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October 3, 2009

I’ve got three wrap-ups to catch up on. :) But first, I’m joining one new one!

kiwibuttonsmallMaree of Just Add Books has decided to be patriotic and seize the fact that October is New Zealand Book Month! So she’s hosting the New Zealand Challenge-it’s just during October, and you can commit to reading one book, watching one movie, or listening to some music. I’m going with the book, which I actually already got from the library! I’ve read lots of good reviews of Mr. Pip by Lloyd Jones, but it never appealed to me. Then I saw that he has another book: Here at the End of the World We Learn to Dance. It’s set during WWI, and involves New Zealand and Argentina and tango!!! Right up my alley. :) I was also surprised when I got it to see how small it is, so if you’re thinking of doing the challenge and worried about the month time-limit, this could be a good choice for you as well!

Now for the wrap-ups! This is more blog housekeeping than anything else, so if you don’t want to read it won’t hurt my feelings. ;)

Southern Challenge Wrap-Up
southernreadingThis ended in August, and I wrote the wrap-up but forgot to publish it. I always love the Southern Challenge! :) In fact, every time it comes along I wonder why I haven’t been reading Southern authors all year. Must work on that. Anyway, this year I read 5 books, so two over the required three. (I also reread To Kill a Mockinbird for a different challenge during the time frame.) There are lots more of my pool of possibilities that I plan to get to eventually though!

The books, linked through to my reviews:
Voodoo Season by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Mudbound by Hillary Jordan
Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician by Daniel Wallace
Ray in Reverse by Daniel Wallace

The best book: Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician, without any contest.
Any new authors? Yep-Mark Dunn, Hillary Jordan, and Jewell Parker Rhodes. I’ll definitely be reading more of Rhodes in the future.
Books I did not finish: None, although I considered abandoning Ella Minnow Pea.
What did I learn from this challenge? You know, this is my third year doing this challenge. And the other times, I’ve loved all of the books I’ve read. This time, I had more of an up-and-down reading experience. So I suppose I’ve learned not to idealise Southern books so much. But it also makes me want to read even more extensively into Southern lit, to find new favourite authors or read new books by old favourites. Does that make sense?

Summer Lovin’ Challenge
sumerlovin This was a good challenge for me, since I had made a personal resolution at the beginning of the year to reread 25 books, and I’m waaaaaay behind on that! So I chose to reread 7 books by the end of summer, and with a few changes to my original list, I managed it!

Books read, with links to reviews:
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Solitaire Mystery by Jostein Gaarder
Stardust by Neil Gaiman (read during my blogging drought!)
The Moor by Laurie King (read during my blogging drought!)
Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier (read during my blogging drought!)
Beloved by Tony Morrison (read during my blogging drought!)
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr (haven’t reviewed yet)

The best book: I can’t pick between my faves! :)
Any new authors? Obviously not, hehe.
Books I did not finish: None! I was disappointed by Solitaire Mystery
What did I learn from this challenge? That I should reread books more often! :) I already knew that though, so more practically I learned that including rereads in my challenge lists makes me more likely to get to them. Also, that I am apparently horrible at reviewing books I’ve reread! lol Maybe I’ll do one big post about them. :D

Banned Books Challenge
bannedbooks This challenge was to read at least one book that has been banned or challenged during September. I ended up reading three:
Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence

The best book: A tie between Go Tell It on the Mountain and Bless Me, Ultima…which now that I think about it are both about young boys and religion!
Any new authors? All of them!
Books I did not finish: None
What did I learn from this challenge? It’s better to go into books without preconceptions. :)

6 Comments leave one →
  1. October 4, 2009 1:53 am

    Well done on completing these challenges. I loved the Southern Challenge and will definitely take part again next year.

  2. October 4, 2009 6:57 am

    Ahh, just look at all that lovely reading you got done…

    I’m so tempted to do the NZ challenge, but I’m supposed to be finishing this damn pile of books first. *sigh* I’m so tired of not being able to follow my whims. Yeah, I know–whine, whine, whine…

  3. October 4, 2009 8:22 pm

    Hi! I gave you a book award over at my blog :)

  4. October 5, 2009 5:27 am

    The New Zealand challenge sounds very tempting — because it’s easy (and I am all about easy right now). Eva, you really inspire me to take part in more challenges!

  5. October 5, 2009 9:46 pm

    I like your “what I learned” line for the banned books challenge! wonderful way to look at it.

    I love rereading favorite books. It’s just so fun!

  6. October 11, 2009 6:23 am

    Vivienne, I always love the Southern Challenge too! :)

    Debi, I can’t handle whim-free reading, so I don’t think you’re whining!

    Randall, I’m a challenge pusher. :D

    Rebecca, thank you!

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