Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Final Progress Report: Spring Reading Thing

This is my final progress report on the Spring Reading Thing Challenge. The challenge was created by Katrina from Callapidderdays. To see others participating visit here.

What was the best book you read this spring? This is always a hard question for me to answer. From this list, I'd have to say The Off Season by Catherine Gilbert Murdock. But including all the books I've read during this time period, I'd have to say Miss Spitfire by Sarah Miller.

What book could you have done without? From this list, Hole in the Sky by Pete Hautman. I thought I would like it much more than I did.

Did you try out a new author this spring? If so, which one, and will you be reading that author again? My favorite *new* author I've discovered this spring is Jeanne DuPrau. I absolutely loved this trilogy: The City of Ember, The People of Sparks, The Prophet of Yonwood.

If there were books you didn't finish, tell us why. Did you run out of time? Realize those books weren't worth it? There were ten books that I eliminated from my list within the first week or two. I eliminated them mainly because they were due at the library and had already been renewed one or two times. I had about sixty books out on my card, and I was just too overwhelmed by the library at that time to even think about renewing them again.

Did you come across a book or two on other participants' lists that you're planning to add to your own to-be-read pile? Which ones?

I'm sure I could find a dozen or more if I had the time to look right now.

What did you learn -- about anything -- through this challenge? Maybe you learned something about yourself or your reading style, maybe you learned not to pick so many nonfiction books for a challenge, maybe you learned something from a book you read. Whatever it is, share!
I learned that it is a lot easier to make a long list of books than to actually read a long list of books. Overall, I enjoyed what I read. A few of the titles went a little outside my comfort zone as far as what I typically read, so I learned a little about myself in that way. I had a few dystopian novels, for example, and I learned that I really typically like that sort of thing. But the absolutely most important thing I learned was that challenges are addictive and I cannot say no.

What was the best part of the Spring Reading Thing? I would have been reading books anyway. That's what I do naturally. What I liked was the sense of community. I liked feeling like I belonged to something. That was fun.

Would you be interested in participating in another reading challenge this fall? Definitely. I cannot say no to a good challenge. I might be more selective (and realistic) in my process of choosing what goes on my list so it isn't quite as overwhelming. But I would definitely want to participate.

Any other thoughts, impressions, or comments. I loved participating in this challenge. I had a lot of fun. I loved discovering other people's blogs. Some I've added to my "favorites" list and I do check them quite often.

    Books Remaining in the TBR pile
  • Rickshaw Girl by Mitali Perkins, illustrated by Jamie Hogan
  • How To Be A Baby by Me the Big Sister by Sally Lloyd Jones and Sue Heap
  • Duck, Duck, Goose by Tad Hills
  • The Annotated Cat: Under the Hats of Seuss and His Cats: Introduction and Annotations by Philip Nel
  • The Decoding of Lana Morris by Laura and Tom McNeal
  • Grief Girl by Erin Vincent
  • Would-Be Diary of a Princess by Jessica Green
  • Exploits of a Reluctant (But Extremely Goodlooking) Hero by Maureen Fergus
  • A Swift Pure Cry by Siobhan Dowd
  • Corydon & The Fall of Atlantis by Tobias Druitt
  • So Not The Drama by Paula Chase

I did not complete 11 of the titles on my list. However, I did complete a total of 42 books from my list. 42/53 is not bad. Especially considering how many books I've read and reviewed in the past months that were not on my list at all.

There were changes between my final list (see above) and my original list. The original list had a total of 63 books. But in the first two or three weeks, I began eliminating and revising that list. Here are the ten books I eliminated (for various reasons):

Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett
The Cupid Chronicles by Coleen Murtagh Parator
Dark Water Rising by Marian Hale
The Truth About Sparrows by Marian Hale
Godless by Pete Hautman
The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs by Betty G. Birney
Playing In Traffic by Gail Giles
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
Keys to the Kindom: Mister Monday by Garth Nix


Jen Robinson 6:57 PM  

Wow! What a great list of books. I adore Jeanne DuPrau's books, and I loved The Off Season, too.

Katrina 8:59 AM  

42 books is amazing!! Great job!

I've been thinking of The Mysterious Benedict Society for my 8-year-old (maybe to read aloud together) -- so I appreciate your review.

Thanks for being part of the Spring Reading Thing!

ellen b 1:56 PM  

Girl, you get the serious reader award. Way to go...

Barbara H. 3:09 PM  

Wow! I thought I read a lot, but I came nowhere near that amount! Great work!

Jennifer, Snapshot 5:11 PM  

You do a good job of keeping track of your books. I tried keeping a notebook of when I started and when I finished, but I always end up neglecting it.

Sarah Miller 9:30 PM  

Wow -- I'm so flattered!

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I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

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.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

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