 pages.
23) Henrietta Sees It Through. Joyce Dennys. 1987/2011. Bloomsbury. 208 pages.
24) The Flight of Gemma Hardy. Margot Livesey. 2012. HarperCollins. 447 pages.
25) Mascot: Unraveling the Mystery of My Jewish Father's Nazi Boyhood. Mark Kurzem. 2007. Penguin. 432 pages.
26) Kisses From Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption. Katie Davis. 2011. October 2011. Howard Books. 288 pages.
27) The Great Influenza. The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History. John M. Barry. 2004. Penguin. 546 pages. 
28) Dreamers of the Day. Mary Doria Russell. 2008. Random House. 254 pages. 
29) Glamour in Glass. Mary Robinette Kowal. 2012. Tor. 336 pages.
30) The Lost Wife. Alyson Richman. 2011. Penguin. 352 pages.
31) The Seven Dials Mystery. Agatha Christie. 1929/2012. HarperCollins. 304 pages.
32)  Mrs. McGinty's Dead. Agatha Christie. 1952/2011. HarperCollins. 272 pages. 


  • Did you finish reading all the books on your spring reading list? If not, why not?
Well, yes and no. I had designated themes and a vague notion of specific books. But I did stick with the themes, for the most part. My themes were: "V is for Victoria," "All About Austen," "New and Mostly New YA Releases," and "Miscellaneous Musts from the Library." With themes such as "Miscellaneous Musts" it's hard not to meet the requirements! There were books that I thought I'd get to by now--We Two: Victoria and Albert: Rulers, Partners, Rivals by Gillian Gill, All Roads Lead to Austen: A Year Long Journey with Jane by Amy Elizabeth Smith--but they just didn't get read.
  • Did you stick to your original goals or did you change your list as you went along?
See above. I had fixed goals (themes) but a very, very flexible list of books. 
  • What was your favorite book that you read this spring? Least favorite? Why?
My favorite book from this list? Well, I'm not sure I could do that. But I could do a top three! 1) Kisses From Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption by Katie Davis; 2) Becoming Queen Victoria: The Tragic Death of Princess Charlotte and the Unexpected Rise of Britain's Greatest Monarch by Kate Williams; 3) Wonder by R.J. Palacio.

My least favorite book from this list is Dreamers of the Day by Mary Doria Russell. I hated the condescending tone taken towards Christianity and the ending did not work for me at all.
  • Did you discover a new author or genre this spring? Did you love them? Not love them?
I read a few new-to-me authors this spring. For example, the two Henrietta books by Joyce Dennys. And I believe some of the YA authors I read this time: Kiera Cass, Alethea Kontis, Kristen Simmons, Dan Wells, R. J. Palacio. I didn't really try any new genres. But I did read a lot more nonfiction than typical! 
  • Did you learn something new because of Spring Reading Thing 2012 – something about reading, about yourself, or about a topic you read about?
I read quite a bit nonfiction for this challenge! And I always learn something when I read nonfiction. I read several books about Queen Victoria and the Victorian period, for example.
  • What was your favorite thing about the challenge?
 The reading.


© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

5 comments:

imaloverofbooks 12:11 PM  

Wow! That is quite a list! What is the next or current challenge you are participating in?

Kristin 10:55 AM  

You certainly got a lot of reading time in. I like how you set up themes for reading. Perhaps next time around, I should do that. I made a list and read 19 out of 20 on the list, plus 19 other books - most of those books being new library books that I had reserved and came in during this challenge.

If you get a chance, come check out my Spring Thing Wrap Up post.

Tanya Patrice 11:01 AM  

You certainly rocked this challenge! I love the idea of setting up a theme.

Shonya 10:03 AM  

I love Kisses From Katie as well. Lots of great-looking books on your list!

Katrina @ Callapidder Days 7:53 PM  

Great job, Becky! And I like that you picked a Top 3. :) I've been hearing many great things about Kisses from Katie, and need to put that one on my list. Thanks for being part of SRT '12!

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

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